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The Unsung Heroes: A Glimpse into the Life of Field Staff of Food &FMCG Business

How technology can transform the business and the life of field staff

Hi there!

Ever wondered what it’s like to walk a day in the shoes of a salesperson? Let’s take a closer look  together.

This article covers all the emotions a field staff  faces on ground, especially in India.

  • Here is the life of field staff and the lessons I’ve learned while working on the ground Challenges field Staff Faces on ground
  • How digitize can automate sales processes – Benefits for CXOs, Managers and Sales Staff
  • Business Transformation and its impact on Sales
  • Let’s Transform your Business

"Surviving 40 Degrees: My 4-Liter Lifeline"

One of the very few days when I drink the amount of water the average human should. I learned majorly two things today:

  1. The gap between technology and its actual usage on the ground, especially at the root level of the distribution chain.
  2. The hardships every single salesman faces to secure an order on a scorching 45-degree, hot, sweaty, and humid summer day.

I, on behalf of Rupyz Software, went on a field trip with the Area Sales Manager of Bhushan Enterprises (Grahshanti Dhoop), Ghaziabad, Mr. Rishi Sharma.

This blog is all about my experiences, learnings, and insights into the day of a salesman using the Rupyz Mobile App. Moreover, I will discuss the above two points in detail and elaborate on the opportunities and challenges I discovered on this trip.

Chapter 1: A Day with (Superheroes)Salesmen: Stories from the Streets

  • Come along as we journey through Delhi, starting from the calm Yamuna River, and learn about sales and managing field staff.
  • See how easily salesmen like Sanjay Kumar handle order management using the Rupyz app, making their work simpler.
  • Experience the teamwork and skills of Rishi, a salesman who knows how to manage field staff well, even in busy places like Jamna Bazar.
Salesman driving bike in sun, india, Traffic
Morning, Beginning the day with Rishi

My day started near one of the holiest rivers in India, the Yamuna. I met Mr. Rishi at the Yamuna Bank Metro Station, Delhi, around 10:40 AM. Earlier in the day, he had called me to inform that we might get a chance to meet 4-5 salesmen on the ground, take their feedback, and see how they are performing in practice. I was super excited to see the real usage of the mobile application we had built over the past two years in action and to solve the issues salesmen are facing.

We began our journey on Rishi’s Honda Platina to Delhi’s ancient Hanuman Temple near Kashmiri Gate, pausing briefly for prayers on ‘Hanuman Jayanti’. On knowing Rishi, I found that he is one of the humblest men I have ever met, who excels in the skills of selling.

Our first stop was Nigambodh Ghat, Delhi’s oldest cremation ground, where we met Sanjay Kumar. After addressing his queries, we explored various retail counters. I observed and documented Sanjay’s activities, from using the Rupyz application to recording data, placing orders, adding new counters, and tracking order status. Sanjay used the Rupyz app with ease, adding new customers and processing orders.

Sanjay
Following Sanjay in His Field
Pitching Agarbatti to Retailers for Sale

Despite the crowded Jamna Bazar near Hanuman Mandir, we reached our target retailer, who was initially busy with customers and had declined Sanjay’s offer twice. Here, the role of the manager came in as Rishi stepped in and convinced the owner to try Gola Dhoop with some remarkable product pitches.

After placing the order in the Rupyz app, I asked Sanjay if he could add new retailers quickly on Rupyz app . His confident response, “1 minute mein kar lunga, don’t worry,” not only reflects well on the Rupyz Team but also signifies a milestone in our mission to digitize India. We strive to streamline user experience by minimizing time and effort.

Rishi, Me & Sanjay
Near Hanuman Mandir, Jamna Bazar

Feeling tired and hungry, Rishi suggested a lunch break. We sat at a nearby tea stall where he generously shared his lunch. As we ate, we exchanged family stories, discovering that Rishi hailed from Kaithal, near my hometown Rohtak. Enjoying his company and wisdom, I found the moment enriching.

Chapter 2: Beating the Heat: Innovations and Insights in Field Sales

  • Join us on a journey through Pratap Nagar, North Delhi, where ice creams from local ‘bhandaras’ provide a welcome relief.
  • Witness the seamless creation of retail counters and order on the move in under 1 minute, as Satish Sharma utilizes the Text-to-Speech feature of the Rupyz app, saving valuable time and effort.
  • Explore the importance of user-friendly design in sales applications, exemplified by Rupyz’s intuitive features tailored to the comfort of field staff like Satish.
Satish Pitching Agarbatti in The Field
Satish's Hand-written Notes
Satish Writing His Notes

As we arrived at our second destination around 2:10 PM, the scorching 45-degree heat made us crave water despite having consumed nearly two litres already. In Pratap Nagar, North Delhi, ‘bhandaras’ dotted every corner, offering relief from the heat.

While conversing with Satish Sharma, Rishi surprised us with ice creams from one of the bhandaras, a welcome treat on such a hot day. We, then, proceeded to visit sales counters. I noticed Satish jotting down retailer details in his diary, explaining that some retailers are too busy to provide all the information directly into the app. He mentioned that becoming fully familiar with the application might take a few days.

Satish’s case highlights a point that any application a salesman is using should be minimal and designed in accordance with the familiarity the salesman is comfortable with. This is where Rupyz comes in.

I guided Satish to input counter details on the spot, offering assistance if needed. To my surprise, he effortlessly added new counters, utilizing Speech-to-Text even for other applications besides Rupyz. Satish praised this feature, citing its time-saving benefits. This simple yet impactful addition to the application reflects positively on the Rupyz Training Team’s efforts.

Rishi, Satish & Me

Chapter 3: The Sales Spirit

  • Focus mode ‘on’: See how dedication and positivity between the field staff keeps them going.
  • Experience a field staff’s relief in a summer day with small refreshments.
Rishi & Sachin in The Field

After bidding goodbye to Satish, the day ended in Mukherjee Nagar, a hub for UPSC aspirants, and my final stop for the day, around 4:30 PM. I realized that while I visited only about 10 places, salesmen usually go to around 40 each day.

Reflecting humorously on the exhaustion, I remarked to Rishi, “June me to ghar ke bahar nikalna bhi mushkil hoga” to Rishi, he replied, “Hum to field ke bande hai, nikalna hai roz” (meaning: it would be to go out in June, then he said they’re used to it since they work outside every day). This made me thankful for salesmen who work hard despite tough conditions and low pay.

Sachin, our youngest character, had trouble with his phone’s location settings, so I helped him fix it. Even though he wasn’t using the app much before, with a little encouragement, he got the hang of it. He started adding new customers, taking pictures, and recording locations. It showed how support can make a big difference for salesmen. The only thing he needed was a little push, and he came out brighter and shinier.

Before bidding farewell to Sachin, I encouraged him to strive for at least 10 daily counter additions and to remain active whenever possible.

Sanjay, Me & Rishi (Left to Right)
Rishi Leaving

This was my on-ground experience.

On my way to Krishna Nagar Metro Station, I kept thinking about the insights I gathered. Lets dive deep into all of that:

Challenges an On-ground Staff Faces in the Field

The weather condition in Delhi is unbearable. But be it 3°C or 45°C, a salesman is unstoppable!

From the experience above, I noted the challenges on-ground staff face in the field, but might not be able to communicate, due to a lack of confidence or knowledge.

Here are those challenges-

  • Technological Adaptation: Salesmen face difficulties in adapting to new technology, as seen with Satish Sharma, who preferred traditional methods like noting down details in a diary due to unfamiliarity with the application.
  • Limited Connectivity: Connectivity issues or lack of internet access in certain areas hindered the seamless usage of the mobile application for taking orders and updating customer information.
  • Time Constraints: Salesmen, like Sanjay Kumar, who worked under time constraints to visit numerous retail counters each day, found it challenging to allocate time for learning and actively using the application.
  • Resistance to Change: Some salesmen may have been resistant to change, preferring familiar methods over new technological solutions, which could impede the adoption and effective use of the application.
  • Weather Factors: Extreme weather conditions, such as scorching heat reaching 45 degrees Celsius, makes it physically demanding for salesmen to work efficiently and comfortably. Harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat during summer days, posed physical challenges for salesmen while they were out in the field, affecting their productivity and well-being.
  • Busy Customers: Dealing with busy customers who may not have the time or willingness to engage with salesmen can slow down the sales process and require extra effort to persuade them to make a purchase.
  • Bad Road Conditions:  Poor road conditions, including potholes and congestion, added to the challenges of traveling between sales locations, potentially causing delays and increasing the time and effort required for each sales visit.

    Traffic jams and congestion on roads further compounded the difficulties of traveling between sales locations, leading to delays and impacting the ability to meet the daily target.

Traffic jams and congestion on roads further compounded the difficulties of traveling between sales locations, leading to delays and impacting the ability to meet the daily target.

Rupyz has taken a user-centric approach.

For such problems, Rupyz has taken user centric approach. We at Rupyz solve this challenges with:

  • Customer support and training in 11+ local Indian languages.
  • Regular training session of the the sales people about how to use the app in the most efficient ways.
  • Rupyz salesforce app for field staff Works in offline mode or in low network giving fieldstaff a hassle-free experience
  • The simple user interface of the field staff app, with larger paddings and big boxes, helped field staff to type with sweaty hands and provided visibility of the screen in high sunlight.

I firmly believe one such trip every month can make a significant change in the user interface, user  experience and most importantly, client delight.

I, on behalf of Rupyz, would like to thank Bhushan Enterprises, New Delhi (Grahshanti Dhoop) and would like to mention Rishi, especially; for allowing me on their beat. I know how challenging this already is for a salesman; still, the staff of Bhushan Enterprises cooperated and gave me a walkthrough of their routine.

About the author

Shivam Gupta (BDM, Delhi NCR – Rupyz)

Hi! I’m Shivam, a trekker, a mediator, a big time event organizer, but most importantly a Business Development Manager at Rupyz. Love to binge web series, and movies, and that’s where my writing style is inspired from. I believe there are stories everywhere, you just have to find them. Hope you like the content, feel free to share your thoughts.

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