Sales force automation (SFA) enables you to use software to automate your sales processes, including order processing, contact management, information sharing, inventory control, and customer management. For sales team visibility and transparency, dashboard reporting helps you to monitor time-in-store, set journey plans and surveys, and ensures you get maximum return on your human capital.
The real value of SFA is in moving employees up the value-add chain. By reducing time on simple, repetitive tasks your team get more time to engage with sales strategy, including developing key relationships. Following a systemised process helps you scale your business and highlights opportunities along the way. The right technology for your mobile sales team is important, providing a strategic advantage by shortening the sales cycle, improving information insight, and increasing business performance efficiency.
If you’re considering ways you can increase the performance and productivity of your sales team, we recommend that you:
Identify any business information gaps or double handling activities
Consider ways of easily capturing customer insight or competitor activity
Have a contingency plan for if a salesperson leaves
Eliminate those salesperson pain points, including the dreaded weekly sales report
Using your sales data and analytics, you can systemise your sales field team performance to ensure a consistent experience, every time. And by turning data into insight, field sales teams are empowered to make decisions at the store level to deliver exceptional service.
Our sales team can discuss the tangible benefits of SFA with Opmetrix, and help you execute the perfect store call.
For field users their Opmetrix app is the key to generating more business. Its helps increase sales, build better relationships and gets the job done fast and efficiently.
Our aim is to make Opmetrix the centre of a salesperson’s universe but we do recognise there are some fantastic apps available that extend functionality in the field, and can arm our sales road warriors with even more ammunition.
Here are 5 mobile solutions that we use ourselves, or Opmetrix users find very handy in the field:
It’s a fantastic place to store documents, videos, spreadsheets and automatically share them with your team. It might be this week’s specials, a weekly flyer or your latest promotional advertisement. Simply copy into your dropbox folder and your field team will have access to these files via the Dropbox app for iPad. A handy feature in Opmetrix called Quicklinks enables you to link a customer or product directly to a dropbox file or folder. A fast way to access Dropbox files directly from within Opmetrix.
How about a weekly team meeting even if everyone is on the road or in different parts of the country? Invite your team to a GoToMeeting and they can join from anywhere with the GoToMeeting iPad App. It shares audio and video, as well as things like shared whiteboards meaning your team, can see each other, communicate and interact. In our office we use it daily and for us it’s a must have.
It looks like a simple notepad app but it’s so much more. Evernote is the best place to store notes, ideas, information, meetings and with an instant search ability it’s fast to locate anything, anytime. In the office we use Evernote to store PDF documents, clip website information, store airline boarding passes, and even capture audio from meetings. A nifty feature is that if you take a picture of a whiteboard and store it in Evernote you can then search for text you wrote on the whiteboard. Evernote converts the text in photos and makes them searchable. Great for whiteboard scribblers.
Communication is key and every sales person should have email and a shared calendar on their mobile device. There are so many to choose from. A popular choice is Office 365 and the free Microsoft Outlook App for iPad. Office 365 gives us a cloud-based high performance mail system without the need to worry about mail servers. For field users, just download the App, sign in and they are up and away. The Outlook App for iPad has cool features like automatically sorting your important email (called focused email) but even the built in email and calendar apps on the iPad are simple, fast and easy.
Regardless of which map app you prefer, it’s another must-have app for travelling sales people. If they don’t know how to use it, spend the time to show them as they will gain a few hours of productivity a week by getting to appointments faster. Personally I am a Google Maps fan. Things like searching for petrol stations and seeing if there are any delays with traffic seem to have a little more functionality focussed on Australia and New Zealand. The latest Google Map app even checks for possible delays with traffic congestion and offers to re-route you half way through the journey.
Working independently has its benefits, but teamwork is where great minds come together. Team development brings unique personalities, skills and experience to the forefront and it helps to build relationships, create positivity and allow ideas to flourish.
When each team member is aligned with the same common goals, together they can increase sales strength by gaining meaningful insights and solutions to shared problems.
Here’s a few tips on how to build shared success out in the field.
Invest – at the most basic level invest in your team by offering support and training programmes that are collaboration-focused. These can help to create long term sales results by encouraging teams to reach their full potential. Training programmes based on teamwork can spark new ideas, improve decision-making and problem solving.
Share – the best sales reps didn’t make it to the top all by themselves. Gather field teams and encourage them to share what they know about competition, deals, prospects, what works, what doesn’t work, the best and the worst deals and what they learned from it. Heck, even let them talk about how they closed a deal! Challenges face every sales person and almost everyone has got a story to tell. When we start listening to each other everyone becomes inspired and smarter, and it’s contagious!
Promote a positive environment – every team member counts towards success, so be sure they feel comfortable in an environment where there is open communication and they are encouraged, supported and appreciated by other members of the group, including management. Performance will grow naturally in the right conditions.
Be careful who you hire – it might sound obvious, but if a job candidate says “I achieved…” or “I did…” you could be looking at someone who’s willing to leave the rest of the team stranded. If you have the authority to handpick sales reps and create an A-team, look for applicants who match your team player requirements e.g. those who are willing to share tips, ideas and help others.
We all need a little motivation and inspiration sometimes. Encourage field teams to achieve greatness in their daily work. Here’s how to point good sales people in the right direction:
Your sales team are the face of your company; they stand at the front line nurturing existing customers and converting new prospects. You can have all the right tools in place but it comes down to the people using them to generate results. So it’s important your field team stays driven at work to meet those all-important business objectives.
Sales teams can achieve great things, so let’s take a look at some of the ways you can motivate them and continue to see those great results!
Create competition – sales people are naturally competitive, so why not establish a system which sees them battle it out. Opmetrix reports is a great way of seeing how many call cards or sales your team is making, or how many prospects they’ve converted. Use data-driven results to generate healthy competition which encourages teams to engage and increases morale.
“I just wanted to say…” – saying thank you goes further than you think! Send an email or a card to let sales teams know you’re grateful for their efforts, and be specific about what you’re thankful for. Make your team feel stronger both individually and together.
Reward hard work – who’s your number one performer? Do you have a ‘Sales Team of the Month’ award? Rewards don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but they’re a good way to make your team feel appreciated. Allow sales reps to finish work early on a Friday, offer free drinks on the house (within a budget, of course), a gift voucher, or organise a catered lunch.
Share the news – don’t keep sales teams’ achievements a secret, share it with the rest of the team. Send out a company email or mention it in your monthly company newsletter so that your clients will know some of your best reps!
Give them the right tools – arm your field team with the right tool to quicken the sales process and which gets teams back in the field and onto the next opportunity. Opmetrix is loved by many clients and sales reps alike because it’s a user-friendly business tool which improves efficiencies of sales, and management have complete visibility of their field team.
Listen – recognise a problem or a need your field team has and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Opmetrix identifies issues when sales reps escalate them to management. Use this information to solve problems so teams can get on with the job.
Seasoned sales teams are used to hearing the word “no” and have no doubt grown thicker skin in the process. Encourage your team to share tips on what they do to overcome rejection and stay positive!
Share information you’ve found useful, whether it’s a blog post, YouTube video, book or news article, it may help your sales team to improve their performance. In turn, ask what they find motivating and inspiring too and share it with others. Many clients of Opmetrix use Dropbox to share data and information easily.