A review of how SAGE CRM is still relevent and up to date after 10 years in operation
February 07, 2015

A review of how SAGE CRM is still relevent and up to date after 10 years in operation

Gary Perkins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review

Software Version

Sage CRM On-Premise

Overall Satisfaction with Sage CRM

We became engaged with SAGE CRM in 2004, so now been using it for 11 years. Whilst we have used and demonstrated and recommended on for Sales and Marketing, our initial usage for ourselves focussed around the powerful Help Desk or Case Management features and this was introduced to fill a hole in our existing CRM system at the time which didn't have any case management functionality.
Since SAGE CRM is browser based, all our team can use it from home or wherever they are in the field and this has been great when working with a number of freelancers who can be assigned just the case they are working on.
Because of its workflow capabilities, we received an instant positive feedback from clients who started to receive polished formatted emails giving details of their logged case and where it is in the system. This has in my view been a key factor in improving customer satisfaction over the years. More importantly, it means that our clients are confident that their issue or request is 'in the system' and thus do not need to chase us or when and if they do, they use their Case Number to refer to.
  • SAGE CRM is a very clean and easy to use interface and easy to navigate around. Users seem to instantly understand with very little training where they are in the system, which is not always true of other system we have used in the past. The Key sometimes is removing 'clutter' for that user.
  • Sales and Sales Manager tend to find it is very intuitive and since it is flexibly with its design, we have created various extra option to improve sales peoples management of Contracts, Events and even Samples, saving and eliminating multiple spreadsheets.
  • Case Management and workflow capabilities together with the ability to offer Self Service and embed into your website has been very powerful and a number of client have found this can save them tremendous time. Adding in automatic notifications through a powerful workflow capability can save hours of time for the Users
  • Flexible Reporting using a wizard approach means that the system is easy to train on and for users we find that they embrace this even more since they feel an ownership for the CRM system, something that all CRM User aspire too.
  • Flexible licencing and Editions. Not always well known, but SAGE CRM has two editions (somewhat confusing) the Cloud or SAGE CRM.com doest use the same naming convention, but these are Standard And Advanced Editions. However, in particular, there is a Concurrent Licence option, albeit at a premium, but we once saved a client over £14000 on a 50 user system when they migrated to SAGE CRM Concurrent from their existing Named Licence CRM system, paying for the complete migration in year One
  • In my view, there is no such thing as perfect software, it is always evolving and one area which I think would have been useful is the addition of a Contract Entity. Having said that, when needed it is actually once scoped quite a straight forward addition.
  • More third party integration focus is needed, although there is now email marketing integration with Swiftpage, at long last, MailChimp integration is now going to be available in the next release (SAGE CRM 7.3) and this will open up more opportunities. Continuing on this theme, further integration options are needed still in my view
  • The Look and Feel of SAGE CRM could do with a refresh, although this is coming, this is double edged sword, since the look hasn't changed since 2004, this has meant it is easy to train on (you can do themes) and users don't get confused with upgrades. Like all software, you need to have a contemporary design feel to help users, for example pencil icons used now for edit and gear icons for changes
  • SAGE CRM has improved both our overall customer service in this particular area, but helping to automate email notifications, resulting in less client chasing of a case and also giving the client visibility on who is dealing with their case or issue and the expected time-scale for completion.
  • The ability to do self service and raise a case on our website enhanced our customer service image, but more importantly meant that clients completed all the key details when filling in a request. So. whilst clients liked the 24 X & capability to log a case, once we deal with it, we often has a lot more useful information and were many times able to close the case quicker.
  • In addition, maintaining the focus on Customer Service, the ability to create Solutions with common fixes has meant that first line staff can search for a Solution first, closing the case quicker before the need in many cases to escalate to a 2nd Line consultant. The best example of this is that I myself had a Customer Call one Christmas Boxing Day (26th Dec.), a Bank Holiday in the UK, but client had my mobile. Luckily, although, I was at my in-laws, I could dial onto SAGE CRM, then checked for a solution and was able to help the customer restart their own 24 x 7 service.
  • GoldMine,Microsoft Dynamics CRM,Maximizer CRM,Zoho CRM,Swiftpage ACT!,Salesforce.com,Pipeliner CRM,sales logix
Whilst SAGE CRM was selected around 10 years ago and we became a partner, the main contenders would have been at the time Sales Logix and MS CRM 4.0. However, we had extensive experience of the mid-market CRM's and decided on SAGE CRM since it had a clean, easy to understand interface and importantly offered both workflow automation and Self Service capability, all of which across both the Case and Sales and Marketing functionality was seamless and saved time. As it was pure browser based, access was from anywhere we wanted.
In my view, SAGE CRM still stacks up well against all the other mid-market CRM systems and offers good value for money, but more importantly, it is an easy to operate and customisable solution which user like. Again, we can teach administration users very quickly to support and customise themselves since the admin. function are clear as well.
Having spent a long time now in the software industry, there is no one size fits all I have learnt, but having said that, SAGE CRM is a very adaptable and easily customised product that it can fit in a variety of situations and markets. The key in my view is ensuring that the software is a good match and sometimes the look and feel is important in gaining ownership. Sales and Marketing Departments find it easy to use as do Help Desk and it is a strong contender in many projects we are involved with.

Sage CRM Feature Ratings

Customer data management / contact management
Workflow management
Territory management
Opportunity management
Integration with email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail)
Contract management
Quote & order management
Interaction tracking
Channel / partner relationship management
Case management
Call center management
Help desk management
Lead management
Email marketing
Task management
Billing and invoicing management
Pipeline visualization
Customizable reports
Custom fields
Custom objects
Scripting environment
API for custom integration
Single sign-on capability
Social data
Social engagement
Marketing automation
Mobile access

Evaluating Sage CRM and Competitors

Yes - We reviewed SAGE CRM at the time against GoldMine, which had no Case functionality then and has limited Case functionality and customisation now,and also against Sales Logix and MS Dynamics CRM, both of which required significantly more knowledge to customise and were in our view, too complex for our list of requirements.
The key thing was SAGE CRM was browser based, so we can logon from anywhere.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
What most appealed to use after having worked with other CRM application was that SAGE CRM Product Usability was very clean and intuitive. All our user really picked up from the easy navigation how to create records or cases or sales opportunities very quickly.
The overall areas and design meant that training was easy as well since the core concepts are easy to embrace, but possibly the two extra features of Self Service embedding with the website and a graphical Workflow Automation tool meant our technical people were very impressed.
This is a tough question, but here we are, 10 years after choosing SAGE CRM and whilst there are a host of alternatives for mid-marketing companies, my thoughts are that SAGE CRM still offers good value and functionality.

Our criteria are still pretty much the same in terms of value for money, good product set and also good workflow functionality. The only issue possibly in todays market is more integration option with some of the other tools now becoming available, although this is set to improve we understand. The key was that we had a good set of requirements which were documented down.

More importantly, since the product has two editions, this gave us an ability to use a stepping stone approach to the Advanced Edition which has everything is contained within it including Cases, Solutions and Self Service and Advanced Marketing functionality. There are no extra modules, so we know our costs are fixed.

We are now eagerly awaiting the next release which has had a number of extra features we are looking to explore and utilise..