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Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software Solutions

Sales are the life blood of business and sales force automation systems provide the management, automation and reporting to systemically improve sales performance and achieve corporate growth objectives. However, selecting, implementing and refining SFA systems to hone business processes such as account management, opportunity management and the order to cash cycle are a continuous challenge. This community forum is designed to share research, information, resources, best practices and insight in order to better select and deploy SFA systems, improve sales processes and increase sales predictability, win rates and performance. SFA Software

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SFA Software Reviews
Social CRM Headlines

Social CRM
3.5 stars
SAP Sales On Demand — An Initial Review
SAP Sales OnDemand Sales OnDemand is the newest software as a service offering, and in contrast to SAP's history of delivering broad business suites, this on-demand product is laser focused on sales people and their need for a social injection to sales force automation (SFA). Our review of this product reveals a big shift from anything SAP has done before.
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4 stars
Salesnet CRM Deep Dive Review
Salesnet Review Salesnet was one of the earliest software as a service CRM systems in the marketplace. However, an unusual turn of events delayed this systems market share rise. Now under the auspices of RightNow Technologies, but with a new company direction and management team, Salesnet is proving its capable of more than just keeping its customers, but intends to add many more.
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4 stars
Optimove — Technology to Increase Customer Spend, Retention and Lifetime Value
Optimove Software that substitutes science for guess work and removes the substantial time investment needed to organize customer behaviors and identify patterns which can be exercised in order to increase customer spend, retention and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is complex and consequently out of reach for most businesses. An innovative solution from Optimove seeks to change that.
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3.5 stars
Meeting Mapper
Point N Time Sales meetings represent the peak of customer engagement. They also represent an inverse relationship between the actual time invested and the most valuable insights gleaned during the sales cycle. Here I investigate an innovative tool designed to capitalize on extremely limited but valuable meeting time by helping sales pros stay focused and engaged on the most strategic meeting objectives.


Sales Force Automation Thought Leaders In Their Own Words
Featured Articles

3.5 stars
Sales Planning & Execution System Discussion
Sales Playbooks CSO Insights reports that sales win rates are at an all-time low, while at the same time sales deals resulting in no decision are at an all-time high. In this video discussion with Tim Braman, VP of Revegy, we examine how sales planning and execution systems, sometimes called sales enablement systems, help sales teams collaborate and improve sales effectiveness.

 

Sales Force Automation Featured Articles
Featured Articles

3.5 stars
Best Practices in Sales Pipeline Management
Sales Pipeline Sales pipeline management and optimization are tasks that many sales managers have left unchanged for years—which is unfortunate as even small adjustments in pipeline management can yield substantive growth to top line revenues. Here’s some thoughts to revisit this critical business process and some best practices in sales pipeline design, operation and maintenance.
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3.5 stars
7 Steps to Jump Start Your Social Selling Strategy
Social Selling B2B buyers are publicly sharing their opinions about what they want and need, what they like and dislike, and what matters to them — and savvy sales professionals are using social selling techniques to act on this information and engage with these buyers before the buyers have engaged with sales competitors. Here are 7 steps to aid your social selling success.
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3.5 stars
The Business Case For An Integrated Revenue Cycle
Revenue Cycle When companies move beyond just a sales cycle and get to a complete lead to customer revenue cycle, they acquire more and better leads, more effectively advance those leads through the pipe, increase sales wins, grow customer acquisitions and earn more revenues. But getting there isn't easy. Here I share the business case, along with a proven framework, to achieve an integrated revenue cycle.
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4 stars
The Sales Performance Bell Curve — and How to Grow Sales by 80%
Sales Growth Understanding your sales force performance segmentation is extremely helpful in allocating scarce sales management time, applying tailored strategies to each tier and growing top line revenues as a result. In fact, research shows that applying specific sales management tactics to certain sales force segments delivers a multiplier effect and can grow top line revenues in excess of 80 percent.
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3.5 stars
The Ultimate Sales Forecast Dashboards
Sales Forecast Dashboards Every CRM system has a sales forecast dashboard, but almost all of them are little more than watered-down versions of the pipeline report. This makes for some interesting eye candy, but doesn’t help sales managers understand the root causes behind performance variances or revenue shortfalls. Here's how to step up your sales forecast dashboards to improve both sales visibility and predictability.
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3.5 stars
5 Reasons To Invest in Sales Force Automation Software
SFA Research firm Aberdeen Group determined best-in-class adopters of SFA software saw their deals increase in size by an average of 27%, sales cycles decrease by 16% and cut the time-to-quota by 15%. Using SFA systems, these organizations' also realized revenue growth of 26%, while their sales administrative time was slashed by 14%.
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3.5 stars
Achieving High Performance Sales Teams
Sales Teams When enthralled in the day to day trenches, it can be difficult to maintain strategy, focus and forward momentum let alone systemically improve predictable performance and identify new solutions to old sales challenges. The following sales strategies are a reminder of the best practices to achieve long-term sales success, build winning sales teams and satisfy sales stakeholders.
3.5 stars
5 Steps To Achieving SFA Buy-In
SFA Buy-In One of the knottiest problems in implementing a Sales Force Automation software system in any size company is getting enthusiastic acceptance of the project. Quite simply, without active buy-in from the sales people who will use and manage the CRM system, it will almost certainly fail. Here are several mitigating measures to achieve success with sales staff.
3.5 stars
Practical Advice For SFA Software Selection Projects
SFA Advice Like a treasure map, SFA software helps guide your sales teams to increased sales person productivity, more effective sales planning, improved sales predictability, increased sales win rates, better sales person quota performance and higher sales commissions. Yet finding the right SFA software may require a different map, one to guide you through an array of alternatives.
3.5 stars
Designing Better Dashboards
Dashboards Dashboard designs are worth multiple iterative revisions as they are a primary means of communicating key performance indicators. Well designed dashboards make it easier for knowledge workers and executives to instantly view key metrics and based on the information, invest in further data analysis which often leads to actionable follow-up and course corrections.
3.5 stars
What To Do When Your SFA System is Broken
SFA Broken The scary numbers related to CRM and SFA implementation failures are no secret. However, getting past the alarming statistics and reviewing root causes provides a balanced perspective on why sales force automation (SFA) implementations fail — why they break — and what you can do about it. Unfortunately, the problem isn't always with the software.
2.5 stars
4 Crucial Steps To Fixing Declining Sales
Fix Sales CSO Insights surveyed 2,800 companies and found most were raising sales quotas, despite low quota achievement in the prior year. In fact, quota attainment has been steadily declining for years and CSO Insights expects it to drop further. This article examines the root causes of these sales challenges and explores how the best companies have adapted to deliver superior results.
3 stars
Best Practices for Shortening the Sales Cycle
Sales Cycle A 2010 Aberdeen research report reveals the reasons companies' sales cycles are too long and the methods which best-of-breed businesses implemented in order to successfully combat this costly problem. This follow-on article describes the 6 step approach to systemically reduce sales cycles, increase sales win rates and increase cash flow.

 

SFA & Sales Thought Leadership Views
Social CRM Headlines

  How Much Sales Crap Do You Endure?   Rethinking Sales in a Social CRM Strategy
Dave Kurlan As much as this title resonates, your salespeople will ask, "Are you kidding me? It should say, 'How much crap do we put up with from Management'?" Go To ... Go To Mark Tamis We can take the opportunity that a Social CRM strategy can offer to change the approach we have been taking in organizing B2B sales activities. Go To ... Go To
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  An Inside View of Inside Sales   CRM versus Contact Management
Bill Band Sales forces are increasing channel partners and transitioning revenue responsibility from field to inside sales. Some did well with this change. Go To ... Go To Contact management Migrating your Rolodex to a browser-based CRM application, without accompanying CRM strategy, is probably at best contact management. More ...
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  Use Social Media to Prep for Sales Calls   33% of Your Pipeline Will Never Close
Hubspot SiriusDecisions projects that by 2015, 71% of initial BtoB inquiries will be web-driven, and "a sound social media strategy is key to driving this inbound interest." Go To ... Go To Jonathan Farrington 33% of the sale opportunities in your current pipeline will never close. Here's how to get your head out of the clouds and do something about it. Go To ... Go To


More References
More References

  • TheCustomerCollective is an interesting assembly of blog posts and content from some of the best minds in the sales and social CRM industries. The Sales 2.0 site is a well organized collection of sales learning, sales training, sales process advice.

  • Wikipedia provides a strong article on sales force automation software — including key success factors, strategic advantages, inherit risks and mobile CRM.

  • Despite the volume of CRM blogs, SFA blogs are much more scarce. There are a few blogs which include many good articles on sales force automation and related pieces, including gotSFA.com, crmblogguy.com, crmgal.com and haileyblog.com.

  • CRMlandmark.com provides a helpful article on the tangible differences between CRM and SFA at http://www.crmlandmark.com/crmjourney_sfaandcrm.htm . On a similar note, CRMsearch published an article on the differences between contact management and CRM.


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Sales Force Automation (SFA)

Sales Force Automation solutions are credited as a driver of early CRM adoption. However, user adoption, change management, process consistencies, business process improvements and information reporting remain significant challenges in SFA deployments. For the implementors that establish clear objectives while mitigating known risks, the rewards can include improved customer relationships, staff productivity, forecast visibility, sales win rates, customer share and market share.

 

 

 

 

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