Capturing Latrine Sales Data
LESSON LEARNED: Improving sales tracking takes time
Latrine businesses maintain a record book to track customer data and sales details. The project collected sales data from each project-connected latrine business every two weeks. Research assistants recorded summary data on deliveries based on the record book and took a digital photo for verification purposes. In order to track 6-month installation rate and usage, the project also verified randomly selected sales 6-12 months after the transaction date.
Early in the project, data in the latrine business record book was often incomplete, since record keeping was a new process for businesses. In order to tighten the verification process, management clarified that staff would not receive sales incentives for sales that lacked proper client identification.
Tying sales incentives to data completion, along with increased latrine business familiarity with the record book, contributed to an improvement in data collection.
CHALLENGE: Capturing granular sales data
As part of their training, sales agents are trained to record what are known as the “special numbers.” These numbers help the sales agent, the Latrine Business Owner, and the project analyze why sales are strong or weak.
For door-to-door sales, these include:
- Number of households who experienced the Family Sanitation Book (the site seller sales tool)
- Number of sales made from doing direct visits
- Number of referrals gotten from each direct visit
For group presentations, these include:
- Number of households in the village without latrines (obtained from the village chief)
- Number of non-latrine households attending the group presentation
- Number of sales made at the group presentation
As important as these numbers are, sales agents have a hard time seeing the longer-term benefits of documenting and analyzing their efforts. This means project staff spend more time doing hands-on observing and coaching, rather than analyzing precise data to identify areas for improvement. The ability to better manage sales agents has improved significantly since project staff have shifted focus from Latrine Business Owners to sales agents. However, getting granular data like the special numbers is still difficult since sales agents are not directly employed by the project.