How to Choose a CRM System (Part 1: Understanding CRM) [en]

When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) it’s important to understand all the benefits of an integrated system before beginning your selection process. That’s why we created this guide – to provide you with the essential information you need to make the best decision possible.

This guide is designed to help you build a business case for a CRM system, form an effective project team, ask the right questions, identify the challenges involved and much more.

You may be wondering, “Why would a software company like Sage distribute a booklet that doesn’t promote its own products?” We know how important it is to have good information before making smart decisions. What’s more, we’re confident that the more you know about CRM systems the more likely your are to seriously consider – and ultimately choose – Sage’s CRM software solutions. In other words, our software stands up to the most stringent selection criteria.

We at Sage look forward to helping you succeed in choosing the CRM solution that’s best for your organisation.

Understanding CRM

CRM is more than just software or a set of processes – it’s a business culture solidly focused on winning and

keeping the right customers. A good CRM solution builds value for your business by opening up vital

communication channels and creating a common client–focused knowledge-base to better serve your clients.

CRM is about understanding the buying habits and preferences of your customers and prospects so you


  • Build and strengthen customer relationships to keep them coming back
  • Provide value-added services that are difficult for competitors to duplicate
  • Improve your product development and service delivery processes
  • Increase your staff’s awareness of customer needs
  • Reduce customer frustration by not asking the same questions over and over.

By effectively integrating your marketing, sales and customer service functions, a good CRM system makes it easier for everyone inside your company to work together and share critical information.

An effective CRM system empowers your customers and prospects to do business with you – the way they choose! Imagine connecting your customers

to your employees and business partners across any department, through any process and via any communication device – phone, fax, email, Internet.

CRM can contribute many benefits to your organisation including:

New sales opportunities

A good CRM system will classify your prospects and help identify your best customers. With detailed information on your customers you can accurately project and respond to their buying needs throughout the sales cycle. A good CRM system can help you automate routine sales tasks – allowing you to spend more time focusing on strategic sales issues.

Improved customer service

The right CRM system allows your team to take a pro-active approach to customer service. With up-to-date and complete customer information at their fingertips, your employees can resolve customer issues more quickly and successfully create cross or up-sell opportunities.

Better decision making

CRM systems provide a single view of the customer across all touch points and channels, as well as delivering comprehensive reports of customer behaviours, marketing campaign results and sales activity. Each of these elements are necessary for smart decision making and long term strategic planning.

Greater efficiency

With an integrated CRM system, you can gain immediate access to your organisation’s critical customer information. A good CRM solution also increases internal efficiencies by automating workflow processes, reducing human error, decreasing process time and providing consistency throughout the entire organisation.

(Source : Sage CRM)