For any business, route planning takes plenty of time to plan your day in advance. It’s not a walk in the park, regardless of the salesperson or delivery person. As of May 2020, approximately 1.57 million salespeople were employed in the United States.
Planning the sales route is even a cost for the commission-based salesperson. The time they spend planning a route is a minute wasted without generating income. But with the right strategy and technology, the sales team can give maximum productivity throughout the day.
For example, an efficient sales route planner can help to save time and money on gas through an automated delivery process. This will increase your workforce’s productivity and efficiency, allowing field salespeople to devote extra time to profit-generating activities.
In this article, we will walk you through what sales route planning is, why you should use it, and how to plan the most-efficient sales routes.
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What is Sales Route Planning?
Determining the most efficient routes for your sales representative is known as Sales Route Planning. The goal of sales rep route planning is to minimize the time spent by the sales reps traveling from one point to another. Moreover, consider factors like market dynamics, competitor behavior, market dynamics, and customer engagement while planning a sales route.
This route planning process can be manual, semi-manual, or fully automated like sales route planners. Modern technology enables sales managers to create compelling sales routes in seconds. Field sales managers primarily use the sales route planner to optimize routes by minimizing travel time and distance.
Why is Planning Routes Important?
Performing your daily tasks with a poor understanding of routes impacts the field sales performance. For this reason, it is important to plan routes for sales reps to get the most efficient route.
- Increase your productivity: Planning your route with a strategy that considers distance and time will help you reach your business goals. With the right sales strategy, you have more sales opportunities to increase the value of the sales you generate.
- Save unnecessary costs: Apart from generating more sales revenue, route planning also reduces the wastage of time and money. By optimizing the route, you decrease the chances of dealing with relevant customers who aren’t prepared for your sales visits, thus reducing wasted high-value opportunities.
- Improve customer experience: You’ll get better results if you plan a sales route based on objective data rather than intuition. Route planning based on customer databases can improve the customer experience and lead to bigger deals or profits.
- Complete overview of field activities- Instead of driving randomly from one customer to another, you can plan the most efficient route. Mapping routes allows you to plan routes and manage sales territories. Moreover, you can strategically plan how to optimize your sales process and results.
Now, that you know why it is important, let’s jump to the next section for understanding possible sales routing challenges.
List of Sales Routing Challenges
Sales routing isn’t just about moving sales reps from point A to point B. Rather, it is a tedious process that comes with several challenges; let us go through some of them:
1. Assign the task to an efficient sales rep
Each field rep has different skill sets, and strengths, and you would not send a new sales rep to do bigger jobs. Therefore, perspectives such as skills, relationships, or location should be considered when planning a route.
2. Comprehensive sales target
Considering business, you must please your existing customers and attract new ones. To do this, the field reps need to visit the existing customers from time to time.
It can be challenging for reps to venture into new territories while reconnecting with old customers. However, it would be best to solve this sales route mapping challenge to achieve your overall sales target.
3. Meeting time windows
A well-designed sales route will help your field reps work efficiently. But remember, your rep needs to talk to customers once they get to the customer’s address.
They also want their sales reps to meet with their valuable prospects at the most reasonable time. It is hard to meet the time windows, but essential for the success of your field service team.
4. Adjusting routes in real-time
According to sales experts, everything goes differently than planned. Numerous factors like traffic delays or availability time constraints prevent the reps from reaching the destination. Therefore, it is important how your field sales team deals with the unexpected.
However, adjusting the routes in real-time and planning routes efficiently can ensure sales goals are met.
To overcome these challenges, we will need an accessible sales route planner app to plan the fastest routes efficiently.
Choose Upper for Planning Most-efficient Sales Routes
Whether you’re a field salesperson or part of the backend team, Upper is the right route planner for everyone.
Upper Route Planner is route mapping software that takes the paperwork out of the way and lets you focus on delivering a quality customer experience. Upper allows you to create cost-effective routes to customer addresses with the click of a button. Sales routes can be planned in minutes and sent to field representatives.
With access to an advanced proof of delivery feature, the field salesman can obtain the customer’s signature upon successful delivery. It keeps the entire service team informed and up to date.
Start your route optimization journey with the countless benefits of Upper. Learn more about Upper’s features with a 7-day free trial today.
How to Find the Best Sales Routes with Upper?
The best way for sales reps to plan a cost-effective route is with a sales route planning solution such as Upper Route Planner. It enables sales reps to reach new peaks in productivity and profits. Below is a step-by-step process on how to find the best sales routes with Upper.
Step 1: Upload delivery details
Upper Route Planner makes it easy for businesses to plan multi-stop driving routes. The feature of Excel Import makes dispatchers more productive by allowing them to import addresses with a single click. There are two import options for the address file- one is manually, and the other is through an Excel or CSV file.
It also provides multiple filtering options for addresses such as verified, need to review, not found, and duplicate. The addresses are uploaded and ready for optimization within 5 minutes, increasing your team’s overall productivity.
Step 2: Edit stops
Once all the stops have been uploaded, you can edit the sales route details by clicking the ‘Edit Stops’ option. This option includes editing the full name, address, stop type, parcel priority, and parcel information.
This feature enables sales reps to improve performance according to customer preferences, resulting in a superior customer experience. Apart from this, the dedicated ‘Users/Drivers’ tab is used to assign the role and input other details related to the driver, like name, email, vehicle type, and phone number.
Step 3: Optimize routes
The next step is optimizing and assigning routes, where all stops of the sales route are split optimally. The optimal route for all stops is determined by driving time and distance estimates. It helps to cut down daily planning from hours to just minutes.
Additionally, route optimization takes into account delivery constraints such as service times and driving preferences. Once routes are optimized, the next task is to assign routes to drivers. These optimized routes can save salespeople hours and distance traveled, thereby boosting operational efficiency.
Step 4: Review and share routes
After the route is optimized and assigned, you can see the final route from the timeline view in the upper right corner. It offers manual scheduling, route switching, lock, and reverse routes.
Once you have confirmed your final route, you can send the fastest route to your driver on their mobile device. This allows the driver to start the task on the assigned route without delays in finding the address.
Upper also offers a feature of Report & Analytics to monitor the performance of your sales rep. It helps to find out how efficiently the tasks are being accomplished. This report can be filtered through date range, stop status, route plan, and drivers.
After learning the benefits of using Upper for sales route planning, you can go for a 7-day free trial today!
Instantly Plan Most-efficient Sales Routes on Upper
Say goodbye to the old ways of route planning by taking benefit of Upper’s automated process. Start generating multi-stop routes now.
The sales route can be planned manually by calculating the distance between points and deciding the order to visit them. However, this process is much easier when you use an ideal sales route planner.
Sales management routing consists of creating the most efficient sales routes for all field team sales representatives. After this process, each sales team should have an optimized path map. You can visit your contact’s location using the information from the mapping tool. Ideally, it should also integrate with smartphones.
The average US sales representative’s salary is $55,008 per year or $26.45 per hour. Entry-level sales reps can earn $39,000 annually, while most experienced workers can make up to $100,000 annually. Some additional opportunities for sales reps to earn may include commissions, cash bonuses, tips, and profit sharing.
Field salespeople must have strong communication and organizational skills. Building strong relationships with your customers is important because you need to convince them that you are the right person to sell your product to. The salesperson should have a core knowledge of their product or service.
Route planning is important for everyone associated with sales and marketing. When it comes to sales route planning, choosing intelligent routing software can make your life easier. The right sales route planning software allows field sales teams to operate efficiently. Reducing manual work, also makes sales reps more productive, customers happy, and thereby increasing your profits.
The next time you need an optimized route, you can switch to Upper Route Planner. In addition to route planning, Upper also offers route optimization, route planning, one-click dispatch, and proof of delivery. The stressful hours of route planning are also eliminated so you can focus more on running and growing your business.
You can book a demo with us today to find out how Upper works.