Automation can boost sales productivity by up to 14.5% while also reducing overall marketing overheads by up to an impressive 12.2%. Hence, simply automating your sales force can translate to significant revenue and profits gains for small businesses.
Sales force automation systems will allow small businesses to automate general and repetitive tasks in the sales process, which helps reduce time and resources wastage by the sales teams. But, as a manager, you still need to weigh the benefits and costs of implementing sales force automation to determine whether it will be worth it for your business.
If you are still undecided on whether to implement this modern method of running your sales force or not, here are some reasons it would be an excellent strategy for your establishment.
Reducing Sales Inefficiencies
Up to 64% of a salesperson’s time goes to non-selling activities that will have little to no value for your small business. Most of their time goes to downtime activities such as catching up with their peers on social media networks and other administrative responsibilities.
This time wastage is a resource drain for your business and can affect your sales considerably. With proper sales force automation, small businesses can ensure less time wastage and better value for the resources dedicated to selling their products or services.
SFA eliminates the need for strenuous administrative tasks and helps businesses keep better track of salespersons’ activities. Hence, it is easier to tell which person is wasting time instead of selling and making appropriate interventions.
1. Minimized Opportunity Loss
No matter how good your sales team might be, it is essential to remember they are all still humans. Therefore, they will not remember everything and miss crucial things like customer appointments and delivery dates.
What all this means is that in many instances, you may end up losing opportunities to make sales simply because someone on your team forgot something. A sales force automation software can help prevent this by ensuring a centralized point for managing everything from customer appointments to deadlines and keeping track of customer interactions.
SFA systems ensure salespersons never get overwhelmed. The system will allow them to access all the information they need from a centralized point, so you never miss a potential contact. Better still, the salespersons can dedicate more of their time seeking more customer interactions.
2. Allows Proper Leads Management
One of the best features of sales force automation is that it can also help with lead management. Proper lead management has a massive bearing on whether the sales team can convert the leads and hence forms a crucial element of any sales campaign.
Small businesses that use the sales force automation software can quickly identify all the potential leads and arrange them according to the prospectiveness. The business can then assign the best salespersons to handle the most promising leads to increase the likelihood of conversion.
Additionally, with SFA, you can prioritize the best quality leads so you do not end up spending too much money on leads that are unlikely to give you any sales no matter what you do.
With this software, small businesses will also have an easier time generating leads. They can extract leads from marketing campaigns and other channels like social media interactions or website inquiries. Therefore, the cost of lead generation is also much lower than when doing everything manually.
3. Enhanced Business Intelligence
A correctly implemented sales force automation strategy will do much more to your small business than just streamlining your sales process. You can use the system to enhance business intelligence.
SFA makes it possible to predict future income accurately using the different kinds of data you get from the system. Hence, as a small business owner or manager, you can make more accurate decisions on crucial business processes such as resource allocations.
Better still, you can develop more metric types when using the system, ensuring you know the exact steps to follow and the strategy to implement for a more successful sales process.
Given that SFA provides detailed data, businesspersons and sales teams will clearly view the sales pipeline and quickly refine and optimize their sales techniques.
4. Maintaining Strict Business Schedules
Only about 2% of sales will be made on the first contact with the customer, meaning that 98% of sales will require further follow-up to seal the deal.
A sales force automation application can ensure you do not miss out on this huge chunk of potential sales by automating email follow-ups and other things like updating sales leads and scheduling appointments.
Besides increased sales volume, keeping up with these vital business schedules can help improve overall productivity as you never miss anything important.
How to Develop a Good SFA Strategy
Although SFA can have many benefits for your small business, it is still vital to ensure a good strategy and plan for its implementation.
The most crucial element of developing the SFA strategy is making sure it is goal-oriented and intended to meet specific objectives. Additionally, it should be fine-tuned to conform to the particular needs of your establishment.
Sometimes a simple thing like automated email responses is often enough for some small businesses. But, for others, a more comprehensive strategy that uses advanced sales force automation software will be necessary.
Sales force automation systems are a powerful tool that a small business can use to streamline its sales process to ensure increased conversion, minimal resource and time wastage, and higher revenues or profits.
Whether you are using a free sales force automation software or a more feature-rich and advanced paid version, you will have an effective tool for optimizing your sales strategies. But, it is always essential to make sure whatever you choose is customizable to fit your specific situation.
Lastly, you still need to combine the SFA system with a strong sales team to ensure you get the best results, as the latter can still be the weak link in your sales process.