HomeBlog SiriusView: Sales Force Automation 2014

SiriusView: Sales Force Automation 2014

May 12, 2014 | By Jill Stanek

Sales force automation (SFA) platforms have become the central tool in the sales application toolkit. Their ability to increase sales reps’ efficiency by automating core sales functions (e.g. lead generation, contact management, account management) and move opportunities through the sales process is critical to operations. Sales Force AutomationIntegration with other systems (e.g. marketing automation, sales intelligence, social networking, asset management) reinforces the value of SFA platforms. However, many b-to-b organizations struggle to decide which SFA platform will have the greatest positive impact on their business, or to relate the needs of sales reps to SFA platform capabilities.

Our SiriusView: Sales Force Automation 2014 report evaluates five leading vendors within the b-to-b sales force automation space. The following are excerpts that focus on when to consider each vendor:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For organizations that have a Microsoft technology ecosystem (e.g. SQL Server, .NET) and are seeking native integration with other Microsoft products (e.g. Microsoft Office, Outlook, Sharepoint, Windows mobile devices), Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a viable option. While Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers an intuitive process-oriented user interface, a progressive sales intelligence component and mature partner model, larger organizations that do not have a Microsoft technology infrastructure may want to assess other SFA vendors as well.

Oracle Sales Cloud. Oracle Sales products support key SFA requirements with intuitive mobile and tablet productivity features, embedded analytics and configurable integration capabilities, offering sales organizations compelling functionality. Lower-cost options may be more sensible for smaller organizations that require less integration and fewer advanced capabilities. Existing Oracle customers or organizations that require an on-premise deployment should place Oracle Sales Cloud on their short lists of vendors to consider.

Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com provides a multi-purpose platform for building and deploying customized applications, deep integrations with marketing and sales technologies, and a robust customer community where collaboration and feedback can add value. However, advanced analytic capabilities are limited, and integration with third-party solutions can become costly, depending on the organization’s needs. For cost-conscious organizations or those seeking an on-premise solution, other SFAs are likely a stronger fit.

SAP Cloud for Sales. Where advanced predictive analytics is a critical requirement, organizations seeking an all-inclusive SFA solution may want to consider SAP Cloud for Sales. For organizations seeking an SFA solution that requires deep integration with existing SAP infrastructure and solutions, and a solution that will support end-to-end processes from sales through development on one platform, SAP Cloud for Sales or SAP CRM would be a good choice.

SugarCRM. Cost-conscious organizations that are looking for an introductory, basic SFA should consider the Sugar Community Edition. The paid version of SugarCRM is geared toward SMBs and offers more advanced features then the open-source product as well as a user-friendly, straightforward approach. Organizations with complex integration requirements should consider other solutions.

Jill Stanek

Jill Stanek is a former Analyst in the Technology and Services practice at SiriusDecisions. She brought 15-plus years of experience in information technology, software and research advisory services, including business development, account management, sales, sales operations, pre-sales engineering and systems specialist roles. Follow Jill on Twitter @jschneid18.

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