What is Field Sales?
Field sales, also commonly known as outside sales, is the process where sales representatives from companies visit leads and sell to them in person. Instead of spending time in the office, field sales representatives are always on the go, meeting up with potential customers and building relationships.
A field sales representative usually doesn’t have a fixed routine. Every day is different with meetings lasting a total of 5-minute office walk-ins to hours of board meetings with key company teams.
A field sales agent is always prepared to adjust their schedule to that of the customers’. They should also always be prepared to sell at locations where customers find convenient such as restaurants, coffee shops, offices, or even homes.
What exactly does a field sales agent do?
A sales agent or a sales representative is someone who identifies and pursues potential sales leads on behalf of a company. A sales agent is required to find new business and development channels for the company they are working or consulting for.
A typical day for a field sales agent would include, but not limited to: following up on leads via email or call, attending scheduled meetings, nurturing relationships with customers, updating contract terms with clients, following up on leads via email or call, attending scheduled meetings, attending conferences and industry events, and sourcing for new clients. The nature of a field representative’s job is largely demanding and involves a lot of moving around.
Becoming a Field Sales Agent
When it comes to being a field sales agent, there is way more than meets the eye. The first thing to consider is the kind of education and academic communication required. Most sales representatives have a bachelor’s degree while others have learned on the job. The most popular courses to pursue for a field sales job are business management and marketing.
Thereafter, work on getting the relevant experience in fields through an apprenticeship, an entry-level job, or even a volunteer program. Additionally, experience in other job industries might prepare one for a position in sales representation. For example, working as an accountant provides one with relevant analytical and critical and strategic thinking skills, which are key in sales representation. With the right experience and education at hand, getting a field sales job should be an easy feat.
Compensation in the field sales industry varies according to company type and services offered.
Why work in field sales?
As challenging as it may seem, working in field sales has great benefits if you have the talent and resilience. For starters, there is lots of money to be made through sales commissions and retainers. Field sales consultants also go through a lot of intensive training programs which largely contribute to their self-development and portfolios. Flexibility is also another great benefit of working in field sales. For most consultants, as long as targets and deadlines are met in good time, they do not need to sit in an office. In addition to working with multiple internal teams, field sales agents constantly meet new people which provides an opportunity to make new friends. A sales agent with good people skills can easily build a wholesome social network through their work.
Travel is another great perk when it comes to field sales consulting. It could be local travel, or overseas travel, depending on the nature of the company. A lot of field sales agents get to explore the world through travel for work.
In this comprehensive guide, we are going to touch on several key elements required to achieve sales targets on the go including:
- How to increase field sales.
- Key tips to succeed with on the go sales.
- How to plan your sales route
HOW TO INCREASE FIELD SALES
One major priority for sales agents is to meet and exceed set sales targets. Every sales agent dreams to meet and exceed their sales targets. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Here a few simple tips every sales agent can use to increase sales.
- Build relationships.
Building meaningful relationships with customers is the first step in making sales. A customer who feels valued and important to the business will not hesitate to spend money on products or services. Establishing good relationships with customers will convert them to repeat customers who will, in return, become your advocates. They will not hesitate to recommend the products and services if they had a wholesome experience.
- Perfect your sales pitch
A good and captivating sales pitch determines whether a sale is closed or lost. Be clear and concise in delivering your message without being too pushy to your customers. Make the pitch engaging by including interesting questions that will prompt conversions with your customers. Be very knowledgeable in the products and services at hand, with prompt and accurate responses to customers’ queries.
- Get Better Leads
Getting quality leads is a very important part of a sales representative’s job. Increasing your sales is dependent on the quality of your leads. A good way to identify quality leads is to have a look at previous successful sales leads within your company or portfolio then use that information to target similar leads. Identify leads that are most suitable for your product or service as they are more likely to lead to a higher conversion rate.
- Embrace sales tools
Thanks to technology, there are plenty of tools that can help increase your sales and performance. For example, a Customer Relationship Management tool, such as RepMove, makes work easier by providing a platform to handle different client aspects all at once. Sales tools make work easier and more productive. Additionally, they generate data that help make informed decisions.
- Set high sales targets
While it may seem unachievable and unrealistic to set high targets, it is often a good strategy to test your true sales potential. Setting high targets will propel surpass the original targets laid out. They will prompt one to plan proactively and take strategic action that will lead to productivity.
KEY TIPS TO SUCCEED IN FIELD SALES
One does not become successful in field sales overnight. It takes resilience, practice and the willingness to learn, in order to make a name for yourself in the industry. Here are key tips to help find success in on the go field sales:
- Identify sales goals
Identify and clearly outline your sales goals in line with company targets in order to establish a strategic execution plan to help achieve said goals. The set objectives give clear guidelines on how a representative should go about their tasks. The goals also help identify high priority tasks that would need more attention.
- Plan a definitive sales route.
A field sales representative’s job is mostly about looking for new customers for the products or services at hand. Map out a proper route to help you maximize on time, transport costs, and the number of customers that need to be met. For most industries, sales representatives are usually responsible for multiple locations and leads. It is therefore really important to have a clear outline and schedule for the meetings and schedules at hand.
- Attend Industry Events
Industry events are a great place to network and generate key sales leads. Additionally, people know that they are there to network and get business prospects making them very open to talking about and listening to sales pitches. Compress your sales pitch to a few sentences that send out your message clearly in order to speak to as many people as possible. Be proactive and research the people who will be in attendance prior to the event and identify who you’d like to speak and interact with.
- Customer relationship management
Managing leads and customers is a key step towards conversions and overall success in sales. It’s important to manage customers efficiently in order to convert them to paying clients. Happy clients will always make referrals, so take time and go the extra mile when maintaining customer relationships. It could be something as simple as wishing them a happy birthday, or finding out if they enjoyed the product or service. The small acts go a long way in building long term relationships
- Measure Activity Vs. Results
A good sales representative will track and measure activities alongside the achieved results. This brings clarity to whether the efforts used are bearing fruit towards increasing customer conversions while at the same time acting as an indication to whether or not the right strategies are in use. Once the gaps are identified, go back to the drawing board and strategize for better results.
- Find a mentor
Get an experienced sales manager who has been in the industry for 10 years or more as a mentor. A mentor will provide opportunities, tips and strategies that are probably not online or in publications. A mentor will guides one through their sales career using lived experience and strategies. Thanks to their experiences, mentors also serve as points of reason when presented with dilemmas.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR FIELD SALES ROUTE
Sales route planning is the method of finding the most effective way to get from one client to another. A field sales agent normally has multiple locations, territories or leads to work on for their sales run. Planning a route is key in making sure there are no rushed meetings or wasted resources, whether personal or corporate.
Here are key tips that help make your route planning easier.
- Segment and manage leads
Use available data such as location and quality leads to determine your sales route. This helps a sales agent plan visits according to specific leads and segments. They can easily organize and attend to specific tasks in line with particular leads.
- Identify high priority leads
Identify the clients who are most likely to convert to buying customers and plan to meet them first. These could be clients whose onboarding process is just a signature away or clients who have already expressed a deep interest in your products and services.
- Set a monthly target
Setting a monthly target helps plan field visits in line with said targets. This allows one to focus on specific client groups according to the locality, or potential to convert. Instead of rushing up and down to try and meet set targets, use the monthly targets to help inform the routes that will get the highest results.
- Map Customers’ location
Identify where your customers are located and use this information to plan your visits. As a sales rep, it is also important to identify who your target audience is and where they are located. Set up meetings with leads from the same locality on the same day in order to maximize on that location’s visit. Fortunately, a lot of customers with similar behaviors exist within the same locality or territory.
- Keep note of traffic and weather conditions.
Traffic build-up and poor weather conditions can stall a meeting or lead to a cancellation.
Understandably, people would rather stay indoors than attend a meeting during a hailstorm. Use a reliable weather application to take note of the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Make use of RepMove application to manage the routes. Another strategy to avoid traffic is to avoid traveling during high peak hours, such as common times when people leave or go to work.
Field sales can be a challenging and demanding occupation without the right guidance. Finding success in field sales requires grit and strategy. However, with the right guidance at hand, like the aforementioned tips and strategies above, one is bound to be successful. Using the right tools, such as RepMove, will help you stay organized. It’s important to also note that soft skills such as excellent verbal communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills are highly desirable when it comes to finding success as a sales agent.