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Field Sales: How to Manage Your Outside Sales Force More Efficiently

Transform field sales with eLogii: Optimize routes, track performance, and conquer challenges. Elevate your team's success to new heights!

Sales reps cover a wide area. Their meetings could range from a quick 10-second doorbell ring to many hours spent with an entire organization’s board.

Then, they must drive to another call or meeting and plan for the next day.

In a different case, a dispatcher oversees an entire team of field sales representatives. This individual must handle all tasks and schedules for everyone on the team.

Managing field sales can be both exhausting and resource-intensive.

Is there a more efficient approach that addresses these challenges?

In this article, we will walk you through it, discussing the challenges you could be facing. We'll also provide the answers to help you manage your field sales more efficiently.

In this article, we'll cover the following topics:

What Is Field Sales?

Inside-field-sales-in-person-meetingInside Field Sales: In person meetings, relationship-based, custom deals

Field sales, or outside sales, means sending representatives to meet customers. During these visits, they should sell products or services in person.

Door-to-door sales are a subset of field sales. Yet, selling trinkets and vacuums in person is uncommon for outside salespeople nowadays. Instead, the focus is on B2B sales. New client onboarding, building long-term relationships, and account management also receive special attention.

Outside-field-sales-researchOutside Field Sales: Sales calls, research, lead generation, package deals, generate opportunities for outside sales

Sales professionals must invest time in establishing a connection with their potential clients. Then, over the long term, convince them to try their product or service.

What is the Role of a Field Sales Representative?

The specific responsibilities of a field sales representative vary. It changes based on the industry and company. Generally, the sales process begins with a list of potential leads. The representative should start relationships and sell to as many companies as possible. All the while using the provided list of company names, contact persons, and phone numbers.

Now, let's examine the primary responsibilities and duties of an outside sales professional:

1. Lead Tracking and Management

A field sales rep gathers, organizes, and tracks leads and prospects. They usually use a CRM system, but in outside sales, specialized pipeline tools are available.

2. Qualify Prospects

Before they organize lengthy meetings, reps are in charge of confirming certain things. They should verify if potential customers need and can afford the product/service. Qualification may involve research, phone calls, or a quick initial meeting arranged by a junior rep.

3. Make sales runs

After identifying a genuine sales opportunity, it's time to plan a sales strategy. Reps leave the office to pitch the company's offerings to local businesses or potential clients. These visits can be local or cover a larger territory, taking weeks to complete.

4. Follow-ups

When a prospect shows interest, the sales rep needs to act promptly. Follow-ups may occur over the phone or in person.

5. Account Management

After sealing a deal, the agent's responsibility includes scheduling regular meetings. It could be quarterly, biannually, or annually. That is done to maintain a healthy and productive client relationship.

Distinct Challenges Faced by Field Sales Representatives

Achieving key sales goals, such as qualifying new leads and securing deals, is a common focus across various sales areas. Yet, field sales introduce unique challenges for reps. They are required to meet with each prospect, adding an extra layer of complexity to the process.

The typical annual income for a field sales rep is $79,296. It is necessary to confront and overcome certain obstacles in order to meet or exceed this requirement. Read on to find out about these challenges:

1. Excessive Time Spent on Planning

Creating an effective plan might be difficult. It can be tricky whether you are in charge of covering a sales territory or have access to a lead list.

  • Where should you begin?
  • When are business owners likely to be available?
  • In what sequence should you visit your prospects?
  • How do you adapt if a meeting goes longer or shorter than expected?

There are many factors to take into account.

2. Covering a large area efficiently

B2B sales cycles often extend between 2 and 12 months. They demand many in-person visits for successful closure. It means we must efficiently cover a large area without wasting time or using too much fuel.

Traveling between cities, counties, and states to repeatedly visit a few companies can be costly. This is the so-called traveling salesman problem. Going back and forth without an efficient route is a simple way to waste time and gas.

3. Boosting Sales Meetings within Limitations

Closing more deals depends on having more sales meetings. It's not always easy to coordinate prioritized VIP account meetings with other planned client visits.

Factors to consider are the size of potential accounts, priorities, and time availability. Then there are also restrictions based on dates or days of the week to account for.

4. Searching Destinations Manually

Going through your sales leads list and manually checking routes and destinations in your Maps app on your smartphone isn't efficient.

This approach also comes with the potential for human error. You might enter the wrong address and end up wasting valuable time.

5. Long-Term Planning on the Go

Planning for the long term becomes difficult when your work doesn't limit you to an office. You must take into account varying traffic conditions to start with. Then, changing meeting times, and other dynamic factors specific to different times and areas.

Challenges Specific to Dispatchers and Managers in Field Sales


Despite technological advances, many significant industries continue to depend on outside sales. For instance, many of the medical sales agents were still field representatives. Yet, overseeing a team of salespeople constantly on the move poses its own set of challenges.

When assigning sales territories, you should consider the existing rapport and relationships. To schedule last-minute meetings, you must always know where your sales team is.

Let's delve deeper into the details of the challenges.

1. The challenges of assigning the appropriate representative to each meeting

Many businesses today prefer a blended approach to inside and outside sales. It allows them to build relationships and understand leads before attempting in-person closures.

Adhering to assigned sales territories may not always be the optimal strategy. It's essential to consider account customer history, sales representative expertise, etc.

2. Managing Sales Team Movements

In field sales, many significant modifications can occur last minute. It makes it crucial to track every member of your sales team consistently. Yet, without the appropriate tools, this becomes an impractical task.

3. Adapting to Last-Minute Changes Poses Challenges

Although you know your team's locations, coping with unexpected alterations can be difficult. Implementing significant adjustments to schedules manually becomes particularly difficult. For instance, if a salesperson calls in sick, the task of redistributing their appointments can take hours, or even days, to complete.

4. Absence of Performance Tracking

Is your sales team adhering to their schedules? Are they punctual for their meetings? How many sales meetings do they conduct weekly?

In a manual setup, you are dependent on sales representatives to self-report all these metrics.

What to Do?: Planning Your Routes for Sales Reps

Sales reps often cover many cities or even entire regions.

eLogii simplifies your planning. It finds better routes quickly and saves you time and money.

1. Maximizing Sales Meetings through Strategic Long-Term Planning

Efficient scheduling is essential for commission-based salespeople who wish to meet their sales goals. Securing as many meetings as possible without rushing through presentations or missing significant opportunities is the key.

Instead of waiting for your prospects to dictate the schedule, it's far more efficient. Alternatively, arrange meetings in advance with dates and times that suit your existing workload.

eLogii's weekly planning can to simplify your time management. It helps you devise long-term plans that take into consideration various aspects. These factors include date ranges, traffic conditions, your schedule, and the locations of your current appointments. In addition, time windows, types of meetings, account importance, and various other factors.

2. Plan your sales routes seven times faster

Just add your stops, and let eLogii optimize the route for your sales run automatically.

eLogii users see significant cuts in planning times for their sales and service runs.

For instance, Unimasters, an advanced supply chain management company, dramatically reduced their planning times with eLogii.

Even more so, with eLogii:

  • Mileage saw a significant monthly reduction
  • 76% increase in efficiency for the routes taken and making the most out of vehicle capacity
  • 50%+ reduction in planning time
  • Decreased the need for planning staff by centralizing operations across cities

For insights into Unimasters' route optimization and planning strategy, you read about their success story.

3. Save Time and Fuel Costs with eLogii

Use eLogii's intelligent routing tools to discover the quickest routes to visit your prospects.

Clients using eLogii have experienced big reductions in monthly mileage, resulting in potential fuel savings of up to 20%. Imagine being able to devote 20% less time on the road and divide that time to focus on sales instead.

4. Develop Efficient Schedules with eLogii

Craft optimized schedules that account for priorities and limitations effortlessly.

Effortlessly categorize and focus on VIP clients and high-value prospects with eLogii, considering time constraints.

Ensure clients remember your meetings. Use precise arrival time predictions and Real-time Order Tracking accompanied by notifications. There is no need to include unnecessary buffer time in your schedule.

5. Streamline Manual Tasks with the Mobile App

OptimoRoute's mobile app will seamlessly navigate you between clients. Even more so, there's no need to input locations or manually check meeting times.

How to Plan Routes for Dispatchers


For salespeople, there are additional advantages besides the time and money savings mentioned. These advantages are specific to dispatchers and managers.

1. Control which representative meets with which prospects

You can establish specific sales territories or service areas at the sales rep level. It allows you to dictate the orders or meetings they receive.

Additionally, it is possible to establish additional requirements for meeting assignments. For instance, let's say a representative has a good rapport with a specific client or a more fitting background for a VIP account. It allows you to override the location-based allocation.

2. See where all your reps are in real-time

With eLogii's live tracking feature, you can easily track the real-time locations of all your reps. Get live ETA reports to see if reps will be late for meetings, enabling you to address issues promptly.

Effortlessly adapt to last-minute changes like sudden meetings or cancellations. Once you adjust them manually, eLogii recalculates routes and schedules for all reps. That saves you from extensive manual changes or many reminder calls.

3. Effortlessly Adjust Schedules

Effortlessly adapt to last-minute changes like sudden meetings or cancellations.

Once you adjust the settings manually, eLogii recalculates routes and schedules for all reps. This saves you from extensive manual changes or many reminder calls.

4. Performance insights with analytics

eLogii gives you the ability to track driver/agent performance. This feature lets you track key metrics such as delivery times, route efficiency, and customer satisfaction. This tracking empowers you to make informed decisions and optimize operations for enhanced productivity.


Efficiently Manage Your Field Sales Force with Smarter Tools

A large portion of your sales team's working hours will occur outside of the office when they make up more than half of their sales force. To effectively manage field sales, it's crucial to depend on a robust combination of software tools. That is particularly true in remote sales scenarios.

1. Optimize time and fuel usage with sales route planners

Leverage sales route planning to streamline the navigation of your field representatives through their sales territories. This enables them to cut time spent in transit and maximize in-person interactions with potential customers.

eLogii helps you save time planning client visits with optimized routes. This not only reduces time and fuel usage but also allows your reps to attend more sales meetings.

Recommended sales route planning tool:


Further reading: The Benefits of Utilizing Route Optimization Software.

2. Use CRM solutions for customer relationship tracking

A must for large field sales teams is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. It offers vital context for agents on prospects and accounts. This enables tailored sales approaches to meet each customer's specific needs.

Top CRM tools to consider:

3. Discover extra leads using prospecting tools

To secure meetings with businesses in your sales territory, leveraging a prospecting tool is crucial.

Recommended prospecting tools:

4. Manage tasks efficiently with task management and collaboration apps

To collaborate efficiently while on the road, your sales team should use task management or team collaboration solutions they are familiar with.

Recommended project management and collaboration tools:

5. Predict revenue using sales forecasting tools

These tools enable you to assess your sales pipeline's progress. They allow accurate predictions for monthly, quarterly, and annual sales volume.

Recommended sales forecasting tools:


Field sales is a complex industry. Planning, scheduling, and management can become challenging without the appropriate tools.

Leaving each representative to operate independently results in a loss of work hours. It also means increased travel and a potential loss of customers. Instead, it's best to use a mix of effective processes and intelligent tools. effective processes and intelligent tools. These will help you optimize the sales capacity of every representative.


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