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DSD Assist is Revolutionising Field Sales with Digital Tools

Field sales and inside sales have long occupied distinguished realms within the sales landscape. Traditionally, field sales involved face-to-face interactions with clients, while inside sales focused on remote communication via phone and web for simpler tasks like lead generation and renewals.

However, in today's digital era, a significant shift is occurring as field sales begins to embrace the tools and methodologies of inside sales, and vice versa. This transformation necessitates a reevaluation of how companies structure, support, manage, and incentivise their sales teams.

The convergence of field and inside sales is being propelled by the digital revolution in three interconnected ways:

  • The rise of freemium and subscription-based sales models encourages customers to purchase through digital and inside sales channels rather than engaging expensive field sales personnel.

  • Advancements in digital communication tools have made remote interactions more seamless and efficient. Both customers and salespeople, whether in the field or inside, increasingly rely on email, live video, online platforms, and websites for information exchange, evaluation, and completing transactions.

  • The growing prominence of data and analytics is shaping decision-making processes for sales teams across both field and inside sales functions.

Impact on Field Sales

A significant portion of field sales interactions now occur remotely, with many serving purposes such as prospecting or follow-ups on in-person discussions. Software demonstrations, for instance, are increasingly conducted online rather than at the customer's premises, facilitating participation from multiple locations and expertise from around the world.

Live video interactions between customers and field salespeople are on the rise, particularly preferred by knowledgeable customers. Virtual meetings enhance efficiency while maintaining effectiveness, allowing field sales to operate at a lower cost.

Impact on Inside Sales

Inside sales has expanded its role to cater to larger clients with complex needs. Sales representatives previously tasked with simple functions like lead generation now engage in more sophisticated activities such as assessing needs, crafting solutions, and closing deals.

At certain companies, the inside sales role has evolved into a hybrid inside/field position as product offerings become more intricate. Although most sales still occur via phone and web, visits to customers are made when necessary due to the complexity of the situation or the potential opportunity size.

Enhancements in technology and the increasing digital proficiency of both customers and sales teams have bolstered the effectiveness of inside sales, driving more sales while maintaining efficiency.

Implications for Sales Management

Sales managers must adapt to these changes by enabling field sales to leverage digital tools while empowering inside sales to tackle more complex challenges. Key considerations include:

  1. Flexible sales structures: Companies are adjusting their sales organisations to accommodate evolving customer preferences. This includes redistributing sales responsibilities between field and inside sales teams, as well as incorporating digital self-service channels. Structures are becoming more fluid to provide customers with options based on their knowledge level and needs complexity.

  2. New enablers of sales activity: Field sales teams are increasingly utilising data-driven tools, such as suggestion engines and digital assistants, to enhance customer interactions. These tools, previously typical of inside sales, are now becoming essential for field sales as well. Integration of customer data across sales, inside sales, and marketing functions is breaking down silos, enabling more personalised and effective engagement.

  3. Changing sales talent: Field sales personnel must adapt to the digital age by honing data-driven insights and virtual communication skills alongside traditional interpersonal abilities. Similarly, inside sales representatives need to develop problem-solving skills to navigate complex business issues with clients. Sales force recruitment and training strategies should align with these evolving requirements.

DSD Assist is at the forefront of revolutionising field sales through the integration of digital tools and methodologies. By embracing these changes, companies can enhance their sales effectiveness, meet evolving customer demands, and drive sustainable growth in today's dynamic market landscape.

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