Pega SFA Update Homes In on Processes
BPM provider Pegasystems has taken its various sales-related applications and vertical offerings in the category and created a comprehensive sales force automation application it is calling "Pega Sales Force Automation."
This offering follows a marketing application that Pega built in a similar fashion in the marketing space.
Customer demand was the driver behind the SFA application, said Steve Kraus, Pega's senior director of product marketing for CRM.
Focus on Agility
"Our customers, who tend to be large, complex organizations such as banks or insurance providers, would be frank when they told us there were other tools out there, such as Salesforce.com," he told CRM Buyer.
However, there was always some additional process or step these tools didn't offer, usually in the form of offline manual steps a company had to take to integrate the data to rest of the corporate database.
"Companies were also struggling with effectiveness features, or lack thereof," Kraus continued.
A typical example would be an SFA app that helped the rep suggest complementary products during a call, he said.
Companies found existing SFA tools to be inadequate when it came to guiding sales reps to conform to their own internal sales processes and best practices, Kraus said. "We saw there was a big opportunity for a company focused on process and business change and agility to enter the market."
Standard SFA Plus the Extras
Pega's SFA product offers the usual fare in such applications, Kraus said, including opportunity and lead management, account and contact management, activity tracking, territory management, sales and pipeline forecasting, a dashboard, social media integration, team collaboration, and prebuilt mobile functionality.
It took the functionality it had built in previous sales applications and used that as a base to focus on what the company saw as the missing piece in the market -- the sales process. Thus the Pega SFA platform offers the ability to write business rules for the sales and case management process. The application is also integrated into Outlook.
Other features guide sales reps through interactions with customers and prospects, focus on strategies that maximize customer lifetime value, and automate cross-functional sales-related tasks such as approvals and order fulfillment.
Following Unified Marketing
This app follows Pega's Unified Marketing application, which it released in March. That too is built on pre-existing functionality, but Pega had a greater head start with that feature set, thanks to its Chordiant acquisition two years ago, Kraus said.
"We already had a solid base for decision management, predictive analytics and outbound marketing," he noted.
Pega SFA is now generally available.