COVID has upended business as we knew it, and sales organizations have felt this impact. Almost half of B2B US companies have slashed their sales teams. Sellers work from home, over digital channels, and sales managers have become much more data-driven and focused on post-sale engagement to preserve and grow revenue.

There’s a much-needed increased focus on empowering sales teams with sales force automation (SFA) solutions that:

  • Offer role-based experiences out of the box. Sales teams include inside sales or digital sales reps, field sellers, post-sale account managers, customer success reps, renewals managers, sales ops, and sales managers, to name a few. All these roles must be supported with targeted experiences.
  • Power data-driven selling experiences. SFA solutions must support customer data enrichment with supply chain, financial, second-party, and third-party data. This enriched data helps sales teams prioritize and score target customers; surfaces talking points; and fuels sales planning, territory management, and forecasting activities.
  • Embed automation and AI to optimize outcomes. 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. These technologies prioritize leads, generate win probabilities, and surface account, relationship, and conversation insights. They optimize pricing and bundling and streamline quoting. They help managers coach their teams, identify best practices, and optimize performance. And that’s not the full list of what these technologies can do!
  • Support a vibrant ecosystem of add-ons. SFA vendors invest in curated marketplaces, some of which have an industry focus, that contain an ecosystem of point solutions for sales content management, sales training, and revenue management, for example.

We just published “The Forrester Wave™: Sales Force Automation Solutions, Q2 2021,” which highlights the top vendors in the space, their strengths, and the scenarios for which each vendor is best suited. Hope you get a chance to read it, and when you do, let me know whether you agree with my take.