SFA and CRM both serve different but related set of use cases. The SFA is focused, as the name suggests, on sales process details. A CRM extends that sales process to generate a ‘360 degree view’ of clients.
SFA: Is a tool or platform that is used exclusively by a sales teams to organize and manage contacts and opportunities in a single, centralized view. Additionally, it is also used for forecasting and generating reports to streamline the sales pipeline.
CRM: This tool or platform manages customer interactions throughout the customer lifecycle. This would include transactional data and transactional processing information (orders, deliveries, shipments, A/R, marketing events). The explicit purpose of a CRM is to maintain all data related to a client within a single platform or database cluster, to manage the relationship with that client.
Therefore the use cases for SFA and CRM are slightly different.
There is some overlap between an SFA and CRM platform. Some of the tasks performed by an SFA can be accomplished by a CRM. However many businesses fail to realize that a CRM cannot be used by salespeople for in-depth prospecting, collaborative selling, and contact management.
If you are buying a CRM platform and expect that to perform SFA activities you will need to be explicit with the vendor about the above use cases. In most firms, the SFA and CRM are discrete activities often supported by separate but integrated systems.