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5 ways to improve work for field sales and service employees

by Sam Kumar
VP | Dynamics 365 | Power Platform, Inogic
August 25 2023

We live in a competitive world full of everyday struggles, from family responsibilities to difficult commutes to navigating different temperaments of coworkers and bosses. When the challenges grow too great, professional performance can suffer.

It's far too easy in some lines of work for employees to see their mental peace and self-care get tossed into a corner. Demands and stresses on employees vary widely, from physical to psychological, with a variety of associated risks to health and well-being. So what defines a good employer in an economic landscape that, for many workers, presents so many challenges?

In such working scenarios, it is a boon to have an understanding and considerate employer. They may not be offering high remuneration or promotions off the charts. But it would be helpful if they understood, for example, the need for leave due to period cramps, the work-from-home benefits of a parent with an ill child, flexible work hours for people with difficult commutes, and the importance of respecting privacy outside of work hours. These expectations should be considered a baseline and a must-have in every employee’s life. But for many workers, getting them in today’s world feels like a blessing.

The Unique Life of Field Sales and Services Employees

One such profession filled with excessive traveling, overloaded task lists, and never-ending stress is that of a field representative. Field reps are the people who travel to client locations for sales meetings, renewals, technical issues, installations, product upgrades, fixtures, complaint resolution, and so on. Eighty percent of their workday is in the field and their responsibilities are typically described in terms like the following:

  • They travel through the traffic, fight through the changing seasons, bear harsh weather, struggle with transport at times, accommodate impromptu requests, and so on.
  • Very often, they encounter unorganized operational setups.
  • The days of the reps are not pre-planned.
  • Many times, they need to rush back to the office after a meeting to share a report or access on-premises resources.

All of it gets pretty stressful and overwhelming. A lack of planning, management, and concern on the employer’s part leads to declining motivation for work among the employees.

What could be the bare minimum steps an employer could take to mitigate the situation? Let’s find out!

Following an appointment schedule

The appointment calendars of field reps have a range of potential shortcomings. They could be planned in advance, with the day/week fixed beforehand. Time slots could be allocated for each meeting. Time breaks could also be accommodated within the schedule for lunch, coffee, travel, traffic, and some buffer as well. With work orders in hand, the days for the reps could be planned for upcoming weeks as well.

In case of international travel, ticket booking, reservations, meeting places, etc. could all be planned in advance and scheduled for all the stakeholders to avail.

Better intelligence on appointments shall free up the rep’s meeting schedule to lower stress and improve satisfaction with more free time where they could plan personal or simply complete required office work.

Using a driving route planner

Moving around a city all day long in traffic is a pain across the world. Imagine doing it every day, all day long! To motivate a field rep to take this up every day, organizations could plot optimized routes of travel for scheduled meeting appointments. The routes could be the shortest in terms of travel distance or time and could avoid traffic, tolls, and less desirable routes.

It should be possible to reroute the plotted routes in order to accommodate an ad hoc request. Turn-by-turn navigation directions should also accompany the plotted routes.

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About Sam Kumar

Inogic is one the leading Microsoft Gold ISV Partners with an exclusive focus on providing innovative apps and development services on Dynamics 365 CRM/Power Platform. Its flagship Dynamics 365 CRM maps integration app Maplytics™, a 5-star rated Preferred App on Microsoft AppSource, is changing the way locational intelligence is leveraged with features like Radius Search, Territory Management, Route Optimization, Auto-scheduling, et al.

Inogic is renowned for its 15+ Microsoft Preferred Co-sell ready Productivity Apps on Microsoft AppSource. From the latest WhatsApp Business integration with Dynamics 365 CRM, Document Management in Dynamics 365 CRM/CE with Attach2Dynamics and SharePoint Security Sync, Sales enablement using Lead Assignment and Distribution Automation, Alerts4Dynamics, and Business Process Checklist, improving productivity with Click2Clone, Click2Export, and Undo2Restore, user adoption and motivation with User Adoption Monitor and Gamifics365, popular Visualization Apps Kanban Board, Map My Relationships and Integrations like MailChimp Integration, Subscription & Recurring Billing Management, to QuickBooks ...

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