Software as a Service Empowers Sales

Written by on April 2, 2009 | General

In this flagging economy, pressure on salespeople to make (and exceed) their quotas has never been higher. The stress of the field salesperson is often compounded by a lack of information and resources available to them when they are away from the office. It can be difficult to track project costs or status for existing customers or develop accurate pricing and proposals for new customers. Often sales materials must be updated on the fly or stats and figures must be provided when a prospect or customer asks for them. If everything can not be accessed via the Internet and there is a delay in the transmission of information, which can result in a lost sale. Below are five tools salespeople rely on to get their jobs done well and that can be achieved easily through software as a service.

1. CRM. The customer relationship is the epicenter of the sales force. Without good contact information and historical contact data, it can be difficult to know the status of existing customers or learn where things stand in the sales cycle for new customers.

2. Document Management. Salespeople often need to tweak sales sheets and marketing materials on the fly. If sales documents can be stored (and updated) via an on-demand application, considerably stress is relieved.

3. Accounting. This includes everything from timekeeping to budgets and costs to expenses and invoices. When these can be done in real time, via the Internet, the information provided is much more accurate. This makes reporting more efficient and less prone to errors.

4. Collaboration. When far-flung project teams can not coordinate when necessary, problems can arise quickly. Collaborating online provides real-time solutions to existing problems and affords better decision making.

5. Planning. Things change quickly in business and flexibility is key. When salespeople can look at their historical data on a customer while they are out in the field, they are better equipped for strategic planning and acting on those plans.

Salespeople need support they often cannot get when they are away from the office. While most learn to be very autonomous early on, it is unfair to expect them to do their jobs without adequate assistance. Software on demand gives them a home-away-from-home where the information and materials they need to be successful is provided. The value of real-time data can not be underestimated when considering the pressure salespeople are under to meet their sales quotas by conveying information accurately and quickly. Delays can cost sales and no one can afford that.

This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about the top American universities for accounting. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 at gmail.com

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