Adopting sales force automation (SFA) is the best practice to improve your sales reps’ productivity as your reps will have more time to focus on revenue-generating activities instead of doing tedious tasks over and over again.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a complete guide on sales force automation, especially how you can start applying it to your business.
What Is Sales Force Automation?
Sales force automation (or salesforce management system) is a technology-powered system that helps automate certain aspects of a sales process.
Sales Force Automation vs. CRM: What’s the Difference?
Sales force automation and CRM are totally different.
CRM software is built with a focus on managing relationships with customers and improving their satisfaction. It aims to help businesses communicate with existing and new customers in an organized way. CRM’s main functions often include contact management, account management, database management, and customer service.
Meanwhile, SFA is designed to help businesses streamline their sales processes and boost sales performance. It focuses on automating tasks, acquiring new leads, monitoring sales reps, and improving sales forecast accuracy.
According to Wikipedia, sales force automation is integrated into customer relationship management (CRM) marketing and management “that help automate some sales and sales force management functions.” It’s often “combined with a marketing information system, in which case they are often called CRM systems.” But to be clear, SFA can also be standalone software.
Sales Force Automation Benefits & Functions in a Modern Organization
Modern organizations have understood that a traditional CRM isn’t enough to gain actionable insights into where their sales reps need their help and what resources they should provide. They also realize that manually inputting data into CRM would lead to many problems like missing data and poor sales experiences as they scale and grow. That’s why they no longer just rely on CRM but also sales force automation.
Here are some significant benefits of sales force automation:
- Reduce errors as reps don’t need to input data manually anymore. Also, free up your sales reps from administrative tasks, allowing them to concentrate on higher-level activities. This means they can focus on their objectives and develop effective strategies to hit sales targets.
- Provide better insights on opportunities and closed deals. Data is gathered across channels in real-time and centralized into one single place, giving you a holistic view of your most potential prospects, where opportunities arise, and which actions you can do to move leads further down the funnel right away.
- Increase win rate and sales revenue as your reps work more efficiently and get more accurate recommendations and activity guidance. With the right opportunities and effective sales pipeline management, you’ll see a boost in sales in no time.
Sales Force Automation Features
By this point, you likely consider using sales force automation in your business. But before choosing a solution, keep in mind the following key features of a sales force automation system:
- Task management: Automatically scheduling appointments, assigning tasks to reps, sending reminders.
- Team collaboration: Every team member can access data and edit it at any time and anywhere they want. Data is also updated in real-time — no need to synchronize manually.
- CRM and email integration: The ability to access data between Salesforce, Gmail, and Outlook without having to switch back and forth between these systems.
- Pipeline management: The ability to provide accurate insights into opportunities, close deals, deals at risks, and action recommendations. Easy to access critical data without having to dive deep.
- Sales forecasting: The ability to set up triggers to send alerts to stakeholders whenever there is a change in sales forecasts.
How to Use Sales Force Automation in Your Sales Process
Sales force automation can be used in many areas of your sales process, such as prospecting, lead nurturing, researching, and preparing proposals. The following are examples of how sales force automation is applied in real-life:
- Auto-populate your lead’s profile with data collected from different sources. It can also track the lead’s interactions with your website and social media accounts and automatically qualify them based on their buyer journey.
- Auto-assign the right rep with the right leads based on the industry or territory the leads belong to.
- Auto-send emails or messages to leads when they enter your sales funnels and track their engagement.
- Auto-generate reports and display them on a unified dashboard, making it easier for you to pull real-time insights and make data-driven decisions.
- Auto-send reminders for calls, in-person appointments, proposal submissions, and more. You’ll never miss out on any important tasks, and your clients will remain top of your mind.
A worthy note is that while sales force automation brings a lot of advantages to your business, it comes with some limitations and can’t replace your sales team. Additionally, B2B buyers still expect meaningful relationships with expert human consultants, not bots.
That’s why you should have a strategic plan to integrate sales force automation into your organization and make the most out of it. If done right, sales force automation can effectively handle mundane administrative tasks for you, and your reps can focus on high-yield activities that help turbocharge your business.
Integrate Sales Force Automation Tools Into Your Business Workflow
Revenue Grid is investing in the future of AI-powered automation to help fuel your sales team with the right data. It includes all the key features that a sales force automation tool must have, plus powerful Revenue Intelligence features like deal guidance and revenue signals.
Think about situations where you receive notifications on a silent prospect, knowing exactly the reasons, and quickly take action to bring them back without having to spend hours diving into data. Or you’re clear about who you should contact and what you need to do to drive a deal forward without “chasing” them. That’s what you can get using Revenue Grid.