Category: Blog

What’s the difference between sales force automation and CRM?

man shrugging his shoulders and lifting his hands in confusion

Many business decision-makers wonder about the difference between Field Sales Automation – Sales Force Automation (SFA) – and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). What do they do? How do they complement each other?

One of the fundamental differences between SFA and CRM is that while SFA looks after the entire sales process and tracks the efforts of salespeople and their face-to-face relationships with customers, CRM is all about customer profiles, data tools, office sales, account management and communicating with clients from a distance ‒ from the office, for instance.

Cutting sales costs is something you can control

External factors that shape the economy aren’t under your control. Skynamo’s all-in-one field sales platform helps sales teams manage what they can control in a cost-effective manner.

The effects of a global business slowdown are evident around us and affecting most of our businesses at the moment. We’ve previously highlighted what sets industry leaders apart in the new normal business environment and what sales teams are doing to build trust in times of uncertainty. When we become too obsessed with ‘doing better’ or ‘increasing sales’, we often overlook creative ways to manage daily business operations in a cost-effective manner.

Don’t “go digital” if it’s not simplifying field sales management

woman looking at digital sales report graphs on her mobile device and laptop

Choosing sales automation software that is the right fit for your business can be confusing. Here are 8 key features that simplify the sales management process and increase sales team productivity.


We’ve recognized the important role the right field sales software plays in simplifying field sales management for our customers. Outside sales teams’ ability to visit customers regularly and improve their sales ‒ even while many health and safety regulations are at play ‒ shows the difference the right technology makes.


Sadly, we also continue to encounter the opposite: outside sales teams opting for manual data capturing and reporting because they’re expected to do their job using software developed for finance teams or inside sales teams. Using the wrong software can be incredibly frustrating, and end up being more of a hindrance than a help.


Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief of Field Service News, in an interview with Koenig & Bauer’s Digitalization Project Engineer after their recent business digitalization, concluded that: “Digitalization is all about taking away unnecessary complexity and facilitating better decision-making by making the processes we undertake simpler and more effective.”


It’s when we see outside sales teams using software that hampers their productivity that we’re tempted to tell business owners and sales managers: “If it’s not simplifying field sales management, it’s better not to go digital.”

Choosing the right field sales software

Here are eight key features we believe makes for ‘right’ field sales automation software, that we continue to develop as central to our Skynamo field sales platform:


Data analytics

Data is fast becoming a fundamental part of every business process. Similarly, within the sales process, customer data needs to be analyzed in order to understand their needs, intent and any future opportunities.


Sales activity reporting

Sales activity history and reports should be easily accessible to help the business and sales representatives keep track of past sales and easily reconcile accounts.


Order and invoice processing

From order placing through delivery to payment, sales software should be able to manage every interaction with customers right from when they place an order or inquire about channel products, to delivery and payment.


Inventory management

The ability to manage and update inventory as products are being sold is a very important feature of sales software. This will help sales representatives to reduce shortage costs, time and out-of-stock administration.


Integration with other software

The true power of Skynamo really comes alive when integrated with your other business   management software like finance packages and CRM platforms. This harmonious connection does away with duplicate data input and errors caused by manual processes, which are time-consuming to use – and to correct.

Also read: Benefits of ERP-sales software integration


Data security

When dealing with sensitive customer and business data, the last thing you want is a data leak. That’s why Skynamo has gone for the maximum data security levels available and is proud of its ISO 27001:2013 standard for information security management systems certification.


Customized form management

You need sales software with the flexibility of a library of pre-designed, templated forms, plus the ability for you to build an unlimited cluster of your own forms – such as health and safety requirements, contracts and signing, and industry insights. This will help you to create personalized sales approaches towards your customers. Sales representatives want to understand customers in an in-depth manner, and Skynamo helps them to achieve this.


Ease of use

It is imperative that the sales software is easy to use. It’s about easily accessed data, at the right place and time, for the sales conversation to be strong and confident.



Digitalization is about simplifying field sales management and helping your outside sales team be more productive. Make sure you choose field sales automation software developed for outside sales teams.

3 factors help sales teams build trust in times of uncertainty

Our data highlights three factors that play a significant role in outside sales teams’ ability to visit their customers regularly, build trust, and improve their sales.


Is it true that more regular customer visits equal more sales for outside sales teams? A Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey done after the 2008 financial crisis indicated that business leaders understood healthy relationships to be crucial to sustainable business success, and that these relationships depend on face-time with customers.