When you hire sales reps, you may need to prep them in relation to what you would like to start selling, as well as how best to sell this particular product or service. Gone are the days of handling and training sales reps with a script and a phone book. Nowadays, most companies recognize newer technologies to train and assist sales representatives and as a result, salespeople have a very effective on-boarding process.
New sales reps are required to absorb a ton of information, and they need to act on it, in a quick and precise manner. They need to be on boarded successfully in order to understand key information and explain this to a potential customer. As a company owner or manager, it is imperative to train sales reps on the following aspects:
Your product or service
Your sales reps should be able to understand what they are selling, whether this is a product, service or both. They need to be able to show the value of your product and service, explain the features and benefits, as well as be focused on your sales strategy as a whole.
Sales reps need to fully understand the type of industry you’re in as well as your customers and competitors. This will allow them to better understand what they’re selling in the field and know why your company differentiates from its competition.
Your business systems
If you have business systems that are for within the office as well as software programs to assist in the field, it is imperative that your sales reps understand this. Such systems can include reporting, CRM and expenses systems as well as sales targets and HR processes.
How to sell
Your field sales reps need to be able to know how to sell your product, especially if they haven’t been sales reps within your industry before. They need to be up and running with all your field selling tools and most importantly, they need to feel supported by management with the correct equipment and software, in order for them to produce their best work.
Here are a few tips on how field sales reps can increase their performance:
- Try to plan your travel week out with territory mapping tools
This will allow your field sales reps to easily plan what they want to do on that day in relation to their specific locations. However, it is imperative to note that your field sales tools should be planned a day or two in advance, so that you can ensure your sales manager knows exactly which sales team members are where. This allows you as a manager to plan your customer acquisition strategy easily and your teams can be planned with higher efficiency per day.
- Get your account data organised
There are various tools available to assist with organizing your data. These tools are often bought and not used due to the sales rep not being aware of its existence. They also may resist investing time in learning about the tool. It is vital to keep your tool organised and keep training a constant in your sales team. That way, they have to constantly report on sales using the tool, which means that they essentially have to use the tool in order to get their performance reviewed.
- Have this account data analysed
When you use field sales tools, your company is exposed to hundreds of data sets that you should be capturing as well as analyzing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to ponder over sales numbers, but you should understand elements like the output correlations which are set upon various activities that you are doing. This shows what’s working and what’s not, and as a result, shows you what you should cancel and what to pursue. Tools and technology should be helping you get the job done but also help you analyse what you need to do with your business going forward.
- Communication is key – even with tools
Often, managers get tools and think that this can eliminate the need for sales reps to talk to each other. This is not always the case. If people don’t talk to each other, this limits knowledge and overall performance. Without communication, your sales reps can be duplicating mistakes and this is definitely not what you want as a manager of your entity. So, if you have tools, get your sales reps to capture advice for other reps to view and learn from.
The best helpful tools to increase your field sales performance:
As a sales manager, you want to be able to look at elements like market analytics, account management, account data, team communication, territory mapping and more. There are several tools to help you with this and below are a list of the most popular ones for your company to rise above and take advantage of better-prepared work:
Linkedin for lead generation and management
Mailchimp for email marketing and campaign analysis
Slack for team communication and file sharing
Outfield specifically for market or industry analytics
Groupme for team communication
Batchgeo for territory mapping
Yammer for field collaboration