Isn’t there a lot of people who want to know the merits and examples of introducing SFA? By knowing the advantages and case studies of introducing SFA, there is an advantage that ” anxiety about introducing SFA in upper management and sales sites can be dispelled “.
Therefore, this time, we will explain the purpose of introducing SFA and successful cases in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners.
- What is SFA? ｜SFA adoption rate
- Interesting SFA adoption rate
- Three purposes of introducing SFA
- Introduction purpose 1. Increase sales
- Introduction purpose 2. Management of sales activities
- Introduction purpose 3. Accumulation and standardization of know-how
- Two disadvantages of SFA
- Disadvantage 1.Increased IT cost
- Disadvantage 2. Input work takes time
- Five functions of SFA and their effects
- SFA function 1. Customer management
- SFA function 2. Project management
- SFA function 3. Opportunity management
- SFA function 4. Process management (behavior management)
- SFA function 5. Forecast and actual management
- Three points to avoid failure in introducing SFA
- Point 1. Share the purpose of introducing SFA with sales representatives
- Point 2. Choose an SFA considering compatibility with your company
- Point 3. Prepare an SFA operation system in-house
- 5 steps to implement SFA
- Step 1. Start a project team
- Step 2. Clarify and share the purpose of introduction
- Step 3. Define SFA tool requirements
- Step 4. SFA tool selection
- Step 5. Deploy SFA Tools
- [Must-see for beginners] SFA recommended books
- What every salesperson should know to maximize the effect of introducing SFA/CRM
- Let’s introduce after clarifying the purpose of introducing SFA
What is SFA? ｜SFA adoption rate
“SFA” is an abbreviation for “Sales Force Automation” and is translated as a sales support system. In other words, it is a tool that “visualizes” sales activities .
Specifically, the role of SFA is to “visualize” the progress from the start of sales negotiations to the receipt of an order, and to manage these activities.
Interesting SFA adoption rate
In recent years, various companies have introduced SFA, but how many companies have actually introduced it?
According to a Yano Research Institute survey of domestic private companies , as of 2012, 9% of companies had introduced SFA and CRM. However, when the same survey was conducted in 2018, the result was that 28% had already introduced SFA, indicating that the market scale has expanded over the past few years.
Three purposes of introducing SFA
By clarifying the purpose of introducing SFA in advance, it is possible to prevent costs from being wasted if it is not used well after introduction. Here, we introduce three typical purposes for introducing SFA.
- increase sales
- Manage sales activities
- Accumulation and standardization of know-how
Introduction purpose 1. Increase sales
The primary purpose of introducing SFA is to increase sales .
With the introduction of SFA, sales activities can be analyzed in detail based on customer information, activity information, and project progress. As a result, problems in sales activities that have not been grasped until now are clarified, reducing the number of business talks and projects that are missed, which leads to an increase in sales.
However, please note that SFA is only a tool for visualizing the progress of sales activities, so it will not necessarily increase sales if it is introduced.
Introduction purpose 2. Management of sales activities
With the introduction of SFA, information on sales activities that had been scattered across individual computers will be consolidated into one . Therefore, even when the person in charge is not available, the progress of projects and business negotiations can be easily grasped, and smooth customer service can be achieved.
Furthermore, with the introduction of SFA, it is possible to aggregate and analyze data from multiple perspectives, such as by sales representative, by product, by project, by team, and by industry. Therefore, it will be easier to identify the points that salespeople are struggling with and the causes of lost orders, making it easier to formulate the optimal strategy for solving problems.
Introduction purpose 3. Accumulation and standardization of know-how
With the introduction of SFA, it will be possible to share customer information such as past visit records, proposal content, and business negotiation information . As a result, you can get hints when dealing with projects similar to past cases, and you can take a more accurate approach.
SFA can also extract best practices (the most effective sales techniques). For example, you can analyze the data of all projects that have led to orders and find the success formula from there.
As a result, it will lead to improved skills of each salesperson and improved performance of the sales department as a whole.
Two disadvantages of SFA
Many people may think, “I want to understand not only the merits of SFA, but also the demerits before deciding whether to introduce it or not.” The typical disadvantages of SFA are “incurrence of IT costs ” and ” time for input work “.
Disadvantage 1.Increased IT cost
One of the disadvantages of introducing SFA is the IT cost incurred. However, it is also true that the effect of introducing SFA is greater than the cost.
Therefore, as a countermeasure, it is important to identify your company’s issues before introducing SFA, decide the necessary functions, and then select a tool. By doing this, you can avoid paying a high price for an SFA tool with features you don’t need in-house.
Disadvantage 2. Input work takes time
A disadvantage of SFA is that it takes time to enter sales activities. If you try to enter detailed information, it will take 10 minutes for each entry, and 1 hour for 6 sales.
In particular, it takes time to get used to the SFA tools at the beginning of the introduction. Keep this in mind.
Five functions of SFA and their effects
After understanding the purpose and disadvantages of introducing SFA, check what functions it has and use it as a basis for deciding whether to introduce it or not.
The following five SFA functions are introduced this time.
- Customer management
- Project management
- Opportunity management
- Process management (behavior management)
- budget management
SFA function 1. Customer management
The customer management function is a function that allows you to register detailed customer information and share it within the company . Specific items of customer management range from basic information such as company name, address, phone number, person in charge, and job title to information such as contact history with customers.
With the customer management function, you will be able to deepen your understanding of customers before negotiations and proceed with negotiations in an advantageous manner.
SFA function 2. Project management
The project management function is a function that allows you to visualize and manage ongoing projects . The specific items of project management are the target company, sales representative, proposed product, progress of sales, expected order, expected order date, and expected order amount.
With the project management function, the sales manager can grasp the detailed sales activities of each salesperson by looking at the project information in SFA. Therefore, feedback can be given to each salesperson at the appropriate time, leading to skill improvement of the salesperson.
SFA function 3. Opportunity management
The Opportunity Management function is a function that allows you to manage detailed information about the Opportunities . Specific items of business negotiation management include past business negotiation history, purpose of business negotiation, negotiation time, business negotiation partner (person in charge), approver, proposal, proposal amount, progress of business negotiation, next action schedule, etc.
With the opportunity management function, sales managers can grasp the background and progress of individual negotiations, so they can give accurate instructions to win orders, such as adjusting the proposed amount and advising on the next action.
SFA function 4. Process management (behavior management)
The process management function is a function that manages the behavior of salespeople and improves productivity . Specific items for process management include the number of tele appointment calls, the number of appointments, the number of visits, the number of proposed products, and the order rate.
With the process management function, you can quantify and compare the behavior of salespeople who are performing well and those who are struggling.
SFA function 5. Forecast and actual management
The forecast/actual management function is a function that converts sales forecasts and sales results into data and analyzes them.
With the budget and actual management function, you can grasp not only the sales of each salesperson and the sales of each department, but also the sales from various angles such as by customer and by product. So you can quickly take action to increase sales.
Three points to avoid failure in introducing SFA
I think there are many people who want to make the introduction of SFA as smooth and successful as possible. Therefore, I will explain the failure cases in the introduction of SFA and the points to prevent the introduction from failing.
The following three points are introduced here.
- Share the purpose of SFA implementation with sales representatives
- Select SFA considering compatibility with your company
- Establish an in-house SFA operation system
Point 1. Share the purpose of introducing SFA with sales representatives
When introducing SFA, it is important to share the purpose of the introduction with the sales representative in advance . This is because there are many cases where SFA is introduced with vague objectives and fails.
Due to the increasing number of companies that have introduced SFA in recent years, there have been situations where SFA has been introduced somehow, and as a result, it has not been used within the company.
Therefore, let’s first understand the issues in the sales department of your company and clarify how you can solve them by introducing SFA . After that, don’t forget to share it with the sales people who actually use the SFA tool.
Point 2. Choose an SFA considering compatibility with your company
Examples of common failures in introducing SFA include using only name recognition as a criterion for service selection, or choosing a service that has multiple functions. As a result, the introduced SFA does not match the needs of the site and is not used.
As a countermeasure, identify the functions that your company really needs, and consider the usability of the tool while referring to the opinions of the site . This will reduce the cost of introducing SFA tools with unnecessary functions and prevent mismatches with the site.
Point 3. Prepare an SFA operation system in-house
In order to successfully introduce SFA, it is essential to have an operational system in place . If there is no operational system in place, you will not know who to contact if you have any questions regarding the use of the SFA tool, which can cause great confusion in the field.
Therefore, if you set up a project team for the introduction of SFA and decide on a person in charge in advance, it will be easy to understand who to contact within the company, and smooth operation will be realized .
5 steps to implement SFA
The implementation steps of SFA can be divided into the following five steps.
- Launch of project team
- Clarify and share the purpose of introduction
- Requirements definition of SFA tool
- SFA tool selection
- Introduction of SFA tools
Step 1. Start a project team
The first thing to do before introducing SFA is to prepare an operational system for SFA .
As mentioned above, if you set up a project team for the introduction of SFA and decide on a person in charge in advance, it will be easier to find the contact information within the company and smooth operation will be achieved.
Step 2. Clarify and share the purpose of introduction
After setting up the SFA project team, clarify the purpose of the introduction and share it with the sales representative . As I mentioned in the 3 points for avoiding failure in the introduction of SFA, if the purpose of the introduction remains ambiguous, it may not be used well in the field and the cost may be wasted.
Therefore, it is important to understand the issues in the sales department of your company and clarify why SFA is necessary to solve those issues. After the purpose of the introduction is clarified, sharing it with the sales staff who actually use the SFA tool will lead to a smooth introduction.
Step 3. Define SFA tool requirements
Before selecting an SFA tool, consider the schedule, budget, and SFA tool requirements (providing form).
The approximate schedule is about 5 months, 3 months from the selection of the SFA tool to the contract, and 2 months from the contract to the start of operation . As for the form of provision, we recommend the cloud if convenience is a priority, and the on-premises if security is important .
Also, identify the features that your company needs. Some people may think that it is safe to choose a multi-functional tool for the time being, but the more multi-functional the tool, the higher the price. Therefore, we recommend that you identify the functions you need and reduce costs as much as possible .
Step 4. SFA tool selection
After the purpose of introduction is clarified and the requirements for the SFA tool are defined, select the SFA tool suitable for your company. The point in this step is to refer to the opinions of those who actually use SFA regarding the usability of the tool .
After introducing the SFA tool, if there is a reaction from the site that it is difficult to use, it may end up not being used well. Therefore, it is recommended to select an SFA tool while referring to opinions from the field.
Step 5. Deploy SFA Tools
In the initial stage of SFA operation, it is common to conduct training for users (work flow confirmation, operation guidance, training for sales managers) . Also, set up an internal help desk with the project team to quickly receive feedback from the field and questions about the operation of SFA .
[Must-see for beginners] SFA recommended books
So far, I have explained the purpose and steps of introducing SFA, but for those who want to gain deeper knowledge, I recommend reading the book. Therefore, I will introduce one book that is easy to understand even for beginners.
What every salesperson should know to maximize the effect of introducing SFA/CRM
This book explains in an easy-to-understand manner what salespeople in the field should understand in order to successfully introduce SFA/CRM. It also introduces how to improve the information utilization ability of salespeople and companies.
Once you have decided to introduce SFA/CRM, this is a book that I would like salespeople to read first.
|Publisher: Cross Media PublishingRelease Date : April 20, 2018Author: Keiichi Hayakawa|
Let’s introduce after clarifying the purpose of introducing SFA
This time, I explained the purpose of introducing SFA and success stories in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners. Before introducing SFA, clarify the purpose of introduction and share it with the whole company, so that it can be introduced smoothly.