Indian Companies - What to look for in SFA and fmcg software for sales

Every company Indian or non-Indian, big or small, product or service, faces similar challenges. All the companies have to manage their leads, opportunities, and customers. There are some unique things to be handled by Indian companies when it comes to sales -

Ø Paper to Mobile: unlike western countries where transition has been gradual - paper to desktop to laptop/mobile/tablets, in India for most companies, transition has been directly from paper to mobile. Almost all sales agents have a mobile phone but may not have a laptop.

Ø Sales processes needs to be tailored to local ask.

Ø Most companies are managed by owners-decision making is centralized.

Many Indian companies are used to doing business in traditional way using paper. They believe that SFA is not for their businesses, it is very complex and costly! Some of them feel that SFA is overkill for them and they are best served without using any technology. This may have been true in the past, but now SFA systems make managing customers and sales very easy and efficient. If companies look for the following in their SFA, they will be able to get most out of it:

1. Ease of Use: SFA should be intuitive to work with. Ease of use should be the primary thing in SFA - how good the system is if no one uses it? SFA should help sales team to manage leads, opportunities, customers etc. It does not have to be complicated.

2. Effective Sales Process: SFA should help implement sales process defined by the company. Defining a process and sticking to it, is the key to company's success. SFA should help a company to define a process and then helpthem stick to the process.

3. Affordable: Indian market is very price sensitive. Companies should look at different models to make SFA affordable for them. For some companies user based pricing for SFA deployed on cloud may be a better option.

4. Scalable: SFA should not only support current business, but also be able to scale to future needs. Indian market is growing at a very fast rate, so SFA should be able to work for company when they are bigger in 2 years, 5 years and so on.

6. Analysis (Reports): SFA collects lot of sales data, but it is important for companies to look at this data and help make good decisions. Analysis of SFA data, in terms of reports and business intelligence, will be very helpful for Sales team and management to plan for next day, week, month, quarter and years.

7. Alerts: SFA should be able to proactively tell sales agents about the next steps - like send technical document to a prospect. Alert should also be able help management with important information.

8. Support: Most Indian companies do not have technical staff to resolve issues, handle upgrades or perform enhancements on SFA systems. Provider should be able to support SFA during stabilization phase and beyond if needed.