How Can You Best Equip Your Field Sales Team to Serve Today’s Sophisticated Customers?

There was a time when salespeople could make a sale based on brand value or brand name, but customers’ purchasing habits have shifted dramatically. They have become more radical in their choices of products and services. According to a study conducted by the Marketing Leadership Council in collaboration with Google, customers self-progress and complete approximately 60% of their purchasing decision before meeting with a sales representative. Does this imply that the role of the salesperson has become less important?

In reality, it is the other way around. Now, more than ever, salespeople’s productivity is required; they must be more empowered, equipped, and prepared than ever before because they are dealing with a much smarter and self-aware customer base in the current market. A field service CRM for businesses with service operations can empower the field sales team to best cater to the new-age smart customers.

Do your salespeople have the authority to make decisions?

Customers nowadays are more concerned with the utility of a product or service; they speak with a sales agent only after conducting their own research, so they are more likely to approach the sales agent with a number of specific questions. Thus, the days of sales representatives using the same sales pitch to sell a product or service are over. Salespeople must now be able to make sound decisions in order to properly judge and pitch a customer. So, how do we empower salespeople to become smart enough to match customers’ improved purchasing behaviour? Here are three examples:

1. Not bogged down by administrative tasks

As previously stated, customers tend to self-progress in their purchasing decisions before meeting with a salesperson, which means they have become very selective about which salesperson they meet with. Missing an appointment with a customer due to incorrect, overlapped, or duplicate scheduling is extremely frustrating for salespeople in this situation. To ensure proper job scheduling for sales reps, a company should use software programmes such as field service CRM.

Field service management CRM, also helps take care of the concern that sales reps’ productive hours are frequently depleted due to other administrative issues such as reporting, creating sales reports, extended travel, and so on. Such ineffective aspects can also be remedied with the assistance of a field service CRM. For example, the sales rep can use the software to remotely fill out their timesheet, digitally submit their reports and reimbursement claims, and the route planner can guide them through the safest and fastest routes to save travel time.

2. Real-time access to the knowledge database

In order to deal with a knowledgeable customer, even the sales representative must also become knowledgeable. Training and development lessons are fixed in format and do not meet the flexible needs of sales representatives. Sales representatives require real-time access to information as well as the flexibility to prepare themselves while on the road for situational decision-making. An effective and affordable field service CRM functions as a centralized digital database that sales reps can access at any time and from any location.

3. Useful sales tools

If a salesperson is not empowered enough to prioritize customer convenience, he has a slim chance of surviving in the competition. On-the-spot invoice generation, digital payment methods, real-time tracking of the salesman’s whereabouts, and instant notifications about a sales transaction are just a few of the small but significant factors that improve the customer experience with a sales representative. As a result, without these types of sales tools, it is difficult for a sales rep to function in today’s market. A field service CRM system can be a comprehensive sales tool that empowers a sales representative digitally and technologically.

He can use the software to generate instant proof of purchase, offer customers various digital payment options, share digital copies of documents with them, digitally capture their feedback, send them updates and notifications, and much more. 

What is field service CRM?

Field service CRM software leverages the power of automation to simplify, organize, and improve the effectiveness of sales management by eliminating bottlenecks. The following are some of the most common issues that businesses face when it comes to field sales:

1. Reporting

Every sales structure requires reporting. Traditionally, sales agents had to either travel back to their offices or submit their sales reports via mail from their job locations. On the one hand, traveling back to the office for report submission is time-consuming for sales agents; on the other hand, the culture of email-based reporting places an additional burden on managers because they must extract and compile the reports for the consolidated analysis.

All of these complications can be avoided by using FSM software. The software supports automated features such as remote reporting, custom reporting formats, automated report compilation, built-in analytics for report analysis, and many other reporting-related features.

2. Time management during travel

Traveling is an important part of field sales and services, but managing travel is also important because too much time is often wasted on travel if the wrong route is taken or the job locations are in remote locations. By facilitating effective scheduling, the field sales management app software aids in travel time management. Whether meeting a potential client with a sales proposal or meeting a regular customer for an up-sell or cross-sell, task-allocation can be automated and effectively done using field sales management software, ensuring aspects such as field agent availability on a specific time or date, field agent proximity to a job location, prevention of double booking, and so on.

As a result, a job is automatically assigned to the nearest available sales agent, saving him travel time and allowing him to target more sales meetings per day. The software also supports GPS navigation, allowing the shortest and safest route to be mapped and shared with the agents.

3. Data administration

The software is a cloud-based platform that stores all business data, such as customer information, sales forms, and so on. It serves as a centralized repository that sales agents can access from anywhere at any time.

4. Analysis of sales agent productivity and performance

The software is an effective tool for analyzing sales agents’ on-field productivity and performance. The software uses GPS to aid in location tracking, geo attendance, and location validation. Using the automated job updates features, managers in the back office can also stay up to date on the work status of the sales agents. There are also provisions for customized sales reports. All of these are measurable and accurate methods of monitoring sales agents’ productivity and performance.

The key takeaways

Using technology such as GPS navigation, push notifications, digital knowledge repositories, and so on, various field job bottlenecks can be effectively managed. Although these technologies are available via various individual apps, having them via separate sources is ineffective. Field sales management software is a comprehensive solution that combines multiple technologies to create one-stop solutions for managing field sales.

Companies cannot overcome the digital disruption that is heavily influencing customer decision-making and purchasing behavior. So, no business or its salespeople can function effectively unless they are technologically or digitally empowered. A field service CRM is required for new-age salespeople to be in sync with changing consumer metrics.

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