Sales Automation

Automating sales processes and managing customer satisfaction

Sales force automation software helps to automate some of your sales processes

If you have a business that sells products or services, that may involve multiple steps in the selling process, then using a sales force automation software solution can help you.  Some examples where it may be useful is when customers need to place special orders, when your service offering involves a contract that may take some time to draft, or when it takes multiple days to close a deal days.

Businesses that have multiple sales steps often have customers that they are servicing simultaneously.  This can be exasperated if you have multiple sales people in your sales team, so things can get complex fast.  Trying to keep track of all the customer’s needs, requests, and demands can be very difficult using a paper-based system.

The way sales force automation systems work is very straight forward.  

  1. Capturing Customer Data
    When a prospective customer contacts you about your business, you start using the software by entering their contact information into a new customer record – it’s is similar to creating a file folder for the customer.  
  2. Initiating The Sale
    Next, in the normal course of your conversation with the customer you also will learn about what product or service they may be interested in, and so you would enter this information in too.
  3. Record The Activities
    At the end of the conversation there is usually some type of agreement of action for the next steps.  It could be an action on the customer’s side, such as whether or not they want to continue to talk, or it could be that they are interested and there is action needed in order to get back to them with more information or quote.  
  4. Follow-up Regardless
    Unless the deal is closed or lost, a follow-up next contact date is entered, and what action is expected by this date.  This entry will serve as a reminder to follow-up on that action or with customer on an update.  All systems will automatically send reminders about this action so that it is not forgotten.

The last two steps are repeated through the entire sales process until a conclusion is made; either the sale is closed or lost at the very end of the process.

So why is using sales force automation software better than tracking customers on paper in a folder?

Of course every sales person in your business is recording their activities with each customer as they go through the sales process.  The immediate benefit of this is to help you keep track of your salespeople activities; that is, what they are doing and to identify possible issues that you can help them resolved.  This documentation in of itself is useful, especially if you have a number of salespeople that you are managing.

Improving Customer Satisfaction

Another benefit of using the software is that you are improving customer satisfaction.  The software helps track customer expectations through the activity entries into the system when your sales team uses the follow-up activity capability.  First, the system will remind your sales people to respond at the time they agreed with their customers.  But second, if your salespeople are too slow responding, you also can see this in the system and take action yourself to make sure you are meeting customer expectations.  There is nothing worse for your business than missing deadlines, or even forgetting to respond at all.

There is one last benefit using a sales force automation solution.  Other than the day-to-day activities is that you can also get reports and statistics about the performance of your business as well as your sales team.  You can see clearly how much business is in the pipeline, how much you have closed, and also where each customer opportunity is at in terms of potential for new business.  It can give you a complete perspective on the sales activity from your sales team in order to make sound business decisions.

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