In the first of this series of blogs, I discussed some of the issues that builders’ merchants have faced in terms of the field sales force mobility. A lack of mobile CRM tools have left sales people with poor resources to help them drive sales, and sales managers with a lack of insight into the activity of their field sales representatives.

So what do construction merchants need to optimise their field sales force teams and ensure they are performing to their maximum ability and capacity at all times?

First and foremost, field sales teams need to have easy access to the same information and resources as their office-based colleagues, presented in a way that is optimised for their working environment and mobile devices. This includes relationship tracking, discovering prospects, client and customer history, purchase and order details, contacts and meeting reminders. Presentations and sales collateral should be made available in an easily accessible, mobile-friendly way to ensure a field sales employee has all the tools required to showcase their building products and supplies to a customer.

Furthermore it should also include the functionality to quickly and efficiently place orders and process the appropriate ‘paperwork’ to ensure a streamlined sales process. By doing this, organisations will provide their mobile sales team with the resources they require to properly maintain relationships and boost sales.

In order to realise this, merchants must ensure that field sales teams are no longer slaves to software, and instead, deliver an environment where the CRM works for and reports to them. This can be achieved by providing field sales representatives with fully automated reporting mechanisms, utilising voice-to-text technology and geo-location tracking, to ensure that the best possible data and information is automated into the system. This will empower field sales force teams with better knowledge throughout the sales process. By properly integrating the information accumulated by field sales and office sales teams, organisations achieve greater knowledge sharing across the business and optimise their processes.

In addition to this, construction suppliers should consider delivering additional functionality that will enable staff to excel and make the most of their time on the road. For instance, geo-location, which is integrated with meeting schedules, can help mobile sales staff identify other opportunities nearby, improving average account coverage, and saving time and travel costs. It also facilitates the capacity to flag clients on the routes that haven’t recently been contacted, and prompt reminders for meetings to ensure that all prospects are nurtured and that clients are looked after.

It’s clear that mobile CRM technology can equip field sales people with the right tools to help them improve results, maintain relationships with customers, and make the most efficient use of their time on the road.

In the final blog, I’ll explain how this technology also helps sales managers, giving them greater insight into the activity and performance of their sales staff.

Javier Peralta is UK country manager for ForceManager.