The iPhone with a mobile CRM app is a must have for today's mobile sales force because it enables sales people to tap into the latest customer information on-the-go and better target potential opportunities. Sage Software, a developer of CRM and ERP solutions, recently set me up in one of their Sage CRM demo environments so that I could give Sage CRM Sales Lite a try. Ultimately, I found a lot to like in the app.
Sage CRM Sales Lite requires the user have an authorized account on Sage CRM On-Premise (version 7.2) or Sage CRM Cloud.
Getting startedSage CRM Sales Lite includes a simple yet effective getting started screen (Figure A) to help users who don't have much mobile CRM app or smartphone experience: Figure A
Getting started with Sage CRM Sales Lite.
There is also online help accessible from the app, which can benefit some users.The Sage CRM Sales Lite home screen (Figure B) takes maximum advantage of the iPhone's minimal screen real estate and can accommodate two-handed or one-handed users. Figure B
Sage CRM Sales Lite home screen.
When you tap on contacts for the first time, Sage CRM Sales Lite prompts you to access your contacts. For the purpose of this post, I didn't grant this app access to my contacts at first. Sometimes in business, contacts are currency, and Sage CRM Sales Lite divides up the contacts screen into the following:
Contacts screen as seen in Sage CRM Sales Lite.
OpportunitiesOne of the mobile CRM app's challenges is to create an opportunities screen that presents as much actionable information in a small space as possible (this is especially critical at the end of the quarter). While the font size on the Sage CRM Sales Lite Opportunities screen might be a bit small (Figure D), it does include the following important customer information at a glance:
Top level of the Opportunities screen.Tap on an entry at the top level, and you can drill down into a more detailed view (Figure E) of what the opportunity represents for the sales team, broken down into the following sections:
- Opportunities Total
Detailed view of a sales opportunity.
Capturing notes about account activities and opportunities is important in many sales cycles. When you drill into an opportunity, Sage CRM Sales Lite includes a notes feature where sales people can add details about what they encounter or need to track during the sales cycle.
Often times, other elements of the company -- such as product management, pre-sales, and engineering -- have to be drawn into the sales cycle to help close the deal. If your organization uses a cross-functional team approach to sales, notes help sales people record technical details and customer questions, which make it easy for others to come up to speed on the particular sales cycle and its challenges.
Sage CRM Sales Lite also includes an integrated calendar for tracking sales and customer-related activities. However, I'm not too sure, given the competitive nature of sales (even within an organization), that this feature will see a lot of use by a mobile sales force.
An iPhone becomes a CRM platform not just because of its mobility, but rather how the mobile app integrates with the device. As such, Sage CRM Sales Lite lets a mobile sales force map out appointments, plus use the camera to add pictures to notes and opportunities. The Sage CRM Sales Lite app also can log outbound calls, SME, and emails as part of the history and audit trail.
A history feature in a mobile CRM app is certainly one of those hidden productivity options that can be easy to gloss over. Tap on History in the app, and a list of the last opportunities opened will appear. This is just as convenient as my iPhone's history list of last dialed numbers.
Don't get stuck on the word "Lite" in Sage CRM Sales Lite, because this app strikes a nice balance between information, user experience, and functionality, making it a nice mobile CRM option for organizations already standardized on Sage products. For organizations moving to a new CRM solution, Sage CRM Sales Lite should definitely factor into any trial you do of Sage CRM Cloud or Sage CRM On-Premise.
Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applications for online and print technology publications. You can reach Will at email@example.com.