Do your sales representatives spend more time on the road than with their customers?
Do their travel expenses (e. g. fuel) increase your budget? Do you lack visibility on the organization of their sales tours?
Then it might be the time to invest in a sales route optimization tool.
Here are some non-exhaustive criteria to guide you in the choice of your sales route planning solution.
1- A powerful computing algorithm
The algorithm is at the heart of the sales route optimization tool. Thanks to advanced mathematical calculation processes, it allows mapping data, information about the contacts to visit and the constraints recorded in the system to be cross-referenced. In a few seconds, it proposes an optimized appointment schedule that the sales representative will have to validate or modify according to his requirements. The ultimate goal of the algorithm is to save time and money by optimizing routes and reducing costs.
2- Real-time mapping of all appointments and types of contact
You need a user-friendly tool that is easy to understand and to handled.
Make sure that the visualization of appointments is simple with a user-friendly interface and that all updates (adding or cancelling appointments and changing routes) are taken into account in real time.
3- An opportunity to interact with the collaborators’ schedule
The sales route optimization tool should allow you to visualize the appointment schedule of your sales team and modify it if necessary. As a sales manager, you keep an eye and maintain control over their activities and ensure that you are implementing the sales strategy in the field at the same time.
4- A visualization of the itineraries and their modification directly on the map
This is part of the ergonomics of your tool and its intuitive design. Isn’t it convenient to reschedule an appointment and modify the itinerary accordingly with a simple mouse move? Some tools propose it to you. Then why deprive yourself from it! This saves a lot of time and increases user comfort.
5- Access to client/lead history from your CRM (if you have one)
For a relevant commercial follow-up, your sales representatives need to know everything about their customers or leads: last sales proposals, orders, last visit reports but also potential or achieved sales turnover, solvency, etc. In short, they must know them perfectly. Only the tools coupled with customer relationship management (CRM) software provide these information, which are so useful for the closing of sales.
6- A use of your tour planning tool from your smartphone
This functionality does not exist for all solutions. Find out about it because it is highly recommended for mobile sales forces.
7- A purchase by subscription
Choose a subscription-based solution that will enable you to automatically benefit from all the updates and maintenance of your tool. This formula will also allow you to set a number of users based on your needs. You will gain flexibility in managing your budget.
In conclusion, your tool should reduce significantly the time spent on the preparation and optimization of your sales tour.
Time is money. Your sales force and yourself cannot waste hours in planning the best itinerary to visit 5 clients/leads a day, while considering time constraints, last-minute cancellations, etc.
Your sales force needs to focus on its business: TO SELL.