As we know, Sage CRM is moving its’ value proposition to one of the “integrated Sage CRM & Sales, Marketing and Service modules of the Sage Business Management Solutions”. This is designed to speak of CRM capability within our range of accounting products (the aforementioned Business Management Solutions, or BMS for short) available around the world.

Skilling up a Sage company’s ecosystem of marketing, sales & service teams to talk “modular CRM within a BMS” requires careful consideration of people, processes and outcomes, across the ecosystem of both direct & indirect operations.  A region that has successfully transformed its organisation to successfully sell integrated CRM is Sage Spain.

Based on the performance over the last couple of years, we would like to share the story of how this part of the organisation transformed their approach to marketing & sales. We believe they provide an excellent example of best practice for other Sage regions. This article forms the first of three, where we first consider the overall strategic challenge, followed by the marketing & sales changes undertaken in support of driving increased CRM sales to our customers. 

We hope you enjoy and take useful suggestions from this series. My thanks to the contributors for their considered opinions and to Dayana Peraza, for bringing the stakeholders & words together to form the Q&A.  Any errors are mine in transcription.

 -= David
CRM Principal

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[David Beard, CRM Principal, Sage CRM]: Can you set the scene, explain the Sage Spain strategy in general and for CRM?

[Andreu Vilamitjana Pérez, Managing Director SMB Spain]: The Spain strategy follows the overall Sage strategy for Sage CRM. What makes it different is the combination of four factors:

  • Low market penetration of CRM software in Spain
  • Opportunity to support our customers in their business growth using our CRM solution
  • Intensive use of internal CRM with a positive impact on sales knowledge about the possibilities to improve performance

We focused our Sage CRM sales representatives on overachieving objectives (increase our customer’s share of wallet) and, as a result, have delivered sustained growth during the last 4 years.


[David]:  What did the organisation look like before & what were the challenges internally in terms of alignment and resourcing?

[Andreu]: We were reactive in offering CRM.  Although we initially had a dedicated sales representative for Sage CRM, we made an evolution to a “distributed” strategy where not only all sales representatives had CRM objectives but also all the business unit management team. The sale of Sage CRM was positioned as a key initiative within Sage Spain. Meetings were held, with the sales force & external consultants, to better understand the size and the opportunity for selling Sage CRM. As a result of these meetings, we create a new approach that was presented on our quarterly sales meetings. In addition to this, we created a proposal where every single customer receiving an ERP offer (quotation), would also receive a Sage CRM offer (quotation) to help support the BMS story and drive up “share of wallet”.


[David]: How did you view the opportunity / market perspective?

[Andreu]:  The market penetration of Sage CRM is very low in Spain. There was (and there is) a huge opportunity to sell CRM in our local (Sage Murano) installed base. Our attachment rate (the number of BMS sites taking additional CRM modules) is just 7%. Additionally, the fact that, without much focus, our business had been growing CRM sales 4 years in a row, made it clear that there was a market demand that our representatives could satisfy.


[David]: What commitment was made to Sage CRM & how did you approach it?

[Andreu]: The previous year (FY14) we grew a 34% and we did a revenue of 1 million. Our commitment was to raise that figure by 30% during FY15. By the closing of that financial years, we reached 46% and almost 1.5 million euro in revenue.  We combined extended nurturing campaigns with sales campaigns, making sure we had a focused deliverable within, and for, every month of the campaign’s life. We also modified our maintenance & support contract to become an “Assessment Contract”, influencing and improving the value (“how can we help you get more from your BMS”) as seen by the customer.


[David]: Where do you see things going longer-term?

[Andreu]: In the same way we did with sales representatives, all business partners will sell Sage CRM with the support of a group of CRM certified partners (DB: who can offer specialist knowledge to help the customer understand the value of CRM as well as reducing the risk to introducing a product the incumbent partner may not be fully familiar). We also have a good opportunity in X3 that we haven’t used yet. Our objective is to maintain a double digit growth and achieve 5 million € in revenue in 2020.

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The second article focuses on conversations between David Tuneu & David Soler, from the Marketing function, where they tell us about the challenges with demand generation, the approaches they took and the results they have seen.