Sage CRM as a Communications System

Sage CRM is fundamentally a communications system. It can be used to manage the exchanges staff have with other organizations, and in the context of something specific such as a customer service issue, a job, or an opportunity.  

Communications can easily be categorized, customized, and reported on.

Inbound and Outbound communication records can be entered (1) directly from the Sage CRM interface, (2) from MS Outlook, or (3) from your phone.  Communications can also (4) automatically come into Sage CRM from an email or via an integration with your website.

Sage CRM is not a replacement for MS Outlook (or other email clients). Rather, Sage CRM works in tandem with MS Outlook.  The sub-sections below review the various ways we can get emails in to and out of Sage CRM. 

Sending Out emails from Sage

There are several ways to get outbound messages out of Sage CRM. These can be automatic emails that go out or deliberate emails the user sends to either individuals or groups of contacts. Below are several examples. 

Automatic Emails Out

Outbound emails can automatically go out via an escalation rule or workflow action. I have provided a couple of examples below, however, Sage can support almost any situation can you imagine. 

  • When a new lead is created in CRM, an email can automatically be issued to the person assigned the lead as well as the prospect that submitted the lead.
  • When the ‘close by date’ associated with an opportunity has elapsed, the account manager can receive an email to update the close by date or opportunity. 
Emailing Individuals Directly

From within Sage CRM, we can send out emails to individuals. We can do this under the person record, or from the context of a case, opportunity, or anything else. We can simply send out a free text email, or we can email using pre-built email templates. Whenever we send out an email from Sage CRM, the system automatically records a copy of the email. 

From MS Outlook, using Accelerator, we can do the same as above. Using Accelerator, we can still leverage our contacts and our Sage CRM email templates, however, the user must consciously decide if they want a copy of the email in Sage CRM or not. 

Emailing Groups of Contacts

Sage CRM makes it easy to segment your contacts into meaningful groups. You can do this from the FIND / PERSON screen or by creating a re-usable group. 

We can email our groups directly from Sage CRM or we can pass our group over to Mailchimp. Sage CRM has a good (and free) integration with Mailchimp

Filing Emails into Sage CRM

Most commonly, users consciously decide on which communication records should be filed into Sage CRM and where they should be filed. The best way is to file emails into Sage CRM using Accelerator. Additionally, clients can leverage the Advanced Email Management tools to automatically pull emails into CRM.

Filing emails into Sage CRM from Outlook

The Advanced integration between MS Outlook and Sage CRM is referred to as Accelerator. Almost all our clients use this practical tool. Accelerator makes it very easy to file emails against the correct record in Sage CRM, maybe the person, or maybe you need to file the email against a specific opportunity, or job.

When filing the email, the user can decide to:

  • Overwrite the subject line of the email so it is easier to find in the future.
  • Label any documents attached to the email. For example, it might be practical to define the attachment as ‘Specifications’, or ‘Purchase Order’, etc.
Advance Email Management

This feature enables Sage CRM to pick up emails submitted to a specific address as well as do something specific based on that email address. For example, all emails submitted to support@yourcompany.com can automatically come into Sage CRM and create a ticket/case. That is just a single practical example, but you can create as many of these scenarios as you wish.

Tasks & Appointments

Within Sage CRM, tasks and appointments share a lot of similarities. For example, 

  • Both Tasks & Appointments share the same entry screen
  • Both can be customized
  • You can set on-screen or email reminders
  • All communications, regardless of status live within the communications folder for the Company, Person, Opportunity, or Case they were connected to
Differences Between Tasks & Appointments
Tasks
  • Tasks do not have a duration (start and end). They strictly have a due date.
  • Tasks are for a single person.
  • Pending tasks appear in the Task section of My CRM / Calendar
Appointments
  • Appointments have a duration (start and end)
  • Appointments can be for multiple people
  • Appointments show up on the Calendar section of My CRM / Calendar
  • When creating an appointment, you can check the availability of the users being scheduled for the appointment.
Syncing your Outlook Calendar

Clients can have staff synchronize their Calendars with Sage CRM using either Accelerator OR Sage CRM’s Exchange integration. At My CRM Manager, our preference is Accelerator.

Syncing Using Accelerator

When using Outlook’s calendaring feature, you can connect an appointment to the correct Sage CRM record.

The communication record will then also display within Sage CRM under the appropriate Person, Company (and Case or Opportunity).  

IMPORTANT: With this option, appointments created directly in Sage CRM do not appear in one’s Outlook Calendar.

Syncing using the Exchange integration

Sage CRM does offer an Exchange integration. Some installs use this but it is rare. With the Exchange integration, appointments created directly in either Sage CRM or Outlook will display in both systems.

A key limitation of the Exchange sync is that communications added into one’s Outlook Calendar do not recognize the Sage CRM company, person, or case (etc.) that the communication is referencing. This means that, while we can see staff’s activities, those activities do not appear within the communication history of the correct company, person, or case (etc.) record in Sage CRM.

Often, clients use Sage CRM to measure how often (or not) they interact with their customers, prospects, and suppliers. This can be a very practical way to stay on top of accounts.  

This image shows fields on the Company summary screen that reflects data from the communications tab. 

A similar set of fields can display on the screens for individual Cases, Leads, and Opportunities.

Typically, we apply our communication statistics code in conjunction with the Adoption Dashboards as part of our Quick Start Implementation Package.

Communication Statistics B
Schedule A Demo

Looking for Dedicated Sage CRM Help?
Contact My CRM Manager