Store Managers don’t have the time or energy to deal with a clunky sales process. They’re busy taking care of customers, managing employees, and handling the inventory they already have on their shelves.
Unfortunately, the field sales process is rarely frictionless. Whether reps need to dig for critical pieces of information or have a 150-question survey to fill out, there’s almost always something to slog through.
In this post, we’ll highlight three friction points your field sales reps deal with daily and give you some strategies for simplifying your sales process. Let’s dive in.
Friction Point 1: Product Sales
To be successful, your field sales reps need to be able to personalize their recommendations at every location they visit. That includes products, shelf placement, retail execution, and promotions.
However, if they have to toggle between tabs, apps, and screens (or flip through pages in a binder) to get the information they need, that can be difficult. Besides creating awkward pauses at critical moments in the conversation, it can lead to panicked guesswork and mistakes too.
On the flip side, by using a field sales tool that’s designed with your team in mind, your reps can view customer details, tasks, priorities, KPI performance, past issues, previous visits, and more from a single dashboard. With this data and valuable sales materials at their fingertips, they can make every interaction more personalized for your merchandisers.
Friction Point 2: Product Delivery
If you want to maintain strong relationships with retailers, you need to deliver orders accurately and on time. But that’s a lot easier said than done. Drivers can get stuck in traffic or lost on their way to a store location. And each unexpected problem can add miles and minutes to the day. As that time adds up, you also increase the risk of missing delivery windows and upsetting store managers who depend on your delivery to meet their customers’ needs.
While you may not be able to avoid all accidents and road construction, you can streamline your delivery process to make sure products get where they need to be, when they need to be there.
Being able to view truck and delivery locations in real-time is a game-changing feature that you should certainly seek out for your drivers. Having feature like this ensure that your drivers can optimize their routes as needed to ensure on-time deliveries and reconcile their inventory levels with customer orders from the palm of their hand. Also allowing your CDL and non-CDL drivers to communicate with you and each other within the platform makes it easy to keep everyone in the loop on delivery status and customer relationships.
Friction Point 3: Sales Surveys and Questionnaires
Whether you use paper or Excel spreadsheets, surveys are often the most tedious part of the sales process for store managers and field sales reps alike. Besides taking up a lot of time, they’re also a nightmare to fill out. And worst yet, they can leave store managers feeling frustrated and turned off to your brand.
So what can you do about this? Find a way to make surveys an enjoyable experience again. Solutions that allow your sales reps to text survey links to merchandisers easily, and then allowing merchandisers to fill them out in a few minutes from their phone or tablet is ideal. This elevated user experience increases the likelihood that store managers will be willing to fill out post-visit surveys and that they’ll still be in a good mood afterward.
How to Resolve Common Issues Among Field Sales Reps
The fact is, creating a frictionless field sales experience is challenging. You have to align your people and processes perfectly to make it happen. And the larger your organization is, the more pieces there are to work with.
Removing friction from your sales process is entirely possible if you go about it strategically, though. Whether you start by centralizing your field sales data in a retail execution/field sales tool or simplifying your customer surveys, there are improvements you can make right now.
Interested in seeing how you can remove friction from your sales process? Chat with a Field Solutions Expert today.