Sales force automation is the process by which all day to day activities and events in the sales department are automated using the help of Information Technology. It includes the automation of all the activities like daily reports of individual sales executives, order tracking, sharing information among all sales executives, inventory control and monitoring, sales forecast, etc. This will be very helpful for organisations that are geographically spread across the length and breadth of a country or even across different countries. With the right choice of software and network support, centralized control is easily possible. Access to data becomes easier and quicker without having to wait for days to get updates from sales executives.
If you have a well defined sales process, automating it becomes very productive as it can help avoiding unnecessary delay in getting each process done manually. For instance, if a sales executive located in a remote place sends a proposal to be approved by his sales manager by post or courier it will take at least 3 to 4 days to get it done. This can be avoided if the salesman uses a system and an appropriate software which could alert the manager immediately when a request has been sent to him. The manager can reply to it immediately and the whole activity can be completed in minutes. There are a numerous instances like this where unnecessary delays could be avoided and help the sales people close the orders immediately.It can also help you track the employees performance in a more organised way. Lotus Notes can be a very useful platform on which this application can be built. It can help you develop an application exactly in the way you want instead of purchasing conventional Sales Fore Automation software which may not suit your requirement.
Why is Lotus Notes appropriate for building SFA tool?
Lotus Notes is an Ideal choice for the SFA because of its unique feature called Replication. The information can be accessed from a laptop computer of a sales executive even if he is not connected to your central network. This is possible because Lotus Notes can be configured in such a way that information can be saved in a local machine and accessed even if it is not connected to the server. The modifications made in the database can be updated into the central network by a process called as “Replication”.
How Does this help?
Assume that a salesman is in a remote location and not connected to any network. He can access critical information about the prospects available in the database on his local system and use it to close the deal. He can make changes in them and edit information as appropriate and save them. Once he is back where he gets access to internet he can update it to your central database and the subsequent processes can start immediately without having to wait for the salesman to return back to office.
Another advantage is that you can easily assign access privileges to various users based on their hierarchy and necessity to use the application. The overall administration of the application can also be very easy with Lotus Notes.
Lotus Notes applications can be web enabled and can be accessed through ordinary web browsers to either control or access information. Notes’ security is impeccable and the safety of the information is assured.