Field Sales Representatives are the most integral elements when talking about the sales growth of companies, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. It’s the sales reps who are responsible for product distribution on the ground and bringing in revenue. With the evolving technology of sales force automation has it easier to track and monitor sales teams for insights about their day-to-day activities during field visits.
Nothing comes for free! If you have been searching for a free field sales app and have got your hands on one, beware of the cost that you may have to pay just because you opted for a free product. These apps are now a necessity to cope up with the speed and efficiency of the sales processes, especially in the FMCG industry. Most sales leaders, know that a free or cheap product cannot render quality service to drive growth for their business.
Why Need Field Sales Application?
Consumer good companies have their sales teams on the field to deal with product sales and distribution over a vast geographical area, as a result, it becomes challenging for companies to get visibility on and manage large numbers of sales representatives working on the ground. Moreover, it was only after the development of the sales force automation technology that retail-oriented companies could automate their on ground sales operations and marketing in the following ways.
- Workflow Automation and GPS Tracking: A typical field sales automation app helps onboard new outlets, take orders, track and syncs location of field workers through geofencing and eliminates time-consuming manual tasks enabling the company and sales teams to focus more on improving sales without wasting their energy on data entry.
- Performance Tracking: New age SFA apps enable performance monitoring of the sales reps without breathing down their neck. Sales manager can track down attendance, activities and sales performance of their sales teams working in their territories.
- Learning Need Detecting and Training: Real-time analytics helps a company and sales managers to identify the learning requirements of sales representatives and help them to improve their sales behaviour to improve their sales performance.
- Aids marketing operations: It provides market insights based on activities performed by sales teams and prevents wrong targeting marketing campaigns which raises brands presence in the market and improves ROI.
- Market Expansion: It makes tapping into new territories easier and very convenient with its features like customer profiling. It also helps in route optimization to streamline market coverage.
While a good field sales app can perform the above-mentioned functions, it is not wise to expect the same from a free SFA app. Most ‘free’ sales apps just help you get the attendance of your sales reps without having many roles in your actual sales execution.
Free Vs Enterprise Field Sales App
Free app is a poor investment and a trap for those just beginning their sales transformation journey. The reason for using the term ‘poor investment’ is that although you are not paying a penny for purchasing a free sales app, it costs you in time and resources spent. On the other hand, an enterprise field sales automation app is an investment that adds actual value to your business. Let’s take a quick comparison to catch the main points of difference between free and enterprise field sales app.
1. Aligned GTM Execution:
An enterprise field sales application not only tracks sales reps but also aids them to align their actions with companies business goals. On the other hand, a free alternative only tracks and monitors ground activity and most companies fail to achieve their business goals due to a lack of aligned action to match the company GTM strategy.
2. Configurability & Support:
Enterprise SaaS platforms provide customer support that enables you to get a helping hand in case of any configurability or technical issues that may occur while using the field sales software. On the contrary, there is a huge doubt if you would receive any support for integrating or in case of technical issues with a free software.
3. Data Security:
Mostly free applications invest in cheap cloud servers, you cannot be sure if it is safe to share details on such a cloud. Therefore, you may save some bucks on-ground sales app by choosing a free version but it may lead you to great losses due to a breach of data security. In contrast, an enterprise field sales software ensures data security for their clients and also have several security features that eliminate various cyber vulnerabilities.
4. Functional Features:
A free field sales app has limited functional features take for eg. tracking or reporting while you can enjoy a multitude of business-specific features on enterprise-grade apps. Moreover, enterprise solutions always have the scope of scalability which may not be possible in the case of a free one. An enterprise field sales software application is equipped with multiple functional features that you cannot expect for a free version.
5. Role in the sales process:
A free app may help you digitize some sales tasks and enable attendance tracking of sales reps. However, it may aid the sales process in some ways, a free software solution fails to optimize your sales and marketing operations as a whole. On the other hand, an enterprise field sales app comes with multiple features such as order recommendation, route optimization, analytics, scorecard, gamification etc. that not only optimizes sales processes but also encourages employee engagement. Therefore, an enterprise SFA app empowers the company to boost sales and drive value.
The bottom line? Just as stated, you are trading in danger of data breach, lack of adequate support and obviously fewer aids to your sales team if you are opting for a free sales app. The promise of quality does not fit in with the term ‘free’. In order to avoid such disastrous outcomes for using free or cheap apps, you must rather invest in an enterprise apps to fetch returns through the efficiency and growth provided by the software.
Field sales application is one such solution built exclusively for enterprise consumer goods brands, it’s goal-driven approach ensures you achieve company level expectations from field teams on ground.