Find the best Sales Force Automation Software

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Salesforce Sales Cloud

Grow your revenue and profits with intelligent sales automation with Sales Cloud. Help every rep be more efficient. Close more deals. Collect cash faster. Boost growth and profit with intelligent automation and integrated tools fr...Read more about Salesforce Sales Cloud

4.4 (18381 reviews)

169 recommendations

HubSpot Sales Hub

Supercharge your sales process with Sales Hub, a powerful and easy-to-use sales CRM that includes sales engagement tools, configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, and robust sales analytics and reporting for growing teams. Optim...Read more about HubSpot Sales Hub

4.5 (458 reviews)

73 recommendations

Shape

Shape's cloud-based solution offers tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers and automate everyday tasks. Shape is suitable for b...Read more about Shape

4.8 (42 reviews)

48 recommendations

Claritysoft CRM

Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM withi...Read more about Claritysoft CRM

4.5 (173 reviews)

36 recommendations

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FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM is a fully-featured CRM that helps your team get organized, gain visibility into day-to-day work, and get more done with a powerful, easy-to-use sales platform your sales team will actually love. Work smarter and f...Read more about FreeAgent CRM

4.7 (72 reviews)

33 recommendations

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol...Read more about Pipedrive

4.5 (2970 reviews)

23 recommendations

Insightly

Insightly is the modern, affordable CRM that teams love. It’s easy to use, simple to customize, and scales with companies as they grow, solving common pain points that legacy CRMs can't. Insightly helps teams build and convert sal...Read more about Insightly

4.0 (656 reviews)

20 recommendations

SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, expertly crafted to enhance interactions with prospects and customers while accelerating sales success. Renowned for its cost-effectiveness, this potent solution enabl...Read more about SugarCRM

3.8 (411 reviews)

15 recommendations

Rolldog

Rolldog is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, with the perks of Sales Enablement all rolled into one. Rolldog helps companies manage their business relationships, increase revenue, and boost sales & marketing effec...Read more about Rolldog

4.9 (27 reviews)

12 recommendations

SalesNOW

SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation solution that allows sales teams, management and executives to manage aspects of sales cycle including conta...Read more about SalesNOW

4.6 (83 reviews)

9 recommendations

monday CRM

Built on top of monday.com Work OS, monday CRM is a no-code, customizable solution that empowers managers and sales teams to take control of their entire sales cycle - from lead capturing and sales pipeline management to post-sale...Read more about monday CRM

4.7 (387 reviews)

8 recommendations

Creatio CRM

Creatio is a global vendor of a no-code platform to automate workflows and CRM with a maximum degree of freedom. Creatio offering includes a no-code platform (Studio Creatio), CRM applications (Marketing, Sales and Service), indus...Read more about Creatio CRM

4.7 (121 reviews)

6 recommendations

Workbooks

Workbooks offers growing companies a SaaS platform to run their business and engage with their customers – at an affordable price. Workbooks designs, develops and implements its own software, which is targeted specifically at mid-...Read more about Workbooks

4.3 (109 reviews)

5 recommendations

LeadSquared

LeadSquared is a cloud-based marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) solution for businesses of all sizes. It serves clients in industries such as finance, e-commerce, education, health and wellness, market...Read more about LeadSquared

4.3 (159 reviews)

3 recommendations

Revenue Grid

Revenue Grid is Salesforce-native customer engagement tool that helps your sales team with guided selling techniques. It covers the full sales cycle from first touch to closing and upselling. Revenue Grid allows you to analyze, ex...Read more about Revenue Grid

3.6 (7 reviews)

3 recommendations

Pipeliner CRM

Pipeliner has revolutionized CRM with our unique visual interface, no-code workflow automation engine, and instant, dynamic insights and reporting.

 This CRM provides both salespeople and sales management with many ways of displ...Read more about Pipeliner CRM

4.6 (215 reviews)

1 recommendations

LeadMaster

LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship man...Read more about LeadMaster

4.1 (37 reviews)

1 recommendations

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers sales and marketing automation tools with helpdesk, analytics and customer support functions. Zoho CRM helps users respo...Read more about Zoho CRM

HubSpot CRM

With its cloud-based, customer relationship management (CRM) platform, HubSpot CRM helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of ...Read more about HubSpot CRM

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign helps small teams power big businesses with the must-have platform for intelligent marketing automation. Customers from over 170 countries depend on ActiveCampaign’s mix of pre-built automations and integrations (in...Read more about ActiveCampaign

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

There are over 100 sales force automation (SFA) software systems on the market. These systems come in all flavors, including:

  • Solutions for small businesses

  • Solutions for large enterprises

  • Solutions for companies that sell through channel partners

  • Solutions for specific industries 

We’ve written this buyer’s guide to not only provide a definition of SFA software, but also to provide a lay of the land for software buyers who are trying to make sense of this complex market. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is SFA Software?

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Benefits and Potential Issues

Market Trends to Understand

The Vendor Landscape

What Is SFA Software?

“Coffee is for closers,” but SFA promises to help the entire team close more deals. Sales management software helps companies manage their reps and their activities. At the individual level, sales automation software helps reps manage accounts, leads, opportunities and customer interactions. Meanwhile, it helps management generate more accurate forecasts and gain better insight into opportunities. 

Core CRM sales software functionality includes contact management, lead management, opportunity management, pipeline management, forecasting and territory management. More advanced systems will include modules for proposal and quote generation, order management, marketing automation, collateral management and sales enablement, scripting, computer telephony integration and social media integration.

Best-of-breed sales database software products such as Sage ACT! or Salesforce.com are often implemented as a completely stand alone system or in conjunction with marketing automation and lead management software. Other buyers choose to implement SFA software as part of a complete customer relationship management (CRM) suite, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Finally, SFA can also be implemented as part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite like Oracle or SAP. Which strategy you pursue will largely depend on your need for the SFA system to share data with other customer management or ERP systems, as well as whether the SFA from your existing vendors addresses your current company needs.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before evaluating sales force automation systems, you’ll need to assess what kind of buyer you are. We believe at least 90 percent of buyers fall into one of the following categories:

Direct sell buyer. These sales management software buyers work for organizations that sell through direct field reps, telesales teams or both. These buyers have the most straightforward requirements and a wide range of providers meet their needs. 

Channel selling buyer. These buyers work for organizations that sell through a network of channel partners. These buyers need specialized functionality for passing leads, registering deals and tracking partner performance.

Enterprise buyer. These buyers work for very large organizations, which often have a wide range of selling models. Their goals include unifying activity across channels and integrating their SFA with other enterprise systems—a complex undertaking. 

Small business CRM buyer. These buyers work for small businesses moving beyond contact tracking capabilities of products like Microsoft Outlook, and want to add capabilities for lead, opportunity, deal tracking and reporting.  

Benefits and Potential Issues

An SFA tool must benefit both managers and the reps. The following are the minimum benefits that should be realized with a successful implementation:

Reduce cost per sale. The critical return for any system is that deals closed increase and the cost per sale goes down. The traditional measures are a reduction in the time from contact to sale, and increase in the ratio of closures to contacts, or an increase in the number of contacts with the same ratio of closures to contacts. 

Increase rep accountability. With formal SFA tools and procedures, sales representatives can see exactly what they are reporting to management. Sales reps can also document lead generation and productivity.

Forecast sales more accurately. Sales contact software can track such metrics as conversion rates from leads to opportunities to closed deals, allowing an organization to more accurately forecast. This is particularly beneficial when combined with historical seasonality information. 

Improve client retention rates. Coupled with other information from a customer management system, an SFA system can ensure that clients are contacted in advance of contract expiration dates. Contact management sales software can also alert the customer rep to any issues with their client accounts.

Gain analytical insight. Sales automation software consolidates and reports on each representative’s activities, freeing the representatives from mundane periodic reporting and allowing them to focus on selling and customer relations.

As with all technology, there are potential issues with sales management software as well. First and foremost is the risk of compromising client privacy, particularly if it's implemented on easy-to-lose (or steal) mobile devices. This can be mitigated through the use of proper security procedures and encryption technology. A second issue is employee resistance to adoption; some people find the tools too difficult, too limiting, or too intrusive. This is generally a training issue. The third issue is a management issue; SFA tools drastically increase what can be measured and managed but that does not mean that everything should be measured or managed. The granularity of management required varies from organization to organization and even from manager to manager and representative to representative.

Market Trends to Understand

These market trends should be considered as you perform a sales force automation software comparison and select a product and vendor.

Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS solutions have become very popular and comprise greater than 50 percent of new purchases. Low upfront costs and little to no hardware requirements are reasons for the uptake in adoption of online sales software that sits “in the cloud.” Another benefit is increased accessibility, which means that regardless of whether you're a Mac or PC, you can still easily access the software. The dominant leader in this market is Salesforce.com. Buyers should evaluate this new model with an open mind.

Mobile applications. Mobile SFA applications are very popular and changing rapidly. The devices your system supports and the attractiveness of its mobile app will be a huge influence on your team’s attitude toward adopting the system. More and more systems provide integration with the major mobile platforms. Some are even Mac-based, with native integration with iPhone/iPad. For reviews of those systems, you can reference our article on CRM and Sales Force Automation for Mac, or our guide on mobile CRM options. While improving rapidly, small factor devices still present challenges—they don’t always do everything their desktop siblings can. 

Social media. Leading SFA vendors are discovering the meaning of social media for business and are capitalizing on developments in that area. In fact, this is driving the emergence of a new market, Social CRM. For example, Salesforce has its Chatter application. Oracle OnDemand interfaces with Facebook, allowing a rep to see if there is anyone they know in common with a prospect. Buyers should consider their social media strategy as they evaluate SFA solutions.

ERP suites offering strong CRM. Solutions from enterprise-suite vendors like Oracle, SAP, Sage, Epicor and Infor have matured—in some cases through acquisitions. Enterprise suite buyers will naturally look to their ERP vendor for customer management solutions, but direct and indirect selling buyers should also consider solutions from these large players. Oracle and SAP are particularly strong in customer relationship management.

The Vendor Landscape

While the sales force CRM landscape is highly fragmented and may at first appear confusing, the available programs are differentiated by their appeal to the different buyer types.

This type of buyer...

Should evaluate these systems

Direct buyer

Salesforce.com, Sage Act, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Indirect buyer

Oracle CRM OnDemand, SAP

Enterprise buyer

Oracle CRM, SAP, Salesforce.com

Small business CRM buyer

Sage Act, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Highrise