Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Sales Force Automation Software (SFA) are similar but they are different. They can be used interchangeably. If you’re having a hard time in differentiating between the two, this article can help you out. It gives an overview of the difference between CRM and SFA and its benefits. It also serves a guide as to which software is right for your business.
It’s very common to assume that SFA and CRM is the same, but it’s actually not. Even their technology is constantly changing. It is possible to include an SFA component in a CRM software because of its demand. You can also integrate the two software because you can apply customer information to the sales team. Most of the software that has integration with other resources are part of the top sales force automation software and vice versa.
What Is the Definition of CRM?
Basically, CRM concentrates more in the customer service side of the business. It’s about looking for, gathering, and maintaining customers and keeping a healthy customer relationship. It also focuses on making sure customers are treated fairly. The customers’ data can be used later on to determine about their views with the company and utilize it to make the customer stay.
What Is the Definition of SFA?
One good definition of sales force automation software is that they are more focused on sales. It concentrates on the sales cycle, starting from promotions and advertising to attract potential leads to completing a sale. They also manage and create a more harmonious relationship with the sales team. They also have opportunity management, pipeline management, and contact management. The customers’ data can be used for future sales campaigns and offers.
Sales force automation software is a specific set of software that concentrates solely in achieving the sales goals. It can be a key part of a sales campaign or a method in the CRM. You can also integrate other software with SFA or CRM, such as business intelligence tools or marketing automation.
What Are the CRM Main Features?
By using CRM, customer service and sales teams join together to provide excellent customer service while making a sale. CRM main features include the following:
- Monitor customer interactions.
- Monitor campaigns and use customer data to be used for future sales campaigns.
- Accurately store customer data or data warehousing.
- Provide customer service support and tools.
- Analyze buying patterns of customers.
- Improves customer relationships.
- Boosts customer profits.
- Customer profiling or creating buyer personas.
- Records sales history.
- Tracks customer interaction.
- Tools and processes created solely for retention purposes.
What Are the SFA Main features?
Sales force automation lets you understand and determine where customers are in the buying process. They can also check if a customer has made an action such as filling up a form or survey, opening your email, or reading your content. SFA main features include the following:
- Up selling and cross-selling opportunities.
- Improved sales team management.
- Ability to forecast sales.
- Enhanced lead management.
- Provides pricing information.
- Contact management.
- Workflow management.
- Knowledge portal for product and sales data.
- Has the ability to target sales and prospective customers.
- Appointment setting and tracking.
- Organizing sales and marketing tasks.
- Ability to cold-call customers and keep customer data.
- Ability to check sales funneling.
- Notifications and reminders about sales inquiries such as delivery data. (To-do lists and calendars).
- Helps complete sales deals.
The marketing team benefits a lot from it as they use the data to schedule and create marketing campaigns. Automation is a great help when there is an email campaign to be sent to a large number of customers. If you want to know more about the features an SFA has to offer, read CrowdReviews.com’s top sales force automation software.
Why Use CRM software?
You use CRM because you need to help guarantee sales by utilizing customer relationships and making the sales experience a personalized and great experience. It also does the following:
- The sales team can find out what stage is the customer during the sale process and guide them until they make a purchase. There are times where it doesn’t stop there. You can use the CRM software for follow-ups or queries about the warranty of the product or something similar.
- Advertising a product based on the customers’ interest and preference. When you give recommendations about a certain product that a customer likes, the customer would believe that you pay attention to their needs. This will help build a better customer service.
- A lot of CRM software integrates with social media platforms to know about what your customer feedback is and what products are a hit.
- It helps create a more personalized conversation with customers by knowing their preferences using their customer data.
- You can utilize notifications to make sure all your tasks are being attended to. It sends alerts from your schedule, such as renewal of services or even customer’s birthday.
Why Use SFA software?
You use SFA because you need to gather leads to be passed to the sales team. Once the lead becomes a qualified lead and it becomes a customer, you need to constantly monitor their interactions with the company. It can also have the following:
- The capability to categorize each lead to its suitable mailing distribution list using the customers’ preference, interests, and previous interactions with the business.
- It provides a lead nurturing tactic to walk through customers during the sale process. You can send automatic emails regarding products or services a customer is interested in.
- You can have a steady supply of information to provide to your customers to make sure they know what’s going with your company and see what the latest news is.
- It provides analytic data regarding your sales campaigns to know what went wrong and what went well. This can also serve as a basis on what to improve on the next sales campaign.
- It has customizable sales strategies that focus on a more effective sales workflow, resulting in higher sales performance and increased productivity.
- You can use forecasting features to predict your sales opportunities. It helps in collecting the customer data. By doing so, the sales team will know what to do when a sales opportunity comes up.
There are many more features in SFA that is not provided here. You can read more by checking out CrowdReviews.com’s Sales Force Automation Software Reviews.
So What Are the Similarities and Differences Between the Two?
Both software has its own similarities and differences. Let’s start with the similarities. These are the following:
- Provides analytic tools and reporting capabilities.
- Creates customer data profiles, also called customer personas.
- Monitors your sales progress.
- Helps you generate potential leads and make them into customers.
However, below are the major differences between the two.
- Customer relationship management is normally used by customer service teams, marketing teams and the clients. SFA is normally used only by the sales team and the upper management.
- Customer relationship management concentrates on “reactive” data such as customer profiles, customer support situations, retention campaigns, and data management. SFA on the other hand focuses on tasks and puts them into action.
- Sales force automation is needed at the very start of the sales cycle until the end, which is the completion of a sale. Once this is over, CRM will be utilized by making sure the customers have a wonderful customer experience.
Sometimes, SFA and CRM have the same features. A lot of them offer to integrate with the other, as both are beneficial to a company. Even if they are different, both can be used in businesses. It’s a great way to manage your customers or your sales. Whether you use Customer Retention Management tools or Sales Force Automation tools, both are needed in the business. To summarize, the primary difference between the two is what area they are focused in. CRM is more focused on the sales part of the business while SFA is more focused on the marketing side of the business.
Sales Force Automation Versus CRM: Which One Is Better?
Most of the time, small businesses use CRM as a basis to optimize their sales funnel and complete more deals. Once they upgrade and progress in their marketing strategies, they invest in getting sales force automation software solutions that can integrate their CRM tool.
So What Do We Choose?
Both software are considered as equal to one another. They provide top grade leading features with scalable solutions. Not only that, it has the capability to offer customized solutions for your business. If you were to choose your sales force automation program, you need to consider the tools and resources you already have, what features are necessary for your team, and how much your budget would be.
We hope that this guide was helpful for you in deciding which software your business needs. Now that you know the difference, do some research and find out the software features and how it benefits you. If you are more inclined to acquire an SFA, why not read CrowdReviews.com’s sales force automation software reviews to find out which one is right for you?
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