The best CRM Software on the market

By Bizclik Editor

Although many perceive the term ‘CRM’ as old school, it’s clear that there is a bright future ahead for those willing to focus on this widely recognised and long-used strategy. Implementing the right software can bring new ways for organisations to communicate, operate and strategise to manage not just their customers, which are undeniably a firm’s most valuable asset, but also staff and prospects.

This is something which, now more than ever, is vital given the circumstances of today's business environment. Despite many CRM technology projects being deferred or cancelled during the economic crisis, research has shown that organisations are getting back on board with CRM in an attempt to improve the customer management capabilities that were perhaps put on the backburner.

So if you’re ready to capitalise on the upturn and are looking to follow in the footsteps of Africa’s best-run companies, then read on for our top three and track more leads, close more deals, retain and attract more customers and save costs...


SAP CRM customers benefit from advanced technology when executing their CRM strategies, including integrated business processes across all customer touch points, including front and back-office; multiple industry specific capabilities; enterprise services; social media technology integration and support; leading loyalty management capabilities; and flexible mobility platforms, to name a few. SAP CRM offers these functions in a manner that is easy to implement with Rapid Deployment Solutions and consulting packages. This leads to quick value realisation and investment payback, and has proven results from the varied customers in South Africa that attest to this.

However, strong functionality is no good if it is not presented in a user-friendly manner. User adoption is a major obstacle in CRM project success. SAP CRM provides a Web 2.0 based user interface engineered with the business user in mind, making the complex simple.

In South Africa, companies are using SAP CRM with success in areas such as marketing and campaign management; key account management and telesales; customer service centres and IT help desks; call centre infrastructure with automated voice services; shared service processes in areas of human resources and finance; public sector service delivery; and customer value analysis and strategy alignment. SAP’s customer base spans all major industries in South Africa, with a key focus on public sector, retail, and consumer goods, mining and automotive.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

As a trusted household name, Microsoft’s CRM tools promise to strengthen your customer loyalty, deliver integrated customer campaigns and empower your sales, marketing and customer service teams to work together to shorten sales cycles and increase revenue.
As an obvious but highly valuable unique selling point, it provides an intuitive interface that sits comfortably within applications that employees will almost certainly already be familiar with. Sales and service representatives can work from within Microsoft Outlook to access comprehensive customer or incident histories, view product and sales literature, track customer related tasks and appointments, and manage contacts. And since Microsoft Dynamics CRM works seamlessly with Outlook, employees can manage customer interactions quickly and efficiently. A Microsoft Dynamics CRM user can take a received email from a prospect, promote the email to a customer record, and use pre-configured workflow rules to schedule future interactions with this prospect – all without ever leaving the Outlook interface.

William Band, VP and principal analyst, Forrester Research, said that Microsoft Dynamics CRM “shines by offering flexibility for large and midsized organizations”. As a result, Microsoft is pursuing its strategy for penetrating the CRM market by offering buyers the ‘Power of Choice’ so that organisations can choose how to deploy, pay, and use the application.

Fusion CRM

Fusion’s CRM software package and platform is unique to the South African market, as it is infinitely adaptable to allow a company to maximise the potential of its CRM data. Fusion CRM is an enterprise system that has the capacity to span multiple departments within an organisation, allowing limited or unlimited access depending on policy. With security as an integral part of the system, it facilitates the housing of all customer data in one central repository, providing better management of this key resource to simplify marketing and sales processes and perform tasks quicker.

It also allows for sharing of resources, such as calendars, appointments, scheduling, leave calendars and activity reports, to name a few. And for marketing and communication purposes, Fusion CRM provides easy-to-use engines for Mass Mailers, Mass SMS’s, reporting tools, full audit trail, search facilities, exporting and printing tools, as well as full Outlook integration.

Aside from these business-enhancing features, the core to Fusion Software’s product offerings and development is the ability to integrate its software with existing business applications, such as Pastel and other accounting packages, to facilitate the easy access of information. Fusion CRM is used by clients as the front end that seamlessly integrates with other applications to provide a single, easy-to-use point of entry.


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