Sales force automation solutions enhance sales and marketing operations by providing insight into real-time sales and marketing information. A sales force automation solution may help small businesses become more profitable and successful by enhancing their sales and marketing processes. For example, with a sales force automation solution, a salesperson can track customer sales, get information on customer orders, and see what specials are being offered at a given point in time. Keeping track of sales and having up to the minute information readily available for customers usually results in higher customer satisfaction rates. The more satisfied a company's customers are, the more likely they are to return for business and refer other customers.
There are a couple of types of sales force automation solutions for small businesses; on-site and hosted. On-site sales force automation solutions require a small business to purchase the license to the software and implement the solution on-site or on-premise. Small businesses need the hardware to support the sales force automation software along with personnel to maintain the software and hardware. Hosted small business sales force automation solutions do not reside at the small business site, but rather at a data center or the provider's site. Small businesses do not have to purchase licenses to hosted sales force automation solutions. Hosted sales force automation solutions provide a way for small businesses to take advantage of big functionality without the cost or the need to maintain the software. And, small businesses don’t have to purchase hardware to support a hosted sales force automation solution.
Another type of sales force automation solution is called open source. Open source solutions are free to the public. There are no licensing costs and the software is available for all to download from the vendor’s or provider’s website. Once downloaded, businesses have to maintain the open source sales force automation solution.
Most sales force automation solutions for small businesses are user-friendly, easy to implement, and customizable. Open source sales force automation solutions are typically easy to customize because the source code is made available to all who download the solution. Most all types of sales force automation solutions are configurable to meet all the needs of all types of companies in any industry.
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