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Definition

sales force automation (SFA)

Sales force automation (SFA) software is programming that streamlines the collection, analysis and distribution of data in a sales pipeline.

The goal of SFA software is to get the right data to the right people at the right time, and reduce the number of administrative tasks that sales representatives and their managers have to perform manually. For example, sales reps can use SFA software to set up push notifications when a qualified sales lead visits the company's website and an email nurturing campaign to move the lead through the sales funnel.

Managers can use SFA software to monitor sales people's activity and productivity, and use that information to produce marketing plans and sales forecasts.

Depending upon the size and needs of the sales team in question, SFA software may be purchased as a stand-alone app, a cloud service, or a component of a larger customer relationship management (CRM) software suite. Enterprise-level software is usually designed to integrate with core financial applications and includes sales functions such as contact management, territory management and opportunity management.

SFA software can be developed specifically for a vertical industry's needs, or it can be selected from among the increasing number of sales automation software products, such as Zendesk Sell or Shuttle, a lead collection, tracking and distribution software designed by Lunar. No matter what the delivery model, SFA packages usually include a Web-ready database, an e-mail package and customizable templates. A three-tiered architecture is typically used to separate the database, server, and application to reduce programming demands on clients. A module-based design is generally used, to allow users to customize the package to suit their needs.

This was last updated in November 2018
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