Time to confess: is this your sales rep?
Put down your coffee, take your hand off your laptop. Picture your sales rep, right now. He or she has just arrived at a customer site. He has this season’s product catalogue and some tangible samples to present and the retailer has agreed to give them some time today. It’s the ideal scenario for a profitable sales call, right? Maybe.
This could be right, however the rep has some serious hurdles to overcome at this stage. Firstly, does the rep know what the account status is? Is the account overdue or on hold? How can the rep ascertain this information? Did they receive their last order in full? He attempts to call head office… there’s no one available to take the call and check the system for him. He could send an email to head office… there’s no internet connection available, the email fails. He continues, undeterred, starting the sales call totally blind.
“I’d like to order the same as I did last time, please,” the buyer exclaims.
“Certainly,” replies the rep, fishing out a faded order form, subject to 6 weeks travel in the back of his car. How professional.
The reps starts a new order and begins to copy over the items to the form. The customer looks bored, the rep senses this and agrees to write it out later today after this call, in a bid to not irritate the buyer. He draws out a few samples from a new collection and begins his spiel. The pages for this new collection in the catalogue have been printed just this week and slotted into the catalogue. Oh, and the marketing department used different paper this time but the rep hopes the buyer won’t notice this.
“We could potentially be interested in this collection, as we have some extra in the budget” the buyer suggests, “but for now, have you got some information you could leave with me to go through with the business owner?”
“I’ve actually run out of the printed PDFs head office gave me, it’s been such a popular concept. I can arrange to have one posted to you from head office,” he says scrawling a reminder on the back of his hand – very slick.
Meanwhile, your rep starts to paw over copies of previous orders to try and identify any items that the customer has stopped ordering to try and kick start some re-stocking of certain items. It’s difficult to concentrate as the buyer is rapping his knuckles on the table and obviously pushing to end the call. Your rep loses his nerve and asks if there is anything else he can help the customer with today.
“That’s all thanks,” he smiles, somewhat pleased he can get back to his untidy stock room.
“I’ll pop a copy of this order in with the new collection PDF that we post you. See you in about 5 weeks.”
Still with me? Is this your sales rep?
Four days later, the buyer receives an A4 envelope in the post with his order confirmation and the printed PDF from your company. He files the confirmation and drops the PDF in the shredder as he walks past it. Turns out, one of your competitors had dropped in an hour after your rep and emailed a copy of their marketing material to the customer that day from his iPad sales app. Their marketing department had just updated their digital iPad based catalogue in line with their branding and the rep was able to close the buyer with all the right materials to hand. Your customer decided to allocate some of their budget to your competitors’ products.
Of course, if your sales team already relies on iPad ordering, using a totally up to date digital and interactive catalogue, with offline access to account status, customer specific pricing, and stock levels, there’s nothing more to see here and you can move along.
Ask yourself, does your rep know, on the spot, whether an account is on hold or not? If you’re suitably frustrated with the amount of blind sales calls your reps will be doing today, why don’t you arrange a short conversation with us to see if we can help?
For more information on how PixSell iPad ordering can transform your field sales team and increase order value and reduce order turnaround time, contact Aspin on 01794 500 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.