How a Field Sales Representative Spends Their Day
Regardless of the industry they’re in, the role of a field sales representative can be exciting, rewarding, and even stressful at times. Each day presents new challenges, but that’s one of the many reasons sales reps love what they do.
Sales is a rapidly changing profession — products and services evolve, and customers have increasing demands, but with the right strategies and tools, working in outside sales can be a great fit for many professionals.
If you’re interested in working in outside sales, here’s what you need to know about being a field sales representative and what a typical day looks like.
How a Field Sales Representative Spends Their Day
What is a field sales representative?
A field sales representative, or an outside sales representative, sells products and services by meeting with prospects and clients. Unlike inside sales reps, field sales reps go out into their assigned territory and meet their customers in person, usually at their offices.
What does a field rep do on a daily basis?
There’s plenty that goes into the daily roles of a sales rep before getting to the actual sale. As a sales rep, you’ll be taking on many different roles in order to meet the needs and demands of each individual customer.
Field sales reps spend a lot of time on the road going from one client to the next, compared to inside sales reps, whose communications are strictly over the phone. Field sales reps have face-to-face time with their customers where they can develop strong, long-lasting relationships.
How a field sales rep spends their day
No matter what industry a salesperson is in, prospecting is the crucial first step in the sales process that every rep invests their time in. The most common ways field salespeople get in touch with their ideal buyers are by cold calling, outbound email campaigns, and social selling.
As an outside rep, it’s crucial to plan your day in a way that best maximizes your selling potential. With Badger, prospecting is much simpler. Badger Maps is the best sales prospecting tool for outside sales reps.
The app allows you to see all your prospects on an interactive map to better understand and prioritize them. You can also create filters with different data about your customers, like priority, business type, or next steps. These filters allow you to get a smarter view of your territory and focus on the accounts that matter the most.
With a simple search, you can also explore your territory before you hit the road. Use keywords like an industry, business name, and/or product type to find your ideal customers in half the time.
Planning their territory
Territory management is a huge part of field sales and involves identifying key accounts, setting sales targets, and creating a strategy to achieve them. As a field sales rep, you have to consider logistical factors such as travel time, distance, and resources. By carefully planning your territory, you can maximize time and resources to achieve sales goals and build long-lasting customer relationships.
Field reps need a plan for getting to their most important accounts efficiently. Territory maps play a crucial role in supporting sales teams by providing a clear and concise visual representation of clients and prospects on a single map rather than overwhelming amounts of text and customer lists.
That said, outside sales without a route planner can cost you a lot of time and money in the long run. With Badger Maps, you can create routes with 100+ stops, automatically optimized to the fastest, most efficient route using real-time traffic insights. Teams using Badger Maps have, on average, 10 additional meetings per week – better efficiency means more time selling to customers.
Meeting with clients
By meeting with their prospects and customers, sales reps can build relationships to ensure client retention and secure new business. To educate clients and prospects on their products and services, sometimes sales reps create presentations and assess the individual needs of each prospect. Every good salesperson knows that they can learn a lot from their prospects and clients, which can inform their future strategies.
Outside sales reps spend their time setting their sales quotas, organizing their territory, working in their CRM, and building relationships with other departments, like the marketing and support teams. On top of these responsibilities, field sales reps also take the time to check in with their manager, attend team meetings, and schedule and optimize their routes for the week.
Did you know that 80% of deals require 5 follow-ups or more? That means your follow-ups should focus on the customer and addressing their needs, instead of just trying to close a sale as soon as possible. Focus on being diligent and following up with potential customers to ensure that deals aren’t lost just because you didn’t follow up enough.
Following up is a skill that salespeople need to develop. It’s definitely a challenging part of a field salesperson’s duties and requires trying different techniques and some trial and error. However, an extra call can make a significant difference between winning or losing a deal and, in turn, between crushing the sales quota or being crushed by it.
How a field sales rep actually spends their time
You might be surprised to learn that on average, sales reps spend about a third of their time actually selling and directly generating revenue. Other duties that we mentioned like prospecting and working with other departments, along with managing their CRM (customer relationship management tool) are a big part of a rep’s day.
What should a field sales rep do to make the most of their workday?
Sales reps have a plethora of tools to choose from when it comes to prioritizing efficiency and organization. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae and get distracted from actually selling. Field sales reps specifically need tools that help them visualize and manage their territory while minimizing their travel time. Being efficient and up-to-date on the best tools shows. When your client views you as a cutting-edge expert, they’re more likely to put their faith (and money) into your services. Badger Maps is a route planner designed specifically for field salespeople that allows them to automatically plan, route, and maximize their time in the field by cutting down driving time by 20% and increasing sales by 22%.
If the button above doesn't work, please update your cookies settings here.
2. Keep learning and be up-to-date on current sales techniques and trends
For salespeople, there’s always room for improvement. The good news is that the sales community never lacks when it comes to great minds and new techniques. If you're still using a fax machine while your competitors are sharing PDFs online in seconds, you're going to be left behind!
Knowing what techniques are currently trending, and what outdated techniques to avoid, is a great place to start.
Pro Resource: Check out Badger Sales University and get a free 30 day all-access pass to courses from the world's top sales leaders.
3. Keep a good work-life balance
Being a sales rep takes time and dedication. A lot of the time, sales reps experience pressure to be “on” all the time, especially since technology keeps us constantly connected. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to keep a good work-life balance to bring your best in every area of your life.
One way to do this is to set boundaries in the workplace to prevent burnout – you can still be a dedicated and successful sales professional while still making a clear line between work and personal life.
A sales rep shouldn’t be answering phone calls and emails at the dinner table. Clear communication with your team and your clients about your availability is a great way to avoid stress and confusion.
How do I know if a sales rep job is right for me?
- You’re a people person
- You're a natural listener
- You like investigating and solving problems for others
- You have high emotional intelligence
- You're naturally competitive
- You can handle rejection
- You can express yourself and be persuasive
Can a sales rep work from home?
Yes, a sales rep can work from home. More and more businesses are adapting to remote and hybrid work models, allowing reps greater flexibility in their day-to-day. If you’re a field sales rep specifically, you can do some tasks at home, like prospecting and following up. But ultimately, the nature of the job does require you to go out into your territory and meet with your customers to build relationships and close those sales.
How do I get a field sales job?
In order to find the right fit and land the sales job you want, you can:
- Find companies you love
- List skills to showcase in your resume
- Write and format your resume
- Prepare for your sales interview
Social Selling in 2024: Master The Art of Selling Online