More organizations are discovering and utilizing the benefits of employing advanced technology to optimize business processes. However, with so many solutions currently available on the market, it can be hard to figure out which one is most suitable for your company, especially when it comes to sales.
Nowadays, companies can’t rely on simple software automation because the customer attention has shifted from products and services to the type of user experience organizations offer. This is why aspiring brands must embrace the digital transformation of sales and harness new sales tools that can help them grow into satisfied consumers, potential prospects, and sales.
Sales force automation or SFA software is precisely the digital technology that can give you such a competitive advantage. As usual, this type of system takes many forms and comes with features that can be more or less useful. We are going to review all SFA essentials to help you make the best choice for your business.
What is Sales Force Automation?
Sales force automation software is specially designed to support salespeople and sales management in achieving their sales goals. The SFA system automates important tasks such as sales processing, inventory control, contact management, and information sharing, while analyzing sales forecasts and assessing the overall sales performance at the same time.
Although SFA software is often used interchangeably with CRM system, these two terms are actually different. While some AI-powered CRM platforms offer sales force automation, not many CRM vendors necessarily imply automation of sales-related tasks.
An automated CRM sales system is without a doubt the most beneficial technology, because it combines a full set of both customer management and sales tools. If you are interested in learning more, you can see the perfect blend of CRM and SFA software on this site.
CRM Vs SFA Software: What’s the Difference?
So, what are the true differences between customer relationship management (CRM) and sales automation? As the name suggests, the customer relationship management system is all about customers and their experience with a brand. This platform is intended for growing client relationships by keeping a close eye on their interactions with the company, organizing their accounts, and closely monitoring their needs.
On the other hand, SFA software focuses more on the sales processes. The goal is to drive them to maximum efficiency and transparency. In general, sales force automation consists of the sales pipeline and sales management tools that provide a deeper insight into leads, sales success, and sales reps performance.
To put it simply, sales come first and forming customer relationships later. The SFA software is actually used for acquiring clients, while CRM is there to help them stay happy and loyal to the business. They are both a stand-alone solution, but they work better when combined. Why? Because this powerful union can make a business of any size stand out on the market.
Since technology rapidly evolves, many modern marketers have outgrown traditional SFA and CRM software capabilities. They are reaching out to more convenient systems that offer marketing, service, and sales automation all in one. This enabled sales teams to also consider such a solution with built-in features that can efficiently improve specific sales-related activities, including:
- Account Management
- Contact Management
- Lead Management
- Opportunity Management
- Sales Reporting
- Mobile Sales
SFA’s Impact on Sales: Why Invest in Sales Force Automation?
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in SFA software. First of all, the use of digital technology in business is practically a standard for keeping up with competitors and the ever-increasing market and customer demands. Also, if you take a look at sales statistics, you can note that:
- More than 40% of salespeople find prospecting to be the most challenging part of the sales process.
- The number of opportunities in a pipeline can make or break the success of sales quotas.
- Organizations with clearly aligned sales and marketing functions have up to 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.
- On average, companies with dynamic and customizable sales and marketing operations have 10% more sales people on-quota.
As you can see, adopting SFA can be a game changer for your organization. Depending on the special needs of your organizations, SFA software can deliver the following benefits:
More Time and Focus
How much time does your sales team lose on scheduling sales appointments, tracking contacts, following up on prospects, and updating sales opportunities? The main advantage of SFA systems is automation of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, so that you can give the gift of time to your sales employees, who can use it to focus more on tasks that require human interaction.
The complete process of generating estimates into proposals, and those proposals into quotes and orders is performed faster and with more accuracy along the way. Since sales reps have an instant access to order information, they can better communicate with clients about an order’s arrival and prepare them for potential delays.
Not only can SFA enhance the sales productivity, but it can also improve customer experience and the company’s reputation.
Better Customer Service
Speaking of customer experience, let’s not forget that SFA is an integral part of advanced CRM systems. In other words, this lucky union enables you to create a centralized and highly organized database for tracking, storing, and utilizing all of the client’s information in real time, so that you can improve customer satisfaction. How? By using these critical data to create a personalized service based on customer product/service preferences.
However, an additional advantage is that you can also use this repository to better train new sales reps. This single knowledgebase holds more than customer data, it safely keeps all business information. With immediate access to up-to-date information, you can lower the ramp-up time for new employees.
Enhanced Sales Management
SFA software allows sales managers to act quickly when needed, because the system gives them a full view of opportunities, sales figures, employee performance, customer requests, and other stats used for measuring sales success and profit.
Thanks to this real-time insight into the company’s operations, sales management becomes more efficient and productive, as sales managers can make better informed decisions and knowledge-based strategies on the spot.
Moreover, improved sales management also refers to keeping a close eye on sales rivals and leads. With opportunity and lead management features, you can do both and speed up the conversion, while taking advantage of market opportunities your competitors weren’t lucky enough to notice.
Conclusion: How to Find the Right SFA Solution?
Many more benefits await with SFA software, but the trick is only finding the right one. So far, bpm’online is the market leader in CRM SFA solution, however, here are some honorable mentions as well:
- Dynamics CRM
Be sure to pick the one that meets your business needs and leverage the opportunities of potent CRM SFA software.