Software Advice has released its 2014 Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software BuyerView, revealing some of the trends in SFA software and insights into how organizations are evaluating, buying, and implementing it. Among its findings are that the overwhelming majority of new buyers are looking to cloud-based SFA, which includes CRM software.
The report is based on answers to questions posed to thousands of professionals looking to evaluate and possibly purchase SFA software. The report is a snapshot of 385 randomly-selected responses. Its key findings include:
- 67 percent of buyers were exploring SFA software for the first time
- The most sought-after features are contact and lead management
- 78 percent of prospective buyers were small businesses with 20 or fewer employees
Of the respondents, 67 percent were using "non-specialized methods" to handle their customer relations. These methods included spreadsheets, email only, pen and paper, or even nothing at all. It is, therefore, no surprise that 62 percent of them believed purchasing some type of SFA software would increase their efficiency and improve organization.
Perhaps the most telling revelation is that 96 percent of those questioned said they preferred cloud-based software solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, over on-premise software of the same type. For small businesses, it makes sense that they would prefer cloud applications because they may not be able to afford the infrastructure necessary to maintain their own systems. They might also lack the capex (capital expenditures) for major software purchases but may have the opex (operational expenditures) to pay for a subscription service.
You can read the full report at www.softwareadvice.com.
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By Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics Partner