3 good reasons to start geoptimizing your sales force
When you discover that mobile sales forces spend nearly one third of their working day on the road or travelling via public networks, you see immediately that optimizing travel is key to the sales team performance overall. Over and above savings in travel time and cost, geoptimizing the administration and operation on the ground is a powerful lever for achieving sales targets in three closely linked areas: customer satisfaction, sales efficiency for the company, and respect for CSR (Customer Service Representative) obligations and commitments.
… Never heard of geoptimization?
Let’s try and define it!
Geoptimization is the deployment of geographic information and optimization algorithms in parallel to improve theperformance of an organisation or enterprise.
It is built on the principle of taking four key dimensions into account to streamline your mobile forces: time, customers, geography and competency.
Now we’ve established what it is, let’s look at the tangible benefits you could see if you decided to move over to geoptimizing your sales operation.
Mastering the art of delivering customer satisfaction…
Achieving high levels of customer satisfaction is a priority for any company that values maintaining an excellent reputation, and the steady growth that results from sustaining this kind of image with the customer base. Geoptimization helps keep dissatisfaction factors to a minimum, and instils trust in longstanding relationships of mutual benefit, as it provides your mobile personnel with the tools to:
- fulfil customer visits in time, on time, right from the word ‘go’, and every time;
- improve the match between the skill profile of resources (salespeople, pre-sales contact, product experts…) on the one hand, and the needs of customers or prospects visited on the other.
- reduce and respect appointment time windows;
- bring down the number of late arrivals and respect your pledge to a consistent level of service;
- reduce appointment waiting times.
Stronger sales performance
Systematically taking the geographic dimension into account when overseeing the customer portfolio and scheduling visits and sales rounds translates into productivity gains for each member of staff, and the result is better performance of the entire sales team. Putting geoptimization at the heart of your organisation will allow you in effect to:
- increase the number of appointments per sales team member in a given time range;
- reduce the time spent scheduling and validating appointments;
- reduce the amount of unproductive time (gaps between appointments, for example) and the time spent on the road or in the transport networks;
- increase per person sales turnover;
- invoice customers promptly thanks to a faster scheduling of interventions (both before and after sales).
Boosting synergy between economic, environmental and social factors
Geoptimization is – by definition – a treatment involving multiple factors, and helps your company aim high as regards financial performance while respecting engagement to social and environmental obligations (CSR or Corporate Social responsibility). A rigorous geoptimization programme notably helps you meet targets in the following areas:
- less kilometers travelled and time spent in vehicles for a given number of appointments (economies of at least 30% in companies that have adopted this approach);
- lower CO2 emissions (in the order of 15% less per annum);
- improved working conditions for mobile teams, thanks to more balanced schedules and route plans that minimise travel times;
- reduced working stress and accidents linked to stress;
- reduced staff turnover because good working conditions are just one of the positive outcomes of better forecasting and better anticipation of needs: this means you no longer need to outsource so much work to temporary workers with short-term contracts and subcontracted services.
Juggling customer satisfaction, sales efficiency and financial performance constraints (CSR) necessarily requires a systemic approach. This is fundamental to the concept of geoptimization: it allows you to articulate and adjust parameters in each of these three dimensions on a daily basis to realise ongoing strategic targets, while ensuring you don’t underperform in any of them. Given the competitive environment in which you are operating, most would agree it would be a shame if your organisation cannot reap the rewards of such an advantage!