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Are fieldsales dead?

Updated: Sep 16

A question that has been asked many times over the last few months, will fieldsales die and everything become internal and telephone based? In this article we look at the pro`s and cons of fieldsales and how a business can plan on the best way forward to use fieldsales to drive more business or is internal sales a more effective answer?


Before Covid many companies were using fieldsales to gain more sales, be this direct salespeople on the ground, sales engineers, sales account managers or even van sales for industrial type products. Covid came and everything changed and businesses had to adapt, both from the salesperson to the buyer, you just could not meet people face to face. As things has eased, albeit ever changing, many companies have found that internal sales can be done and maybe a fieldsales role is not needed.


Before anyone decides that they are going to cut their salesteams, the fieldsales role still have a part to play but you need to define exactly what that role is and how much of it really does need to be done in the field. Another consideration is that great fieldsales people are not always great internal salespeople and it requires a different skill set.


Pro`s

1. Fieldsales are speaking directly to the buyer/customer and can build rapport, see physical buying signals and in many cases get to see where a product or service will actually be happening.

2. It is easier to close face to face and much easier to deal with objections.

3. People like to see people and interact.

4. It is far easier to demonstrate a physical product in front of someone

5. Getting a deal signed is quicker and easier


Con`s

1. Cost is high for a new sale or new customer, due to travel and time.

2. Less sales calls per day due to travel.

3. Fieldsales burnout due to long times on the road.

4. Managing fieldsales teams is difficult.

5. Productivity when fieldsales merges into account management.


The advent of Covid is no different to the advent of call centres, in the 1990`s many companies invested in call centres to reduce cost and increase sales, this was very true in the office equipment world for example. Today fieldsales and internal sales can work together, the blend needs to be right and in experience you need to have set criteria for defining a fieldsales role.


In Covid or post Covid, internal sales will increase, and more buyers will be happy to buy over the phone, over video calls and through email – as business you need to be able to adapt with this, your salesperson or people need to react to this. As a business owner you maybe the salesperson and is your time better on the road or in the office/home/factory or wherever your business is. To be successful you need to be structured and have clear processes to put things in place for easy selling.