Trilogix Cloud

SaaS SFA-CRM explained (benefits, tips, processes)



SFA and CRM technologies and platforms, will on average generate benefits which are roughly 5-10 x their overall total cost of ownership, or TCO.  TCO is the deployment of the software and platform, license fees, customisation costs and on-going maintenance and operational costs.  Benefits are usually tangible, including cost reductions and increased sales and market share.  Usually, as a rough figure, the ongoing functionality improvements, infrastructure management and operating costs are 5x greater than the original deployment costs, including deployments that are customised or even green field. (SFA = Sales Force Automation, CRM = Customer Relationship Management)

Cloudifying the SFA, CRM system and using a SaaS and mobile approach is vital for most firms, from the largest enterprises to SMB.

Often both ‘systems’ can be found within the same platform.  Main areas discusssed in this post are:

  • What is an SFA CRM?
  • How an SFA-CRM can impact the sales process
  • SFA CRM Reporting
  • Types of SFA-CRMs
  • Choosing SFA-CRM software

Pro Tip:  Don’t build or buy systems which are over-engineered, hard to change at the code level, or will entice your salesforce to waste time with features and modules, versus selling.  You don’t need to spend millions on an initial deployment to have a streamlined, efficient and relevant sales automation platform.

Pro Tip 2: Reusing material is also a vital part of IP management and consistency – a fact lost on many firms.  Management will need to get involve standardising information sharing, document sharing and make the SFA-CRM system interactive and compelling.

What is an SFA- CRM?

SFA- CRM tooling is software that enables a company to manage and improve its relationships with prospects and customers.  For our purposes, it is focused on sales, including forecasts, realising actual sales, cross selling and sharing intellectual property within the company that is relevant for the sales process.

Why do we need it?

  1. Simplify and standardise the sales approach to support our business processes
  2. Centralise the sales operations and data management (IP)
  3. Improve customer data accuracy and cross- and up-selling
How an SFA-CRM can impact the sales process

By automating repetitive and error-prone tasks, sales CRMs enable your team to put in more face time with prospects and eliminate mistakes. With a strong CRM, your reps aren’t busy with busy work—they’re busy closing deals.

1-Prospecting stage

Very difficult.  Sometimes an art of networking and luck, not just social media and email campaigns.

  • Finding high-quality prospects among numerous leads
  • Getting in touch with prospects
  • Scheduling and confirming meetings with prospects.

With a centralized database of customer information, marketing and sales teams can stay on the same page about prospects. You can customise marketing programs as well (some platforms have a marketing integration at the API level with SaaS based marketing platforms, or inbuilt marketing modules).

In the prospecting stage, a CRM will:

  • Align your lead-scoring parameters.
  • Ensure that leads passed from marketing to sales are high-quality and worth pursuing.
  • Create a central hub for prospect data that’s accessible to all team members at all times.
  • Help you establish credibility and trust with your future customers.
  • Enable a smoother communication process and consistent messaging.
  • Allow you to personalize content and automate follow-ups.
  • Encourage prospects to move steadily down the sales funnel.
2-Lead management stage

Some leads are better than others.  Our sales process training comes into play at this point.  We need to filter them and not spend time with the tire kickers or the confused.  A good lead management process helps sales reps easily see where leads are in the sales pipeline including realistic and good opportunities.

Some Benefits

Being organised:

  • Tracking all your contacts.
  • Organizing and finding customer data.
  • Generating quick and accurate insights about leads.

Automate and repeat:

  • Leads are automatically tracked, scored, and assigned to sales reps.
  • Leads have a responsible, dedicated rep who can guide and nurture them through the pipeline.

Build your pipeline and monitor it:

  • Build a sales process around the customer experience.
  • Prioritize follow-up messages and tasks according to where leads are in the pipeline.
  • Facilitate personal and timely interactions.
3-Contact management stage

The software keeps your contacts organized, up-to-date, and accessible while also providing a central contact database for all reps.

  • Manage the relationships you have with those contacts.
  • Track your interactions with prospects and enhance individual sales and marketing strategies.
  • Ensure perfectly timed and personalized communication with all your contacts—no matter what stage of the pipeline they’re in.
4-Sales presenting stage

For complex cases, a quality demo is crucial to proving why your product or service is the best investment. As given above it is worth repeating.  Reusing material is also a vital part of IP management and consistency – a fact lost on many firms.

In summary, being organised and professional:

  • Reps can stay organized when scheduling and conducting meetings.
  • Reps can readily access their notes during a presentation, enabling them to answer questions right away and recall exactly what information they need to track down for a prospect.
  • Detailed agendas and scripts are on hand to help reps deliver a solid pitch.
  • Customer data is easy to access, giving reps valuable insights into their audience’s pain points, needs, behaviours, and level of interest.
  • Reps can personalize their presentations and close more sales.
5-Closing stage

The software will help with timing, reminders and brainstorming ideas to help close and manage an account:

  • Help reps keep track of timing and tasks that must be completed during closing.
  • Send the quote, get the signed order and track the order through to delivery and receipt by the client.
  • Send reminders about documents that still need to be signed or handled.
  • Create opportunities for upselling and cross-selling by reminding reps to stay in touch about new products and features that fit a client’s needs.
6-Delivery stage

After sending the quote and getting back a signature, we will need to:

  • Track the order and fulfilment process
  • Monitor the shipments, including short shipments or missing items in shipments
  • Be alerted if there are delivery delays so you can notify the client and be proactive
  • Attach orders and order history to the client’s record so you have an historical view of sales and the relationship


SFA CRM Reporting

The platform automatically compiles customer information into real-time reports, which provide insights into how your sales department is functioning as a whole.

  1. Sales funnel analysis

This report shows you where prospects are currently sitting in the sales pipeline and how many are dropping out of the pipeline.

  1. Conversion reports

These reports assess how well individual reps are moving prospects through the pipeline. They can also reveal general conversion rates across your sales team.

  1. Forecasted sales

This report predicts expected revenues by analysing the value, estimated close date, and win-likelihood of sales in your pipeline.

  1. Activity overview reports

These reports provide a breakdown of your team’s activities, including the number of calls made, emails sent, appointments held, and tasks completed.

  1. Goal reports

These reports track your team’s movement toward revenue goals. They can be customized and filtered by pipeline stage, sales activity type, or individual rep.

It’s up to you how granular you want to get with your reports, but one thing’s for certain: If there are any bottlenecks in your sales process or performance issues with reps, your sales CRM will find them.


Performance management and activity tracking

CRMs provide:

  • A quick and precise snapshot of the sales pipeline, so managers can see how sales are progressing.
  • More accurate forecasts to share with higher-ups.
  • Customizable reports that are fast and simple to generate.
  • Correct data so managers can identify where each rep has room to improve.

Sales management CRM software improves efficiency, engagement, team morale, and productivity—all of which ultimately contribute to higher lead conversion rates.


Key Aspects of a SaaS SFA CRM

ERP Cloud

Cloud-based (SaaS)

This platform is hosted on the provider’s servers. It is used as a SaaS or Software as a Serivce.  You use the platform, and the vendor manages all of the infrastructure, code deployments and functionality changes.  It moves the expense to an OpEx model usually in the form on monthly charges.  No capital outlays with this model.



A mobile CRM is a channel into the SaaS platform that allows convenient phone based access. There is less functionality than with the SaaS but it is still valuable and important as a data channel and read access for key reports and client information.


Customisable SFA CRM

A customisable system is an out-of-the-box platform with customisable features designed to fit most business models. This means customizable dashboards, pipelines, reporting, call analytics, and more.

It’s important to note, however, that a customizable platform is different from a green field built SFA CRM which is built from the ground up to exacting specifications and runs at a much steeper price point.



Your reps will be happier and more productive if the sales CRM software you choose is easy to use. A clean, user-friendly interface is important for functionality, and it also fosters a positive user experience. The real highlight of intuitive software is the shallow learning curve—it results in faster time to value.


Integration (APIs)

Key apps including data sharing, should integrate seamlessly with the platform so you can transfer data instantly from one platform to another. For example, a valuable source of customer data can come from the customer service team—such as a buyer looking for a complementary product or more comprehensive features—which can help a salesperson cross-sell and identify common pain points. Every customer interaction with customer support results in actionable data, and a good CRM makes that information easy for sales reps to access.


Choosing SFA-CRM software

This relates to the section above as well.  There are several factors to consider. You will need a business strategy and requirements document with an ROI or reason to invest.  Track the investment and its benefits.


1. How easy is it to use?

A CRM software system may be the most high-tech on the market, but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s too complicated for your staff to understand and operate effectively. CRMs are meant to save time, not cost your team time while they struggle to find the right window or run a report.

Assess how user-friendly the CRM is, and if possible, ask for a demo so your sales team can try it out. Are they picking it up quickly and intuitively? If so, then that solution might be a great fit for you.


2. Is it customisable?

Every company is different and will have specific needs and requirements when looking for the right platform. No software will come perfectly set up for your business; however, the best CRMs are customisable, so you can adjust them to fit your needs.

Look for a system that allows you to add custom fields and lists, set up individualized dashboards, modify the projected sales pipeline, and tweak the general settings.


3. Is it secure?

Ensure all your client information is available on the cloud. This is ideal when your team needs centralized data access, but it also means sensitive data could be at risk. It’s very important to pick a platform that exemplifies strong security standards and adheres to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).


4. Is it scalable?

Scalability could be important if your business is changing or expanding.  Cloud systems more easily scale and should be a primary consideration in this regard.


5. Does it come with personalized support?

Support will usually be a blend of the company’s internal front line support and the vendor.


6. Will it give you the most value for your budget?

ROI assessments should include future license, upgrade or customisation costs. Identify the things your software must do for you. Does it need to be mobile-friendly for sales reps on the go? Does it need to integrate with other software? Focus on the features that you want as well as your budget. Spending less is still spending too much if the product can’t do what you need it to do.