Technology Trends 01 Feb 17

Digital technology is transforming the global business environment today by successfully capturing complex data and converting them into detailed yet meaningful insights. While mobility is an integral part of an effective business strategy for organizations worldwide, there’s a challenge. A fair share continue to grapple on an appropriate approach that enhances revenue and productivity at the same time. Despite technological revolutions, a prime challenges sales organizations faces today is depending on human intervention to manage sales cycle.

The following factors gives rise to perpetual inefficiencies that affect business operations:

  1. Inability to carry management tools on the go
  2. Complex data collection process
  3. Prioritizing opportunities

 Thus, sales teams must be equipped with applications that enhances productivity and generates revenue. This is an ideal approach to release the logjams in the sales cycle mechanism. Field Force Automation principles exactly addresses these issues and streamlines the complex data collection process. It provides a reliable mechanism to measure and report outcomes. This article aims to closely determine the effectiveness of mobility as a critical component in formulating business strategies for optimizing efficiency.

Why is it the right time to integrate mobility in the business architecture?

The Smartphone adoption is rapidly expanding in India. According to a recent report published by IAMAI and KPMG, the number of mobile internet users in India will double from an existing 159 million mark by 2017. Resonating with the government’s Digital India initiative, India’s internet penetration is likely to reach 50% by 2018 from a mere 26% in 2015.

On the other hand, the FMCG industry is estimated to grow phenomenally at the rate of 14% in 2015-2025 as compared to 12% in the last decade.  Several factors such as rise in household income, nuclear household set-up, removal of entry barriers and nearly 100Mn youth entering the workforce will account for the growth in this industry. The key determinant will be automation at this stage to optimize opportunities. Therefore, marketers should build focus on acquiring larger customer base and expanding geographies by implementing mobility. In addition, enabling the sales force with automation tools is the need of the hour to increase operational efficiency and achieve larger objectives.

Relevant statistics

eMarketer, an online research and data firm, in a recent report indicates that India is the 3rd largest Smartphone market in the world. It implies that mobile internet users heavily engage in regular mobile transactions. It includes services such as ticketing, mobile banking, loyalty programs, sale-purchase of content services and information services on mobiles. Location based services are gathering a steady momentum as organizations invest in mobile applications to grow businesses, simplify challenges and enhance performance.

How SFA creates a competitive business edge?

Organizations are increasingly embracing mobility in the operational workflow to expand to larger geographies while integrating efficiency in businesses.

Some of the key benefits of mobile internet applications to enhance operational efficiency are:

  • Consistently track workflow

    New mobile technology advancements aid in effectively managing sales force even on the go. Managers can adequately spend time with their sales teams across multiple locations without limiting to an indoor workspace through SFAs. It has far reaching benefits for an organization in terms of efficiency, cost reliance, timeliness and customer satisfaction. The mobile business management platform enables to track, supervise, monitor and customize responses aiding in quick decision making. SFA applications therefore turn a simple mobile device in to a powerful tool to manage business communication at all times.
  • Increased productivity

    Marketers often have to determine additional solutions required by salesforce to simplify manual data collection in sale-cycle process. This affects productivity, shifts center from focusing on core issues and slows down effective business time. In order to minimize these drawbacks in the traditional retail model, sales enablement tools are adopted. These include mobile SFA’s that provide meaningful insights, feedback and inventory led issues real-time. This allows marketers to pinpoint actual issues and establish a control mechanism. Thus, events like tracking an activity from lead to close, monitor campaigns and provide relevant information to sales teams is key.
  • Creating knowledge document

    It is important that salesmen in a traditional set-up must be equipped with adequate training to deliver better performance. Regularly upgrading them through training sessions and recording interactions on the mobile platform helps build a comprehensive mobile-ready knowledge document. Further, this can be used for reference and research purposes in the business.

The other reasons that support SFA in businesses include increased cost efficiency, time saving, competitive edge and revenue enhancement.

The lightning advancement in mobility therefore has created vast commercial opportunities and marketers are optimizing on this new wave of communication. It has helped businesses to attract new customers, augment revenue and improve customer service. While all segments are growing independently, we await to see if the several pillars of the economic environment collaborate to bridge the current demand – supply network gap.

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