The organization of customer visits can quickly become a laborious task for sales tour planners or itinerant sales representatives who manage their own schedules.
However, they are a growth driver for any company that wants to retain its customers or conquer new markets. Successfully preparing and optimizing them is a crucial issue.
In order to develop an effective sales tour, it is necessary to take into account various parameters such as the time constraints of the sales representative or customer/prospect, the contacts to be visited selected according to different marketing or sales criteria, their preferences in terms of day and time of visit, the shortest travel time between appointments, etc. not to mention the real-time management of last-minute cancellations or even the management of the visit schedule of several itinerant sales representatives.
Mistakes are inevitable without an appropriate solution for managing and optimizing sales tours.
Use a sales tour management and optimization software
Better manage employee’s time
Saving time spent on organizing sales tours
Time saving for the administrative department that plans appointments for a sales team or the sales representative who takes care of his appointments himself. The tool used for the organization of customer visits allows you to plan one or more tours in a few clicks. Route planning work is simplified, and human errors are greatly reduced thanks to the calculation algorithm, which offers an optimized itinerary within seconds.
Quickly updating the tour in case of appointments’ cancellation
If a customer withdraws at the last minute, there is no problem. With a single click, the appointment planning tool suggests other contacts in the same geographical area to the sales representatives. All he has to do is call them and try to schedule a new visit as soon as possible.
Optimize your sales organization
By better mapping each business development area
The mapping of appointments allows to better visualize the coverage of a territory and to take corrective measures if necessary. For example, a sales manager can see at a glance that an area has not been sufficiently covered by its sales representatives and decide to plan more visits in this area.
By quickly assuming responsibility for a new prospecting area
Once the tour has been optimized and his appointments confirmed, the sales representative uses the GPS application of his smartphone (Google Maps, Waze, etc.) to go visit his customer.
By enabling the manager to better manage the visits of his sales representatives
With a complete view on the visiting schedule by team or sales representative, the sales manager can quickly check the execution of his sales action plan in the field (type of contacts visited, geographical area, etc.).
Increase the ROI of commercial tours
• Higher turnover generated by more productive nomadic salespeople. They spend less time on the road and more time with their customers or prospects. They are more likely to turn an appointment into a business opportunity.
• Lower costs: the time spent on scheduling appointments per week, the number of travelled kilometers per visit, etc.
Improve the relationship with your customers by linking the route planning software to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution
To organize a sales tour
When the tool used for the organization of customer visits is coupled with a CRM, sales representatives or the administrative department have detailed information on the contact to meet. They can fine-tune the preparation of their tour according to different criteria used for selecting customers or prospects to visit: their scoring, their last visit’s date, the achieved or potential turnover. In addition, the software will take into account the days’ and hours’ preference of the customers or prospects to schedule an appointment, etc.
You meet the customer/prospect at the most appropriate time to close a sale.
Scoring is the attribution of a score to a customer or prospect. It is used to determine their worthiness.
To prepare the meeting itself
Via the CRM, your sales representative has access to all information concerning the person with whom he/she has an appointment and can take note of his/her last purchases, mails, problems encountered and preferences. The salesperson is then able to carry out a more efficient commercial interview.
To immediately act after the appointment
After the visit, the sales representative can, from his mobile phone, report to his manager and/or send actions to be undertaken to the relevant teams.
To ensure a first step in your company’s digital transformation
This way, you can also help digitalize your customer relationship to better meet their expectations.
Choose the right customer visit planning software: our advices
Some tips to help you choose your route optimization solution.
1- Avoid complex and expensive tools
Ask for a free trial before you buy. In this way, you will test both the solution and the service quality of the provider with whom you collaborate.
Cloud solutions offer great budgetary flexibility. Indeed, your billing will only depend on the number of users. No nasty surprises.
In addition, choose a solution with a subscription that includes the updates and solution maintenance costs.
• Not configurable, not customizable.
• Not workable in offline mode. Even without an internet connection, the field salesperson must be able to use the tool on his or her smartphone. For example, enter a visit report.
• Sold with new equipment. The mobile sales force does not want to be cluttered with a new housing. Current solutions can be used from a smartphone and/or tablet.
2- Think of the end users
The itinerant sales force and/or the administrative service in charge of the organization of customer visits.
Choose a tool for organizing customer visits that truly simplifies their day-to-day work and gives them more peace of mind to achieve their business objectives.
Finally, remember that the tool must be easy to handle.