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1 Mar

5 Ways Your CRM Should Be Helping Field Sales Reps and Agents

When your field agents are out of the office, it's hard to stay connected. Telecommuters can feel the same sort of dissociation, but they often have a routine and fewer customer-facing, split-second decisions to make. So give your employees a better CRM and communications portal to keep them connected to the office. Here are five improvements the change can make in their day-to-day operations:

1. Live tracking of appointments and schedule changes.

Field sales reps and service agents need an accurate calendar, but they also need a flexible one. Instead of operating from a set list of appointments during the day, give your reps a mobile device so they can check in with the actual calendar and a history of any changes. 

Customers cancel or adjust the times all the time. So do vendors and delivery drivers. A live calendar helps your employees adjust to the changes. Also, a live calendar tool means that they can more effectively communicate with your office when they have delays or will miss an appointment. It's much better customer service to send out another rep than to have an appointment start late. 

2. Instantaneous orders and invoice creation.

Once your field reps have the customers in front of them, everything needs to happen fast. If your company provides installation or repair services, then your employees need to be able to create detailed estimates on the spot so customers can hold onto them. If your field agents land a sale, they need to be able to check inventory, place the order, and provide an estimated delivery date before the customer changes their mind.

Providing that immediacy makes your company a more convenient option, but you need the right CRM and integrated tools to make it happen.

3. Complete customer profiles

If a salesperson is going into a meeting blind, they're much less likely to make the sale. This has nothing to do with their ability. Everything about sales — both online and face to face — has to be increasingly customised. Your reps need to know what marketing efforts resonated with the customer, if they've communicated with your company before and (for retention efforts) what products and services they use. Walking into that meeting with that information gives them an instant advantage, especially because they don't have to waste part of the meeting figuring out those answers.

If you have a CRM that covers every inch of a customer's or prospect's history, they can review the information before the appointment. They can also edit the information and add new details while the information is fresh in their minds.

4. Integration with your sales portal/customer interface

The more resources a field rep has, the better. Make sure they have the tools to flip between the back end and front end of your company's website through the CRM. They need to know exactly what each customer sees when they pull up the website based on their account type. If your company provides Internet-based services or IT help, this is even more essential.

5. Live communications with the central office

 Sometimes a calendar or a phone call isn't enough. Your reps will need to instant message people in the main office, pull up emails, and discretely let someone know when their current appointment is going to overflow with their next one. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, all of those communication options flow seamlessly through the CRM and Outlook. 

When you're weighing the pros and cons of switching your CRM (or switching to a CRM from spreadsheets), don't just find the best tool for salespeople who stay in the office. Find the right tool for employees in the field and in every other department. Contact our team at folio1 to find the best ways to tap into the value of Microsoft Dynamics.

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