Today’s post is by John Stewart, CEO of MapAnything. Get a complimentary copy of MapAnything’s eBook, 2017 State of Field Sales Survey: Reaching State of the Art Performance for Field Sales Organizations.
In a world where reducing customer defection by just 5 percent can increase profit from 25 to 80 percent (Salesforce State of Sales Report, 2016), anticipating your customers’ need is not only good business, it is essential to your bottom line.
Geo-productivity software, which is available on mobile devices and online, combines predictive analytics, data, and map-based route planning to help you do just that – in new and interesting ways. Here are three examples of how GPS can vastly improve your ability to prioritize and visit customers at the exact time they are most likely to buy – while optimizing prospecting activities each time you’re in the field.
Breakthrough #1: Predictive analytics and IoT can enable need-based selling.
Now, virtually everything that can be sold can also be connected to the cloud through sensors – also known as the “Internet of Things (IoT)” or “smart devices.” Collected data from every product, device, sensor, Website, and customer interaction is now captured in CRM in real time through these devices.
This is a powerful new dynamic for sales professionals. As your customers use your product or engage with your company online, sensors track activity and predictive analytics identify selling opportunities. Using this information, you can anticipate the right time to contact customers for the next sale.
Geo-productivity software helps by automating this process. For example, when a customer has used all the seats available in his or her software subscription – or a renewal date is coming up – CRM can alert you so you can contact the customer for renewal or upsell. If you sell a consumable good, CRM can alert you when the customer is down to the last 10 percent of your product, indicating it’s an optimal time to contact them for a new order. IoT devices built into equipment or fleet vehicles can track maintenance requirements and end-of-life of a product, letting you know when it’s time to schedule a maintenance or sales call.
As more and more data is collected about the rate at which your customer uses your product, predictive analytics can predict when your customer is “likely” to need more of what you sell – not only this time, but next time and the time after that. This gives you a better understanding of not only what you can sell this quarter, but it indicates future pipeline as well. Finally, you can build customer loyalty as you are able to better anticipate and meet the needs of your customer.
Breakthrough #2: Geo-productivity software links customer need to optimal route planning.
Everyone knows the ideal time to sell is when the customer needs the product you offer. Now that you have prioritized customers by need, you can prioritize your field sales visits by optimal route planning using geo-productivity software. For many products, a meeting is the most effective driver of business – face-to-face sales calls build trust between buyer and seller, offer an opportunity to show products first hand, and allow you to build personal rapport with your customers and prospects. However, field sales can be inefficient.
The answer is properly planning all field sales activities and executing to that plan. Geo-productivity software leverages CRM data to prioritize customers’ visits and then provides optimal route planning within a geographic area. Now you can plan a day of sales visits prioritized by customer need, travel time, and geography.
Geo-productivity software calculates the optimal meeting schedule, route, estimated time of arrival based on traffic and weather, and all customer data contained in CRM. It also enables CRM updates on the go. Using GPS, you are able to plan, schedule, and execute more productive days in the field.
Breakthrough #3: Conduct geo-prospecting via geo-productivity software.
Geo-productivity software is not only effective for scheduling visits with existing customers; it is ideal for identifying new prospects. Geo-productivity software uses data to reveal the location of prospects who meet sales criteria within a specific geography. Using this information, each trip into the field can be scheduled with the right customer meetings and augmented with visits to prospects within the same geographic area. Adding two or three prospect visits helps you expand your base, cultivate pipeline, and increase productivity each time you’re in the field.
Geo-productivity software leverages CRM data, predictive analytics, optimal route planning, and prospecting data to prioritize field sales activities and optimize each hour in the field and each mile driven. It enables need-based selling, simplifies face-to-face prospecting, and reduces wasted time behind the windshield. This type of technology-assisted selling is rapidly separating high-performing sales reps from the rest of the pack.