Sales Force Automation Buying Tips
Sales force automation (SFA) solutions are incredibly diverse—which makes sense seeing as sales force automation are unique and agile creatures as well. Every sales force is different, and this fact must be front and center when choosing your sales force automation software.
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What is included in sales for automation?
Sales for Automation refers to the management of sales through software apps. sales force automation creates automated workflows that create a streamlined sales process 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.
The main features of sales force automation are:
- Contact management
you are able to track customer communication via sales force automation solutions. It will track the complete history of interactions, sales, and any business-related activities pertaining to a specific customer.
- Task management
Sales force automation allows you to create alerts for your customers that are synced with your company’s calendars about pending order confirmations and follow-ups.
- Pipeline management
Lead tracking from initial inquiry to a closed sale. Each sales force automation opportunity in your pipeline gets tracked allowing you to prioritize based on urgency/importance and sales force automation solutions can thus provide sales force automation forecasts for your business.
- Team collaboration
Sales force automation with the aid of cloud technology allows your CRM to be operable from anywhere, giving rise to remote working opportunities. You can have multiple users using and assessing customer data creating 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.
How do companies use sales force automation?
- Increased accuracy: with sales force automation, automating campaigns leaves room for fewer errors and saves you the trouble of manually repeating the same task.
- Increased productivity from sales team: sales force automation automated manual tasks your sales team would’ve otherwise had to do. Hence, your sales team can dedicate all their energy to customer interactions and sales closing.
- No forgotten leads: with sales force automation and synchronization of all sales systems, you can be assured that no leads are missed, and all leads are accounted for.
- Smart sales forecasts: sales force automation’s smart sales forecasting feature analyzes past sales records to predict and guide your sales team through future sales opportunities. sales force automation also increases the quality of leads from your existing customer base with knowledge of their past preferences and patterns to generate new and effective sales campaigns.
- Increased employee engagement: smart sales forecasting by sales force automation solutions increases sales staff productivity and thus, increases agent confidence. This can in turn help your company retain staff for longer
- Quicker response times: sales force automation can attend to leads instantly without having to wait for sales agent interference. Customers can manage their own sales journey via your website or sales force automation workflow to increase sales.
Tips for selecting sales force automation solutions for your company
When choosing your sales force automation software, consider the following tips:
- Tip #1 Needs Analysis
Because sales departments are so diverse the first thing you should do is perform a needs-based analysis. You need to understand the department and its job processes to select the right sales force automation solution. The best way to do that would be to find a point person in the sales department to work with as they can give you valuable insight into the features that a sales force automation solution would require.
- Tip #2: Consider a Modular System
Sales departments are amorphous creatures and are consistently changing, and for this reason, you may want to consider a flexible solution that can change with the department. The best sales force automation systems are therefore ones that are as agile as the sales department and are flexible, scalable, and modular.
- Tip #3: Demo and Test
sales force automation software often comes with a plethora of tools and incredible customization options. For those two reasons, it is of critical importance to demo the software and to obtain a trial version if at all possible. Customizations within sales force automation software are important because of the diversity of the sales force—and knowing how these will work with your current platforms and software BEFORE you purchase can make or break the implementation.
- Tip #4: Ask Questions—Lots of 'Em
Because of the high degree of difficulty in choosing the right sales force automation solution for your specific sales force, asking the right questions is important. Ideally, you should be discussing these questions with someone in the sales department first. Here are some examples of the kinds of questions you will want to ask your sales force automation vendor:
- What is your road map for the future in terms of upgrades and/or improvements?
- Which specific verticals do you have experience working with?
- What type of service and support do you offer, and what is your average reaction time to support inquiries via sales force automation?
- Can you supply references?
- What is the total cost of ownership? And what elements are included in the listing price and which elements cost extra?
- Tip #5: Negotiate
In sales force automation purchases, there is always room for negotiation. The list price is exactly that—the list price. It has wiggle room; list prices are always inflated, and you have every right to ask for a discount.
This works best if you ask while still in the information gathering stage, not when you have all but chosen the vendor as your solution. Feel free to ask for discounts or free stuff—after all, we all like free stuff. Try asking for a discount on services and support or ask for free training or add-ons.