The basic principles of pursuing, nurturing, and converting leads into clients govern the realm of sales. Yet, field sales are an entirely different ballgame for businesses compared to regular or ‘in-office’ sales operations. Typical sales executives work within the office premises, connecting with clients digitally, via email, or telephone. On the other hand, field sales personnel are always on the move. They get deployed to events, conferences, and face-to-face meetings with prospects. In many ways, overlooking a field sales team is far more challenging than in-office salespersons.
Let’s discuss eight simple ways to start, grow, and manage a field sales team successfully:
Hire Competent Professionals in the Field Sales Force:
The biggest mistake for any company is to recruit novices as field sales executives. Of course, a company may do this to curtail hiring expenses. But it eventually costs more, as a business will have to invest in their training from ground zero. It will take years for them to reach the productivity levels of seasoned professionals. Hiring experienced, competent, and qualified sales personnel will always work in the business’s favor. The best way to go is a field sales force with pre-existing, strong communication skills and selling prowess. All the more, they can be deployed in the field after just a basic company orientation program.
Build a Fluid Hierarchy and Clear Communication Channels from the Very Outset:
Given how the field sales force is always on the move, there should be unhindered two-way communication with the management. Whether it is to understand client requirements, prepare the necessary documentation, or fetch last-minute approvals, approachability is crucial. If a business makes them go through a complex organizational hierarchy for day-to-day needs, it will adversely affect productivity.
Field Sales Training should be a Consistent, Quality-Oriented Process:
Like telesales services training, field sales training should never be considered a one-time process. The field sales force has to deal with constantly changing customer requirements and wavering market dynamics. It is, therefore, necessary for the company management to invest suitably in their training, upgrading their skills and knowledge periodically.
Create Robust, Data-driven SOPs for Field Sales Operations:
The standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed by any sales or marketing team should always be data-driven. Today, top management brainstorming, gut-based decisions, and trial and error approaches are outdated. The highest-performing businesses are using data analytics to tap into consumer databases for the right insights to frame SOPs. So be it for telesales services, email marketing, or field sales, concrete data should back the business approach.
Invest in the Right Field Sales Management Software:
Managing a vast network of field sales employees is impossible without the right technology. From GPS tracking to task scheduling, rescheduling, monitoring performance, and conducting sales targets review, field sales automation is the apt solution.
Equip the Field Sales Force with the Right Tools:
Unlike sales automation for telesales services, merely installing field sales management software in the office will not serve the end goal. The software must be equipped with mobile app integration so that employees have continuous access anytime and anywhere. This will increase efficiency and reduce the hassle of heading back to the office for mundane administrative tasks.
Motivate the Field Sales Force with a Practical PLI System:
Performance Linked Incentives (PLI) are instrumental in determining the performance of the field sales employees. The PLI structure should be lucrative for the employees and profitable for the company. The marketing budget, the average cost per lead, average revenue per client, and the employee pay scale are important considerations.
Conduct Daily Briefing with Ample Feedback Mechanisms:
Erratic task allotment, communication hassles, lack of motivation, and accountability motivation are some major hindrances in successful field sales management. Ensuring SOP compliance by field sales executives for optimal customer experience is a critical zone that needs constant monitoring. This can be achieved with the daily briefing and feedback sessions conducted virtually with the entire team on board.
The above guidelines can make a big difference in boosting the productivity and sales figures of the field sales team. In a nutshell, profound managerial competence and intuitive field sales software are required to manage a field sales team successfully. Developing these from scratch in-house entails sizeable time and resources. As a result, outsourcing these requirements to certified field sales management experts is a viable option. Given their strong expertise, technological prowess, and years of experience, businesses can pursue field sales operations with high ROI.