How to Make More Money in Field Sales
Inside V Outside Sales (aka field sales)
Inside sales people usually sell products / services with shorter sales cycles. Their deals are higher volume and more transactional. Outside sales people tend to sell products / services with longer sales cycles. This could be because the value of each unit is very high or because the product / service is very complex.
Typical methods of communication for inside sales people are phone and email – for everything. Outside sales people use phone and email to set up appointments, but it’s their face-to-face meetings that stand them apart from inside sales people. These meetings allow them to identify needs, present value, and negotiate.
Inside sales people usually also have a fairly fixed schedule for each day. Whereas outside sales people have a varied schedule – this is because they travel. This gives them a lot more autonomy in their role, which means they need to be very self-disciplined.
Brush up on your geography skills
The most effective field sales people are experts in geography. They know the patch they cover and what is the logical order of events for their week in order to cover that patch. Time is money so criss-crossing across the country to make sales can easily use up valuable time.
Those same people also know that they should be spending time with the right prospects in their patch i.e. the ones who generate the most revenue. It’s human nature that we want to spend time with the people we feel the most comfortable with, but in sales those may not be the people who will help you reach your targets.
When you ‘over-see’ the wrong prospects and ‘under-see’ the right prospects it can have a negative impact on your sales. Avoid going with your gut or being flattered into having meetings with poor prospects. Know which prospects you can benefit the most and make sure your time is spent with them instead.
Cross-sell and up-sell
People underestimate the value of cross-selling and up-selling. If you have prospects who are interested in one of your products / services then it’s essential to identify which other products / services they might be interested in as well.
Take this example: Let’s assume you are selling medical instruments to dentists. Let’s also assume that your existing customers always buy product A and product B together from you.
Look at your list of prospects and identify the ones who are interested in buying product A. Because you know that product A and product B are always bought together you can use this intelligence to sell product B to that same group of prospects – increasing your changes of making a sale.
When you join up the dots in this way you’ll have the most success in the shortest amount of time.
Get up close
The key advantage a field sales person has over their office-based colleagues is their ability to get in front of their prospects, so use that time to demonstrate your product / service.
Showing off your solution in the prospect’s environment will help them to visualise the benefits and make for a compelling offer.
Be a great housekeeper
Be efficient about logging your notes and activity in your CRM system. This is tough when you’re always out and about so update your system after each interaction or create a habit each day to input new information.
If you try to keep everything in your head you’ll forget crucial details and let tasks slip through the cracks. Believe in your system and you’ll make a far better sales person.
Use your network
Get help from your sales manager. Your manager can make a huge positive impact on your career and is there to support your development and success. You’ll rarely be in the same place at once it’s important to have a great relationship with them. Take the initiative to have regular check-ins and to sound out new ideas and problems you’re facing.