Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Importance of Sales Force Automation in 2018


      Sales force automation is a technology solution which helps and manages your sales force, making loads of manual function redundant, thus saving big on the productive time of your sales force.

It is basically a technique to automate the business tasks like order processing, contact management, information sharing, inventory monitoring and control, order tracking, customer management, sales forecast analysis and employee performance evaluation sales, that leads to sales. But, to automate the process, you have to take the support of a software that is known as Sales Force Management Software.

A brief look at the features of a sales force automation solution would make the functional understanding clear.

Just have a look at mobile-based sales force automation software Sales Mantra specially made for the FMCG industry. It’s a mobile-based application accompanied by dashboard which can be viewed from office screen as well.

Geo tagging: It provides you complete visibility of the retailers in your area. Through GPS you can see whenever your salesperson is visiting the retail outlets. It gives you complete information about the demographic, number of stores, which areas to target to expand your business.

Order Basket: Your salesperson can take order based on class/segment on areal-time basis. You have complete visibility of demand patterns, can prioritize your delivery, and even forecast orders. Taking orders is extremely convenient as you don't need to type, just have to choose between the SKUs you are offering. It cuts down lags as you have the order info in real time basis and can plan the delivery without any waste of time.

Permanent Journey Planner (PJP): Through a patented algorithm, it provides the optimum route map for the sales force. Who to visit, when to visit, based on your priorities on class/segment. It saves transportation cost, makes your salesperson much more productive and enabling them to visit more retailers.

Real-Time Data Provides real-time demand across all the stores, making easier to cater to dynamic demand.

Analytics: The greatest feature of using this application is with theminimal investment you retain your data. Analytics helps you in demand forecasting, planning, and segmenting. Your estimations would be precisely backed by data, increasing your profitability.

Sales Force automation is important and there are some key factors:
Business Capacity:
Limiting aspects of the business can be investment availability, production capacity, supply capacity, size of business, marketing effort, etc. There may be an unsatisfied demand for your products, but if your investment and capacity allow you to offer a certain volume of products, then only that quantity should be captured with your sales forecast. If you decide to increase your investment in advertising next month, you should assume that your sales will increase as well. Be confident but ensure you know how they are linked.
Seasons:
You must take into account of seasonality products that are demanded throughout the year (they have a continuous demand), whilst others only demanded at certain times of the year. Also incorporate others that have an irregular demand, when their demand tends to increase or decrease at certain times for noknown reason other than that they do.
Sales Aspirations:
Take into account your sales aspirations – take into account how much you would like to sell, or what you would like your sales targets to be. But always take into account other factors, especially factors that are limiting the business.
 The most common benefits of an SFA solution for small and midsized business (SMB):
·         Reduction in sales operations cost: By automating manual tasks, sales executives can focus on more significant projects, such as telephonic and email communication, conflict resolution and hunt for growth opportunities. With the help of social media integrations, sales representatives can import a lead’s contact details directly from social networks, such as Face book, LinkedIn,and Twitter, so as to reduce human effort and save time.
·         Accurate sales forecasting: SFA solutions track conversion metrics from leads to closing deals; this enables business users to accurately forecast sales conversions. More advanced systems with business intelligence modules generate precise sales forecast by leveraging historical sales data and predictive modeling techniques.
·         Streamlining workflows: By centralizing sales data, SFA solutions streamline the workflow and establish a formal sales process for the sales teams. With streamlined workflows, clients are able to close deals quicker than before, which further leads to higher conversion rates. Sales managers receive an automated notification once a lead moves to the next level in the sales funnel.
·         Data visualization and summarizing for timely action: Team leaders can take timely action by reviewing dashboards and summary reports that highlight the critical business performance metrics of sales executives. More advanced solutions facilitate real-time dashboard and report creation, which further enable fact-based decision making.
·         On-the-move access: A number of SFA solutions are offering applications for 24/7 access from mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Sales executives can collaborate with peers via the app, which further helps in streamlining the workflow. In addition, users can share important documents with clients and resolve their inquiries on-the-go to improve customer satisfaction.