Companies live and die by their sales team’s ability to execute. Sales team members have unique challenges especially because of the high volume of travel – whether it is to meet with potential and current clients, attend industry events or networking. This work away from the office brings unique challenges to an IT department that needs to keep information flowing to their travel heavy sales champions.
Here are some common challenges facing your sales teams as they hop into their cars, and how SharePoint Online can help:
How does your sales team access Information on the road?
1. Access to latest files without being on-site at the company/VPN
Your sales team needs to be supported everywhere in today’s world. Customer’s needs and wants change and develop as conversations get going. Sales teams find it a challenge to grab any and all informational and marketing materials that are available for this ever changing scenario. Moreover, latest changes, activities and developments are tough to keep up with when on the road. The solution to get information to sales personnel was primarily twofold:
- Have the team download a set of files while onsite and travel with it.
- Teams can use a VPN to get solutions from the corporate intranets
Downloading files is fraught with issues. Does your team have the latest and greatest? How do you cope with changes when the team is on the road? How do you communicate.
With SharePoint Online, your sales team get the latest and greatest of all of their sales materials and information. There is one version of truth thanks to a centrally managed repository.
Users only need their credentials to log-in to their SharePoint Online Portal and they can get the information they need from the company without being there.
In practical terms your sales team will have their sales and marketing materials available where they need it and when they need it.
Using a VPN to access information can be problematic primarily due to the VPN reliability issues. A VPN needs to be installed and access needs to be provided to the user. While this technology is getting better, here at FMT we frequently hear stories of unreliable VPN access (this is one of the top reasons organizations want to move to Office 365 solutions as well!).
With SharePoint Online, solutions are available all around the world with Microsoft’s unbelievably reliable uptime of 99.98% to 99.99%. This translate to a measly, 1h 45m to 52m in a YEAR!
2. Working without Wi-Fi/Internet access.
Your road warriors may not have Wi-Fi available at times. During these times (e.g. waiting at the airport, in-flight) your team is still working hard on getting important documents ready. SharePoint Online can enable this work by providing key document libraries to your team offline via Outlook or on their OS.
All your important libraries will be available to you on the road, whether you have internet access or not. Your team can work on the synched files without losing productivity. Once they are back online, SharePoint with automatically synchronize their changes to the files online.
Multi Device and Mobile Focused Development
Sales teams need to be on the move and be able to present key ideas on the go. Let’s face it, lugging around a laptop is just not cool anymore. SharePoint online has a Mobile and Tablet focused environment with apps for iPhone, Android and the Windows Phone.
All your information is available on the phone or tablet, enabling your sales team to show off your best marketing materials anywhere – in the client office or over a client dinner. Your team can now be productive on their own devices. whether phones and tablets, using SharePoint Online.
How do you get your sales teams the support they need from the office?
However strong your lead sales person may be, they need a strong support structure from their sales, content and marketing teams.
SharePoint Online can help you organize and share your marketing and sales content immediately as it is ready for the sales team. Working in collaboration with each other, your organization can provide the best and latest information to your client’s ever changing needs.
Moreover, in crunch-time the best sales teams get together and put tremendous efforts into writing, and rewriting and rewriting statements of works again. Doing this on the road can be a waiting game without the right tools in place.
SharePoint Online with its seamless support of Office documents enable your sales teams to collaborate in real-time. Sales teams can create, co-author and share documents in real-time. Your sales teams can now meet your client’s stringent deadlines to makes those final changes to their SOW from virtually anywhere.
Connect with your road warriors
Here is what we consider to be the most important part to why you should use SharePoint Online to supercharge your sales team – The human side:
Your sales team is on the road a lot. It is tough business and can be very lonely and disconnected to the main offices. The SharePoint Online Intranet solutions create a sense of community that extends beyond the four walls of your office space. By keeping your travelling sales team aware and engaged you can create a sense of community with your road warriors and improve retention.
So much more!
1. CRM Online and Salesforce Tie in
You can tie in SharePoint with Microsoft CRM Online and Salesforce to create a seamless platform for your team
2. Third Party Signing Apps
The customer is ready to sign! Why wait to print a document with the latest changes? SharePoint Online and Third Party Signing Apps seamlessly integrate to allow you to create your document with electronic signatures.
3. Visualizations with Power BI
With real-time dash boarding and brilliant visualizations you can customize dashboards and create unique drilldowns for your sales teams. Here is example with a live Pipeline report available: