While Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA) are often used interchangeably, they are two different types of software.
To oversimplify the terms, CRM is more focused on customer service for existing and new customers, while SFA focuses specifically on the sales cycle needed to prospect, attract, and sell to new clients. People confuse the terms as CRM solutions can have elements of SFA, and vice versa; but each of these solutions focuses on different tasks.
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Many people associate these two as they both offer sales tracking, analytics/reporting tools and offer customer data profiles, but that is where the differences end. The sales tool within CRM is fine for rinky-dink sales data but is not a tool that can be used by salespeople for in-depth prospecting, collaborative selling, and contact management (a CRM will monitor support issues but generally not other forms of contact).
These two tools can be used interchangeably or considered adversaries but are actually complimentary tools. An SFA attracts new customers and then the CRM solution takes over and ensures that those customers remain clients.
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