SalesLogix closes in on full-service CRM
Self-service portal, SpeedSearch additions aid v6.2, but there's still room for improvement
Using the sales client, I was able to quickly generate sales quotes using predefined templates auto-populated with data -- a time saver with improved accuracy. SalesLogix provided comprehensive service audit trails and basic SLA management tools, including per-instance call tracking and a built-in time clock for usage monitoring. The separate Support interface client provides access to trouble tickets and contracts, RMAs (Return Merchandise/Material Authorizations), and procedural road maps for guiding reps through issue resolution.
Although the new SpeedSearch would benefit from the addition of manual metadata to fine-tune classification, it performed well overall, offering in-text global search across most of the Sales and Support database, including attachments and the library repository.
Marketing capabilities were a little lightweight with regard to integrated development tools and ongoing response tracking and monitoring. Other vendors provide far more detailed tracking that can help to break down a campaign's status in real time. But SalesLogix's budget forecasts and breakouts are comprehensive and some features, such as auto-lead assignment, will make automation an ally.
Picks and Pans
SalesLogix may have the basic CRM features well in hand, but a few spots could use improvement. I created graphical reports that could be drilled through for more detail, but the underlying data was not linked back to the originating record. I would like to simply click the long-outstanding support item and have it launch the record in the support interface for inspection. The same linkage would benefit the Process Manager, which proved to be little more than a list of ongoing processes without links to the originating action.
SalesLogix also suffers from restrictive integration options (COM/ActiveX Data Objects) and a limited API set. Web services support would be a start to modernization. And with licensing costs a valid concern, support for less pricey platforms would offer SMBs some fiscal relief.
That said, SalesLogix's feature set is well integrated across its components and does a good job at most CRM tasks. Administrators gain an edge from multiple available tools for managing remote configurations and databases. Even pushing a configuration package out to my laptop was a cinch, thanks to the included Bundler application.
All told, SalesLogix makes sense for SMBs looking to improve sales and marketing opportunities, and begin addressing basic requirements for service and support with above-average flair. The price is slightly high, but so is the reward potential.