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What is Sales Force Automation Software?
Sales force automation software is a bundled information management and collaboration tool which allows companies to standardize their sales processes and activities, starting from lead generation to conversion. This software auto collates numerous sales records in a matter of minutes and effortlessly analyses metrics such as conversion rates, win-loss ratio and lead time, along with reporting efficiency. Additionally, it displays a clear picture of your sales team’s performance with regards to products, sales, and lead handling. Closure rate, calls made, total time spent on call conversation, status of leads, customer experience data etc, are all information provided by the software. You can use these to understand how your sales team is performing and where it can improve.
Why Sales Force Automation Software
Sales force automation software fast-tracks your sales cycle, ensuring that you meet your goals sooner than later. The software provides enhanced visibility, structure and automation to different online selling processes such as sales order processing, contact activity management, and account management.
SFA software gives businesses a chance to improve their sales effort. Its different features help in reducing disorganisation, significantly shortens the sales cycle, and helps in assessing sales performance and forecasting future growth. Other crucial features of SFA include stock control, sales forecast analysis, contact administration, quotation management, and product management.
You need this software in your company for: -
Features of Sales Force Automation Software
SFA software comes with different features, which help sales professionals in effectively monitoring their sales efforts and formulating plans to improve. Some of its key features are: -
Contact Management: This software helps you monitor all interactions made with your clients. The contact management dashboard includes records of names, phone numbers, addresses, email ID, description, and other relevant information of each contact. With every information at your disposal, you can contact customers only when needed and avoid over-contacting them. CRM systems offers a complete view of all interactions and activities between you & your customers.
Opportunity Management: You can view complete details of your team’s performance with the opportunity management feature of CRM system. With the opportunity management feature, you can observe sales stages, quotes, products viewed and more. You will get in real-time every information to close a sale.
Sales Forecasting: Sales automation lets you conduct in-depth analysis of your sales history, current market trends and buyer behaviour. You can effectively predict sales figures and consequently improve the chances of higher sales revenue.
Sales Performance Reporting and Analysis: CRM applications generate performance reports for managers to get real-time data about forecast vs performance, revenue generated and other related metrics.
Lead Management: Sales force automation software plays a big role in the entirety of a lead’s passage through the sales funnel. This feature lets you track sales progress, deal status, pending sales-related activities and move them through the sales funnel. Lead management works alongside contact management, so that you can view customer interaction information and profiles through one window.
Deals and Tasks- SFA can be used to add, assign, and track actionable tasks in the sales pipeline. Deals and tasks are automatically created with correct customer information, as soon as the latter is entered into the system.
Campaign management: Managing your marketing & sales campaigns from start to end is easy with this feature. You can use it to set up target audience and customers, automate workflows, and measure its success, as per clearly defined metrics.
Email Tracking: CRM application software tracks email clicks, impressions & opening rates, which you can view as a quantifiable data. It works with popular mailing solutions like Gmail, Outlook, MailChimp, etc.
Customer Profitability Analysis: Customer profitability analysis helps a company understand the net profit gained from each sales transaction. This is calculated by looking at revenue minus costs. Costs here include manufacturing, distribution, sales, marketing, services and any other related costs which are undertaken to better serve customers.
Business Intelligence Analysis: Using business intelligence tools of sales automation, you can make informed decisions about your sales process. Data for the same is collected from both internal and external sources, and then collated for analysis on a single unified dashboard.
Activity Workflow Manager: Assigning tasks and regulating your employee’s activities is simplified with this feature. You can define the entire workflow, from individual to team level, and monitor it to reduce redundancies.
Social media integration: With a CRM application, consolidating and managing your business’s social media accounts is much simpler. You can access your social media data at one platform, track lead generation activities, find leads and assess success metrics for effective customer management.
Advantages of SFA
Sales force automation CRM is beneficial for companies to manage their sales pipeline and ensure that more leads get converted to buyers. Major advantages of using sales force management are: -
Gain Key Insights for Improved Decision Making- Sales force automation software lets you collate and analyse sales & customer data to find patterns, trends, and insights. Such data is crucial for making strategic business decisions.
Increase Sales Opportunities- The data you obtain from lead management software lets you qualify new leads quicker and focus on important prospects. You can also identify customers for upsell, cross-sell, and reactivate dormant customers.
Better Time Management- CRM system lets sales people optimise their daily schedule to prioritise tasks. This ensures that potential customers aren’t accidentally ignored and key prospects are contacted on time.
Reduce Cost Per Sale- With customer relationship management, you can identify best sales practices and remove redundancies in the sales funnel. You can train your team in the same, and consequently, reduce conversion time. This will reduce the cost incurred per sale.
Increase Rep Accountability- It’s different tools and procedures let you analyse if sales reps are performing well and if not, then what’s causing them to slump. You can communicate the same to them and help them perform better. Additionally, it’ll also make reps aware that their work is being monitored, making them more accountable towards the task at hand.
Improve Client Retention Rates- Information obtained from different channels, ensures that clients are contacted in advance about their contract expiration dates. Sales force automation CRM also alerts sales reps about any issues with their client accounts.
Align Sales and Marketing- Sales force automation software provides real-time field data which helps in crafting effective marketing campaigns. Consequently, sales reps can work on the quality leads generated through effective marketing. Both departments can collaborate & share contacts, deals, and insights to fast track the sales cycle.
Make Accurate Sales Forecast- Its business intelligence, forecasting & analysis tool makes it easier to view and analyse deals and tasks that are coming in and out. Additionally, deals which are moving or are already abandoned can be identified, giving you patterns for forecasting customers’ buying patterns and preferences.
Accumulate Data Fast- Insights, sales numbers and pipeline details are all collated by this software. Your sales team doesn’t need to spend time accumulating data from different marketing platforms as the software does it. This allows for easy and quick analysis of data.
Mobile Friendly- Almost every sales force management software is mobile-optimised and can be used on Android and iOS-based devices.
Cloud-Based Solution- The software can be availed on a cloud-based purchase model. Cloud solutions eliminate the need to maintain hardware and it’s a safer long-term option for businesses. That’s because, in case of property damage caused by any reason (earthquake, fire, flood, short-circuiting), your business’s data is securely saved & stored on a remote server. This ensures that your data isn’t lost, and you don’t need to start from scratch.
Q. Can sales automation software be used across any industry vertical?
A. Yes, lead management software can be used across industries with a functioning sales team. Product information can be easily entered into the system and industry-specific clauses and parameters can be defined.
Q. Should I purchase SFA software if I own a start-up with less than 20 employees?
A. This software helps in improving your company’s sales process, for better closure rates. Irrespective of the total number of employees at your organisation, you can still gain a lot with this software.
Q. For purchase management, can SFA be integrated with an accounting software?
A. Yes, you can integrate your accounting software with this software, for complete financial accountability. SFA users can access details such as payment status, current balance, outstanding payments, purchase history, and more, without needing to switch applications.
Q. Can it be used to generate more leads?
A. This software gives you undivided access to your contact database which can be filtered to identify ideal prospects and decision makers in a company, provide corresponding relevant data, and deliver insights into customer buying patterns. This data will help you in improving your campaigns & score more leads.
Q. Do you provide tutorials/demos before purchasing the software?
A. Yes, before you make a purchase, our team will organise a demo for you. You can use the demo to understand the software better and make informed decisions. On purchasing any sales automation software, your employees will receive training and guidance from expert professionals on how to use the solution. Most SFA software vendors provide readable user guides, which can be referred to as well.
Q. How will this software help my business in making more sales?
A. Sales force automation software curates and places account and contact information at a centralised place, thus speeding up and streamlining the sales process. The displayed data consists of everything from call stats, logs, customer notes, insights, and quotes. Your employees can access these records & speak to customers with confidence. This makes it easy to move leads through the sales team quickly and easily.
Q. Is SFA software customisable?
A. Yes, SFA can be customised as per your business needs. For example, if you’re only looking for contact and lead management with sales forecasting, you can purchase SFA with just that feature.
Before making a purchase, you should ensure that the software resolves your needs. Making the right decision about SFA software will help save time and resource, ensuring higher profitability.
Define Your Need
Why do you need this software? Is it to automate your sales management process or to successfully manage leads? Is your primary objective from using an SFA to make better business decisions?
Answering such questions will be useful in making the right purchase decision before buying an SFA. Depending upon your business requirement, you can go for SFA with the right set of features.
Ease of Use
If the SFA of your choosing is difficult to use, it will create a massive dent on your budget and resource, affecting your bottom line. SFA software should help you improve your sales funnel and increase your business’s profitability, to stay ahead of the competition. Thus, look for a software that can be easily used and understood, without much effort.
Vendor Support System
How quick & effective is your vendor’s response time in case of problems? If you face problems while using this software, you will need immediate support from the vendor’s end. Delay in support will cause a serious problem for your work flow. Ensure that the vendor you go with has a quick response time and is effective and supportive.
Get a Demo
By using a demo/trial version of any product, you can assess the positive and negative characteristics of the software. Before buying, ask vendors to provide you a demo/trial version to better understand the solution.
List of Best Sellers
The best SFA software will not only help you in improving sales but also to understand best market practices and implement them. The top SFA software available are:
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