How sales force automation creates a better customer experience than traditional CRM

March 2, 2022 | 4 minute read
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Give your sellers a helping hand with sales force automationTechnology has radically improved our ability to deliver a personalized, effective customer experience that begins with the first point of contact during the sales process.

Sales leaders today are asking an important question: What technology is more effective for empowering sales teams—sales force automation (SFA) or customer relationship management (CRM)?

Many are surprised to learn that sales force automation and CRMs are deeply related. In fact, SFA brings the best of modern intelligence technology to build on CRMs.

Here’s a closer look at what you need to know.

What’s the difference between sales force automation (SFA) and customer relationship management (CRM)?

CRM systems were initially designed to help companies better forecast sales opportunities and manage the lifecycle of their customer engagements and relationships. A CRM system captures and centralizes all the information associated with an account or a customer to give sellers the most holistic view of the relationship—enabling them to personalize their interactions.

For instance, an employee could see if someone recently made a major purchase or contacted customer service with a problem and respond accordingly.

The downside of CRM solutions, however, is they require ongoing updates from sales teams and typically present data in a static format. SFA technology, on the other hand, focuses on increasing the efficiency and transparency of the sales process.

SFA helps makes processes more efficient and identifies opportunities for the seller to accelerate progress or predict the right next step. It does this by applying machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to data, turning it into actionable insights that inform guided selling and recommendations, as well as helping prioritize actions that can’t be automated.

Read more about the differences between sales force automation and customer relationship management.

Sales force automation: The next generation of CRM

In a Beagle Research Group study, “Getting Past the Breaking Point of Yesterday’s CRM,Most sellers prefer traffic, dental appointments, and other unpleasant tasks to updating their CRM.86% of sales professionals noted frustration with their jobs. Common complaints included repetitive administrative tasks, updating multiple systems, and entering data and notes into their CRM.

While traditional CRM solutions were an important step forward in centralizing customer data, they also created significant workloads for the sales teams in charge of updating them. The same study found that 66% of sellers would rather wait in line at the DMV, do jury duty, or get stuck in traffic than update their CRM.

Sales professionals are under tremendous pressure. They face constant rejection and hard questions from prospects, all while management emphasizes a relentless drive toward sales goals. The right tools can help.

Today, with cloud-based platform technology, it’s possible to integrate AI and machine learning with valuable tools like next-best-offer and proposal generation. SFA leverages the account-level data that’s central to CRM, while taking the actionable insights and recommendations to the next level.

Read more about how sellers' roles have significantly changed and why it's time their CRM software did too.

How does sales force automation help sales reps get back to selling?

Sales force automation helps sellers take the recommended next best action using machine learning and comprehensive, account-level data, giving them more time to engage with current and prospective customers.

Here are just a few of the key challenges sales force automation can help solve for sellers. Consider these common questions:

What should I do next?

Guided selling solutions help busy sales reps prioritize their time and better align their next-best offer or action more precisely with a prospect’s needs.

That all begins with using an account-scoring methodology to help prioritize which accounts to focus on. Within accounts, the tools help you build account-level strategies and playbooks, and proactively make recommendations across the sales lifecycle.

How can I more efficiently update my CRM and other sales processes?

SFA makes it easier to update your CRM system with email, collaboration apps, and calendar integrations.

Oracle helps makes it easier to access critical records—even via mobile—and acts as a digital assistant to update opportunities, appointments, the pipeline and daily sales tasks.

How can I improve my sales productivity?

Oracle Sales Force Automation provides a task-based interface that helps sellers quickly update core modules (like call logs) and assign follow-up actions, as well as search for new opportunities or quickly get the data needed on marketing/sales alignment.

Are you ready to turbocharge your sales productivity?

With the right tools, your sales team can streamline their processes, sell smarter and faster, and spend more time focused on what really matters: your customer experience.

Does your sales team have the tools they need to get this done? Consider how sales force automation solutions can give your team an edge to get more done with intelligence-driven tools.

Take a self-guided tour of Oracle Sales Force Automation

Liz Alton

Liz Alton is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B technology, digital marketing, and the customer experience. Her clients include creative agencies, Fortune 500 brands, and venture-backed startups.

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