Your Revenue is at Risk
If you’re in sales for a manufacturing or distribution company, you know how it is: you have goals to hit. Just as with any other company, sales drives your pipelin. In your industry, you might have long-term contracts for monthly, quarterly, or annual production, but that’s just business as usual. Without new sales opportunities, you’re standing still — and that’s not what being in sales is about. Your responsibility across the board is growth, and that can only come with new relationships, new orders, and more production.
This challenge is compounded for sales managers. Not only are you likely responsible for building and maintaining your own book of business and closing new deals, but you’re also responsible for the opportunities those on your team are bringing in (or not). It’s quite a burden to carry, and with it comes a number of other responsibilities as well.
In addition to managing junior sales reps’ prospect lists and performance, you have to ensure that they have the tools they need to do their jobs well. Are they using tools that make their lives easier, or are they still using a notepad to write down critical details that will inform a future proposal? Is that information safely saved somewhere that’s quickly accessible when needed? Or are your reps digging through old notebooks?
The same goes for you, too. If you’re in a sales leadership role, how can you manage effectively without a proper mechanism for oversight? Are you monitoring sales performance in real-time, or are you updating a spreadsheet (with data that you had to ask sales reps for)? If you don’t have controls in place, you don’t have control at all.
And what about client meetings? Are you and your reps going in prepared? Or are you learning details you should’ve known ahead of time? Lastly, what happens after those client meetings? If you come out with some great insights or important details that could affect your quotes, how are you keeping track of them? Are you having to ping multiple reps for different details to prepare your quote or proposal? Is that info spread across multiple documents, notebooks, and spreadsheets?
A Mobile Field Sales Solution is the Answer
These are all important considerations for a sales manager. You don’t want your team operating in the blind, and you don’t want to be blind to their progress. The first place to look for a solution is technology — specifically your ERP. As a manufacturer or distributor, your ERP system houses virtually every piece of data your company needs to operate. Internal information, customer data, and more are all stored in a single spot.
While there are many ERP systems out there, one of the most prominent tools for manufacturers and distributors is Epicor. This leading mid-market ERP is used by countless organizations that chose to centralize data for their organization. But even if you have and are using Epicor, the challenges above can still affect you. This is because Epicor works as an on-premise and cloud-based ERP system. It has a mobile app, but that can’t necessarily resolve those challenges for you because it’s not customized to your sales workflow.
What you and your team need is a mobile field sales app that connects everyone to Epicor ERP data wherever you are, right when you need it, and how it makes sense for you. Let’s take a look at four ways that a mobile field sales solution can make your life easier.
1. IT FILLS THE SOLUTION GAP
If your reps don’t have a mobile field sales solution in place, how will they know what tasks and accounts are higher in priority? How will they know where they’ll be able to drive the most revenue? No mobile field sales solution means reps will be forced to use everything from their own mobile device (that may or may not be secure) to a laptop that’s not saving to your ERP because it has no connection. They may even have to use paper-based processes that could get ruined or lost.
With a proper mobile field solution in place that’s integrated with your ERP, your reps will have full remote access to access and update customer data on demand. They’ll be prepared for each client meeting, having access to all the details they need about that account that they can modify on the fly. Mobile field sales solutions like Bezlio are also OS-agnostic, meaning that any rep using any device can still use the solution. There’s no need to provide devices when reps can use their own in the field. And all data is updated in Epicor right there and then. This allows reps to stay focused on driving revenue — not worrying about how they’ll get notes and details into Epicor because it’ll already be there.
2. IT IMPROVES SALES MANAGEMENT
For sales leadership, oversight is everything. You need to understand what your reps have on their plates, what they’re up to now, and how it’s working. If you’re using Epicor’s CRM, the data you’re viewing at any given moment is likely outdated. This is because it’s not being updated in real-time. This also means that your management activities and assignments might not be what reps actually need to be focusing on.
With a mobile field sales solution, the data your reps generate in the field and update in Epicor automatically gives you immediate insight into their efforts and oversight on its performance. You’ll know what tasks to assign, which rep to assign them to, and when to assign them, ensuring higher-priority tasks are addressed first rather than letting reps prioritize separately without your level of understanding and strategy.
A mobile field sales solution helps you manage more than rep activity, too. With data funneling up from the field to your view level, you can more accurately manage the overall pipeline. Solutions like Bezlio allow you to update quote expected close dates and probability to give a clearer picture of your pipeline and its performance. This allows for more accurate forecasting and analysis across the board.
3. IT KEEPS EVERYONE INFORMED
You’ve probably been in this situation before: a rep comes to you with an opportunity, and the next step is to bring you in to meet with the prospect. The rep fills you in, and you go to the meeting. As the prospect talks, the data they’re sharing isn’t the same as yours. Turns out they need less support than what you were told because something changed on their end. You ask for clarity, and they say, “Yeah, we told your rep last week.” Not only do you now look greedy but you — and your rep — also look like you don’t communicate.
He later tells you that he wrote it down, but he forgot to update the deal in your Epicor CRM. The change means a 50 percent lower deal amount than before, and now your forecast (that you naturally provided to your VP of sales earlier) is inaccurate. It’s a bad situation on multiple levels.
If a mobile field sales solution has been in place, that rep could’ve updated the prospect’s record earlier and when he was on-site meeting with them — saving you from coming into the picture too soon. This applies customer-side, too. Real-time read/write access to Epicor means data on current customers is always up-to-date, so when you do your periodic check-in, you know what’s been happening and can identify ways to grow the relationship.
4. IT IMPROVES DATA CAPTURE
Remember how the rep forgot to update the prospect’s information when he learned about the change? That’s because he wrote it down on a notepad, then forgot to make the update in Epicor later that day. He had no mobile way of accessing the prospect’s record on his phone or laptop during the meeting. All his notes, thoughts, and action items were forgotten. And while accidents do happen, this could be occurring more than you know depending on how many reps and prospects you have.
With a mobile field sales solution, your entire team can instantly add customer meeting notes, set to-dos for follow-up items, and log that visit or call — even using native device features like voice-to-text. This ensures that all customer data is rapidly and securely stored in Epicor, centralizing it and keeping everything up-to-date at all times. With solutions like Bezlio, you can even set a close confidence level, assign reason codes to closed quotes, and more.
A Mobile Field Sales Solution is Already Here
At Bezlio, we recognized the gap that existed between Epicor and the need for a mobility solution for field sales teams at manufacturing and distribution companies. We also recognized that manufacturers and distributors want a solution that’s ready to go right now — without having to invest in internal development or costly outsourcing.
That’s why we’ve created the first solution that’s both ready to go from the start while also providing the customization you need to match the way your field sales team works. Bezlio works as a layer on top of your existing Epicor implementation (even if it’s a legacy version) — allowing you to use the setup and data you already have while gaining the advantage of instantaneous mobile access.
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