CPG Tools & Tech, Field Marketing, Technology

How to Maximize Activity Management Software (In Every Field)

According to Buyerzone’s 2013 market report, 91% of companies mobilizing more than 11 employees use activity management software. Obviously, not all of these companies do the same jobs -- all of them need activity management for different reasons. If you’re wondering if your company can benefit from activity management software, I’m here to tell you that it can! If you’re wondering how your company can benefit from using a form of CRM software, this post is for you.

In this article, activity management software acts as a necessary component to a well-functioning consumer relationship management (CRM) software. Although plenty of CRM programs don’t incorporate activity management, it’s a great way to streamline almost every brand-related day-to-day task.

 

If you're in sales... 

 

Time is definitely at a premium. CRM software can help to establish friendly competition within your business and between reps as they monitor their check in and out times throughout the day. If a certain rep touches down in more locations during a day than the rest of this team, an easily accessible social media tool can help them to stand out from the rest by recording this data and making it available for the team to see.

The same GPS programming can hold reps to a higher level of accountability on an individual basis. If a manager is able to visualize one rep’s daily destinations through an activity management system, they can orchestrate the most efficient route in order to maximize daily productivity.

All of the progress made by your reps can be reported in a more intuitive way with an intuitive form of mobile processing. It becomes much easier to report on sales with graphs that come directly from the data in forms submitted by your field reps. Zevia, the disruptive zero-calorie soft-drink brand, uses mobile CRM software to maximize efficiency in this way. Ever since they incorporated this data into their regular practice, the Zevia team has removed the need for the daunting prospect of “office day” on a weekly basis. Before their adoption of activity management software, the Zevia team transferred handwritten notes into more than 30 Excel trackers on a weekly basis. Now, territory representatives are able to log data about things like the decision makers at each store and any new SKUs sold. This data is automatically synced and can be accessed by the team members in the Zevia back office. Less time filing paperwork and more time sharing Zevia with new customers sounds pretty sweet to us.

 

 

If you perform services or inspections... 

 

Your customers depend on the consistency of your performance. If one team member performs an inspection on a particular system and another team member has to come back a year later for maintenance, you’ll need to know what was fixed and what went wrong. Having an understanding of the previous services your team has done in that location will help the next team member that comes through know what has already been tried, and to make sure that everyone interacting with the system is operating at the same high level.

Activity management software, when used in this way, will set a high standard for your team and enforce uniformity across the board. Once a data collection tool is implemented, monitor progress by analyzing data from a customizable form used at each location for a particular service to maximize efficiency.

 

If you're in merchandising...

 

You’re thinking about countless displays at any given moment. It’s not easy for merchandising reps to record every important detail while on a store visit, especially if they’re tasked with manually copying the information later into various software programs. As tedious as it may be, recording the relative success of certain displays as well as any inconsistencies that may be present are necessary in order to help predict what customers will respond to.

This is where mobile CRM software comes in. If you’re struggling to relay what you’re seeing at a retailer to the management team, you’re probably not being as specific and accurate as you could be. Activity management software allows field reps to record inconsistencies in in-store displays with features like customizable forms, and remain standardized across the entire team. Because mobile CRMs can clue the management team in on everything reps are seeing in the field, instantaneously, the presence of field activity management software will cut back on emails sent, minimize the time spent filling out paperwork in the car, and increase the time actually devoted to visiting more stores and talking to more retail managers.

Merchandisers at the (now completely vegan!) trendy cosmetics company, Milk Makeup, benefited from this increased efficiency when they started out with a mobile CRM. Before adopting field team software, Milk used manual written reports; making the switch freed up hours of admin time every week. Milk merchandisers estimate that, by sending streamlined weekly reports each week, reporting data is 800% faster than it was prior to the switch pushing the company to continue on their path to grow 50% in the next year. It seems like they’re already off to a pretty good start.

 

If you're an insurance adjuster...

 

Travel efficiency is the name of the game. With a mobile app to link your phone back to the management team, generate more efficient travel routes with the locations you’ll need to visit in a given day and cut back on the time you’ll spend sitting in a parking lot figuring out where to drive next.

As you travel to each new location to inspect damage, information from each job can be efficiently sent back to home base for official appraisal using a form including photos and a signature. If every rep knows what to look for because it’s dictated in a form created by management, no one will miss important details that need to be reported.

 

If you run loads of events...

 

You probably end each day thinking about everyone that you talked to, and sometimes you might be left wishing you wrote down more information about that especially promising future client. Apps capable of efficient data collection are invaluable during events because they can help to keep accurate records of conversations you had and the amount of samples handed out throughout your day.

You can analyze event-centric data when it’s collected in an efficient manner to help predict the success of similar future events. More info into the system during event time means better events later; that’s hard to beat.

 

 

The hype that generated this tweet is pretty much the goal of running field events. Reps at Barnana, the innovative organic and sustainable banana snack brand, use their activity management software to help events to run more smoothly and make info gathering after events a whole lot easier.

Demo recaps, submitted after every field event, deliver the numbers relating to how many shoppers were reached, how many units were sold (along with the best-selling flavors), and which reps snagged a secondary placement during their demo time straight to management. This data can be accessed and compiled in a matter of minutes, and makes running events easier because there is a quicker turnaround. When reps can hear about the things they rocked and struggled with during an event right after it ends, they’ll be more likely to make actionable changes for the next time. 

 

If you're in retail store management...

 

You definitely know the value of consistency between stores, but it's probably tricky to ensure that all store locations are properly maintaining every new display. Implementing an activity management system is a strategy that’ll hold retailers to a higher standard. When a team is setting up a new display for a retail location in NYC, with activity management software they’ll be able to shoot a picture of their creation and submit it for review by management with the click of a button. If management notices that the NYC display isn’t quite up to snuff, they’ll be able to reach out and provide suggestions.

If a standard can be created, for example in an LA location that goes above and beyond to maintain a display, management can use this type of an activity management system to make sure that this display is replicated by retailers across the board.  

When contact is maintained between retailers and their remote management teams, there’s a new level of motivation to keep performing at a high standard.

 

By this point, I’m sure you’ve caught onto the theme: the benefits of activity management software aren’t limited to just one type of brand. An activity management system will streamline everything from events to audits to everyday sales reports, and chances are your reps will benefit from the added organization just as much as the management team. Even though the specifics look different for every business, as your brand implements activity management software you’ll need to spend less time on tedious paperwork and have the chance to spend more of that time growing. Activity management software will keep you living the dream.

 

Sara Mack

Sara is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly and is excited to help brands grow. Sara is studying Public Relations and Environmental Analysis and Policy at Boston University, which basically just means she could talk about climate change and plant-based recipes all day long. She is passionate about lions, the clarinet, and her Mickey Mouse slow cooker.

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