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Update on CRM adventures

May 22, 2011

It turns out it’s very hard to find a system to match our CRM needs, which seemed fairly simple.

The tech environment: About 35 users. Notes/Domino for messaging. Mix of Windows and Mac and of Blackberry and iPhone (Blackberries on BES, iPhones on Traveler).

The business need: The bulk of the users are consultants who both sell and perform work. Relationships with prospects and clients can last years, and we may follow past clients as they move position or even as they switch employer.

We’ve been using a solution implemented entirely within Notes. It’s cumbersome and a lot of users don’t like it. But it has one big plus that other systems don’t — the CRM address book and the mail system are one. In our case it’s literally true as we’ve set the CRM address book (about 15,000 names at the moment but it was bigger before a recent cleanup) to be a Directory Assistance database in Notes. That means all names, not just your own, are available to anyone in the organization from Notes and from your handheld via lookup. There are some tools to manage copying and synching names between the CRM address book and your personal address book/Contacts.

The integration also means that logging email to CRM is just a click, although it’s used very sporadically.

The web based solutions we’ve looked at are much easier to work with, The tracking and reporting, pipeline management, etc. are great. But the need to work in two different interfaces (Notes for messaging, CRM for explicit sales and marketing activity) and not be easily able to move between them seem likely to be a real barrier to adoption.

The exploration continues. I will blog about any learnings and where we end up.

David

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3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Hello David
    Pls. see our product “Laurus CRM”. We are working the same way you do – so our system will fit. We have language packs in EN.

    Kind regards
    Beat Leuenberger

    Like

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Have you checked out SalesForce.com or SugarCRM?

    Like

  3. Anonymous permalink

    David, We have discussed this in the past. What you want is possible, but you need to pick which is more important, Notes or the web?
    It can be done with both SalesForce and sugar.

    Like

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