There are a number of businesses that have a direct sales force or a number of staff working across different locations in various parts of the country or the world. They may be selling products face-to-face to your clients or they may be taking products back or they may even be collecting information or making people fill up forms. How do we manage this huge workforce that is out there on the field and doing their jobs? How do you tally the results with the investment or even better, try and make changes to existing field plans?
It is increasingly clear that there needs to be a certain sense of discipline and streamlining of field operations. This is one of the reasons why it is important to automate certain tasks within field sales and operations. This helps you to track your assets remotely and contact with your workforce when required.
They may also be able to get in touch with you if it is required. Most importantly, engineers, sales representatives and customer care executives can easily send information, scanned receipts and other crucial information to you in a standardized and streamlined manner. This helps in regulating your business and also bringing some order to what is usually a very chaotic way of working.
In this article, let us take a look at what field force management is and how it is going to help you.
Why you must choose field force management
Field force management tools help you to stay in control all the time. They automate what can be automated and leave only the most human-human interaction left to your staff. This helps you to keep a record of all interactions and important data within a database, without you having to manually go through sales receipts, complaint slips and other such details. In other words, a field force management tool is a godsend to companies.
Moreover, these tools help to automate several aspects of your staff’s work, leading to an increase in productivity and motivation. By streamlining operations, you will also ensure that important stakeholders are well informed and management visibility is enhanced. This helps you to make smarter decisions and finally help you to serve your customers better.
At the end of the day, field force management is similar to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution but is vastly different. It is specifically targeted at staff that work on the field and is intended to make their and your work more streamlined, transparent and easy to track.
Cloud based solutions help you automate better
Field Force Management is usually cloud based which means all data is stored and accessible on secure cloud servers. There is no question of losing important data or not being able to retrieve something important. If something goes missing, there will usually be a backup available. Field force management tools include the software, the hardware and also the kind of training that is required for users to use it efficiently.
The software usually helps in saving and processing information while the hardware helps employees to enter important data into devices while they are on the job. Sometimes, field force solutions can also be a mobile app which negates the need for a specific or special device. This is very important when it comes to field jobs as carrying different devices can prove to be a cumbersome job.
At the end of the day, field force solutions are meant to reduce the burden on staff and not actually inadvertently increase it. All the information that is stored on the cloud can be run through analytics software so that you get the kind of reports that you are looking for to improve your business.
The actual process of field force management
A field force management tool helps you to remain in contact with your staff while they are at work on the field. This helps you to track your personnel in real time. Field personnel or your staff can log in and enter their attendance using a smartphone. You can assign that particular day’s task remotely using a web console or your own smartphone.
Next, they can carry out whatever duties they need to while you get all the alerts that you set to receive. This helps to increase transparency. You can choose to receive alerts on your phone or on your desktop.
Finally, staff can tag completed tasks with audio and images, instead of they having to type reports. This helps to focus more on the job than on job reporting. Last but not the least, location tags help you to ensure that the job is done at the right place. Your staff will not be able to take your generosity for granted. All in all, a field force management tool helps you to track and control your staff without you having to be physically present with them and this is the beauty of this tool.
Finally, we need to remember that field force management helps companies to reduce administration cost and increase production. This helps to automate data integration which is usually done with the help of cloud servers. Moreover, you can set invoice parameters that help you to also keep track of stocks, inventories and engage in P.O. and task management.
A number of field force management users also use it as a tool to engage in credit management. Banks and insurance companies particularly find this tool helpful as payments can be received on the job, instead of asking customers to pay online or offline. This also helps in building valuable customer relationships and enhance loyalty. Thirdly, a field force management tool helps to increase planning efficiency.
This means, you will be able to allocate tasks and optimize routing. All this helps to increase your ROI at the end of the day and get back the money you invest on field force management. Finally, you will have more control over productivity and sales thanks to automation of data collection. You will also have more control over the execution of tasks and that will invariably make your company leaner and smarter. If you have questions regarding how a field force solution or system can solve your problems, do not hesitate to contact one of our consultants.