2014 Sales Force Automation Buyer Trends

There is a growing demand for effective and affordable SFA (Sales Force Automation) software solutions. But who is buying SFA software, and what are they looking for? According to a 2014 study by Software Advice, a large proportion of prospective SFA buyers are small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, the majority of buyers are considering this software for the first time, and contact and lead management are the most desired SFA software features. They also found that almost all prospective buyers prefer cloud-based solutions and most businesses, especially small businesses, listed improving efficiency and organization as their top reason to consider implementing SFA software. Small businesses are purchasing SFA software at a much higher rate (based on lead count) than medium and large businesses. Small businesses with 20 or fewer employees represent 78% of all companies purchasing SFA software, while medium sized businesses with 21-100 employees only make up 16%, 101-500 employee businesses 4%, and large businesses with more than 500 employees only 2%.

Employee Count of Buyers’ Companies


Of these businesses, about 67%, are considering SFA software for the first time. Up until now, they have managed sales activities using physical paper files, spreadsheets, industry specific software solutions, email providers or specialized email marketing services, or other non-specialized methods. An astounding 22% of companies were not using anything at all to track or document their opportunities, sales processes, and sales reports!

Buyers’ Current Methods of Managing Sales Activities


Contact management, note-taking, and lead management are the three most popular features that prospective buyers are looking for in SFA software. In fact, 93% of businesses looking for SFA software requested a contact management feature and more than half of all companies also requested a note taking feature and a lead management feature to help them track opportunities. Alerts and notifications, calendar integration, email integration, reporting and forecasting, and task management features were also requested by a number of companies.

Most Requested Sales Force Automation (SFA) Features

MostRequestedSFA Features

Almost all companies purchasing CRM and SFA software favor cloud based solutions while only 4% of companies stated that they would prefer a localized or on premise software solution. Companies buying SFA software, especially smaller companies, value the convenience and affordability of cloud based software.

Deployment Model Preference


The top reason these companies reported for considering a SFA software solution among small, midsize, and large businesses alike is improving efficiency and organization. Companies also cited that they are unhappy with their current systems, they needed more or better features, they want something easier, their company is growing, they need better lead management, and they are having integration and compatibility issues with their current solutions.

Top Reasons for Evaluating SFA Software


Based on these findings, it is clear that there is an overwhelming demand for affordable, cloud-based SFA software that provides contact relationship management features and focuses on improving organization and efficiency. Priced right and ready to customize, PlanPlus Online is a truly complete SFA software solution. It is the only solution that combines robust contact and opportunity management tools with a personal productivity engine used by over 15 million professionals. PlanPlus Online is cloud based software that incorporates all of the features prospective SFA buyers are requesting, and many more, and has Professional Services Specialists available to assist clients with the seamless transition into their personalized PlanPlus Online accounts. Go beyond basic organization and build a Culture of Productivity with PlanPlus Online.

When you combine powerful tools with excellent habits, true effectiveness is the result.

Charts provided by Sales Force Automation Software BuyerView | 2014 report.