New marketing demystified for Indian SMEs

Archive for the tag “Google Apps”

How I stay synchronized across 4 platforms- for free!

I have my contacts data across multiple platforms and in buckets that often do not talk to one another. Am I unique? Hardly.

My contacts information is in GMail- the free gmail as well as (still free, but will become paid) the Google Apps. I store the same names minus the address and other details in my phone (Android) and I have the phone contact information synched with both my emails. So, changes in either one gets passed on to the phone and vice versa.

And, then I have the CRM. Which I use to store a smaller subset of contacts – not my family and friends. The CRM stores interaction history, opportunities that I am pursuing with my clients and the pending actions (tasks) against some of the contacts.

Would be nice to sync them too. So, I do that.

To do this, I tag my business contacts in Google Apps and synch with the CRM. The linked tasks/ activities synch up as well. Nice! In case there are changes on both sides since my last synch, the CRM prompts me and asks me to select the right data.

So, now, I have my Android Phone, Google Apps and CRM- synched up. For Contacts and Tasks- which appear as events with target date on the Google Calendar. Changes in status are updated on both sides.

Now, one thing still remains. I want to use my CRM offline. And, track opportunities across multiple platforms as well.

To do this, I fire up my Outlook which has a CRM add-in installed. Again, this helps me sync my contacts with the CRM in the cloud. Only those contacts tagged as a business contact will only get synced. And, now I sync up the opportunities across CRM and Outlook.

The CRM Add-in to Outlook allows me to create new opportunities right in the familiar user interface of Outlook, keep contacts updated and edit and update tasks related to the opportunities.

So, now, I have 4 platforms- all work together and all work seamlessly. And, best is- they are all free!Saleswah environment

What you need:

1. A Google apps user account.

2. MS-Outlook- any version from 2007 to 2012 will work fine.

3. The Saleswah CRM Add-In to MS-Outlook.

4. Any Android phone with 2.3 and above.

5. An account with Saleswah CRM (first 3 users are free!)- so, get yours!

And, yes: your Android phone will need to be registered with your Google Apps email address and the same email address must be used for your user login in Saleswah CRM.

Let me know in comments if you used it and found it working.


Nine dollars too much

Good marketing? Maybe. Good value? Perhaps not

I found this fascinating quote today: announced a contact management solution today specifically targeting the smallest businesses, nearly a decade after that product might have been a logical initial offering. Instead, the company started as a bare-bones sales force automation (SFA) provider at the turn of the century, a time when premises-based, standalone SFA had become not only commonplace but, in some cases, a high-end alternative to contact management products such as Act! and, GUEST-BLOG: Gives Something Back to the Little Guy, for Just $9/Month | CRM Magazine Blog, Sep 2009

You should read the whole article.
Frankly to me this is just a over-priced rolodex with some deal-management thrown in. While it might be a good strategy to spread the net for new customers (who will soon get frustrated with the limited functionality and want to do more and thus hopefully upgrade); what is to stop those guys from upgrading to Zoho? Or Sugar CRM for that matter, who have been running an identical product promotion at an identical price point for some time now. See below:

sugar crm

Zoho continues to impress me with their accent on partnership building. Also impressive is the fact that not a week goes by without something happening. Last week they announced that from now on, you can sign on to Zoho using your Google Apps credentials. This week’s announcement is about their partnership with VMWare, where Zoho Apps can now run on VM Ware’s vSphere or other VMWare approved hardware behind the client’s firewall for those clients who want to use Zoho Apps but are uncomfortable with hosting their data on Zoho’s cloud.

I wish Zoho continues to improve on the user experience on their apps and that includes the CRM. The coming year will be a fight worth watching, as Zoho continues to make inroads into Salesforce territory.

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