Shareholders demand profitable, responsible revenue growth. Buyers expect you to deliver value at every step of the sales process. And sellers expect to be prompted to the best actions and steps to take to achieve quota.

It’s really hard to deliver on all these expectations. Buying motions are complicated. They involve more business and IT stakeholders, and more buying interactions occur over digital channels. As a result, sales teams rely on an ecosystem of best-in-class sales technologies that IT must integrate and support.

Several years ago, at Oracle Cloud’s CX Summit, Larry Ellison said:

This is where we are today. Sales force automation (SFA) solutions are the foundational technology in the sales tech stack. They have expanded their capabilities to better support the customer journey over buyer-assisted and self-service touchpoints. And they do a great job today at making you think twice about complementing your SFA with best-in-breed point solutions.

Introducing The Sales Force Automation Wave

Our new Forrester Wave™ evaluation covering SFA highlights leading vendors in the space. These solutions do an exceptional job at:

  • Empowering every seller with tailored experiences. Sales teams include inside sales or digital sales reps, field sales reps, post-sale account managers, customer success reps, and sales managers, to name a few. SFA solutions provide prepackaged, role-based experiences for these different sales roles that offer unified access to leads, opportunities, contacts, accounts, and interactions.
  • Supporting the full buying journey. SFA solutions offer broad capabilities that support the full buying journey, from targeting accounts to closing the deal. These include, for example, sales engagement experiences for digital sellers; sales enablement capabilities for sales content management; embedded collaboration for strategic account planning; sales analytics for more precise lead, account, and opportunity management; configure, price, quote; and coaching.
  • Delivering a great user experience. SFA has historically suffered from poor adoption. Today, SFA vendors put extraordinary effort into offering simple yet engaging web and mobile experiences. They minimize onscreen data. They nudge and guide users through the right sequences. They provide meaningful insights that sellers trust. They offer new ways to visualize data in the context of work. And they support modern conversational experiences to interact with data or to surface insights that yield material outcomes, such as pipeline inspection tools that give guidance on how to maximize value.
  • Driving better customer experiences with AI and automation. Automation and real-time AI recommendations help sellers close business faster and grow the value of existing customers. These technologies cut time spent on data entry, capture conversations, prioritize daily activities, automate sales sequences, and surface next best steps.

Have a read through our sales force automation Forrester Wave evaluation, and connect with me if you have comments, questions, or want to learn more.