What is Field Sales: Strategies, Tips & Managing a Sales Team

August 24, 2023
6 minutes to read
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You’ve probably heard the term field sales before, but what does it really mean? Nowadays, several companies have shifted to an inside sales model. However, that doesn’t mean that field sales is an ineffective strategy. In fact, there’s a strong argument that outside sales professionals are more effective than those that work inside. Here’s everything you need to know about field sales and how to use the sales process to produce a successful field sales team.

What is Field Sales?

Field sales is also commonly known as outside sales. It is a sales process where a salesperson sells products and services by physically going out into the field to meet prospective customers face-to-face. This can include going door-to-door, business-to-business, or scheduled meetings.

Why is it Important?

Although many sales teams transitioned to insides sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, field sales still make up the majority of the national sales force. There are many benefits and advantages to keeping your sales team out in the field. These benefits include:

1. Higher Close Rate

Outside sales representatives (OSRs) average a closing rate of 40%. That is a lot more compared to inside sales representatives who average a closing rate of 18%. OSRs also hit their quota 10% more than if they worked in inside sales. Field sales professionals also make more money than their inside counterparts. From a business perspective, field sales is much more effective. According to HubSpot, field sales teams make 25% more calls and send more than 50% more emails.

2. Better Customer Relations

Meeting prospects and customers in person is a more effective way to build strong and lasting relationships with customers. That face-to-face interaction is often crucial to building trust and authority with a prospect. This also helps with customer retention.

Difference Between Field Sales and Inside Sales

The difference between field sales and inside sales is simple. Field sales representatives go out into the field to sell face-to-face and in person, while inside sales representatives do all their selling virtually using the phone, the computer, and video calls. Field sales professionals still rely on technology. They just don’t typically use it to meet with prospects and customers.

6 Strategies to Manage a Field Sales Team

A successful field sales team starts with an established plan in place. Building your team will take continued time and effort but always pays off in the long run. Whether your sales representatives work remotely or in-office, you need to have a set strategy in place to provide the support they need to succeed.

1. Know Who You Need to Hire and Why

It’s always important to hire the right person for any job. The first place to start is to know exactly what you expect from the position. Make sure you have a strong understanding of what your team needs and the kind of person who would fill the position and succeed in it. Skills can often be trained but attitude and work ethic cannot.

You’ll want to find people who not only have the experience you need but also fit into your company culture. Hire someone who is excited to work for your business and excel in the role. We often find that in sales someone enthusiastic and eager to learn can be better than someone who checks all the boxes on paper.

2. Establish Clear Communication

Every good manager knows how to properly communicate with their employees. Always keep the lines of communication open. Be sure to make your sales reps feel comfortable coming to you with anything whether it be a problem, concern, idea, or accomplishment. As a manager, always be clear about what you mean. At the end of the day, it’s better to over-communicate than to create confusion. Confused employees can quickly become disgruntled because they aren’t properly informed and can lose confidence in their leadership.

3. Give Constant Feedback

Going off of communication, make sure to provide your field sales team with both positive and constructive feedback. Tell them what they are doing right and tell them what they can improve upon. Provide them with ways they can better their skills. You should also ask your team for feedback. That way, you can learn what their pain points are, what you are doing well as a leader, and ideas they may have come up with out in the field.

4. Continue to Train and Develop Your Sales Professionals

In the long run, developing and supporting your employees increases productivity, brings in more revenue, and creates loyalty that makes them want to succeed for the company. When sales representatives feel supported in their work, they are more likely to hit their quotas and stay within the company.

5. Utilization of Project Management Tools

Tracking KPIs is vital for any sales team. Without it, you can’t really know how your team is performing. That’s why investing in a good project management tool can be a game changer for your team. When choosing a program, find out what’s important to you. Consider factors like user-friendliness, price, ability to customize, whether it will work out in the field, etc. Once you have a tool you’re happy with, use that data in all aspects of your sales process.

6. Celebrate Success and Reward Good Work

Let you team know when they are doing well. It could be something as simple as sharing success stories or positive reviews in team meetings. However, employees always like to see financial compensation for hitting quota and doing it continuously. Rewarding your employees when they hit their goals will motivate them and others to do the same.

4 Tips for Building a Field Sales Strategy

A successful sales team starts with a successful strategy in place. Understanding your customers, your data, and what your business needs are all vital factors to consider when building your field sales strategy.

1. Set the Right Field Sales Goal

There’s no doubt your field sales team will be tracking KPIs. However, you don’t want them wasting their time tracking things that aren’t relevant. Figure out what’s important for your business, your customers, and your employees. From there, you should be able to narrow down what pieces of data you want to be tracking.

2. Automate Tasks

Use your CRM and project management tools to automate as much of the sales process as possible. This will make everyone’s job easier and streamline the process. For example, having a system that tracks how many calls a rep makes and how many emails they send and inputs that data in a way that’s easy to digest will save a lot of time.

3. Master Your Territory

Before you can sell to a market, you need to have a strong understanding of it. Be sure to understand your customer and how the territory they are in could impact your sales process. This is important to keep in mind when hiring too. Someone who is well-connected in a community can be more valuable than someone with more experience on paper.

4. Find Out Your Customer’s Pain Points

As we’ve mentioned, understanding your customer is important. Part of that is understanding their pain points. This includes both problems that your product and service can solve and pain points that can occur during the sales process. Understanding the former will make it easier to sell your solution. Figuring out the latter gives you a chance to fix any problems or quirks you may have in your sales cycle. Making these kinds of improvements will help your team close deals in the long run.

How You Can Boost Sales Productivity and Performance

Smaller businesses and those that don’t yet have a sales department or process in place can benefit from outsourcing their field sales to another company. Sales outsourcing saves businesses time and money. Here at Sales Focus Inc., we’ve worked with companies of all sizes in all industries across the globe. We become your sales department while you focus on the parts of your business that you do best. That includes recruiting, hiring, training, and managing your entire field sales team. We guarantee to launch your customized sales team in 45 days or less.

To find out how we can build a team of sales hunters for your business, contact us today or call us at (866) 840-8305.