Sage SalesLogix designs award-winning CRM solution

Sage SalesLogix is one of the best known Customer Relationship Management tools available today. The company wanted to offer Sage SalesLogix on a new Web platform and took the opportunity to re-think the product and how it could better serve its target market. They hoped to ensure they did not lose their “secret sauce” which made it so popular with LAN customers and wanted to identify short-term improvements and a strategic direction for the long term. They also wished to build their own skill in Contextual Design techniques.

Challenge

  • What is the real sales process used within midsize companies’ sales organizations? How well does Sage SalesLogix support it?
  • How do different parts of a company coordinate activities in the sales process? How can Sage SalesLogix become indispensable in fostering this coordination?
  • What problems are users experiencing with the current product? What is getting in the way? What is the “secret sauce?”

InContext’s customer-centered approach gave Sage SalesLogix the in-depth understanding of their customers’ needs, a validated set of new features, and a product direction that resulted in an award-winning design currently the rave of industry experts.

Delivering Results

The team then developed a three-level strategy for Sage SalesLogix evolution:

  • A set of immediate usability fixes to improve the users’ experience of the product
  • Functional changes and additions to better support key tasks that could be implemented in the short term
  • A longer-term vision for how to transform the sales process through better integration and more complete support of the process

The team selected a piece of the larger strategy to address salespeople’s key issues and worked out the design of this piece in detail, testing the design with users to ensure it met users’ key needs. The validated design introduced:

  • Pervasive ability to get to the data desired and take action— Sage SalesLogix contextual filters
  • Summarization of key information and status into Snapshots while also providing access to details, for each object type
  • Distinct Workplaces to bring key information together to satisfy different roles, intents, and work practices
  • Sage SalesLogix developed and shipped these validated functions on their new Web platform. In the Sage company-wide product competition, Sage SalesLogix won best product in their class and across all product categories

Reviewers of the new Sage SalesLogix implementation have also been excited. From Paul Greenberg – industry observer and author of “CRM at the Speed of Light”:

“SalesLogix 7.5 contextual filters – I saw the newly improved and radically better SalesLogix 7.5 – something that I would recommend for small and midsized businesses. Not only are they using the increasingly popular REST (Web Oriented Architecture) to do things such as scrolling within the browser (rather than the more standard “Next page” paradigm) but what I found really great was their contextual filters. Think about them this way. You have 1000 customer accounts. They encompass 30 states. When you want to use the filters, the only states that will show up are the 30, not all 50. As new states are added, they join the filter list. You get to do filter and use what you need to. This is a great feature that carries over into all categories and tags.”

“The data from the Contextual Design process told us exactly where to focus our efforts – then with a validated set of functions we knew before we implemented what would be valued by the customer”

Dave Wallace, Director of product management for SalesLogix

The Process

InContext and Sage SalesLogix assembled a joint team from both companies. Together, they started by analyzing the current product to ensure no function was forgotten in the transition to the new design. The team then conducted field interviews with 37 users in different organizations and job roles. The interviews were selected to span organizational size, industry, and the different roles that use Sage SalesLogix.

From the field interviews, the team discovered opportunities to better support the work practice of users including findings such as:

  • Making lists is a central part of daily work and must be easy
  • Much of the sales process happens through email and phone calls. Sage SalesLogix could better integrate and support those activities
  • Sage SalesLogix is great because it holds critical business data; therefore getting to the data fast would add extra value
  • Lead management helps the work but users need help prioritizing and managing the leads
  • Overall usability improvements can increase the efficiency of use and bring valued information directly to the user