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Differences between MA, SFA, and CRM | Use cases and collaboration benefits of each tool!

Many of you may be thinking, “I don’t know the difference between MA, SFA, and CRM…”

If you understand the difference between MA, SFA, and CRM, you will get the following benefits.

Be able to communicate with stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.) and gain their trustChoose the tools that work for you

Therefore, this time, we will explain the differences between MA, SFA, and CRM, and how to use each tool with illustrations. In addition, we will introduce the linkage between MA, SFA, and CRM and points to note when linking.

Table of Contents 

  • [Illustration] What is the difference between MA, SFA, and CRM?
    • 1.MA|Marketing Efficiency
    • 2.SFA | Efficient sales activities
    • 3.CRM | Collectively manage customer information
  • Use cases of MA/SFA/CRM
    • 1. “MA” for cultivating and selecting prospective customers
    • 2. “SFA” for sharing business negotiations and improving efficiency
    • 3. “CRM” for cultivating excellent customers
  • Advantages of linking MA/SFA/CRM
    • Advantage 1. Can integrate divided data
    • Advantage 2. Data can be visualized in real time
    • Advantage 3. Accurate decision making
  • Points to note when linking | Don’t forget data cleansing
  • [Must read for beginners] 3 recommended books for MA, SFA, and CRM
    • [MA] Marketing automation The strongest introduction method
    • [SFA] What every sales person should know to maximize the effect of introducing SFA/CRM
    • [CRM] Basics of CRM
  • Summary

[Illustration] What is the difference between MA, SFA, and CRM?

MA, SFA, and CRM are often confused, so here we will explain their respective definitions and roles.

  1. MA|Marketing Efficiency
  2. SFA|Efficient sales activities
  3. CRM | Collectively manage customer information

1.MA|Marketing Efficiency

“MA” is an abbreviation for Marketing Automation , a tool that automates marketing activities .

Specifically, it is important for MA to appropriately manage “customer behavior” such as browsing the website and opening e-mail magazines, and increasing the number of hot leads (prospects who are likely to turn into deals) that can be negotiated. Role.

However, it should be noted that MA cannot automate all marketing operations, as it requires human intervention to design the entire marketing plan and create customer journey maps.

Customer Journey Map : Visualization of the series of processes that users follow in their interactions with products and services

2.SFA | Efficient sales activities

“SFA” is an abbreviation for “Sales Force Automation” and is translated as a sales support system. In other words, it is a tool for “visualizing” sales activities .

Specifically, the role of SFA is to “visualize” the progress from the start of sales negotiations to the receipt of an order, and to manage these activities.

3.CRM | Collectively manage customer information

CRM is an abbreviation of “Customer Relationship Management” and is translated as “customer relationship management”.

Specifically, the role of CRM is to create a large number of customers who are highly satisfied and trustworthy of the company by analyzing customer information from multiple perspectives through a database.

Database : Collecting a large amount of data in one place and organizing it so that it can be searched easily

▶︎CRM is explained in detail in this article>>

Use cases of MA/SFA/CRM

By knowing in what situations MA, SFA, and CRM are used, the effectiveness of tool utilization will be improved. Here are some examples of how each tool can be used.

  1. “MA” for cultivating and selecting prospective customers
  2. “SFA” for sharing business negotiation status and improving efficiency
  3. “CRM” for cultivating excellent customers

1. “MA” for cultivating and selecting prospective customers

There are two main use cases for MA.

(1) Acquisition of prospective customers (lead generation) (
2) Development of prospective customers (lead nurturing)

I will briefly explain each.

First of all, regarding “acquisition of prospective customers”, MA can be used to determine the degree of prospect (how much interest is in the company’s services) from the prospective customer’s attribute information, browsing page history, website access status, etc. This allows us to determine the best approach for each potential customer. This will lead to an increase in potential customer acquisition.

Next, for “cultivating prospective customers”, by utilizing the scenario setting of MA, the optimal approach to each prospective customer is automatically implemented. This will increase the interest of prospective customers in your services.

By the way, MA is mainly used in the marketing department.

2. “SFA” for sharing business negotiations and improving efficiency

There are two main use cases for SFA.

(1) If you want to increase the closing rate from
negotiations (2) If you want to share the status of negotiations among sales representatives

I will briefly explain each.

First of all, with regard to “increasing the closing rate from negotiations”, the use of SFA makes the movement of the entire sales team visible, enabling more efficient and effective sales activities. Therefore, it will lead to an increase in the closing rate from business negotiations.

Next, with regard to “sharing the status of negotiations,” anyone can easily grasp the progress of each salesperson’s sales activities by utilizing SFA. Therefore, the status of business negotiations can be easily shared and handed over between sales representatives.

By the way, SFA is mainly used in the sales department.

3. “CRM” for cultivating excellent customers

CRM is used when you want to manage customer information in one place .

Customer information covers a wide range of fields, from the name of the company and the name of the person in charge, to the purchase history of the company’s services, the history of sales approaches, what kind of complaints were made, who dealt with them, and how they were resolved.

Since you can accurately grasp the customer’s needs from the above information, you will be able to make proposals at the optimum timing, which will eventually lead to the development of excellent customers.

Good customers : Customers who purchase frequently and at high prices

By the way, unlike MA/SFA, CRM is used in multiple departments such as the sales department, development department, information system department, and marketing department.

Advantages of linking MA/SFA/CRM

By linking MA, SFA, and CRM, information can be shared more smoothly than using each tool individually. Therefore, I will explain the merits of linking these three tools.

  1. Integrate fragmented data
  2. Visualize data in real time
  3. can make accurate decisions

Advantage 1. Can integrate divided data

As mentioned above, the information that can be managed by MA/CRM/SFA is as follows.

MA : Prospect’s online behavior (e.g. email magazine open rate, website visit rate, etc.)CRM/SFA : Information obtained offline, such as seminar participation history and business negotiation information

In addition, the following effects can be obtained by linking MA, SFA, and CRM.

The sales department can easily obtain information about prospects from the marketing department, so that effective strategies can be formulated before the deal.Since the marketing department can grasp the details of sales negotiations (such as comments from customers on sales activities), it can be used to modify the condition settings for email delivery and create content for web seminars.

Advantage 2. Data can be visualized in real time

By linking MA, CRM, and SFA, you can check the information managed by each tool in one place. This gives you instant access to specific information when you need it, without the traditional wait for weekly reports.

Advantage 3. Accurate decision making

Linking MA/CRM/SFA facilitates information sharing between marketing and sales departments. Therefore, it becomes clear which marketing measures of the company lead to lead acquisition and sales.

This makes it possible to make decisions such as stopping marketing measures that are not very effective and focusing on effective marketing measures.

Points to note when linking | Don’t forget data cleansing

If the data is not cleansed, the same information may exist multiple times, causing problems such as being unable to quantify correctly. Therefore, perform data cleansing when linking tools.

[Must read for beginners] 3 recommended books for MA, SFA, and CRM

So far, I have explained the differences and usage situations of MA, SFA, and CRM, but if you want to gain deeper knowledge, you can also use books. Therefore, I will introduce three recommended books for each of MA, SFA, and CRM.

  1. [MA] Marketing automation The strongest introduction method
  2. [SFA] What every sales person should know to maximize the effect of introducing SFA/CRM
  3. [CRM] Basics of CRM

[MA] Marketing automation The strongest introduction method

This book is a book that explains the method for successful introduction of MA.
It is a great book for beginners as it contains a lot of recent examples.

Publisher: KADOKAWARelease date: March 2, 2018Author: Tomokazu Koike

[SFA] What every sales person should know to maximize the effect of introducing SFA/CRM

This book explains in an easy-to-understand manner what salespeople in the field should understand in order to successfully introduce SFA/CRM. It also introduces how to improve the information utilization ability of salespeople and companies.

Once you have decided to introduce SFA/CRM, this is a book that I would like salespeople to read first.

Publisher: Cross Media PublishingRelease date: April 20, 2018Author: Keiichi HayakawaClick here to purchase>>

▶︎Click here to purchase>>

[CRM] Basics of CRM

Source: Amazon official website

This book explains the necessity and specific methods of CRM, which are emphasized by giant companies such as Google and Amazon.
Since you can learn the essential knowledge of CRM with this one book, we recommend that beginners read it once.

Publisher: Nippon Jitsugyo Publishing Co., Ltd.Release date : 2014/10/23Author: Masashi Sakamoto

summary

This time, I explained the differences between SFA, MA, and CRM, which are often confused, in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners. Understand the differences between each and choose the most effective tool for your company.

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