What is sales force automation(SFA)?
Sales Force Automation or SFA refers to the process where particular aspects of the sales process are automated through software. Imagine you need to schedule an appointment with a client, the SFA system will get it done for you in no time! Basically, Sales Force Automation software owns up most of the parts which are time-consuming and tasks that would not bring much revenue. It’s not just that the Sales force automation system would do for you. This post will give you a whole detailed guide to the benefits which you will gain from this SFA system.
What are the primary components of sales force automation?
When the primary components of Sales force automation (SFA) are considered, we can simplify it according to 3 categories,
- Sales contact management.
- Pipeline management.
- Sales and activity tracking.
Benefits of sales force automation.
For our ease let’s categorize benefits into two major aspects,
a. Benefits of sales force automation in general.
b. Benefits of sales force automation based on the primary components.
a. Benefits of sales force automation in general.
Here are 5 ways in which a sales force automation system would benefit a certain party or an organization,
1. Improved competence.
A sturdy sales force automation system will help in increasing the productivity of the sales team, thereby being able to cover a vast amount of work. As an example, consider yourself a sales rep. And what if you need to type or copy-paste the same e-mail for about 1000s of your clients per day? You might be totally productive in the first quarter of your work, but as it is indeed repetitive, you might get so bored that you will even fall asleep because of the exhaustion that comes along with it. Yet, what if you are able to type the first mail and automate it and send out the same email for the 1000s of clients you earned at the same time?……. Now, that is where the sales force automation system works productively improving the competence of the sales team.
You just don’t get bored or exhausted and you will be engaging in something much more fascinating rather than the same tasks over again.
2. Acquisition of customers.
Customer acquisition is a crucial part of any field of business. Without a proper customer base, the business or the organization will be no more or would be specifically, non-exist. The sales force automation system plays a crucial role in the essence of acquiring a stable customer base. To make it more simplified, let’s consider an example of how customers will be acquired by a sales force automation system.
Imagine you visit a clothing website, check on it on the first day and add it to the cart, but you probably won’t buy it, maybe you’ve forgotten to do it with some other work coming along. Nevertheless, the next day an email will be passed on to you to buy the dress and it’s the second time and you didn’t feel like buying it. The next day, you might receive another email mentioning a discount for the dress and here’s where you buy it…And to the company, you are “earned”.
Considering this example what happened here was that the person has been “led” by somebody constantly…and that is none other than the work of a sales force automation system. After you passed the first mail, the same customer could be acquired by the next e-mail through the Sales Force Automation system much more easily as well as productively.
3. Curtailed misinterpretations.
Humans are not robots to keep working without getting fatigued and 24/7 work is certainly not an option for them even though some might have it as an option as they cannot do anything about it. And at this point, cause of the biological factors that affect the body, the concentration minimizes following up with a heap of misinterpretations.
Consider a sales rep who is handling emails, as was taken into account previously. If that person has to send each and every mail to the client and since he is overloaded with the same type of work there could be simple spelling mistakes which might not be assisting the company at all. And here’s when a sales force automation system comes in handy again and again, avoiding and curtailing misinterpretations and saving the day!
4. Acceleration of sales.
The faster you are, the higher the rate of sales prospects. “Research that has been conducted through the years has represented that the sales process has been accelerated by 36% and no less than it and following up with it has benefited a vast majority of organizations and companies”.
Moving along with the previous examples as fatigue is less when the automated system of SFA is used sales are accelerated providing benefits to the client or the customer as well.
5. Saved time.
Time can be considered one of the costliest luxuries in the world since the time spent can never be taken back or neither given back. Again, research studies have identified that a sales rep spends half of his day, as in about 50% of his work, collaborating on repetitive tasks which do not bring an asset or revenue to the company.
Yet, the launching of sales force automation has changed it all and time is saved throughout since the SFA will be handling the administrative tasks that consume a mass amount of time. The time saved through the Sales Force Automation system could be used to handle other tasks which can bring assets to the specific organization or company.
6. Increased cross-selling and up-selling
Up-selling and cross-selling are two aspects which will contribute to the increase of revenue of a business. Let us check into the terms precisely. Upselling is where you persuade the customer positively to buy a certain product similar to the product in question, yet a comparable price hike gives much more benefit than the other. As an example, if you are the customer and you are on the move of buying certain pet food, upselling will involve showing up a product much better and a little higher in price compared to what you buy.
Cross-selling is where you show up with an item or a service that tallies what the customer is buying. Considering the same example of pet food, when you are purchasing and on the verge to check out a food bowl for your pet might show up or maybe a pet toy to give to the pet if required. As pertaining to these factors, sales force automation system software would involve increasing upselling and cross-selling through its advanced integrated features.
7. 24/7 customer service.
Sales Force Automation system or SFA could be run from AI bots which is indeed advantageous. A bot could be never fatigued. Therefore, no matter what time the customer is planning to purchase a need or a want the bot integrated into SFA is always ready to reply and give a 24/& customer service. This will increase the revenue and sales allowing the business to have rapid growth as well.
b. Benefits based on 3 primary components of the sales force automation system(SFA).
1. Sales contact management.
a. Ability to track communication.
The sales contact management system which is generally an integrated feature in the Sales Force Automation system allows tracking communication between the customers which is an ideal advantage in the long run for a business. The sales contact management software would have the history of the deals which you have contacted through the past days and it will be the essence of marinating a well-built relationship with the customers.
b. Optimized data collection.
A notebook and a pen might have been a thing in the previous years, but with the increasing competition and improvement, connections of companies documenting the data on a certain book are certainly not going to work and would make a whole mess around. With reference to this, it is requisite to have a medium which could be used to optimize data which involves organizing and cleansing data appropriately. And this is where the Sales Force Automation system would be an ingredient which could add some essence in the favor of your company.
Due to the ability of data optimization, the sales rep will be easily able to analyze the necessary data to come up with certain solutions for the company or the organization. And as it is to be observed, it’s not going to be a disaster of turning pages.
c. Access to data in real-time.
A Sales Force Automation system allows the access of data in real-time which is another important feature that it provides. As an example, when you are documenting information, will say, about a purchase that customer has made. You will only get to know the proper details or add up the details after the delivery of the service. You might not know the route or might not even process at what time the product is going to be delivered to the right customer.
Besides, if Sales Force Automation software is integrated, you will be able to know the time of the process, when it is going to be delivered and at what time it was delivered, making things much more precise and convenient for both parties. SFA will not keep the data stored, but will pass it on to the end consumer as soon as the data is gathered through the appropriate means.
d. A coalesce of social information.
A business runs through connections and connections of a business to certain entities are much as important as running the business, whilst, a lack of social connection would depreciate a business and its authorities. As per this, it is of utmost importance for a business or an organization to have secure connections with other parties. Therefore, the integration of social information is just as much as vital.
A Sales Force Automation system would involve the integration of social information by utilizing it on social media platforms which vastly helps to connect with other entities. It can be used to create an advertising and marketing platform hence creating a solid customer base and a wide coalesce of social information at a low expense.
e. Manage tasks.
The contact management system of sales force automation consists of a task management system which elaborately displays the history of communications between the other business entities that the company or organization has dealt with. The task management system integrated within the feature of contact management also allows setting reminders on the calendar of the customer’s account itself allowing ease of work at its most. Moreover, as mentioned before, the data of the customer is retained and at the end of the transaction or the tasks, it is automatically added to the client’s record.
2. Pipeline management.
a. Identification of prospects.
One of the major aspects involved in pipeline management is its ability to identify the sales prospects of a business using visual representations. The pipeline management feature in Sales Force Automation has the ability to estimate the number of business deals that a particular client wants to deal with before the end of a deal. Specifically, through this SFA system, you will be able to, in turn, get potential benefits as clients are earned in this aspect. Furthermore, identification of the potential customers will also help in increasing the revenue of the business in turn, making it one of the ideal benefits for a business to accomplish.
b. Ability to manage leads.
Identifying and collaborating is not just enough, for a business to be on track needs to convert the clients into buyers. According to certain studies using methods like documenting on excel sheets or other elapsed methods is observed to be obstructing 70% of the leads, making it an inefficient method to the core. Nevertheless, managing leads have become easier through the Sales Force Automation system’s integrated pipeline management feature.
If a certain client reaches your business website and seems to be interested in your service or product, you can analyse and directly reach out to the person and consider that as a customer acquisition. Next time, when the client visits or if it is probably like the third a sales force automation system would be able to display ads or send emails to the client to make him a prospect of the business through the proper management of leads.
c. Ability to forecast sales.
Knowing where your business stands is an ultimatum if you need to carry the business with profit years ahead. As for this, the sales force automation system allows you to foresee where your business will be standing in both present and future. An efficient pipeline gauge has the ability to foresee how revenue management is proceeding within the business.
d. Ability to monitor the team’s performance.
There are different stages of sales which include different sales teams for each stage in the processors. The individuals in each of the sales team need to give their best to pass in the next stage sales team and the contribution by each of the team members should be efficient and trustworthy for a business to become a well-established and successful business.
As a matter of fact, pipeline management integrated with the sales force automation system allows monitoring of the team’s performance based on how they handle their respective roles in the specific stage. Nevertheless, this also would be an insight providing on how strategic your team is when converting clients into prospective customers or buyers.
e. Ability to focus on “needs”.
Without the proper needs, it will be a burden for a business to run smoothly. And by “needs” we do not mean the basic needs essential for humans, but the needs which are required for a sales team to proceed with their subject. Through a pipeline management system in the sales force automation system, it will be easier to allocate the resources that your business will desire before it gets out of hand.
Moreover, using the feature you could also save time which is used in order to research the resources manually consuming a heap of time.
3. Sales and activity tracking.
a. Captures real-time customer activities.
The sales and activity tracking feature in the sales force automation system also involves capturing the real-time customer activities, which means then and browser activities of the client related to the business. As it was mentioned earlier, a real-time database would aid in improving the business in major perspectives bringing increased revenue to the business.
b. Create new leads.
The sales and tracking activity feature will also be extremely useful in creating new leads, contacts and accounts which in turn will bring new prospects to the business. At this point, you will also be able to know when the prospects open, click and also the time when the prospects reply to the email.
c. Auto-dialing feature.
Another vital aspect of the sales and management of SFA provide is Auto-dialing which helps to let go of another weight in business. It is not absolutely an easy task to answer and reply to multiple calls without getting exhausted and sometimes everything might be confusing that the prospective customers tend to shuffle at one point. Therefore, pertaining to this reason Sales Force Automation is a good option for a business to proceed with.
A case study on sales force automation system.
A renowned motor co-operation company has been in urgent need of replacing the historical sales system since it was seen that their sales were curtailed due to the lack of proper knowledge of their customer base. Therefore, an open-source analysis has been conducted in order to choose the best SFA software for the company.
After the necessary implications, the sales force automation system software has provided the following functionalities which in turn has benefited the renewed motor-co-operation company by increasing its customer base. The functionalities which were included were: lead management, creating leads, activity and opportunity management, booking a walk-in test drive, test drive pre-check and completion, quotations, sales management, vehicle order creation, vehicle delivery and management information.
Sales force automation and customer relationship management.
What is customer relationship management?
In simple terms, customer relationship management or commonly known as CRM is a technology which solely involves managing a company’s relationships with its customer base. The CRM system is important in increasing the potential customer base.
What are the differences between sales force automation and customer relationship management?
Here are a few ways that SFA and CRM systems are different:
a. The sales force automation system is mainly focused on sales management while the Customer Relationship Management system revolves mainly around maintaining and improving customer relationships and providing them with extravagant service.
b. SFA is usually better for customer acquisition while CRM will be better in dealing with customer relations.
c. A Sales Force Automation system will mainly focus on monitoring the sales team while a Customer Relationship Management system will focus mainly on monitoring customer service.
Wondering what’s better?
Both are of utmost importance when a particular company or an organization is competing with today’s world. Therefore, without separating the two software systems, you can integrate CRM data into the Sales Force Automation system which will further clarify your issues in both ways.
A boost in a new system is all you need at times!
Last, but not least, when you are choosing the right Sales Force Automation system for your company make sure you check on how adaptable will it be, the financial aspects, scalability and most importantly what features the SFA software will be providing and how it will be benefited in future.
Hope you enhanced your knowledge in regard to the benefits of the Sales Force Automation system(SFA)and come up with the best solution for yourself and your team!