Sales Force Automation: Nullifying Market Challenges

Technology | 5 minutes to read

27th May, 2020

Sales Force Automation is a service that every business needs to use. It is essential and important because it efficiently helps the organisation to manage all the significant process.  Right from lead management to sales to customer retention, which includes accurate reporting that keeps your fingers on the pulse of your company’s growth at all times.

Why sales force automation?

According to recent reports, 14% of the manufacturers lost their sales due to inefficient execution of activities at the point of sale. They realise that the best plan cannot be achieved without any superior execution at the retail shelf. As per the IDC survey, field force automation can reduce the time required for the sales administration by 14% and increase sales by 30%. Here is a three-pronged success story on how sales force automation can assist:

  • Eliminate Manual Effort and simultaneously improves the turnaround time
  • Enable Right Control for the management
  • Connect the teams

Understanding the Challenges

As per recent research reports, nearly 81% of companies are not satisfied with their ability to execute retail execution globally. The findings pinpoint the logjams that hold back the organisation from in-store success.

1) Inadequate Retail Data Under the traditional structure, the free flow of information is not available to organisation. Therefore, they are not able to analyse the events or trends to revise their sales strategy

2) Lack of innovation – The traditional structure holds back a lot of businesses from hitting their retail execution and the promotional goals owning to lack of advanced tools of business. As per recent reports, globally only 3% of the retail population are actively innovating through automated tools. The rest is struggling between age-old traditional methods and ineffective tactics.

3) Low sales adoption of technology platform – Mostly the organisations that fail to adopt new technologies are unable to compete in the long run.

Here is a list of other broader challenges faced by organisations:

  • Sales and marketing spends are skyrocketing with poor ROI
  • Multiple views and overlapping source of truth
  • Limited connected teams leading to communication gaps
  • Employee engagement effectiveness questionable
  • Fragmented Market Intelligence
  • Brand awareness and voice of customer not effectively tracked
  • Turn around time random and lengthy
  • Merchandising store compliance and feedback not structured

Few Persona-wise challengesWe have taken 3 personas to deep dive into the challenges due to lack of sales force automation and the business impact created

Operations Team

Challenges due to lack of SFA:

  • Beat plan adherence and deviation
  • Inadequate compliance adherence
  • Longer Planogram/ merchandising deployment
  • Issue tracking and issue resolution
  • Ineffective stock distribution and sales tracking
  • Limited feedback and in-store visual validation

Business Impact:

  • Loss of productivity
  • Low last mile visibility

Sales and Marketing Team

Challenges due to lack of SFA:

  • Ineffective field resource and activity planning
  • Limited connectivity with sales and marketing team
  • No single view of lead conversion and teams’ productivity

Business Impact:

  • Limited market and competitive insights
  • Longer go-to-market strategy
  • Sub-optimal utilisation

Management Team

Challenges due to lack of SFA:

  • Limited sales snapshot
  • Low brand visibility and compliance
  • Difficulty in budget management
  • Limited market and competitive insights

Business Impact:

  • Inadequate strategic planning
  • Limited visibility on salesforce output
  • Impact on ROI

 SFA leading  Business Transformation

Sales force automation is designed to carry out business growth effectively and efficiently. Here are some of the features which will help you to understand how it has led to business transformation:

Managing sales territories: Lead routing and tracking sales territories are the safeguards that create efficiency in the sales process. Thus, using the traditional spreadsheet, it makes more sense to use a good CRM tool that will help you to better manage the prospect and leads. Here are some of the activities that can be done using SFA to increase the efficiency of the sales process:

  • Automation of lead processing and better management of sales territories
  • Assign leads based on already set proper business rules, which will eliminate the conflicts over ownership of sales territories and leads
  • Real-time follow-up with sales representatives

Managing opportunities and tracking competitors – Another importance of SFA in business is that when it is a part of an easy CRM software it can help the organisation with the following benefits:

  • Find the growth in sales opportunities
  • Find the exact number of lead generation and loss of business to help the sales representative to plan their future strategy
  • Faster response time
  • Keep a track on the entire lead generation process

Forecasting- SFA can provide the sales teams with the right tool that can help them inaccurate sales forecasting, which includes:

  • Recurrent revenue as well as booking revenue forecasting
  • Calculation based sales forecasting

Managing orders- Managing orders with the help of SFA enabled tools helps to reduce unnecessary paperwork that in turn provides more time to the sales team for selling. At the same time, it also helps the customer to receive their order timely, which in turn boosts customer satisfaction and helps the organisation increase their list of loyal customers.

Up-selling and cross-selling – SFA helps the managers to analyze past sales information, and understand their order history and the customers’ demography that can help in creating email campaigns that are customer segment specific to improve revenue.

Persona-wise Impact Tracking – The same personas will be used to showcase the role of automation and how it has impacted the business outcomes.

Operations Team

Role of Automation:

  • Tracking team hygiene and measuring productivity
  • Interactive feedback
  • Helps in team performance evaluation and incentive calculation
  • Helps in real-time monitoring

Impact:

  • Programmatic approach to issues/market feedback
  • The consistent view of performance report

Sales and Marketing Team

Role of Automation:

  • Helps in planning
  • Unified platform and real-time communication
  • A complete view of team productivity and lead conversion
  • Share market insights for go-to-market strategy

Impact:

  • Reduce time spent on manual check and process
  • Consistent and uniformed communication flow

Management Team

Role of Automation:

  • Provide a 360-degree view of sales process
  • Share insights on sales in and sales through
  • Shares market intelligence at different interaction points
  • Share competitive insights and brand visibility

Impact:

  • Reduces revenue leakage
  • Have a well-rounded budgeting approach

To sum up, a typical sales force automation platform should do more than just improve the day-to-day work of your field team. It should help you in continuously influence revenue-increasing actions by offering enterprise-level insights into your business – insights that make it easier for you to meet objectives, extend engagement and make smarter decisions across your entire operation.

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