Don’t settle for SFA (Sales Force Accounting)

2 minute read


A sales person recently contacted me in response to a previous post on Sales Performance Automation (which in my opinion is the appropriate direction for Sales Force Automation). Apparently, he and he his colleagues were so disillusioned by their company’s CRM system, and the ‘use it or else’ dictat from management, that they had invented a new game called ‘What does CRM/SFA really stand for?’. Some of the explanations of the acronym couldn’t be published here, but here’s a sample:

  • CRM: Can’t Really Manage
  • CRM: Certainly Retards Motivation
  • CRM: Corporate Reporting Machine
  • CRM: Covers Real Mediocrity
  • CRM: Constant Resource Misuse
  • SFA: Sweet F.A.
  • SFA: Sales Fail Anyway
  • SFA: Stupid Featureless Application
  • SFA: Slowly Funds Abate
  • SFA: Software For Admins

I’m not sure that this is a sales team that is hugely motivated to use the CRM system (or for that matter, hugely motivated to do anything), and spending time creating explanations for acronyms isn’t terribly productive, but it is time to demand more of the CRM system than is routinely provided. Sales people shouldn’t be asked to be data clerks and more effort needs to be spend on providing some value to the sales person in return for the effort expended.

Here’s the minimum requirement:

  1. Sales process and methodology should be built into the CRM
  2. The software should help the sales person qualify deals, and provide strategic guidance to progress qualified deals.
  3. Context sensitive coaching should be built-in, so that the sales person can learn on-the-job.
  4. Accurate sales forecasts (based on accurate data entry) should be automatic, so the sales person does not have to spend more selling time building forecasts.

It’s time to speak up and demand a system that entices you to use it because it helps you make more sales. If you settle for less – you will get less.



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