Salesnet thinks that now is the time to "start to go toe-to-toe with Salesforce.com," according the Jonathan Tang, the president and co-founder of the Boston-based provider of Web-based CRM applications. "Salesnet is quickly growing its reputation as the Salesforce.com alternative."
If the company plans to fight what is arguably the poster child for on-demand software, its landing the first punch today with the launch of Salesnet 25. Tang said Salesnet will not increase its monthly fees while providing 250 new features designed to help small and mid-sized businesses improve their marketing automation and lead management as well as generate HTML e-mails directly from a CRM application.
If you're an existing Salesnet customer, the new features may not come as a surprise as the company has allowed its customers to monitor progress of the new version at Salesnet25.com, which it launched last September.
The new leads-management features are designed to help businesses focus on converting only qualified leads, according to Tang. A Lead Dashboard will provide analysis of lead activities and includes access to several pre-built reports. New customized dashboard elements are designed to let you track the progress of leads throughout the qualification process.
A campaigns module lets you track and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and store related information in one central location. You can track campaigns against pre-defined goals and analyze campaigns in real-time. E-mail can be sent from within the Salesnet application and all activity is linked to lead, contact and deal records.
|Salesnet's new dashboard tabs provide access to what the company says are 250 new features.|
(Click for larger image.)
Also new is the capability to create HTML e-mails using a WYSIWYG e-mail editor, which is designed to eliminate the need for any knowledge of HTML coding. Salesnet reports that designated "template administrators" can build and share templates among users.
To allow you to customize Salesnet to match your business' terminology and style, administrators now "re-term" the Campaign, Lead, Account, Contact and Deal tabs. The changes are then reflected throughout the application.
The latest version of Salesnet also boasts a new file structure, which is designed to make it easier to sort and locate documents. According to the company, you can now create new folders and subfolders and modify the names of existing folders. Previously folder names were hardcoded into the application.
Salesnet direct approach to competing against the bellwether of the on-demand CRM market comes after several reported outages at Salesforce.com, which Tang said has hurt the hosted software category in general. While saying that the potential for outages is inherent in the software-as-a-service market, Tang said that Salesforce.com did a poor job of communicating with its customers when problems arose.
Tang said Salesnet has never had to use its policy, but explained that the company has a plan in place should it experience an outage. He said that top-tier customers can expect regular calls from the company senior executives. "During a code red, we all put down what we are doing [to call customers]."
Not every customer can expect a call from Tang should Salesnet be down. However, customers at all tiers, he said, can expect regular communications from Salesnet.
|Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!|