Comparing SFA (sales force automation) systems from different companies

 What is SFA?

 SFA (Sales Force Automation) refers to a tool for managing the status of negotiations and customer information in sales activities. SFA is a tool  to manage the status of business negotiations and customer information in sales activities, and to improve the productivity of sales activities by converting all information related to sales activities, such as customer information, deal information, and progress of business negotiations, into data and sharing it throughout the sales organization. The difference is that SFA supports overall sales activities, while CRM mainly aims to manage customer information, but recently it is being integrated with CRM.

Definition of SFA

The ability to manage customer information

Sales forecasts (forecast and actual) can be aggregated.

Register and manage progress and daily reports for each case

Visualization of sales process such as the number of appointments obtained and order rate

Points for selecting SFA

Differences between tools (product philosophy, functions)

 There are many SFA products and services, but the basic idea of "streamlining the sales department's operations" remains the same for all. In terms of functions, there are differences in customer management functions, scheduling functions, data analysis functions, and mobile device support. There are also products and services that have a map linkage function to help route salespeople plan their visits more efficiently or stop by existing customers in the neighborhood during their free time, as well as a function that automatically posts to the timelines of the people involved when they report on their sales activities.

Forms of Implementation

 There are two types of SFA: software package products that are installed on-premise and products that are provided as cloud services. On-premise packaged software products can be operated in a closed network within the company, and therefore have strong security aspects such as customer information management, and are highly customizable. Cloud services, on the other hand, are mainly provided as SaaS (Software as a Service), and can be started immediately without the need to prepare hardware infrastructure and with low initial investment.

Price and contract forms

 The price of SFA varies depending on the product or service, but for packaged products that are installed on an on-premise server, the price ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 yen per user. For cloud services, the price varies from a few hundred yen to 20,000 yen per user per month, depending on the service. There are also SFA services that can be used free of charge (free trial) with certain conditions. Some cloud services also require an initial fee of 100,000 to 200,000 yen.


 There are products and services that offer advanced data analysis and detailed reporting functions, linkage with mission-critical business systems, and the ability to import business card information into customer information as options for SFA.

Effects of SFA implementation

Visualization of all processes and information necessary for sales activities

 With SFA, all processes and information of sales activities are visualized, and it is possible to see who is taking what actions. With the introduction of SFA, all the processes and information of such sales activities can be visualized at a glance, and it is easy to take over when the person in charge is not available.

Accumulate and share organizational achievements and knowledge

 With the introduction of SFA, sales managers can check and share information on the sales activities of the entire organization by aggregating and visualizing the sales information entered by each sales representative, without having to go to the trouble of collecting information from each representative. By accumulating and sharing the business results of the person in charge with the highest sales performance as knowledge, and applying that information to another person in charge, the quality of the sales activities of the entire organization can be improved, and the rate of acquiring new customers and making deals can be increased.

Quick decision-making through detection of abnormal values and understanding of business performance

 SFA can detect outliers such as deals whose progress has not changed over a long period of time, deals for which the next action has not been taken, and deals for which the quoted price is inadequate. As a result, it is possible to review the process and analyze the causes of problematic deals and negotiations. In addition, since the performance of each person in charge can be grasped in real time, it is possible for the manager to support the person in charge who is not performing well in sales and take measures for improvement. The SFA also enables managers to make quick decisions by identifying abnormal values and issues in the case.

Eliminate human error and shorten reporting time

 Since SFA clarifies what needs to be done in the sales process, it can prevent human errors such as "I accidentally forgot. In addition, by allowing users to report the progress of business negotiations from their mobile devices when they are away from the office, they can reduce the time required to return to the office and report after sales activities.

Requirements for SFA implementation and how to link with other tools

General introduction method and introduction environment

 The overwhelming majority of SFAs are provided as SaaS-type cloud services. Some cloud services that require initial setup may include services such as pre-installation consulting, coaching on setup methods, and end-user training on how to use the service.

What you need at the time of implementation

 SaaS-type SFA can be used by accessing the service with a web browser, so in many cases it does not require any device. For packaged products that are installed in an on-premise environment, the system needs to be installed on a server.

How to integrate with other products

 Some SaaS SFA products link their schedule management function with groupware, their business card management function with business card software, and their data analysis function with self-service BI. If you are already using one of these, you should check if it can be linked with SFA.

 If you are already using one, you should check if it can be linked to SFA. Also, if you have been using spreadsheets or other systems to manage customer information, daily reports, case information, etc., it is common to import the data in CSV format.

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