Sales Force Automation

14 

Full text

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best practice

best practice

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Executive

Executive SummSumm ary ary p3p3

The

The Challenges Challenges of of Sales Sales ManagemManagem ent ent p4p4

What

What is is your your best best practice practice for for delivering delivering sales sales results? results? P5P5

How

How do do you you create/create/ change change your your sales sales process? process? P7P7

  Automating

  Automating your your sales sales process process through through workwork flow flow p10p10

What

What will will an an automated automated sales sales process process do do for for you? you? P12P12

Conclusion p13

Conclusion p13

Case

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Executive

Executive Summ

Summ ary

ary

Selling and technology are not

Selling and technology are not mutually exclusive and the most successfulmutually exclusive and the most successful sales-focuss

sales-focussed organisations find that the ed organisations find that the appropriate use of technology,appropriate use of technology, complimentary to their sales-people’s skills yields excellent results complimentary to their sales-people’s skills yields excellent results andand year on year growth.

year on year growth. To stay ahead of

To stay ahead of competitors and increase sales revenues, companiescompetitors and increase sales revenues, companies must look to improve their

must look to improve their sales processes through following and, wheresales processes through following and, where possible, automatin

possible, automating best practice. g best practice. The solution should reflect theThe solution should reflect the businesses needs rather than the business fitting to the software and it businesses needs rather than the business fitting to the software and it should be easily modified to support ever-changing business processes as should be easily modified to support ever-changing business processes as the company grows.

the company grows.

The most effective approach to implementing sales processes begins with The most effective approach to implementing sales processes begins with understanding what sales processes, sales force automation and

understanding what sales processes, sales force automation and automated workflows are, how they work and how they can

automated workflows are, how they work and how they can bebe

successfull

successfully y implemented.implemented.

Sales executives w

Sales executives w

ill look to sales technologies to drive

ill look to sales technologies to drive

tactical

tactical

revenue goals and strategic growth objectiv

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The Challe

The Challenges of Sales M

nges of Sales M anagement

anagement

Sales Managers are faced with the continuous task of driving revenues up Sales Managers are faced with the continuous task of driving revenues up and are usually left looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the and are usually left looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition, create competitive advantage and more importantly, meet competition, create competitive advantage and more importantly, meet targets.

targets. It is the sales teams that work witIt is the sales teams that work with an integrated sales processh an integrated sales process that will survive, providing firm foundations from

that will survive, providing firm foundations from which to benchmark which to benchmark  activity and to adapt to meet the needs of the changing environment. activity and to adapt to meet the needs of the changing environment.  A culture and strategy of continuous change and adaptation are critical to  A culture and strategy of continuous change and adaptation are critical to

generate successful sales performance in your company, the

generate successful sales performance in your company, the processesprocesses and systems that you put in place to support these goals must be flexible and systems that you put in place to support these goals must be flexible enough to cope with the dynamic nature of sales proc

enough to cope with the dynamic nature of sales processes. esses. The processThe process must also provide the right information to managers so that it is possible must also provide the right information to managers so that it is possible to accurately plan for future sales strategies and manage sales on a to accurately plan for future sales strategies and manage sales on a day-to day basis from a clear view of your pipeline.

to day basis from a clear view of your pipeline. In a report on Sales Performance Management, the

In a report on Sales Performance Management, the Aberdeen GroupAberdeen Group found that: “The lack of

found that: “The lack of visibility into sales activities on an ongoing basisvisibility into sales activities on an ongoing basis haunts the majority of executives today who rely on a sales team to haunts the majority of executives today who rely on a sales team to generate corporate revenue.

generate corporate revenue. Many of these compMany of these companies are basing mucanies are basing muchh of their decision making on spreadsheets, a medium that does not of their decision making on spreadsheets, a medium that does not provide the quality of decision-support data that they need to remain provide the quality of decision-support data that they need to remain competitive.” 

competitive.” 

Over half of the respondents in the research described their companies as Over half of the respondents in the research described their companies as sales-driven, with nothing more important than the

sales-driven, with nothing more important than the efforts and outcomesefforts and outcomes of sales.

of sales. Hence the need for sHence the need for sales performance management ales performance management andand continuous improvement with the primary focus being to

continuous improvement with the primary focus being to rectify;rectify;

-- Insufficient sales-supporting technology,Insufficient sales-supporting technology,

-- Lack of integrated technology which produces incompatible planningLack of integrated technology which produces incompatible planning

information, information,

-- Selecting solutions on best functionality and not price.Selecting solutions on best functionality and not price.

You cannot control what you do not k

You cannot control what you do not k

now

now

One of the key steps in achieving a successful approach to sales is One of the key steps in achieving a successful approach to sales is understanding your company’s “best practice” and implementing a understanding your company’s “best practice” and implementing a process that will deliver optimum results.

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What

What is your best practice for deliver

is your best practice for delivering

ing

sales results?

sales results?

Sales are a process area like any other business process and as such will Sales are a process area like any other business process and as such will benefit from a systematic approach to

benefit from a systematic approach to sales activities, with the ultimatesales activities, with the ultimate goal of a fully optimised sal

goal of a fully optimised sales team. es team. Salespeople will often oppSalespeople will often oppose anyose any attempt to constrain or monitor their activities despite the fact that there attempt to constrain or monitor their activities despite the fact that there are already constraints within sales; such as

are already constraints within sales; such as the level of customerthe level of customer information available, lack of

information available, lack of visibility of pipeline, product availability,visibility of pipeline, product availability, price and customer demands, falling short of sales targets and being price and customer demands, falling short of sales targets and being unable to produce ac

unable to produce accurate forecasts. curate forecasts. Therefore any order or constrainTherefore any order or constraintsts introduced by a sales process will only work to alleviate many of these introduced by a sales process will only work to alleviate many of these events in the end.

events in the end.

Business Process Management (BPM) is a term that

Business Process Management (BPM) is a term that you will see beingyou will see being used more frequently as an integral part in the success of a Customer used more frequently as an integral part in the success of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Sales Force Automation (SFA) Relationship Management (CRM) or Sales Force Automation (SFA) solution.

solution. There are several areas that There are several areas that you should consiyou should consider when thinkingder when thinking about managing your sales process and how you can replicate best about managing your sales process and how you can replicate best practice.

practice.

People Based Processes People Based Processes

It is important to remember that people-based work within a company is It is important to remember that people-based work within a company is an important part of

an important part of any business process particularly within the salesany business process particularly within the sales process and the relationship between the

process and the relationship between the sales-person and the customer.sales-person and the customer. More often than not the potential for

More often than not the potential for error is in people based tasks anderror is in people based tasks and the more repetitive of these are the ones

the more repetitive of these are the ones that are easier to automate andthat are easier to automate and where cost savings can be made; whether it is a simple email or a where cost savings can be made; whether it is a simple email or a fullfull quotation.

quotation.

Business Processes Business Processes

The ability for users to see their process in action from start to The ability for users to see their process in action from start to finishfinish including benchmark

including benchmarks for reporting and action is a truly powerful tool. s for reporting and action is a truly powerful tool. ByBy modelling your sales process it is easier

modelling your sales process it is easier to assess sticking points,to assess sticking points, bottlenecks and areas of ineff

bottlenecks and areas of inefficiency. iciency. Managers will find it easiManagers will find it easier toer to assess where further value can be added through clear visibility of  assess where further value can be added through clear visibility of  specific process activitie

specific process activities, for example your s, for example your process will act as aprocess will act as a benchmark for highlighting highs and lows and

benchmark for highlighting highs and lows and allowing actions to beallowing actions to be assigned for ongoing success.

assigned for ongoing success.

Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is vital Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is vital to allow the People to perform their function within the process. to allow the People to perform their function within the process.

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User Interface and System Control User Interface and System Control Every system user or

Every system user or individual that plays a part in individual that plays a part in the process needs visibilitythe process needs visibility of their process tasks and resources

of their process tasks and resources via a portal of some description. via a portal of some description. Using aUsing a web interface and ideally a

web interface and ideally a single, centralised database, offers up-to-the minutesingle, centralised database, offers up-to-the minute accuracy of data combined with the

accuracy of data combined with the flexibility to make on the fly flexibility to make on the fly alterations thatalterations that can be conveyed to all other users instant

can be conveyed to all other users instantaneously. aneously. Managers will also have aManagers will also have a clear view of their processes in real-time and be able to act on

clear view of their processes in real-time and be able to act on the informationthe information available to them at every step.

available to them at every step.

Cross Department Collaboration Cross Department Collaboration It is rare that a pr

It is rare that a pr ocess will be completed by a single individual orocess will be completed by a single individual or department even in small compa

department even in small companies. nies. Being able to share the responsibiliBeing able to share the responsibilityty to complete activities within a structured process allows for

to complete activities within a structured process allows for effectiveeffective teamwork to achieve business

teamwork to achieve business goals in competitive envigoals in competitive environments. ronments. If youIf you imagine a baton being between departments e.g. from sales to technical; a imagine a baton being between departments e.g. from sales to technical; a customer request in order to create a price and

customer request in order to create a price and then the response beingthen the response being returned to sales.

returned to sales. When negotiating a sales coWhen negotiating a sales contract as part of a salesntract as part of a sales process; collecting critical information about the customer and collating process; collecting critical information about the customer and collating relevant product information from colleagues/partners to strengthen the relevant product information from colleagues/partners to strengthen the deal can all be

deal can all be included as a distinct step in your included as a distinct step in your process.process.

Business Activity Monitoring Business Activity Monitoring

The ability to monitor process performance and detect events that may The ability to monitor process performance and detect events that may influence performance becomes a key ingredient for

influence performance becomes a key ingredient for gaining control of gaining control of  business proces

business processes. ses. Instantaneous awareness Instantaneous awareness and appropriate responseand appropriate response to events in the process becomes available to all users and managers to events in the process becomes available to all users and managers alike.

alike. Overdue tasks can be flagged for the manager’s aOverdue tasks can be flagged for the manager’s attention allowingttention allowing intervention to take place where

intervention to take place where necessary.necessary.

Busines

Business Policy / s Policy / Rule Management SupportRule Management Support

 As the need to become more flexible in business rises in importance it is  As the need to become more flexible in business rises in importance it is

reflected in the management of busines

reflected in the management of business processes. s processes. Business processes areBusiness processes are made up of a series of rules and associ

made up of a series of rules and associated management procedures. ated management procedures. The realThe real value from a BPM solution is the ability to change your rules in real-time to value from a BPM solution is the ability to change your rules in real-time to adapt to the changing needs of your busi

adapt to the changing needs of your business as it grows. ness as it grows. Some changes willSome changes will have restrictions, although the focus here is allowing all system users to benefit have restrictions, although the focus here is allowing all system users to benefit from an identified change requirement to benefit the company as a whole. from an identified change requirement to benefit the company as a whole. Having the rules in place with the associated information to back them up Having the rules in place with the associated information to back them up means that Exception Management can be applied

means that Exception Management can be applied with confidence, allowingwith confidence, allowing managers to focus on those tasks that really need their attention.

managers to focus on those tasks that really need their attention.

Throug

Throug

h to 20

h to 20

09 BP

09 BP

MSs w

MSs w

ill be the popular choice for furt

ill be the popular choice for furt

her

her

autom

autom

ation and greater agility of business processes - Gartner Group

ation and greater agility of business processes - Gartner Group

Growing companies or those under

Growing companies or those under increasing threat from competitionincreasing threat from competition must take a systematic approach to selling through their own best must take a systematic approach to selling through their own best practice and documented sales process management steps. practice and documented sales process management steps.

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How do you create/

How do you create/ change your sale

change your saless

process?

process?

Once you know which activities make up your best practices and the Once you know which activities make up your best practices and the areas of benefit that BPM can bring to your company, you are

areas of benefit that BPM can bring to your company, you are at a goodat a good point from which to plan the optimum sales process for your company. point from which to plan the optimum sales process for your company. There are four

There are four simple steps to creating your successful sales process.simple steps to creating your successful sales process.

Figure 1: This is an example of a simple sales process from initial enquiry through to Figure 1: This is an example of a simple sales process from initial enquiry through to managing the customer

managing the customer relationship.relationship. Sales Process

Sales Process

 Assess and select  Assess and select

sales person sales person

Contact and quote Contact and quote client client  Administration  Administration Follow-up Follow-up Process Process Client Client  Action  Action Send Order Send Order Forms Forms  Arrange Delivery  Arrange Delivery Complete Delivery Complete Delivery Payment Payment Received Received Send Feedback  Send Feedback  Questionnaire Questionnaire Send Yearly Send Yearly Letter Letter Concluded Concluded - Lost - Lost  After Sales  After Sales Process Process No No Decision Decision Sale Sale No No Sale Sale No No  Yes  Yes

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1.

1. Current SituationCurrent Situation Map out your existing proces

Map out your existing process or processes for selling. s or processes for selling. Your map (SeeYour map (See Figure 1) should include the different types of sales that take place in Figure 1) should include the different types of sales that take place in your company e.g. direct or

your company e.g. direct or indirect, product or service, interactions withindirect, product or service, interactions with other internal business units, partners or

other internal business units, partners or resellers, areas where decisionsresellers, areas where decisions need to be

need to be made, communications issued or time constraints imposed.made, communications issued or time constraints imposed.  You will need to know who the individuals are involved in the process and  You will need to know who the individuals are involved in the process and

document their role, from lead generation and qualification all the way document their role, from lead generation and qualification all the way through to final order.

through to final order. 2.

2. Desired ProcessDesired Process

If you don’t already have a consistent sales process or if you can find If you don’t already have a consistent sales process or if you can find areas for improvement, you can either create one

areas for improvement, you can either create one based upon others inbased upon others in the marketplace that fit your way of selling and the markets in which you the marketplace that fit your way of selling and the markets in which you operate, or follow a

operate, or follow a strategy offered by sales consultants such as Millerstrategy offered by sales consultants such as Miller Heiman.

Heiman. Your chosen process sYour chosen process should have a high deghould have a high degree of repetitionree of repetition and proven success, when combined with your

and proven success, when combined with your own best practices youown best practices you will have a sales process to

will have a sales process to test your company against.test your company against.

3.

3. Process in PracticeProcess in Practice

When you have an outline for your process you must make sure that When you have an outline for your process you must make sure that it willit will work for you in practice.

work for you in practice. Apply it to historical exApply it to historical examples to assess its abiamples to assess its abilitylity to stand-up and when you have refined it you need

to stand-up and when you have refined it you need to communicate it toto communicate it to those that are to be involved in the process and explain there commitment. those that are to be involved in the process and explain there commitment. The biggest challenge is then assuring your

The biggest challenge is then assuring your sales process is well managedsales process is well managed and provides benefi

and provides benefit to your company. t to your company. Sales Managers know Sales Managers know who theirwho their best performers are (generally they form the top 20% of the sales team) best performers are (generally they form the top 20% of the sales team) and if it was possible to take what they know and ensure

and if it was possible to take what they know and ensure at least 60% of at least 60% of  the rest of the team were

the rest of the team were working to their methodology there would be aworking to their methodology there would be a dramatic increase in sales.

dramatic increase in sales.

4.

4. Process ManagementProcess Management The whole sales team and

The whole sales team and sales support staff need to sales support staff need to consistently followconsistently follow the practices outlined to complete the

the practices outlined to complete the process and measure the results.process and measure the results. The most efficient way of managing and measuring your sales through The most efficient way of managing and measuring your sales through your best practice is through a workflow based sales force automation your best practice is through a workflow based sales force automation system.

system. Every step that you outline and every piEvery step that you outline and every piece of information youece of information you wish to capture can be

wish to capture can be mapped into a solution, allowing real-timemapped into a solution, allowing real-time management and reporting on each of these criti

management and reporting on each of these critical events. cal events. Changes toChanges to weaknesses in the process can then be made and rolled out to

weaknesses in the process can then be made and rolled out to manymany users at once allowing strategic changes to

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In order to improve your sales performance you need to

In order to improve your sales performance you need to know where youknow where you are now, where you want

are now, where you want to go by agreeing a sales model, then makingto go by agreeing a sales model, then making sure it will work for your company.

sure it will work for your company. Finally choose a solution that wFinally choose a solution that willill enable you to manage your sales process through its workflow and then enable you to manage your sales process through its workflow and then report on your outcomes as your company grows.

report on your outcomes as your company grows.

Over 80%

Over 80%

of genera

of genera

ted leads are ne

ted leads are ne

ver followed up on or

ver followed up on or

are dropped or mishandled – Aberdeen Group

are dropped or mishandled – Aberdeen Group

Why automate your sales proces

Why automate your sales process? s? Many companies stiMany companies still use paper, emailll use paper, email and spreadsheets to carry out

and spreadsheets to carry out critical tasks such as quotations, salescritical tasks such as quotations, sales reporting and lead distributi

reporting and lead distribution. on. The reality is that these methods havThe reality is that these methods have majore major drawbacks including paper getting forgotten or filed, emails lost

drawbacks including paper getting forgotten or filed, emails lost in thein the proverbial ‘black hole’ and spreadsheets taking extra work

proverbial ‘black hole’ and spreadsheets taking extra work to populate usuallyto populate usually resulting in a document that is out of dat

resulting in a document that is out of date before you even start it. e before you even start it. A processA process driven or work-flow based SFA/CRM solution will alleviate these

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Automating

Automating your sales process through

your sales process through

workflow.

workflow.

SFA/CRM software has long been recognised as an enabler to radically SFA/CRM software has long been recognised as an enabler to radically redesigning your sales processes for achieving dramatic improvements in redesigning your sales processes for achieving dramatic improvements in sales performance, management and meas

sales performance, management and measurement. urement. Typically this tyTypically this type of pe of  technology can collect great amounts of data,

technology can collect great amounts of data, however, unless yourhowever, unless your individual sales process or workflow is an integral part of the solution it is individual sales process or workflow is an integral part of the solution it is impossible to gain access to the real

impossible to gain access to the real information that every Salesinformation that every Sales Manager wants; an accurate and clear view of pipeline deals, ability to Manager wants; an accurate and clear view of pipeline deals, ability to more accurately forecast and the knowledge to be able to intercept sales more accurately forecast and the knowledge to be able to intercept sales at the right time to provide coaching or closing information.

at the right time to provide coaching or closing information. If a SFA/CRM tool doesn’t follow

If a SFA/CRM tool doesn’t follow your company’s sales process, not onlyyour company’s sales process, not only do managers find it impossible to ensure the sales team are following do managers find it impossible to ensure the sales team are following best practice but across the board reporting can be difficult and the audit best practice but across the board reporting can be difficult and the audit trail vague and ineffectiv

trail vague and ineffective for planning future strategy. e for planning future strategy. The reality of The reality of  modern business is that more o

modern business is that more o ften salespeople are in increasinglyften salespeople are in increasingly competitive situations, managing a sale is more complicated than ever; competitive situations, managing a sale is more complicated than ever; involving numerous communications, documents and the resources of  involving numerous communications, documents and the resources of  sales support staff.

sales support staff. It seems obvious that the system tIt seems obvious that the system that will work besthat will work best for your company will be

for your company will be highly configurable to your company and highly configurable to your company and assistassist you in being proactive, rather than reactive and transaction orientated you in being proactive, rather than reactive and transaction orientated like many systems available.

like many systems available.

Workflow

Workflow

Automation is a key factor that distingui

Automation is a key factor that distingui

shes better BPMS

shes better BPMS

tools - Gartner Group

tools - Gartner Group

 A SFA solution that has workflow as its engine will automate the tasks  A SFA solution that has workflow as its engine will automate the tasks

that are of vital importance to a Sales Manager.

that are of vital importance to a Sales Manager. Asking the system theAsking the system the difficult questions that will guide the business forward and

difficult questions that will guide the business forward and supplying real-supplying real-time answers whenever you access

time answers whenever you access the solution. the solution. For example, one of theFor example, one of the most common requests from Sales Managers is for a clear and accurate most common requests from Sales Managers is for a clear and accurate view of pipeline, what deals are in progress for the company as a view of pipeline, what deals are in progress for the company as a wholewhole and for individual salespeople, exactly what stage they are at with them and for individual salespeople, exactly what stage they are at with them and when they are likely to close.

and when they are likely to close. For example, a critical event in youFor example, a critical event in yourr process may be to have confirmation of attendance of a key decision process may be to have confirmation of attendance of a key decision maker or a technical specification at a second meeting before any maker or a technical specification at a second meeting before any presentation is made.

presentation is made. A keen salesperson may want to rush to attendA keen salesperson may want to rush to attend any chance to meet with a potential customer again, however, as Sales any chance to meet with a potential customer again, however, as Sales Manager it would be easy to see that missing out this important step Manager it would be easy to see that missing out this important step could delay the sale, increase the cost of sale or even be

could delay the sale, increase the cost of sale or even be a contributinga contributing factor to the loss of the sale.

factor to the loss of the sale.

With a workflow based SFA you set t

With a workflow based SFA you set the rules. he rules. If you think, as in theIf you think, as in the example above, that it is imperative to gain the information outlined, you example above, that it is imperative to gain the information outlined, you can set a red flag for failure to

can set a red flag for failure to complete this task or you may decide thatcomplete this task or you may decide that it’s not so important to

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 A workflow is created by plotting the best route for a

 A workflow is created by plotting the best route for a salesperson through asalesperson through a sale.

sale. There may be There may be various start various start points. points. Set actions Set actions and obstacles and obstacles maymay occur along the way and there may be a

occur along the way and there may be a variety of end points but the endvariety of end points but the end goal will always be to close a sale at least but could well extend into goal will always be to close a sale at least but could well extend into fulfilment, sup

fulfilment, support and even account port and even account management. management. See Figure 2 for anSee Figure 2 for an example of a workflow and you will see that there are

example of a workflow and you will see that there are several routes toseveral routes to reach the end result, at points along the route

reach the end result, at points along the route it is possible to set time-it is possible to set time-limits for completion e.g. responding to a request for information or to limits for completion e.g. responding to a request for information or to rotate the action if it is not completed at a critical step e.g. decision maker rotate the action if it is not completed at a critical step e.g. decision maker must be in attendance at meeting before presentation can take place. must be in attendance at meeting before presentation can take place.

Figure 2 – a sales process automated as a workflow Figure 2 – a sales process automated as a workflow

Workflow not only gives salespeople a best practice path to follow but it Workflow not only gives salespeople a best practice path to follow but it provides managers with in-depth analysis of their sales through

provides managers with in-depth analysis of their sales through intuitiveintuitive graphical user interfaces

graphical user interfaces. . The new breed of Workflow based SFA willThe new breed of Workflow based SFA will provide this information in real-time and

provide this information in real-time and as a dynamic report availableas a dynamic report available through a web-interfac

through a web-interface. e. Managers are able to acManagers are able to accurately forecast usicurately forecast usingng detailed historical data, assess a salespersons likelihood of meeting detailed historical data, assess a salespersons likelihood of meeting targets by viewing actual activity and steppin

targets by viewing actual activity and stepping in to help a g in to help a sale that issale that is stalling.

stalling. The competitive environmenThe competitive environment that every company operates int that every company operates in whether large or

whether large or small must optimise their company’s performance tosmall must optimise their company’s performance to keep afloat.

keep afloat.

Many good solutions will provide either a horizontal or vertical market Many good solutions will provide either a horizontal or vertical market solution; horizontal applications such as Sales or CRM and

solution; horizontal applications such as Sales or CRM and vertical modelsvertical models such as Finance or niche markets s

such as Finance or niche markets such as Insolvency Practiuch as Insolvency Practitioners. tioners. A A  good system will provide both horizontal and/or

good system will provide both horizontal and/or vertical market solutionsvertical market solutions and the capabilities to configure to

and the capabilities to configure to an individual company’s requirements;an individual company’s requirements; this is where the real value of a

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What w

What w ill an automated sales proc

ill an automated sales process do

ess do

for you?

for you?

 “The longer term goal is to build an infrastructure that operates on  “The longer term goal is to build an infrastructure that operates on thethe

intelligence of the syst

intelligence of the system more than the ‘talent’ of the user.” em more than the ‘talent’ of the user.” Chally GroupChally Group

The power is in the process and the introduction of best practice

The power is in the process and the introduction of best practice

By making the process visible through documentation, business managers By making the process visible through documentation, business managers are able to monitor their business in real-time and are able to

are able to monitor their business in real-time and are able to determinedetermine and execute appropriate outcomes

and execute appropriate outcomes to maximise business success.to maximise business success. Benefits of an automated sales

Benefits of an automated sales process include:process include:

-- Reducing face-to-face time and cost of sale Reducing face-to-face time and cost of sale by automatingby automating

administrative functions and eliminating unnecessary steps in a administrative functions and eliminating unnecessary steps in a process.

process.

-- Providing suggestions to sales people to help Providing suggestions to sales people to help them cope withthem cope with

different customer segments. different customer segments.

-- Streamlining the customer experience from sales to Streamlining the customer experience from sales to delivery.delivery.

-- Making it easier and quicker to train new sales staff.Making it easier and quicker to train new sales staff.

-- Facilitating communicatiFacilitating communication between all on between all parties involved in a sale.parties involved in a sale.

-- Giving sales people more time to Giving sales people more time to sell!sell!

To summarise the benefits of an automated sales process we should look  To summarise the benefits of an automated sales process we should look  at a quote from ‘Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing’ by the Harvard at a quote from ‘Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing’ by the Harvard Business Review;

Business Review; “In cases we h

“In cases we have reviewed, sales increases arising from ave reviewed, sales increases arising from 

advanced marketing and sales information technology have 

advanced marketing and sales information technology have 

ranged fr

ranged from 10% om 10% to more than 30% to more than 30% and invesand investment returns tment returns 

have often exceeded 100%.” 

have often exceeded 100%.” 

This quote highlights the idea that

This quote highlights the idea that an automated sales process enablesan automated sales process enables both sales and marketing to profile the best leads not just by the source both sales and marketing to profile the best leads not just by the source but by the characteristics of companies and their

but by the characteristics of companies and their speed, willingness andspeed, willingness and ability to travel through the

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Companies that want to succeed whether small, medium or large must Companies that want to succeed whether small, medium or large must put in to place measures to optimis

put in to place measures to optimise their sales procedures. e their sales procedures. An optimisedAn optimised sales team and its Sales Manager

sales team and its Sales Manager will have full visibility of every sale inwill have full visibility of every sale in the company at both a Micro and Macro level and the ability to produce the company at both a Micro and Macro level and the ability to produce accurate, up-to-date reports for the benefit of future sales forecasting accurate, up-to-date reports for the benefit of future sales forecasting and planning.

and planning.

In conclusion two measures have come to the forefront as essential in In conclusion two measures have come to the forefront as essential in being able to manage

being able to manage a successful sales team by obtaining visibility of a successful sales team by obtaining visibility of  pipeline and simple management reporting abilities;

pipeline and simple management reporting abilities;

-- Implement a sales process based on best practice for your company.Implement a sales process based on best practice for your company.

-- Implement a workflow based SFA solution that models your salesImplement a workflow based SFA solution that models your sales

process. process.

Choose an implementation that is value for money and easy to use, cost Choose an implementation that is value for money and easy to use, cost and complicated unnecessary functionality should not be barriers to and complicated unnecessary functionality should not be barriers to aa successful implementation.

successful implementation.

 At the end of the day, the business should not need

 At the end of the day, the business should not need to adapt just toto adapt just to support technology; the technology should adapt to support

support technology; the technology should adapt to support the business.the business.

To find out more about Sales-Flow the sponsors of this paper, please visit

To find out more about Sales-Flow the sponsors of this paper, please visit

www.salesflow.com or call 0870 1607 555.

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Case Study

Case Study

The Client

The Client

The Managing Director of

The Managing Director of a debt advisory company had established thea debt advisory company had established the

company having seen consumer debt escalate alarmingly in

company having seen consumer debt escalate alarmingly in the late 90’s,the late 90’s,

and recognised a need for specialis

and recognised a need for specialist advice in this sector. t advice in this sector. Refinancing,Refinancing,

debt redirection, Individual Voluntary

debt redirection, Individual Voluntary Arrangement and bankruptcy are all Arrangement and bankruptcy are all areas expertly handled by the

areas expertly handled by the team of specialists at The team of specialists at The Debt Advisor.Debt Advisor.

The Problem

The Problem

The Debt Advisor database lacked any

The Debt Advisor database lacked any functions capable of reporting onfunctions capable of reporting on

the progress of incoming leads, what conversion rates had been achieved

the progress of incoming leads, what conversion rates had been achieved

or the cost of acquisition of a new client.

or the cost of acquisition of a new client. Manual, daily updates wereManual, daily updates were

time-consuming

time-consuming and profit opportunitiand profit opportunities were missed. es were missed. Due to theDue to the

financial nature of the companies activities there were a number of strict

financial nature of the companies activities there were a number of strict

processes that needed to be adhered to, without central monitoring there

processes that needed to be adhered to, without central monitoring there

was no way for her to

was no way for her to know that these were being adhered to.know that these were being adhered to.

The Solution

The Solution

Serious investment in a workflow based SFA system was deemed to be

Serious investment in a workflow based SFA system was deemed to be

essential by the compa

essential by the company. ny. Five SFA software specialFive SFA software specialists were short-listed,ists were short-listed,

including; Sales Logi

including; Sales Logix, Salesforce.com and Maxix, Salesforce.com and Maximiser. miser. Sales-Flow wasSales-Flow was

chosen because it was felt to be the only solution with the functionality

chosen because it was felt to be the only solution with the functionality

and configurability to meet the needs

and configurability to meet the needs of the business.of the business.

Conclusion

Conclusion

In the second year of running the

In the second year of running the Sales-Flow system The Debt AdvisorSales-Flow system The Debt Advisor

are further developing the system to take over the

are further developing the system to take over the cash management andcash management and

reporting functions for Individual Voluntary Arrangement cases, once

reporting functions for Individual Voluntary Arrangement cases, once

approved.

approved.

The Managing Director is now able to report on

The Managing Director is now able to report on the progress of allthe progress of all

incoming leads, how many of these are converted into customers and the

incoming leads, how many of these are converted into customers and the

cost of acquisit

cost of acquisition of each new client. ion of each new client. All of the claims for IVA approvalAll of the claims for IVA approval

follow a process which allows her to see how many are

follow a process which allows her to see how many are in the process andin the process and

at exactly which stage they are at.

Figure

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References

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