Sales Force Automation Software Buyer's Guide
What is SFA Software?
Sales Force Automation software is a particular kind of enterprise software aimed at supporting sales teams. But the market sometimes suffers from a little ambiguity.
A lot of times, Sales Force Automation gets lumped into the category of Customer Relationship Management. Buyers might get SFA tools as part of a greater CRM suite of software applications. But SFA and CRM actually do different things. Customer Relationship Management software is primarily aimed at understanding the client, and developing software for every step of the contact chain between the initial encounter, and conversion or purchase.
See how the top 10 Sales Force Automation Software leaders fare against the most common key requirements
By contrast, Sales Force Automation software is aimed at sales management. Its primary purpose is to help sales teams to understand their processes, and to automate parts of a deal-making process. So there will also be some overlap between SFA and CRM, but they're not the same. However, purchasers may encounter SFA in a CRM product, or as a stand-alone product. They also might see SFA applications folded into an Enterprise Resource Planning product suite.
Things That SFA Software DoesSales Force Automation software analyzes sales processes in detail. An SFA tool might monitor a sales pipeline, map out a sales funnel, or manage different ‘silos’ of customers. These tools might look at call center analytics, or track other kinds of contact with customers. They may be deeply tied into the CRM tools that help tie the company to its customer base, but they’ll also be integrated back into business intelligence tools that serves the sales teams well. So how do you evaluate Sales Force Automation software?
Match SFA Tools to a Company’s NeedsOne of the big steps in choosing SFA software is to choose solutions that match the company's model. For example, many companies are classified as “direct sell” companies. They use sales teams in the field, or call centers, or both. These companies benefit from specifically constructed SFA tools that track these contact points well, and provide excellent orienting information and metadata about these person-to-person processes. Other companies do a lot of selling through specialized networks, e-commerce portals, shopping carts etc. Here, there is more of a focus on developing analytics for online processes and tracking sales outlooks according to the portal and process that is used. Then there are the large companies that do all of the above. They may need more elaborate and sophisticated multi-segmented SFA solutions. One other class of buyer could be called a “small-business” SFA buyer. Many of these businesses use a central customer relationship management tool as its own kind of platform for business intelligence, and it makes sense to fold SFA into that.
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top Sales Force Automation Software
Choose a Connection ModelAnother big consideration is the ways in which SFA software will connect workers to information. There is a big trend towards Software as a Service or SaaS, where data is located in the cloud and gets delivered to businesses over the web. Part of the appeal of this is its scalability and flexibility, as well as the ability to easily port data streams where they need to go. There is also a trend towards mobile-first platforms -- companies that endow each salesperson with a dedicated smartphone or device may want these types of solutions so that professionals can access information primarily from mobile, rather than breaking out laptop or desktop computers. There is also the drive toward integrated social media, where more of what's happening in sales takes place on big platforms like this.
Look for the FunctionalityThe bottom line is that businesses must choose SFA systems that offer them the features that will do what they want SFA to do -- whether that means decreasing costs, developing robust lead platforms, or just learning more about the ways that salespeople connect with customers. In a practical sense, buyers will be comparing features like tracking metrics, secure communications channels and visual dashboards to understand what type of SFA product is best for their offices. Try to take an SFA product for a test drive, and delve into the available features to understand how they'll help salespeople and sales managers out in the real world.
Salesforce delivers an end-to-end suite of products for managing customer interactions no matter what stage they occur in. With a dozen individual products that can be deployed alone or as part of an integrated environment, it offers extensive flexibility based on business needs. Prominent applications include Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud and Commerce Cloud.
Swiftpage’s acquisition of the Act! and Saleslogix businesses creates the strongest portfolio of digital marketing and CRM solutions and a seamless path for business growth. It also creates a powerful team of people around the world, united in their support of every size of business. Saleslogix is the CRM platform of choice for companies strategically focused on customer engagements.
NetSuite CRM+ software is the only cloud solution that delivers a real-time 360-degree view of your customer. Provides a seamless flow of information across the entire customer lifecycle from lead through to opportunity, sales order, fulfillment, renewal, upsell, cross-sell, and support. Delivers quotes, order management, commissions, sales forecasting and integrated Ecommerce capabilities.
SugarCRM is a comprehensive platform for effectively managing the customer lifecycle. A suite of modules provide the tools needed to support each stage of the funnel so your organization can locate prospects, nurture leads, close more deals and retain customers. The program’s capabilities include quote management, forecasting and campaign management.The software supports multiple currencies and 35 languages with the option to develop support for additional languages. The tool also offers a mobile app for phones and tablets. Mobile functionality includes filters, dynamic search, GPS mapping, click-to-text, click-to-call and offline sync for continued access without a network connection. The interface is customizable and the system can integrate with mobile device management solutions.
Creatio (formerly bpm’online) is the most agile platform for midsize and large enterprises to accelerate sales, marketing, service and operations. This platform helps to align data, processes, and teams enabling them to better connect with digital native customers and rapidly adapt. Provides its customers with comprehensive full-fledged applications that can be deployed as standalone products, or as a bundle on a single platform.
i21 helps companies manage core business processes with a single, fully integrated system covering CRM, Sales, Financials, Operations, Customer Care Support and more. Offering a broad range of industry-specific solutions built on top of a comprehensive, core platform i21 software is designed to work the way your business works.
Shape's cloud-based software helps you grow and manage your company with tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers. and automate everyday tasks. Features are tailor-made to solve your unique industry challenges with verticals in legal, real estate, mortgage, insurance, education, hvac, and construction. Explore collaboration tools that facilitate project information sharing within and across departments and user roles.
The intuitive CRM Sales Management tool for small medium sized businesses. Use TeamGram to boost your sales. Manage your sales pipeline, keep track of your customer interactions and never let a deal fall through the cracks.
Spiro is a suite of apps built using AI technology that enables companies to proactively manage their relationships with leads and customers. Users can leverage it for common tasks like lead management and activity tracking. It also provides sales enablement and analytics capabilities.
PipelineDeals is the first sales productivity platform to combine sales engagement and customer relationship management in one easy-to-use application. We make your sales process as organized and efficient as possible. Email your contacts, qualify leads, and get organized so you can spend more time closing.
Designed to integrate with Gmail and other Google Apps, Copper CRM (formerly ProsperWorks) is a comprehensive and easy-to-use platform. It helps small and medium-sized businesses automate core operations; manage leads, sources and opportunities; streamline sales processes; uncover actionable insights; and nurture customer relationships. It enables users to check email threads and past interactions. It also acts as an alternative for goal setting and forecast management, as it converts sales bottlenecks into visible opportunities.
Mothernode CRM is a dynamic, highly expandable system which scales based on a company’s specific business and customer needs.The highly configurable application can be set up to align with a business’s industry, customer requirements and more. As SMBs grow into themselves, additional features and editions can be integrated for continued operations with a boosted level of functionality. No other system within Mothernode's class offers the same number of capabilities that are present in this system. With such a high degree features-to-price ratio, SMBs can take full advantage of a robust set of modules without overextending their budgets.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the tools to enhance sales, marketing and customer service processes and is designed to complement how and where your people work. At the same time, it can operate as a platform to help your organization manage all the moving parts.
Salesforce is the Customer Success Platform. Our social and mobile cloud technologies—including our flagship sales and CRM applications—help companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.
Infusionsoft by Keap is a comprehensive software platform designed to help small businesses save time and grow revenue. Rated as a top sales product for SMBs in 2019, this vendor brings automation and organization to sales and marketing activities. The available toolkit allows small businesses to gain extensive control over their efforts to help form personal, lasting connections with their customers. This product is suitable for individual business owners or small teams looking to scale and handle an increasing task load. The implementation includes a required kickstart package (available in three different price tiers) that helps users get set up with the program and positions them for success.
EngageBay is Integrated marketing, sales, and service software for growing companiesManage your business and customers with our simple, powerful and unified platform for all your Marketing, Sales Service needs.
GreenRope's Complete CRM helps business owners, sales managers and marketers bridge the gap between departments and make data accessible throughout an organization,in one place so your business runs smoothly and effectively with all relevant information a team needs to better target and serve their leads and customers
Based in Chicago, Illinois, ActiveCampaign provides cloud-based marketing services. It’s ideal for businesses of any size, as it offers a flexible, device-agnostic deployment model. It also functions as a marketing-oriented system with different integrations and exporting options to assist sales.
OnContact CRM is a full-featured, mid-market CRM application that delivers the power to cultivate and grow outstanding relationships. Offered as a cloud or on-premise deployment, our award-winning solution comes out of the box with our mobile app and comprehensive Sales, Marketing Automation, Marketing Management, Customer Service and Contact Center functionality for one simple price. No other CRM product on the market includes all this functionality at no additional charge
Hatchbuck is a cloud-based product that helps users automate many of the processes surrounding their relationships with customers. Because of its affordable pricing model and its deployment availability, it’s best suited for small businesses.Its features span across easy email creation, drip campaigns and form building. Additional features such as analytics and contact importation help it stand out from its competitors.
Ontraport provides a cloud-based set of solutions that help small businesses handle marketing and sales processes. Its all-in-one design allows users to seamlessly switch between tasks and access information from a central location.Users can leverage the capabilities to store and track contacts, send multichannel marketing messages, automate sales processes, create landing pages, analyze marketing metrics, engage in e-commerce activities and more.
Nutshell is CRM software that helps small-business sales reps win more deals.Nutshell makes CRM software that is dedicated to helping sales reps be more successful, solving the challenge from which most CRMs suffer: motivating sales teams to embrace it. With its award-winning product and next-door-neighbor service, Nutshell helps small businesses win more deals, more quickly.Nutshell integrates with the software small businesses already use, including Google G Suite/Gmail and Microsoft Office/Outlook. Founded in 2009, Nutshell works with thousands of small businesses and has been named a top CRM for both user-friendliness and affordability.
PlanPlus CRM is an all-in-one Business Software for Collaboration and Customer Relationship Management and includes modules for Sales Automation, Email Marketing, Customer Support, Project Management, Website Integration and Survey Builders.
Lead management is all about customer acquisition, customer retention and a great brand reputation. B2B marketing is heavily dependent on the efficiency of its lead management process. The process of lead identification, tracking and nurturing can now be enhanced with the help of robust lead management software.
Salesboom has integrated document management functionality within the CRM application, giving you the opportunity to build flows for document creation, collaboration and management, all in the context of your business processes.
Unlike most CRM solutions, Pivotal is built on a flexible platform that gives you a customized CRM experience built around your business processes – not the other way around. Pivotal CRM is supported by a full continuum of services that are affordable, easy to use, and configure to any organization in any industry.
Cirrus Insight makes it easy to manage all sales and marketing tasks on one single dashboard. Users can track emails, schedule meetings, set follow-ups and more from one inbox.Salesforce integration provides additional functionality for sales professionals, and 16 certified Salesforce Admins are available to answer questions. An organization-wide deployment model helps align work for all users and teams.
More than just CRM, 1CRM is a Customer Relationship and Business Management system for SMBs. Providing all the tools you need to manage and grow your business within just one online platform. Marketing Automation, Order Management, Service Project Management are just some of the features 1CRM provides. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device, 1CRM is the CRM you need to take your business to the next level.
Salesforce Sales Cloud offers quick and efficient customer relationship management service for looking at things like customer loyalty and customer retention in a personal way. On-demand CRM provides capable birds-eye views of customer relationships, with histories, visual dashboards and more. Diverse CRM application sets work with the central Salesforce platform as a modern option for cloud-based CRM delivering analytics results.
Net-Results enables you to leverage all that your organization knows about a prospect, easily and quickly, to determine what to say next and how to say it. Net-Results is the world's first relevance platform, built from the ground up to help you leverage relevance at scale.
Seismic delivers a unified suite of solutions built to help enterprises facilitate sales enablement across the customer lifecycle. It supports the efforts of marketing, sales enablement, sales and channel teams.Users can leverage it to improve their selling process via digital content management. Features include automation, content delivery, sales analytics, training, engagement and channel sales analytics. It also offers dozens of popular integrations for extended functionality.
SharpSpring touts itself as a simple, affordable marketing platform that automates various functions such as landing page creation and segmented email campaigns.Equipped with a number of standard and unique features, it offers marketing professionals variety and agility in their workflows.
Oracle's Complete CRM solutions offer the broadest and deepest capabilities that help organizations drive sales, marketing, loyalty, and service effectiveness. And in combination with Oracle's Commerce solutions, they deliver a unified cross-channel experience for consumers
The Blitz Lead Management Software is designed to keep you organized and focused on the sales process. Since Blitz is web-based software, it can be accessed from any computer or phone with an internet connection. Sales leads are valuable and by using lead management software, you have a central hub to help keep both management and the sales staff up to date and focused on the same goal – make the sale. Leads can come from websites, mobile devices, spreadsheets, lead providers or just entered manually.
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