A Definitive Guide On Mobile Sales Force Automation
Digital technology has transformed the way global businesses work today. It has helped capture the most complex data around and successfully converted them to detailed and yet useful insights. Talking about digital transformation, mobile has been an integral part. To be more specific, sales automation has always faced multiple challenges from time to time. As technology has evolved, the need for mobile sales force automation has been in demand.
Generally, salespeople are mobile & time agnostic parts of any organization. Since most businesses work across different time zones, it not only becomes crucial but a necessity for salespeople to work where and when their customers prefer. This is where Mobile SFA (Sales Force Automation) comes into play.
A mobile SFA can help salespeople to get most of their important tasks done on-the-go. And even if there is something more complicated, it can always be done via laptop or desktop. Mobile SFA is one of the ideal ways to help businesses to ease their operations and save on costs. Let’s understand how.
But before that, here are a few important stats to look at:
Stats at a Glance
- The FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) market is projected to grow drastically by 14% by 2025.
- According to IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation), India’s contribution to global FMCG will double to 5.8% by the year 2020.
- On average, a sales team spends about 5.5 hours in entering their task data in CRM every week. This reduces productivity and loses on revenue too.
What is Mobile Sales Force Automation?
Mobile Sales Force Automation enables and helps salespeople to automate their sales operations through an app. It is pretty much the same what a normal SFA would do, but the only difference is that rather than running on a desktop, the piece of software works on mobile.
A good Mobile SFA should be able to:
- Automate the tasks of the salespeople on-the-go
- Offer businesses a 360-degree view of the whole sales operations
- Provide businesses with a better insight into their markets and channel partners
The main idea of a mobile sales force automation is to mobilize and automate the entire or most of the routine activities of the salespeople, field representatives, and customer executives who are on-the-move.
A mobile SFA app should be able to connect field sales teams with the corporate back office to make sure that there is a robust, comprehensive, and real-time information flow between both entities.
This results in a complete end-to-end field force management, which concentrates in incorporating these factors on time:
- Planning the activities of field staff
- Executing the activities of field staff
- Accessibility of critical business information on-the-go
What Issues Most Businesses Face?
People are an organization’s biggest asset, but technology is more like a heartbeat of any modern business. It assists companies to operate more productively and cost-effectively. Every leader understands the need to invest in cutting-edge technology that not only solves the problem but also keeps pace with their competitors.
Today, you will find hundreds of options to choose from. There is CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERM (Enterprise Relationship Management), BI (Business Intelligence), CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote), Document Management Systems, etc.
While most organizations want to stress more on innovation, the problem is that they have encountered challenges during deployment. Failed technical projects aren’t new, and they tend to leave a huge impact on the business success.
For most organizations, face-to-face meetings and fieldworks are an integral part of their day-to-day activities. Typically, this is followed by a massive amount of data entry and documentation. This is where most problems arise.
Earlier, a field agent didn’t have the option to access certain information when it was really required because establishing their everyday route or creating their activity reports could be done only in the office.
These challenges gave birth to Modern software solutions like SFA (Sales Force Automation). What’s even more advanced is Mobile SFA. Besides increasing the efficiency of the sales team, it helped the field teams to perform most of their sales activities on the road. That’s the kind of transformation this market is seeing today.
The importance of mobile sales force automation solutions is constantly increasing. The advantages of this technology can already be seen at an enterprise level. Now, it is time for SMBs (Small & Midsized Businesses) to take advantage as well.
For this, the UX (User Experience) has to be much more simplified – to en extent where the solution needs to be intuitive to use. But as soon as this is accomplished, the solution can offer multiple perks, which is explained in detail in the below section.
6 Benefits of Mobile Sales Force Automation
In today’s fast-changing, hypercompetitive consumer retail world, speed matters a lot. Only businesses that have an in-depth market knowledge can meet the demand of their customers on time. This seems to be nearly impossible without having a mobile SFA implemented.
The various benefits of a mobile SFA include:
1. Increased Productivity
Salespeople will be able to gather all the business data accurately via their smartphones from the field directly and send them back to their office systems electronically. This eliminates the process of entering the data manually and later, feeding them on from computers. This increases manpower efficiency and sales productivity.
It reduces all the administrative tasks and saves time to take on extra customer visits. And when the sales team pays more visits to customer locations, it results in additional orders.
We recently did a project for Emami where we automated their sales operations on a mobile app. We analyzed their sales staffs’ work pattern (about 50 people) and helped them increase their productivity by 15% in 6 months. Now, if you extrapolate this to a larger group of employees, the number will be huge.
2. On-the-Go Attendance
No more punching your cards or entering your fingerprints. A fully-featured mobile sales force automation like the one here comes with an inbuilt geo-location-based attendance management system, which marks and saves a sales representative’s time on-the-go.
It also gives options for mandating employees by logging-in within a particular time. Even if a sales representative is absent on a specific day, it asks for reasons and can also be configured as per the HR policies. Once the reason(s) has been entered, the respective sales manager can approve or reject the leave instantly directly from their mobile and further, give a detailed attendance report of every team member.
3. Gauge the Results Better
Mobile SFA will help a business to measure where most sales efforts are going in vain and what is driving the maximum results. This can be easily done by evaluating the sales data, which every team member will add from the respective fields to the mobile app directly. The app will then show the essential data in the form of a report.
4. Tracks Workflow Consistently
New features and advancements in mobile SFA aid in managing the sales operations effectively on-the-go. A sales manager will now be able to spend enough time with his or her sales team across various locations without restricting to indoor workspaces through SFAs. This is due to the fact that he or she will be able to track the entire workflow of the team in no time.
So, this helps the organization to improve in terms of cost reliance, customer satisfaction, and timeliness. A mobile SFA will help in tracking supervising, monitoring, and customizing the responses for better and quicker decision making. It turns a simple mobile phone to a powerful business tool to manage the overall sales operations.
5. Saves Time
A mobile SFA system is designed to automate the most important and time-consuming tasks on-the-go. Be it customer visits, attendance, tracking contacts, or updating sales opportunities, these can be handled in no time. It also helps salespeople to generate reports quickly.
Moreover, the team will have instant access to their order information right in their mobile gadgets, notifying customers to their order’s arrival time or delay proactively. And even if a customer questions about their order status, the information will be right at the sales rep’s fingertips, which not only saves time but also enhances the overall customer experience.
6. Boosts Revenue
With SFA implemented on mobile, it frees salespeople from doing multiple chores and gives them extra time to pay additional customer visits. Undeniably, enabling salespeople to reach more excellent prospects will generate a higher income for an organization as well as the individual. This, in turn, increases profits and employee satisfaction.
Depending on real-time data, it empowers representatives to create accurate and better sales forecasts. It prevents unanticipated surprises at the end of every quarter or a fiscal year.
The quick advancement in mobility has created huge commercial opportunities. Certainly, marketers and salesforce are optimizing this new trend of communication. It helps businesses to gain new customers, boost revenue, and enhance customer service. A fully-featured mobile SFA will help salespeople to stay connected in real-time. It simplifies their operations and assists them to sell more and cover more client outlets.