Lauren Carlson of Software Advice has written up a very interesting synopsis of the evolution of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Sales Force Automation (SFA). The article boils down the progression to four major milestones, or tipping points, that made the technology more useful, accessible, and ultimately easier to adopt:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery: pioneered by Salesforce.com in 1999.
- The Cloud: it’s a bit difficult to differentiate between this and the advent of SaaS, but I’d agree with the commentary. I’d describe this tipping point as “Platform Interoperability” enabled by the cloud. The fact that the sales force now has ubiquitous access to SFA applications via any platform - PC or mobile.
- Analytics and Marketing Automation: this is a key evolution point that makes all that laborious data entry worth while!
- Sales Process Improvements: As well as closing sales quicker, we want to do it more efficiently. Improvements in processes enables closer relationships with customers, and also lowers the overall cost of sales. This last point is crucial as markets and customers become more geographically dispersed.
This post was written by James Colgan on December 22, 2011