As your company grows and develops more customers and an ever expanding product line, additional complexities arise in your sales reps ability to effectively service your clients. While not all problems are bad to have, if you get to the point that your machinery is ineffective at taking care of the paying customers, there’s a very good chance they will cease paying for what you’re offering.
Again, we should all be so lucky as to have the need for making sure we have technology in place that will help us with all those paying clients. Like many other areas of industry, there are a number of options and offerings when it comes to the field of sales force automation (SFA). The more you know about what’s available the less likely your company will be of making a bad decision on who should provide it with an SFA solution.
One of the first things you’ll need to know is just how scalable is the solution you are considering. Of course you’ll have some relatively accurate projections as to your company’s growth, but what happens should you see sudden spikes in your customer base? Will you be able to handle the extra volume while still providing top quality service to your new and existing clients? One sure way of quickly shutting down a growth spurt is to start treating your long standing, loyal clients badly. Having a scalable SFA solution will not only prevent this from happening but should set you up to be your customers champion whenever they need you to perform.
By definition, SFA is a system that automatically records all stages of a sales process. This means it needs to be fully integrated in all departments which may have customer contact. Failure to ensure this wide spread deployment could result in more than one employee reaching out to a customer for the same reasons.
As you consider which SFA system to use, be sure the departments which need to access it have the technological capability to do so. Often times you decide on your SFA provider only to discover there are previously unknown, but clearly necessary charges required to bring certain locations in your company up to standards required to use the system.
Similarly, if your sales force is a mobile lot, ensuring that the wireless devices they are currently using are compatible with your SFA choice will save you time, money and headaches down the road. A number of solutions are completely web based, or “in the cloud”, as current marketing terms go. If your choice falls into this category, it will obviously be important that whatever Smart-phones and laptop computers your sales people have will access at the speeds required and have the processing functionality to keep them moving forward with the sale. You definitely do not want your SFA solution preventing sales from happening.
Finally, it is important to understand the modular nature of many SFA solutions. If your business is not large enough to require the super deluxe version, don’t feel pressured to buy into it. In fact, the more modular the offering the better it is for you. Having the ability to create custom fit solutions to exactly what your sales force needs has the added benefit of usually costing less. Additionally, as your staff grows, or your needs change, being able to add components is a great way to scale and increase your offerings.
Some sales force automations solutions can be quite complex and involved. Taking your time to learn as much as you need will put you in the perfect state of mind to eventually hand your sales force with the exact solution you all need to succeed.