Power Your Field Sales Engine with the Right Technology

Not all technology is created equal, nor do all persona’s use it in the same way. When it comes to deciding on technology – whether making a purchase or building your own – today there’s a lot to choose from. Make the wrong choice and chances are that it won’t provide the functionality you need, which will mean an additional technology purchase and another outlay of cash or time delays for those that opt to build their own.

To save you the headache of determining what the right technology is for your energy or telco field sales business, we’ve compiled key user persona’s and their technology requirements.

What You Need to Know When Buying or Developing Technology for Your Field Sales Business

In the past, obtaining technology was a pretty simple undertaking. Today, however, the use of technology has become more commonplace and the technology itself has become more complex. If the technology you implement only provides for minimum functionality, users of the technology will encounter difficulties in performing their jobs. On the other hand, technology that contains all of the bells and whistles will probably result in functionality that’ll never be used.

This is especially true for energy and telco organisations since the nature of their business is complex. From multiple product types being sold through various channels such as field, online, partners, 3rd party websites, and franchises to the countless types of customers, including domestic, SME, property developer, landlords, etc., implementing the right technology can’t be underestimated.

The right technology shouldn’t be a game of chance. Essentially it should meet the needs of your business today and into the foreseeable future. By reviewing the following four persona’s and their technology requirements, you’ll be on your way to deploying technology that will boost productivity, give your field sales teams a competitive edge, and deliver a level of customer comfort that’ll enable you to quickly turn prospects into paying customers.


Field sales reps:

As the face of your company, these employees require technology that will empower them with the information they need when they need it. Be sure the technology provides:

- Leads that contain a rich data overlay, and are delivered directly to their devices. Walk and drive routes to maximise efficiency.

- Logic driven questions to ensure that the right product is offered to the right customer type.

- Validations of customer data while at the door, which improves the number of sales processed.

- Availability of performance tracking and reporting on the reps device.

Training and continuous learning are delivered to the device.


Team leads (internal or agency):

To set your field sales reps up for success, team leads need the ability to quickly access and understand total figures, gaps in sales success and failure rates, and have the ability to quickly react. This persona requires technology that’ll enable them to:

- Maximise leads through team and territory management functionality.

- Track reps to ensure team and customer safety.

- Track and manage issues as they take place in the field.

- Obtain real-time tracking of productivity and results.


The business:

With the right technology, your business leaders (management team and the board) will gain an increased level of comfort about their door-to-door sales initiatives. Focused on the big picture, this persona requires technology that will:

- Deliver insights and oversights of what is happening in the field, as well as results.

- Validate the information received by the teams.

- Provide accountability, transparency, and control.


The customer:

While not part of your internal team, customers are integral to your success. As such, it’s important that the technology you choose provides them with a sense of security when providing your field sales reps with personal information. To provide this level of customer comfort, the technology needs to:

- Provide for a cohesive customer journey, one that can start at the door and conclude through a different channel, or start in-store and provide the customer with completion options such as a callback.

- Give the customer the ability to call the company to confirm that the rep at their door is a valid representative of your company. By using GPS tracking of the rep, you’ll be able to quickly verify or refute the claim.

- Allow the customer to finish the sign-up agreement on their own device – either at the time of the sale or at a later point in time.

- Send the customer a branded summary of the interaction and welcome directly to their device, so that they can immediately confirm the legitimacy of the transaction.

What happens when the technology doesn’t provide some or all of the functionality described above? The easy answer is... the complete opposite of the benefits that the right technology will provide. For example, when field sales reps don’t have the right technology the possibility of offering the wrong products to ineligible prospects is greatly increased. Or, without customer data validations, you run the risk that the sale will need to be reworked. This typically entails that another person within your organisation will need to contact the customer to confirm details such as email, mobile number, banking details, etc., which slows the entire sales process or worse – results in the loss of a sale.

From the customer’s perspective, technology that doesn’t provide the security needed may result in the field sales rep completing the sale on their own device and signing the customer up, which of course opens you up to fraud. Alternatively, if payments are taken in a non-secure way, the rep may be putting the customer at risk for cybercriminals to attack their account. And, finally, without a branded summary to confirm the agreement, the customer may feel that they have been scammed, which puts your reputation at risk.

Negating these risks relies on the technology you choose. By ensuring the technology provides all of the functionality described, you’ll be on your way to ensuring that your business is compliant with regulatory standards, your internal teams have the functionality required to be productive, and your customers have the security needed to become loyal brand ambassadors.

Give Your Field Sales a Boost with the Right Technology

Don’t leave your next technology decision up to a tick list of functionality. You need a solid solution that meets the needs of all the personas. PSI Fusion connects your people, processes, and data in a way that is unique in the business. We combine mobile and cloud technology with security and tracking to deliver the field-proven applications that enable you to rise above the competition in this lucrative, yet competitive space.

But, don’t take our word for it! Read on to see what some of our customers are saying about having the right technology.

“The main value we saw of the technology when it was sitting with the agency rather than us, was compliance, security, and the tablets in the reps hands. We always knew that the data we were providing the agency and our customers were secure.” Vodafone

“PSI creates robust processes that are very easy to audit. Through your system, every step is auditable, who did it, when, where, what the customer agreed to, and why they signed up. This makes it very easy, in the case of complaints, to determine what happened from both sides. In the case of poor rep behaviour, we can understand what happened, where they went wrong, and rectify the situation in real-time or as part of our longer-term training programme.” SSE Airtricity

“We were dealing with increased volumes of up to 500 or 600 per month, which can cause a lot of pain downstream. The automated way we were able to send customer service agreements, keep them informed, and the welcome journeys meant that we were able to take those tasks away from the customer support team.” Fibrus

Ready to get started with the right technology, contact us today for a demonstration.

3 Ways Energy and Telco Providers can Safely Reap the Rewards of Door-to-Door Sales

I’m sure you’ve heard stories of rogue energy and telco sales reps defying company rules and government guidance to gain access to people’s homes. In an effort to persuade residents to switch providers, rogue reps are using misleading sales techniques, not wearing face masks, and ignoring social distancing mandates. Sales code of conduct breaches have always been unacceptable, but today the potential ramifications are significantly greater. With their reputation at stake, many energy and telco providers have begun to wonder whether they can still benefit from door-to-door sales.


The future of field sales is here

While rogue reps are a cause for the provider to take immediate action, the truth of the matter is that pounding the pavement still produces impressive results. In fact, we’ve been monitoring the situation and have determined that energy and telco field sales delivered, on average, 2-5 sales per day per rep prior to the pandemic. Today with more people at home field sales reps are producing 30% more in sales! With many pandemic restrictions still in place, you may be wondering what’s the secret to improving door-to-door sales.

To minimise risk for both the customer and the rep, keep their business compliant, and set themselves up for long-term success, providers are adopting the following three tactics.


Tactic 1: Using remote recruiting and training for sales staff

The first step in mitigating customer risk is to minimise potential risks for your sales reps. In a field where there’s a high turnover rate, you need to keep the recruiting and training processes in constant motion. Even before the pandemic, many recruitment interviews took place without the candidate stepping foot in your facility. Covid-19 gave interviews via video conferencing an extra push, and this method of screening applicants will most likely continue – even when the pandemic becomes a distant memory. A Gartner survey of 334 HR leaders confirmed the rise in remote interviews, revealing that 86% of organisations are conducting virtual interviews.

When it comes to training, this necessary onboarding and ongoing activity are both time-consuming and costly – but it doesn’t need to be. In-house remote training, as well as video training modules, provides your sales reps with the tools they need more efficiently and cost-effectively. Using digital training methods allows reps to do ‘just-in-time’ learning, enabling them to immediately apply skills and knowledge just learned, which of course reinforces positive behaviour. By swapping in-person training with digitised sessions, you’ll gain a better return on your training investment, while providing your reps with the learning materials they need, when they need them.


Tactic 2: Adopting technology to manage processes and ensure compliance

Do you know what your reps are doing when they’re in the field trying to make a sale? Chances are the answer is no. While the majority of your sales reps are conscientious people who follow the rules, we need to be mindful of the rogue reps that’ll throw caution to the wind in order to make a sale.

Keeping your reputation intact and ensuring you’re always in compliance doesn’t have to be an ongoing hurdle. There’s never been a better time to incorporate technology that will transform your processes from administrative-heavy everyday tasks into automated solutions. With the right software, you’ll get ‘track and trace’ applications which will increase the support you provide to your field staff while ensuring they are always in compliance with company rules and government guidance.


Tactic 3: Strengthening the sale with contactless delivery 

Whether providing prospects with brochures, videos, price comparisons or sales contracts, energy and telco companies are migrating to contactless delivery of virtually everything – giving their customers peace of mind, while reducing costs. As the pandemic drove home, people want to interact with sales reps in a digital manner.

Once a prospect decides to become a customer, energy and telco providers are now enhancing the sale by delivering a summary of the order, the terms and conditions of the sale, and the contract directly to the customer's mobile phone. This last step in the customer’s sales journey is simply accomplished by sending the customer a link via a text message, which provides a summary of the sale for the customer to review and sign, turning the entire ordering process into a contactless sale.


“The ability for the potential customer to review the sales with the rep and complete on their own device adds to the robustness of the sale as the customer feels a sense of ownership.” (Mike Cody, Head of Sales, Iberdrola Ireland)


How to take your door-to-door sales efforts to the next level

Compliance is essential to keep your business financially healthy. And doing this requires a software solution that enables you to manage processes, track sales, and quickly change as the industry evolves.

PSI’s Fusion Platform provides a wealth of business intelligence that enables you to:

  • - Analyse sales data
  • - Understand what is happening in the field (which often results in more sales)
  • - Manage and revise customer journeys
  • - Manage and follow up on leads
  • - Establish and improve upon processes

With leading-edge technology and best-in-class after-sales support, we’ve been helping energy and telco companies better manage their day-to-day sales processes for 15 years. And what we’ve learned during that time is – with the right processes and the right technology, providers can safely reap the benefits of door-to-door sales.


But don’t take our word for it… 

"When we initially start selling on the doors it was a manual process but the business was being exposed by reps misselling, we needed to put a rigid structure and processes in place to mitigate this risk. This structure ended up making a huge difference, from simple things like not having to decipher bad handwriting to less broken sales, with a limited risk of misselling.

Over time both the doors and the contact centre were both put through this process and given manners which led to it becoming a golden standard. We utilised the PSI solution including back-end automation and checks to improve the quality of our sales process, the data captured, and how we behaved in the field.

From the regulators perspective, we went from being the worst energy company to best in class for the last 6 years running. We are given as the example of what should be done to the other energy companies.”

- SSE (a PSI customer for 12 years)


Reach out to our team to learn how we can help you improve compliance and boost sales.

Leading the Way Through Compliance, Customer Experience and Competitiveness

Regardless of whether your organisation sells energy or telco products, regulatory compliance isn’t an option. With regulators such as Ofgem and Ofcom expanding their scope on an ongoing basis, the regulatory landscape is a moving target, putting you at a distinct disadvantage.

Although it’s mandatory, how does your organisation view compliance – as a necessary evil or as a means to improve the customer experience and perhaps even gain a competitive advantage? This blog explores the intersection between compliance and customer experience, how it can improve your competitive standing, and the tools and technology you need for a customer-centric approach to compliance.


Compliance and Customer Experience: Better Together

For many organisations in regulated sectors, the thought is that they have to make a choice – satisfy regulators or satisfy customers. Like a needle and thread, compliance and customer experience go hand-in-hand. Although a difficult balance, there’s a direct relationship between being compliant and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios, one that takes a siloed approach to compliance and customer experience and the other that puts the customer at the centre of compliance.


Scenario 1: Disconnected compliance and customer experience

Using one of the most common reasons for lodging a complaint, billing, we’ll assume that your organisation has recently seen a spike in the number of complaints. Regardless of whether the customer wasn’t transferred to the right person or department or their complaint wasn’t properly acknowledged or handled, the end result remains the same – a formal complaint being lodged with the regulatory agency.


Scenario 2: Integrated compliance and customer experience

We’ll use the same set of circumstances, however since you’re taking a customer-centric approach to regulatory compliance, the outcome is much different. Not only are customers immediately transferred to the right person or department, but the first few calls set the wheels in motion to determine the cause of increased billing complaints. In this case, you had a technical issue with your billing system, which failed to notify customers of the upcoming rate increase. To rectify the situation and decrease the number of incoming calls, you immediately send all customers an apology notice along with an explanation of the rate increase.

While this situation is rather benign and easily rectified, there are others that could have a not so clear cut resolution and/or result in personal damage. It’s important to remember that the goal of regulators is to protect the customer. Put another way, their purpose is to ensure that organisations aren’t taking advantage of customers, either intentionally or unintentionally.


Compliance: A Continuous Cycle of Improvement

Staying compliant entails continuous improvements where any complaint, error, or mistake is reviewed and acted upon. Once corrective measures have taken place, you need to use the situation as a learning initiative and determine how it can be embedded within your processes such as workflows, training, etc., to ensure the same situation doesn’t happen again.

It’s also important to remember that the frequency of compliance changes will require ongoing enhancements on your part, from the processes, tools, and technology aspects. With sales reps in the field, you need to do everything possible to ensure they are able to deliver great customer experiences and operate within regulatory guidelines.

This means providing them with the technology and tools they need to efficiently do their jobs while remaining compliant. Technology that is making a difference includes auto-populating as much customer information as possible, delivering logic-driven questions to their device to ensure that the right product is offered to the right customer type, providing the ability to validate customer data while at the door, and delivering continuous learning electronically. In addition, when a problem arises you need the ability to access the details around the issue. This is where having intelligent insights can help to know why the issue occurred, rectify the situation faster, and reduce complaints.


Is Compliance Part of Your Company’s DNA?

Too often organisations approach compliance and customer experience from different vantage points, with compliance falling under the purview of your legal department and customer experience the responsibility of customer-facing employees. This siloed approach makes it difficult to remain compliant and deliver exceptional customer experiences simultaneously.

When compliance complements the customer experience, it becomes part of your processes and workflows, basically becoming embedded in your organisation’s DNA – giving you a competitive edge. You're more apt to pick up early warning signs of possible compliance risk and be able to proactively take the necessary actions. Doing this, however, requires the right tools and technology. Technology and tools that only a company that has extensive energy, telco and regulatory compliance knowledge can provide.

At PSI, we have experience in helping regulated organisations take a customer-centric approach to regulatory compliance. With us as your partner, you’ll be able to cost-effectively bridge the compliance and customer experience gap and take a leading role in your industry.


Do you want to improve regulatory compliance, deliver outstanding customer experiences, and gain a competitive advantage? Contact our team today to learn how we can help you make compliance a core component of your company’s DNA.