Has Foursquare Become a Micro Managing Tool for Employers

By: Travis E. Blythe

As long as I have been in sales, one thing has been pretty consistent.  That is the utilization of sales reports for a sales team.  Although companies have different methods of tracking how their sales teams report on sales efforts, the most common way is to have the sales person submit a sales call sheet at the beginning of the week, followed by a subsequent report outlining the success or status of the meetings.  I have also been involved where that method is implemented along with a CRM program.  Most of us know the reason for so much reporting is for accountability.

Accountability, is the single most important part of the sales program.  The need to make sure our sales team is out performing and actually calling on customers or clients is what drives sales managers batty.  If you have ever worked for what we call a “micro manager” then you know exactly what kind of constant communication is needed to prove you are working.  Many micro managers have the need to know where you are every instant of the day for their own piece of mind.  The above outlined system is what I was a part of years ago.  Taking time to match all three reports and make sure the person went where they said they were and not actually goofing off or laying by the pool or on a beach somewhere.  We actually went as far as to follow-up with some of the clients, ask them about the sales person and how everything was going.  We even tried out GPS systems to carry in the car and have a printout at the end of the day where they went.  I know that seems a little radical, but the owner of that particular company felt that if he was working hard to make the company successful, then his employees had to be working just as hard.

Now that location-based apps are becoming more and more popular, how long will it be until employers start utilizing programs like foursquare to keep track of employees?  Making mandatory checks all day long to prove you were where you say you are.  It would be quite hard to falsify that report, unless you have someone checking in for you all day.  I probably just gave programmers everywhere a great new app to develop for sales forces everywhere.  It makes sense, if you are supposed to be somewhere, or you tell your boss you are going to be somewhere, then you actually have to go.  Now that an app like foursquare has the ability to work with numerous phones, the “I don’t have an iPhone” excuse won’t work to well.

Will this be the death of Location based apps or will this make them more popular than ever in the business world?  Stay tuned in and we will see.


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