Sage CRM and SalesLogix In The Cloud
Sage offers three CRM software solutions—Sage ACT! for small businesses seeking contact management, Sage SalesLogix for small and midsize businesses (SMB) aspiring to full featured CRM objectives and SageCRM for SMBs desiring a native cloud CRM solution.
While SalesLogix is available in a hosted model, that mode is neither its best fit nor the more popular deployment option. Therefore, the bulk of this CRM software review focuses on the Sage CRM (also known as SageCRM.com) product. Because Sage CRM and SalesLogix overlap, we reference SalesLogix at points where that solution differs or offers unique value.
Sage CRM is used by over 10,000 organizations and 3.1 million users in 70 countries in both on-demand and on-premise deployments, making it a strong contender in the small and midsize business CRM market. Sage Group, with its broad portfolio of CRM, ERP and business software products, retains over 6.3 million customers worldwide.
Sage CRM is available in three editions—On-Demand Standard Edition, On-Demand Advanced Edition and On-Premise.
Sales Force Automation
The Sales Force Automation (SFA) suite covers the basics in account/contact/activity/opportunity management along with personal productivity tools such as calendaring and task management. Opportunity management supports territory management, multi-currency, product designations and quotes processing.
The user interface is comprehensive without being intimidating. It's a classic browser-based interface with tabs across the header, navigation menus with images down the left margin and good use of flexible panels to display key metrics such as account lists, opportunities, tasks or calendar appointments. The dashboard panels are better than many CRM competitors—they are customizable by user, display a mix of table and chart views, permit in-panel navigation (such as searching, page sequencing or taking record actions) and most permit drill-down to view expanded data sets. The user interface clearly maximizes ease of use and minimizes user learning curves.
Unfortunately, there is a functional gap between the CRM on-demand and on-premise editions. The Sage CRM on-demand Advanced Edition is missing useful feature sets such as the interactive dashboards, keyword search, customer self service, importing and exporting from Excel, and user administrative management capabilities such as user password policies, field level scripts, table scripts, and the component manager used for adding new entities.
The CRM on-demand Standard Edition is further missing the marketing and customer service modules—limiting this edition to contact management and standalone departmental use. Customers can grow from the Standard Edition to the Advanced Edition when they are ready to achieve cross-departmental or organizational CRM objectives such a 360 degree customer view.
The product suite includes a useful Workflow Management function, however, only the On-Premise CRM edition grants the more powerful workflow functions such as the ability to run escalation rules, SQL statement executions, stored procedure actions, custom scripts or workflow previews. Without these capabilities in the On-Demand CRM editions, workflow is very limited.
As Sage is one of the top two SMB accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendors, it's no surprise that its CRM software offers advantages in sharing back-office data with customer facing staff. Both the on-premise and on-demand software versions support quotes and sale orders with integration to product management. The On-Premise CRM edition displays additional customer information such as orders, invoices and receivable agings as well as inventory information. Unfortunately, these back-office data points are not delivered with the On-Demand CRM software.
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