What I would like to see in a Sales Force Automation Tool
Accountability begins with an open environment. Open environments help motivate. When everyone on the sales team can see the contributions of each other, the natural result is more productivity. On the other hand, a lack of information allows less motivated people to remain hidden.
Sales Management should provide managers and representatives with the capability to easily log and track leads, opportunities, and sales orders. In addition, capability should permit managers to run opportunity and revenue forecasts using criteria such as step, status, source, demographic, sales reprentative, and company.
Moreover, allow sales personnel to build complex profiles and assign diverse criteria to each contact and/or company. I would like to forecast project commissions with varying degrees of granularity.
Tie e-mail, reminders, and opportunities together as one unit.
Wouldn’t it be effective if Sales Management captured sales leads and put a follow-up system in place? Such functionality is essential to generating consistent revenue growth. Most sales people are very busy managing relationships and potential sales, which can lead to some prospects falling through the cracks. What if there was a proactive e-mail reminder system used in conjunction with sales management to keep sales people on track?
In the mobile world, having access to possible leads is part of the picture. Seeing every lead with the probability of closing the sale is something entirely different. Without the context of probability, real-time sales forecasts can be difficult. Give sales managers the ability to confidently make forecasts on-the-fly, at a moment’s notice.
Sales Management, Teamwork and Collaboration
A lack of individual accountability often stems from poor systems allowing people to hide poor performance. An open environment, where everyone can see what everyone else is doing, goes a long way to promote a sense of teamwork, while uncovering productivity problems. Optimal systems ensure strong performance is rewarded, and uncovers poor performance.
The accessibility of mobile-based, detailed notes related to phone calls or meetings will also increase effectiveness. All the voice recognition software available makes this functionality doable.
Associated documents should automatically appear given the amount of data mining tools available.
Understanding sales processes should be self-guided by the software; forecasts and funnels are intrinsic to a successful sales and marketing strategy. Software should be able to offer complete collaboration between sales representatives, managers and partners.
Is every functionality I have described too much to ask of an integrated Sales Management tool? Why do I need to open up various apps and modules to get a complete picture of the sales pipeline?
Certainly, in the post-PC age we can do better than the tools we have now.