Net Promoter Score: Good Tool or Too Simple?

By Sharla Sikes The Net Promoter Score can be a handy tool for businesses to monitor and manage customer relationships. Developed by a team headed by Fred Reichheld, the NPS bases its results on the answer to a single question asked of consumers: “How likely are you to recommend this company to a colleague?” Reichheld claims this is the only loyalty metric companies need to pay attention to in order to grow. Adopted by companies including General Electric, Intuit, T-Mobile, Charles Schwab, and Enterprise, it’s certainly a strong enough tool bouncy castles for sale canada. There’s an argument, however, about NPS’ merits. Continue reading “Net Promoter Score: Good Tool or Too Simple?”

Economy Slows; CRM Grows

By Sharla Sikes

Just like the United States, the United Kingdom is already facing a depressed economy. Despite current trends, the customer relationship management sector, however, is predicted to

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grow. AMI-Partners Research predicts a 13 percent rate of annual growth worldwide, and the industry may reach $3.7 billion by 2012.

What’s behind the growth? Continue reading “Economy Slows; CRM Grows”

Entellium’s eSalesForce Free Product Demo Now Available

esalesforce entellium logoIn my first review of Entellium’s eSalesForce free “test drive” I wasn’t able to actually view their product because a live demo didn’t exist. Since then, Entellium has released a trial without having to speak with a sales rep which finally brings them almost up to par with other CRM vendors who have offered a live trial for years. The reason I say “almost” is because after you complete the registration form you still have to wait for an email before you can begin.

The email contains your free trial login information which you obviously need. This is true actually for most CRM vendors who offer a free trial but what kind of ruined the momentum of my experience was the fact the confirmation page said “We will contact you by email in the next 24 hours” instead of “you will receive an email in the next few minutes”. Continue reading “Entellium’s eSalesForce Free Product Demo Now Available”

Test Drive Review #2 – SugarCRM

I am evaluating the SugarCRM test drive called Sugar Professional On-Demand which is part of their open source product suite. This is the 2nd review of the series starting from this post –> Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?

SugarCRM is very different from all other CRM software providers since it’s software is considered open source. There is also some discrepancy as to how SugarCRM can call their product “open source” when it’s not part of the open source initiative. They claim to be the leader in “commercial open source CRM” which is probably true since there aren’t really any other open source CRM providers out there. Don’t be fooled however, since other CRM software providers like and Siebel On-Demand allow you to completely customize their applications.

Let’s move on to the test drive review. Here are the 5 questions SugarCRM must answer: Continue reading “Test Drive Review #2 – SugarCRM”

Manage Your Customer Relationships Using Heap CRM

If you own a small business, you might take a look at Heap CRM. Unlike most in this space, Heap CRM is designed for the way small businesses work — making fundamental assumptions about how you run your company (e.g. you trust your employees). This allows for a simpler & easier to use design and a more fluid experience with other members of your team. Continue reading “Manage Your Customer Relationships Using Heap CRM”

Test Drive Review #1 – Entellium

I am evaluating the Entellium product test drive eSalesForce which is part of their Automation Release 2007. This is the first review of the series starting from this post –> Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?

Entellium seems to be where was 5 years ago with their web site and product awareness. Their site and ideas seem to mirror the more successful CRM players and why not — it obviously works. Having worked at, I remember we would follow Siebel’s lead (the CRM leader at the time) and model some of our programs and campaigns from theirs. That’s just what all smaller companies need to do and there’s no shame in it.

Here are the 5 questions I will answer for all CRM test drive reviews I will conduct starting first with Entellium: Continue reading “Test Drive Review #1 – Entellium”

Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?

Before considering a CRM solution, one must see and understand how a CRM system works. The days of sales reps and sales engineers scheduling a live product demo are no longer the first taste you get of their product. Now days, most CRM vendors give you a free “test drive” or demo of their product online before any interaction with a sales rep is necessary.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to evaluate how each of the following 10 CRM vendors deliver their online product demo. My guess is most of these companies don’t even realize how difficult they make it for prospects to sign-up. For example, why does one need to fill out a 10+ field form before they can view a demo? The demo should be an easy process and encourage a web site visitor to quickly and painlessly register. Continue reading “Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?”

Jumping Right In – 3 Free CRM Trials

Before investing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in a new CRM system it’s probably a good idea to test drive at least a couple solutions. Sure, you can read the product feature comparison charts and all the marketing fluff that makes it sound like it’s a perfect solution for you but you won’t know this until you actually try out the system firsthand.

Since most CRM market leaders now provide an on-demand CRM system, it’s very easy to get started. On-demand CRM is basically a web-based application that you login to via your web browser. You don’t need to download, unzip, install, or configure anything — instead you simply fill out an online form with your personal and/or company contact information, set up a username and password, and voila…you’re ready to begin.

Mike Santoro over at blogged about using the free CRM trials as a tool before making your final decision. He then provides two pieces of advice and lists three CRM online trials you can take advantage of right away. The three CRM trials are from Netsuite,, and SageCRM.

My advice (especially if you’re currently in the evaluation stage of CRM systems), is to try at least two of the three that he lists and see for yourself which one might work best for you and your company. That way when you later have to speak with management and provide a recommendation on which CRM system your company should use, you can feel confident that you did your due diligence prior to taking action.

7 Steps to Making a CRM Purchase Decision

Compare CRMI came across a pretty cool CRM information site called which has some free tools to help you choose the right CRM solutions. CompareCRM features information about the leading CRM vendors and their website makes it easy to build your CRM shortlist. You’ll find information on the company, key product strengths, modules and more. You can also request a fee demo or trial from most of the vendors.

Their free white papers are packed with tools and advice which will help you negotiate the best CRM deal. Be sure to checkout: “7 Steps to Making a CRM Purchase Decision”, and the “Insider’s Guide to Getting the Best CRM Software Deal”. You’ll have to register for these papers, but they have good information for small and mid-size companies buying CRM software.

Apparently you can also tell CompareCRM your CRM requirements and they will recommend a CRM vendor for you based on your company’s size, functionality requirements, hosted or on-premise needs and budget.

Pretty cool CRM information site overall!

CRM Software Selection Does Not Have to Be Daunting Task

Susan Campbell talks about how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions can do great things for a company, when they are selected and implemented correctly. She then goes on the say “This is easier said than done, however, and many decision makers are left scratching their heads trying to determine exactly what the company’s needs are and how to select a solution that actually meets those needs.”

Before a company can investigate a CRM software solution, it must first be able to properly identify company goals, strategies and business objectives and what benefits related to these factors they hope to gain from the CRM software implementation. By properly aligning the CRM software selection with business objectives, the focus is put directly on these objectives and not getting caught up in clarifying the company’s IT strategy. Such an approach also enables the company to consider growth objectives and ensure that these are clearly defined. Continue reading “CRM Software Selection Does Not Have to Be Daunting Task”