Sales Vs Customer Service

Sales Vs Customer Service CRM And SFA: Differences You Need To Know

Zurab Samushia
Sep 3, 2021

When you’re reading about software systems that are connected to customer work, you might meet such names and definitions as:

  • Sales CRM
  • Service CRM
  • Sales management software
  • Salesforce management system.

Are these different? If yes, how exactly? You really need to understand the difference between sales vs customer service CRM and other pieces of software in order to understand, which is right for your company should you use any.

What is sales CRM?

A sales customer relationship management system is a CRM, which is required to automate and streamline the sales processes in a company. Thus, the sales CRM definition would be a CRM system, which is used by sales and marketing teams to sell a product or service to a lead, prospect, or customer. Using this tool, you can also efficiently lead customers through all stages of the life cycle in your company: from a lead to a prospect, from a prospect to a customer.

Using a sale CRM, you reach such typical goals of a company:

  • Automation of the sales process
  • Streamlining communication with customers
  • Forming a unified profile of every customer
  • Segmenting customers and prioritizing their requests
  • Finding out bottlenecks in services and sales
  • Monitoring indices of sales reps and other team members
  • Increasing sales through unification and automation.

What is SFA? SFA vs CRM

An SFA is decrypted as Sales Force Management and it is, basically, another sales CRM meaning. It is a name for a core of functionality and processes, which enable your CRM system to work, and include (but not limited to):

  • business logic
  • description of process steps and requirements within every
  • information workflow
  • rules of administration of interactions with customers
  • various marketing and sales processes automation.

If you look at what SFA is, you immediately realize this is what CRM systems actually are. Thus, SFA is just an old-fashioned name for CRM. Although, it is quite possible that you will meet the voice of adepts of SFA telling that SFA is something that empowers CRM by describing its logic and rules for work. However, we believe that as soon as CRM or any other IT system cannot exist and function without such descriptions within its core, these two notions are actually interchangeable names for the same thing.

What is Service CRM?

Sometimes, sales vs service CRMs are counter-opposed. Actually, a service CRM is a direct continuation of the sales CRM, as it allows doing the work, which is started right after selling a product or service to a customer is finished. Typically, sales CRM functions are:

  • Monitoring contracts’ ending times to renew them (which is sometimes called an AMC – Annual Contact Management)
  • Dealing with customer questions, issues, complaints, and requests
  • Planning and Scheduling cross-sales, up-sales
  • Warranty management
  • Spare parts and change management
  • Forming reporting about customers in real-time
  • Provision of data accuracy through periodic updates
  • Handling issues of a product lifecycle, like delivery, installation, uninstalling, renewal, updates, changes, service repairs, and so on.

So, using a service CRM, you manage the workflows that arise during the client’s lifecycle in your company.

What is sales management software?

Unlike the systems that are used to interact with clients by people in your company directly responsible for that, sales management software is a tool for managers, which allows forming reporting, setting goals and KPIs for employees and their teams, and adopt managerial decisions. Although it does not necessarily have to be a tool (not a description of procedures of paper), it is better to have it under an umbrella of all IT tools of your company since it can scoop much information from CRM systems it is connected to. However, this is not a CRM – rather, that’s some analytical module or separate software with connection to various databases and accounting systems.

Many modern CRMs have a dedicated module of manager functionality, where they can do the things as described, from reporting to defining KPIs. Modern-days CRMs have such functionality as a must for sales reps and contact center employees so they can have access to their personal and department KPIs (to monitor their performance) and form a reporting that concerns clients. In the conclusion drawn below, we are looking at the question of why these four kinds of software should exist in a linkage.

Conclusion on CRM systems

Although a sales type of CRM is a classic one for a system, actually, modern types of CRMs would go father, including SFA, sales management software (SMS), and Service CRM (SCRM) into their embrace to create a full cycle of work with a client. To be frank, it is not enough today to have just one type of tool implemented in your company: it is advisable to have all four of them. But, surely, not as separate systems! Most market offers have these four united under an umbrella of a single solution, which is great for a company as a whole. And – if being frank again – buying and deploying four different systems doesn’t make much sense in terms of cost, time, and work efforts of implementation teams.

The best offers of CRM systems on the market, for instance, Nextiva, Zendesk, Creatio, or solutions by Oracle (together with dozens of other good tools) have the four integrated into one, making them either different modules or simply separate screens of workflows.

So, if you meet separate offers on the market (even from the same company), you should know that someone’s simply trying to sell you old-fashioned products (for a bigger cost), which live out their last days as separate pieces of software. Consecutively, you should go for a unified solution, looking at what the market can offer you. Typically, you should search the functionality of all mentioned above within one solution.

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