In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, manufacturers, distributors and sales agencies are increasingly turning to sales force automation software to streamline their sales processes, enhance productivity, drive revenue growth and make data-driven decisions. Solutech SAT (Sales force Automation Tool) is a powerful Sales Force Automation (SFA) solution that can significantly boost sales teams’ performance and improve overall operational efficiency. To ensure a successful implementation, it is essential to approach the process strategically and consider key factors that will maximize the benefits of adopting Solutech SAT. This article outlines the steps and best practices for successfully implementing sales force automation software like Solutech SAT.
Clearly Define Requirements and Objectives
Before embarking on the search for an SFA system, it is crucial to clearly define your organization’s requirements and objectives. Determine the specific pain points you want to address in your route to market strategy and the desired outcomes from adopting Solutech SAT. For example, tracking sales team targets, traceability of sales team working and transit times, improving sales team efficiency, enhancing customer visits, processing orders faster, van sales inventory management, visibility into sales team retail audits like surveys, expires and damages reporting, on-shelf availability of products, the share of shelf, stock taking, or even improving logistics planning and proof of delivery.
Setting clear goals will provide direction to ensure you get the right service provider to implement the right functionalities you need. However, it is important that as you start this journey you consider the SFA project as an investment but not an expense as the former will ensure you view it as an enabler to improve productivity.
Assess Current Processes
Evaluate your existing sales processes to identify areas that can be automated and optimized with Solutech SAT. Involve key stakeholders, such as sales representatives, van sales teams, merchandisers, their team leaders, supervisors and managers, to gain insights into their pain points and requirements. This ensures every user’s views are taken into account and the right expectations are set from the onset. As the key decision maker, either as top management or director of the business, you would not want to make the project be seen as a tool forced down to end users from the management.
Resistance from users is one of the key challenges we have noted over numerous organisations, especially those transitioning from manual ways of working to automating their processes. Hence, involving all key stakeholders will ensure there is good buy-in from everyone thus ensuring a smooth transition in terms of change management. Change is scary as many users will be scared of losing their jobs, being monitored and adapting to new ways of executing their roles, and hence as top management, be involved in the full process together with the whole team to give them comfort and ensure that they feel supported.
Choose the Right Implementation Team
Form a dedicated implementation team consisting of individuals with expertise in sales, IT, and project management. Over time, I have noted organisations which feel that SFA projects should be implemented by the IT department, but this shouldn’t be the case. The sales department should be on top of their game in ensuring the system addresses all their requirements, and with the support of the IT department to ensure the project is successfully implemented. The implementation team will oversee the implementation process, manage internal communication, and ensure alignment with the organization’s goals. Depending on the size of your organisation, you can constitute more than one person to champion this process. Assign a project manager who will be the central point of contact and facilitate collaboration between stakeholders and the software vendor.
Set Targets for the Sales Team
Setting clear and achievable targets for the sales team is essential for maximizing the benefits of sales force automation software like Solutech SAT. Start by aligning the targets with your organization’s overall sales and revenue objectives. Most organisations have a revenue target each year and this should ideally form your basis for the targets of every region, and every salesperson in all the regions. Consider factors such as historical performance, market trends, and the potential impact of implementing Solutech SAT. Collaborate with the sales team to ensure their buy-in and commitment to the targets, as their active involvement and ownership are vital for success.
The most important metrics to track should be the number of customers to visit in a month, the sales value to achieve in a month or the sales volume to achieve in a month. In some industries where price fluctuates a lot, tracking sales volume is better than tracking sales value. For example, the number of bales sold instead of $10M worth of sales generated. These targets can be then subdivided into days per the number of working days for each salesperson. This will then define the target for each salesperson per day. As well, based on the number of customers to visit, you may define the strike rate/success rate to ensure salespeople are not only visiting customers but also generating sales from those visits. You may also set targets for payment collection to ensure sales representatives are following up on unpaid invoices. Merchandisers might have more refined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) like reducing expires (adhering to First In First Out) and damages, reducing stock-outs (ensuring availability), and maintaining or increasing share of shelf.
By utilising an SFA like Solutech SAT, you will regularly track and monitor the team’s progress using the reporting and analytics functionalities. This data-driven approach allows you to provide timely feedback, identify areas for improvement, and adjust targets as needed. Remember to strike a balance between setting challenging targets that drive growth and motivating the team by providing them with attainable goals that promote confidence and motivation.
Define Required Reports
Reports generated by Solutech SAT offer valuable insights into various aspects of your sales operations and enable data-driven decision-making. These reports provide a comprehensive view of sales performance, including key metrics such as revenue, sales conversion rates, customer acquisition, and retention rates. They help identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for improvement, allowing you to make informed strategic decisions. Additionally, reports can provide visibility into individual sales representative performance, allowing you to identify top performers, identify coaching needs, and establish benchmarks for productivity. Furthermore, reports on customer behaviour, such as buying patterns, preferences, and feedback, enable you to tailor your sales and marketing strategies to better serve your customers’ needs. By leveraging the reporting capabilities of SFA, you can gain actionable insights, measure the effectiveness of your sales initiatives, and continuously optimize your sales processes for enhanced performance and business growth.
It is critical to regularly review and analyze reports to gain a deeper understanding of your sales performance and make data-driven decisions. Therefore, list all the reports you will require to align with your specific business goals and metrics, ensuring they provide meaningful and actionable information. By leveraging the power of reports, you can maximize the benefits of sales force automation software and drive continuous improvement within your sales organization. Better, you can do an integration with your favourite data analytics tool like Power BI, or Qlik Sense to help you build your own custom dashboards.
Set a Budget
Setting up a budget for implementing the project is essential to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Begin by thoroughly evaluating the costs associated with the software itself, including implementation costs, integration costs, licenses and any additional modules or customizations required. Additionally, consider any hardware upgrades or infrastructure changes necessary to support the software like purchasing new devices for the end users. As well, allocate resources for training sessions including travel costs for all the users to any required training location, and ongoing support to facilitate user adoption and address any technical issues that may arise.
Moreover, if you are already using another SFA software, factor in the cost of data migration to the new system as a dedicated resource would need to clean up the data to align with the templates of the new system. By accurately estimating and allocating the necessary funds, you can effectively manage the financial aspects of implementing Solutech SAT and ensure a well-executed and cost-effective implementation process. Having a budget in place will ensure that as you embark on selecting a vendor, you pick a vendor who suits your budget.
Choose The Right Vendor
There are many SFA systems, notably Solutech SAT, provided by Solutech Limited, a leading sales force automation provider in Kenya with implementations across 8 markets in Africa; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC, Zambia, Ethiopia and Sudan. Work closely with the identified implementation team to source the right software vendor. Ensure the SFA system meets all your requirements and those that are not met, can at least be customised per your business processes. Depending on whether you require integration to external systems like your ERP (Entity Resource Planning) software, evaluate the vendors’ experience in carrying out similar integrations with your ERP.
Understand the vendor’s pricing points, from their implementation and integration costs to licensing costs. In as much as some vendors may not meet your budget, at this point, it becomes important to evaluate whether to relook at the budget depending on how good the demonstrated system is. Also, inquire about the vendor’s ability to provide support as you would want to implement software for which you can get after-sales support. Lastly, it is important to establish whether the vendor is a reseller or the direct owner of the software as dealing with the direct owner will make it easy for you to get customisations, after-sales support and future upgrades.
Sign Off The Necessary Documents
After establishing the right vendor who suits your needs, request for a proposal from the vendor. If need be, you may negotiate the rates, and once you have a win-win for everyone, sign the proposal and sign a contract if need be. When implementing sales force automation software like Solutech SAT, proposals and contracts play a vital role in establishing a clear understanding between your organization and the software vendor. A well-defined proposal should outline the scope of work, including customizations if any, integrations, training, and ongoing support including all costs involved. It should also provide details regarding the project timeline, milestones, and deliverables. When reviewing the contract, pay close attention to the licensing terms, including the number of user licenses, and annual maintenance costs (AMC) if any.
Look for provisions that address data ownership, confidentiality, and data security to safeguard your sensitive information. Additionally, ensure the contract includes service level agreements (SLAs) that define the vendor’s responsibilities, response times, and support channels. It is crucial to review all terms and conditions thoroughly and seek legal advice if necessary to protect your organization’s interests and ensure a mutually beneficial partnership with the software vendor. If need be, you may sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with the SFA vendor to ensure your business data interests are protected.
Remember, it is important to consult with legal professionals if your organisation does not have a legal department to ensure that all legal and contractual aspects are properly addressed based on the specific requirements and regulations of your organization and jurisdiction.
Begin Implementation: Configurations, Customizations and Integrations
With all paperwork done, implementation of the system begins which involves mapping all use cases and processes, setting up the client deployment, and configuring the features and data. Prepare all the required data from users’ data, their route plans, products, price lists, prices, customer information and any other data required for setup. During this phase, work closely with the software vendor to customize your Solutech SAT according to your organization’s requirements. Map your sales processes onto the software’s features and functionalities, ensuring a smooth and intuitive user experience.
Configure the software to match your terminology, workflows, and reporting needs. Depending on the project timeline, conduct frequent User Acceptance Testing sessions to ensure the software is being configured per the requirements. If there are integrations to be done, whether for payments or ERP integration, introduce any external service providers in advance to harmonize all integration needs. These integrations enable seamless data flow, eliminate manual data entry, and provide a holistic view of customer interactions and sales performance to ensure once orders are booked from the field, they reflect in the ERP system on a real-time basis.
Training and Hand Holding
Effective communication and training are vital for successful software adoption. Once UAT sessions have been given the green light by your implementation team, the team can proceed to plan for training sessions with all users. If there are users who need to be merged into one central location from different regions, ensure the team effectively plans for this, factoring in the different user groups who need to be trained, from van sales reps, order bookers, merchandisers, drivers, supervisors and top management. The software vendor should provide a detailed training work plan detailing the places of training, the date and time of training, and the user groups to be trained.
Conduct training sessions for users, providing hands-on experience and addressing any concerns or questions they may have. Encourage feedback and create a supportive environment to facilitate a smooth transition. After the training, it is important to handhold the users by accompanying them to the trade to ensure they easily get up and running with the software. This will help in creating familiarity with the end user and their day-to-day roles hence increasing adoption rates.
Monitor and Evaluate
After implementation, close the project and then closely monitor the usage and performance of Solutech SAT. Analyze key metrics such as sales growth, productivity, and adoption rates to assess the software’s impact. Regularly solicit feedback from users and make necessary adjustments to optimize the system’s functionality and address any emerging challenges.
At the end of the day, what gets measured, gets done.
Therefore, ensure the end users are utilising the software as required and progressively monitor the data being captured especially customer information to ensure data completeness and accuracy. It is only by monitoring and evaluating that you will be able to know where to improve and how to improve. Ensure the right users internally are getting the correct reports from the system to ensure they effectively utilise the software to its maximum capability.
Sales force automation is an ongoing process. Regularly review and refine your processes to leverage the full potential of Solutech SAT. Stay updated on the latest software updates and features, and actively seek user feedback to identify areas for improvement. Encourage collaboration between the implementation team and the software vendor to ensure your organization continues to derive maximum value from the software. Ensure the implementation team can re-train new users or even existing users to ensure you are self-reliant internally, without relying on the software vendor at all times.
Implementing Solutech SAT or any sales force automation software requires a strategic approach and careful planning. By clearly defining objectives, involving key stakeholders, customizing and integrating the software to match your organization’s needs, and providing comprehensive training and support, you can successfully implement Solutech SAT and maximize the benefits it offers. Remember to continuously monitor, evaluate, and refine your processes to ensure ongoing success in sales automation and drive sustainable business growth.
SFA is usually a part of a customer relationship management (CRM) system that automatically records all the stages in a sales process. The idea is to track all contact that's been made with a customer, along with the purpose of the contact, and any follow up that may be needed.What is SFA? ›
Sales force automation (SFA) is an integrated application of customizable customer relationship management (CRM) tools that automate and streamline sales inventory, leads, forecasting, performance and analysis.Which of the following is an advantage created by a sales force automation system? ›
Ability to track communication. The sales contact management system which is generally an integrated feature in the Sales Force Automation system allows tracking communication between the customers which is an ideal advantage in the long run for a business.What is Salesforce used for? ›
Salesforce is a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that enables businesses to manage customer data, sales operations, and marketing campaigns.What is sales force automation example? ›
For example, a business could set up an automation whereby a new email is sent after two days if an email to a client is not opened. Alternatively, if the email is opened and an online form is filled out, the contents can be automatically added to a CRM and a sales rep notified that they should contact the prospect.What is sales force automation easy? ›
Sales force automation helps sellers take the next-best action by using machine learning and comprehensive, account-level data. It automates and simplifies data entry and supports mobile interactions, giving sales teams more time to engage with customers and prospective customers.What is an example of SFA? ›
For example, sales reps can use SFA software to set up push notifications when a qualified sales lead visits the company's website and an email nurturing campaign to move the lead through the sales funnel.What is the goal of SFA? ›
Goal of SFA: Provision of a strategy for naming, that can be used in instances of communication breakdown. Though a semantic visual (feature analysis chart) is used throughout intervention, the ultimate goal is to utilize this strategy, in spontaneous conversation, without the aid of the visual.What is the acceptance rate for SFA? › What are three 3 advantages of automation? ›
Advantages commonly attributed to automation include higher production rates and increased productivity, more efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety, shorter workweeks for labour, and reduced factory lead times.
- Lower operating costs. ...
- Improved worker safety. ...
- Reduced factory lead times. ...
- Faster ROI. ...
- Ability to be more competitive. ...
- Increased production output. ...
- Consistent and improved part production and quality. ...
- Smaller environmental footprint.
- Increase efficiency and productivity. Sales automation eliminates manual and time-consuming tasks, effectively removing them from your workflow. ...
- Boost sales. ...
- Improve lead generation. ...
- Retain more customers. ...
- Report creation. ...
- Better onboarding for sales reps. ...
- Improve the customer experience.
- Automation Tools. For any business to prosper, communication with customers needs to be top-notch. ...
- Data Analytics Tools. ...
- Tracking Customer Activity. ...
- Data Syncing. ...
- Customer Assistance. ...
- Omnichannel Feature. ...
- Customer Engagement. ...
- Keeps the Audience in One Place.
Walmart Inc. and Amazon are the biggest Salesforce clients, with revenues amounting to $573B and $502.191B, respectively. Notably, Salesforce is honored to be listed on the Fortune 500 itself, ranking at #136 in 2022.Is IT hard to learn Salesforce? ›
Is Salesforce easy to learn? Though Salesforce is extensive, it is not difficult to learn. If you put your mind and concentration into learning the Salesforce CRM and at the same time take up this online Salesforce Training course, you will be able to master Salesforce within weeks.What are the four types of Salesforce? ›
The four main areas of Salesforce Specialization are: Geographic, Product, Market, and Functional: Explain/Define each one and give an example of when each one would be the best option.What is the difference between Salesforce automation and CRM? ›
Sales Force Automation Technology is centered around sales management whereas the CRM platform focuses on improving customer relationships and delivering unparalleled customer experiences.What programming language does Salesforce automation use? ›
- In Marketing Cloud, navigate to Automation Studio.
- Click New Automation.
- Select Schedule.
- Click Ok.
- Name the Automation.
- Drag Salesforce Email Send activity onto the canvas.
- Click Choose.
- Select Day 1 Test.
A careful analysis of the system implementation identified four major factors contributing to low user acceptance: (1) the SFA system required a change in established sales routines, (2) the sales force perceived the system as a micromanagement tool, (3) the sales force and management had dif- ferent expectations of ...
Saturated fatty acids (SFA) contain no double bond; this type of fat can be synthesized by the body and its major dietary source is food from animal sources, such as full-fat dairy products, red meat, and poultry.What does SFA mean in management? ›
Using technology to automate the sales process. Some technologies that can be used for sales automation are: • Laptop computers. • Personal digital assistants.What is SFA in supply chain management? ›
Sales Force Automation for Inbound logistics concentrates on purchasing and arranging the inbound movement of materials, parts, and/or finished inventory from suppliers to manufacturing or assembly plants, warehouses, or retail stores.How does SFA improve productivity of salesman and how does SFA help in CRM? ›
The SFA application accelerates and automates each stage of the sales process. It helps to optimize the work schedule, supports the salesperson during a meeting with the client, configures a personalized sales offer and automatically reports sales activities.What does the SFA stand for in context of CRM? ›
Therefore, in the context of CRM, the abbreviation SFA stands for Sales Force Automation.What is a passing grade at SFA? ›
Stephen F. Austin State University is less selective with an acceptance rate of 68%. Students that get into Stephen F. Austin State University have an SAT score between 990–1180 .
It is made up of three interwoven solutions: Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation. Together, they form the three As of Applied Intelligence, helping businesses find novel ways to delight customers by using intelligent technology to amplify human ingenuity.What are the three pillars of automation? ›
There are three pillars of enterprise automation that can position enterprise automation initiatives for success. These include leading practices, change management strategies, and key alliances.What are the 3 levels of automation system? ›
- Level 0 (No Driving Automation)
- Level 1 (Driver Assistance)
- Level 2 (Partial Driving Automation)
- Level 3 (Conditional Driving Automation)
- Level 4 (High Driving Automation)
- Level 5 (Full Driving Automation)
- Where's my autonomous car?
- Telerik Test Studio.
- Katalon Studio.
|Higher production rates||Worker displacement|
|Increased productivity||Needs large capital expenditure|
|More efficient use of materials||Can become redundant|
|Better product quality||Could introduce new safety hazards|
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the simplest form of software automation, and one that provides the building blocks for technologies such as intelligent automation and IDP.How does automation increase sales? ›
- Provides a Full View of Your Leads. ...
- Segments and Nurtures Leads. ...
- Keeps Your Brand Top of Mind. ...
- Optimizes Sales Efforts. ...
- Manages Certain Tasks. ...
- Offers Data and Analytics.
The benefits of automated operations are higher productivity, reliability, availability, increased performance, and reduced operating costs. Moving to lights-out operations yields a good return on investment.What are the 5 core of Salesforce? ›
Salesforce is built on a set of five core values: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Sustainability, and Equality. By making technology more accessible, we're helping create a future with greater opportunity and equality for all.What are the 5 key values of Salesforce? ›
Our core values – Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability – guide everything we do.What are the three pillars of Salesforce? ›
The Three Pillars of Success: Self-Awareness, Hustle, and Empathy - Salesforce Live.Does Walmart use Salesforce? ›
Walmart's partnership with Salesforce will provide retailers access to the same scalable technologies that Walmart uses. These solutions will enable personalized and easy commerce experiences with real-time order visibility and reliable local pickup and delivery.What is the number 1 CRM? ›
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--International Data Corporation (IDC) has ranked Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) as the #1 CRM provider in its latest Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker.
AWS and Salesforce share a strategic relationship, encompassing technical alignment and joint development. Many Salesforce products run on AWS. In addition, Salesforce customers can build on AWS to extend their Salesforce capabilities.Can I learn Salesforce in 3 months? ›
Salesforce course duration can vary depending on the course type, the depth of the certification content, your experience, and your dedication to spending time preparing for the exam. For example, some courses can be completed in just 4-6 weeks, while others can take several weeks or months.How can I learn Salesforce myself? ›
- First, start focusing on learning the basics; we can say an overview of Salesforce. ...
- Secondly, start learning and practicing java. ...
- After you are clear with both the above-mentioned concepts, then it's time to move ahead.
Salesforce is an easy tool to learn and use. You can become a Salesforce Administrator or Admin even without relevant experience, provided you meet the requirements for the role in your company, as it's not easy to acquire Salesforce certification.Which system would be used to track sales with each customer? ›
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.Which of the following is the tool for process automation in Salesforce? ›
Salesforce Process Builder is an automated tool that lets you control the order of actions and analyze record criteria.
The performance chart displays data based on your sales team's opportunities if you have an associated team. Otherwise, the chart displays opportunities you own. Only opportunities for the current sales quarter that are closed or open with a probability over 70% are displayed.What is sales tracking system? ›
Sales tracking is monitoring and analyzing all the different parts of your sales process so you can make them better. This includes how deals are flowing through the pipeline, sales cycle length, win rate, how many leads are being followed up with…Which software is used for track sales? ›
|Pipedrive||Small businesses||Cloud, Saas, web-based,|
|Zoho CRM||Small to large business||Mobile, Cloud-based|
|HubSpot||Small and medium-sized businesses||Cloud, Saas, web-based|
|Bitrix24||Small, medium and large businesses||Cloud, Saas, web-based, on-premise.|
There are three main types of CRM systems: collaborative, analytical, and operational. Here's how to choose the best one for creating better conversational customer experiences for your customers.
- Newsletter and blog subscriptions.
- Promotions, competitions, and offers.
- Customer orders.
- Transaction history.
- Marketing analytics.
- Social media.
Automation components help you extend the functionality of Flow Builder by using Apex classes and Lightning components. There are three types of components that can be used with flow: invocable actions, flow screen components, and flow local actions.Which two types of process automation can be used? ›
- Front-End Automation. UI automation.
- Back-End Automation. API automation.
- Native Actions. Specialized actions that target specific business applications.
- Intelligent Automation. Machine learning & artificial intelligence for when more critical thinking is needed.
A Salesforce KPI is a measurable performance metric used to monitor, analyze, and optimize the customer relationship management (CRM), including all relevant sales processes. Among other things, Salesforce metrics help the sales team to prioritize resources and leads.How does Salesforce track you? ›
Salesforce's Login History file records login attempts, including failures. If you've examined this data, you've monitored user activity. By looking at login history, you can tell which users log in regularly and make use of their Salesforce license.What is Salesforce sales strategy? ›
The marketing strategy of Salesforce is based on leveraging various marketing programs across traditional and social channels to target prospective and current customers, partners, and developers.How do I create a sales tracker in Excel? ›
Create a spreadsheet: Start by creating a new spreadsheet in Excel. You can use one of the pre-made templates or create your own. Enter data into columns and rows: Enter your sales data into each column and row on the spreadsheet. Use formulas to calculate totals, averages, and other vital metrics.What are the three types of tracking? ›
There are three types of tracking devices for vehicular tracking. These are: Satellite-based GPS Vehicle tracking. Cell-Based GPS vehicle tracking.