Gaining visibility in field sales operations

Jun 29, 2017
6 mins read

Visibility into field operations is a boom for CXOs, managers and field representatives alike. Having insight into activities that are being executed in the field in real-time enables team leaders to correct inefficiencies that are hurting client relationships and their organization’s bottom line. When managers can monitor what’s taking place in the field, remote employees can be given more autonomy and work more effectively.

For Managers

Today, software allow managers to check the status of customer visits in real-time. This helps leaders to allocate resources based on branches and locations of customers, as well execute more effective strategies based on what’s happening in the field.

Software also enable field representatives to do daily beat planning and capture client data, such as notes about prior visits or that client’s preferences, that can be made available to management in real-time. This gives managers a clearer understanding of the organization’s relationship with its customers and empowers them to react to issues in the field as they are happening. In addition to data, certain technologies can capture geo-tagged photos, signatures and documents which can also be sent to management in real-time. The use of photos also keeps employees accountable for their work in the field and conveys more than words alone can.

Managers who have visibility over their field representative's’ activities can provide them with more direct, relevant coaching on specific projects. Interacting with employees in this way aids in boosting morale, as they know that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed.

Research indicates that field representatives spend at least 13% of their day driving from place to place. Therefore, managers need to design the most efficient routes and schedules possible so that employees aren’t wasting time on the road. This is where GPS tracking comes into play, as it helps managers to evaluate and adjust their territory management plans to maximize productivity.

GPS tracking also helps to keep employees accountable for client visits, as they know managers can view their completed activities in the field. Increased accountability supports customer service because field representatives will make the effort to be on time. They may even add to their number of daily visits, as an increase in accountability results in an increase in motivation. If for some reason a representative is late to a visit, same will be visible to customers based on Estimated Time of Arrival shared with them.

Visibility allows managers to track specific aspects of their team’s performance to discover what processes are enhancing revenue and which can be improved. Making these metrics visible across the entire team helps to raise accountability, as employees will feel that their individual efforts are part of something larger.

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Source: Loktra

For Field Representatives

Visibility certainly has advantages for managers. But what about field representatives? Fortunately, visibility is highly beneficial for them as well. The profits earned or money saved from improving inefficient practices can be redistributed to employees either directly or indirectly. Workforce tracking can also help to mitigate arguments between clients and employees or arguments amongst team members because hard data will exist to prove who is at fault in a given situation. GPS tracking will show where an employee was a given moment, how much time was spent with a particular clients, and what activities were complete or incomplete during a visit. With workforce tracking in place, managers can check up on employees if they’re late to a client visit or skipped it altogether to make sure they haven’t run into a problem.

When managers can monitor field activities, they are able to give representatives more decision-making power resulting in increased engagement levels. Additionally, field activity management software removes the need for manual documentation of hours worked, miles traveled, forms filled out, back end entering and processing of client’s data, etc. Additionally, employees will be able to arrive on-site to visits with the knowledge they need to deliver exceptional customer service. On the same token, visibility helps field teams to become more agile as they are able to better respond to competitive threats and consumer demands.

Summary

Client relationships are strengthened when representatives become more accountable for their work as a result of visibility, enhancing a business’s reputation and potentially its future sales. The immediate synchronization of data and GPS location from field employees to managers keeps both parties on the same page and able to make rapid decisions based on what’s happening in the field. This type of transparent relationship between managers and employees improves productivity and hence the bottom line.

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Post by

Astha Gupta

Co-founder
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