Types of sales force automation solutions for small businesses
Part of CRM software, sales force automation solutions enhance sales and marketing operations by providing insight into real-time sales and marketing information. A sales force automation solution may help small businesses become more profitable and successful by enhancing their sales and marketing processes. For example, with a sales force automation solution, a salesperson can track customer sales, get information on customer orders, and see what specials are being offered at a given point in time. Keeping track of sales and having up-to-the-minute information readily available for customers usually results in higher customer satisfaction rates. The more satisfied a company's customers are, the more likely they are to return for business and refer other customers.
Whether it’s for software used in a BPO to attend to customer complaints or a more B2B CRM category that caters to online subscriptions, sales force automation can benefit any use case. Sales force automation can give your teams a bird’s eye perspective for aligning processes toward a more productive result by providing end-to-end management of all your leads and customers. When buying or upgrading CRM software, deployment options are bound to be a topic that must be addressed before implementation can occur. Therefore, we outline below the various deployment options that are available for small businesses when it comes to sales force automation.
What is sales force automation?
Sales for Automation refers to the management of sales through software apps. sales force automation creates automated workflows that streamline sales processes to manage sales leads, forecasts, and sales force automation team performance.
Sales force automation is usually included as part of the CRM system, automatically recording all sales process stages. sales force automation can also give your staff suggestions about follow-up phone calls, emails, and meetings that may be required to close business.
What does sales force automation do for small businesses?
Before we talk about the benefits of sales force automation, keep in mind the current customer service experience your CRM provides. With that in mind, let’s explore the main features of sales force automation to truly understand how sales force automation can take your business to the next level.
- Contact management: you can track customer communication via sales force automation solutions. It will track the comprehensive history of interactions, sales, and any business-related activities about a specific customer.
- Opportunity management: to ensure that no leads will be missed and that new opportunities can be more visible and pursued with ease with the use of sales force automation.
- Task management: sales force automation allows you to create notifications for your customers that are synced with your company’s calendars about pending order confirmations and follow-ups.
- Pipeline management: a sales force automation solution will take lead tracking from initial inquiry to a closed sale. Each sales force automation opportunity in your pipeline gets followed allowing you to rank priority based on urgency/importance and a sales force automation solution can thus provide sales force automation forecasts for your business.
- Team collaboration: sales force automation is boosted with cloud technology that allows your CRM to be operable from anywhere, giving rise to more remote working opportunities your company tends to operate from multiple locations, and sales force automation is a good solution to keep everyone on the same page.
Multiple users can use and assess customer data to create a central hub for sales force automation. Cloud technology also makes it possible for other cloud apps to be integrated with your sales force automation solution and automates the data flow between all aspects of your sales process. This helps your company stay on track with everything with a cohesive sales strategy.
On-premise deployment of sales force automation
On-site sales force automation solutions require a small business to purchase the license to the software and implement the solution on-site or on-premise. Small businesses need the hardware to support the sales force automation software along with personnel to maintain the software and hardware.
Since the purchase and maintenance of physical infrastructure may be challenging for smaller businesses to afford, it may not be the most feasible solution - except in certain cases where hardware will have to be maintained, depending on the nature of services offered.
Cloud-based deployment of sales force automation
Cloud-based or hosted small business sales force automation solutions do not reside at the small business site, but rather at a data center or the provider's site. Small businesses do not have to purchase licenses to hosted sales force automation solutions.
Hosted sales force automation solutions provide a way for small businesses to take advantage of big functionality without the cost or the need to maintain the software. And small businesses don’t have to purchase hardware to support a hosted sales force automation solution.
With most benefits of CRM software attributed to the convenience provided by cloud-based solutions, this is the most convenient option of deployment for most small businesses - especially those that are just getting started.
Open-source deployment of sales force automation
Another type of sales force automation solution is called open-source. Open-source solutions are free to the public. There are no licensing costs, and the software is available for all to download from the vendor’s or provider’s website. While some open-source CRM applications may be turnkey, many will still need to be customized to suit your business’s unique requirements. For this, some programming expertise may be required. While open-source software is a cost-effective means to implement any kind of application, the extra hand required to custom-configuring the system may be a cost that your business will need to incur - especially if you do not have a development team available in-house.
To ensure that you don’t require any kind of custom development, or to minimize the level of custom development required for an open-source CRM, read CRM ratings online from similar small business users who would’ve shared their experiences of using the software, before making a decision.
Although reviews and ratings shouldn’t be the only factor influencing your decision, they can still provide sufficient insight into how suitable a product may be. Understanding common CRM management tactics can also equip you with the knowledge to choose the right product, so it aligns with your business’s unique objectives while being cost-effective.
Choosing the right sales force automation solutions for small businesses
Most sales force automation solutions for small businesses are user-friendly, easy to implement, and customizable. Open-source sales force automation solutions are typically easy to customize because the source code is made available to all who download the solution - but will require the expertise of a developer to configure.
Most types of sales force automation solutions are configurable to meet the unique needs of any company in any industry. You can learn more about sales force automation using our sales force automation CRM buyer’s guide, However, doing a sales force automation CRM software comparison online can provide you and your teams all the insight they need to make an informed decision on sales force automation, as well as numerous other capabilities that come with sales force automation aspect of CRM and other customer-facing applications.