Improving the Productivity of Your Outside Sales Force

As your field soldiers, your independent sales reps are the outside sales force of your company – one of the most important links between your company and the market. An ineffective sales team can be detrimental to your organization’s efforts of brand building, improving market penetration, and ultimately profitability.

While organizations put in a lot of effort into training and mentoring their inside sales team, the outside sales force is an ignored lot, at least with many companies. As far as a customer is concerned, he only looks at the brand being represented by the sales rep. He is not going to dig deep into the individual’s credentials if he is a direct representative or an independent sales rep. All he is bothered about is if the manufacturer’s rep can fulfill his demands for a product or service.

Improve Sales Rep Productivity Through Training

Training is considered to be one of the most effective ways of improving the productivity of an individual. Training basically ensures that an individual’s understanding, operation and expression is in line with that of the company he works for or represents. Ignoring training can have disastrous effects on an individual’s productivity starting from motivation. Research has shown that apart from skill development, training an individual can do a lot to motivate the person. At training sessions, it is common to find many people who share their knowledge of a common subject and the positive atmosphere can do a lot for the motivation levels, especially that of a sales rep.

Training is also the time when the ‘trained’ get an opportunity to clear their doubts. There will be many questions that cannot be addressed through a simple telephone call especially if it is product related. If the manufacturers rep has been struggling with an internal process, having a team of experts at the training or even other sales reps helping out can drastically improve the productivity.

Depending on the training budget, you can always tweak the frequency of training, but it is a good idea to have a training program once a quarter or at least semi-annually, depending upon your industry. As the principal, you will also get to connect with your sales reps, understand their practical difficulties and fine tune your sales programs based on the feedback received.

Improve Sales Rep Communication Methods

Better communication involves giving the independent sales rep the right tools and making sure that the communication with you is as smooth as possible. While it may be outside the organizational scope to provide any communication device to a sales rep, some organizations do encourage this practice.

If budget is a constraint, you can have a precondition set before you make the offer to the independent sales rep. For example, if you have an Android app whereby the sales rep makes his daily update, you need to make sure that the new person being considered has an Android smart phone.

Having a dedicated desk to answer to the queries of outside sales force is always a good idea. One of the most common complaints received by RepHunter from sales reps is that there is nobody assigned to answer their questions. You can avoid this by identifying one or two internal resources as the main point of contact for your outside sales team.

Outsource Your Sales Management

RepHunter has professional sales managers who will recruit, hire, and manage independent sales reps and build your company a qualified, productive sales team. Maximize the sales producing potential of your sales force using our effective sales management techniques. Use our expertise to find and work with your sales reps. Outsource your sales management function!

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