No matter how much the digital revolution has changed the buying behavior of consumers, some things will continue to require the active presence of humans. Like selling insurance for example – a lot of us still want to talk to a person, more than a bot even though they have their vital uses. We feel comfortable when we are talking to a living being in-person, asking questions, nodding along.
When a salesman sells something directly instead of going through channels like wholesale, he is categorized as a Direct Sales Agent (DSA). If he is physically traveling from door to door, trying to convince people to buy his product, he is a field salesperson and a team of such salespeople is called a field force or a field sales team.
The Need for Field Force Management Software?
Some businesses can’t thrive without a field force. It is essential for them to go door to door. Field sales come with its benefits (like the trust of a real person), yet with certain challenges as well. For one, it is really hard to monitor the team’s activities. You really can’t tell what goes on outside the walls of your office when your sales team go out for the day’s business. You don’t know if they’re having a burger and an ice-cold drink at McDonald’s, or worse still if they’re running little errands for their own personal businesses.
These diversions are far too common, and a strict monitoring and tracking of your field sales team often defines its success or failure, especially when you consider the number of resources going into fuelling your field sales, apart from the time of course. This includes the recurrent costs of gassing up field vehicles, as well as many others like phone bills, food bills, costs of marketing materials, etc.
The above is just one of many perspectives of why field force management is necessary for direct selling teams, especially when they exist in large numbers and in multiple locations. How do you keep an unblinking eye on field sales activity without really being there? How do you make sure the meetings are happening on time? Ultimately, how do you measure performance?
The simple answer to these questions is field force management software. It helps you manage your entire field sales team by tracking their activities, travel, meetings, and more. It keeps you in the loop of everything you want to know and makes your field sales an efficient unit.
Here are some of the features that make field management software an extremely important aspect of field force management.
Important Features of Field Force Management Software
Investing in technology offers both short-term and long-term rewards. Tracking is not the only thing you can expect from a field management software. It also helps you guide your field sales reps to be more productive and efficient by optimizing their routes, meetings, and plans for the day.
Understand your leads better
With a field management software, you can track your lead’s behavior and activities from your mobile phone. This includes the web pages they visited, the links they clicked on your website, the time they spent on certain pages and hence, what part of your offerings they’re interested in.
These details arm your sales team to finetune their pitch in approaching these prospects. Since they already know what they want they can prepare for the meeting which increases the likelihood of a positive response.
Work on the go
The mobile nature of the field force management software ensures that you and your field sales reps can work from anywhere. With the mobile app, you can automatically sync calls, emails, and texts in your mobile phone with the mobile software, which in this case is the LeadSquared field sales app.
Travel with your team using live geo-tracking
With a geo-tracking enabled field force management app, you do not have to physically be there with your team to know what they are doing on the field. You can sit in your office and track everything on your desktop – the places they travel to, the distance they traveled, the people they meet.
What’s more? Even the meeting notes are updated in real-time, regardless of where they are. All of this information as gathered from the platform gives you a bird’s-eye view of your field force.
There is really no excuse for the missed sales meetings and follow-ups. With a robust field force management software, you can get alerts about upcoming events and tasks that need to be completed at different intervals. For instance, an update on a meeting with a client in a cross-country location can be sent an hour beforehand and thirty minutes afterward. This allows you to get a proper hold of yourself with timely preparations for such meetings.
Find leads nearest to your sales reps
Optimize your route better with lead’s location mapping. While in a particular location for a meeting, the software can provide a recommendation of leads existing in the same location. This could result in more meetings in much lesser travel miles.
Also, it comes in handy when a pre-scheduled meeting is canceled by a lead for one reason or the other. The sales rep can quickly slot into another engagement in the same location.
Enable your field force to work offline
It is not rare for sales reps to find themselves in areas without an internet connection. As far as LeadSquared is concerned, this should be no reason why you can’t perform important sales activity, hence it is the only CRM in the world that syncs important data offline.
Managing a huge field force is not a piece of cake. One aspect is to keep a close eye on what they are doing, another one is to coach them to be more efficient. Real-time notifications and tracking is an icing on the cake. By implementing a solid field force management system, one that operates on both desktop and mobile platforms and syncs with your CRM seamlessly, you are not only making a dynamic field force but a more connected ecosystem.