Guideline for field reps: Make B2B customer appointments

In this guideline we have summarized the important aspects of “appointments with customers” for field reps and give you some advice to take along for your B2B customer calls.


If a pre-scheduled appointment is reasonalbe for field reps or not depends on various factors like the sector, the planned duration of the appointment, the number of customer calls per day, etc. Please read our article “Pre-schedule customer appointments – STOP or GO for a field force?” to find out on what to pay particular attention in this respect.

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Pre-schedule customer appointments – STOP or GO for a field force?

A constant matter of dispute in customer relationship management is the question if customer calls should be prescheduled or not…

Of course there is no universally valid answer. Below you may find arguments for and against scheduled appointments with customers, which are to be considered when deciding on the right approach for your business.

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Centralized vs. decentralized route planning for field reps – what provides more benefit, can they be combined?

Which is the best way to manage your field reps? Centralized route planning by the in-house team or decentralized planning by the field reps themselves? In any case, the objective is the best possible customer service, i.e. meet call frequencies, react immediately to customer requests, and avoid forgetting customers. On top of that, no time shall be wasted on the road and efficient and optimized routes are the top priority. Read here how to plan good routes for your field staff – centralized, decentralized or a combination of both using the modern route planner portatour®.

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Analyze field reps’ call reports on a map with Excel and Power Map

Have you always asked yourself which customers your field reps visit and where? Are you interested in visualizing your field reps’ call reports on a map and possibly analyzing them together with other key indicators? The new Power Map feature of Excel 2013 and Power Pivot for data analysis is able to create even complex visualizations. The following article will give you step-by-step instructions for the setup. For this purpose we use call reports entered into the portatour® field rep software which can be directly imported into Excel and updated at the push of a button.

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Visit more customers with automatic route planning – how to get started!

Field staff have different possibilities of getting more customers and achieving a higher turnover. An important aspect is good route planning: Which customers shall be visited on which days and in which order? Currently many sales reps and field staff still either drive “chaotically” to any customer who raised their attention or make the effort of always planning their daily, weekly or monthly tours manually. The first is ineffective, the latter is time-consuming and makes it difficult to achieve all your targets. Unnecessary kilometres are often the consequence. Nowadays there exists advanced software for route planning that automates the entire process. A computer can both calculate your routes quicker and achieve better results. Learn from this article how to get started with automatic route planning.

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Route planning optimized through historical traffic data

In order to calculate better and more realistic routes for you, portatour® uses historical traffic data as the basis for its optimization algorithm. Millions of drivers have collected data that shows how quick one really travels on which street. Read more to find out why this helps you to visit more customers and spend less time on the road.

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portatour® route-planner now also available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 – with offline-mode for mobile field reps

Are you already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for your field reps? Are you thinking about switching to Dynamics CRM 2015? Then we have good news for you: the portatour® route-planner is now compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 – in addition to the 2013 and 2011 versions.

portatour® is currently known not only as the fastest fully automatic sales-route-planner available for Dynamics CRM, but it also offers an offline mode, which allows field reps to access their appointments, customer data and call reports anytime and anywhere. PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone are all supported.

Equip your field reps with the route-planner to visit more customers and drive fewer miles.

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These trainings improve sales reps’ route planning

Do you want to improve your field-reps performance? In sales, consulting or service – with automated route-planning you visit more customers and drive fewer miles. A +25% efficiency boost is possible – enduring. Each year we accompany over 100 enterprises when rolling out portatour® for route-planning and we thereby know, what makes a project successful. Profit from our experience and book trainings for your reps and workshops for your administrators:

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