In the latest edition of our Growing Business Guide for small & midsize businesses, we look at Sales Force Automation and what it can do for your sales team.
Sales has changed dramatically since everybody started using the internet. Buyers are now much further along the buying journey by the time they approach you. They’ve probably already scoured the internet for the information your sales team would normally provide.
Your sales team must adapt to this trend. They must have the infrastructure and technology to forge deeper and personalised relationships with your customers. Sales Force Automation is something that helps you achieve this.
Sales Force Automation (SFA) is a catch all term to describe a system that automatically records and tracks all stages in a sales process. It’s packaged as part of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It’s designed to eliminate some of the essential, but time consuming processes that are a key part of selling. For example:
- It’ll help your sales processes become agile with the introduction of systems that facilitate sharing data seamlessly.
- To become efficient because your sales team will have all the information they need in one place and can access it anywhere, anytime on any device.
- And to be effective, because you’ll spending more time on the things that matter – like closing sales and personalising customer relationships.
Typically, SFA is made up of numerous components. Depending on business requirements and the solution selected, SFA is usually comprised of contact management, sales forecasting and lead management.
A contact management system is something that tracks any sort of contact with a customer. This can include calls, email, social media and other methods of communication. You’ll be able to record the purpose of the contact and if any follow up action is needed. It helps to avoid situations where work is duplicated. It’ll keep your customers happier too, as they won’t keep getting the same pesky sales calls!
Managing your leads is also a key component of SFA. Take a look at how you manage your leads right now. Is your approach fragmented? Lead Management puts all your leads all into one place. You’ll be able to add your leads into your system in a variety of ways, whether this is on a tablet at a trade show or utilising a data capture form on your website – Helping your sales team collaborate effectively and work efficiently.
Further, you’ll be able to assign these leads to the right people in your sales team to give the personal touch, and keep detailed notes on the progress of leads. Sophisticated reporting features will allow you to gain insight into your data.
SFA can also automate your Sales Forecasting. It’ll grab information that has already been entered into your system and output results in the form of reports. Things like cashflow and purchasing are all included – giving you a clear vision of where your sales are going and helping you to plan for your future!