Sales Force Automation, often abbreviated as SFA, is a process of applying IT to automate the sales process which goes through different phases from prospect identification, lead generation, lead qualification, needs identification, proposal generation, proposal presentation, negotiations and closing the sale. Automation of these aforementioned selling activities is often linked to efforts to improve and standardize the selling process and it can be done quite efficiently with the help of SFA.
In layman’s terms, SFA can be defined as an IT-enabled operation that establishes a strong and beneficial relationship between the sales team and the customers and clients. Sales Force Automation is the part of marketing follow-up that deals with the narrow process between receiving the lead and making the sale and can be plainly enumerated as to streamline the entire sales process in order to —
- Make business more efficient
- Improve customer interactions
- Increase overall customer satisfaction
- Save time and money
- Integrate the different departments in the company so that it mitigates the erroneous scenario of different departments contacting the same customer for the same purpose
In addition, the important benefits of a SFA can be stated as follows—
- Sales manager will have the results of the sales leads from his team of sales persons automatically presented to him without him manually gathering up the call sheets from various people and tabulating the results and thereby, saving time for the sales manager.
- Tracking the productiveness of the sales force by combining a number of performance measures and thus providing a fair appraisal system by doing away with nepotism, thereby, enhancing employee satisfaction.
- The company benefits strategically by increasing its productivity in the following three ways—
- With increased productivity, it can reduce costs.
- It’ll enhance the sales revenue.
- Eventually, all these will lead to increased market share.
The features of the SFA can be stated as follows—
- Accounts and Contacts Management: Sales representatives get a complete customer picture at one glance including account history, contact, interactions, assets and more. All the customer information is in one place making it easy for sales teams to corroborate while keeping up to date with every aspect of their accounts and thus, build stronger and long lasting relationships.
- Lead Management: Managing leads effectively and optimizing lead flow across sales and marketing are critical to achieving sales success. With SFA companies can track prospect inquiries and seamlessly route qualified leads to the right people so sales teams get instant access to the latest prospects and leads are never dropped or lost.
- Activity Management: Coordinating customer-facing activities and events is a critical part of closing business and managing customer relationships. SFA helps teams to keep activities in an organized manner so your customers receive the attention they need.
- Opportunities and quotes: Opportunities show the most important details about the big leads that the sales team is working on and gain insights on – how much the opportunity is worth, the competitors, expected close date, and what stage the deal is in etc. it is possible to track all opportunity-related data including milestones, decision makers, customer communications, and any other information unique to the company’s sales process. It can also schedule automatic email reminders to keep teams up to date on the latest information.
- Forecasting module: The forecasting module allows analyzing where and when leads are generated. This information helps to determine how to spend on advertising and marketing budgets in the future.
Sales Force Automation Software’s Selection:
When we talk about Sales Force Automation software, selecting right kind of Sales Force Automation software is crucial as every company has different ways to handle sales process. A detailed study is required of sales process organization is most important. You need to invest wisely as this is crucial for your organization. There are few processes which overlaps each other like CRM and SFA. Hence choosing right company who offers either inbuilt both processes at same time. Company like Sage Software http://www.sagesoftware.co.in who offers both with CRM and SFA as inbuilt packages might help you
To conclude, it goes without saying that with the proper utilization of a good SFA a company can gain a huge competitive advantage against its competitors and make a good name in the market.