Managing a field sales team comes with its challenges.

Sales reps are out in the field for the majority of the day which means that for you as a field sales manager, you need to exhibit strong leadership and management skills that your reps will respond to even when you are not in constant contact. 

96% of those who responded to the 2021 Second Nature Sales Coaching Survey said that effective sales coaching makes a massive difference in the performance of sales reps in the field. 

Field sales managers know that having a detailed playbook to guide them through their processes and elevate the effectiveness of their reps is a must.

Look no further - this is the only field sales management playbook you’ll ever need.

field sales management

What is Field Sales Management?

Field sales management refers to the organization and coordination of daily sales activities such as meeting with customers, managing their territory, and handling admin tasks that a field sales representative undertakes on a daily basis. 

Sales managers are responsible for not only overseeing these activities, they are tasked with setting sales strategies, laying out goals and targets, monitoring sales performance, and training and developing their reps to ensure they are performing to the best of their abilities. 

Having a successful field sales management system in place will provide the framework for sales teams to thrive and succeed on a regular basis.

Importance of Field Sales Management

Field sales management plays a vital role in the overall well-being of your sales team. Without the correct guidance, reps' performance could potentially stagnate, leading to lower turnover for your company. 

Let’s take a look at exactly why field sales management plays such a massive role in the functionality of your sales team.

how to manage field sales team

Strategic Planning

For field sales teams to truly succeed, strategic planning is a must. 

Managers need to be over a lot of different aspects of the sales process, from market research, training and development, budget management, team performance, and a whole lot more.

The only way you can stay on top of this is by taking the time to plan strategically. Sales strategies and processes need to be laid out well before your rep even begins thinking about contacting their sales prospects. 

Strategic sales planning will ensure everyone is working towards the same objective. 

Budget management is vital in field sales management and by keeping on top of this from the beginning, you can ensure your sales team is running at optimum efficiency and under budget. 

Planning ahead and anticipating challenges will allow you to be agile and adaptable to any problems that may arise. Field sales can be unpredictable, but with a strategic sales plan in place, you can set the foundation for revenue growth and market share expansion, all of which will help you surpass your sales targets.

Check out our guide that will help you create your own strategic sales plan!

Revenue Generation

The objective of sales is to generate revenue. As a sales manager, this is your ultimate goal. 

While your field sales reps are out actively selling to customers, it’s your job to provide the framework that will help them drive revenue. Without a well-thought-out plan in place, reps will struggle to sell in a methodical manner which will eventually lead to their sales drying up. 

A study done by RepVue found that only around 3% of sales teams have 75% or more of their sales reps hitting their quotas

Such a low percentage clearly points to inefficient processes, but what are they exactly? There can be a multitude of problems, from reps spending too much time on admin tasks, to improper training, or ineffective sales techniques.

These problems can all be offset by an efficient field sales management process that optimizes these processes in order to generate the most revenue. By building and creating these correct processes, you can ensure that your field sales team has the tools they need to sell and reach their quotas on a monthly basis.

Want to know how sales leaders such as John Barrows, Samantha McKenna, and Mark Hunter increase their revenue? Check out their top sales growth strategies here!

Market Expansion

As a field sales manager, you are always looking at ways to expand into new and untapped markets that can allow your team to grow and prosper organically. Market expansion is of utmost importance if you are looking to grow your operation and there are many ways you can do this.

Maybe the current product you are selling is doing well and you have a lot of customers. If you see that there is a clear appetite for your product, you could grow this even more by adding related products or value-adding products to your portfolio. 

Another great way to expand into new markets is to re-think who your actual customer base is.

For example, let’s say your sales team sells high-quality textiles primarily for the fashion industry. Through market research, you could identify the medical industry as one that could avail of your product. The medical industry requires durable, hygienic fabrics for use in medical uniforms. Data Bridge Market Research found that the global medical scrubs market is expected to reach USD 166.48 billion by 2031, up from USD 120.67 billion in 2023. 

Expanding into new markets can be tricky, but with a thorough and detailed approach, the opportunities presented to you can be fruitful.

Listen to this outside Sales Talk podcast episode with Callypso CEO Michael Tuso to learn his sales expansion strategies for field sales!

Field Sales Manager Skills

There are a few imperative skills you need if you are to succeed as a field sales manager. 

You need to be a leader, an excellent problem solver, and an analytical thinker.

Let’s see how you can develop these field sales manager skills!

sales manager skills


Research from the Sales Management Association has shown that companies that allocate more than 50% of their training budget towards management training outperform their sales goals by 15%.

sales management training

Knowing how to manage a field sales team through effective leadership drives the success of your team, fosters a positive work environment that your team can feel proud of, and ensures you are reaching and surpassing your sales goals. 

Strong sales leaders provide clarity and direction, much like a football coach on the sidelines. 

Imagine a team without a coach: the players, despite their skills, would be lost and unmotivated. It's the coach who unites the team, provides a winning strategy, and inspires everyone to strive for victory.

Badger Maps CEO Steve Benson had this to say about leadership - “Being a good leader is less like a high school principal and more like a high school football coach. I've always focused on making the people around me more successful, and truly doing my best to enable them in their role, or in their life. More often than not this helps me and my organization perform at our best.”

 steve benson sales

Management has a large role in maintaining morale among reps. Maybe some members of your team are underperforming. As a strong leader, it’s your job to motivate them and get them to reach the heights you know they are capable of. 


There can be a myriad of problems that arise on a regular basis in field sales. 

Customer satisfaction, team performance, and territory management are just a few of the headaches you need to face and your ability to handle them well can be the difference between success and failure. It’s important for you to have frameworks in place to identify these problems as soon as they appear. 

You need to fully understand the problems and address them at their root cause, not just looking at their symptoms. 

Being emotionally intelligent can help you with this. 

If you have an outward and empathetic mindset, you will be able to understand the problem at hand from everyone's perspective. This will allow you to resolve conflicts and problems in a productive manner. 

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk podcast episode with sales expert Brian Burns to learn why emotional intelligence helps you in sales!

Analytical Thinking

Understanding and dealing with the information you receive from various sources such as your sales metrics is another important skill you need to conquer. The amount of sales data that is available now can be overwhelming, however, it’s important you look at the numbers in a calm and measured way.

There are so many sales KPIs you need to keep track of such as the number of prospects visited, average deal value in your pipeline, revenue by territory, conversion rates, and much more. 

Utilizing sales CRM software can help you track these KPIs. 

Leading CRMs such as HubSpot, Zoho, or Pipedrive offer robust analytical capabilities that allow you to create customizable dashboards so both you and your field sales reps can understand the data in a visually engaging format.

According to studies, the ratio of reps who meet their quotas using a mobile CRM compared to those who do so without one is 3:1. Using a CRM has clear benefits for field sales teams. 

 mobile sales crm

These tools centralize all of your customer records such as interaction history, preferences, and purchase records. Having all of this data in one place, combined with the analytical features provided will help you as you look to build your analysis. Your job then will be to dissect the data to provide your field sales team with the best chance of success.

Field Sales Management Strategies

sales management strategies

Setting Clear Objectives and Targets

Sales reps need goals to aim for. 

Without a clear objective, your sales process will lack structure and focus. But what goals should you have and how can you get your sales team to achieve them?

As a manager, your number 1 priority is to increase revenue. 

One way to do this is by focusing on high-value customers. Why meet with twenty customers when you could get the same revenue, or even more, from one or two? These types of customers require less effort and less expenditure on your part. 

Your CRM tool can be useful for this as it provides you with the exact insights you need to determine who your most lucrative customers are. The data might show you that your top clients are coming from a specific sector. You could then start expanding your reach into that sector and start winning more lucrative deals

Goal-setting involves a lot more than just increasing your revenue streams. You should set goals across your whole department. Sales rep performance, customer retention, and the continuous development of your field sales team will all benefit from detailed goal-setting strategies.

Take a look at this blog that shows you how to set more realistic goals in sales!

Hiring and Training

Identifying the best reps for your field sales team can be daunting. You may find a candidate with a stellar CV who aces the interview, but they may not be a good fit for your company and what you are selling. That’s life, sometimes things just don’t work out. 

It’s important you create an ideal hiring profile to start off with. 

You need to lay out what their role will be, the objectives they will be expected to meet, and determine whether they will be a good cultural fit. Let’s say your field sales team works in the construction industry. You could find a rep who has worked in the medical sales industry their entire career and is looking for a change. They might be a top performer in that industry, but are their skills transferable? Look deep into the data, but don’t be afraid to trust your gut instinct also!

The training and development of your reps is also critical. 

New tech like AI in sales is transforming the way field sales teams are working. 

You need to stay on top of upcoming trends to ensure your reps are fully equipped going out into the field. Make sure your reps know the products they are selling inside out, but also keep them abreast of developments in the industry and what your competitors are doing. Customers appreciate when the sales rep they are speaking to are knowledgeable on not only what they are selling, but also of their competitors, industry and market trends, and consumer needs.

Badger Sales University

Keep in mind also the Forgetting Curve which was created by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in the 19th century. Ebbinghaus conducted experiments on himself to study memory and forgetting, with his results showing how memory retention decreases over time without reinforcement. Regular repetition can slow down this curve, which means for field sales teams continuous training and development of their skills and strategies is a must.

forgetting curve

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk podcast with CEO of Avenue Talent Partners Amy Volas to learn how you can find and hire exceptional sales talent!

Utilize the Correct Sales Tools

The right field sales tools can make your team more productive, attentive to detail, and confident as they prepare to step out into the field. 

However, it can be challenging finding the right tools to add to your team's tech stack. There are tools for every part of the sales process, and hundreds of different options in their corresponding categories. 

As we’ve already discussed, a CRM tool for outside sales reps is a must. A lot of the leading software is compatible with your mobile device which allows you to have access to important customer info in the field. 

Another tool that can be of great benefit to field sales reps is a sales route planner

Field sales reps can have multiple customers to visit on any given day. Over a week, this number can rise drastically. The planning involved with mapping out routes can be challenging and take a lot of time that your reps just don’t have to spare. That’s where a route planner comes in. They can optimize and map your sales routes in seconds. 

John O’Kain, who works as the territory manager at NCR Aloha, was able to decrease his field team's driving time by 25% using the Badger Maps route planner, while “One out of every five sales is a direct result of the information Badger gives our team.” 


“Knowing our most valuable accounts, and the best way to get to them, saves us a ton of time driving. Badger’s route optimization cuts our drive time by 25%”

John O’Kain

Territory Manager, NCR Aloha

Upgrade your CRM with Mapping & Routing

Access customer data from the field and sync your info on the go.

Communicate and Collaborate

Clear and open communication channels between you and your field sales representatives are essential for aligning common objectives, sharing insights, and addressing challenges. 

If you can’t communicate and get your point across to your team, you will struggle to achieve any real success as reps will be unorganized, confused, and unmotivated. 

Communicating in a clear and concise manner is obvious, but you also need to have conviction.

Humans can smell weakness and if you’re not authoritative in your speech, your reps will not have any respect for you and won’t put in the same levels of effort they would for someone they look up to and respect.

Check out this guide for sales managers for building trust through communication!

Although your role is that of a manager, fostering a collaborative environment can do wonders for the overall success of your field sales team. 

Sure, it’s important for you to set boundaries. But you’re not coaching a group of teenagers. You’re dealing with grown adults who have their own ideas on how best to succeed. Be open to their ideas and don’t be afraid to test them out. Maybe not everything will land, but being allowed the opportunity will further motivate them and provide inspiration to others who may have not voiced their opinions in the past. 

Field Sales Management Challenges

Managing a sales team in the field comes with its challenges. 

Maintaining productivity levels, monitoring the performance of your reps, managing territories, and retaining your best reps are just a few. Let’s take a look at them in detail and see how you can overcome them.

sales challenges

Maintaining Sales Rep Productivity

A manager's job is to extract every ounce of potential they can from their team. This may not always be possible, however. 

Sometimes members of your team are struggling to get motivated no matter what tactics you use to inspire them. Sales motivation can be tough, so it’s important to get to the root cause of your rep’s problem to try and understand it. 

Maybe they are experiencing personal problems they are not telling you about. Or perhaps there is a conflict between them and another team member. Having an open and honest dialogue with them will help you connect better with your sales rep, ensuring they are better placed to increase their productivity levels.

Sometimes they may be entering into a tough new market that is unsure of the products you are pitching to them. It’s up to you to do a thorough research into this new market. 

Try to understand the customer base, what their needs and desires are, and try to position your solution as the answer to their problems. 

Maintaining sales rep productivity isn’t just about coaching your team to success, it’s also about having an in-depth knowledge of your product and your target market. 

They also may be struggling to be more productive because they aren’t using the right sales tools. One of the best tools that is specifically designed to increase field sales reps’ productivity is Badger Maps

Reps can take back 8 hours a week by using Badger Maps to plan their outside sales routes. 


“Badger Maps saves me time. It has taken my daily schedule planning from 30 minutes down to about 5. And I see more customers because I can fit short-notice meetings into open spots in my day. It has definitely made me more productive with less stress.”

Lara Thomas

Sales Rep, DermaTran

Sales Rep Performance Monitoring and Accountability

Monitoring the performance of your sales representatives involves tracking KPIs such as sales targets, conversion rates, customer acquisition, and revenue generated. 

Again, thanks to modern sales apps, this is easier than ever. 

CRM tools can allow you to track these KPIs more efficiently, and by establishing clear performance benchmarks and expectations, you can effectively measure progress, identify potential bottlenecks or challenges, and provide targeted coaching and support to help your sales reps overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Territory Management

According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, optimizing your territory design can lead to a 7% increase in sales, without any changes in total resources or sales strategy.   

sales territory management

Effective territory management can lead to revenue increases, yet it’s important it's done right to ensure you are extracting its full potential. Your rep’s territories need to be finely balanced and evenly distributed so each rep has similar workloads and sales opportunities. 

This can be tricky. 

The Badger Maps territory management feature helps field sales managers analyze and visualize their customer data on an interactive map. Reps can see their customers in colored pins, helping them uncover the best opportunities in their territories and maximize their revenue.

how to improve sales performance

Sales Team Turnover and Retention

Losing your top-performing field sales rep to a competitor or a career change is often a severe blow. The best reps don’t come along often, so it’s imperative you recognize, nurture, and develop them early to give them the best chance to succeed under your stewardship. But all good things eventually come to an end and you must be prepared for the worst. 

Staking your hopes on your best earners can be a critical mistake. 

It's tempting to be solely driven by the revenue that top sales performers generate and dedicate all efforts toward them. However, it's essential to find the right equilibrium between inspiring their ongoing success and nurturing fresh talent capable of acquiring their skills and potentially following in their footsteps. 

You may be raking it in with great field sales reps who are producing excellent results, but sales burnout is real and if you don’t plan for the future you will soon be clutching at straws.

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk podcast episode with leadership coach Rachael O’Meara to learn how to avoid burnout with the power of the pause!

Field Sales Management Software

Badger Maps

Price: $58/month Business, $95/month Enterprise (Free 7-day trial) 

Capterra Rating: 4.7

Available on: Android | iOS

Badger Maps is a route planning tool that allows field sales managers to effortlessly manage their sales territories. Offering core capabilities such as route optimization and lead generation, managers can plan and optimize routes in seconds and assign them to reps in different territories, cutting down driving time by 20%. 

Features like follow-ups and advanced reporting allow you to keep track of key customer information and be proactive about keeping closely connected with important accounts. 

Field sales teams have reported that they sell 22% more and drive 20% less when using Badger Maps, in fact, the average team of 10 reps sells $936k more the year they start using the app.


"After getting Badger Maps, weekly meetings per rep jumped from 12 to 20. This led to a 22% increase in annual revenue."

Brad Moxley

Business Development Manager, Cutter & Buck

With Badger Maps, your reps in the field can mobilize their CRM, providing instant access to important customer information as they work in their territories. You can sync and leverage data in your CRM, all from your mobile device. 

You can also enable a two-way, real-time native integration with the most popular CRMs such as HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Insightly, NetSuite, and many more

Additionally, field sales teams increase their CRM usage by 50% when using Badger Maps.

Badger Maps is one of the best field sales management software out there. 

Badger Maps reduces sales reps’ average drive time by 20% and frees up an average of 8 hours a week.  

Sign up for a free trial today or schedule a demo to see how you can optimize your field sales management with this route-planning app!

Drive 20% Less. Sell 20% More.


Price: Contact for pricing

Capterra Rating: 4.5

Available on: Android | iOS

Clari is a field sales management app that can help you improve sales rep performance and drive predictable revenue growth. It leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to provide real-time insights into sales activities, pipeline health, and forecasting accuracy.

Clari's predictive analytics capabilities are particularly valuable for field sales managers, as they help forecast future sales outcomes and anticipate potential challenges or opportunities in the field. 

By leveraging AI algorithms to analyze historical data and identify trends, Clari assists managers in making informed decisions about territory planning, sales strategies, and resource allocation, ultimately improving the overall effectiveness of their field sales operations.


Price: Starter – $50/mo, Professional – $500/mo, Enterprise – $1,200/mo

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Get it: Android | iOS

HubSpot is a sales CRM that offers a sleek and modern user interface that is simple and effective to use. You can efficiently manage contacts, track interactions, and view detailed activity timelines for each prospect or customer, all of which provide valuable context for sales engagements. 

Sales automation is becoming increasingly more prevalent, and with HubSpot, you can automate repetitive tasks such as email follow-ups, appointment scheduling, and task reminders. Their state-of-the-art reporting and analytics capabilities can provide you with deep insights into the sales performance of your reps. 

HubSpot’s Marketplace boasts over 1500 apps that field sales teams can integrate with, improving the effectiveness of their HubSpot CRM.


So there you have it. 

This field sales management playbook provides the exact framework you need to achieve optimum success for your sales team.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and put it into action!


What is field sales?
Field sales typically involves a sales rep having face-to-face interactions with customers or prospects in their own locations, such as their offices or homes, in order to sell them a product or service.
What is the field sales process?
The field sales process involves several different stages, including prospecting and lead generation, qualifying leads, conducting sales meetings or presentations, negotiating terms, closing deals, and providing post-sale support or follow-up. It often requires strong communication, relationship-building, and problem-solving skills to navigate through each stage effectively.
What is the role of a field sales manager?
The role of a field sales manager is to oversee and support a team of field sales representatives, providing guidance, coaching, and resources to help them achieve their sales targets and objectives.
Is field sales a good job?
Field sales can offer excellent opportunities for career autonomy, flexibility, and potentially higher earnings through commissions, but it also requires resilience, self-motivation, and the ability to thrive in a dynamic and competitive sales environment.

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