Business owners and sales managers often share some scepticism related to digitization when having to choose outside sales software. This is understandable. Research suggests this most likely stems from past experiences linked to mishaps and inefficiencies that involved ineffective technology or clunky systems. But there is no better time to empower your outside sales team through digitization.
Nowadays, there are many more fit-for-purpose sales platforms and specially designed software for sales teams. But, it’s still crucial to choose the right sales software for your business. This can give you a competitive advantage and enable you to reap the benefits of digitization.
Putting things into perspective
Think Jannic, a regional sales manager at a wholesale distributor of veterinary supplies. He manages Lionel’s Veterinary Supplies’ sales team who represents several national and international producers of animal health products.
A portion of the sales reps managed by Jannic operates outside the office, doing repeat visits to listed buyers. After ditching flip cards and other paper-based sales aids, Jannic’s team switched to software designed for the automobile industry and was very limited in terms of addressing Lionel’s Vet’s unique needs. It had the basic features but wasn’t fit for a company with nearly 6,000 listed stock items (SKUs). New products get added on fairly regularly, prices change according to discount brackets or promotional campaigns and good communication between the office, warehouse, and sales team are critical to success.
Lionel’s Vet relies on account-based selling. Ideally, they wanted to keep track of how their customers’ relationships develop over time, capturing not only order information but also conversations in order to develop a better understanding of each customer. Lionel’s Vet is a service-driven company that prioritizes customer satisfaction, and therefore it’s crucial to understand customer pain points and anticipate problems before they arise.
Using sales technology that wasn’t the right fit for their industry and company needs, meant that business wasn’t as good as it could be and why we say, Don’t “go digital” if it’s not simplifying field sales management.
All of these factors made finding a complete solution difficult. The good news is, there are outside sales platforms that can help business owners and sales team managers like Jannic succeed at selling. The great news is, Lionel’s Vet made the switch to Skynamo’s All-in-1 Field Sales Platform and it made all the difference.
“Skynamo completely opened up the line of communication between the office, warehouse and sales reps in the field,” was Jannic’s feedback. “We spend about 80% less time in conversation but our conversations are so much more fruitful. On top of this, Lionel’s Vet has seen a 25% annual growth in sales since adopting technology developed for field sales while increasing their customer visits by nearly 200%.
Complete outside sales platforms look beyond the sales field
Better communication between departments and more accurate service delivery to customers comes down to ERP integration. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools like Acumatica integrate various business software systems to make accurate information readily available to both internal and external stakeholders.
ERPs are business management platforms that give company owners and business managers an overview of all business activities, connecting various organizational departments to one another, and helping them to work together and share information in a simple and effective manner. They are typically used by larger and medium-sized organizations but are becoming more popular with smaller businesses too.
Investing in the right field sales software will help ensure success. By using an outside sales platform like Skynamo’s field sales app, businesses can enhance efficiency through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration, ensuring all internal stakeholders have access to valuable information.
Choosing the best outside sales platform for your business
When having to decide on a complete outside sales platform, you need to give careful consideration to the operational problems the business is experiencing and find the optimal solution that would best suit the unique needs of the company. Below are four key factors to consider:
Manual capturing of data is still prevalent in the vast majority of the sales field and this will most likely always be a pain point when considering the importance of data accuracy. This is because there is always the risk of human error. In fast-paced sales environments, sales reps could easily make some data entry mistakes that could lead to incorrect orders and unhappy clients.
Not only this but with multiple products with different pricing, it can be difficult to ensure accuracy within every order. Having a sophisticated outside sales platform solution that allows for ERP integration opens up avenues for sales employees to be armed with meticulous data on product catalogues, pricing, stock availability, and customer profiles.
Outside sales teams can place orders from the field, capturing accurate information and communicating to management simultaneously.
Time Spent on Admin
How much time do sales employees actually spend doing their job, which should be selling, as opposed to being heavily overloaded with admin? Admin has become such a huge part of a sales job that 71% of sales reps actually say they spend too much time on data entry.
By implementing outside sales software, sales managers and teams will be able to spend more time face to face with customers or clients. By eliminating unnecessary pen and paper admin, Skynamo increases valuable face time between 15 to 25% within three months. In turn, this has increased conversion rates by more than 15%.
The issue of transparency is a very real one when it comes to sales. Managers want better insight into their outside sales team activities. Sales managers will most likely want to know what their sales reps are doing, where they are, and the amount of time spent visiting a customer. Constantly checking in on sales teams could result in employees feeling like there is no trust.
With Skynamo’s field sales app, transparency is created between sales management and sales reps. It allows for real-time tracking of what is happening in the field and managers are able to coach their teams on how to reach their targets more successfully.
Good communication between sales managers, reps, the finance team as well as warehouse managers is critical. Without open channels of communication and easy access to information, it’s easy to make mistakes or for misunderstandings to occur.
Skynamo’s field sales app helps to improve communication and ensure that everyone knows what their tasks are or their next course of action. This allows for smoother sales to occur as well as better management in general.
All you need to know about field sales software
From better data accuracy and insights to easy access to product or customer information and enhanced efficiency, there are clear benefits for wholesale distributors to use a complete outside sales platform. But, how do you choose the right field sales software? Skynamo’s field sales software buyer’s guide has everything you need to know.