Mobile technology for managing distributed sales force

In this article we would look into how to use mobile technology to manage distributed sales force for your organization.

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What drives success to a distributed team of an organization?

This question may be very critical to answer and mamobility-solutions-to-drive-salesy end up turning into a manual if answered in detail. Though a general and an over simplified reply would be complying processes.

A small team of distributed field force can be managed over phone with manual reporting. Having a mandatory process that needs complying may seem an over kill. But that’s not true if you look from a business point of view. And we will explain now why we feel so.

Being the business owner or the sales head, the primary responsibility is to scale up. This approach keeps an organization in a constant growth path. One needs to be aware of the day to day processes. But being completely involved in it may keep you stranded in operations and hence losing the focus on growth.

This is where a process falls perfectly well. Today’s mobile technology is completely capable to implement a compliance process. Your on-field team needs to follow the process to complete a job in hand.

One of the challenges that a business with a small team may face is training. Thankfully the penetration of smart phones have been such that one is completely aware of the basic functionality of such devices. Such is the scenario that one is more comfortable operating a smart phone than a laptop. So the training is now restricted to only understanding the process and the way to use the mobile phone application to put that process into action.

Automation sales with mobile technology for a small team is necessary. The reason behind this is simple –

  1. When your team is small it becomes a perfect place to start implementing a process. This helps organisations to fine tune the process when the team grows big. Automating a big team directly has its own set of risks. If gone wrong may break the operations and involve financial loses.
  2. Automations can help you release a lot of your work load that can be taken care through the process. For example if it were required by you to check for the daily collection of your 10 sales men, by implementing an mobile sales-force automation you can directly see the report on your mobile. Just think if you have to spend time following up your sales men to get the report. And then structuring the report in a manner you want all by yourself. It is certainly take up more time than you plan to give it. An automation will do that for you and let you focus in what you really want to.
  3. If you are planning to scale up, it is important that you star with your current team. Automation will break certain ways that you use to follow without it. Not just your team but you as the head or business owner has to adapt it. It is also important for you to understand what kind of training is most affective for your sales team.

 

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For a large team, a field force automation is very important and very logical to understand. We have seen almost all organizations with big sales team works with a CRM. And that’s all what they have in the name of automation of sales.

We need to understand the process at one level is meant to add efficiency to the work being done. Process must be such that it accomplishes the work in hand and generates data for insight. The process is not fine-tuned if it slows the overall work in the name of data collection. The contemporary CRM adds a lot of clerical job for sales people. The sales people have to do a lot of data entry. This in-turn impacts their over-all sales time.

With our experience to install sales automation for large sales team, the best approach is to

  1. Start with the sales team of one department and then scale up to other departments. This helps to refine the installation process and speed up the installation in other departments.
  2. If there is addition of a new feature/functionality again start with one or two departments. Once streamlined then activate the feature for other department.
  3. If there are some very significant process addition it is better to simulate it over development instance with few mobile devices.

Mobile technology is quite an enabler when it comes to managing a distributed field force network of an organization. Big or small the impact of technology is significant.

We will be explaining how a simple thing like automating “attendance” into a compliance process for field force can impact your growth in business.

We would like to know your sales challenges. In case you want to know how our mobile solution can help you in managing your field force just drop your contact below and we will call you back.

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Why sales need mobility – the mobility sales solution

Every time we enable an organization with mobility sales solution it is an enriching experience. Every industry has its challenges. Some need to manage their distributors while some wish to optimise their production. While some organization looks for a sales process to manage inventory while for others mobility solution helps in forecasting.

All these challenges are served under the backdrop of sales.

Strikingly some of the common factors of sales are quite similar across industries. Let us know what drives sale in your industry through the comment area

The innate nature of Sales

The thing with sale is one cannot define a time for sale. You meet discuss benefits, negotiate, meet again, talk about successful projects to build credibility, re-negotiate, quote, send proposal, then wait for reply, follow up, fix up a meeting, close a sale and give support till the client servicing team takes it up completely. Now imagine this happening for multiple leads simultaneously.

“Sale is not a time-structured process. It can happen just any time. Rather it is all-the-time process.”

There is lot of information that is vital during each stage in sale and is best serves when they are reported on real time basis. What else can serve better than a mobility solution ?

Responsibility of the organization

Sales team is the one that generates revenue for the organization. It becomes the sole responsibility of the organization to introduce automation, training or operational processes etc that will bring efficiency.

Stating so the organization has to answer this important question – How can they best help the sales team do its job best of its capability? 

Mobility is one of the best choice when comes to mind. (for the above reasons and more)

Sales is a human activity

Any organization, irrespective of industry, whom we have worked with have impressed how face to face interaction is necessary for sales. Nothing works better for a top-of-mind recall than a sales person of the company visiting you frequently. This can happen best when we enable the sales person to be mobile at his work.

The change is not scary

Simply said, laptops are not that portable. If we have to provide portability to sales team, the machine has to be portable too.  Mobile and tables fills the void that laptops have created by laptops in the profession of sales.  And the feature and price makes portability very attractive even for the organization. This shift is as well not scary because mobile devices are commonplace. Even than that the usage of the device does not have a steep learning curve.

Expedites the process –

No matter how simple placing an order may seem but it is a confusing process. The key word here is “process”. Placing an order is the last step in the process. One needs to know finalise the price, negotiate if there is an order in bulk, have to conform on the delivery timing, one would like to clarify on the credit period and payment mode etc. before an order be placed. If sales person can put the information on the go and close the deal, it expedites the complete process of sales itself. Again, mobility solution strikes the chord here too.

 

But sales is not only about going mobile. Here is the mindset that organizations need to develop to benefit from mobility in their sales process.

 

Sales-ProcessMobility is about increasing selling time. If a solution can drives quality and effective time for sales, it not only motivates the salesman but also makes the customer feel valued. This is the exact reason why CRM solutions do not work out well for sales. CRMs add lot of data entry job and kills effective sale-time.

 

 

Mobility is to enhance a sales process. Without sales process mobility is going to backfire. Think it this way, if

  • the culture of visiting the clients regularly
  • initiative to turn leads into customer
  • conviction towards the product or services one is selling

is missing from the sales culture of an organization then mobility will just end up as buzz word.

Mobility is an enable for an organization who wants to drive sales through insights. Adding the power to capture sales action/activities on the move opens up valuable data. The true value of the data remains in the fact how one uses it. The data generated through mobility solution would not be able to contribute to the sales process only when organization can extract insights out of that data.

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