2014: The Year Of The Car-Office

Sales productivity tools on the go; outside sales reps, take note.

In today’s business world, there have never been so many varied pictures of what your office can be. Many companies with digital services have employees who work from home. Coworking spaces are often home to startup teams honing their new ideas. People working remotely can be found in libraries, coffee shops, or even bars.

In the sales world, it’s becoming more and more common to work in cars. Especially for outside sales professionals who are frequently jetting from one meeting to another, they may be spending more time behind the wheel and in parking lots than they do in any type of traditional office setting. It makes sense that these busy reps want to make the most of their time by getting work done in their cars. Safety, not guaranteed.

A car office poses a unique set of pros and cons. How can you make the most of that tiny, mobile space?

What the Experts Do

We sent Anna out to speak with two business experts about their experience working on the road. Maria Rekut is the president and CEO of Niagara on the Lake Cottage Rental.  Fran Meadows is a sales and marketing programming executive, as well as an author and speaker. Since both run their own businesses, they’re responsible for overseeing all of the ins and outs of work, including sales. This keeps both of them on the move, and they shared their experiences with creating a functional and productive work space in their cars.

“All digital and virtual tasks are great to get done in my car: conference calls, sales calls, radio call-in shows, phone interviews, writing blog posts, Twitter chats, social media posts, checking email and organizing documents,” Meadows said. “I can get a lot done!” In fact, she sometimes prefers the solitude and quiet of the car to other, more common remote options. “I find working at home more challenging at times,” she explained, citing the distractions of family and pets. “My car is my quiet place and I find I get much more work completed in my car rather than at a Starbucks or Panera.” She named two top challenges to staying productive in a car office: comfort and battery life.

Rekut agreed that tasks centered around the phone, email, texts and dictation were the best suited for a car office. “My business is completely virtual, so at this moment, I’m responding to your query via my iPhone,” she said. “Otherwise I’m answering emails from my car and coffee shops and shopping centers.” Like Meadows, she appreciated the quiet of the car office, saying that a lack of road noise or distractions were important to staying productive in that environment. She also emphasized the importance of having a unified set of tools in order to get the job done. “You need all your work tools to sync once you’re on the road,” she said. “I hope they come up with better ones.”

Sales Productivity in Your Car

Base is one of those better tools. Our sales productivity platform has the right features to take any sales pro from the office to the car to a meeting and back with ease. Here are just a few ways that Base can transform your car into a place of productivity.

Base Voice

Both Rekut and Meadows shared their experiences making huge volumes of phone calls on the road. Base has your back for all those conversations, thanks to Voice. This tool allows reps to make calls within the CRM, so you don’t need to have multiple gadgets working at once. Since battery life is a serious concern and one of the main restrictions on how much time you can work, concentrating all of your tasks on a single device makes a big difference. Since Base has a web version and a full suite of native apps, you can load it up from your laptop, your tablet, or your smartphone and still have access to all the crucial tools.

Base Voice

Offline Access

One of the risks of working in the car is how to cope with unreliable, or sometimes non-existent, Internet service. “Sometimes with public WiFi it goes on an overload, causing the Internet to freeze and re-load,” Meadows explained. “This can be difficult to deal with.” Sporadic Internet access shouldn’t slow you down. There are only so many hours in the work day, and when you’re on the road, you need to make the most of them. To keep you moving forward, Base features offline access. This is a must on the road, when you might need to enter in data after a meeting or double-check some facts before one.

Offline Access

Relationship Management On The Go

Going digital also solves a very real issue for the analog world. When you have sheaves of loose papers and notebooks, it’s easy to have a crucial scrap slip away and be lost. It can happen on your desk in the office, and it can happen in the car. Rather than risk that, Base serves as a central hub for any piece of information. Client phone numbers, event registrations, or just notes from a call can all live in a single place that you can access whenever and wherever you need it.

CRM

Geolocation

Finally, outside sales reps need to make smart decisions in planning their days on the road. Thanks to Base’s Geolocation feature, you can strategize the most efficient drive between your visits. Or, if you have some down time while in your car, just use Geolocation to see if there are any clients nearby who you could meet for an impromptu check-in. Your CRM should give you as much value on the road as in your office, so Base is always at your fingertips to help guide plans before and after you buckle your seatbelt.

base-ios-and-android

The post-PC CRM can make your car just as useful as your office. Wherever you’re working, be 10x more productive with Base. If you haven’t yet, you can try Base for free. Let us know what you think.

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