Sales Force Automation 27 Jun 20 Ayan Mishra

Sales automation often makes sales teams anxious with mandatory location tracking associated with it. This statement is often floated in numerous markets, organizations, conferences, etc. The heavy benefits that an organization derives from sales automation are generally contrasted against a general policing of the field teams. To understand this phenomenon and how one can do away with this policing rumor, we need to understand what sales force automation actually does. It automates sales processes and accelerates on-field productivity with real-time secondary sales data. To achieve this, location-based real-time field activity tracking is paramount.

A few days ago, I went for a product demonstration with one of our product specialists. The prospect company is a leading brand involved in cosmetics with a large fleet of sales representatives working throughout India. We met the director, national sales head, and few sales managers of the organization. After an ice-breaking discussion about the evolution of Indian rural consumers and the evolving purchasing behavior, we began our demo.

At the onset, one of the sales managers told us that there is a rumor going around among the sales reps that the management will be tracking them all the time and it is making them nervous while going on their beats. This rumor became the reason for one of the top sales representatives quitting and joining a competitor. It was nerve-wracking for the sales manager to keep the field force motivated.

He asserted that deploying sales automation can lead to high attrition and low motivation. As a matter of fact, the attrition rate in the FMCG sector is between 20 - 25% and it has become one of the main challenges.

More than 50% of the leading brands in the industry are already using some kind of sales automation solution. And some are just using the sales tracker app with the direct intention of tracking their sales team.

Overall, the industry is adopting technology at all levels and growing faster than ever. According to the latest report by IBEF the sector is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate will be US$220.00 billion by 2025 from US$23.63 billion in Y18. Hence it is difficult to believe that adoption of sales automation might lead to attrition and cause low motivation amongst the sales reps even though it is an enabler.

The Director stated firmly, “We don’t want to do policing, we want to enable our field sales team.”

I was thinking would it make someone anxious? Suppose you are being tracked, and you know about it! The management knows if you are at home, or some bar, or a clinic. If you are not aware of why exactly you are being tracked, it will make any of us anxious.

Breaking the silence, our product expert stepped in, “Transparency can solve this.”

Even our best intentions can be misinterpreted, if not clarified at the right time. Why do we need their location? Who can see their location data? How secure is their location data? How their location data will enable their organization to achieve business goals? We need to answer these questions and communicate them to the sales reps before rolling out the sales automation program.

Every organization wants data and insights to run its operations smoothly and grow the business faster. Real-time field data is crucial for consumer goods companies, and to collect field data they need to deploy sales force automation.

Although most of the time, resistance comes from the ground, field reps have started to realize the value of sales automation apps. They have become advocates of the technology because of the several benefits it provides.

Not a sales tracker but a sales team enabler.

We need to educate field reps about sales automation; it is not just a sales tracker, it is a growth enabler for them and their organization. It saves them time and effort, hence makes them more productive and improve the quality of their life.

According to a published study, 75% of the time technology adoption fails. So why do some digital transformations succeed and some fail?

The primary reason behind successful digital transformation is that their leaders focused on changing the mindset of employees, organizational culture, and processes.

"Sales force automation, adopted with a growth mindset will always be a growth enabler."

- Paramdeep Singh, CEO

Ayan Mishra

Designer at FieldAssist. His voice in our team is direct advocacy of end user. He helps us in building effective interaction models which are low on cognitive load and emotionally delightful. Passionate evangelist of design thinking and lean user experiences.

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