6 reasons why a route planner is important for optimizing field sales

Even today, industries like pharmaceutical and medical devices still follow the traditional way of making sales, where the sales rep goes out into the field to pitch to prospects. These industries still firmly believe that field sales is their most effective way of making sales. However, since healthcare professionals (HCPs) often have a busy schedule, they prefer to be communicated with through emails or calls before a meeting.

Sometimes, this gap between the approach followed by field reps and HCPs expectations can negatively affect deals. With a route planner, you can solve this problem while significantly improving your success rate.

Here are 6 reasons why opting for a route planner can be a good idea for your field sales:

Free your medical reps from wasteful trips and expenses  

Studies suggest that, on average, a medical rep visits 7 customers per day. Let’s assume that they make repeat visits at least three to four times on that particular route alone to make a sale. That amounts to four times your cost set aside. How can you make sure that your reps are economizing their trips? Making appointments with all your HCP prospects before visiting can save you both time and money.

Route planners come with calendar booking features that can help you bridge the expectation gap. These features include rescheduling options, so if the HCP cancels or reschedules the appointment, you can always fill that slot with another customer.

Automatically structure your field sales approach

Another advantage to a route planner is that it gives your sales team the flexibility of planning their field activities well in advance. Create a route map, decide the distance to travel that day, identify customers and opportunities on the route, and make budgets accordingly.

This provides a structured approach that can make the team more efficient. You can ensure that you’re focusing on prospects who have a higher probability of buying that results in generating higher revenue.

Field reps can make sure they don’t miss out on important details

Often, prospects will have certain requirements and clarifications that need special attention before an actual purchase is made. In many cases, sales reps have to go back and consult with their managers before answering these unique questions. Since the rep is out in the field visiting multiple customers, it is possible to either miss out on these little details or to get them mixed up with another prospect.

Route planners come with note-taking functionality, where sales reps can jot down important information and add attachments to the record for easy reference. Taking notes is a good way of showing that you take your customers and prospects seriously and want to provide them with the best service.

Sales managers can have complete visibility of field activities

As sales reps face challenges in the field, likewise, their sales managers have their own set of challenges during the sales process management. These include monitoring field sales activities, tracking check-in and check-out time, location mapping their sales reps, and making sure expenses follow policy.

A route planner enables sales reps to share their location and activity records with their managers and teams, giving managers complete visibility into each rep’s sales performance. It can also help them validate each cost incurred during field visits and ensure accountability for any misrepresented expenses.

Improved productivity with CRM integration  

The right route planner can work magic when integrated with a CRM solution. It can centralize your records and documents so you and your team can access them anywhere, at any time. With today’s advancements in CRM solutions, you can automatically synchronize your data, cutting down on manual work and ensuring error-free data collection.

We can help you implement the Zoho route planner within your Zoho CRM, or you can easily integrate your CRM with your favorite route planner.

Click here to learn more about  Zoho CRM for Life Sciences.

Note: The Zoho route planner is currently in the prototype stage and is expected to be released early next year.

Improved customer service for happier customers

The little things you do can have a huge impact on the way your prospects and customers perceive you. As we mentioned earlier, taking notes can leave a good impression on the healthcare professionals and organizations you’re meeting with. Similarly, punctuality can take you a long way in making sure you have a good chance against your competitors. A route planner integrated with CRM can help enhance your customer service, since your sales reps will have all the information they need to make the most effective pitch, in turn making your customers feel appreciated.



8 Replies to 6 reasons why a route planner is important for optimizing field sales

    1. Hi Jamie, RouteIQ (Zoho route planner) will be available as an extension to CRM. The product is developed and is currently in the testing stage. We will keep you posted when it's released.

    1. Hi Luis, RouteIQ (Zoho route planner) is currently in the testing stage. It should be available as an extension to CRM in a couple of months. Once it is released, you will be able to find it in Zoho Marketplace.

    1. Hi Victor, RouteIQ as a standalone product will be available in a couple of months. It is currently in the testing phase. It will be available as an extension for Zoho CRM. However, native integration will take some time.

    1. Hello, This article focuses on the importance of a Route Planner in the life sciences industry (pharma, medical devices, and other segments). However, it is not restricted to just the pharma industry. Route planners can be used for other verticals as well such as Field Service Industry, Logistics, and Distribution Companies.

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