Key Differences Between SFA and CRM

There is a misconception suggests that both SFA (Sales Force Automation) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are interchangeably used and deliver the same purpose.

Despite the commonalities we can find in both, there is a considerable number of differences between SFA and CRM.

In our blog, we will be addressing the SFA vs CRM question explaining the major differences so that you can find out which solution your business needs.

Where Did the Confusion Come from?

The confusion arises from the fact that SFA software might have CRM attributes and the other way around, but the fact is:

Organizations employ Sales force automation and customer relationship management systems to serve different purposes.

Another reason lies behind confusing SFA with CRM is that some vendors use these two terms interchangeably. Consequently, clients end up opting for the wrong solution for their business.

It’s worth mentioning that many CRM providers have added SFA features to meet every business need, and unless you want the best of both worlds, you’ll need to define your business requirements and figure out which one of these two technologies can be a good fit.

With that said, let’s briefly make the difference clear between SFA and CRM.

SFA VS CRM: Intertwined but Never the Same

SFA serves both sales representatives and sales managers or “Admins” providing tools to better manage workflow and automate daily mundane sales tasks that consume both time and effort.

Essentially, SFA technology came to streamline the sales pipeline and make it possible to maximize performance and productivity.

On the other hand, a CRM solution focuses more on customers and how they react to sales, besides taking advantage of the provided analytics to optimize marketing campaigns and study customer’s behavior and preferences.

Customer relationship management dedicates individual accounts to store customers behavioral data and contact options, which helps salespersons get to the customers details and understand their motivations behind their purchasing options.

Side by Side Comparison

To put it simply, we list down the major differences between SFA and CRM:

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)SFA (Salesforce Automation)
Focuses on sales operations and team management.Focuses on learning a lot about customers by storing and managing their information
Schedules appointments and tracks visits and callsTracks customer’s response to sales and marketing
Sets actionable targets for sales members, and helps with creating sales orders, tracking reps in the real-time, accepting payments, and generating more salesProfiles customers purchasing history, behavioral information, and feedback.

In a nutshell, sales force automation serves a specific purpose and can be thought of as a type of CRM but does not replace it, nor does it serve the same purpose.

And while sales force automation pours all attention to the sales processes and team management to elevate revenue, performance, and productivity, the CRM system puts spotlight on customers and their behavioral data to better understand their needs.

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