Launched at the ‘Technology for Marketing Show’ on 1st March , this product is the culmination of over 2000 man days and 1200 days of testing and possibly one of the major events from SAGE’s CRM division this year. This ws SAGE plc biggest presence focussed around SAGE CRM 7.1 global launch.
I am very encouraged in the enhancements in two main areas, which impact user functionality and productivity.
First of all, the MS Outlook integration is now at the MS Exchange level and should make life simpler and easier for users when synchronising data such as appointments and tasks. There are also a host of extra benefits and features including social media links such as to LinkedIn, increasingly useful for sales and marketing profiling and research plus the new interactive dashboards, always an excellent way to present information.
Although for me, wearing my “marketing hat”, the integration built in to activate and create Email marketing campaigns is a big winner and fills a general ‘gap’ in CRM that is still sadly lacking in other products. This is an integrated option built-in as an option from Swiftpage, a leading Email marketing ISP who have been very close with SAGE plc, particularly ACT! for some years. Indeed, ACT! has had integrated built in E-Mail Marketing module opt-in since the ACT! 2010 release in 2009 (ACT! 2011 is the current version).
Built-in Email marketing functionality offers a great opportunity for Marketers at a very affordable price to encompass and integrate their email marketing directly into Sage CRM with a number of available pre-developed templates. With the potential to also offer and create Drip marketing campaigns, for example customer notifications of Contract renewals, this enhances the traditional bounce and metric feedback to a new level which will complement SAGE CRM workflow functionality. Importantly, with Email marketing at contact level this can give a full view of the marketing interaction with prospects and customer contacts to enable the sales team to maximize and use this information themselves. Rather than the current model for many CRM applications where information is either exported out, say email addresses and information then imported, sometimes back into CRM from off-the-shelf stand alone Email systems such as dotmailer. Sales people can now see what has interested their prospects/customers when reviewing the contact profile.
This level of integration has been available for a while but was not well known or used but the key thing is it is now integrated into SAGE CRM 7.1 and user just need to sign up. With a 60 days free trial for me, this is a no brainer ‘try before you buy’.
MAS became a Swiftpage Accredited reseller early on this year and are now able to offer Email Consultancy (which we have offered on our Newsweaver Email stand-alone product for some years), help in using Swiftpage on both ACT! and SAGE CRM 7.1. More details on this help and our planned online seminars and workshops will appear in our next Newsletter.