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Sales Force Automation (SFA) Benefits For Sales People

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The three most important salesperson success factors are a quality saleable product, quality sales leads and time.

The biggest challenges facing today’s sales people are increased competition, product brand recognition and time management. While Sales Force Automation (SFA) software cannot change their product or increase its recognition, it can facilitate the sequencing and automation of winning sales processes as well as increase sales persons’ time for selling. Mature SFA systems provide proven and disciplined processes which either inform the sales person he or she is wasting their time or guide sale opportunities to predictable closures.

Basic Business Contact Management (BCM) systems are nothing new and generally include little more than account contact information. SFA software systems are akin to super-attenuated BCM. SFA systems begin with the basic account and contact information, however, advance in the areas of sales methodology support, sales cycle automation, competitive intelligence, workflow automation and real-time information analysis.

It has all of the time saving and lead/data capture as the most advanced and complete BCM system, however it also can tie into the company accounting and compliance systems as well. Some of the more robust BCM systems (Microsoft’s Business Contact Manager, Sage’s ACT) come quite close to the features and benefits of a CRM’s SFA component. A quality SFA component is a more complete solution.

For salespeople, time is money. SFA systems are designed to leverage a salesperson’s time by automating the lead capture process and force attention to details. A salesperson always knows how many open leads they have, the age of the lead, a full history of contacts, lead interests/needs and when and how the next contact should be made. He or she also knows, in-group of existing clients, their needs, follow up steps etc. Of course, as with a BCM system, all leads and clients can be grouped for mailers, email blasts, calling campaigns and meeting initiations. A well run SFA can have the salesperson’s contact list and information ready and on-screen automatically, and, where the salesperson can see their activity to come.

SFA also makes the lead handling and follow up more efficient. Business cards, even with proper care, can get lost. They also are terrible for information records keeping and are severely limited in the information they hold. Leads are never lost and follow-up is mandatory.

Salespeople are generally not paper or forms people. Salespeople want to spend their time selling and in customer contact/service and lead generation. Unfortunately, businesses run on forms and procedures. SFA insures that the proper forms are always used and given to the proper recipients. And, it does not have a depreciating tone of voice when it makes sure that form adherence is followed up on. A salesperson never has to worry about a form being outdated or, worse, not in stock. With offsite access, salespeople can also handle such details during downtime and at their leisure.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to the salesperson with SFA is that they get unparalleled support without impacting support staff. It is akin to having a personal assistant 24/7 who never makes a mistake. For new sales staff that do not warrant, or have not yet earned a personal assistant, this kind of benefit cannot be over stated.

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