Sales person use sale forces as a step to enhance their marketing strategy (Gilbert D. Harrell, 2002). The improvements of technology helped sales person able to structure their customers' data managements well. Sales force automation is a system that being develop to helps companies to organize their customer relationship management with confidentiality. Besides automatically computerized customers' data into computer, it helps enable sales person to plan and structures their selling in the most effective way as well. It makes work easier and organized as well as more reliable for sales person. In short, sales force automation system is a good "assistant" for sales person. However, sales force automation system also brings some disadvantages where sales force automation system is complicated system involving digitalized figure yet new for older sales people. Anyhow, it is still easier for younger sales people to learn and function with it.
In order to manage relationship between customers professionally, sales person have to construct their own self departments with respective task first. Secondly, have good communications among themselves in every department which is crucial. A better communication is crucial for a well organized department to avoid blunder such as contacting the same customer for same purpose. Therefore, such event can be avoided with embedment sales force automation system. They will save extra spending and extra time for repeating contact with the same customers for the same purposes. Sales force automation system helps sales person overcome their communication system in every department. After the communication problems in every department are solved, sales person can work smoothly in their selling.
Besides, sales person will be able to know about their surrounding competitors better when they imply sales force automation in their company (Gilbert D. Harrell, 2002). Through this system, sale person be more familiar with their competitors' products. With better knowledge about competitors' company and products, sales person will be able to improve their own company organization and produce better products than their competitors for their customers. After sales person have overcome all these problems, the company will be able to maintain their competitive advantages and have greater income. Thus, the company can also expand wider like exporting goods to world wide consumers'.
The application of sales force automation system could helps a company to engage with their customers more efficiently (Sales Force Automation. 2009). It helps to manage the relationship between sales person and customers. The company can provide polls to their customers to vote according to their choices and recommendation. With these polls, the company will be able to know their customers' prospective and able to upgrade themselves. Besides, the company can also collect feedback from customers. With those feedbacks, the company will be able to overcome themselves for a better appearance and products for their customers. Sales force automation system is a system designed to overcome a company's customer relationship management.
The engagement of the company with their customers can help their sales person to be more familiarized with their customers' needs and wants (Gilbert D. Harrell, 2002). With the recognition of customers' needs and wants, the company will be able to produce and sell products that well suited to customers' choices. The improvement of products according to customers' demands increase the satisfactory of customers. Thus, the loyalty of customers to the company will gradually increase as to the company's income too. There will be more people purchase the company's products when they know from each other that the company's products are fulfilling their needs, wants, and demands.
Sales person have to spent time to learn and key in customers' data into their computers (Bresnahan J., 1998). It is quite a waste of time for sales person to key in one by one of their customers' details. This is because the system is a complicated system especially for the older sales person. The time spent is rather longer which instead can be used for selling product. But, without implying of sales force automation system, sales person will also have some difficulties in their selling. For example, sales person will not have better understanding of their customers' needs and wants. Then, they will not be able to produce products that can fulfill their customers. When there are no customers consuming their products, the company will have lower income. Besides, they will also have no organized details of their customers. Thus, sales person have to spend some time to learn the way to use sales force automation system in order to sell more products. When a sales person unintentionally key in wrongly of their customers' details in computers, it is also considerable a waste of time. Yet, the time is wasted for persuading the wrong customers with the wrong intentions. Besides of wasting time wrongly, the company will also lose their money. This is because they spent time contacting and persuading the wrong customers. But, when there are no errors occur, it helps sales person saves a lot of their time (Kasper J., 2005).
In order to apply sales force automation system in a company, the company has to spend a large amount of money for sales force automation system installation (Cummings J., 1992). The company has to spend the money on the software installations, IT communication which includes networks, server, and software. It is a big expense because there are a lot of computers needed in a company and the system cost a lot of money as well. Every computer in the company has to install sales force automation system since they want to apply this system. It is a big amount of spending at first. But, when the company has increasing amount of income, it is an earning for them.
Sales force automation system can also help sales person to find their target market. Sales person will be able to know demographical, geographical, psychological, and behavioral factors that affecting their products' selling process. With all the factors that affecting the sales person sell process, they will know the problems and able to overcome these problems. The sales person will set their target on those customers that with high possibilities to purchase their products. In this case, the sales person can save lots of time to persuade and convince each of their customers. They will be able to earn more money than to spend more time persuading their customers. It is an advantage for sales person to apply sales force automation system in their selling process.
Besides, instead of keep selling and upgrading the old products, sales person will be able to develop new product after using sales force automation system. This is because the sales person will be able to know their customers' choices through sales force automation system. Their company's product line can be expanded and grown wider. And so, there will have more choices for customers to choose with the company's brand name products. When there are more choices of products available to choose for customers, there will be more customers come and purchase and consume the company's products that gradually increase the company revenue.
When sales person know where to place their product for their selling, they have to start with their promotion tactic. Sales force automation system helps sales person to manage their sales function with their traditional promotional mix tools which are advertising, public relation, direct marketing, personal selling and sales promotion. There is new promotional mix tools introduced after sales person apply sales force automation system. The new promotional mix tools are sponsorship, SMS, events, online or blogs, and viral. All the promotional mix tools help sales person to promote their products and engage with customers.
In conclusion, sales force automation system does bring both advantages and disadvantages to sales person. In some ways, sales force automation system helps sales person to overcome their problems, such as customer relationship management, selling process, knowing better of their competitors and customers. But, sales force automation system also brings disadvantages to sales person too. For example, sales person has to spend a large amount of money before they apply sales force automation system for installation and gadgets. When there are some errors occur, it will effects sales person's selling process.
Sales Force Automation. 2009. Video file. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KCOX_x3Tww&feature=related (accessed June 18, 2009).
Gilbert D. Harrell, 2002. Marketing Connecting with Customers. United States of America: Prentice Hall.
Kasper J., 2005. Creating the #1 sales force: what it takes to transform your sales culture. United States of America: Dearborn Trade Publishing. http://books.google.com.my/books?id=CjMSBjYpcMMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=salesforce&hl=en&ei=jJaLTNn-EIiEvgPa49AX&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=sales%20force%20automation&f=false
Cummings J., 1992. Network World: Tips for Successful Sales Automation. http://books.google.com.my/books?id=4hAEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA31&dq=sales+force+automation&hl=en&ei=fKGLTPfxHoyiuQPBkY0Y&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=sales%20force%20automation&f=false. (accessed October 5, 1992).
Bresnahan J., 1998. CIO: Hard Sell. http://books.google.com.my/books?id=5gkAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA47&dq=sales+force+automation&hl=en&ei=fKGLTPfxHoyiuQPBkY0Y&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=sales%20force%20automation&f=false. (accessed March 15, 1998).