In the current complex and competitive market, managing the sales process is an important factor for most businesses. By automating a company?s sales process and efforts, one can increase its productivity.
Sales Force Automation, or SFA, is a technique used in marketing and business that automates the business tasks of sales. Sales tasks that can be automated might include contact management, order taking and fulfillment, information sharing, inventory monitoring, sales forecast analysis, and employees? performance evaluations. Using SFA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of a sales team by streamlining and speeding up processes and eliminating errors. Through this technology, a sales force can have access to the latest information regarding customers’ accounts and pricing.
SFA is almost like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which covers a vast array of topics, including areas of sales effectiveness, customer service, and marketing management. Certainly in business, each second is valuable and you can?t waste it searching for information. You can save time and money as Sales Force Automation provides optimized communication services. You also get complete management capabilities for applications and users. SFA helps you in improving customer satisfaction and it also increases sales force productivity.
Currently there are a number of SFA software solutions on the market. These software solutions help sales people take better care of their customers. They change routine aspects of sales and marketing functions such as lead assignment, contact follow-up, and opportunity reporting. Good SFA electronically manages all sales activities within a company. It is a methodology that enables sales personnel to concentrate on selling by providing tools to obtain very efficient information exchange in the sales cycle. Earlier sales force automation software installations were designed for the desktop or laptop and were not easily accessible by hand held devices. With the advancement in web based SFA technology, sales representatives can use Pocket PCs to record orders on the spot. These order details can be sent back to the system in real time over a network such as GPRS.
SFA can help sales people to manage customer interaction throughout the sales cycle, from primary contact through post-sale service. SFA applications serve two different users within a company, sales managers and sales representatives, who have changeable requirements. Sale force automation is essential in those industries where the direct field sales force tends to be high and account management is important. Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing industries have obtained significant returns on sales force automation investments.
Before opting for any SFA software, research your options. A good sales force automation solution should have features such as multiple sales processing options and the ability to use multiple information sources. It should help in providing automation of customer assignments and field accessed decision support.
A sales force automation solution that is web enabled is at a huge advantage to those that are not. Web capability allows access to information and forms anywhere, anytime and also tools for accurate sales and demand forecasting. There must be strong security and flexibility to support new data and functionality without a large scale redesign of the system.
When choosing a sales force automation solution, keep in mind your clients and your sales force. Without flexibility to meet their needs precisely, you are likely to lose efficiency in the sales process. Choosing a flexible option will ensure your system will grow with your company.