Field salespeople go out into the world to sell things. They travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, sometimes covering territories the size of 10 city blocks and sometimes the size of continents. This is contrasted by inside salespeople who sell to customers over the phone. Both of these jobs are some of the hardest jobs out there, but they have different challenges and therefore different needs and solutions.

The key difference between these two jobs is that one of them can visit an area code by dialing the phone, the other visits an area code by going there. So what does a field salesperson need to maximize their success compared to inside salespeople that sell over the phone?

Mobility

For the field sales reps, mobility is King. Field sales reps need information for customer interactions at their fingertips on their mobile device while they are on the road – information like names, addresses, phone numbers, and important associations should be able to be located quickly and centrally, either by location or name.

The more quickly such information can be reached, the more efficiently sales reps are able to make connections, follow up on leads, and access customers in general. Mobile solutions are less important to inside sales reps, who tend to interact with their data on a computer.

Prioritizing by Area

A day in the life of a field sales professional can be dizzying and complex. Spending their time visiting customers, managing interactions, closing deals, and recording information requires a sales professional to be a jack of many trades, but at the same time be detail oriented and highly organized.

Also, the field salesperson quarterbacks relationships with different people at the customer account, all the while attempting to coordinate efforts at his own company. Field salespeople need to coordinate and schedule as they work their way around their territory – keeping track of where they’ll be, when they’ll be there, and who they’ll be with.

All sales reps need insights into which customers are important to focus on. A field sales rep specifically needs to know who to focus on given that they will be in a certain city or area. Therefore, they need a way to visualize and prioritize which customers to focus on given where they will be at a given time.

This enables them to categorize groups of accounts by attributes such as customer type, priority, and last meeting. That way, field salespeople can organize and prioritize their clients, and it has to take into account where these accounts are on a map in relation to one another.

Territory Management

Field salespeople frequently carry the title ‘Territory Manager.’ That’s because a key part of their job is routing, planning, and scheduling their way around a territory. Field sales requires efficiency, not only while planning to be in the field, but also while a rep is in the field.

On-site visits tend to make up the large majority of their personal account management. Visiting clients requires gas, time, and efficiency, but without a great plan, can become circuitous as reps retrace steps and travel back and forth across large territory regions, attempting to fit in meetings with as many customers as possible.

As a result, the ability to locate the most efficient and timely routes is a critical task of a field sales rep. If done inefficiently, it’s a huge obstacle for sales territory management. The optimization of a route can transform a day from a nine hour, five customer day, to a five hour, nine customer day.

The process not only saves time and gas mileage, but also improves rep-client relationships and more face to face time with customers.

Field salespeople have unique needs and need applications that were developed specifically for them. Badger Maps has focused all its energy over the last 5 years into building solutions for field salespeople.

The result is the Badger Map, which today has become the leading application for field sales teams around the world. Badger works seamlessly as reps move from their computer to their mobile devices to provide the information that reps need.

The system organizes customer information, records client interactions, helps reps focus on the best prospects, optimizes daily travel and gives reps the tools to manage their territory.

As you can see, your field salespeople cannot be efficient or effective by using standard applications inside sellers use. Each need their own set of specialized tools. Inside salespeople don’t travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, so they don’t need route or territory coverage planning – your field salespeople do.

75x75_Steve Benson

Today’s article is a guest post by Steve Benson, Founder & CEO, Badger Maps.