Any business generating revenue needs efficient management of their sales force to help boost their sales performance and business. Salesforce automation (SFA) involves the use of right sales techniques to help businesses reach or surpass their sales targets.
What is salesforce automation?
SFA is a software used for automating business tasks. It is also popularly referred to as Sales force Management system and includes web-based and in-house systems.
It streamlines the sales process by managing the sales team’s performance, business leads, and sales forecasts. It performs tasks like customer tracking, sales funnel management, account management, and inventory control management.
The difference between CRM and SFA
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and SFA may be used interchangeably but are entirely different. This is because CRM solutions have SFA elements and vice versa.
However, each has its own area of focus.
CRM focuses more on establishing customer service for both new and existing customers. It is not useful for salespeople in prospecting new customers or in contact management.
It is used more by the customer service, marketing departments and clients. It deals with customer profiling, data management, and retention campaigns.
Salesforce automation focuses more on the sales cycle, to prospect, attract and sell to new consumers. It’s used only by the sales agents and management team to store tasks and action-oriented information. It works to ensure customers remain clients.
In short, a CRM system is used at the start of the sales cycle to initially contact and court the first sale. It’s after this that the SFA software takes over at managing these customers.
Salesforce automation software
SFA is usually a part of a company’s CRM system which automatically records the sales process stages. It typically comprises of two parts, contact management system and sales lead tracking system.
Contact management involves tracking all contacts made with customers like their activities, communication, and analytics.
This reduces the irritated customers and prevents the duplication of sales efforts. It may also include task management by creating tasks or reminders where needed.
The second part is a sales lead tracking system that tracks potential customers through phone lists or customers using related products.
Salesforce automation also does things like account management and sales market research. Pipeline management lets you track sales opportunities through the pipeline. The more advanced SFA systems let the customer customize the software to their needs.
Key features of SFA
The most important feature of SFA programs is its company-wide integration which maintains communication between all departments. This prevents departments from contacting the same person for the same purpose.
The other important features of SFA are:
1. Contact management
SFA promotes better engagement in businesses by tracking communication with customers. This provides for a more personalized experience. It also stores customer interaction related data so that it is easily available through the SFA network anytime.
2. Pipeline management
SFA helps track your sales pipeline from the initial inquiry to closing sales. It also helps in forecasting sales and determining trends.
3. Team management
Sales force automation Malaysia help the sales team streamline their workflow. It creates tasks and sets reminders on follow-up leads while keeping track of sales activities.
4. Task management
All tasks created are integrated with your calendar. You can just open a task to see your customer’s data and past communications. Once completed, the task is then automatically added to the account record for future reference.
5. Team collaboration
This feature is useful for companies with a remote workforce. Employees can log in to interact with each other and access any information they require from anywhere, and whenever required.
6. Cloud app integration
Cloud computing now promises various benefits that make SFA especially beneficial to small businesses. It’s affordable, connects and automates dataflow between different systems for increased efficiency and productivity.
It’s possible to customize a sales force automation system to work as per your organization’s needs.
8. Sales performance management
Sales force automation for consumer goods provide the right support that helps close deals. This includes real-time data team data, coaching notes, feedback and drive performance data.
9. Mobile access
SFA provides mobile access to the sales team. It lets them perform tasks like log calls and respond to leads so that they stay updated wherever they are.
Benefits of sales for automation
With SFA offering so many features, it’s quite natural that it also has a list of benefits.
- It helps sales reps stay updated with contact information and to coordinate and prioritize their contacts and opportunities.
- It helps managers keep a tab on their sales team and their work.
- SFA offers makes it easy to forecast sales and revenue and the in-depth analysis of sales history, trends and the status of opportunities in progress.
- With mobile access, the sales staff has ready 24/7 access to a real-time account, product data and inventory anytime from anywhere they are.
- Sales reps can monitor orders to help them understand customer needs and preferences. They can accordingly implement the collected data and come up with more effective business strategies.
- Most SFA systems are available as hosted and web-based solutions. This is beneficial because they are easy to implement and maintain without any additional infrastructure.
- Some SFA can be customized to meet a business’s specific requirements to work best for the company and the sales team.
- SFA systems help automatically capture and route leads from any source to the right sales rep based on your customization. This saves time and improves productivity.
- It helps businesses manage sales compassions, compensations, bonuses and residual revenue at a single point. It also calculates all due payments while forecasting future revenues.
- It helps businesses keeps track of all expenses including employee and business expenditure.
- SFA systems help reduce your sales team’s work hours while increasing productivity and efficiency. It does this by automatically performing tasks those otherwise takes hours to perform manually. Examples are keeping track of responses and providing customer contacts.
- It maintains seamless data flow between different business branches anytime and anywhere thanks to its cloud platform. Everyone can access and know anything they require 24×7, for improved work efficiency.
Essential salesforce automation criteria for small business
Here are a few reasons why your small business and sales agents should start using sales for automation systems.
Did you know that placing calls to new leads within the first few minutes increases the chances of a conversion by as much as 391%? While agents may forget to make calls in their packed schedules, chatbots never forget.
SFA systems have chat bots that your sales team can use to start conversations with leads acquired through the website or social media. Not only are chatbots personable these days, they even help by directing leads to agents and streamline the sales process.
2. Automatic follow-ups
It’s not enough to just start a conversation, the follow-up is equally important. Unfortunately more than 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. However chatbots will reach out to interested leads, thus letting the lead know that there’s someone there to answer their questions 24/7.
Follow-ups also save businesses lots of money by building a foundation of repeat customers. It’s because it’s more expensive, and difficult to generate new leads than to maintain existing customers.
3. Forecasts sales
Sales reps benefit through the sales forecasts that sales force automation system Malaysia predicts. It analyzes gathered data to determine where your business is headed.
You thus know if everything is going right. It also tells you if you are meeting your short or long-term goals or if you need to change your business strategy.
SFAs let sales reps eliminate some sales cycle steps so that leads go through the pipeline much quicker. For example, leads may not have to wait for unnecessary follow-ups or need too many alternatives. Remember the quicker your leads go through the pipeline, the easier it is to focus on new leads.
4. Affordably priced
While SFA systems are typically expensive, an increasing number of this software now offers pricing plans catering to small businesses. The investment is however worth it because SFAs lets small businesses handle large workloads that normally need more manpower.
Salesforce cloud integration
Cloud computing is computing through the internet. You traditionally had to run applications downloaded on a physical computer or server. However cloud computing lets people across the world access the same programs through the internet.
Following is a list of perks that make so many businesses hibernate to the cloud.
Cloud-based service capacity can be scaled up to meet your increased business needs. It can also be consequently reduced if you have to scale down in the future.
This agility gives small businesses a huge advantage over their competitors. Besides, it’s also environmentally friendly because the server capacity is scaled up or down without leaving any oversized carbon footprints.
Disaster recovery is now affordable to small businesses thanks to its SFA’s cloud platform. Small businesses can now implement cloud-based backup and recovery solutions because it saves time without any upfront investment.
Cloud platforms offer the huge benefit of your SFA supplier taking care of regular software updates. This saves time that is otherwise spent maintaining the system yourself, and lets you focus more on business.
Cheaper in the long run
With a cloud platform, you no longer have to invest in extra hardware. You just have to subscribe to a plan that fits your budget and pay as you go. Besides, it’s now so easy to set up and use your software.
Your teams can access and edit documents from anywhere they are, anytime they want. The cloud platform’s file and workflow sharing apps help your team make real-time updates while watching their collaborations.
All you need is an internet connection and you can use, and work with your SFA system from anywhere you are. This provides work hour flexibility for their employees’ better work-life balance.
Cloud computing is so much more secure for businesses. All the data is stored in the cloud for you to access no matter what happens to your machine.
This means that there is no risk of losing laptops with crucial and sensitive data in it. Besides, you can even remotely wipe away any data from lost laptops to ensure the wrong eyes don’t see it.
Compete with the bigger sharks
The SFA system’s cloud platform lets small businesses compete with even their bigger and established competition. It’s all thanks to the software’s affordability that lets small businesses compete and even disrupt the market.
The bottom line
Looking at all this it’s proven that sales force automation is a must for all businesses, including small businesses. You, like many others, may be skeptical about investing in one because of its high costs.
However, the benefits mentioned above may make you realize that its costs are rightly compensated.
So why any further delay? The sooner you invest in an SFA system, the quicker your sales team can reap its benefits to quickly convert leads into customers.