Sage Releases ACT! 2013

Sage North America today launched Sage ACT! 2013, the latest version of its contact and customer management products suited for small to medium-size businesses.

"This release focuses on several contemporary trends that we're seeing small businesses adopting or wanting to adopt—specifically those are around mobile, social media integration, email marketing, and workflow automation," comments Brandon Balsley, director of Sage ACT! product management.

Sage ACT! 2013 is available in Sage ACT! Pro, which typically services up to 10 users, as well as Sage ACT! Premium, which targets user bases of five to 25 and beyond. Included in the latest release for Premium users is Sage ACT! Premium Mobile, which provides access to CRM data via iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. Mobile users can tailor contact and opportunity views for their mobile device, with the ability to filter by date, status, process, and sales stage.

"We're finding our customers are very interested in being able to do their work out in the field," says Dan Wilzoch, senior vice president and general manager of Sage CRM Solutions. "The tablet and mobile device uptick has been phenomenal…people are now expecting that to be a part of their CRM solution, so we've been leveraging that and pushing those features into our various products."

In addition to mobile access to CRM data, SMBs are looking for ways to make social media relevant for business tasks at hand, Wilzoch says. Subsequently, "as we add features to our products, we're trying to take those [social] feeds and connect them to the contact record, connect them into email marketing, and weave that together for someone to leverage [social] in a more efficient way."

One of Sage ACT! 2013's social capabilities is the option to display a contact's last 25 posts on LinkedIn or Facebook (dependent upon privacy settings) within a centralized spot in the Sage contact record. Additional social features are available through a subscription-based cloud integration of Sage E-marketing for ACT!, which enables email marketing campaign recipients to "add" content from an email blast, for instance, to their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter feed.Marketers sending out an email blast using the Sage E-marketing service now have the option to post the HTML email content to social media sites.

Another feature of the release is an expansion of workflow automation—or Smart Task—features, which allows users to set up automatic tasks offline with the ability to trigger a task based on a field change. For instance, users can automatically add fulfilled opportunities to a salesperson's calendar with a trigger to "follow up with [a customer] in seven days to make sure they receive that order," Balsley says.

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