The Beginning of SFA

 CRM was introduced earlier, but SFA also started to be seen in the US in the 1990s. Until then, office automation (OA) and factory automation (FA) had made progress in automating offices and factories, but salespeople,  who were often out of the office, lagged behind.

SFA is an attempt to support this with IT. The main focus of SFA was to make the preparation of sales reports mandatory and efficient. By doing so, it manages the behavior of sales representatives and gives them advice and suggestions. Also, by creating a database, it is possible to extract know-how.

Next, there is negotiation management. By visualizing the steps in the negotiation process for each sales representative, it is possible to detect stagnation and encourage them to take the next step. Since salespeople tend to be busy with their immediate tasks, managers are supposed to manage and support the progress of negotiations.

In the 2000s, we began to see the convergence of CRM and SFA.

CRM's customer database becomes an important source of information for salespeople; they can approach and send out direct mails based on the information in CRM. CRM is a very important part of sales promotion.

On the other hand, customer information is also accumulated in the daily activities of salespeople. To begin with, customer information is indispensable as the basis of activities. It would be extremely inefficient and unreasonable to separate the CRM database from the SFA database.

Therefore, the CRM/SFA system was born to integrate the databases of both systems. From the CRM point of view, the existing system can be used as SFA by adding functions to register sales reports and negotiation steps. This is also true for SFA; by enriching the customer database of SFA, it can evolve into CRM.

In this way, CRM and SFA will be integrated. Businesses that develop systems are also increasingly offering them all together as CRM/SFA.

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