Technical questions about sales force automation?
Before choosing a sales force automation tool, you may have some doubts about its functionalities; there are many types in the market, and all of them are different.
There are some characteristics that should be clear before you choose the perfect software for your company; as every company is different and has different needs, we’ll try to answer the 3 most common doubts about technology and sales force automation, so you can easily find your perfect match.
SAAS or On Premise Sales Force Automation?
One of your first questions will be if you should choose a SAAS software or an On Premise one. Let’s see its differences:
A SAAS sales force automation software is cloud based, that is, it allows us to use applications through the cloud. It can be purchased through a supplier, which will provide us the software and its applications.
This provider will be responsible for the safety of our data (although this depends on other decisions we will have to take as well, as we will see in a moment) and its accessibility, and he should manage both our software and hardware.
It just requires a simple configuration and a browser with access to the Internet. Its maintenance does not incur great expense, beyond the devices maintenance service, and its ROI will be quick. Moreover, it doesn’t imply a huge initial investment, as you rent it as if it were a license, paying it on a monthly basis. However, as a con, we’ll mention that the client does have less control over the sales automation software.
On premise SFAs, by contrast, are installed on devices the company already owns, that is, it implies a local hosting.
The main downside is the initial investment it requires, as it’s usually a single payment for a perpetual license. Rates vary according to the type of company, its size and the number of users, but it’s true that the price can be high. Support and updates must be paid as well.
As there isn’t a provider, the safety of our data will be something the customer will have to take care of, which can be a handicap. In return, we’ll have more control than with a SAAS sales force automation software, and the app modules will be customizable, something not that easy with the other type.
Which one do I choose?
In general, the SAAS model is more agile, and it offers the amenity of the cloud, apart from integrating better the different areas of a company. If your budget is what worries you, it also implies a smaller initial investment.
Nevertheless, if we need to have full control over our system or a way more personalized tool to meet our company needs, we would definitely recommend an On Premise software. If we already have our own devices and our business counts on an unlimited budget, it may be the best option.
Our tip: some sales automation software providers offer both possibilities, or even the option of combining them; this can be a huge advantage, so take it into account!
A single-tenant or multi-tenant solution?
If you decide to benefit from the cloud’s convenience, you’ll have another doubt: do I choose a solution with a multi-tenant hosting, that is, a public cloud, or a single-tenant one, with a private cloud?
It depends, again, on your company’s needs.
A public cloud is the most common option. With this modality, a cloud based services provider offers its resources to multiple clients at the same time. You’ll have your own sales force automation software, but you’ll share infrastructures when storing your data.
The cost is, for obvious reasons, lower, as the maintenance price will also be shared. Although you will be sharing resources, it’s a secure system: no one will have access to your confidential data.
It is, however, less customizable, and we’ll have no control over the software updates.
With a private cloud the resources and infrastructure are used exclusively by a single client, so it does admit more customizations than the latter. As it’s a private network, the security and the control are higher, but so is the cost.
Which one do I choose?
If you are a SME or a big company that doesn’t need that many customized functionalities, only the basics, a public cloud is perfectly fine, and it’s cheaper.
If, on the contrary, you need full control and maximum security with your data, and you have enough budget for it, we recommend you a private cloud.
What functionalities should my sales force automation tool include?
After choosing the basics features of our app and how will it work, we’ll want to know what should it include. These are the ones you can’t do without:
First of all, a good technical support. Yes, technology definitely makes our lives easier, but sometimes, when we face a problem, we need human assistance, that is, a good customer service.
Besides, some characteristics to consider are the flexibility of the app, as well as the fact that it allows us to add or remove modules according to our needs or wishes; if it’s customizable, it will make our job easier later on, as it will be custom made.
It should work both online and offline; our commercial agents may not always have an Internet connection, and that shouldn’t be a problem. The accessibility must be full.
A multi-device solution is something to value too; if we choose the On Premise option, which implies installing the sales force automation into our own gadgets, the software should be able to adapt to any type of device.
Lastly, something essential nowadays is that the software incorporates cutting edge technology, such as image recognition or augmented reality. They are becoming very popular and we should start getting used to them if we don’t want to become obsolete. Your competitors are probably already using them, so take advantage of sales force automation tools that include them!
Now, you only have to choose one…
It’s your turn: once you know your company’s needs in depth, investigate the market and find the sales force automation tool that perfectly covers them. We hope that, after reading this article, it’s easier for you to do so!