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Sage Saleslogix Guidebook
Customer relationship management is also known as :
CRM Selection ,
Consumer Relationship System,
Customer Experience Analytics,
Customer Experience Management,
Customer Experience Solutions,
Customer Integrated System,
Customer Relationship Management Solution,
Customer Relationship Management Strategy,
Sales Force Management System,
Sales Process Engineering
The Bottom Line
Sage SalesLogix CRM streamlines the sales process and integrates
customer data into a single repository for sales, marketing, and customer
service, enabling companies to better acquire, retain, and develop
customer relationships. Best practices for achieving value from SalesLogix
include leveraging integration and customization; moving beyond sales to
support, service, and marketing; and thinking strategically about training.
Sage SalesLogix provides sales, marketing, and customer service and support
automation for mid-market and enterprise customers. Key components of the
- Sales force automation enables sales teams to streamline and automate sales
functions to increase productivity and acquire more customers. Users can
access detailed account and contact information, track opportunities from lead
to close, forecast revenues, manage team calendars and activities, and have
complete visibility into each prospect as they move through the sales cycle.
- Marketing automation and campaign management enables marketing
managers to build, execute, and measure the success of marketing campaigns.
Features including targeted customer segmentation, multichannel marketing,
and real-time reporting enable marketing to target the most profitable
customers and prospects and pinpoint opportunities to further develop
- Customer service and support provides ticket management, service contract
management, and a knowledge base where customer service representatives
can rapidly search information to provide answers to customers' questions. A
Web customer portal also enables customer self service. The support module
also provides escalation alerts via e-mail, phone, or pager, based on userdefined
business rules, so users can rapidly resolve service and support issues
via the channel they prefer, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
- SalesLogix Visual Analyzer business analytics dashboard enables users to
quickly analyze and measure key business metrics to make decisions. The
dashboard includes 10 built-in components including key performance
indicators (KPIs), maps, ranking, forecast, win/loss, opportunities, activities,
marketing, and customer service, and has profile-based security so users can
only see information they are authorized to view.
This guidebook is based on Nucleus Research's analysis of the experiences of a
number of SalesLogix customers including Phonak AG in Switzerland; Bordner
Installation Group in Kansas City, Missouri; Roland DG in the United Kingdom;
Mortgage Lenders of America in Overland Park, Kansas; Argus Realty Group in
Sarasota, Florida; Time Warner Retail Sales and Marketing in New York, New York;
and Standford Marsh in the United Kingdom. It highlights the experiences of
companies using SalesLogix and prescribes best practices, missteps to avoid, and
tips for fine-tuning the application to maximize its impact across the customer life
To ease user adoption, SalesLogix provides a number of different ways to access
- Users can access the application on their desktop. SalesLogix can be used out
of the box or customized to meet users' specific work practices and needs.
Nucleus found most companies using SalesLogix did some customization, but
that ease of use of the base application and ease of customization kept
implementation time and cost fairly low.
- Using SalesLogix Mobile, users can view, edit, and update contact and account
information directly from Pocket PC, BlackBerry, and smartphone devices.
- Using the SalesLogix Web client, users can access functionality using a Web
- Using offline access, SalesLogix users can view, edit, and update information
on their laptops in the field and then synchronize their laptop data with the
office database via VPN or when they return to the office. Synchronization
rules are based on account ownership and can be configured by the
administrator to resolve conflicts based on a specific company's process.
- For users that are more comfortable with the Microsoft Outlook environment,
seamless integration with Outlook enables users to send e-mails through
Outlook that are automatically recorded in the SalesLogix database for
complete tracking of communications with customers and prospects.
SalesLogix also provides integration capabilities, enabling companies to integrate
SalesLogix with back-office accounting and other applications to provide users with
invoice history, orders and quotes, payments and receipts, product information,
pricing, and other information within the CRM application so they can quickly find
what they need to serve a customer.
Nucleus found that integrating sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting
for better cross-business visibility was a key ROI driver for many companies using
To move from simply acquiring customers to retaining and developing customer
relationships, collaboration and visibility across the organization is critical.
Nucleus found companies that were the most successful in their SalesLogix
deployments followed a number of common best practices, both in terms of how
they used the functionality of the application and how they tuned their business
Evaluate best strategies for customization
Many companies selected SalesLogix because it would be easy to customize to fit
their own business processes: the SalesLogix Application Architect is a Visual Basiclike
development environment that administrators can use to build, edit, and
manage plug-ins that customize standard functionality, add new functionality, and
customize the appearance of screens in the application. Companies found they
could do things such as create forms, build automated processes and workflows,
customize menus and toolbars, customize mail merge templates for different types
of documents, and create scripts.
Customizing the application over time as new opportunities are identified can help
improve customer retention and build customer relationships. As one company
said, "Customization doesn't take long. It's a very flexible product and whenever
we have a new idea of a process we would like to integrate we can easily add that
functionality if it makes sense. For example, the back office accounts are touching
customers all the time, so by making it visible to the appropriate people, we deliver
better customer service because the sales and engineering teams better
understand other problems customers may be having."
Companies planning a SalesLogix deployment should consider how a relatively
small investment in customization could help to automate and streamline sales,
marketing, customer service, and other processes.
When considering potential customizations, companies should evaluate their impact
on the business based on five key factors: The greater the breadth, repeatability,
cost, knowledge, and collaboration components of a project, the greater the
- Breadth ' How many people will be helped or impacted by the application? The
greater the number of people, the greater the potential ROI. For example, one
company that automated a key step in the sales process lead follow up
greatly increased lead conversion rates because the automation ensured every
sales person would consistently contact all its leads, increasing the number of
- Repeatability ' How often will people use the application? The more often an
application is used, the greater the ROI. For many companies using
SalesLogix, providing field sales users with mobile access increases
repeatability they're using the application more often because they're not
limited to using it when they're in the office while improving customer
acquisition and retention rates.
In evaluating potential customizations, the objective should be to maximize the
benefit rather than minimize the cost.
- Cost ' The more costly the task, the greater the benefit from automation or
appropriate technology support. Many organizations moving from manual data
entry and sharing spreadsheets found they could lower their cost of sales by
- Knowledge ' The greater potential to re-use the information in the system, the
greater the potential ROI. For example, one company achieved a positive ROI
from using SalesLogix because it gave everyone a better view of customer
interactions and experiences.
- Collaboration ' Communication between employees is costly, so the greater
the collaboration component, the greater the potential ROI.
Leverage integration and outside data sources
There are two key types of integration most companies will want to consider in
planning their SalesLogix deployments: e-mail integration and integration with
other applications and data sources.
E-mail integration is a standard feature of SalesLogix. When sending mail, users
can access contacts from the SalesLogix database within Outlook, and choose to
automatically associate it with an account or contact in SalesLogix. Integration
with Outlook calendaring is also included, which enables users to schedule
appointments within Outlook and automatically synchronize Outlook and SalesLogix
calendars. Many companies found this to be extremely helpful in keeping one
record of the customer and providing visibility over communications across the
- "One of the biggest value of integration in Outlook is record keeping in
SalesLogix. We can quickly track back when we've had an issue with a
contract because all the communication is in SalesLogix. It saves a lot of time
and finger pointing when we have a discrepancy we can look in one place
and get things resolved."
- "When you want to send an e-mail you just click on an address in SalesLogix
and then an Outlook message window pops up. You compose your message,
and when you send it, a copy goes to the SalesLogix record as well. This
allows every user who has access to the account to see what the past history
of each customers' communications with the sales teams has been."
For application integration, the SalesLogix software development kit enables
developers to use standard Active Directory Objects interface to retrieve and
update SalesLogix information. Companies used SalesLogix's integration
capabilities in a number of different ways. For example, one company that
manages lead generation through a third-party organization was able to use
SalesLogix to automatically filter the up to 200 daily leads it gets from the
company and distribute them directly to the appropriate salesperson. This has
eliminated the manual process once used at this company that often resulted in
unmanaged leads that slipped through the cracks. Another company took time
during the deployment to integrate its existing back end data warehouse to support
its unique sales and distribution model enabling it to identify each individual
customers' buying cycles and provide field sales personnel with direct access
through SalesLogix. Another company used SalesLogix to automate the delivery of
materials lists to suppliers based on deals closed in the system, streamlining
supplier communications and reducing opportunities for error.
Automate lead distribution and other tasks
Automating lead generation distribution and other tasks using SalesLogix can
enable companies to accelerate the customer acquisition process, increase sales
and marketing productivity, and build stronger relationships with customers
because customer-facing employees can focus on building relationships instead of
- One company using SalesLogix developed an automated process to distribute
leads to sales people. The system tracks sales activity based on the company's
set milestones and, for example, if there has been no communication from the
sales person to the prospect in 5 days an automatic message is sent to the
prospect and an alert is sent to the sales person.
- Another company used SalesLogix to automate its project bidding process,
significantly reducing the time it needed for a salesperson to generate a bid for
a project and increasing the number of bids completed by 20 percent.
The immediate benefit from automating lead management is increasing conversion
rates to acquire more new customers.
Go beyond sales to retention and relationship building
Although most companies buy SalesLogix primarily for sales, non-sales
departments can also get benefits from the system. Integrating SalesLogix with
non-CRM applications can allow end users to have a more complete view of how
their organization interacts with customers. This helps improve customer retention
and drives greater revenues beyond the initial sale:
- "Interaction with different departments has significantly improved. Because
customer interactions are recorded across the organization, anyone interacting
with the customer has the knowledge and information about that customer that
each person can use to strengthen customer relationships and drive greater
- "Although SalesLogix was meant to be a sales tool, it has really helped us
differentiate ourselves in the market as a customer-focused company. We
have seen a clear increase in the amount of deals that close given our sales
teams' understanding of the customer and the ability to find customer
- "Today everyone is touching the same screen and has the same way of doing
- "A key part of our customer retention strategy is looking at support calls to
proactively identify customer problems that may be solved by training sales
people. For any damage or questions we report back on a monthly basis as to
which product and which salesperson were involved. With SalesLogix we can
capture and categorize problems and proactively solve them."
- "The field service force uses handhelds. They can do repairs but at the same
time they can record anything they see including potential sales opportunities.
This is really important, because many companies are hesitant about letting in
sales guys but an engineer can get through and then report back on additional
Rely on partner expertise
Companies were most successful with SalesLogix when they chose a Sage
SalesLogix business partner with experience and references in their line of business
or region and then integrated the advice of that expert into the customization,
deployment, and change management plan. Business partners can be a valuable
resource in helping to assess and address user adoption and training issues,
process changes, and other more technical aspects of the deployment such as
Missteps To Avoid
Nucleus also identified some common missteps to avoid both initially and in
ongoing management of a CRM project. It is important to note that many of these
missteps are common CRM challenges and not necessarily applicable only to
Don't assume it's just for sales
Although most companies start with the sales component, those who maximize
value use a common, centralized database to support greater visibility and
productivity for marketing, support, service, back office, and other customer-facing
employees. Beyond the initial deployment, Nucleus found companies used
- Automate processing of payments through a third-party order management
- Gather and analyze product service data to provide input into product
development and produce products that delivered greater customer satisfaction
- Automate communications with suppliers to increase visibility and provide
customers with more rapid access to information
- Link products and contracts to accounts so employees can spend less time
finding information and more time building relationships
All of these types of activities can help companies move beyond the initial sales
cycle to build ongoing relationships. When they better understand how products,
support, billing, service, and other areas impact customers, they can better
understand the needs of customers, deliver on those needs, and increase customer
satisfaction and retention.
Moving beyond sales force automation can help to increase customer retention and
identify opportunities for revenue growth.
Don't just change your operations to fit the software
The biggest challenge to the success of a CRM project is user adoption. Wellmanaged
CRM can help streamline time-consuming processes and increase
productivity; however, if it is a significant departure from the way employees work
today there may be significant barriers to adoption. Nucleus found that many
companies selected SalesLogix because it struck the right balance between usable
functionality out of the box and flexibility for customization.
Many companies selected SalesLogix because it could be customized to meet their
goals and needs.
As one company said, "The best strategy is not to change operations, but to find a
software that can fit your operations." However, if changes in operations are
needed, companies found implementing software that supports those changes can
help smooth change management efforts. Some companies, in fact, took
advantage of the deployment to implement or reinforce more sophisticated sales
and marketing methodologies, using the structure of the application to ensure
consistency across different groups and users. In these cases, clear
communication to users about how process changes would benefit them and
training that focused on process and goals, not just functionality, eased user
Don't underestimate the value of training
Training is critical to adoption, and thus, ROI from CRM. The most successful
SalesLogix deployments included training for users, either by in-house trainers or a
SalesLogix partner. The most successful strategies included:
- A combination of demonstrations, presentations, and one-on-one training for
end users. One company included a 2-day training session in groups of 10 or
fewer people so users could try the application and ask questions, and then
brought the groups back after a month of use to address any additional
questions or challenges.
- A careful assessment of users' differing level of technical skill and training
targeted to different comfort levels.
- Picking the right environment. One company, for example, discovered holding
training sessions at the home office was inefficient. Users were distracted,
responding to their e-mails and answering phones and not paying close enough
attention to the instructor. As a result, the company needed to do a bit more
direct hand holding to make sure its users "got it."
Don't roll out features without a test drive
Although SalesLogix has great capabilities for automated alerts, reminders, and
other proactive features, phasing them in over time after careful user testing is the
best strategy to ensure that they enhance rather than impede effective
For example, one company initially tested SalesLogix with some automated
scheduling features for users. It found that sales people preferred to schedule
some tasks themselves rather than be confined by more rigid business rules, so the
company decided to turn off some automated scheduling to smooth user adoption.
Don't assume you know your data
Moving to a centralized CRM application often means migrating data from a number
of sources such as spreadsheets, contact databases, and legacy applications.
Making sure you know where your data is coming from, how it needs to be cleaned
or prepared, and how its use may change will ensure a smoother rollout. For
example, one company deploying SalesLogix had originally planned to migrate
existing database information into the system, but a closer look determined that
the database wasn't as "clean" as it expected. Three weeks of manual cleaning
and rekeying data, the company said, "gave us a clean slate to start from that we
were confident in and that our sales people could be confident in, as well."
Key to CRM success: confidence in the data.
Fine Tuning Tips
Most companies using SalesLogix continue to make enhancements and
adjustments after their initial deployment. This enables them to learn from their
initial deployment, and to take advantage of more advanced capabilities and
features such as integration and mobile access over time. Nucleus identified
a number of fine tuning strategies companies used to increase their ability to
attract and retain customers.
Use mobile features to acquire more customers and develop relationships
Providing sales people with mobile access enables them to be more responsive to
customers and prospects, use out-of-office time more productively, and quickly
access the information they need to answer customers' questions.
One SalesLogix customer, for example, found that remote access enabled
salespeople to close more deals because they could not just accelerate quote
delivery but deliver a quote in person during a sales meeting: "Our sales people
are using laptops and remote databases and connecting across a virtual private
network. Mobility is a big aspect of our ability to acquire customers, because they
can do their estimates on site. They think they sell more because they can hand
someone a contract and answer their questions instead of taking their information
and sending a quote three or four days later in the mail. We have sales people
that have increased their sales more than 50 percent since we deployed SalesLogix
it's not all due to SalesLogix, but a lot of it is."
Look for opportunities to extend CRM across the supply chain
Some companies have moved beyond simply entering and tracking customer
orders in SalesLogix to automating delivery of equipment and other requests to
their partners based on orders closed within the system. This can accelerate
delivery to the customer (improving customer satisfaction) while increasing
visibility into the supply chain. One company found, for example, that it not only
reduced paperwork but also reduced the need for double-checking on orders and
was able to negotiate better terms with suppliers.
Add and enhance reporting capabilities
Once data has been consistently entered into a CRM system such as SalesLogix,
leveraging the data to provide both end users and managers with better insights
into successful sales strategies, marketing campaign outcomes, and ongoing client
relationships can help companies identify new opportunities to acquire customers,
ways to retain and expand customer relationships, and opportunities to grow
customer revenues through cross selling and up selling.
One company found, for example, that 300 of its 5000 clients drove 80 percent of
its business. Being able to track and predict the buying cycles of those key clients
and ensure that everyone has visibility into the sales cycle and purchasing patterns
has helped it to build custom plans that integrate marketing and sales to maximize
revenues from those clients.
Continue to evaluate and evolve
Many companies selected SalesLogix because of its flexibility to add fields,
components, and workflows as needed, and the most successful have continued to
expand the deployment to support automation in other areas beyond the initial
deployment. Providing Web access to selected customers and suppliers,
automating trouble tickets and other areas, linking accounts with invoices, and
integrating additional data sources or analytical tools are all potential strategies to
deliver more ROI from an existing SalesLogix investment.
CRM is an ongoing effort; the flexibility of SalesLogix enables companies to refine
their CRM processes as their business objectives evolve.
One company, for example, went beyond sales to develop a ticketing system for its
engineering team to track and manage service level agreements. Automating the
process reduced the time needed to manually track service levels and has raised
service level agreement compliance from 60 to 90 percent.
Nucleus also found many companies currently using SalesLogix are considering
providing users with mobile access, to enable them to more quickly respond to
customer requests and reduce customer acquisition time.
Key to maximizing CRM value over time is the ability to change it as needed as
business needs change. The relatively low cost and rapid deployment time
SalesLogix users experience enabled companies to rapidly take advantage of
automation and integration to improve sales force productivity and customer
acquisition; the flexibility and ease of customization and integration of the
application enabled them to continue to extend and grow the application to support
better ongoing relationships with customers.
As companies move from acquiring to retaining to developing customer
relationships, they can leverage the tools in SalesLogix to address new business
challenges and identify more opportunities to deliver value. Key benefits
customers achieved included better visibility into customer activities and
interactions, a more empowered sales force, better corporate level forecasting and
campaigning, greater interdepartmental collaboration and interaction, increased
individual productivity, and ultimately, increased profits.
Nucleus Research is a global provider of investigative technology research and advisory services. Building on
its unique ROI case study approach, for nearly a decade Nucleus Research has delivered insight and analysis
on the true value of technology and strategies for maximizing current investments and exploiting new
technology opportunities. For more information or a list of services, visit NucleusResearch.com, call
+1-781-416-2900, or e-mail@NucleusResearch.com.