Is SFA Necessary in Small and Medium Enterprises?

Is SFA really necessary for small and medium-sized businesses? Considering the size of the business, some people may think that Excel is sufficient.

Why is SFA necessary for SMEs?

Reduce the workload

SFA  is very easy to use, and it is easy to create and manage daily sales reports. It is also possible to share the data as it is, reducing the need for paper-based management. In addition, business operations can be checked from the management screen, and instructions can be given in real time. Furthermore, since the system can be operated from mobile devices, business reports and schedules can be managed even when traveling.

Sales activities are basically divided into two categories: field sales, where you meet clients outside the office and conduct business with them, and inside sales, where you analyze and manage potential customers. However, it is quite difficult for small and medium-sized companies that lack the capital and manpower to do both of these activities. Unless you have a lot of room in your business, it will be difficult to split the workload.

SFA supports such weaknesses of small and medium enterprises. It is recommended when you want to streamline your sales activities while keeping your staff intact.

Accumulate and share information for growth

By implementing SFA, you can share and accumulate sales know-how.

For example, sharing and storing successful cases and the words and actions of highly skilled employees can be helpful to employees who are currently stuck. They can learn what is different from their own and take action, which will greatly improve their growth speed. In addition, analyzing the contents of business negotiations can be used as a reference for closing the deal. The highly versatile know-how can be made into a manual and used for new projects.

On the other hand, failure patterns such as "words and phrases that offended the client" can be accumulated as well to avoid repeating the same mistake. Both good and bad data can become valuable information when managed in SFA.

Understanding the current status of sales representatives

Visualizing the progress of a project makes it easy to understand the current status of sales staff. Salespeople who are not making good progress on a project can be individually encouraged to start or resume their work. If the likelihood of closing a deal improves, you can raise the order of response and prioritize manpower.

In addition, by accumulating and analyzing the areas where salespeople are stumbling, it is possible to identify the weak areas of each salesperson and provide effective advice at the optimal time. In addition, it is possible to build a follow-up system to prevent the loss of contracts. By analyzing and improving business issues in the process, it is possible to raise the overall level of sales skills.

Points to avoid failure in implementing SFA for SMEs

What points should small and medium-sized companies pay attention to in order not to fail in implementing SFA?

Clarify and share the purpose of the introduction

Clarify and share the purpose of implementation, keeping in mind how the accumulated sales data will be utilized.

If the purpose is unclear, the selection of the product will fail and the operation after the introduction will not go well. A one-sided, top-down approach from the management side may not be satisfactory to the sales staff, and overall efficiency may be compromised. It is especially dangerous to introduce SFA for vague reasons such as "rival companies have introduced it, so we will follow suit.

There are many cases of SFA failures where the problem lies not with the product, but with the company operating it, so be sure to clarify the purpose before introducing it. After implementation, it is also important to share the objectives with all employees from the management side and provide feedback on the results of the operation to ensure alignment with the field.

Keep functions to a minimum.

Pinpoint your company's issues and carefully select an SFA that can improve them.

Introducing a highly functional SFA will not solve all your problems. If it has too many functions, you will need to have the skills to use them. In addition, the number of unused functions increases, which increases operational costs.

Especially for small and medium-sized companies, SFA with the minimum necessary functions is sufficient since their business scale is smaller than that of large companies. The more advanced the functions, the more items need to be entered, and the greater the burden on the field, so choose one that is in line with your company's problem solving. It is recommended to start with a simple design and let the field get used to it little by little.

Examples of successful SFA implementation by small and medium-sized companies

At one manufacturing company, sales results were not good and sales were not increasing as expected. In addition, the company was using Excel, which made the input process complicated and slow.

After the introduction of SFA, sales activities were visualized and improvements were highlighted, resulting in an improvement in sales. As a result, the motivation of sales staff has increased. In addition, the inputting process has become easier, which has improved their operational efficiency.

At a marketing company, information was not shared and sales skills were becoming individualized, making it difficult to implement the PDCA cycle and to analyze and verify sales activities.

After the introduction of SFA, information sharing has been promoted and know-how has been transmitted to all employees. Data-based analysis and verification is now possible, and the skills of sales staff have been raised to a higher level. Management tasks have also become more efficient, as the progress can be checked from the management screen.

Let's introduce SFA in small and medium-sized companies to optimize sales!

SFA has the following advantages for small and medium-sized companies.

Reduction of workload

Accumulate and share information for growth

Checking the status of sales representatives

When introducing SFA, please clarify and share the purpose to promote data utilization after operation. If your objectives are unclear, you will make a mistake in selecting the product and the operation after implementation will not go well. Focus on the minimum number of necessary functions and give priority to solving your company's issues.

Small and medium-sized companies should also implement SFA to optimize their sales.

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