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Traditionally the role of the Sales Rep was one of being out on the road for 4 out of the 5 days in a week – calling on customers, meeting prospects and representing their companies to drive business and be the face of your organisation. In times gone by, your customers were satisfied with this business model with the Rep providing the bridge back to your company and being a conduit for information and queries regarding product, pricing, orders etc.

Today of course the world has changed, your customers have grown in sophistication through investment in systems that provide a wealth of data on their business demands, your and your competitors products….and like many of you have invested in technology to provide rich information to their people.

So with all of this, what has happened with our Reps ….. how have they kept pace with the demand of customers and the need to drive revenue? Unfortunately in many cases the role of the Rep has been challenged with customers having the knowledge whilst the Rep feels exposed. In some cases Reps have retreated from the field and are spending increasing amounts of the week in the safety of the office where they have access to information rather than in front of decision makers.

Now whilst some organisations make think this is just a structural change to the way we do business that is being accelerated by technology, I have a different point of view. In fact I see this is either a massive challenge to business or a massive opportunity for those who get it right!

So just quickly on the challenge side – if your Reps are in the office then someone else, perhaps your competitor is calling on your customers, servicing their needs and creating relationships that have the potential to threaten your business.

On the opportunity side, and this is the prize, if you have invested in a backend system like PRONTO ERP, you have an opportunity of extending the information that your Reps have at their fingertips by arming them with a Mobile Sales application like Commerce Vision’s Mobile Sales.

With the immediacy of switching on a tablet or smartphone, Reps can have rich information about their customers on hand. Information like account, and order status and tracking, pricing and availability for products, sales history – both what the customer is buying and what they are not fully integrated back to your PRONTO system.

The feedback that we have got from speaking to our customers who have invested in Mobile Sales is that their Reps have;

  • Increased efficiency – they are seeing more customers as they are able to stay in the field.
  • Increased confidence – they have core customer data at their fingertips and are able to confidently speak to their customers about their business across purchases, products, pricing, orders etc
  • Increased sales – with the ability to take an order and process it whilst in front of the customer and reducing the competitions ability to undermine your supply.
  • Reduced load – on your customer service desk. Reps now have the information and don’t need to continually ring the office to check on availability, price, backorders etc.

So what are your thoughts? Will your Reps go the way of the dinosaurs or do you see them a vital part of your channel to market? I think that as one of the oldest professions the role of the Sales person is here to stay …..the tools that we need to provide them to service customers and drive  businesses have changed…but there again I just might be a little biased!


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