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Evaluating sales force automation (SFA) software based on business requirements

Before you evaluate sales force automation (SFA) software, be sure to have good business requirements in place, Liz Roche cautions in this expert tip.

We're just starting to evaluate salesforce automation (SFA) products. What are the major SFA vendors or products that we should start with?
Before you evaluate sales force automation (SFA) software, be sure you have good requirements. And by requirements I don't mean technology requirements. I'm talking about good business requirements that of course encompass the needs of the sales team, but also take into consideration the extended enterprise specifically around sales leads and customer service. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you should implement "standalone" for Phase 1 and then integrate later. Making sales more efficient and effective means working with all the other players in the enterprise that touch the customer.

Assuming you've done all that well, I suggest first determining which model will work best: on demand CRM vs. on-premise CRM. Then determine if you're looking for a integrated CRM software suite that has sales functionality (e.g., Oracle's Siebel, SAP CRM, Microsoft CRM) or something that is much more sales-specific (e.g., SalesGenie, Onyx, Pivotal). Really the best place to look for a comprehensive "long list" is in SearchCRM.com's topic section on evaluating CRM software.

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