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Sage CRM and Social CRM Review

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Sage Marketing Software

As is common in the SaaS CRM software industry, the Sage CRM marketing software is light. It includes basic campaign management functionality such as campaign profiles with various attribute information, simple budgeting, customer segmentation, list management and target list generation, dynamic and static group management, broadcast email distributions with response metrics (i.e. open, click and bounce rates), mail merging, document drop capabilities, outbound call handling and basic campaign reporting.

The release of Sage CRM version 7.1 in June 2010 upped the marketing capabilities, to include enhanced email marketing, such as email campaigns with a new 3 step marketing wizard, new web forms for collect reader feedback, over 90 email templates to draw from, advanced scheduling of email distributions and a results tab for displaying email delivery metrics such as emails opened, clicked-through and bounced.

The marketing software is largely a campaign tracking function that provides little in the way of marketing process automation. The marketing application is missing some fundamental functionality such as PPC (Pay Per Click) integration, web-to-lead record inserts and flexible lead distribution. The CRM software is also missing more advanced marketing features such as digital marketing, anonymous website visitor tracking, lead scoring, progressive profiling, nurture campaigns and rich marketing analytics.

In fairness, these advanced marketing functions are found in very few SaaS CRM systems. More often than not, these more sophisticated marketing capabilities are acquired by procuring a separate lead management system such as Eloqua, Marketo or Pardot.

Sage Customer Service

The customer support software provides customary case management functionality of incident creation, assignment, escalation and closure. Case listings display incident severity along with a color coded indicator signifying conformance or risk of non-compliance with service level agreements. The case management process is streamlined for heads down data entry efficiency, permits flexible escalation rules and includes a keyword-based knowledge base for search and resolution assistance. A customer self-service portal is available for incident creation, status monitoring and access to pre-defined content.

Despite Sage's accounting and ERP products and integration to CRM, there is no link between customer support and the back-office software for business processes such as inventory verification, serial tracking, product warranties, shipment tracking or returns processing.

For simple call centers or help desks, the On Premise edition includes basic routing and computer telephony integration (CTI) with inbound screen pops. More sophisticated contact centers requiring multiple channel support and advanced contact center functionality such as unified communications, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), call routing based on workflow rules, call recording and interaction tracking and various other tools routinely used in contact center operations will likely not find this CRM customer support software adequate.

Sage Social CRM

The Sage CRM dashboards include a panel to retrieve LinkedIn contact information for prospects or customers. Sage uses simple social feeds to display social content such as contact information from Twitter and LinkedIn profiles embedded in an I-Frame.

More advanced social CRM tools such as social monitoring, peer to peer online communities, internal or private social networks and flexible social networks integration are not available with Sage CRM.

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