Budget conscious small and medium sized businesses get a double bonus from a recent mobile customer relationship management (CRM) software product from Maximizer Software Inc.

The company’s latest product, CRM 11 acquired a broader Web access footprint but also got a slimmed down TCO (total cost of ownership) by way of a new all-access license pricing that consolidates desktop, mobile and Web access under one single fee which starts at $699. This group edition license is which is available for up to 10 users and includes one full year of inclusive upgrade assurance and technical support is ideal for SMB operations.

 

“A lot of SMBs still don’t get CRM and one of the major barriers is price. With this new pricing we home to lower that hurdle,” Bob Neudecker, director of marketing for the Vancouver-based company.

Because some CRM vendors currently charge separate licenses for desktop, laptop and mobile access, many companies prefer to forgo one or two of the three channels, Neudecker said. For example, companies can save as much as $550 with the new all-access license as opposed to the stand-alone license for just a desktop or Web access.

Neudecker is also optimistic over adoption of mobile CRM. “We found that one in four users is taking up mobile CRM options,” he said.

With the new licensing plan, some businesses could same as much as 20 per cent, he said.

Greater Web access and more features

CRM 11 offers greater flexibility for users, said Will Anderson, executive vice-president of technology for Maximizer.

“This new version is packed with customer-driven features that will enable users to leverage CRM tools where, when and how they prefer to,” Anderson said.

For example, opening support for the Firefox Web browser expands interoperability beyond Windows to include both Apple and Linux systems ties in with Maximizer’s plans to expand service to iPhone users.

Full marketing support via Web access now enables marketing staff to send e-mail campaigns as well as track and report on results from anywhere.

Action plan creation and remote access to the company document library are also included in the Web access feature.

Some enhancements in this area include:

  • Sales Quota Management feature now gives managers real-time insight into sales performance. This enables them to determine accurate annual/monthly sales results for individuals, teams, or by territory, compared against sales quotas. Managers can monitor ongoing sales performance from their quota window or dashboard

 

  • A Sales Opportunity Monitoring feature allows sales teams and managers to proactively monitor opportunities and encourage forward progress during the sales cycle. E-mail notifications can be scheduled to alert key personnel when an opportunity has been modified

 

  • New wizard-driven dashboards enable executives and managers to monitor key performance indicators that matter most to them. Real-time indicators can be easily customized to reflect the most meaningful data in real-time. Also included is the ability to click through to a deeper level of information or view lists

Anderson said CRM 11 also has a redesigned interface that has a tighter integration with BlackBerry applications which does away with the need for wireless synchronization.

The new offerings include:

  • Real-time access to content, documents and e-mail attachments housed in the central Maximizer CRM database

 

  • GPS functionality with turn-by-turn maps and navigation, which enables mobilized workforces to optimize their time on the road and get new directions on-the-fly if schedules unexpectedly change

 

  • Multimedia support for video, voice and images that can be easily saved to a current Maximizer CRM record

 

  • Mobile CRM multi-user support, which allows users to assign tasks, escalate cases, and assign opportunities to other colleagues without returning to the desktop application

 

Web-enabled CRM boost SMB productivity

As more and more SMBs are rely on teleworking or remote employees, Web access to CRM tools become a necessity, according to Zina Oster, Pacific Territory manager for Colonial Life, a benefits product provider in South Carolina.

Access to a central database of applications and information that can be reached using a variety of tools such as desktop, a laptop or smart phone, is vital for companies like Colonial Life which employs many mobile workers, she said. The company is among the early users of CRM 11.

With CRM access on a laptop or BlackBerry device, agents need not go back to the office to obtain client information, she said.

“Most of our agents work on the fly rather than behind the desk, so the all-access mobility feature of CRM 11 will be especially critical to our sales organization,” she said.

She estimates that the all-access licensing structure can help her organization save as much as 25 per cent in up-front cost.

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