Technology Trends 09 Jan 18 Ayan Mishra

A very common confusion arises in the mind of solution seekers whether Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) the same thing? If not, which one is actually relevant at the time of consideration to an organization? Here we’re going to try to address the SFA vs CRM question.

The two systems do not play the same role in companies (specially Retail Organizations), each having its own function. But the truth is that some software vendors actually use the two terms in a similar way, or create softwares with feature sets that lend each other functionality. This causes a lot of confusion for the customer, who sometimes ends up acquiring a CRM that has SFA functionality or vice versa.

One of the main differences between Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is that while the SFA looks at the entire sales process and tracks all salespeople’s efforts, especially at the point of sale, CRM already works totally focused on the customer itself. In CRM, the total focus is on the customer. In SFA, the focus is the sale.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

CRM has become one of the most prominent enterprise management software. Even in its early versions, when it was still unsophisticated, it was already possible to recognize its qualities to manage customer service. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has always been a customer-focused tool, and focuses primarily on the relationships between a business and its consumers.

One of the most classic functions of CRM is the detailing of the customer profile. Many softwares have been adapted to present dashboards – with a detailed insight into customer preferences and actions – that are consulted by call center attendants as they talk to the consumer himself. This makes the company gain time and allows a much more assertive service.

Another important function is historical, extensive report with client behavioral data and your purchasing information and contacts with the company. Everything is stored in individual accounts to help the salesperson understand the true motivations of the customer in relation to their business.

SFA – Sales Force Automation

The way the Sales Force Automation Software works is part of an entirely different strategy. Analyzing the sales process of each company, it seeks to automate many steps that used to be done manually. Sales Force Automation (SFA) addresses logistics and practice issues involved in lead generation, negotiation, and closing sales.

The main point to note is that SFA and CRM originally have platforms with different sets of features.

As already mentioned, CRM is customer focused. Therefore, many of its key features include different customer profile tools, focused on both obtaining and maintaining and tracking your communication. The idea is to know more about what he has to say at every possible point of contact with his company.

But what would be a unique feature of SFA?

It actually needs to be thought of as a set of features for seamless management of sales processes. These solutions can provide pricing tools, call center functions, or even workflow management features. They often monitor the sales funnel and help make operations more transparent while implementing automation functions that eliminate the complexity of manual intensive sales maintenance actions.

These are just some of the technologies delivered by the SFA. It’s not a CRM, it’s a much more comprehensive sales support. Much of its resources are focused on in-house operations, tracing quotas and aiding sales competition. Overall, the SFA makes sure the business is doing everything it can to increase its profits with effective sales force management. The primary benefit of SFA solutions is the substantial increase in sales force productivity.

To work with both platforms in an integrated way, you need to be very careful when buying. Several companies sell CRM and SFA solutions with similar names that can confuse the consumer. At this point, it is best to talk to your supplier and ask for details on each solution.

Carefully analyze the need of your company and acquire the platform that best suits your reality. You may notice that you need more than one SFA with some CRM functions or that you want to work with both platforms fully but separately. Find out what kinds of tools will be most useful to your business and good sales!

sfa vs crm

Ayan Mishra

Designer at FieldAssist. His voice in our team is direct advocacy of end user. He helps us in building effective interaction models which are low on cognitive load and emotionally delightful. Passionate evangelist of design thinking and lean user experiences.

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