Sales Force Automation is an information systems that automate business processes of sales and marketing functions such as sales campaign
management, lead assignment, contact management, information sharing, quick proposal and presentation generation, product configurators,
calendars, to-do lists and opportunity reporting. Sales Force Automation electronically manages all sales activities within an organization.
The emergence of product customization, the proliferation of sales channels and the increasing of product complexity among other things are
the major driving forces behind sales automation.
The Emergence of Product Customization
The proliferation of the Internet and the Web has made product customization possible to average consumers. The consumers are able to build
the products they want on the Web, the orders are transmitted back to production, orders are configured and shipped to the consumers. For
instance, Dell has automated the entire processes in their selling-chain and results the increased customer satisfaction at a lower cost.
The Proliferation of Sales Channels
Products/services are sold directly or indirectly to consumers through various sales channels. Variations in sales channels demand different
supports for marketing, pre-sales and post-sales activities. The goal of sales automation is to sell better by automating and integrating selling
processes across all sales channels. Variations in sales channels often drive up the cost of sales and sales support. SFA systems can facilitate
the coordination among different sales channels to cut the cost of sales and sales support.
The Increasing of Product Complexity
The advance of technology has produced consumer products and/or services that are complex in nature. The complexity of products/services
demands the sophisticated technology and techniques in capturing consumer information on presales, postsales and customer support.
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