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Sales Force Management

Sales Force Management

Sales force management systems are information systems used in marketing and management. Keep reading to know more...
BusinessZeal Staff
Selling is everyone's business and when it's not, you're in trouble...

John H. Patterson, the founder of National Cash Register (NCR), first codified the simple rules of successful sales processes:

(1) Know your customer and product
(2) Be present when the customer is ready to buy
(3) Don't forget to circle back to sell the customer again.

Selling is a simple process of exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money. Every firm in this thick competitive market is present to sell. Even non-profit organization does indirect selling.

Today's arena has changed a lot as compared to early business scenarios. Today's market has many suppliers to sell their products & services. Customer has become the central point & is given a lot of importance. Setting up good relations with the customer has become a necessity. In a rapidly changing world, many businesses are struggling with how to rationalize their sales resources and maximize the return on investment in finding, acquiring, and retaining customers.

New Type of Salesperson

Due to the competitive environment, industry required a new way of selling products & services. Industry expects more from a salesperson, something more than simply selling. A salesperson needs to have an in-depth knowledge of how their products integrate with other's solutions, to give the customer a seamless user experience.

New Technologies

Technology is another catalyst for change. New technological tools are available to help salespeople demonstrate their products online, track prospects and improve customer service, while cutting costs.

One productivity enhancement solution is Sales Force Automation.

Sales Force Automation (SFA)

SFA functions are normally integrated with base systems that provide order, product, inventory status and other information and may be included as part of a larger customer relationship management (CRM) system. This software also supports sales staff in lead generation, contact, scheduling, performance tracking and other functions. It is also frequently combined with a marketing information system. SFA tracks customer interaction, analyze sales forecasts and may automate business tasks such as inventory control and order processing.

Primarily two groups use them
1) Sales management: monitoring the overall performance of the sales team
2) Individual sales representatives: boosting sales growth selling more.

Using SFA tools, management can quickly figure out which are the sizzling prospects and when they are expected to close, both on an individual basis and across the entire sales force. They can understand - in real time - how big the sales pipeline is today and how big it's expected to be in weeks and months to come. They can determine which sales reps are performing - and which aren't even close to meeting their monthly quota.

Take an example of SalesForce.com - a best application provider in CRM and Sales management. Sales Force's web enabled, robust & customized solution includes following features.

1) Lead management
2) Opportunity management
3) Global forecasting
4) Territory management
5) Workflow automation
6) Real-time alerts
7) Update reminders
8) Team selling
9) Account management
10) Activity management
11) Product catalog
12) Sales literature
13) Email prospecting and tracking
14) Stay-in-touch relationship builder
15) Big deal alerts
16) Data quality tools
17) Sales analytics
18) Mobile solutions
19) Palm synchronization

Other than SFA, IT solution providers also enable technologies for partner relations, customer relations and employee relations with respect to improved sales effectiveness. SFA and CRM help in moving selling process smoothly. But there are 4 P in today's Sales management process for its effectiveness.

People
Sales professionals - Well trained with attitude which matches to organization objectives.

Process
Defined sales process in organization according to objectives & strategies of organization

Protocol
Technology used to implement and administer the successful and proven sales process

Persistence
People who are persistent in product knowledge, purpose, market identification & targeting customers, execution and measurement of success.