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How to improve field sales ROI?

CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

Whether a business is small, nascent, big, or multinational, investment in human capital is of utmost importance. Is it important? Yes. Does everyone do it? No.

FMCG, IT, and Automobile are some of the most capable and profitable sectors in the world. And one of its backbones is made up of human capital working in sales. And any organization would ideally want their sales to be as predicted or expected. But not all organizations have the mindset which helps in such sales. Organizations need to invest and grow their human capital in order for them to reach optimal potential. Every organization would need to find its secret ingredient for sales success. Just because X worked for ABC Company, it doesn't mean it would necessarily work for you.

So, how does a business work towards improving their sales ROI and contribute to the bigger picture?

Tips to improve the field sales ROI

Long gone are the days where salesperson were required to just go door-to-door and disseminate product information. All monotonous and homogenous. Now, any field salesperson needs to do more than rot learning and visit potential customers and dealers.

Here we list down a few integral measures that need to be undertaken by sales executive and organizations.

Off-site measures

Off-site measures refer to training and learning done within and by an organization. It includes all the integral information and knowledge required by a salesperson to give a pitch which shall generate sales and increase customers.

Invest in training your salespeople- One of the evident factors which lead to a poor sales pitch is the communication with the potential customers. It allows you to identify which pitch, tip, or training is futile for the salespeople. The next step in the right direction should be to evaluate your competitors' training and techniques.

Calculate the expected ROI- Before you invest millions (or lakhs!) in developing your sales department, you should calculate an estimated ROI. It should be done for two reasons- an organization should know the pros and cons before investing and to know what should be the least ROI expected by a salesperson.

The right combination for the right people- Occasionally, sales representatives' primary focus is on getting the right audience. An audience that shall be beneficial in the long run. To achieve this, sometimes sales rep need to offer products or services in combination to attract potential customers. Mind you, this should not be the case for every customer or potential customer they come across. To offer a combination suitable for their audience, the sales representatives need to consult their superiors or heads. A salesperson should keep knowledge of all this prior to fieldwork.

Hierarchy support and insights- A salesperson cannot pitch the right customer/dealer if a thorough analysis has not been done. Different departments need to work collaboratively in order to focus on one goal- profits. Hence, salespeople shall be provided key insights in order to pitch the right product to the right customer.

On site measures

On-site measures refer to actions and communications done in the field. That is, in front of actual customers. Here, the sales rep cannot have a redo. Once a pitch is given, it cannot be retracted. Hence, measures are to be undertaken to bag a customer.

After-sales service- A business should never underestimate the importance of after-sales service. Sales target does not end with handing over the product to your customers. Customers and potential buyers should know whether you are for the long run or short. After-sales services allow organizations to work and improve their goodwill. Reliability, quickness, ease, and approachability are some of the key factors which can be put forth.

Dealer-salesperson relationship- A dealer should have a benefit as to why would they partner with you or buy from you. However, in the process of cutting a good deal for them, your company shouldn't suffer. Prior to fieldwork, organizations need to clarify a few integral points to their salespeople. A discount on bulk orders, customized pricing strategy, well-developed supply chain, and priority on the inventory list are some key points to highlight in your pitch.

Customer-salesperson relationship- Long gone are the days where the sales pitch given by all executives were monotonous and homogenous in nature. In a day and age, where customers know what they want and what they need, it is of utmost importance that executives customize their pitch according to one's needs. Understanding and communication should be the foundation of any customer-salesperson relation.

Feedback Process- How does an organization assess the effectiveness of its training and changes? The most integral element for assessment is customer feedback. Not sales. A customer might not buy your product at a particular time, but if one manages to create a rapport with them, they might have just earned a loyal customer.

Updated On Apr 15, 2021