It is interesting that you bring this up, because on the sales side in particular, there has been a historic weight toward sales management tools for CRM/SFA such as sophisticated pipeline management, etc. but less thought had been going into the actual benefits for the salesperson-user. SalesLogix is one vendor that has seriously begun to revamp their applications toward the user, without losing the sales management components. They are calling it sales automation rather than sales force automation, but regardless of what the difference in terms is (I don't know), the orientation toward providing better tools for the actual sales person is there.
On the marketing side, EMA tools have historically included a significant amount of analytic tools for the segmenting of the customer base. However, where there had been a problem, wasn't in the ability to provide the information, but the presentation of the information for the ordinary marketing soul out there. Unica did a great job by creating an extremely user friendly interface that made drag and drop an art for providing segmentation as a visual pleasure! SAS has the tools to do this, but are still working on their user friendliness. They have by far the best actual analytic tools but a bit to go with user warm and fuzziness.
If you need to talk more about it, or I'm simply not answering your question, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be happy to elaborate.
This was first published in September 2002