PRODUCT PROFILE

Siebel Sales Force Automation

Focusing on information, not just automation, Siebel Systems’ sales force automation suite helps users share data across sales teams, manage sales pipelines, rapidly create customer quotes and proposals, configure products and services to meet the needs of each customer, and provide after-sales service and support, the CRM vendor says.

Customized for 20 different vertical markets, Siebel Sales enables field sales organizations to sell collaboratively across different regions.

By gaining greater visibility into the sales pipeline, Siebel maintains, users can determine how to focus on the right deals at the right time, better manage opportunities and bring them to rapid closure.

“Today, sales organizations must be focused not on just efficiency but on effectiveness, for example, in forecasting, lead management and territory assignment,” said Ken Rudin, vice president and general manager of the Siebel Sales line. “We’re selling business processes, not just software.”

That requires providing sales professionals with easy access to the information they need when they need it, Rudin told CRM Buyer Magazine. Key to that, he said, is analytics.

Analyze That

“We’re incorporating analytics into every aspect of CRM,” Rudin said. “Analytics [functions] increase efficiency and help us be more responsive to customers. It’s about saving time and money.”

Analytics provides access to the latest intelligence on pipeline trends, product demand, competitive trends and the performance of the sales distribution network. This allows sales professionals to track indicators of performance and answer the following questions:

  • Is there enough opportunity in the pipeline to meet sales objectives?
  • What is the trend in average sales cycle length?
  • What is the average order size by account, territory, product or industry?
  • What is the trend in product pricing and discounting?
  • Which accounts are most profitable?
  • Which customers and products generate the most revenue and best margins?
  • Which competitors are encountered most often, when does the company lose and why?

Forecasting Is Key

“One of the biggest developments in sales force automation in the last year is the addition of analytics,” Aberdeen Group vice president of CRM research Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer. “Siebel is a leader in offering tightly integrated analytics, which provides greater visibility into the pipeline.”

Key to analytics is forecasting, explained Jeff Summers, senior director of the Siebel Sales line. By improving opportunity management and sales and marketing decision making, the application suite’s forecasting module aims to lower administrative and inventory handling costs and monitor the health of the business, Summers told CRM Buyer.

Additional elements of Siebel Sales include mobile applications that support sales professionals who work outside the connected office environment as well as compensation plans designed to align sales goals with corporate strategy.

Siebel Sales is focused on both making and saving money, Rudin said. “Increasing efficiency and effectiveness reduces the cost of goods sold, which goes straight to the bottom line,” he explained. “We’ve gone from driving just the sales organization to using the pipeline as a key strategic center point for managing an organization.”

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