Part 2 of the CRM comparison between the SaaS systems SalesForce, SugarCRM and Odoo (previously OpenERP) covers the core functions for sales and marketing in CRM systems. In other words, the sales cycle as a marketing process, analytical tools and, finally, the level of intuitiveness in each software. Part 1 compares basic functions such as creating and editing addresses as well as communication functionalities such as calendar and email.
Actually, the name CRM has ceased to be correct already a while ago. Rather than customer relationship management, these systems in fact deal with integrated ERM, Enterprise Relationship Management, managing not only customers, but also suppliers, business partners and employees. However, the sales process still is a key element in each system.
6. Sales Cycle in the various CRM systems
Let us consider the seven stages of a sales process:
(1) Identify potential customers (Leads),
(2) Establish and manage contacts
(3) Qualify, rate and establish prospects,
(4) Presentation, quotation, customer acquisition
(5) Negotiation, meeting objections
(6) Completion and conversion
(7) Up- and Cross Selling, requesting references
It soon becomes apparent that with the quotation step in stage (4), we have made a transition from the classical CRM system to ERP, right at the point when a quotation requires product and price information. This poses a challenge for CRM systems such as SalesForce and SugarCRM which dock onto ERP systems and need to redefine these transition points for each individual situation.
For Odoo as a scion of OpenERP things are a bit easier. SalesForce’s Contact and Community Management has set a high standard, but the real advantage is its underlying technical platform with the marketing name Force.com, which molds this CRM into a strategic business platform. Until stage (4), customizing (individual adjustments) is quite easy.
After that, things may become a little tricky, depending on the ERP system you need to communicate with from this level onwards. For some, there are established interfaces, others may be more challenging. In SugarCRM, many functions are displayed graphically. Sales opportunities can be created via the Opportunity module, Quick Create, duplication or import functions (either automated or by e-mail).
SugarCRM is doing especially well when it comes to specific business solutions, for instance in the insurance sector. Odoo is taking its Sales Cycles a step further, having each sales team create its own specific sales cycle. Since Odoo has grown from an ERP system, stages 4 to 7 can be adjusted flexibly and easily (and therefore inexpensively), as they gear into the ERP system.
7. Reporting Options
As the sales director, you are not only interested in bare numbers and statistics, but rather in a shortoverviewat the click ofa button, and the possibility to quickly interveneif your sales teams requiresupport. SalesForce’sSales Cloud offers accurate forecasting tools, easily set up through “drag & drop”. Various filters help to adjust reports. Forecast categories can be tailored to individual user requirements.
In its Community Version, SugarCRM does not provide a sales forecast option. Pipelines and pie-charts have to share spacewithprospects within a revenue forecast. For the ProfessionalandBusiness Versions, however,a reporting moduleis available.The dashboardprovides cleargraphicsin the form ofbar andpie charts. Functionalities aresimilar to those in SalesForce, although with somedeviations.Filters, for example, are calledDrill-down.
Odoo offers additional, quite interesting reporting options. You can start a report already with the display of a single set of data and take it from there. The sky is the limit. Any Information and any amount numbers can be includedina report and with just a single click each list, each view can be converted into a chart or Kanban, and summarized into a dashboard.
A CRMcomparison regardingintuitivenessis always a matter of tasteand will therefore beevaluated differentlyby different users, depending on their way of working. And for user acceptance there is nothing more important than simple and intuitive application. Intuitivenessreduces trainingtime and increasesdata quality.On the Internet, 15 years are an eternity. A long period of time may be an advantage when you want to gain experience, but for the design of a CRM, age definitely poses a challenge.
With its multiple possibilities, SalesForce seems a bit excessive; its lack of usability is arguably thebiggest point of criticism. Most of the time, it is simply one click too many. SugarCRM looks a little more streamlined. The name alone shows some pizzazz, and its design, menu navigation and all the other trappings look much fresher.
Odoo does handle modern design and functionalities quite naturally. It is immediately noticeable that using apps and mobile phones has already become intuitive when Odoo was still in development.Generation Ywill probablyopt for themoderndesign and by now, they are far ahead in numbers, compared to the baby-boomers.