Even in this age of digital advancement when virtually everything is possible with a single phone, there are several sectors which still need humans for marketing! Consider the example of a pharmaceutical company. Typically, all the pharmaceutical companies hire on-field medical representatives (MRs) to acquire deals and bring revenue. There are consumer packaged goods and household items like biscuits, drinks, RO purifiers, and more that may need door-to-door marketing.
So, you can say that even though digital technology has come a long way since its inception, offline sales activities are still not out of question.
Tracking outside sales reps can sometimes be challenging for an organization – especially when the team is large. However, it is possible if you have the right approach and technology.
Before learning how to manage outside sales reps efficiently, let’s revise the basic concept of outside sales and outside sales reps.
Outside Sales and Outside Sales Reps
Outside sales (or field sales) is a selling strategy where sales reps spend their time travelling in their respective sales territories. They meet prospects and customers face-to-face to acquire monthly or annual sales targets. Unlike an inside sales rep, outside sales reps meet prospects and customers in person in their offices and sometimes outside at trade shows, industry events, or conferences.
The roles and responsibilities of a sales rep includes:
- Using different channels, local knowledge, and acquaintances to identify and connect with prospects
- Qualifying leads based on the organization’s strategy and qualification framework
- Booking different appointments (meetings, demos, etc.) with leads and customers
- Traveling to different customers and prospects in the given territory dailly
- Identifying customers’ pain points, needs, and giving inputs to product owners for the required customizations.
- Researching and identifying prospects through social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
- Forecasting revenue and eliminating bottlenecks in field sales processes
- Retaining existing customers and expanding the customer base.
How to Manage Outside Sales Reps: Tips and Strategies
If you are a sales manager, you must be aware of the challenges of managing and tracking outside sales reps.
Here are a few strategies that can help you manage sales reps effectively.
1. Revamp Your Team Management Methods
If you still rely on age-old tactics to manage sales reps, it’s time you revamped them. To eliminate small roadblocks that often occur due to conventional management, modernize your management practices. There are different ways you can achieve it.
a. Encourage a Health Competition with Enhanced Transparency
Don’t hide numbers from your team. Acknowledge individuals’ efforts and display each sales rep’s sales numbers on the scoreboard for all the others to see. This transparency will help foster a healthy competition and encourage individual sales reps to give their best efforts.
b. Follow an Open-Door Policy – with Precautions
Gone are the days when the term “manager” itself would sound intimidating and unapproachable. Times are changing now and so are the policies of companies and organizations. A manager is still at the helm of a department, but not the “ultimate decision-maker”. Companies are now adopting the open door policy to promote a conducive working environment.
As a manager, follow the same policy for your sales reps and be approachable. Let them express their views and opinions openly. However, maintain that fine line between being friendly and approachable and being over-friendly. You are still the boss anyway – and don’t forget that. If in excess, open-door-policy too can backfire.
2. Upgrade Your Sales Management Technologies and Tools
Things change with time and so must you. If you still use CRM to trace your contacts’ details like address, contact numbers every time, I’m afraid you’re already behind in time. It’s time to upgrade your sales reps’ management technologies and drive more ease and efficiency.
The futuristic technology is visualization of CRM records on a map. Ask how. Through a Dynamics mapping plugin.
By simply clicking on a record on the map, you and your sales reps can view all the records’ details on the map. Further, you can eliminate the need to wait till the end of each working day to know the daily progress. By enabling live-tracking of outside sales reps and their movements, you can track their daily progress. You can also optimize routes to share with your sales reps to save their time and effort and whatnot.
Looking to integrate a mapping plugin for your Dynamics 365? Our Mappyfield 365 for Dynamics can be an ideal mapping integration for your Dynamics organization. It comes with a number of next-gen features like territory management, check-ins/check-outs, advance search, heat maps, and more that you seek in an ideal mapping tool. You can even customize its features to fit your business needs. And if you want, we can do that for you! Let’s discuss your requirements and take it ahead from here.
3. Step Up the Collaboration between Sales and Marketing Teams
All that glitters is not gold. In the same way, not every lead is a quality lead. To identify which leads are sales qualified leads, there needs to be a proper procedure. To optimize your sales reps’ time and efforts and make the most of their potential, see to it that they get the right leads to focus on. And for this, enhance the collaboration with your sales and marketing teams at every step of the buyer’s journey.
For instance, you can direct your marketing team to trace the journey of your leads on your site. If a prospect visits your blog first, checks out a product, and finally books a demo, they are likely to convert into customers. There is another random visitor who visits your site from your social media page, checks out your content, navigates to a product page, checks out the pricing, and exits. While this lead also has the potential to convert into a customer, but chances are lower than in the first case. If there is a visitor who exits your site within 30 seconds, you can’t even call them prospect at all.
This is where the right analysis of visitors and prospects can be helpful. If you create a lead-nurturing campaign by combining both marketing and sales efforts; it can work wonders. If they book a product demo, check out your pricings, or express interest in any other way; you can take it ahead with your sales reps.
In fact, you can even strategize segmented campaigns for unqualified leads and pass them on to your sales reps once they become qualified. The story doesn’t end here. Once your prospect turns into your customer, there is a need to retain them. Make it a point to check for their support requirements both online and offline via your sales reps.
Reinvent Your Sales Management Now! – Integrate Mappyfield 365
By now, you have learnt a lot about how to manage outside sales reps more efficiently, it’s time you started that. Out of different strategies you learnt above upgrading sales management tools and technology holds a great value. And as already mentioned above, a mapping tool is one of the latest sales management technologies you can integrate.
If you are all set to transform your sales reps’ management and are looking for a mapping tool, our Mappyfield 365 is a no-brainer mapping plugin for you.
Below are a few next-gen features of Mappyfield 365 for Dynamics that can take your sales reps’ management to new heights.
Reporting & Analytics Dashboard
With a geospatial overview of tasks, activities, and services that you plan for a given period of time, you can stay on top of sales management. You can keep track of open leads, resources’ activities, tasks, assigned routes, and more with different dashboards. You can also create custom dashboards to fit your business requirements easily with Mappyfield.
This feature helps you in tracking outside sales reps of your organization without any hassle. You can track activities, resources, and locations of resources over a particular period of time. This saves your and your resources’ time by eliminating the time it takes to report progress via text or calls.
Further, by tracking outside sales reps in real time, you can get insights faster into what’s working and what’s not. Accordingly, you can proactively plan or update your further strategies.
Sales Territory Management
Territory management is also a crucial part when it comes to sales management. With Mappyfield 365, you can plot records on the map, create territories, and assign them to different sales reps easily. You can also import different shape files to create territories on the map. Further, there are shape operations like union, intersection, and more that you can perform on your territories.
With this functionality, you can track the progress of your sales reps’ in terms of deals and sales. You can find out the average time an activity or appointment to schedule your team’s daily quota on that basis. This feature also empowers your on-field resources to report to you the real-time progress and get better insights into each activity by attaching relevant notes and attachments upon checkout.
Besides, Mappyfield also provides auto-scheduling, heat maps, user-level configuration, security templates, multi-lingual support, advance search, route optimization, and more that can help you in managing and tracking outside sales reps productively.
So, scale up your sales operations with Mappyfield – your ultimate sales companion right away!
All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.