Importance of a Sales Force Automation solution in any sales organization is no longer a topic to be debated on. Be it a large team or a smaller one, companies have either already adopted an SFA solution or in the process of doing so. It’s a no brainer that if implemented rightly, it not only enhances productivity of the sales team, but also provides major input for many strategic decisions to be taken up by the company.
With the increasing stability and affordability of mobile devices, the question of whether a sales organization needs SFA solution has been settled. Every sales organization, big or small, needs an application to track the day-to-day activities of their sales force. More often than not organizations deploy a third party SFA tool with proven credentials, our own 1Channel being a leading example.
Smaller organizations only have to evaluate the tools available in the market to make a decision. When it comes to larger organizations though there is an additional angle to the decision owing to their large size and legacy sales processes which need customisation. This is whether to build their own custom application or go with a third party tool or not.
One of the most sought after feature in a Sales Force Automation tool is location tracking. It is also a very controversial feature as it invariably faces backlash from the field force. In this post we cover the biggest benefits to an organization and its employees of tracking locations.
The biggest complaint I hear from almost all the companies we meet in the course of our business is about the challenge of managing their field sales teams. These teams of TSEs, TSIs, SOs, ASMs etc. are a significant asset for most companies, and they are willing to do what it takes to make them work at their highest potential. Companies run fancy programs that involve foreign travel, CEO Clubs, parties and celebrations and what not – and still fret that their teams have a low performance. I’ve interacted with the managers and field teams of hundreds of companies, and my company Channelplay has the experience of managing thousands of field sales people who work for many global brands as well as small startups. Our conclusion through all this experience is that most organizations are missing the woods for the trees – they focus on initiatives that perhaps make for good photo-sharing and presentations, but ignore the fundamental building blocks of a good sales management process.
In the area of field operations management, business managers unanimously agree on the importance of capturing and analyzing data to improve efficiency and execution quality. As a result, technology solutions are increasingly being deployed to manage field teams for capturing execution data and ensuring process discipline.
Still, despite multiple interventions to follow a data driven approach, managers frequently find themselves in a position where it is inconvenient for them to get into the right data for better decision making. They’re left with ad-hoc reports generated by IT/analytics teams. This leads to, what we call as the ‘CCTV’ approach, where the analysis of data is focused on understanding what went wrong. This shifts the focus away from how it could have been prevented from going wrong in the first place so that the same mistake is not repeated in future.