Business environments are more dynamic than ever. Managing your fleet-on-street without automation is a near impossibility. While the benefits of Sales Force Automation are always talked about, little has been known about the hurdles to effective implementation. We have helped teams as large as 1000 members to small team members implement SFA, here are the common stumbling blocks which are usually experienced.
- Perception of the top management
Success of implementation for any new system depends on the interest of the top management. For some it’s digitising the business operations from pen and paper.
Having met a lot of business owners, we realized all they wanted was to monitor if their executives were on the field or not.
The decision makers need to understand the power of data and how to envisage in decision making.
- Unstructured Master Data
Your data accuracy is extremely important. With Sales Force Automation, your business will be majorly driven by data.
It is also important to have in-depth knowledge about your customers, distributors, products, routes, etc while creating the master data.
The system might take what is fed but that might not be relevant to your business.
- Resistance from Managers and Executives
Sales Force Automation makes everything transparent and your daily activities can be monitored at the tip of the finger.
The feeling of ‘being watched’ is not really appreciated. We have observed attrition in the field force when these systems were implemented.
On the flip side, SFA implementation brought about a symbiotic relation between the managers and executives.
The grilling sessions at the end of the month is a thing of the past. Month ends have now become a strategy meeting than a closure meeting. Targets are chased on a daily basis and reports have become real time.
- System Training
The success of SFA implementation depends on the training.
Most business owners spend a lot of time in searching the best software for their business and comparatively lesser time on the implementation.
No matter how good the software system is, if not implemented well, will not make any difference to your business. Different teams need a different approach on how the systems are implemented.
Your field force may not be comfortable with online sessions and might require an in-person training, whereas, the top level management may understand it through videos itself.
Once you have figured out the training methodology, it is very important to communicated the same to all the employees.
5. System Integrations
Your existing systems be it ERPs, Accounting Softwares, Legacy Systems, are an important aspect in implementation of SFA.
Having data in silos is certainly not desirable as it makes business operations inefficient and increases the chances of errors. More so, you cannot take decisions based on inaccurate data.
It is imperative to integrate your Sales Force Automation with the existing systems, but before choosing an SFA partner, it is also important to know whether the integration is possible.
Another major factor to look for is the price for integrating a system. It may not be feasible for all the businesses. Therefore, there are systems with ready plugins which can be integrated at a lower cost.
- Protocol for post implementation and monitoring
Once the system is implemented it needs to be carefully monitored. There will be early adopters and laggards. It is important that enough attention is given to slow learners, any weak link can lead to inaccurate data capture.
What works best is rewarding the folks who adopt to the system and create leaders within the team. There will be some resistance and acceptance.
We have observed an immense level of peer-to peer learning, where the younger millennials help the senior members of the team.
Have a set protocol for implementation is key to steady improvements in the system.
Implementing a Sales Force Automation system to your business might seem like a tedious task to do, hence we make your job easy. From choosing the best system to implementing it to your existing business system, we look through the entire process. Drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you automate your sales force!