Until recently, measuring field representative success meant trusting employees and relying on sales data and individual reporting accounts. The advent of mobile technology has improved the way management monitors field representatives and allows companies to measure success in an increasing number of ways that may indirectly impact overall sales.
These new accountability measures make it more difficult for field reps to take advantage of their roles when away from the company, but the measures also benefit representatives who can prove their activities even in the absence of conversion rates. Companies are also changing the indicators they look for to determine success. They no longer rely solely on sales numbers, but on more tangential sales pipeline activity, like points of contact and the quality of interaction.
Consider these tips for measuring the success of field representatives:
- Define success. Success may include a number of different goals, depending on the industry, product, and/or service. For some, success may be measured by a potential customer’s willingness to listen to a field rep. For other companies, success may rely on getting a prospect to sign up for a newsletter or to receive further communication from the company. Success is rarely ever defined as black and white sales numbers anymore. Come up with the key indicators that demonstrate that field representatives are improving every day. These indicators will influence the success measurement strategies used to gauge field work.
- Diversify field goals. Since many field representatives are responsible for building and maintaining relationships with both the potential and existing consumer base, sales strategies that include goals beyond making a sale can measure a number of different criteria. Sales pipelines are becoming more complex. The nurturing process means remaining in a customer’s mind when he or she is ready to purchase. By having field reps outline their interactions, companies can maintain accurate information about where consumers are in the buying process and make interaction decisions based on that information.
- Maintain communication by going mobile. A sales team that encourages constant communication has the benefit of a team approach even when a representative is in the field alone. Keep the channels of communication open while representatives are out in the region so they have access to necessary information to make the most of consumer interactions. Being able to answer questions immediately or provide more information to the consumer with a quick, personalized email can be more impactful than handing over a business card.
- Use online tools. When management can gauge their field rep activity based on mobile tracking and communication, they have instantaneous access to their field activities. Tools such as Mobile Insight are affordable field rep management applications that measure activities in real time. They are available for Android and IOS devices so individuals can use company or individual phones as needed.These apps/online tools are truly revolutionary for remote workers. Companies can manage employee activity through GPS, shared calendars, and time management features. Analytics on activities are available at the touch of a button, making the programs indispensable to management teams who need to make timely sales pipeline decisions.
Management teams who carefully vet their field representatives for positive work ethic and who implement current technology solutions will see high rates of sales success in their field representatives. Looking at the big picture sales pipeline and addressing sales goals on a regular basis with constant communication allows remote sales teams to work as effectively as any other team setup.