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Mobile Sales Force Automation (SFA) Markets

  • April 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 73 pages


Table of Contents

Prepackaged Mobile SFA Offerings in the North American Sector

The North American mobile sales force automation (SFA) market is in a state of flux. These solutions extend SFA, and sometimes, other customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities to a sales employee's smartphone and/or tablet, enhancing customer engagement opportunities and improving employee productivity. Growth is being driven by clear ROI benefits, sophisticated mobile device technology, and sales and marketing executives in search of competitive differentiation. Metrics include user and revenue forecasts, pricing projections, and market opportunity sizing. Segmentation is available by distribution channel. The forecast period extends from 2010 through 2017, with 2012 serving as the base year.

Executive Summary

• The North American mobile sales force automation (SFA) market is in a state of flux, with traditional desktop customer relationship management (CRM) providers realizing that mobility is a key requirement but still not quite sure how to design and price mobile access to their systems and information. At the same time, they are facing pressure from standalone mobile-centric sales application developers that promise more affordable pricing and a significantly easier implementation experience.
• In 2012, annual mobile SFA application revenue totaled $Xmillion. North American revenues are expected to grow to $X billion by 2017, with a CAGR of X percent.
• Major participants SAP AG, Oracle, and Interchange Solutions are expected to remain revenue leaders throughout this study’s forecast period. Others are expected to discontinue charging separately for mobile access and therefore drop out of the forecast.
• The direct sales channel is the primary avenue to prospective customers. Systems integrators, mobile platform providers, and the wireless carriers are also increasingly being utilized as distribution partners, especially by those vendors interested in targeting the small and mid-sized business (SMB) sector.
• Factors restraining the development of the mobile sales force automation market focus on customer concerns regarding implementation costs, the security of corporate and company data, and anticipated back office integration difficulties. Limited participation from the wireless carrier channel is also dampening mobile SFA uptake in the small and mid-sized business market.
• Despite these common concerns, many businesses are ready to make an initial purchase and over half of current users plan to expand their current mobile SFA deployments. The annual Frost & Sullivan mobile enterprise applications survey continues to reveal a strong level of interest in this solution category, high satisfaction when deployed, and straightforward return-on-investment (ROI) impacts.
• Vendors understand that it is the Sales and Marketing department that has the money and the motivation to purchase mobile solutions for its field sales personnel. This lead organization then brings IT and other necessary parties to the discussion.
• Product features are expected to continue expanding. Traditional CRM vendor pricing strategy (fee or no-fee?) is also expected to be largely resolved within the next year.

CEO’s Perspective

1. Mobile software solutions for workers are becoming ubiquitous in North America, and mobile SFA solutions are a top choice for near-term implementations.
2. Annual revenues are in a state of flux, with some traditional CRM vendors starting to provide mobile access to their systems for no additional charge.
3. Purchase decision-making is often led by the customer’s Sales and Marketing organizations, not the Information Technology (IT) department.
4.Most wireless carriers have not committed to this category, even though top-tier solutions exist for the SMB market.


The Market:
The mobile sales force automation application category encompasses those software solutions that extend SFA and sometimes other CRM capabilities to a sales employee’s smartphone and/or tablet. These solutions allow mobile sales employees to access calendar, contacts, and customer/company data to perform contact and order management functions away from the office. This is an employee-facing mobile solution category.

The Region:
This study addresses the North American marketplace, which includes the United States and Canada.

The Forecasts:
Because the mobile enterprise application is a service, the usual “unit” terminology does not apply. Instead, a key metric is the number of individual users or subscribers.
The prepackaged solutions discussed in this study can be hosted and, therefore, are available at a monthly per-user price point. They may also be available on a license basis. Discounts for volume and term commitments are often available.
Forecasted mobile sales force automation revenue is defined as the revenue collected by the channel for the user’s right to experience a mobile SFA solution. Only the application software revenue is included. The average price is calculated by dividing the total application revenue by the number of users.


B2E Business to Employee
CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
CPU Central Processing Unit
CRM Customer Relationship Management
HQ Headquarters
HTML5 Hypertext Markup Language revision 5
IT Information Technology
MSFA Mobile Sales Force Automation
MEAP Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform
OS Operating System ROI Return on Investment
SaaS Software as a Service
SDK Software Development Kit SFA Sales Force Automation
SMB Small and Mid-sized Business
SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
TCO Total Cost of Ownership

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

• In what stage of development is this market? What is the anticipated level of expansion during the next four to five years?
• What are the challenges faced by the mobile sales force automation vendors in this market? What are the trends driving this market?
• What are the most effective distribution methods in the mobile sales force automation market, and will they continue to dominate? How are channel roles expected to evolve?
• Who are the top participants in the market? What are the major drivers behind sales success? Is the market ripe for acquisitions?
• How are mobile sales force automation solutions viewed, in terms of business necessity, by prospective customers?

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