Does this happen to you?

 

Our firm performs hundreds of field days each month.  Strategic, inside, commercial, pre-sales, post-sale: You name the title of the rep and we probably have been on a field ride with them. And in our research we found 78% of those Sales Manager field days only see one customer (or less!).  (This is truly unbelievable and a big waste of time)

 

As a Sales Manager, this is your chance to spend time with your sales rep.  A Sales Manager’s number of direct reports now average over 9.8 per sales rep.  With almost 10 direct sales rep reports, spending the valuable coaching and developing time is at a premium.  Our benchmarking indicates those sales reps that get their Sales Manager to spend 3+ days per month average 107% of quota (this is over 10,000 sales reps!).  When a Sales Manager gets to spend the day with their sale reps on a field day, it better be awesome! Chock full of quality customer appointments, perfect time management and no lunch (because you are too busy seeing prospects and customers). Chances are that Sales Manager won’t get a chance to have a field ride again with that rep for 3-4 weeks.

 

So then WHY do 78% of all field days FAIL?

 

Three ways to make a Field Day Successful:

 

1.  Have a Field Day Process.  You have a sales process?  A commission policy? A recruiting system? You have all these processes because they work. It provides consistency, sets expectations and drives the quality of sales calls which enables you to coach and develop your people.  You need a process. So, Set one up like the one below and communicate it to your reps. Sales Force Effectiveness

 

2.  Know thy Fundamentals.  Everything has fundamentals.  Even the Field Day.  Stick to these basic Fundamentals and watch your interactions dramatically increase.  Why?  You are worrying about what you forgot to do, ask or see:

 

a.  Check the intangibles– does the rep have paperwork, marketing slicks, etc.?

 

b.  Is the Rep following the Sales Process?

 

c.  More Travel Time than in front of prospect?

 

d.  Has the Rep planned their territory?

 

e.  Does the Rep know the territory?

 

f.  Does the Rep use proper time management?

 

g.  Does the Rep update the CRM?

 

 

 

3.  Document Everything.  Can you remember the details of every call you make that day?  (Well, if you only make one you can).  Write down what your reps did well. Record what they need to improve.  Give them 3 action items to complete before your next field ride or one on one.  Type it, put in it the CRM, or scribble it on a bar napkin…..but write it down.  Watch the improvement quickly. But follow up on those action items or it doesn’t mean anything.

 

3.25  Spend the whole day with the rep.  This is a quarter point only because of travel, logistics, pressures from other team members etc.  But spending the whole day together allows you to see what goes on IN BETWEEN the sales calls.  Poor time management is the leading cause of sale rep failure.

 

 

Cherish these days.   Make them count. The field day is one of only two chances (other than the one on one) a sales manager gets to coach and develop their reps.  Coaching and developing your reps makes you successful.  The field day makes your rep successful.  And it indicates you are great sales manager. Not an average one.  Who wants to be average?

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.

Dan approaches the idea of making your number from a unique perspective. Like many SBI leaders, he has walked a mile in your shoes. He comes from the industry side and has had to make his number to be successful. Perhaps this is why it’s wise to rely on SBI’s evidence-based methodologies. Though SBI is certainly an execution-based firm, Dan only implements strategies and solutions for his clients after they have been verified with before-and-after data. This leads to adoption of sales programs in the field, rather than shelf-ware.

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