Sales force automation - Unitedworld School of Business
Sales Force AutomationSales force automation(SFA) is a technique of usingsoftware to automate the business tasks of sales.SFA perform diverse task like……Order processingContact managementInformation sharingOrder trackingCustomer managementSales forecast and analysisInventory monitoring and control.
Purpose of SFA Increase Revenue: Improve day to day operation andgive competitive advantages. Reduce cost: Reduce the amount of time sales forcespends on administrative and other non-sales related task, hence reduce the cost of sales. Increases availability of customer information: SFAallows different departments and individual in aorganization to access specific information about theircustomer.
Cont….Sales forecasting: AS SFA are equip with moresophisticated tools, it help to do sales forecasting.SFA help managers to successfully predict sales andmake intelligent business decisions.Improve tracking by management: SFA allowsmanagers to better monitor the activities of the salesforce by reporting on the activities of the sales force.SFA also allows managers to compare the sales forceprogress with all other territories or teams.
Case study: Hewlet Packard(Dyche , 2002)Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the world largest and mostsuccessful information technology organizations that operates innearly every country. HP markets its products tohouseholds, small to medium size businesses andenterprises, both directly, via online distribution, and indirectlythrough consumer-electronics and office-supplyretailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HPwas always thought of as an innovative organization focused ondelivering an industry-leading customer experience. For thisreason, in the nineties HPs. CRM program director Mike Overlywas in charge of rolling out a worldwide CRM program thatincluded a complex SFA system. The following sections willdiscuss what HP did, their main challenges inimplementation, and the results and learning from the
What HP did• Mike Overly and his CRM team knew that in order to deploya global CRM solution they would need to influence the entireorganization. HP chose an FSA system from their businesspartner, Oracle. With the introduction of the new system HPhad to phase out numerous data, business processes andtechnology systems. HP goal was to provide the company’sglobal sales force with an automated and standard way toperform contact management and account planning. Everyonehad their own rules and guidelines about managing theircustomer activities, Overly said. But what makes a customerhappy is pretty universal (Dyche, 2002, p. 99). With customeractivity data in an Oracle “customer database”.
HP could provide a remote salesperson with the ability totrack a customers activities across organizations. Forinstance, the SFA system allowed a salesperson to findout which of his/her customers contacted a company helpdesk, or could check up on how particular customerswere doing in terms of a recent marketing campaign.
The ChallengesImplementing a worldwide SFA system obviously results inmany challenges and HP was no exception. Overly explainedthat the most challenging aspect of the SFA implementationwas creating a uniform system for the diverse sales force.Overly and his team found that no matter where in the worldthey went, the sales representatives shared a common goal ofbeing as successful and productive as possible; however, everysales person had a preferred way of getting the job done.During the SFA system implementation Overly and his teamhad to overcome habits and assumptions that were often notonly organizationally ingrained but also culturally embedded.However, Overly was committed to creating an HPsolution, and he worked with Oracle to design a
Cont..system that allowed the sales force to customize their interfacesto include client information and contact activities as well asdata from external news sources and the global financial markets.HP also developed a training program in order to help the salesforce apply the technology to their specific job.Results and LearningOverly measured the overall success of the system based onthree primary measures” increased revenue, decreased costs andindustry-leading total customer experience. The overall resultsfrom the SFA implementation were positive and Overly wasconfident that the system would continue to pay off in the future.Overly was reluctant about estimating the revenue generated bythe SFA system, however his optimism made it clear HP expectsadditional revenue to be generated by the improvements resultingfrom the system.
Cont…Based on his experience with HP, Overly advised otherorganizations that might be deploying CRM to be mindfulof three success metrics. First, organizations should obtainsustained executive presence, meaning that executiveleadership must be engaged throughout the CRM lifecycle.Second, organizations should always keep one eye on theproblems of today, and the other on tomorrow’s problem.Third, organizations need to ensure change leadership, withemphasis on the world leader. Finally, Overly stressed thatEvery day there a new challenge you need someone who hasa good understanding of the problem and the authority to fixit.