What Is Sales Force Automation Anyway?


If you’ve ever worked in sales, you already know how much time you waste dealing with busywork every day. There’s an endless parade of tiny tasks, including managing customer contacts, updating quotes, sending out confirmation emails, and filling in reports. And they all take time away from actually winning new customers and closing deals. The busywork situation is even worse for sales managers. They have countless administrative details constantly pull their attention away from big-picture concerns.

However, adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a great first step toward more efficiently organizing sales, which will eventually result in a more effective sales organization. But it’s not the end of the journey.

sales force automation

While CRM is the perfect tool for organizing and centralizing your sales data, it’s not a perfect solution to the busywork problem, which can devour your time and productivity. If you want to free your sales team from these repetitive, mind-numbing tasks that prevent them from reaching their full potential, it’s time to implement Sales Force Automation (SFA).

But what exactly is SFA? Let’s take a look at the six biggest ways automation can improve your sales organization.

  1. Contact Management

 In the old days, individual sales reps were responsible for keeping track of their communication with individual prospects, leads, and customers. This tracking might involve scribbling on Post-its during a phone call, starting rambling email chains, or recording a few random meeting notes in a day planner. But by systemizing and automating the documentation of every communication, SFA makes it much easier to keep track of key details that often mean the difference between a closed deal and a failed one.

  1. Lead Management

It’s almost impossible to accurately identify your most promising leads without the right management technology.

An SFA solution will allow you to:

  • Optimize your customer acquisition and marketing costs
  • Find your highest-value prospects
  • Track the effectiveness of campaigns in real time.
  1. Opportunity Management

If you want to gain true visibility into your sales funnel, you need to track every interaction your sales team has with each potential customer. The more precise your information about each opportunity is, the more accurate your sales forecasting can become. It is possible for a sales rep to keep track of some of this information. But, even the most detail-oriented salespeople pale in comparison to the efficiency of an SFA system.

  1. Task Management

 How many nearly closed deals have fallen through because a sales rep forgot about a scheduled call? Or never happened because an important contact was sent out a day late? And how many leads never even became prospects because your sales team didn’t follow up on an email?

Your sales team is busy, and they already have a lot to keep track of. But SFA will make sure your team never misses out on closing a sale. How? By automatically scheduling their tasks and sending out updates and reminders.

  1. Collaboration

In an increasingly mobile, decentralized world, sales teams need tools that can help them collaborate in real time, no matter where they are. It’s possible your sales rep is waiting for a face-to-face meeting at a cafe in Tucson. Yet, your sales manager is back at headquarters in Chicago. If so, they can both access and update the details of a deal together by using their CRM’s SFA tools.

  1. Analysis & Reports

Without CRM, reps have to manually log in every activity. But by providing rich, detailed sales information to your CRM, SFA can deliver a once-unimaginable level of insight and analysis. These in-depth reports are automatically generated by actual sales data in real time. For sales managers and executives, there’s simply no comparison.

Since SFA takes the tedious busywork out of your sales operations, your sales teams will be able to invest their time in growing revenues, retaining customers, and bringing in new business. And because SFA is such a great supporting tool for your CRM implementation, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your overall sales efforts.

To learn more about how SFA technology can streamline your company’s sales operations, contact Intelestream for a free consultation. Let’s get started.


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