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What is the role of SFA (Sales Force Automation) within CRM Software?

Written By: Cliff Ford on February 20, 2011 No Comment

What is Sale Force Automation?

Is SFA just a catch phrase from last century’s CRM library? As it turns out, SFA is now mainstream. Automation is not just nice to have – it is now expected within a CRM software system. In this Microsoft Dynamics CRMpaper, you will discover what Sales Force Automation means and how it is influencing the world of Sales and CRM.


To access the PDF, click here. Here are a few highlights:

Manage CRM Workflow More Easily

Offer customer relationship management (CRM) functionality as a natural extension of Microsoft Outlook client. Manage customer e-mail, appointments, tasks, and contacts from a single business application.

Understand the CRM Customers Better

Create a centralized, customizable view of your customer’s preferences, relationships, and activity history to better understand and meet their needs.

Improve Sales Qualification within the CRM Sales Module

Spend time with the right leads and prospects. Establish consistent follow-up processes and automate sales activities with powerful system workflow.

Increase CRM Sales Success

Shorten the sales cycle and improve win rates with lead and opportunity management, automated lead routing, sales process management, and competitor tracking.

Keep Customers Informed

Use simple, wizard-driven sales and marketing features to keep your sales prospects and customers informed of new product and service offerings.

Analyze Sales Performance within CRM Dashboards and Reports

Use flexible reporting to forecast sales, measure business activity and performance, track sales and service success, and identify trends, problems, and opportunities.

Drive Successful Customer Interactions – with top quality a CRM User Interface

  • Work in a familiar user interface: Manage and monitor all your interactions within a single business application. Automatically synchronize Office Outlook 2007 e-mail, calendar, tasks, and contacts with your Microsoft Dynamics CRM database. Automatically convert e-mail messages into contacts, leads, and opportunities.
  • Target your communications: Use customizable templates to create and send e-mail messages to targeted prospects and customers. Quickly create and send communications using Microsoft Office Word 2007 Mail Merge.
  • Work away from the office: Access robust functionality offline or work from virtually any location using the Web client or a wide variety of Pocket PC devices with Microsoft Windows Mobile® software. Update records, study customer data, carry out analysis, and print quotes even when working offline.
  • Improve data quality: Automatically detect and remove duplicate records to ensure the quality of your customer data.
  • Do business globally: Compete effectively for global deals and track sales information in multiple languages, currencies, and time zones seamlessly.

Gain a Comprehensive CRM View of Sales Data

  • Gain a complete view of the customer: and manage account activity and history, including contact information, attributes, meeting notes, attachments, communications, open proposals, and purchased products.
  • Find information quickly: Use Advanced Find and global search to instantly zero in on key nuggets of information.
  • Make the right offers: Effortlessly track all interactions, offers, orders, contracts, and relationships associated with your account so that you can offer the right product or service at the right time.
  • Uncover hidden opportunities: Intuitively track relationships between customers, partners, influencers, and suppliers so you can uncover new opportunities. Understand and leverage complex business scenarios with enhanced support for many-to-many relationships.

Manage and Automate Sales Processes

  • Improve lead handling and routing: Easily promote qualified leads to new opportunities with a single click. Automatically deliver the right lead to the right person according to product, territory, dollar amount, or any other criteria.
  • Manage quotes and orders: Easily create quotes, convert them to orders, then track and manage them throughout their life cycle from proposals to invoices.
  • Manage territories: Create territories for salespeople, enabling them to manage and evaluate territory-based sales processes and results.
  • Manage sales and marketing lists: Import purchased lists to fuel your sales efforts. Measure effectiveness and maintain lists for annual sales campaigns.
  • Manage contracts: Easily add, edit, and track contracts associated with individuals or companies, including maintenance contracts and renewal notifications.
  • Ensure sales methodology relevance: Initiate, track, and close sales consistently and efficiently with workflow rules that automate sales stages, lead routing, notifications and escalations. Empower salespeople to create their own workflows with workflow tools designed for end users.

Communicate CRM Information Effectively

  • Create campaigns quickly: Use wizard-driven tools to keep your customers informed and aware of your new products and services.
  • Track competitors: Maintain detailed information on competitors associated with opportunities. Track competitor activity by product, region, or other criteria.
  • Keep a product catalog: Work with a full-featured product catalog that includes support for complex pricing levels, units of measure, discounts, and pricing options.
  • Manage sales literature: Create, manage, and distribute a searchable library of sales and marketing materials, including brochures, white papers, and competitor information.

Transform Information into Sales Intelligence with CRM Dashboards and Business Intelligence

  • Generate and use reports: Create, view and sort a wide range of reports to identify trends, measure and forecast sales activity, track sales processes, and evaluate sales performance. Easily share reports with co-workers.
  • Make data relevant: Create insightful and focused dashboards for executives and top constituents that adeptly highlight key sales metrics and performance indicators.
  • Track pipelines: Execute complex pipeline queries easily so you can gain insight into leads and opportunities at every stage of the sales cycle.

Free Download - CRM Excel Tool - TCO CalculatorFree Download: CRM TCO Calculator

With this tool, you will be able to compare the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of more than 10 of the top CRM systems.

The comparison calculator includes the following CRM software systems: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Saleslogix, Sage CRM, Sage ACT, and more…

You will be able to plug in your numbers and compare the results between various CRM systems. This tool was created by CRM professionals – and is now available to our readers.

With this tool, you will be able to identify the key TCO line items that are relevant for any CRM implementation. We have also included data for comparing CRM software systems such as Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix and more. You will be able to view the 3 Year and 5 Year Total Cost of Ownership for both SaaS (Online/On-Demand) and Licensed (On-premise) pricing models.

TCO line items include:

  1. License/User price
  2. Support
  3. Mobile
  4. Hardware (incl. Server and Users)
  5. Network
  6. Rollout/Implementation
  7. Staffing
  8. and more…

Click here to access and download the CRM TCO calculation and comparison tool.

Free Download - CRM Excel Tool - CRM Feature ComparisonFree Download: CRM Feature Comparison

With this excel tool, you will be able to compare the features and details of the top CRM systems.

You will be able to compare and evaluate the following CRM business software systems: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Infusion, Goldmine, Saleslogix, and more…

CRM evaluation topics include: Matrix of Features, Price/Licensing, Available Entities/Modules, Network/Hardware Platforms, and more…

You will be able to view the pros and cons of these CRM solutions side by side – and compare the strengths and weaknesses of these various CRM systems. This tool was created by CRM experts – and is now available to our readers.

Using this Excel spreadsheet tool, you will be empowered to recognize the chief differences between almost 10 of the top CRM systems, including Sage SalesLogix, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Pivotal, GoldMine, Sage ACT! and more.

CRM Comparison Topics include:

  1. CRM Features
  2. Costs and Pricing (Licensing, etc..)
  3. Entities and Modules (e.g. SFA, Marketing, Service, etc)
  4. Feature Details (Sync, Call Center, Quoting, E-commerce, Lead Management, Security, Workflow, and much more.
  5. Network and Hardware (Microsoft, Linux, etc…)
  6. NAICS and Industry information

Click here to access and download the CRM Comparison Excel spreadsheet comparison tool.

Comparison Webinar: Microsoft CRM 2011 vs Salesforce.com

This comparison between Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will assist you in your CRM evaluation. To view the on-demand webinar, click the image below.

CRM Webinar - Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce.com

Locations for CRM Consulting and Training

We encourage you to sign up for our CRM Newsletter. We also suggest going directly to websites such as Microsoft CRM, SugarCRM, Saleslogix as well as CRM implementation partners in your area. If you need assistance in finding the best CRM implementation partner in your region, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Simply fill out the form and detail your message in the “Message” field. We have CRM partners in all regions in the United States, including the following cities: San Jose, California, Detroit, Michigan, San Francisco, California, Jacksonville, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, Austin, Texas, Columbus, Ohio, Fort Worth, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, Boston, Massachusetts, Baltimore, Maryland, El Paso, Texas

Read More…

Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM Portals will make your life better … – … Management is happy because the data is accurate and timely. Everyone is happy because CRM adoption and satisfaction scores are significantly higher. Join us on our next webinar this Thursday http://linkd.in/MT7oXh …

Consider Lead Nurturing When Looking To Boost CRM Adoption … – Consider Lead Nurturing When Looking To Boost CRM Adoption Rates. posted by Chuck McMurray in CRM Blog on June 19, 2012. In the past few years companies have been promised that Sales Automation and CRM technologies will truly …

About the author

Cliff Ford Author: Cliff Ford. CRM Solution Comparison has provided CRM cloud software reviews and evaluations for several years. Our staff of CRM certified partners implements, tests and uses the various systems discussed within this blog. We have created a number of excellent CRM comparison and evaluation tools that we provide our readers. Google

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