A technology hitting the market today – Mobile Sales Force Automation, talks about mobilizing and automating routine activities of the sales force / field force, customer executives and field representatives who are on the move. It focuses on connecting the mobile field sales force with the corporate back office ensuring a real time, robust and comprehensive flow of information to and fro between both the entities. The final output is a complete end-to-end field force automation application focusing on integration of the planning and execution of field staff activities along with availability of business critical information right on time.
As rightly observed, Sales force automation has the power to make or break an organization. If on the right path, it can give a great impetus to business with least effort, enhanced productivity, increased profitability and maximized Return on Investment. But, the drawback lies in misunderstanding some of the basic concept and giving them a totally different perception, leading to undesired results and mismanagement in implementation.
Let us glance through few of the prime common myths about Mobile Sales Force Automation and why they are just not right.
1 – An ideal SFA solution does all the work
A very commonly misunderstood concept is that once a Mobile SFA solution is in place, there is no need to look at other manual processes that earlier were a part of sales force activities. What is assumed is that once lead management is done through digital media, there is no human intervention required, which is totally a myth. It is very much vital that after all the automation activities are done, human interaction should be done to enhance business.
2 – It is synonymous to contact management
Organizations misunderstand Mobile Sales Force Automation as contact management, whereas an ideal SFA solution is much than that. Of course, it does include contact management but it also takes into account other functionalities like sales forecasting, sales analysis and dashboards, territory management and many more. These features are a must in any Mobile SFA system and most of all, the nature to adapt to flexibility and environment also is mandatory.
3 – The field force will enjoy it with ease
Most enterprises assume that the SFA solution will always be acceptable and well liked by the sales force community, whatever maybe its features or constraints. But that’s not always true. Finally, it is the sales staff that is going to use the basic system and hence it is very essential not to take their requirements for granted. Detailed study should be done while system building where in the needs of the sales people should be taken into account and imbibed within.
4 – It is a tool for marketing people
It has been a basic misconception that since a Mobile SFA solution is meant to market business and enhance it, it caters to marketing automation. Hence, sales teams will have to put in a lot of time and efforts to get going with the system. That’s a myth: This solution is sure to ease out lives of marketers as well as sales staff people and thereby reach the fundamental base of the entire system.
5 – This solutions turns out expensive
Earlier, the scenario was that there were stalwarts offering sales force automation solutions and that too with a huge price tag. There was little competition and hence no other choice. But that’s not the scenario now. There are many competitive vendors coming up with comprehensive and robust Mobile Sales Force Automation solutions with a budgeted price and hence easily reachable to all segments of business, be it small sized, medium sized or large ones.
6 – Sales force automation is quite complex
When automation was a part of huge companies, it was a tough task to migrate legacy systems and undergo third party integration. There were a lot of complexities and intricacies to be attended. But, now, with many enterprises coming up with simplistic and scalable sales force automation solutions, there are many organizations benefiting out of these features. With vast usability, it lets the marketing guys have a detailed understanding of the services.
7 – It limits creativity
A total misconception prevailing around is that because of automation, there are forced and meticulous activities that take place leading to decrease in creative ideas. That’s so much not true: In fact, a Mobile Sales Force Automation solution would be an ideal mechanism to augment creativity. By designing different templates for emails, forms, surveys etc. and by using various technological functionalities that enhance creativity, there are many more doors that would be wide open for end users.
Currently prevailing is the novel thought process, wherein there is no place for such myths and misunderstandings. Things have to be sorted out and clear and there you go – a smooth implementation of an ideal Mobile Sales Force Automation solution.