We all know that sales force automation is the usage of software for automating sales-related tasks, including sales activities, customer management, sales force management, and information sharing. This is frequently a component of a system that connects and integrates sales activities with the rest of the organization’s operations. So the success of the sales force as well as the overall organization depends on it. Upon implementation, these systems are seen to fail to deliver the expected benefits and can be attributed to several factors. Let us delve into the reasons as to why the current sales force automation is failing. Here are 13 reasons.
- Lack of long term vision
The reason for implementing field sales reporting should be well and clearly defined, with a clear objective and vision of what it should achieve in the short and long term. One cannot create a technology roadmap simply because everyone else is doing it. Your teams may be doing well with manual processes and meeting your targets, but the automation of the process should be made clear to everyone, right from the top management to the employees, on how it can help you further optimize your sales processes and team performance.
- Lack of commitment from management
Even if management decides to implement a field sales reporting system and commit significant resources to the effort, the system may not be successfully marketed internally. This is frequently misinterpreted by the sales force as a lack of support from the management for the system to be implemented. This can lead to a careless attitude among salespeople. Senior management commitment is thus critical to the success of any software implementation project.
- Non-alignment of expectations between management and salespeople
When implementing field service software, we can see two types of expectations – one for effort and the other for performance. Effort represents the user’s view of the amount of work required to use the system effectively. The perceived cost of using the system rises as effort expectancy rises. Performance expectancy, on the other hand, represents how the system’s benefits are perceived. If the imagined costs outweigh the benefits, the system is far less likely to be used. Compared to salespeople, the management tends to underestimate the effort required for a salesperson to use the system and overestimate the performance benefits. This brings about a mismatch in expectations.
- Setting unrealistic goals/objectives
Adoption and implementation of field sales reporting in existing business modules serve specific goals. Deployment of an automation process does not necessarily mean that it is not a complete one-size-fits-all solution. A module integrated with CRM has specific goals and should not be expected to generate exponential results or perform micromanagement on its own. For example, the automation software can assist you in improving team performance by engaging them, providing real-time performance visibility, public recognition, and rewarding them for their efforts. However, you cannot control attrition because there are numerous other intangible factors at play.
- Implementing field sales reporting but without delegating the responsibilities
The automation journey cannot begin without defining the roles and responsibilities – Who will be the eventual users, who will be reviewing the data, the role of MIS teams, training and abidance of sales teams. All of these questions are extremely important. Otherwise, you’ll just be circling the wagons without actually implementing and adopting sales force automation. The well-communicated value proposition provides a sense of ease of work, improved output, and, most importantly, more time to explore more productive opportunities.
- . Lack of proper training
The system’s complexity results from a lack of information/training or from only having theoretical knowledge of the subject. Companies must recognize the value of investing time in end-user training. More interactive, on-the-job, case-based, practical, and inclusive training is required. Ascertain that your end-users and sales representatives understand the fundamental concepts of automation and automated factors. The training goal should be to change the way people think and not be afraid to use it.
- Improper implementation of multiple workflows
It is a known fact that improper implementation of anything will affect all workflows. So, when implementing Field Service Management Software, it should be carefully planned and scheduled – steps such as installation, training, and go-live date can be worked out. Adequate time should be allowed for each stage of implementation. This saves all participants from the hassles of deployment and network integration, among other things. It will be a good idea to get help from experts for deployment of the automation process with minimal hitches.
- Poor data management
Sales Force Tracker is entirely data-driven. It has been found that more than 50% of implementation failures were because of poor data quality. The master data must be structured and sorted per the KPIs and parameters (product hierarchy, attributes, retailer data, contract dates, etc.). This data must be clean, correct, and relevant. It is also necessary to have a thorough understanding of business processes, customers, distributors, etc, to integrate functionalities into your solution. Poor quality data also leads to a loss in revenue.
- Poor customer service
Lousy customer service results in an irate customer, thus losing them. Regardless of your process/business size, ensure that you provide exceptional customer service at any point in time – be it before or during or after deployment. A 24/7 customer service line has become a prominent and undeniable differentiator for almost every product/service and should never be overlooked.
- Complex functionalities
Most automation systems attempt to be jacks of all trades, which leads to increased complexity. Instead of assisting sales representatives in entering meaningful data and making reporting tasks easier, these feature complexities make reporting difficult. Adoption becomes difficult if reporting, planning, and other basic functionalities are not intuitive. Excessive data fields and repetitive entries also add to the complexity.
- Unnecessary inconvenient additional functions
Sales force automation systems have become more multifunctional in recent years, and there are some that include marketing functions and integrated analysis tools. However, if these functions do not match the objectives of your system, even if there are many of them, they will be useless for your company, and you will end up with a difficult-to-use system.
- System integrations
A sales tracking software solution is not a stand-alone system. It must be integrated with existing platforms such as CRM, ERPs, accounting software, and legacy systems. When it is not financially or technically feasible to integrate into these systems, it becomes difficult to utilize the solution’s potential fully. Keeping data and operations separate is not the best way to maximize its benefits. The success of the solution is also determined by the training provided to its users.
- Lack of end-user interest
What good is a sales force automation solution if its intended users are unwilling to use it? No matter how much money you invest in it, getting the actual users on board is critical. User acceptance determines the success or failure of a setup. User resistance can be overcome by training and knowledge sharing. It is also a good idea to learn about their challenges before implementation to address them through automation.
If you are interested in exploring implementing field force automation for your business, do get in touch with us today. Click here to get all your queries related to automation answered. Happisales is all set to implement sales force software in your field.