A sales representative should not waste time on administrative tasks such as organizing customer and lead appointments or spending too much time on the road. Instead he/she should devote its energy to its customers and prospects in order to develop the sales turnover.
It is not uncommon, however, for an itinerant sales representative or an administrative department agent to spend a significant amount of time organizing daily and weekly business tours. This task is very time-consuming and complex. Manually it is almost impossible to consider all possible constraints or criteria (working hours, selection of clients or leads according to different criteria, achievement of objectives in terms of number of visits, management of last-minute cancellations, etc.).
To remain competitive, companies are constantly seeking to optimize their business processes. In this perspective, the use of a sales route planning software becomes essential for the companies and their sales representatives.
What are the 5 main reasons to adopt a sales tour management and optimization software?
1) With its calculation algorithm, the tool automates the scheduling of business tours and saves time and money
Whether you have to plan 5 or 25 appointments or customer visits per salesperson, for 3 or 300 sales representatives, the software calculates the itinerary of all your mobile sales representatives in no time, based on the geocoding of the different addresses. The organization of customer visits is simplified and allows you to improve the efficiency of your mobile sales force and optimize the use of your resources (human resources: your sales team and the administrative department in charge of preparing customer visits; material and financial resources: your fleet and fuel consumption).
The planning software algorithm can calculate the multiple route possibilities almost instantaneously and offer you an optimized sales route according to various criteria.
2) The sales route planning software is flexible and adjust itself to unforeseen events
Your sales representatives are more responsive, especially in case of an appointment or visit cancellation. Indeed, the proximity search functionality integrated in the software will immediately notify customers, leads or even suppliers in the same geographical area. As soon as the client or prospect is selected to replace the cancelled visit, the calculation algorithm of the software proposes a new itinerary. In this way, you optimize your sales team’s time management.
3) Accessible from anywhere, the sales route planning software allows you to modify the visit schedule at any time
The customer appointments scheduling software is just as efficient and constantly updated when used via a mobile device (tablet or smartphone). A mobile sales representative must always be able to consult his/her schedule of visits and modify it at any time when on the move.
4) Tour planning can be done by sales representatives or an administrative department
The visiting schedule management can be directly assigned to the mobile sales force, but it can also be delegated to an administrative service with the possibility for the sales representative to take it back in hand at any time.
The sales management can interact with the schedule of its employees, to add or move an appointment or to consult the report of a visit.
5) Its coupling with EXANERGY CRM increases the efficiency of your sales force
Even though appointment scheduling software integrates simple functions for managing accounts, contacts and activities (appointments, telephone calls, e-mails and geocoding of addresses) and allows you to follow the actions of your sales representatives, it is more efficient for the company and its sales force to link the sales route planning software to the CRM solution.
It is more efficient for both sales manager and sales representatives to get an overview on:
- daily tasks,
- clients to visit and related planned trips,
- information from the CRM software database linked to those of the sales representatives’ appointments schedule.
Before the appointments, the sales team can easily access to customer data sheets:
This access allows you to:
- Be aware of each customer’s potential, the last visit’s date, the order frequency, etc.
- Visit their website to find out about what is new,
- Select the customers/prospects to be visited according to different geographical criteria, profitability, sales turnover, customers or prospects not visited for a certain period of time, etc.
After the appointments, the itinerant sales force can easily perform the following tasks:
- Writing and sending their visit reports to the manager,
- Informing other teams within the company (by e-mail, mobile or Skype) about the subjects that concern them or tasks to be carried out (the competition to the marketing team, defective items to the technical team, etc.).
- The sales performance’s follow-up by the managers
Conclusion: For your mobile sales representatives, use a sales route planning software and pair it with your CRM
The use of a sales route management and optimization software enables you to spend more time with your customers, carry out more visits, travel fewer kilometers and save time when making your sales tour planning..
On average, this software allows you to reduce by 15% the distance travelled by your sales representatives on the road, and by 50% the time spent on preparing the sales tours (Source: EXANERGY Routes).
Its use coupled with a turnkey CRM is an additional asset to carry out sales tour. You have a reinforced knowledge of your customers and prospects allowing a better service.
Today, all companies with a mobile sales force must adopt a solution to optimize their sales tours in order to stay ahead of the competition.