Sales Process Automation

Synchronizing the sales and marketing process is complex. It’s a process made up of many inter-related tasks. From prospecting, contact management and sales forecasting, through multichannel campaign management and performance analysis, these tasks must work seamlessly together in order to ensure smooth, efficient end-to-end sales operations. While these components are important, they can also be time-consuming and distract sales from their primary objectives – to work with potential clients, close business, and expand the customer base.

What is Sales Force Automation?

Sales force automation (SFA) is designed to streamline many aspects of the sales process, replacing manual, disjointed tasks with the proven best practices of the top 20% of sales people. SFA gives salespeople access to the right collateral and sales messages at each stage of the sales process. It also automates many of the critical sales-related activities as appropriate.

Sales force automation is a vital piece of any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy. When closely aligned and integrated with marketing and customer service automation systems, SFA becomes an integral part of CRM operations, allowing your company to more effectively manage customer interactions across all touch-points, so you can enhance satisfaction, and improve loyalty and retention. CRM alone does not address the problems and challenges sales and marketing face day to day:

  • Which content is available?
  • What is the best sales tool?
  • For whom is the content created?
  • When to use it?
  • At which stage within the sales process should the content be delivered?

Collecting data into a CRM system is only the first step towards customer engagement.  Intelligently and personally distributing content, driven by the data is the NEXT step towards building highly engaged, loyal customers.

Key Benefits for Your Company

Sales force automation provides dramatic productivity increases. Field reps spend less time managing contact data and trying to keep track of their sales opportunities. Territory managers have faster, more accurate insight into the activities of their staff. And, sales analysts have instant access to the information they need to generate precise forecasts and track results.

With sales force automation, your company can accelerate sales cycles, close more business, boost revenues, and increase market share. SFA can also help to expand your profit margins by reducing the costs associated with customer acquisition.

In many businesses today, the data needed to complete a sale resides in multiple locations – usually on several different desktops or in disparate front office applications. With SFA, all those involved in your sales cycles will have access to a single, centralized repository of detailed, up-to-date sales information. Communication is improved, workflow is streamlined, and resources are fully optimized.

Common SFA Features

Most sales force automation solutions offer a broad range of functionality that will address the needs of many different types of users – from sales reps and managers, to analysts and administrators. One of the key selection criteria for a sales force automation solution is flexibility. While there are numerous “off-the-shelf” SFA packages available today, many companies have discovered that the “one size fits all” approach to sales force automation simply does not work.

14. August 2012 by John McGee
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