Sales Force Automation

What is Sales Force Automation?

What is Sales Force Automation?

Sales Force Automation helps you:

  • Automate repetitive tasks to save time and increase productivity
  • Manage sales teams and processes
  • Manage opportunities efficiently
  • Improve organization and collaboration
  • Generate accurate sales report, forecasts and trends
  • Boost revenue

Automate repetitive tasks to save time and increase productivity

Sales force automation helps automate time-consuming, but repetitive and important tasks using rule-based engines. Activities, like tracking customer contacts, past interactions, scheduling further communication and appointments as well as sales opportunity recording, are updated automatically using cloud technology, so that the information is in sync and accessible to the whole team/department.

Similarly, users can also easily generate estimates, proposals, quotes and create deals using SFA tools to expedite the sales process. Moreover, each salesperson can access customer order information and can offer fast resolutions for their issues.

When these tasks have to be handled by manual labor they can be mundane and eat up precious time. However, easy-to-access information and automation of certain workflows, provided by SFA tools, facilitate enhanced productivity and better time and resource management.

Manage sales team and processes

Sales force automation manages a central log of all contacts and sales activities with real-time updates, giving direct information to management for educated decision making.

Sales managers can track opportunities, closed deals, generated revenue, customer complaints, the performance of individual sales representatives and other important metrics. Users can analyze and optimize sales performance KPIs such as lead time, win-loss ratio, conversion rates and more. Performance tracking of individual sales reps allows management to identify and make necessary adjustments to strengthen underperforming reps. For the optimal utilization of resources, managers can allocate leads to individual reps to distribute them evenly, or by availability and expertise, while monitoring the end-to-end sales process.

Manage opportunities efficiently

Sales force automation collates leads generated from online queries, website visits, social interactions and campaign impressions directly in the sales funnel. It also allows the sales representative to track potential customers and their activities to create an active pipeline. A visual dashboard with easy-to-manage drag-and-drop widgets keeps the users updated with recent information on all contacts, leads, and deals – making it easier to manage priorities and push deals to a favorable outcome.

Similarly, a centrally managed repository of customer order histories and interactions help businesses serve their clients better, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. This, in turn, creates more opportunities to up-sell existing customers or reach out to more prospects. Using competitor monitoring, users can also determine opportunities and threats to formulate their own strategy.

Sales force automation also updates the lead database, allocate leads in real time for quick action, automate communication for reduced turnaround time, and analyze the response rate of communications to aid sales cycles and improve the rate of conversion.

Improve organization and collaboration customer services

Sales force automation maintains a central record of all contacts and customers and supports asset sharing across the organization. Users within and across departments can easily access, share, communicate, and collaborate on sales opportunities, projects, campaigns and service queries. Real-time updates and transparent accessibility enables the organization to keep their data organized and updated, along with streamlining inter- and intra-department collaboration.

Generate accurate sales report, forecasts and trends

With sales force automation, users can track collections, pending payments and returns. Users can reduce manual processes through quick, customizable report generation. Not only this, but SFA tools also provide intelligent sales forecasts. It helps managers track past sales records, customer behavior and buying patterns as well as market swings, checks the current database and offers insight into upcoming opportunities. Armed with this information, users can plan important aspects of their pricing, promotions and campaigns to improve sales performance.

Boost revenue

Sales force automation enables users to boost revenue in more ways than one.

Automation of contact and communication management makes it possible for sales representatives to reach out to more prospects and improve resource utilization. Improved customer services and a centralized view of all customer information allows for more opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell wherever possible. Competitor analysis and detailed insights into sales performance aid formulating better sales strategy. Similarly, sales forecasts prevent over- or under-aiming target, revenue and profit figures for auditing. With the help of lead scoring, users can identify and prioritize hot leads to improve close rates. All of these features combined contribute to improving an organization’s revenue streams.

FAQs

How Do Sales Force Automation Solutions Work?

Sales force automation programs work by automating various aspects of sales processes to streamline lead management, sales performance and forecasts in a unified system of record. It manages the collection, analysis and distribution of lead database information in sales pipelines and automates repetitive administrative tasks based on predefined inputs to make the sales process more efficient and error-free.

It connects different components of a business to ensure a real-time flow of data through predefined workflows, and make information available as required across the board to optimize sales and boost revenue. Users can customize their SFA tool as per their requirements and can further enhance it with various integrations.

How Do Sales Force Automation Systems Differ From CRM?

Sales force automation and customer relationship management tools share a lot of features and essentially work toward the same goals. Some of these include increasing sales performance and improving operational efficiency, which can lead to some confusion about their utility and requirements in a given organization.

Customer relationship management systems enhance customer relationships and improve customer retention. They record, analyze and centralize customer information across omni-channel touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle. This provides significant insight into interaction history, customer behavior and purchase patterns, providing more opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell.

Sales force automation systems optimize sales workflows, automate manual tasks in the sales process and set a standardized selling process, along with capabilities to track performance and generate revenue forecasts. With added visibility and management of the sales process, they improve operational efficiency, shorten the sales cycle and increase sales revenue.

In simple terms, while sales force automation systems focus on getting more clients and closing more deals through optimization of sales processes and management of the sales team, customer relationship management systems work on building customer loyalty and increasing client retention rate. While SFA tools are geared toward client acquisition, CRM tools work on optimizing post-sales processes and communications. Many CRM tools offer full or partial functionalities of SFA and marketing automation tools in order to be an all-in-one solution, but it often leads to a lower adaptability rate from the sales department.

How Do I Know I’m Ready for Sales Force Automation?

There are a few key signs that your business might be ready to implement sales force automation. Here are some key factors that indicate that your business needs to streamline its sales process with sales force automation:

  • Time and revenue lost due to mundane manual administrative tasks
  • Decentralized lead database leading to errors
  • Poor prioritization of prospects, leading to lost opportunities
  • Difficulty in coordination with on-field sales representatives
  • Haphazard collaboration within sales departments
  • Lack of forecasting and sales intelligence

How Do I Select a Sales Force Automation System?

When selecting a sales force automation solution that’s right for you, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. You should consider your needs, the size of your sales team, industry type and your budget. These are just a few of the factors that can make or break whether or not a vendor belongs on your selection list. The process of choosing SFA software can be daunting since it directly impacts your sales processes, which is why we at SelectHub have created an easy-to-use requirements interface to help you find the vendor that best fits your business needs. If you’re not quite ready for that, we’ve got tons of other resources to guide you along the way, whether it be our Sales Force Automation Requirements Checklist, the difference between SFA and CRM or the integrations that make Sales Force Automation even better.

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Sales force automation articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Team Lead Editor and Market Analyst

As a Content Editor at SelectHub, Zachary Totah leads a team of writers and oversees all content development for the site’s CRM and HR Management categories.

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Shweta Joshi

Market Research Analyst

Shweta Joshi is a Market Research Analyst at SelectHub. She writes content for Warehouse Management, Distribution and CRM.

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