Sales is an umbrella term that encapsulates multiple different tactics for selling. Two popular forms of sales representatives are those who make sales over the phone and virtual web demos (inside sales), and those who sell through client visits (outside sales). Though these sales strategies have the same ultimate goal, they each require a different set of tools and personal skills.
It may not necessarily seem this way, but field sales reps differ greatly from in-office sales reps in both day to day tasks and mindsets. In-office reps are able to develop a much stronger sense of routine, where field reps largely dictate their own schedule. Motivation is key for any job. However, being self motivated is a more essential characteristic for field sales reps than it is for other sales professionals.
Why Remote Work Is Different
Inside sales reps report to the same office everyday and tend to work nine to five while surrounded by their peers and managers. This is a very structured, competitive environment - in a good way. Being surrounded by their peers motivates reps to keep up with one another and push each other to make more sales. There is a team camaraderie that exists which makes reps want to succeed to further their team. In a field based organization these things do not exist - at least not in the same way.
Field reps have no office to report to in the morning and are responsible for making their own schedules. Depending on how many reps are working in one territory, they could have few co-workers they encounter/know of, or none. In an office, if a rep came in late, or not at all, the manager would surely notice. In the field this is not always the case. That is why self motivation is so integral to successful field representatives. In many instances, field reps are challenging themselves to fit in more client meetings than the day before or fill more orders than last time - as they can’t compare themselves to the co-worker at the desk over.
This kind of self motivation is not common in all employees and it something that differentiates field reps from their other sales counterparts. It is something that should be tracked and rewarded, or, if there is a lack of motivation apparent, tracked and addressed. A solution that logs all of the daily measures a field rep takes to enhance their customer relations will benefit the rep and the manager. For this to work properly, the solution must show when a rep arrived at a location, how many locations they visit a day, and what their sales are at each one. If the lack of a present supervisor is being taken advantage of, it will be apparent in the information provided by the software solution. Then the manager can determine if the rep is really suited to field work, or if he or she may benefit the company more elsewhere.
Conversely, the tool will also show when a field rep is thriving despite the lack of supervision or team culture. The individuals who push themselves regardless of what environment they are in should be rewarded and considered real assets to the company. Knowing when employees are doing great work and rewarding them accordingly will create a sense of loyalty to the company for those who work remotely and will promote employee retention. Hardworking field reps will appreciate a detailed record of their movements, as their commitment to the company and their clients will be visible to their manager.
Salespeople are naturally competitive. Companies often harness this competitive spirit to motivate sales through in-office competitions and games. Field reps are a special breed of competitors who, lacking consistent peers, challenge and motivate themselves to do better. This is necessary behavior that should be tracked and rewarded. This will give managers peace of mind and give field reps the ability to showcase their hard work despite not reporting to an office or manager daily. If you want pointers on how to seek out and hire these kinds of self motivated employees, check out what HubSpot has to say.
Amanda McGuinness is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. A social media expert and avid writer, she believes in creating fresh, creative content to build brand awareness.