Did you know?
An average sales rep travels almost 2000 miles per month.
Considering current gas prices, it leads to a huge amount for a company to pay for all the traveling that happens.
As a company owner, you would want to reduce the cost as much as possible!
You cannot control gas prices, but you can cut down the number of miles.
Route optimization is the solution to reducing miles.
With route optimization, you can reduce upto 20% of total miles. You will save fuel charges on these miles as well as your sales reps will be able to handle more clients and bring in more sales for the company.
So you have dual benefits if you use route optimization for your sales team.
In case you don’t have a deep understanding of what route optimization is or how it works, keep reading.
What is Route Optimization?
Route Optimization creates a route that takes lesser time and distance to reach the destination. So you will save time and money if you have such a feature in your software.
It is something similar to what we all use on a daily basis, Google Maps. But you want something that allows you to enter more than two locations.
Moreover, it becomes difficult for the sales reps to keep entering the client locations every time they want to meet another client.
That is why Dynacmis 365 map extension is the perfect solution. It integrates with the CRM itself. So you don’t have to manually enter any data. It will automatically fetch all the details and design routes for you.
You might have specific demands like avoiding toll booths, narrow roads, road closures, etc. You can add all those filters while you search, and you will have a route that avoids all the factors you want.
How Does it Work?
As all these calculations to find the best and the shortest routes are not manually feasible, so they are done with the help of algorithms. It quickly compares different scenarios and delivers accurate results.
Why Your Business Needs a Route Optimization
A lot of businesses have already started using route optimization because of the ease and benefits it brings with it. There are challenges that organizations face when they don't have such advanced features. We have listed some of the challenges that you might be facing and how route optimization can save you from those troubles:
Challenge No 1: Inefficient Routes Equivalent to Wasting Time
Sales reps either figure out routes themselves if they are familiar with the area they are assigned or use Google Maps. They might know the route, but they might not know that there has been some unfortunate accident and the road is blocked. They might take that route and get stuck in the traffic. It means they might not be able to reach their destination on time. Hence, it is a clear waste of time and fuel when we don’t have any reliable tool to find the best route.
The route optimization feature is the solution to this time-eating problem. You can either invest in software that offers only route optimization, or you can invest in a plugin that offers route optimization along with other features that can be extremely helpful for your sales reps and you. This plugin integrates with your Dynamics 365, and you will have access to advanced features in your CRM. These plugins are made keeping in mind the challenges sales reps face and how they can be simplified with different features.
Challenge No 2: Low Productivity of Sales Reps
Just because they don’t have any specific tool to plan their whole day, they usually have to do a lot of back and forth to the same area as they visited in the morning. Sales reps have multiple clients to visit in a day. They have to add address one by one in Google Maps to have directions to client locations. But what happens is they can’t figure out which clients are near to each other so that they can visit them in one go? So, they have to keep revisiting the same area multiple times. Thus they travel more due to lack of efficient tools.
Location Intelligence tools are beneficial in increasing your employee's productivity. Route Optimization designs the route with all the client locations they have to visit in a day. It will also show by when they will reach the desired location. Thus, sales reps can efficiently work and reach the location on time. Thus, they would never miss a meeting or reach late.
Challenge No 3: Inefficient Planning and Scheduling
When sales reps are assigned the client list for the day, they either take the list from the top. Or if they are familiar with the area assigned to them, they will manually try to figure out what locations are nearby. In case they are not familiar with the region, they will just go one by one. This shows the clear inefficiency in planning. Without a proper schedule, they won’t be able to bring in the desired results. You might have fewer sales than expected.
Without planning the day, there are high chances your sales reps might not reach the client location on time. This will be a negative impression on your brand image as well as the customer experience that you wish to provide. If sales reps have their day planned, they will be able to achieve all the goals they have for the day, which includes reaching clients on time and not missing any appointments.
Challenge No 4: Increasing Fuel Cost
There is nothing much we can do about fuel prices. As we all know, any national or international emergency can boost fuel prices. So, from a company's profit point of view, you have to keep an eye on how much it is costing you.
If you can reduce the total number of miles, you will significantly reduce the cost. Companies are trying to cut costs as much as possible. Using route optimization is the best way to reduce the number of miles. Sales reps don’t have to travel extra miles or get stuck in traffic to reach the client location. This will lessen fuel consumption and, ultimately, fuel costs.
Proximity Search to Reduce Miles
Apart from route optimization, there are other features like Proximity Search that can help you reduce the number of miles.
What is Proximity Search?
A proximity search shows all the clients near your location. For instance, if you want to see how many clients you have around location A, you can search it with proximity search. Thus, it basically shows all the locations of clients in that proximity.
How does it Work?
Let us continue with the above example. When we enter details of a location and press search, it shows us all the clients nearby. It shows two to three concentric circles with different radii.
The radius of the circles is the number of miles you wish to go away from the center, and they are customizable. So you can add the number of miles you want, and it will show results.
How Can it Help Sales Reps?
We all know that meetings with clients often get canceled for numerous reasons. Sometimes, meetings get over before the expected time. As they have scheduled appointments with others later in the day, they have to wait until the next appointment.
Such situations hamper their productivity, and they cannot reach their daily target. But proximity search helps bridge the gap. Proximity search allows users to see nearby clients.
They can utilize the time either by setting up a meeting with new clients or catching up with old ones. Thus, they can make full use of their time.
One-on-one marketing still plays a major role in many businesses. It means the company would bear the cost of traveling for sales reps. To make the best use of your team's efficiency, technology can help you on all fronts. Using location mapping tools can help you achieve your targets. Dynamics CRM users can look for Dynamics 365 map plugin. It integrates with the CRM giving you access to all the features discussed above and many more to smoothen your work process.