As rewarding as closing is, managing a high performing mobile sales team is a significant challenge. One of the biggest challenges that sales managers face is providing their sales teams with all the information they need while out in the field. Without clear targets and access to inventory control information, mobile sales teams often fail to leverage their potential, closing fewer sales and impressing less new business. How can sales managers support their teams to succeed?
Set Clear Targets
It goes without saying that all high performing sales teams have clear performance expectations in place and that there are strong incentives to meet targets. Spending a little extra to reward high performers is one of the highest returning investments a sales manager can make.
Focus Your Team’s Effort
Improving access to inventory control data can help sales teams focus on closing the right sales. If a particular supply chain is experiencing pressure, a sales manager might want to focus on promoting other products. Knowing what inventory needs clearing (whether due to obsolescence or over ordering) is equally useful as- sales managers can set targets to encourage clearing unneeded inventory. Without access to robust inventory control information, it can be difficult for sales teams and their managers to know where to focus their efforts.
Build Close Teams
Although a team effort is needed to achieve ambitious sales targets, sales professionals tend to be concerned about their own performance first and foremost. Although a mobile sales team might be out on the road a lot, it is important to get the team together from time to time to develop constructive relationships and boost morale. Equally, investing in communication tools such as mobile videoconferencing will help the team stay connected out in the field.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
If you want your sales team to perform well, every team member needs to have access to the best tools for the job. Sending sales professionals out with folders of paper will not set them up to close as many sales as possible. Customer relationship management software and online inventory management software are essential sources of information, while remote access is crucial for sales representatives who are out on the road.
Never Miss a Sale
Nothing is worse for a sales representative than convincing a lead to place a trial order of firm’s product only to find out that you are stocked out upon returning to the office. Failing to deliver at the last minute sends the message that your company is unreliable or that your new client is not a priority. A customer that has been let down in this way is less likely to place a repeat order, costing your firm a future stream of earnings.
Inventory control software allows you to allocate stock that is required to meet current customers’ orders, making it clear what inventory you have available for sale. It also allows you to break stock down by location – that way, you can advise a client if stock needs to be shipped from another warehouse and provide an informed timeframe. Cloud-based software allows sales teams to access this information from almost anywhere in the world.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.