Maximizer brings mobile CRM to small sales teams

Maximizer Software Inc. has pared down its customer relations management (CRM) tool to serve smaller sales units.

The Vancouver-based firm’s new CRM 11 Entrepreneur and Team editions do away with the marketing campaign features of earlier releases, while retaining the contact-management features.

They also support Mobile CRM on users’ BlackBerry smartphone.

“We’re covering all the bases in the small and mid-sized business (SMB) space — from the lone entrepreneur operation to the company with five to 50 of more employees,” said Bob Neudecker, director of marketing, at Maximizer.

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In April, Maximizer released CRM 11 Group Edition (for one to 10 users) and CRM 11 Enterprise Edition — for five to an unlimited number of users.

On June 29, the firm offered CRM 11 Entrepreneur Edition (one to five users).

This Windows desktop tool focuses on contact management and retails for $199 per license. The MaxMobile for BlackBerry add-on costs an additional $99.

CRM 11 Team Edition (five to 50 users) includes contact management as limited version of the sales opportunity management features available on the Group and Enterprise editions.

Team Edition is priced at $549 per license and includes Windows Desktop and MaxMobile for BlackBerry. It comes with a free first year support.

“Our new editions contain the essentials,” Neudecker told

He said many smaller operations have little use for marketing campaign features on their CRM apps.  However, they still require portable and automated management of contact lists.

“Typically the sales person wants to have a real-time handle on data about prospects and existing clients, while managers want more visibility into what each sales team is doing.”

Entrepreneur edition, he said, is targeted at smaller outfits, and specializes in on automating client contact lists.  Its interface is based on Microsoft Office’s “ribbon style” navigation bar.

Doug Raynor, a wealth management and SMB management consultant and long-time user of Maximizer CRM products, find the Entreprenuer Edition very useful.

Raynor loves the idea that contact information he stored in an earlier Maximizer product were easily transfered to the newer system. Raynor’s data can now also be viewed in a more current template with screen characteristics similar to Windows 7.

“I’ve accumulated a fairly large database of contacts and clients over the last 15 years of my career. The database now has an extremely high asset value, ” he said.

Sales Opportunity Management in Team Edition enables companies to create Sales Teams within the system–whether domestic or international, with time zone support built into related appointments and tasks. Sales managers are able to leverage critical insight into the status of sales deals in the pipeline with real-time access into performance data by representative or sales team.

The Group and Enterprise Editions offer the ability to track performance by territory as well, and they also offer email notifications to alert key personnel when an opportunity has been modified.

Tighter integration with BlackBerry applications also does away with the need for wireless synchronization.   

What sales people want

Access to useful data and insight into what it means – these in a nutshell are what most mobile sales professionals want in a CRM tool, according to James King, sales and marketing manager for the IT events division at IT World Canada in Toronto.

“Essentially, sales people want a tool that can automate storage and management of client information as doing this manually just takes too much of their time,” King said.

Unfortunately he said, some CRM products provide too much information but little insight. “They flood you with data, but don’t tell you what the information means to you.”

King said he is accustomed to using the Goldmine CRM tool from software maker FrontRange Soluntions Inc.

The tool serves as a repository for his contacts, but it does much more. Using it, he can check out, at a glance, the person’s expertise, their special interests, his latest interaction with them, products the person has purchased, and other pertinent information.

“However, this is generally information I also have on an Excel spreadsheet or an index card.” He said, in addition, newer CRM tools can also build bridges to other applications.  

For instance, they can link to e-mail apps or even to social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, to provide in-depth client information.

“I can now receive pop up messages to alert me that I haven’t contacted a client lately, or can send personalize e-mail messages to a contact group about an upcoming event.”  

New capabilities also streamline the task of contacting clients, King noted.

For instance, were his firm to organize security conference or event in Ottawa, the CRM tool could use filters to run through his list of clients and shortlist — in a matter of seconds — experts in the field or persons in the area with an interest in security-related topics.   

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