Sales teams are increasingly adopting a digital-first strategy and focusing on connecting with prospects who tend to prefer self-directed buying tasks.
Offering in-person meetings, performing product demos in front of prospects, attending professional events, and engaging in door-to-door selling can help your sales team stand out in this increasingly digital environment.
Connecting face-to-face can become a powerful differentiator and set the stage for a long-term relationship based on trust and making customers feel valued.
However, prioritizing in-person meetings over digital channels doesn’t mean you can’t leverage technology. Field sales teams are turning to software to support a wide range of tasks, from identifying new prospects in a specific territory to optimizing routes or automating engagement at different stages of the buying journey.
What is field sales software?
Read on to learn more about how these digital tools can streamline key mobile selling workflows and increase the ROI of your traveling sales team.
What Makes Field Sales Different?
Field sales refer to selling outside of a traditional office setting. Sales representatives engage in activities such as attending professional events or scheduling in-person meetings with prospects and existing customers.
The purpose of field sales is to meet customers where they are. It’s an approach that makes sense for lengthy buying journeys where building a relationship based on trust is a strong differentiator. In-person meetings also create opportunities for product demos, which is a plus when selling complex products.
The Need for Field Sales Software
What is field sales software? Field sales software refers to a product category including tech tools designed to support different activities linked to field sales.
Field sales apps typically combine features you would find in sales tools and CRM platforms, but you’ll also find functionalities that reflect the unique needs of outside sales representatives.
Features can vary from one product to another, but the goals remain the same:
- Field sales software aims to improve communication and visibility for outside sales representatives.
- It also helps save time and reduce costs by automating repetitive tasks.
- Field sales apps facilitate lead generation and nurturing to increase sales.
What Are the Main Benefits of Field Sales Software?
The right field sales app can yield several benefits for your sales team. Here are the top four:
Instead of using separate apps for communication, productivity, appointment scheduling, and more, a field sales product can consolidate many functionalities into a single convenient tool.
Working with fewer apps reduces costs, prevents redundancy, and helps streamline many workflows.
2. Remote Work
Remote sales teams have unique needs. Managers face challenges such as keeping sales representatives accountable and achieving visibility over their location.
With GPS tracking features, lead generation capabilities, and performance tracking, field sales software can address the unique needs of a remote team while increasing the ROI of a traveling sales team.
3. Streamlining the Sales Process
Field sales apps can help sales representatives focus on what matters, namely building relationships based on trust and outstanding customer experience while automating time-consuming tasks.
4. Customer Experience
Improve customer experience by automating content delivery and identifying prospects in need of re-engagement. Field sales software uses smart capabilities to anticipate the needs of a prospect and help them progress along the buying journey by suggesting a next step that makes sense.
Top Field Sales Software Features
What is field sales software? Let’s take a closer look at the top 11 common features you’ll find with products like Veloxy’s field sales platform.
1. Remote Management
Communicating with a team that is always on the go can be challenging. Calling, texting, or emailing individual sales reps takes time and isn’t effective. There might be a delay before someone sees a message if they’re traveling.
Sales field apps act as a communication tool that allows a central office to dispatch instructions, assign tasks, and more. It’s a single communication channel that salespeople can check regularly throughout the day to ensure everyone is on the same page.
2. Route Optimization
Traveling from one in-person meeting to another can be time-consuming. Field sales tools use mapping and route optimization features to help sales reps make the most out of their time on the road.
From finding the most effective route between meetings to suggesting scheduling follow-up meetings or reaching out to new potential prospects in the area, a route optimization feature can significantly improve the ROI of a traveling sales team.
3. GPS Tracking
A built-in GPS tracking tool allows managers to keep an eye on where salespeople are at all times.
GPS tracking is great for accountability, but it also helps managers identify the nearest available sales rep when a new opportunity arises. Plus, it can yield valuable insights into the territories covered and provide the central office with the peace of mind to know where employees are for safety reasons.
Field sales apps typically come with visualization features and mapping tools. A mapping tool can show you where customers are on a map, organize customers into territories, and see how much ground each sales representative is covering.
You can use mapping tools to identify new territories, uncover trends, and look for new prospects.
5. Lead Generation
Field sales software with built-in lead generation tools can streamline the process of identifying new potential customers.
You can use these tools to compile a list of businesses that belong to a specific category or share data points with your best customers. You can then use this information to plan a route that allows you to reach out to these prospects in person or identify prospects that aren’t far from a scheduled meeting location.
Lead generation capabilities add value for teams that rely on door-to-door sales or cold calling, but you can also use these tools to identify new territories with a high concentration of new prospects.
6. Engagement Features
Keeping prospects engaged can be challenging for traveling sales reps. It’s easy to overlook this important part of the buying journey when a salesperson is constantly on the go, which can result in a poor customer experience and missed opportunities.
With mobile field sales software, it’s possible to automate some engagement tasks to keep delivering relevant content to prospects and existing customers.
You can design automated sequences that will deliver content and share prompts to suggest scheduling an in-person meeting as a prospect progresses along the buying journey.
Engagement features can result in improved customer experience and lead to more sales as prospects remain engaged with little input from the sales rep.
7. Communication Features
Another benefit of using field sales software is the capability to stay in touch with your remote sales team. You can use a field sales app to consolidate communication into a single channel.
It can be difficult to keep track of calls, emails, and texts when your team is traveling. These channels aren’t always ideal for sharing sensitive information, and some sales reps might be difficult to reach.
Using a field sales app as your go-to communication channel simplifies things and ensures sales reps always have access to the information they need.
8. CRM Capabilities
Field sales tools often mimic the capabilities of CRM platforms. A field sales app with CRM features will create a profile for each prospect or customer and store details relevant to this person or business.
You can learn more about a customer’s industry, business size, or top challenges by checking this profile. You can also review past interactions with sales reps.
Salespeople can take a few minutes to check a customer’s profile before an in-person meeting to get a better idea of where this person is in their buying journey so they can tailor their approach.
CRM capabilities are a must-have feature since prospects and customers expect personalized experiences when dealing with vendors. Plus, you can use your CRM profiles to identify prospects that need re-engagement and develop a better understanding of the buying journey your customers typically go through.
Another advantage of relying on CRM features is that everyone has access to the same information. A prospect can interact with several members of your sales team and expect a consistent experience if you use CRM to adopt a team selling model.
Scheduling meetings is a recurring task for traveling sales representatives. You can save time and streamline this process by deploying field sales software with scheduling capabilities.
The great thing about automating scheduling is that it gives prospects and customers access to a convenient platform where they can schedule a meeting once they’re ready to talk to a salesperson.
Integration with other features such as CRM profiles can help sales reps prepare for their upcoming meetings. Plus, you can leverage mapping and route optimization features to suggest reaching out to nearby prospects and customers after someone schedules a meeting.
Field sales tools sometimes come with features designed to help salespeople process sales. Being able to accept payments safely on the go is an advantage, but you can also use field sales software to streamline the process of generating invoices.
These features prevent your sales team from having to switch to a different tool when closing a sale. It also consolidates your data for reporting, which means you can track your conversion rate and average customer value with more accuracy.
11. Reporting and Analytics
Since field sales tools combine so many capabilities, they allow you to capture data from multiple sources and generate comprehensive reports.
You can use reporting and analytics features to gain better visibility over how a person or team performs. Tracking the number of meetings scheduled, new leads generated, or sales closed is easy with field sales software.
You can also track performance over a territory or identify data points that indicate a prospect is likely to make a large purchase or remain a customer for years.
Data from your built-in CRM tool can help you learn more about your customers. You can find out more about the typical buying journey, keep track of the average conversion rate, and look for ways to optimize your engagement strategies.
Most importantly, you can use reporting and analytics capabilities to calculate the ROI of your traveling team. With higher costs associated with traveling and meeting customers in person, keeping track of the value your mobile sales team generates is crucial.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Field Sales Tool
Before you choose a field sales platform, there are a few questions you should ask to better understand the needs of your team:
- What does your sales workflow look like? Will you have to make any changes to existing workflows to adopt a field sales app? Updating your workflows isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you need to plan for any potential disruptions in advance.
- What are the top challenges of your mobile sales team? Is it communication, identifying new prospects, or reporting to the central office? How does the field sales tool address this challenge?
- What are the top needs and challenges of the central office? Are analytics, accountability, or communication a priority? How well does the field sales app meet these needs?
- Identify the needs and expectations of your prospects and customers. Which features will help deliver a better customer experience and make your sales reps easier to reach?
- Compatibility is another important consideration. Ideally, sales reps should be able to access key features on their preferred device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or phone.
- Do you focus on B2B or B2C sales? How well does the field sales tool reflect the typical length and complexity of your buying journey?
- Which KPIs matter to your team? Can you track them with the field sales app you’re considering?
- Does the vendor behind the field sales tool you’re interested in offer training and support? Do you foresee any obstacles to adopting this new tool?
- Can you import existing customer profiles and data from existing tools or integrate the other apps you use with your new field sales platform?
Field sales software is a must-have tool for traveling sales teams. These products combine features from traditional sales and CRM platforms, but you’ll find some advanced capabilities that support the unique needs of mobile sales reps, such as route optimization, GPS tracking, and more.
Deploying a new tech tool is an investment, but field sales software has the potential to increase the ROI of your mobile sales team by cutting costs and helping sales reps work more effectively.
Be sure you read all of our emerging best practices here: Veloxy Field Sales Blog Posts