When Garry Wood took over as CEO of WorldLynx in October 2010, Bell Canada’s largest wireless reseller, he had other top priorities besides an impending implementation of Salesforce.com – but found it tough to negotiate delaying the contract by a year.
“They kept telling me they had a 95 per cent satisfaction rate, I told them I didn’t care about that, I’m asking for a favour and you’re telling me no,” Wood recalls. “When you put in Salesforce or that kind of program, it’s pretty all consuming.”
So Wood cancelled the contract instead. A few months later he got in touch with Toronto-based SalesChoice, looking for beta users of its new Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) software. It was an opportunity Wood seized when he saw the company’s friendly approach and willingness to customize the product for him.
“The delivery times were very acceptable and it was important that I could work with them instead of a partner that dictates what the terms could be,” he says. “We were able to build it in a partnership versus a canned product on a shelf.”
SalesChoice styles itself as a simplified CRM compared to Salesforce.com. It has far fewer fields to fill out and is designed to appeal to sales users enough that they actually use it, explains Cindy Gordon, CEO of SalesChoice. It also works with its clients to customize the software in a way that works for them. For WorldLynx, it created a customized dashboard that allows managers to have a one-glance view of how multiple sales teams are doing. It also tweaked inventory drop-down menus to show mobile subscription packages and integrated about 100 point of sales systems (POS) and inventory database into the backend.
While SalesChoice is soon looking to partner with Salesforce, the cloud-based CRM that’s been operating since 1998 is just too complicated to use, Gordon says.
“They have over-engineered the user experience,” she says. “Usually in terms of all their fields I’d say 60 to 70 per cent of them never get filled in by sales professionals.”
Woods says his team does appreciate the user interface and the reduced number of key strokes in requires. The main benefit he sees from using SalesChoice is standardizing the company on one system, as WorldLynx is a company that acquired 12 independent Bell resellers and brought them together under one big umbrella.
“Anybody who has put together a whole bunch of companies at one time would realize the importance of having one methodology of doing things,” he says. “This gave us the curbs to make everyone work the same way.”
A demo of the SalesChoice dashboard:
WorldLynx uses SalesChoice to track its business-to-business customers and a POS solution for its consumer market. Winnipeg-based iQmetrix provides its RQ4 POS for consumer facing stores to handle inventory tracking and pricing.
Stretching from the Maritimes to Vancouver, WorldLynx tap a Microsoft Outlook plugin available for Saleschoice that has been popular. Sales team members are able to enter contact information and manage CRM data right from their e-mail client. The SalesChoice API is built to be flexible and able to tie into other systems, Gordon explains. The firm is exploring social media plugins next.
It’s also looking to add on a predictive analytics feature that will help WorldLynx and other customers plan ahead for their sales cycles. Saleschoice is filing a patent for an analytics engine and working with the University of Toronto to build a predictive model on whether a transaction will close or not. The product could also pull on Salesforce data and launch in the Salesforce AppExchange, Gordon says.
For WorldLynx, it’s looking at moving from using Saleschoice on laptops to mobile devices and working out how that will be developed.