Field Sales Management: How the right software can help you get the most out of your sales team
For any retail business, a strong sales force is the key to turning prospects into purchasers. Which is why managing field sales staff is one of the most important factors in determining retail success. Sales performance comes down to the people you have on the front lines – in stores, at events, wherever your brand is sold – and how well this team is prepared to engage customers at every sales opportunity.
Field sales management is an extremely complicated challenge and one that too many retailers fail to optimize. A great sales team is made up of more than just outgoing and motivated individuals who can smile and process purchases. A great field sales program provides sales people with the key resources, information and tools they need to work smart and be successful.
Everyone, from the field team manager to the salesperson who’s starting his or her first day on the job, should be prepared to excel, and that requires formulating a clear strategy, a clear sales process, and leveraging every field sales advantage – most notably new retail management software solutions that help drive sales performance by improving sales training programs and team communication, while also providing new and better ways to engage customers.
Breakthroughs in field sales management software and solutions based on advanced data capture are changing the game in field performance. They’re doing it by providing brands and retailers with data that provides unmatched visibility across the sales lifecycle. What programs work? Where are you coming up short? Who’s driving sales and who’s not? Which manager and sales rep is right on point, and which teams need a little extra help?
The right digital software solution answers all these questions and more. Building your field sales management program based on this information is a sure way to increase sales performance. Interested in talking with an expert?
Technology and Sales Training
We all understand that well-trained salespeople equate to a more effective sales force, and you’d be hard pressed to find a brand or retailer that doesn’t provide some type of sales training program. The key, however, is knowing that the training you’re providing is actually the best way to increase performance.
One big advantage retail management software provides is the ability to clearly see the areas negatively impacting sales performance. Maybe it has something to do with field staff not properly managing merchandising and displays. Perhaps, it’s a lack of clear direction in customer service or engagement methods. Maybe inventory isn’t being properly tracked and measured, and therefore sales are lost due to lack of product in stock? The point is, when you learn what’s not working, you can quickly adapt sales training programs to address these issues – whether you need to do so on an individual level or a team level.
Additionally, more advanced sales management solutions use technology, such as mobile devices, to improve training retention and give sales teams instant access to training modules whenever they have questions or need important information. Think of it as having a go-to manager on hand to assist sales staff in resolving issues on the spot.
Task Management In The Field
Every retail business has its own set of tasks that field teams are responsible for accomplishing each day. Software solutions make managing these tasks a lot easier and far less time consuming by automating the process.
Eduardo Santaella, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobile Insight®, a leading provider of digital retail management solutions, sees the advantages technology brings some of the world’s top brands and retailers, including Walmart, Samsung, Apple and others.
“At Mobile Insight®, we see digital and data technologies changing the game for our retail clients across the board, and it’s doing it by allowing them to automate tasks that directly determine sales performance. From tracking sales by store, product, or even region to managing inventory and merchandising programs, our retail management software platform takes the guesswork out of these tasks and dramatically reduces the chance of human error. Plus, everything is logged in detailed reports that spell it all out for the key decision makers back at corporate, so they can make informed decisions about their field programs.”
Sales performance still comes down to understanding what the customer wants and finding the right ways to fulfill that need. However, the way businesses manage this process has come a long way. Software solutions, like the one offered by Mobile Insight®, improve customer engagement by providing critical insights and advanced customer service tools that enable field sales teams to connect with customers in more impactful ways – building trust and forging lasting relationships.
For instance, the platform developed by Mobile Insight® can integrate software that allows sales reps to access product features and benefits at the touch of a mobile device, empowering them to answer questions on the spot and provide service like a true product expert. What’s more, the solution can capture vital data in a matter of a few minutes, such as the customer’s email address and phone number. Now, the sales conversation can continue long after the initial contact.
As an example, say the customer, while interested in purchasing a given product is simply not ready to do it right away. With the right engagement software, the sales rep can email the customer a few days after the initial contact reminding him or her about the product, and maybe even attaching a personal offer or discount to as added incentive.
Now, the communication doesn’t end with a lost sale. It’s continued in an unobtrusive manner that most customers will appreciate as truly personal service that just might lead to a sales conversion.
The Only Way To Improve Field Sales and Operations Is To Accurately Measure Field Sales And Operations
Running an effective field sales management program is impossible unless you are able to clearly measure performance. Again, this is where a digital management solution can prove extremely valuable.
The data and insights available through software-based management platforms work like a window into the business. This information tells retailers everything they need to know about their people, their processes and their customers.
Top sales managers will tell you that measuring activities with relevant and reliable data is the only way to avoid being stuck in the status quo. Making random changes because things aren’t working as well as you expected will likely get you nowhere in terms of improved performance.
However, making informed decisions based on actionable intelligence and vetted information can drive sales and performance in dramatic fashion.
“Ultimately, every feature of our software platform exists to providing our clients with actionable insights into their business,” confirms Santaella. “Whether it’s capturing things like store appearance and merchandising using our proprietary smart forms, or revealing shopping patterns through technologies like sensors, AI, RFID and data pulled from outside sources, or giving sales staff the capability to capture a customer’s personal information, it’s all about getting the right data at the right time and then using it to measure and improve performance. To gather and analyze this field and sales data without integrating a digital management solution would be virtually impossible,” he adds.
If you found this article helpful, learn more about field sales management and how new management software solutions are changing the game for brands and retailers by delivering insights that drive field sales and operations at www.mobileinsight.com.
Mobile Insight® is the only retail and merchandise management solution designed to meet the brick and mortar sales challenges of high-value brands and retailers. Unlike hardware and software providers that focus on fast-moving goods, the Mobile Insight® platform delivers assisted sales solutions for more complex, interactive, and customer-centric environments. Combining data from in-store systems, 3PLs, employee and partner activity, Mobile Insight® enables informed, smarter decisions that drive sales and operations excellence. For more information, visit www.mobileinsight.com.
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