Put sales on steroids: Equip your sales teams to thrive in a digital world through field sales digitization

field sales digitization
Field sales

Put sales on steroids: Equip your sales teams to thrive in a digital world through field sales digitization

Why should you invest in field sales digitization?

Field sales digitization not only offers you better control over your sales teams but also drives higher revenue. It is a neat way to boost operational efficiency and team performance. Let’s see how field sales digitization can help your business:

24/7 access to all sales activities and data

Making the field sales process digital means that the entire sales team will have access to all sales-related information 24/7. Team members can stay abreast of important updates and perform better, as they will be able to provide customers with consistent experiences both online and offline.

This access also allows sales managers to monitor and improve the performance of field sales reps. 

Intelligent business decisions through actionable data insights

Regularly analyzing data, monitoring KPIs, and generating real-time reports is crucial to enhance performance and scale profits.

A good field service software will incorporate a comprehensive dashboard that enables you to access all kinds of reports to measure progress and performance. This allows you to adjust and track sales performance with ease. 

Digitizing field sales also eliminates the risk of human error, which can often be expensive. Fewer errors translate to optimized sales, especially since reps can always stay up-to-date with the latest promotions, product features, and pricing, instead of having to return from the field to stay in the know and lose precious time – and sales.

Powerful visibility into the market

A typical sales force tracker will give you the ability to collect feedback, conduct customized surveys, and promotions. A customized survey for your different customer categories can help you to build profound relationships with them. 

They are your eyes and ears on the ground in your absence. As product demand shifts, they are the ideal people to keep you informed. 

Effective communication and collaboration

An SFA solution should allow you to communicate with your team through updates, push notifications as well as informative blogs/articles.

Real-time communication enables everyone to stay in the loop and improves productivity by leaps and bounds.

Better brand image

First image is the best image! Replacing traditional catalogues with digital ones filled with high-quality photos and videos is an effective way to engage and captivate leads. Taking advantage of digital interfaces when selling products or services greatly boosts brand image and offers a significant competitive advantage. 

Digital catalogues also offer the added advantages of reduced costs and lead times. 

Improved customer loyalty

One of the best ways to attract and retain customers is quick service. Digitization of field sales and rapid response times go hand in hand, as field sales reps can present products or services, check inventories, take orders, process payments, etc. on the go. 

This naturally begets increased customer satisfaction levels and more closed deals. Now that you’re convinced of the plethora of benefits that field sales digitization offers to your business, let’s explore best practices to help you achieve successful transformation:

5 tips to get the most out of your field sales digitization program

1. Identify and locate your customers

Start by compiling a unified database with all the data points you need to identify precisely and segment your customers. Use the following information:

  • GPS / Address
  • Outside / inside / equipment picture
  • Contact information
  • Shop type / Sales tier
  • Shop name / Owner name

Once you have your universe of retailers in place, the next step is splitting it into meaningful territories.

The purpose of having territories is to:

  • have one sales rep in charge of it
  • measure the performance more precisely as opposed to measuring averages
  • ensure you have the right resources to cover it

The main KPI to watch out for is the outlet coverage. It will clearly indicate the % of retailers the sales rep has been visiting in her/his portfolio.

2. Track field force productivity

Create digital questionnaires to capture data from the field, and implement custom workflows as per what is required by users to do on the field.

Measure the following key KPIs:

  • Sales value / quantity
  • Drop size
  • Number of shops visited per time period
  • Outlet coverage (% of the portfolio visited per time period).
  • % of visit time vs non visit time
  • Start time’’

Another way to skyrocket productivity is to use the geo check-in feature which forces the user to be within 100m of the outlet, as determined by the GPS, to be able to submit a workflow related to it. This prevents the fraud of reporting fake visit data.

3. Deploy geo tracking and smart route management

Geo tracking enables you to ensure the movements of your field users during the day are consistent. While route management is often thought of as a static way of assigning a set of agents to visit during the day, there are more dynamic ways to do it using technology and data analytics, by defining business rules.

As an example, you could have these rules set up:

  • make sure that an outlet that has not been visited for 30 days is priority
  • change the routes based on a drop of sales compared to last month
  • allocate more weight and visit frequency based on sales
  • identify abnormal drops in product mix
4. Use image recognition to increase data collection efficiency

Image recognition technology is now much more accessible and efficient. It is even applicable in traditional trade environments with low quality pictures, offering high detection rates.

It can help reduce the time the sales rep spends in the shop; instead of having to count the SKUs one by one, a single picture can help to detect the SKUs with a high level of confidence. Include image recognition as a standard module to quickly measure product and equipment presence.

5. Build analytical dashboards and share them with your team

Analytical dashboards allow you to skip cumbersome tasks like data aggregation and data cleaning. As soon as the data from the field is synchronised, you can visualise it in web dashboards.

Make sure to:

  • implement the right reporting in line with the sales process 
  • make the information flow downstream; empower the field users and the distributors with a dedicated access at their levels so that information is more accessible 

In a nutshell

If you’re looking to deploy a cutting-edge field sales solution for your business, check out Happisales – our unique field force engagement platform to perform sales, collection, order and service on the fly.