Friday, March 30, 2018

Field Force Automation

Field Automation:

     Essentially, field force automation software involves taking in sales or service data in real time, and transmitting it to a mobile interface. Through the interface, field workers can communicate in real-time with the home office.

One of the first things to understand about field force automation is that there are two distinct types of software and interfaces — some related to sales data, and some directed toward customer service. While there might be some tools that combine the two, other stand-alone solutions focus exclusively on either a sales process or mobile customer service functions.

Tracking is a must for a FIELD-FORCE intensive company. The tracking can be for personal, vehicle or any value. There are two always to faces of the tracking.
·         The input of data which is from the field person’s mobile/GPS device? Here the field person can have shift times, allocated routes, tasks list, etc.

·         The output of data which is the manager dashboard? There the manager can see all the field force details of tracking, allocation, etc.

Field force automation is capturing the field sales or information in real-time. This is done with the help of communication technology typically cell phones, PDAs and other hi-tech devices. This captured data is then moved instantly to the back-end systems like CRM or ERP. Since the data is captured and moved instantly,  a lot of time can be saved and the manual data entry errors can also be done away with.

On one hand, where the tasks of those on the field are eased and get accurate, the availability of all the field information in real-time, puts managers in a win-win situation. They can plan the delivery schedules, monitor, manage and reduce inventory. Calling and chasing team on the field for updates is redundant these days, thanks to field-force automation.

Field Force Automation and its benefits:

Field Force Automation is so effective because it allows you to distribute your team tactically across a territory, allocating leads swiftly, fairly and strategically – without employees treading on each other’s toes.

It speeds up the sales process itself, helping agents to strike while the iron’s hot - closing the deal without the hassles and delays that can so often lead to lost opportunities.

It means that reps in the field can access vital information in real time, run credit checks and tap into customer order histories while they’re still out there with the customer, making sure payments have gone through an SMS or email confirmations have been received – all of which helps to make clients feel well-looked after and satisfied with their experience.

It means that your team can hit lead after lead, sale after sale, without getting bogged down by paperwork on the way.

And it helps to eliminate the omissions, inaccuracies,and losses that so often crop up when data is manually re-entered at several points along the chain, or copied from paperwork at a later date when it’s no longer fresh in the mind.

Plus, getting much of the process out of the way on the spot has added benefits for your cash flow.
That’s because, in many cases, Field Force Automation includes options or modules that allow invoices to be automatically generated and emailed to the client on the spot, streamlining the billing process and helping to cut down debtor days in the process.

And, of course, because your team aren’t worrying about duplicating admin or following up with invoices when they get back to the office, you can get through a greater workload in a smaller time-frame, with fewer staff and resources - helping you to cut costs, boost efficiency and keep your team lean, agile, productive and compliant to regulations.

Field force automation sales tools are much more like a customer relationship management platform or sales automation portal. They predominantly have sales information on hand to help with deal-making at every stage of the game. The automation tools needed for sales are often identity-driven: they can identify past track records, touch points and interactions while showing sales workers a clear path forward.

Field force Automation helps you out:

  •        Big decisions in Data Entry
 Companies will have to do some thorough research and brainstorming to figure out which types of sales data will be most useful in the field, or which kind of information gathering will be effective in customer service.
  •      Building an interface- Routing and scheduling
One of the most common setups is a Wi-Fi or LTE set of connections to tablet PCs and/or smartphones that workers carry with them in the field. In some ways, the typical field force automation interface is like an intranet, with every remote worker signed on to give and receive information through the platform.
  •      Real-Time –Data
“Transactional data—data related to business transactions such as customer orders, payments, shipments, and service requests—and business applications that rely on processing, reporting, and analyzing that transactional data are critical for day-to-day operations.”

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