Field sales software and field sales CRM systems: a comprehensive guide

Field sales, also known as outside sales, is the process whereby sales representatives go out into the market to sell directly to prospective customers. Field sales representatives often use field sales software and field sales CRM systems to manage all the challenging components of field sales, including tracking reps, facilitating communications, organizing field data and activity, and much more.

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Field sales software and field sales CRM systems overview

Traditionally, field sales was defined as the process whereby field sales representatives (field sales reps) go out into the “field” or market to sell directly to prospective customers.

Nowadays, field sales is much more complex because many businesses have evolved to include internal sales teams who collect leads and make initial contact with prospective customers.

While many businesses find it optimal to have both inside and outside sales teams, some businesses find that they simply don’t have a need for inside sales teams since their business relies solely on field sales.

These businesses turn to field sales software, including mobile field sales applications, and field sales customer relationship management (CRM) software to drive their sales processes. Adopting field sales SaaS (software as a service) and field sales CRM software enables field sales to gain the speed, efficiency, and organization they need to simplify their daily tasks, increase productivity, and reduce costs.

What is field sales?

As previously defined, field sales comprises the work of field sales reps who go out into the field (or market) to interface directly with customers.

Field sales reps identify prospects (potential customers they can sell to), make contact with them, pursue leads, and work hard to close the deal. Many companies today rely on field sales more than inside sales or even online sales.

According to Hubspot, according to the 5.7 million salespeople in the United States in 2020, outside sales represents about 52.8% of the entire salesforce.

With the onset of COVID-19, “recent research suggests that 68% of sales leaders will adopt a hybrid or fully-remote selling model for 2021.”

With these data, sales teams across the US will be adopting field sales software and field sales CRM software to organize their salesforce and all of the important data that makes the job possible.

Let’s learn more about field sales software and field sales CRM systems.

What is field sales software?

Field sales software gives field sales teams or outside sales teams the ability to manage prospects and customer data more effectively, allowing them to focus more on selling and a lot less on tedious, manual administrative tasks.

For competitive field sales businesses, advanced technology offers both small and medium sized businesses and enterprises the mobility and innovative tools they need to help their field sales force to simplify their daily tasks, increase productivity, and cut costs.

Field sales software also helps field sales managers ensure their field sales teams remain agile and productive. With features like agile scheduling and dispatching, GPS tracking, and in-app chat tools, field sales managers can assign jobs, manage quotes, and track the efficiency and location of their field sales reps.

Additionally, field sales reps can enter customer information, updates, manage quotes and payment, and contact customers using the same app so all sales information, including appointment updates, routes, invoices and payments are stored in one place automatically, reducing the need for time-consuming administrative tasks, freeing them up to focus on providing outstanding customer service.

Mobile field sales applications, like B2Field, keep track of all customer information in one place, which makes it easily accessible to save time, enabling your salesforce to focus on critical business functions.

With customized reporting and analytics functions for managers and business leaders, you know exactly what areas of your business need attention so you can make confident decisions about what needs to be done to ensure your business runs at optimum performance.

What is a field sales customer relationship management (CRM) system?

The fundamental idea behind the creation of field sales CRM systems was solving administrative issues. With so much information field sales reps have to juggle on top of the fact that they have to visit multiple locations every day, field sales teams of old decided that they needed a management system that could handle all of the data so they didn’t have to parse through it page by page, which was a huge waste of time and energy.

Field sales CRM systems can help ease the many administrative and informational challenges your salesforce would normally face if they were to do it manually.

It all started with rolodexes and notepads, but with the advent of more sophisticated digital, and, eventually, cloud technologies, the idea of managing customer and prospect information became much more complex.

Not only was the salesforce free of having to keep track of all the data manually, but digital systems allow almost every aspect of the customer journey to be tracked, analyzed, and improved upon.

Now, in order to compete in any industry, businesses need reliable, customizable, purpose-built field sales CRM systems that allow them to manage their contacts with the incredible agility the modern world of field sales requires.

Why is field sales important?

Managing your field salesforce comes with many challenges and a lot of those challenges have to do with coordinating schedules, dispatching, tracking, reporting, analyzing, and optimizing operations.

Not only do field sales managers and other business leaders manage field sales reps and other administrative functions, but they also need to create effective strategies to meet the ever-increasing demand of customer expectations, which means they need a 360 degree view into every aspect of business operations.

Effective field sales software and mobile applications help make fast, efficient operations grow so your business can meet and exceed targets, all while providing incredible customer experiences that build long-term customers who are always coming back for more.

Below are some of the most important benefits field sales software and mobile applications and field sales CRM systems can offer your business.

The top benefits of using field sales software and field sales CRM systems

For any business to be successful, it must operate synergistically with all its moving parts. From the field salesforce to accounting to customer support and all the way up the chain to business stakeholders, each department relies on every other department to be successful and it requires a level of business insight that modern mobile field sales applications help companies achieve.

Here are many of the ways field sales applications can elevate your field sales business to the next level of growth:

Efficient scheduling and dispatching

One of the most important aspects of field sales is being prepared for an effective day out in the field.

Field sales software like B2Field gives your field salesforce and field sales managers the scheduling and dispatching power and agility they need to ensure field sales reps make their appointments and have all the tools and information access they need to exceed customer expectations no matter what obstacles the day throws in their way.

Streamline productivity

No more tedious, repetitive manual processes can hold you back now. Field sales software allows field sales businesses to optimize productivity for the entire organization: from scheduling, dispatching, and dynamic routing for your field salesforce and field sales managers, to digitally managing work orders, inventory, and contracts, to creating digital project estimates and invoices, to accepting digital payments that go straight to your accounting team — and all of it happens in your field sales application.

Every piece of information is logged into the system automatically for dynamic reporting and analysis so business leaders always have the information they need to make confident decisions about the business.

Offer more personalized customer experiences

With all the time your field sales business is saving now that it’s free from repetitive, inconsistent and slow manual processes, your field sales reps can spend their time focusing on what matters most: your customers.

Your field salesforce will always have the field sales information they need, when they need it, and field sales manager and customer communications are only a click away.

Optimize sales routes

With dynamic routing capabilities, you don’t have to be at the mercy of unpredictable weather and road conditions. Field sales applications like B2Field calculate the most efficient routes based on a variety of factors that can affect road conditions so your field sales reps and managers don’t have to guess or waste time figuring it out — the field sales app does it automatically and can update itself in real time.

With field sales CRM integrations, your field sales managers can calculate and establish the proper amount of time your field sales reps spend with each customer, depending on the job that needs to be done.

Improve inventory management

Don’t waste precious time out in the field waiting for a response from the inventory manager about what you have in stock.

With field sales applications like B2Field, your entire inventory lives in one place and your field managers have access to up-to-date inventory information in real time so they always have the knowledge and the confidence they need to sell the right products at the right time.

Close deals faster

Field sales software leverages integral business intelligence data from your CRM and other sources, which gives your field service reps everything they need to focus on your customers to close the deal.

Process payments faster

Everyone loves getting paid faster (and more often). With a reliable mobile field sales application, processing work orders, and sending invoices, payments and receipts can be done faster since it’s all completed on your field sales rep’s mobile device.

Share data in real time

Real-time data sharing allows your field sales business to function efficiently at every level so you can do more with less. With reporting and analysis, you can send the right information to the right managers who can make quick decisions that can improve the business by making a positive impact on sales to facilitate growth.

Integrate with other systems

Whatever field sales software system you use, it should be able to integrate with the apps and tools your team already relies on so you can hit the ground running from day one.

A capable mobile field sales solution like B2Field should be compatible with your existing CRM, HR systems, IT systems, payroll systems, and the other important tools you need to manage your business.

The most useful features of field sales software

Managing field sales teams and important company data that’s integral to your business every day requires easy access to customized, easy-to-use features that suit the needs of your particular business. It also must be anticipated that these needs will change in the future as the business changes and grows.

Here are some of the most important features modern, mobile field sales software offers:

Custom, easy-to-view-and-use dashboards

Part of running an efficient and effective business is knowing where everything you need is when you need it. That’s why B2Field offers customizable user-friendly interfaces for field sales reps, managers, and stakeholders so you can view your organization’s resources in one place.

Route optimization and maps

Planning efficient routes allows your field salesforce to make the most out of the day, allowing them to do more jobs the right way. B2Field includes GPS tracking capabilities that can respond to unpredictable road elements that might interfere with your field sales rep’s work — all your field sales reps have to do is view the map to track the route during travel.

Field sales managers can also track visits in real time and communicate with field sales reps to ensure everything is going according to plan, and even make adjustments to the schedule in real time. As data accrues over time, you will have baseline expectations for how long certain jobs should take to become as efficient as possible.

Send quick estimates and work orders

Estimates and work orders can easily be relayed from field sales reps to field sales managers in the field sales application so it can be cross-referenced, adjusted, and approved, if necessary.

From there, the estimate or work order can be sent directly to the customer for approval and the entire process occurs in just one place, facilitating quick service delivery for customer-facing personnel, and accuracy for your business records.

Faster invoicing

No paperwork, no problem. When the job is complete, your field sales rep can facilitate invoicing much faster on the app than it can be done by mail. With field sales applications like B2Field, invoices can be generated automatically and sent to customers instantly.

Online payments

You no longer have to wait to get paid. With integrated payments tools, your field sales reps can obtain payment in the field via electronic payment or by card transfers. All payments data is logged in app and sent directly to your payments and accounting teams for approval and auditing.

Real-time communications

Field sales applications allow field sales reps and field sales managers to stay in touch with each other to ensure operations are running smoothly and to offer assistance and updates when needed.

Real-time communications also helps improve customer service so your clients can stay up-to-date on the entire field sales process from scheduling to payments.

Time tracking

Enabling GPS tracking allows your field sales reps to coordinate with field sales managers to provide real-time location information so field sales reps can stay in sync and on time.

Set role-based permissions

By setting role-based permissions you can give access to different teams for different purposes. You can even create a tier your customers can use to communicate with your team, receive customer service, and provide feedback.

Integrate systems, expand capabilities

When a business has multiple systems that can’t be integrated, it creates silos of information that remain separate and ineffective because of it. If there are multiple gaps in the chain of knowledge, it can decrease business efficiency by slowing down response times fostering a dependency on unreliable information that will ultimately cost the business money.

If field sales businesses rely on efficiency, they rely on the data to tell them what’s working and what isn’t so they can react with confidence that the changes they’re making are going to have a positive impact on operations.

Automated and integrated field sales software solutions allow companies to send data across the company to the right stakeholders at the right time, and even straight to customers (to gain feedback, offer support, and stay in touch). The entire process is logged into the system for reporting and analysis, all of which is instantly accessible on mobile or desktop devices.

Strategizing excellent field performance

Companies with large sales teams find it difficult to monitor and manage all their field sales reps and track sales performance against set goals.

With field sales software like B2Field not only do you have all your critical business information in one place but you have specific data points about each user role, including performance metrics that can be analyzed without having to struggle manually through multiple datasets.

With up-to-the-minute sales data, your field sales management team has all the information they need to see areas of performance that are running smoothly and to determine what areas need attention.

For example, field sales managers can determine whether or not they need to introduce employee training programs, what sales goals to set and for who, and, generally, how to successfully strategize the sales game plan for the future.

Field sales and field service: what’s the difference?

Since field sales and field service are closely related, it’s important to discuss the differences between the two.

Field service or field service management (FSM) is the process of optimizing your business for physical products. For example, if you optimize the installation, maintenance, repair, or the deployment of physical goods, then you’re in the business of field service management.

Field sales or field sales management is more like mobile workforce management in the way that the core goal of the business is to optimize the execution of workers in the field. For example, scheduling and dispatching employee shifts, workers who facilitate customer interactions face-to-face, etc.

Luckily for some businesses, customizable solutions like B2Field do it all. Whether your business relies on field sales management, field service management, mobile workforce management, or maybe a combination of some or all of them, B2Field is the right solution for your business.

A field sales software buyers guide

When searching for the right field sales software, it’s important to find a mobile SaaS product that is easy to use for your field salesforce, field sales managers, and stakeholders, and it’s equally important to find a solution that integrates well with the core tools your teams already use.

An intuitive field sales solution will provide your business with all the critical functions and features that allow your team to automate processes and accomplish more at a much faster rate.

Cloud-based field sales software like B2Field is not only easy to deploy, customize, and use, but it’s also built to scale easily alongside your business as your teams grow.

There are many more benefits to cloud-based field sales software like B2Field. GPS tracking allows for employee accountability and reporting data that allows you to analyze field performance, routing, and overall success.

You can create custom order forms and photo archives, which is critical for accountability as much as it is for reporting.

What is the best mobile workforce management software?

What is the best field sales software?

The modern world of field sales requires the right cloud-based tools that will ensure your field sales teams have everything they need to get the job done right and on time so they can focus on what matters most: your customer relationships.

With cloud-based, mobile field sales software solutions like B2Field, field sales teams around the world are creating better, more dynamic schedules faster, improving employee and customer communications, increasing productivity and efficiency, and business leaders are able to view the business data they need anytime, anywhere from one central location.

Want to learn more about how B2Field can help your field salesforce succeed? Get in touch with one of our customer service representatives today.

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