Why Field Organizations Need Software In Visit Scheduling

March 9, 2015

Client_visit_start-redSince many field organizations function as a mobile workforce, communication about client visits between managers and reps can be lost in translation. The misunderstanding that can happen with a mobile workforce leads to rushed visits, inconsistent visits and even lost visits.The distinctly mobile character of field organizations demands that scheduling be a streamlined process. Here’s a few key benefits to optimized scheduling through the use of a software solution:


1. Track Visit Completions


Managers of field teams that schedule visits through email or texts (or a combination) may find that reps receive the message too late or misunderstand the message. That means visits can be missed altogether, and in many cases the manager doesn’t know until days later, making it impossible to send a replacement and requiring them to alter their schedule when they do find out. Managers that face these issues should consider a Field Activity Management software solution which allows them to schedule each visit themselves, and have reps check them off as they perform visits updating them in real time as “planned, completed, or missed.” That way, at any given time, managers will be able to see missed appointments as they happen in real time, giving them the chance to send in a replacement.


2. Admin Relief


A study done by Growth Solutions LLC found that managers spend 21 percent more of their day on administrative activities (or non-core activities) than desired. Depending on the size of your organization, scheduling client visits may or may not be considered a “core activity,” or a main focus of daily operations. For organizations with a small number of reps, scheduling may be a critical activity for management, but as a workforce grows it can become a daunting task for managers to effectively schedule all reps. No matter which situation is applicable, it is important to seek out a Field Activity Management software solution that allows the permission of scheduling to be passed back and forth between managers and reps. That way, if the activity needs to be taken over by reps themselves, the option is available. This sort of flexible access will also allow managers to both have control over scheduling and loosen the reigns when it becomes too cumbersome.


3. Analyze Visit Data


Another key advantage of optimized scheduling is the freedom to analyze visit data after the fact. The majority of visits reps will make will be scheduled with current or prospective clients, yet that is not always the case. Paul W. Marks sales veteran Noel Bielawa says that when he is on the road, there are times when he notices a new shop that could be a potential client. If he has time, he will stop by and introduce his company and products. With a Field Activity Management software solution, field reps can record these types of events, and in hindsight managers can see which of those cold calls resulted in new clients. This close analysis of visits will give managers more informed insights into the activities of field reps. In a mobile workforce, having a scheduling tool that tracks visit completions, lifts administrative stress, and allows for closer analysis is invaluable.

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