For many companies, fieldwork and face-to-face meetings are central to their daily activities. This is typically followed by massive amounts of documentation and data entry. In the past, field agents did not have access to specific information exactly when it was needed because creating activity reports or establishing their daily route could only be done in the office. Modern solutions such as sales force automation (SFA) software come into play to increase the efficiency not only of your sales teams but of all of your field teams that perform most of their activities on the road.
Analysts Tad Travis and Ilona Hansen discuss in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for CRM Sales that the importance of mobile SFA solutions is continuously increasing. According to them, the benefits of this technology are already visible at an enterprise level, so now it is time for small and midsize businesses to take advantage of it as well, regardless of which industry they are in. For that to happen, the user experience (UX) needs to be simplified to a level where the solution is intuitive to use. Once that is achieved, the solution can deliver multiple benefits; the following three are the major and immediate ones.
Mobile SFA Makes Field Teams More Efficient
When equipped with a mobile SFA app, field agents have instant access to any information they could possibly need about the client they are meeting, the product they are selling, the available inventory, and so on. With such a solution at hand, it becomes possible for them to complete tasks on a smartphone, and to immediately update the centralized system.
Not only that, but a capable mobile SFA app could enable any member of your sales team to have access to relevant information both before and during a discussion with a customer. That alone eliminates any dead time associated with replies such as: “Let me get back to you with an answer when I’m back in the office!” In other words, one of the first immediate benefits of using a mobile SFA solution is an increase in the response rate to questions from customers. What that could mean in the longer term is that your sales team could be more prepared and able to handle tasks. The ability to land more deals might not be obvious straightaway, but it is something you should expect after adopting mobile SFA.
Gain Access to Data from Anywhere
As the manager of a deployed team, you will want instant access to what happens in the field, which customers are served, and which products are being delivered. Mobile SFA solutions are built practically to make sales data more accessible, while also providing an immense amount of data showing the context of the transactions. In other words, you will get to know not only who is being served and with what products, but also when, where, and by whom.
As a result, you will be able to take better decisions and to make adjustments when and where they are needed. Has a customer called you to inform that they need an immediate restock of your best-selling product? See which agents are available and deploy the one who’s nearest to your customer’s location. Being able to respond to such situations will surely be appreciated by the customer, and that translates into repeat sales and long-lasting partnerships.
Moreover, the members of your field team could thus be motivated to sell more of your products to more customers. Here’s where gamification elements could become useful in a mobile SFA app. The app could display charts displaying recent results data along with individual performance statistics, so that you know who you need to reward.
Mobile SFA Apps Ensure Greater Independence
Mobile sales force automation solutions are not a means of keeping tabs on field agents. Instead, they should understand that mobile SFA apps provide more freedom and more ways of better meeting the customer’s needs. Using a mobile SFA solution, your field team will also be able to organize themselves better, without having to wait for instructions from the office. Customer complaints will be solved on the spot, routes will be optimized to save even more time, and relationships with suppliers will also change for the better.
While these three benefits of mobile SFA apps can be observed immediately, the solutions could help your small or midsize business in ways that go well beyond the sales department. Stay tuned to find out more about them in our future blog posts.
Would you like to find out more about how a mobile SFA app could benefit you and your business? Get in touch with us, and we will provide all the necessary details!