What is Sales Automation?

Written by ShamrockCRM on October 18, 2009 – 12:20 pm

Salesforce Automation (SFA) is a buzzword that is thrown around quite a lot. SFA is not CRM. It is a component of Customer Relationship Management.

All companies have some form of sales process that they utilize, whether it be uber sophisticated or very simple with small sales. All of these sales processes will have some kind of inefficiencies to them that could cost valuable time and money. Salesforce automation is here to assist with that.

The purpose of Sales Automation is to:
1) Increase Sales (duh)
2) Decrease Costs to Make Sales
3) Increase Management and Operation Sales Visibility

So, how does it do this?

Increase Sales Volume:
Salesforce automation, as provided by Salesforce.com, is excellent at putting the most important and most relevant data right in the face of your sales reps. If they should be focusing on medium sized sales of product X in Florida, you do not want to overburden them with all data from all products being sold in China. You want to keep it simple and focused on their daily operational tasks, which are primarily communicating with potential leads, and managing open opportunities.

Implementing this will prevent sales from slipping through the cracks. If you manage all of your sales opportunities in your head, you will forget things, or slip behind on active communications with customers. This will provide more collaboration and cross selling with other sales reps in the area. So someone else is selling their product to this customer in your regions? Hold on, because we can compliment that product with this service! More sales!

Salesforce.com provides many ways to do this:
-Quick links directly to pre-filtered views showing exactly what the Sales Reps need: Top 10 Opps, Hot Leads, Open Opportunities, Neglected Opportunities (past closed date, but not closed), Neglected Customers, etc. Click these links and they will only show THEIR data and nothing else. Clean and simple.
-Activity management will maintain all data for all communications with your customers. Managing 20 customers and can’t remember when you should contact them next or what you last spoke about? Easy with SFDC. This also helps with knowledge retention within your organization.

Decrease Sales Costs:
Please don’t force sales reps to do too much busy work when they could actually be in the field with customers. Needing to create reports, pull together tons of data about clients, working on administrative/non-sales tasks simply wastes time, decreases customer satisfaction and costs you sales revenue.

Salesforce.com will allow you to quickly pull together mass mailing campaigns without tons of overhead to build the filter criteria. A few clicks of the button and sent. On to selling again. SFDC allows mail merge and email templates to have predefined layouts that pull together data automatically from multiple sources to build documents and mailings.

Don’t want your sales people to have to re-cold call customers that you have already dealt with, because your contact data is way out of date? Salesforce keeps all of this current so that you know the decision makers and your relationships with them

Increase management visibility:
Providing lightning fast and accurate visibility of the strength of the organization is a valuable asset for management. If the sales pipeline is skinny, they can quickly know to create new strategies to bring in new sales. They can easily tell who the high performers are in the organization and reward them/punish the under performers. Plus, pretty charts will always make the VP of Sales happy 😉


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Sales Leads – Automating Your Leads

Written by ShamrockCRM on July 25, 2009 – 8:07 pm

The next installment from Salesforce.com’s marketing blogger team relates to automating your Lead Flow. Once you have identified what Leads really are and how they relate to your business, you need to incorporate them into your Salesforce environment and automate the distribution.

They go over 4 tools to do this:
Web-to-Lead forms
Web-to-Lead forms allow you to add an input form on your website for potential customers to fill out with their contact information, company information, product interest, etc. Once the customer fills in this data and submits the form, the data will automatically be inputted into your Salesforce.com as a Lead for you to sell to. To see an example of this, look at the bottom of Shamrock CRM. Web-to-Lead forms are very flexible.

Lead Assignment rules
If you have a lot of Leads being entered in the system and you have multiple sales people that these Leads should be assigned to, Lead Assignment rules might be an excellent option for you. Lead Assignment rules would allow you to say that “any Lead where State = Florida, Assign to Jim.” This removes a ton of manual work that you might possibly perform already.

Another option for this is Round Robin Lead Assignment or Lead Sprinklers or Lead Assignment based on a rating structure. These require some code, but are excellent.

Lead Auto-Response rules
Lead Auto-Response rules allow you to respond to the Leads automatically with pre-defined email templates based off of that Lead’s specific details. This allows you to quickly get information to these users, so they do not sit around waiting for a response. These are essentially workflows.

Lead Scoring
An example of Lead Scoring would be the “Hot/Cold” rating system in combination of potential revenue estimates in combination with other criteria. An example can be seen here with my Lead Activity History Report.

Salesforce.com Marketing – Best Practices in Lead Management pt 2


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