Field sales involve sales personnel meeting prospective clients in person to sell a product or service. For successful sales runs, field sales reps must track/manage leads and score prospects beforehand. It entails a series of meetings and follow-ups for any deal closure. Ensuring healthy after-sales CRM and opportune reselling also comes under their purview. The job is undeniably taxing, from maximising sales across large areas to accommodating sudden client requests.
While face-to-face client meetings are highly effective for conversions, there can be multiple on-site challenges in field sales management. These include:-
- The elaborate planning required owing to multiple variables
- Time and fuel management while covering the vast zones allotted
- Meeting sales targets amidst high competition and fussy clients
- Topical challenges like weather, traffic, communication blockades, and so on
Businesses that rely on on-site sales must strategise and implement robust strategies for field sales management. The prime focus should be to build a strong field sales team and bolster sales performance. Here are four key strategies in this regard:-
1. Strong, Holistic, and Well-Communicated SOPs– Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs are the backbone of any business operations. But these are crucial for effective field sales because minutely detailed, documented, and all-encompassing procedures address all possible challenges. These SOPs should be printed and handed out to all employees to avoid miscommunication.
2. Rigorous Sales Training with Incentivizing- Consistent, high-quality sales training is a vital factor that ensures the high productivity of the field sales team. Of course, this needs to be coupled with suitable motivational programs, especially ones that reward high performers. Managers must empathise with the fact that being on the field is extremely challenging and must address the team accordingly.
3. Top-Notch Field Sales Automation– Given how exceedingly competitive on-site sales have become today, managing large-scale operations without proper technology is futile. Virtual sales route planners, holistic CRM solutions, AI-driven lead prospecting tools, and field task collaboration apps are just precursors. Numerous cost-effective, highly efficient field automation tools, software, and apps can be customised per organisational requirements.
4. Tracking and Analysing Important Parameters– Gauging the effectiveness of field sales management is a must for every business. Merely conducting sales review meetings monthly and reprimanding executives for not achieving targets is not the right approach. Apart from individual sales, the average deal size, follow-up contact rate, and opportunity-to-win ratio are noteworthy KPIs. The regularity with which metrics are tracked and shared with the team, the greater will be the resolve to self-improve.
Field sales challenges are unique and very different from those the in-house sales team faces. Even daily field work allotment for a field sales manager can be a complex task because of numerous unpredictable situations. The only way to counter the myriad on-site challenges is by formulating strong and practical SOPs. Furthermore, relying on the right field sales technology, the right training modules, and the right employee incentivising program is necessary. Field sales can drive incredible sales and foster brand value with intelligent, data-driven management.
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