Chapter 3 Sales force Automation (SFA

)
 SFA: Now and Then • SFA were originally meant to improve sales force productivity and encourage salespeople to document and communicate their field activities • They are becoming increasingly focused on cultivating customer relationships and improving customer satisfaction  • • What is Sales Force Automation (SFA) ? SFA software is a type of program that automates business tasks such as: inventory control - sales processing tracking of customer interactions - analyzing sales forecasts and performance. sales force automation is a technique of using software to automate the business tasks of sales, including order processing, contact management, information sharing, inventory monitoring and control, order tracking, customer management, sales forecast analysis and employee performance evaluation. Most Sales Force Automation software today contains tools designed to assist efforts for marketing to generate leads as well as selling to existing accounts and new customers. Some SFA software offers limited service or support capabilities.

 Benefit of Sales Force Automation • The first major benefit of Sales Force Automation is having sales information captured and available to every member of the sales team in one real-time data repository. This eliminates individualized Excel spreadsheet lead lists and pipelines, and errors of omitence. • It organizes a sales team’s efforts as almost all SFA software on the market today interfaces with Microsoft Office. Almost all also have the capabilities of designing and utilizing templates, such as form letters for email campaigns that can be merged with individual contacts. • Automating activities such as the dialing of telephone calls, merging of template letters, and automated generation of sales quotes have two major benefits for a salesperson. First, it increases individual productivity and efficiency. Second, it makes reporting easy. • SFA can increase productivity as the whole team can easily spot busy and available times. For individual account management, scheduling automatic notifications for selling opportunities can improve time management and ultimately increase recurring sales. • SFA helps automated repeat selling include the renewals, replenishment or supplies that clients need regularly. Internet firms, in particular, have this fulfillment down to a fine art. • By sharing information, a salesperson can discuss all kind of sale opportunities with peers and managers. Defining and automating the stages of a sale allows calculation of closing statistics based on previous, similar opportunities, and results in more accurate sales close rates within specific timeframes. • Relieved of tedious repetitive tasks, a salesperson can focus more time on managing the sales process and moving it closer to a win. • One of the capabilities of a Sales Force Automation system is the ability to categorize the stages of a sale from prospect to close. A salesperson can then prioritize and focus on the most winnable sale opportunities • By having real-time visibility to a complete sale opportunity pipeline, the Sales Manager can

documents. 6. implement and measure their prospect’s next step strategies. 8. That executive can also ensure there are enough leads in the pipeline and apply resources to move the opportunities through the process faster.Can answer specific questions quickly . This information includes all emails. Contact management and 3. and allowing salespeople to maintain notes on specific clients or prospects .• • focus team members on those deals on those deals that can be won or those deals that can close immediately.  Sales Force Automation: Functionality There are core feature such as: 1. SFA software minimizes the risks involved when best salesperson is lured away by fiercest competitor. 4. • Contact Management: o Subset of sales force automation that deals with organizing and managing data across and within a company’s client and prospect organization o Software can contain various modules for maintaining local client databases. calendar and more. understand the need to prospect on a continual basis. and for each department? What is the client’s mailing address or billing address? Which customers were included in the most recent promotion for a specific product? When is my next sales call? When was the last time I called on that customer? • • • • • 2. jobs. Account Management 5. properly balance their selling and prospecting activities. and better . displaying updated organization charts.Enable salespeople to communicate their schedules to the organization at large o Real value of CM is in its capability to track where customers are and who they are in terms of their influence with sales management functions • Many software programs allows users to query remote databases for supplementary information or to synchronize laptop local data with a corporate customer database. develop. objectively determine which prospects are most likely to close. Slowed opportunities are easily identifiable. qualifying them out or assign the opportunities to a nurture campaign. Lead Management 7. Most Sales Force Automation software systems have the functionality to reassign existing accounts and leads from one salesperson to another en masse in minutes minimizing the risks of stalling or losing sales in the pipeline. and decisions can be made to change strategy. Prospect management • Prospect management enable individual sales representatives to quickly identify their best prospects. faxes.  Sales people can answer questions like Who is the contact individuals for a specific client. Sales forecasting 2. Prospect management Opportunity Management Pipeline management Quotations and Orders 1. contact management • A Contact Management System (CMS) is an integrated office solution that allows organizations and individuals to record relationships and interactions with customers and suppliers. and market to them on a less aggressive schedule until they eventually mature or go away.

properly balance their selling and prospecting activities. Effective organization in interacting with your contacts. Account Management • • • • While a sales team works to close deals with small to large businesses it is necessary to maintain individual accounts and keep track of contacts under them. They could all serve as contacts at various levels. understand the need to prospect on a continual basis. who may represent or account for a particular company or such other bigger concern is of high priority. objectively determine which prospects are most likely to close. In a B2C (Business to Consumer) scenario where the end customer is an individual. organization. an account is redundant since he or she is a single contact. Account management module presents a simple and straight forward interface to manage • • • • • • • . 3. The relationship with the concern as a whole would become inharmonious and cause potential deals to slip if interaction with contacts is disorganized. The success of a sales operation relies heavily on account management. implement and measure their prospect’s next step strategies.  What are accounts? An account represents a company. business or a similar concern that has many employees and personnel working in it. replenishing prospect base Rank sales situations according to established criteria Justify board ranking Present "next step" strategy Apply system criteria to actual prospects Evaluate prospect ranking Strategize "next step" activity Enable individual sales representatives to quickly identify their best prospects. Account management helps maintain harmony and makes the process of sales to businesses with multiple contacts easy and efficient. communication is directed to the proper personnel in charge. This makes it possible to cater to the needs of specific divisions inside a business. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Prospect management help sales men: Understand sales ratios and how to improve them Understand the steps of the sale and their progression Understand \ sales cycle and the time/probability factor Introduce the "do" versus "need" sales philosophy Understand time and activity allocation Understand continual prospecting. and better plan and manage their time. This saves time that may be lost in approaching the wrong contacts and wasting effort in improper directions.plan and manage their time. By categorizing contacts to accounts by their sub-divisions and functions. account management is the process of managing the communications and transactions with businesses having many contacts and divisions.  What is account management? In simple words. develop.

set up revenue and quantity schedules for each product to mirror payment and delivery terms o Opportunity Update Reminders : Ensure sales teams keep opportunity information up-to-date with scheduled email reminders. Opportunity Management can be customized to fit internal sales methodologies and processes. including milestones. o Sales Methodologies : Use built-in support for branded sales methodologies such as Miller Heiman. activities and products categorized by account.  Account management Benefit Track all accounts and related contacts. Apart from basic information fields. or different sales channels o Product Tracking : Track product-level information on each sales opportunity. and recording all opportunity-related interactions. quoted price. opportunities and other details from a common repository Associate accounts and related subsidiaries or sub divisions by setting parent-child identifiers Generate printer savvy sales quotes. whether it be different business units. tracking opportunity milestones. partners. Benefits: Standardize sales processes and methodologies Identify bottlenecks and shorten sales cycles Proactively counter competitive threats Facilitate collaboration across your teams Effectively manage multiple deals simultaneously Track deal progress and milestones Close more deals and increase sales productivity • Details: o Opportunity Tracking : Centrally track all opportunity-related data. invoices and sales orders for the accounts Store notes pertaining to accounts and keep track of contacts. and all other custom information unique to your company. opportunities and other details more elaborately Export accounts to spreadsheet software to analyze the buying patterns of a customers and set up loyalty programs Track purchase history of the customers and analyze opportunities for up-selling and crossselling in future • • • • • • 4.• accounts. recurring emails for themselves and their teams • • :: :: :: :: :: :: :: . Additionally. decision makers. and product codes. Opportunity Management • Opportunity management enables sales teams to work together to close deals faster by providing a single place for updating deal information. standard price. making it easier for managers to monitor their sales pipelines. including quantity. different product lines. notes. or set up you own customized sales methodology or sales process o Multiple Sales Processes : Set up different sales processes and page displays for different sales situations. contacts. Managers can set up automatic. customer communications. the history section at the bottom helps in monitoring potentials.

or communication falls through the cracks • Sales people follow a defined approach to turning opportunities into deals • Tools : o can provide qualified leads through marketing campaigns or lead referrals o can also track other prospect attributes o These capabilities can result in answers to questions that previously demanded guesswork lead management not only track customer account history but also monitor leads. Roll up competitive data in win-loss reports to understand competitive trends and emerging threats. Can also feed sales forecasting software and result in more accurate predications than relying on traditional spreadsheets of past performance. Prospect attributes such as product interests. o Opportunity Analysis : Easily analyze your sales pipeline so you can quickly identify and eliminate any bottlenecks in the sales cycle or determine the cause of downgraded sales opportunities 5. • Prospects can come in the form of names and addresses. email addresses and fax numbers.o Competitor Tracking : Track the competition and key competitive issues on each deal. Lead Management `Lead generation is the process by which a company finds prospective customers for its product offerings. and refine selling efforts online. • Lead Management aims to provide foolproof sales strategies so no sales task.  What is Lead Management? Lead management encompasses: • Lead acquisition and data capture • Data cleansing and lead import • Lead distribution • Lead assignment rules • Lead scoring and prioritization • Lead list management • Qualification and conversion or nurturing • • • • • • • . Enable a company’s marketing or sales management organization to automatically distribute client leads to a field of telemarketing rep based on the rep’s product knowledge or territory. which provides a real-world view of each lead and its likelihood of becoming a full-fledged sale. names and phone numbers. Can result in faster deals and higher close rates. document. Questions can be answered such as: o At which step in the sales cycle do we lose most of our perspective? o What percentage of leads resulted in sales in a certain region? o How long is the average sales cycle? Lead management is only as good as the data that feeds it. discretionary budget amounts. and different products provide different levels of sophistication. and likely competitors. generate next steps.

• 7. Sales Forecasting • • • A new level of control and predictability allows to plan sales activities with confidence. The variations may not be infinite. Qualification 4. All the services. and combinations of services and /or products have to be entered into catalogue. Each company has its criteria for what constitutes its sales process. but they are extensive. Product catalogs-whether they cover physical inventory or services offered-have to be created. Customer quotation build-up helps organizations manage even the most complex product catalogs with ease. Closed:won or lost. • In other words. Sales personnel provide forecasts and historical reports to their managers as requested. Potential lead 3. • Now company can effectively communicate and collaborate. You can easily maintain and secure even large catalogs and multiple price books centrally for increased consistency. and consistency  Order tracking : This feature tracks the status of the invoice and the product delivery. but opening and closing tend to be the process bookends. you can use the application as it was meant to be used. Prospecting 2. Short List 7. accuracy. This is normally tied into the back-office financial functions. • The “sales pipeline” is a peculiar term for the execution of the established sales process. With a transparent view of all sales activities.  Sales quota management : This is normally for • :: :: :: :: . If you can successfully embed your sales process into SFA application.• Workflow for automating lead processes 6. • A sales process sequence could be: 1. Negotiation 8. while giving your teams easy access to the precise product and pricing information they need. volume discounts. Then a pricing schedule that allows for special discounts. transforming prospects into profitable and lasting customers. sales team can generate instant and accurate forecasts based on revenue and customer demand. products. times discounts. and such has to be created based on some criteria. Pipeline Management Maximize the revenue potential of every lead. Oppurtunity 5. Benefits: Eliminate disparate and out-of-date product catalogs Manage special pricing for certain customer segments Support global teams with prices listed in multiple currencies Increase efficiency. Forecasts roll up throughout the organization and managers have the ability to add their own assessments to the forecasts submitted 8. Customer quotation build-up • • • • • • Most good SFA packages have automated generation of quotations and orders. Building vision 6. every company has its own sales process.

and forecasts. • Important recent sales trends related to mobility and wireless data make synchronization more important: o Sales people are spending more time out of the office with customers and prospects. 4. It allows them to see how the individual salesperson is doing relative to their quotas within some defined time segment. • Each synchronized system gets data that conforms with the data on any other disparate system. anywhere. • Synchronization also allows corporate managers and sales teams to share information created by field salespeople. such as meeting notes.  DATA SYNCHRONIZATION • One of the most significant technologies is data synchronization. so the need to share information grows. • The two makes SFA useful to both the professional on the road and the manager back at the headquarters. Partner management capabilities 1.  Sales Force Automation: The Technology • What makes SFA powerful is not just the functionality . • Most SFA products run a single batch job each night to produce a host database extract for . industry. 7. schedules. o Entire sales and marketing organizations are using computer based customer. sales and project information to sell more effectively. Expense reporting Marketing encyclopedia 8. analyze and change territories.  Other SFA applications: Incentive compensation system 2. • Data synchronization is the process of updating information among unconnected computers-laptop.  Data Synchronization process • Synchronization products specifically designed for sales force automation allow users to maintain a corporate database in Oracle or Sybase and distribute a subset of data to the remote users running relational database applications in stand-alone mode. Instantly and automatically route sales activities to the right sales personnel – anytime. o sales people operate as members of sales teams as products become more complex andtechnical.sales managers. Competitive information system Telesales campaign management.but also the combination of the functionality and the flexibility of the technology. Sales assistant Learning management system/content delivery tool 6. mobile . product or other customizable criteria.or desktop .  Territory Management : Easily administer. 3. 5.  Commission Management : This is a tool that calculates the commissions for salespeople. Territories are organized based on geography. • Salespeople in the field can maintain a subset of the master database and update their local data while others are working with the same data simultaneously.

• Report engine pulls information from multiple sources. or profitability-all by simple drag-and-drop operations. or month. bidirectional communication ensures that data does not become "out of sync" due to lags between uploads and downloads. • During connection. manipulate and update the data. your customer data repository and your SFA application.  Flexibility and performance : A synchronization system should be capable of supporting large-scale field implementations with potentially hundreds of users. and reconcile their changes with the new information from the host database. and can put together reports on an adhoc basis that can be dynamically altered. failing to complete the database update.  Reporting tools • Good reporting tools as part of the technology of SFA (and CRM) are essential. • The typical process of synchronizing data between remote and host systems. • Remote databases are created for mobile salespeople and branch offices. even if your remote sales force is currently small. bidirectional. you can view the sales figures for the year. A big problem with this approach is that the reps are always receiving yesterday's information.• • • • every user. • Rmote salesperson can connect to the home office using low bandwidth modems or wide area network (WAN) connections. makes . In a global environment where information must be updated 24 hours a day. the information on a field salesperson’s laptop need only pertain to his particular account. • For example. and missed opportunities. • The synchronization system tracks changes pertinent to the particular salesperson to both the remote databases and the host database. Salespeople or managers who are at a desk can connect via their local area network (LAN). log files are exchanged that contain new information to be updated in the respective databases. sales person. including your financial applications. new data is applied to each database so that each database has up-to-date information. • After the connection is completed. • Each database is a relevant subset of the corporate database. redundant work efforts. In some cases.  How does it work • Field salespeople with laptop computers need to download a pertinent subset of data. • Lack of or poor reporting can lead to bad strategic or tactical decisions. It saves money. Companies with hundreds of salespeople may literally run out of time during the night batch process window. by customer. the update may require two telephone sessions--one to upload and another to download fresh data. quarter. • Reporting is the creation of customized onscreen or printed views that provide the viewer/reader with information specifically in the form they want and with content they want. • For example. on-demand database synchronization. The latest sales force automation products use single-session.

analysis easier. . and can be critical for decision making.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful