The sales game has changed significantly over the past few decades. Gone are the days of cold calls and unannounced visits attempting to hook prospects with flashy pitches.
As it is, customers are already bombarded with ads, mailers, and pop-ups that encroach on their privacy and overwhelm them with information. The last thing they want is a field sales rep trying to force a conversion at an inconvenient time, while being absolutely clueless as to their pain points and their actual needs.
Instead of alienating customers through antiquated sales techniques, businesses should focus on empowering their sales reps to better boost their sales revenue and productivity.
The first step in this process lies in understanding the daily workload and the common struggles of field sales reps.
Field reps get no rest
A snapshot of a typical day in the life of a field rep might include the following:
- The tedious task of noting their mileage in their logbooks;
- Starting up Google Maps to take a look at the traffic forecast and work out the best routes to take as they check in with customers;
- Checking in with stock management to see if products are available, and if not, when they will be’
- Writing notes on which prospect or lead said what;
- Phoning accounts to follow up on quotes, invoices, and purchases made by a particular person; and
- Accounting for which prospects or leads were successful and why.
It’s clear that being in sales is no walk in the park, but what can be done in terms of empowering field sales reps to meet their expected outcomes?
Let’s look at four powerful ways to get them to work that sales funnel, and achieve more gratifying results that boost their morale and productivity.
1. Provide sales reps with the right tools
Technology is here to make our lives easier, so why not use it to do just that? Using apps like Skynamo, which is designed specifically with the daily struggles of field reps in mind, means working smart, not hard.
With intelligent mobile sales app features such as automated reporting, all the mess and stress of on-the-go admin is quickly cleaned up! Here’s how this awesome app can help:
GPS tracking of travel distance and time – The app uses GPS to track where you’ve been and automatically keeps a record of all the information you need. Goodbye logbook!
Always available info – It works with existing databases, CRMs, and your company’s website to pull all the info you need on hand to be fully prepared for your customer visits. It gives you instant access to product catalogs, available stock, histories of previous customer engagements, and interactions. You can even access this information when you’re offline or have poor signal. Plus, you don’t have to lug around a ton of paperwork: everything is in the palm of your hand, in a mobile-friendly format.
Fast and accurate orders – Keeping track of who ordered what should not be left to memory. Field sales apps like Skynamo show you the latest pricing as well as product and discount information, allowing you to quickly help your prospect make a purchasing decision and record it, with no room for error. You’ll also shorten order fulfillment time by eliminating the need to head back to the office to submit orders.
No need for paper notes – The app allows you to voice record your notes and then automatically convert them into text. So you’ll never blunder by mixing up prospect information, making people feel unappreciated. You’ll also avoid spending unnecessary time writing out notes by hand (with handwriting you probably can’t read anyway, if we are being honest).
2. Help plan their routes and territory
Effectively planning sales territory can really aid in empowering sales reps by boosting both morale and productivity. For example, discovering which reps gel best with which customers or types of prospects, and by allocating territory according to this (or according to their favorite locations), you can ensure that your reps look forward to their visits and get more satisfaction from their job, thereby improving rep retention and happiness.
You can also help your reps cut their traveling time in half with more thoughtful route planning that finds the most efficient routes from prospect A to B to C. Less time spent on the roads means they have more time to spend with prospects and build solid relationships with them (which certainly doesn’t hurt your chances of raking in those conversions).
Fortunately, route and territory planning don’t need to be time-consuming tasks. With Skynamo you can see where you are in relation to your customers in real-time, helping you to be more flexible and easily plan on the go. It also comes with a calendar feature that helps you remember when follow-ups are due, making sure customers feel important and valued with frequent visits.
3. Be more transparent about performance using analytics
Gone are the days when he/she who ‘shouts’ the loudest gets the most appreciation. Analytics reveal all!
This ability to transform hard, cold data into dazzling visuals has many benefits in the way of enhancing performance. Analytical sales reports show who’s really outperforming, and in which areas field reps flourish (ensuring recognition is given to those who have worked so hard for it).
They also create a competitive environment (through gamification) where those just meeting the status quo are encouraged to put more effort in when presented with reports that show how they fare in comparison to others.
Lastly, analytics make sales data easy to understand, allowing sales managers to predict trends and show sales reps what they should be doing more of and why.
However, not all analytics tools are user-friendly or have dashboards designed for varying industries with vastly different needs. This is why we recommend using Skynamo Analytics, for its ability to generate custom dashboards that are industry-specific.
4. Boost performance and skills with sales enablement
The term ‘sales enablement’ really just speaks to empowering sales reps with better skills, tools, or information to help them sell products or services. Some sales enablement may be focused on better training reps in their weak areas. Other sorts of enablement may be in the form of equipping reps with all the right marketing content and knowledge to persuade prospects to reach for their wallets.
Whatever type of sales enablement tactic you choose to use, you can enhance it through the use of Skynamo. For example, the application’s ability to integrate CRM systems means that the link between marketing and field reps is that much closer, equipping reps with the marketing knowledge they need to sell better.
One way to do this is by being notified when a prospect opens your company mailer. This will help you know exactly which product to pitch and when to pitch it – immediately after they’ve read the mailer, ensuring you’re not interrupting them in the middle of an important task.
When it comes to training reps, you can also use Skynamo’s analytics feature to assess which reps struggle with which part of the buyer’s journey, and use that info to help them over their sales hurdles.
In summary, there’s a lot of pressure on field reps to hit their numbers, and for their graph to always trend upwards. This pressure can be overwhelming if sales managers don’t intercede and help guide reps in the right direction.
Thankfully, the task of ensuring that field reps are as productive as possible and that they bring home stellar sales results is not unattainable. With the simple aid of intelligent field sales apps like Skynamo, meeting sales goals becomes a lighter burden to bear.