Field Sales is a very different type of selling. It requires a unique type of rep who has no fear and can make a great first impression. Being organized on the road has its own challenges. Here are some of the best practices we have seen for being successful as a road warrior:
1) Marketing Tool Box. To avoid papers sliding all over your car, pick up a portable filing cabinet from staples or an office store and protect your contracts, marketing slicks and paper work from heat, cold, folded corners and being trampled. This will ensure you have all the paper tools you need and will make it obvious when your quantities are low. There is nothing worse than showing up and having to show a brochure with a boot print on it or a contract that looks like it went through a wash cycle.
2) Get a Tablet. Instead of relying on paper or to augment your paper requirements, invest in a tablet. Tablets still have wow factor and you can easily show products, services on a tablet without the pomp and circumstance of booting up a computer. Your prospects will think you are tech savvy, organized and credible. It doesn’t have to be an $800 ipad. An 8g anything will do. I picked up the Blackberry Playbook when it was on sale for $199 for one of my clients reps and it has helped them tremendously – even the simple stuff like email on the road becomes faster.
3) Use a CRM for field Sales. Not all CRM’s are created equally. Many of the CRM’s are great for in office sales or reps that go back to an office in between meetings but choosing the right tool for your road warriors is important. Front Row CRM has some very cool features for field reps. It has a mapping feature that shows you other prospects/leads/customers on a physical map so you can plan your route better. If the reps enter notes as they go, the Manager can see the actual route they took to coach them on better uses of time. It also has a CRM updating feature that can be used via TEXT in the event you don’t have a tablet. This is a stand alone or a bolt on to other CRM systems. CRM that works, is easy to use, simple to populate and actually facilitates sales is key to a field reps success
4) Keeping you office clean. I believe all companies with field reps should pay for an inside and outside car wash once a week. Keeping your car clean forces you to stay organized, helps you feel professional and in the event that a customer sees your car rolling up, it doesn’t look like it’s been off roading.
5) Fuel. Fuel is important. Your body and mind need good fuel to keep you at top performance which can be challenging when you are on the road. Drink lots of water and pack fruit & veg snacks. Apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, celery will all keep for days in a cooler. Don’t over think this. Just grab an apple on the way out or hit a grocery store between meetings. If you feel good, you will sell more.
And to state the obvious - you absolutely need a GPS!
It’s little every day changes that make a long lasting positive impact.