Field sales or outside sales is the sale of your product or service that is carried out outside of the office, typically at the client’s office. Therefore, field sales reps are often on the road and travel a lot to meet clients face-to-face. The opposite to field sales in inside sales, meaning the sales reps stay in the office and rely on communication technologies to interact with leads and clients.
These two types of sales organization are often combined, as you are more likely to get a ROI on client meetings in the field when your sales reps are meeting with highly interested leads that are far on their buying journey than when meeting new leads who have just become acquainted with your company. In the latter case, a phone call or online demo might be the most suitable – and definitely most cost-effective – solution. But when it comes to sealing the deal with a new buyer, a face-to-face meeting can be highly effective.
5 techniques to improve your field sales strategy
Before your sales reps head out in field, have a look at these five different sales techniques to ensure that meetings will be meaningful and that your sales reps will impress buyers.
#1 Assess potential and prioritize buyers
As mentioned above, it is obvious that not all meetings should be face-to-face meetings. Taking that thought further, you should assess the potential of the leads in your pipeline in order to know which ones you should prioritize in field sales. We know that sales reps are busy people, so when business is thriving and the pipeline is full of hot leads and upsell opportunities, take the time to map out buyer potential. Then you can prioritize meetings effectively and spend time and effort on pulling in the big deals before focusing on the smaller ones.
#2 Establish a trustworthy and professional appearance
The face-to-face client meeting is critical in many ways, and your sales reps need to be better prepared than ever: Gartner research shows that customers have completed 57% of their buying journey before they consider engaging with you. That means they most likely know a lot when you meet with them. Needless to say, sales reps must have great product knowledge and be able to respond to individual buyer needs during meetings to impress clients and exude confidence and reliability. Read our interview with sales expert Preben Braagaard to get his best advice for sales reps to come across as trustworthy and professional and have effective client meetings.
#3 Encourage with competitions
People employed in sales are typically competitive, and therefore your sales reps in the field are likely to be motivated if you add competitive elements to their activities. This could be e.g. showing the weekly top five of sales reps who generated the most revenue in the field on a screen in the office – or even better: send them a push message that they can view on their mobile device so they can get a performance overview and competitive boost wherever they are. This also makes reports and dashboards a lot more fun. You can do as Hubspot suggests in an article, and create a multi-tiered incentive structure, in order to ensure that sales reps at all performance levels are targeted with relevant incentives.
#4 Customize training and coaching
In many companies, group training sessions of sales reps are conducted on a regular basis. Group sessions are useful when everyone has to learn something new, e.g. how to work with a new system, utilizing a new product presentation, applying a new strategy etc. But if you really want to effectively boost the performance of your team, you should make time for one-on-one sessions with sales reps. Just like you adjust your pitch to every client, every sales rep needs tailored advice to reach their optimal performance in the field. That requires information on what they actually do in the field, which brings us to the next and final piece of advice.
#5 Leverage technology to boost productivity
The right technology can help you improve field sales in multiple ways. Following up on the above, field sales has for long been a black box. Managers used to have no way of knowing what sales reps actually presented to clients and talked about in meetings. Now that has changed, and there are various platforms and mobile sales tools that allow you to gather information on your sales reps’ activities in the field, e.g. with a field sales app. This enables you to learn what top performers do, and what best practices you can apply to improve the sales productivity and performance of low performers. Moreover, sales technology enables you to automate repetitive tasks and save time on administration, which frees up more time for selling.
Improve your field sales with Napp
Napp is a sales enablement platform that includes a field sales app. It helps you manage all your sales material in one place and ensure that sales reps can easily find, present and share relevant content with prospects and buyers in meetings. Napp tracks what actions your sales reps perform in the app, such as what publications they open, what pages they spent the most time viewing in meetings and more. This helps you to identify the best practices of the top performing sales reps, so you can apply these insights to the entire team and boost your field sales performance. Get a tailored demonstration of Napp to see the platform in action and learn more about how it can help you support your sales reps in the field.