Sales Force Automation Software Market Boom Imminent, Predicts IDC

Sales force automation (SFA) software revenues are expected to make a quantum leap in the new millenium, according to a new report released by International Data Corp. (IDC, From revenues of less than $888 million in 1998, the market will jump to almost $5 billion by 2003, says the report.

The report, Sales Force Automation Software: 1999 Worldwide Markets and Trends, sizes the market through 2003. Forecasts are segmented by market, region, and operating environment. A thorough review of the 1998 market is provided, including vendor market shares.

According to IDC, the market for SFA software is currently in the early majority stage. Companies are looking for ways to retain customers and increase revenues, and SFA software can help them meet their goals.

"Businesses of all sizes are realizing the benefits of automating their core processes, and highly motivated buyers are fueling the demand for systems that manage the entire scope of the sales process," said Judy Hodges, director for IDC's Customer Relationship Management research program. "With the increased ability to collaborate and share information globally, quickly uncover new leads with integrated database marketing, and standardize the selling process and manage the selling cycle, salespeople are better able to manage their activities and spend more time on actual selling."

The United States leads other regions in the deployment of SFA software, accounting for more than 71 percent of revenues in 1998. In the coming years, however, U.S. revenues will increase at the slowest rate, and in 2003, its share will have fallen to 67 percent.

Siebel Systems ( was the only vendor reported to have a double-digit market share in the SFA software market. IDC believes that Siebel is well positioned to extend its leadership in the market into the next century.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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