The value of tracking field sales reps with GPS check-ins

Posted in Sales team management.

Onsight has added a new feature, GPS check-ins, that allows field sales reps to check in at customer locations. Viewing the check-ins and movements of sales reps on a map has many advantages, some of which include:

More reliable reimbursements

If your field sales reps use their own vehicles and subsequently have to report on their gas and mileage usage, GPS tracking can ensure better accuracy. With traditional reporting, human error has the potential to creep in, or personal trips may be claimed as part of work travel with no way of verifying it.

Electronic tracking shows managers exactly what routes were taken and how many miles or kilometers were traveled. One can then deduce from that information how much gas was used and how much to reimburse the sales rep. This is much more accurate than relying on employees to report back based on their memory or checking the odometer.

Improved route planning

Tracking helps sales teams to plan their routes more effectively. If a regular route always ends up taking an exceptionally long time for the sales rep to travel on, then the tracking feature can be helpful in suggesting a more effective alternative.

Tracking also helps with planning daily routes according to the customers that are located closest to each other. This proximity-based route planning maximizes sales reps’ time with clients which in turn saves money and increases productivity.

New types of incentives

If you prefer a more competitive atmosphere amongst your sales team, then GPS tracking may be the ticket. Some sales reps thrive on recognition. Recognition in the form of an award, gift or vocal praise can be given on a regular basis for perhaps the rep who visits the most customers in a given time period or whose meeting efficiency is the best. However, be careful with this type of incentive as it may cause reps to rush through daily meetings and not focus on doing a good job with the client.

Improved meeting efficiency

With the aid of GPS tracking, you can check how long meetings with customers usually take. Through this, problems can be caught as they arise. For example, if meetings with certain customers take unusually long, the sales rep might need to find better ways to communicate with the customer to get an order done.

Tracking also enables you to keep track of which customers are visited by which sales reps the most. This can help to identify loyal customers and better define one’s target market.

The accountability factor

Many people believe that GPS tracking increases employee accountability. However, GPS tracking should not be used as a means of micro-managing as it might leave the sales rep feeling as though they are not trusted. Rather, see it as a tool to increase productivity and efficiency, which ultimately saves you money and makes sales reps more proud of their work.

One advantage of there being such a visible way of tracking employees’ movements is that one can easily see which sales reps are struggling despite being monitored. Truly passionate and hard-working employees don’t need the accountability factor to motivate them but it does help to weed out those who continually don’t pull their weight, even when their actions are being held accountable.