CRM can it truly help manage your sales in your own way or is it just another clunky Microsoft monster?
December 04, 2013

CRM can it truly help manage your sales in your own way or is it just another clunky Microsoft monster?

Chris Jensen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction

  • It allows your data to be displayed in a way that the average user can view easily and navigate around within in an intuitive way. The way different items, Entities, are tied together and always accessible via links is extremely easy to view a number of records, and a number of different types of records very quickly and easily. It makes managing the data so easy for the IT professional and the relatively proficient user alike.
  • The ability to do Advanced Find queries is a huge asset. They are easy to learn how to do and extremely easy to save, recall, and customize. Once a user learns just a few ins and outs of the method of setting one of these queries up, they can do some powerful queries that someone without database access or knowledge wouldn't normally be able to accomplish. Then the results can be exported into a variety of different formats very simply.
  • The ability to customize your CRM experience is pretty impressive. With JavaScript alone we have worked some miracles with forms showing fields depending on values in others, setting formatting, hiding based upon user Roles, etc. The JavaScript customizations are simple to use and can do just about anything you can think of for a form.
  • Workflows are another great tool that you can use to make things happen depending on values or updates of records or fields. You can do all sorts of things with Workflows. You can send emails, create new records, modify records, set up reminders, etc. These are another powerful customization tool available to users. The beauty of these is that you don't have to be a programmer to understand and use them. Once you get the way they work figured out, and the structure of setting them up, you can do a lot of great things without programming knowledge and in an easy format.
  • You can link to SSRS reports from within CRM. There is a reports section where you can set up various reports that the user can choose from and display, or run, at will. This is a very handy tool as you can create the most complex or simple report and any user can pull it up at will.
  • The ability to set up reports and run workflows from custom buttons from within a record is extremely helpful. You can create your own buttons that can run complex things very simply. You can also display those by user role as well. Again this goes back to the wide array of customization that is possible.
  • Most of the personal customization is done through JavaScript. The way that CRM lets you view the JavaScript is not in a way that you could work or develop within at all. I have to take the JavaScript that exists and copy and paste it to a JavaScript editor. I use Notepad ++. I do my development in there and then when I'm done I copy and paste it back into the CRM screen. Then I have to publish it and see if it worked as I planned.
  • I think it would be much more helpful to have even just a simple JavaScript editor within CRM. The screen you insert this into has no formatting and is tiny. A bigger workspace and a little bit of editing capabilities would be a very nice addition.
  • Some capability of a test environment would be nice. Any changes via JavaScript or workflow is done in the live database. So if I make a JavaScript change and it doesn't work the first time, everyone of the users can see the error right away if they are in the Entity I'm making the change within. The ability to test the customizations without having them be live right away would be a huge help.
  • I am only a moderate programmer. There is an SDK that you can download or comes with CRM. You have the ability to create "Plug Ins" at will. These can be very big and powerful additions or small and helpful. But there is no good documentation that I have been able to find about how to use the SDK. I see references to it online all the time but I can't figure out how to access and use it. It would be nice if there was more clear documentation about how to access the information that is contained within the SDK.
  • The customization capability and truly allowed us to guide our users through the process we want them to follow. We can control an awful lot, and basically hand hold the users along the path we need them to follow in order for our processes to flow in the way we need them to.
  • The customization ability has allowed us to help the users get more processes into the system so they end up having to do less keystrokes and less manual tracking of processes. We can send reminders to supervisors when certain things happen so they can stay apprised of certain record's status, we can create views for users to see in a simple way that can help them manage their work load, we can assist them and give tips a long the way that can help make people's jobs a lot easier.
  • One of our teams was using a spreadsheet to track the progress of a certain type of record. They would insert dates and things into this spreadsheet of when things happened. Now we created a page on one of the forms in CRM that they can click a button and it will put their name and the date and time into another field for them. So rather than manually typing that information in it is accomplished with a click of a button or filling in a checkbox. They and their supervisor can pull up certain views that allow them to see what stage these records are in within a moment or two. We completely removed the need for them to manually track this information and now it available for reporting and managing so much easier than it was before.
CRM has allowed us to keep all of our data in one place that is easy for all users within the company to view. I came into the company after they had been using CRM for about 4 years. They have all said that since we have used this it has helped us control work processes better, it has allowed us to be able to track things so much better, and has been something that has helped unite many processes that used to be all over the place.

We are currently using CRM 4.0 and are planning on upgrading in the next 18 months to the 2011 version. Support for 4.0 is almost all but dried up. Understandably so. Some of the customization we have done, and a plugins we use, are now contained within the 2011 version so we are looking forward to that upgrade.

We use an email marketing company as well, and they primarily support the 2011 version, but their product connects and is integrated within CRM. This is a great benefit as well so that all of our marketing information can be contained in one location.
I was not involved in the set up or implementation process but as a current user I would say that I am impressed with how much we can do within CRM. We have been able to consolidate a lot of processes and streamline many others by working them into our CRM implementation. It is definitely designed for a sales based business. It is to help process, track, and manage the sales process. While we have managed to create many customizations and functions that are spin offs of the sales process, the basic building blocks of the program are to track sales.