Sales Force Automation (SFA) conjures up images of a solution used to manage geographically dispersed field sales teams working hard to increase their sales footprint. Loosely this translates to managing and identifying the number of visits they make to their distributor and supplier network for order capture, sales return, payment collection, etc. SFA, however, has evolved over the years to become valuable ammunition in the salesperson’s arsenal.
Given the rising importance of human capital and the increasing value of data-backed insights, a comprehensive Sales Force Automation tool can connect all the relevant data points that help the sales team, and the organization, to improve their decision-making and augment organizational outcomes.
SFA is a powerful tool that can help the field sales force navigate the changing scenarios and multiple variables at play to drive successful sales outcomes. The purpose of SFA is to reduce the workload of non-revenue generating, time-consuming, and resource-intensive tasks such as data entry and deliver essential information to drive enablement where work happens.
Field sales agents need their SFA solution to help them manage opportunities by reducing redundant tasks such as data collection and data entry. They want to connect the multiple data points in the entire sales ecosystem, including the supplier and distributor network, seamlessly to drive elevated information exchange.
Given the multiple data points and complexity of sales information, field sales agents need an SFA solution that can parse the sea of data-based information and translate it into deep, quantified, and actionable insights that drive transformational outcomes.
The SFA solution thus also must account for aggregating and competitively distilling all the relevant information according to the needs of the field sales agents. Clear and accurate re-sales, sales, and post-sales information are essential for field agents to calibrate moves and land deals. The solution as such should deliver comprehensive information as clear and discernible insights, in an easy-to-read and usable format to drive informed decision-making.
Capability to improve lead times
If field sales agents are not enabled with automation, they will end up spending far too much time at their desks instead of in the field, selling. An SFA solution must be optimized to automate all those tasks capably to reduce manual errors that lead to opportunity impact.
Field agents need the SFA solution to take unnecessary tasks off their plates and free up their schedules so that they can spend more time in customer management. Automating these time-consuming tasks and providing consolidated and comprehensive sales-related information and insights helps salespeople improve lead times and thereby gives them the capability to respond faster to incoming leads and tap into external leads proactively.
Improved lead distribution capabilities
To improve the efficacy of the field agents, organizations also need to identify how to improve their lead distribution capabilities. A comprehensive lead distribution system not only assigns incoming leads to different sales reps but matches every lead to the sales agent best suited to seal the deal.
Statistics suggest that calling a web lead within 5 minutes increases the chances of conversion by 9 times. Given that lead information can come from multiple sources, the SFA system should be able to capture all leads from all sources without any leakage. The system can further help the sales teams increase their throughput by qualifying the lead as high quality or high priority according to internal benchmarks. It can then capably distribute it to the right salesperson based on availability or other metrics.
Multi-brand, multi-branch support
The field salespeople want one tool to help them manage it all. This needs a comprehensive platform that is extensible and connects the varied distributor, supplier, and product ecosystem, and provides timely, detailed, and accurate information at all times.
With detailed insights, the sales team can then proactively manage their day better and improve the quality of their interactions. They can identify what product to focus on, monitor their activities better, and have better sales conversations by identifying the right cross-selling and upselling opportunities from the available data at hand.
Detailed, real-time insights
The success of a sales team depends on its capacity to leverage data. Given that the volume of data is increasing phenomenally and that the value of data depreciates as it gets older, salespeople need real-time insights.
The more timely the insights, the better the quality of interaction and engagement and consequently, the better the chances of positive sales outcomes. Ensuring that field agents have access to a platform that provides them with the most current, real-time insights by considering all the variables and relevant data points can be a complete gamechanger in the sales ecosystem.
Mobile and language enablement
Language support and mobile enablement are two other features that field sales agents need for the SFA solution for enablement and support. The solution must make sure that it can enable language options and capably translate all data correctly as required by the user.
Mobile enablement is also now imperative to deliver enablement “on-site” so that salespeople can make informed, data-backed decisions. This becomes even more imperative as we move into a world characterized by VUCA, lockdowns, and remote work. Mobile enablement provides salespeople with immense flexibility and ensures prompt information exchange without any delays.
The right Sales Force Automation solution simplifies a salesperson’s life and ensures that they expend their energy in impactful and meaningful tasks. With a comprehensive, mobile-enabled tool, salespeople can spend the better part of their day in the field armed with reliable, real-time information.
With instant access to product specs, distributor and supplier information and usage patterns, and comprehensive, easy-to-generate reports, salespeople can close deals faster with greater confidence. With a tool in place, they can flexibly adjust sales tactics, deliver, and retrieve information and provide solutions and close deals with greater confidence.