Help your B2B Field Sales Reps to Sell More Efficiently & Effectively with a mobile Field Sales Rep App
Technology has been a game changer for those in the mobile workforce, enabling them to be more productive on the go. Wholesalers, distributors and anyone selling in a B2B capacity should make the most of technology to increase productivity.
If you operate in the wholesale and distribution space, you likely have field sales reps out on the road visiting customers and taking orders.
Field sales have always been challenging. Reps are on the road constantly, visiting customers and managing their work from their cars. They must be extremely efficient in managing their own time and self-motivated to achieve tough sales targets.
The biggest problems that reps once faced are increasingly disappearing. Gone are the days when reps were searching for fax machines in hotels or having to return to the office from a long day on the road to re-enter orders from paper forms into their computers.
Technology has been a game-changer for those in the mobile workforce, enabling them to be more productive on the go.
Wholesalers, distributors and anyone selling in a B2B capacity should make the most of technology to increase productivity.
Let’s take a look at how a mobile sales rep app, in particular, can not only help field reps sell products more easily to their customers but also much more effectively.
1. Access to Real-Time Information
Likely the biggest problem with working from a mobile office, ie. a reps car, is easy access to real-time, accurate information. Having access to customer information like order history and recent invoices before and after the sales meeting is important.
The right mobile ordering app puts that information more directly in the hands of the sales rep. So instead of having to constantly call the office to confirm things like customer-specific pricing, credit limits, the status of a customer's last order or stock levels for a certain product, this information is neatly stored in the application and available even when offline.
An app that gives easy access to the customers’ information in a clear and usable format arms the sales rep with the right tools to get on with the sale.
2. Digital Catalogue
A major advantage to a mobile sales rep app is access to a digital catalogue. Reps no longer need to have their car boot full of heavy catalogues and samples and a larger than life briefcase on wheels to wheel it all into each customer visit.
Instead, your full range of product images and detailed descriptions are organised into an easy to navigate digital catalogue with advanced searching and filtering options.
Time is saved having to search through multiple stockist brochures to find the right product or an alternative product should one be out of stock.
Ideally, the mobile ordering app you implement will allow you to store unlimited catalogues and products while also showing the relevant products and catalogues for each individual customer with their own customer-specific pricing.
Being able to view live stock levels on the app is also crucial.
And having the option to display those stock levels in different ways to suit the business needs is important, too. Whether that be showing the exact number of items in stock, tagging items that are low in stock, or never showing an item out of stock and making back-ordering possible.
More advanced apps will be structured to even show stock levels in multiple stock locations or where there is van sales in place to show stock for the reps own van or another van with stock nearby if accessible.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
What makes a sales rep app even better is a built-in CRM that allows reps to create new opportunities and contacts within the app.
In other words, they can enter a new lead’s business information as an opportunity and then add against it information such as expected closing date of opportunity, contact details, the estimated value that the lead will add to the company, as well as how likely it is for that opportunity to close at the expected date.
A CRM allows reps to quickly and conveniently search for opportunities and customers which means they have their whole customer base at their fingertips in a matter of seconds. It gives reps the ability to manage all their leads, prospects, and customers in one central place, their field sales rep app.
4. Replacing Manual Processes
As much as the digital world has transformed many parts of our lives, many mobile sales reps are still using manual order processes like paper order forms, or emailing spreadsheets back to the office or even phoning in an order.
This all results in someone else back in the office having to input the order into the system, wasting time and creating unnecessary processes within the business.
Instead, mobile ordering applications allow reps to place orders in just a few taps.
Whether that be while they are browsing the entire digital catalogue with the customer or looking through their favourites or recent products to quickly order frequently bought items.
Or using a quick order function to quickly search by product name or code and order products on the same screen.
Being able to order on credit to applicable customers, which is a typical set up with a B2B customer, is a great feature to have on the app.
Having the freedom to build an open order and not place it until later, is very handy. This can come into play if there is no internet connection for example or perhaps the reps like to call the customer back, later on, to confirm the order and see if they forgot anything which can be a nice way of increasing order values.
With many apps, you wouldn’t be able to complete the process if a further discount outside of the customer’s usual pricing is needed to secure the deal. A field sales ordering app that can make this possible without reverting to the manual process after already building the order via the app really stands out from the crowd.
Perhaps you want to give a particular item for free, but maybe there is a minimum price it can be sold at? Having this information at your fingertips helps you to discount how and where needed without going back to your manager or ringing the office for clarification. It helps close the deal there and then.
Different companies have different rules around how an order is allowed to proceed whether that be having to submit the order as a quote initially for approval, needing a purchase order number, or simply needing to capture a signature, an app that recognises and gives those business-specific features as options is a no brainer.
5. Real-Time ERP Integration
A mobile sales rep app that can be integrated with back-office systems can save an organisation as a whole enormous amount of time.
Having real-time customer account information, stock levels, and customer-specific pricing on an app is all down to tight integration with your back-end systems.
Without this integration, the rich and resource-saving functionality vital to a sales rep app just isn’t possible.
And without this integration with ERP systems, like SAP Business One, Sage 200 or Intact Software to mention a few, the rep or another staff member would still need to re-enter every order they’d written into the ERP or accounting system.
With a truly integrated solution, the orders are simply placed in real-time with those systems and are ready for picking! Completely bypassing the manual processes of old.
6. Access to Rep Specific Information
Being self-motivated and very organised as a sales rep is key to success. Having as many tools as possible in the toolbox to help with this is essential.
A sales rep dashboard on the app should give reps easy access to see important KPIs, upcoming opportunities, sales pipelines, sales statistics and targets. Ideally, they should be able to rearrange the different dashboard widgets and features in a way that will make it look and feel the way they want.
Reps should also be able to find the fastest route to get from point A to point B using their customers’ addresses and in-app maps. A customer’s location should appear on the map which should help the reps to find the shortest possible route for the many daily travels.
Having access to a back-end admin panel allows sales managers to be able to keep track of orders as they come in, see stock levels in individual reps’ vans where applicable and see statistics on where you are against your team's sales target.
Keeping an entire team motivated and focussed is difficult so being able to send out messages with positive news stories within the team or about new products or promotions that day, directly to the reps own dashboard in the app is a really nice feature for a sales manager to utilise.
Digital transformation has really made it an exciting time for sales reps on the go. Technology like mobile ordering applications is enabling them to work faster and more strategically, replacing the resource-intense process of manual order taking with a more efficient and strategic proposition.
If you’d like to find out more about how to help transform your field sales team, get in touch with Aphix today or book a demo to view our SalesRep app in action.