Sales force management systems are information systems used in CRM marketing and management that help automate some sales and sales force management functions. They are often combined with a marketing information system, in which case they are often called customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Sales force management systems are essentially the same thing as sales force automation system (SFA).
A SFA, typically a part of a company’s customer relationship management system, is a system that automatically records all the stages in a sales process. SFA includes a contact management system which tracks all contact that has been made with a given customer, the purpose of the contact, and any follow up that may be needed. This ensures that sales efforts are not duplicated, reducing the risk of irritating customers. SFA also includes a sales lead tracking system, which lists potential customers through paid phone lists, or customers of related products. Other elements of an SFA system can include sales forecasting, order management and product knowledge. More developed SFA systems have features where customers can actually model the product to meet their needs through online product building systems. This is becoming more and more popular in the automobile industry, where patrons can customize various features such as color and interior features such as leather vs. upholstered seats.
An integral part of any SFA system is company wide integration among different departments. If SFA systems aren’t adopted and properly integrated to all departments, there might be a lack of communication which could result in different departments contacting the same customer for the same purpose. In order to mitigate this risk, SFA must be fully integrated in all departments that deal with customer service management.