For customers, it becomes very confusing when it comes to purchasing a mobile Sales Force Automation solution.
There are so many providers, offering very basic features to ones with advanced features. It’s easy to compare them from a cost and features perspective. But looking deep inside there are a few other points that need to be kept in mind.
Five points that IT Managers, Sales heads should look at while finalizing on the mobile Sales Force Automation software.
1. Does the mobile sales force automation software need your present and future requirements?
Many times companies are not able to visualize the need beyond a certain point. So, you can say that you need location tracking or order management only. But do you think you will need other advanced features like Expense Management (TA/DA), deviations etc in the near future? If the solution has newer advanced features built-in, you may not buy them right away, but when you need them you can simply ask for an upgrade.
2. How does the mobile sales force automation provider support remote field users?
For a customer with a pan India workforce, it will be difficult for a solution provider to support users from different places. Does the provider have a mechanism or technology to resolve and fix issues of field workers remotely? Initially, the salespeople show resistance to any mobile SFA. Can the solution provider show you (with proof) that it’s a problem with the salesperson itself rather than the solution?
3. Is the solution provider ready to customize the mobile SFA software?
Say, you are a growing company and adding salespeople every few months. Or you are targeting different markets or channels. After some time, you may need that your mobile SFA software either integrated with your ERP or there might be some changes that you want to get fully assimilated into your company/channel. The solution provider should be willing to customize it for you. Of course, they will charge you for it.
If it’s a SaaS (cloud-based) provider, check if they have an on-premise model as well. Because any on-premise software can be customized to your exact needs.
4. Is the technology robust?
Field salespeople need to be spending time on sales and not worrying about the device’s battery being drained out.
A good Mobile SFA should work on a 2G network. It should not consume battery even if the location tracking is on.
It’s advisable to get 15 – 30 minutes of location updates rather than every second. This makes sure that the battery runs for the whole day and you always know where the person is.
The solution should be able to download large data even on 2G networks. Some companies have 50k different products or variants. Some want to show detailed order history. All this requires a huge amount of data to be downloaded over the phone. 3G networks are not available across the country. So, the mobile SFA solution should work in a 2G and offline environment.
5. Is the technology secure?
Mobile can be lost or stolen. Salespeople will have the app always logged in. Can the mobile SFA solution log out a salesman remotely? Is the data on the mobile device secure? Does the solution support limit access to a particular SIM or device?
Ideally, the data on the mobile device should be encrypted by the mobile SFA. So, even if the device falls into wrong hands, your data will be secure from prying eyes. Any sales coordinator or authorized person should be able to log out and deny access to any salesperson remotely.