Why It’s Time to Move On From ACT! Contact Management

On September 2, 2010, SalesNexus will release a complete overhaul of it’s web based contact management and email marketing solution. Register for the September 2nd Webcast here.

Since its founding, SalesNexus has taken a different tack in the CRM landscape. First, we chose to build a solution around ACT! contact management software. First, ACT! has a huge following and we wanted to tap into that. But, just as importantly, ACT! is a very mature contact management system. The first of its kind 23 years ago, one of ACT!’s strengths has always been how easy it is to customize. In my early days of selling I learned how to add a few custom fields to my ACT! database and then create a custom report or two and then bring my manager a report that showed him my progress in terms he appreciated.

 

When I moved into sales management, ACT! was the contact management system that all my sales people already knew how to use. We could easily customize it to fit our sales process as it evolved and grew. It allowed us to synchronize databases amongst sales people that traveled frequently or were based in different markets.

 

Even when SalesNexus was founded, ACT! could do things that no online CRM could, like easily produce mail merge letters and emails. Our vision was to bring all that robust capability to the web and allow businesses that had depended on ACT! for years to move to web based CRM without losing anything they loved about ACT!

 

Businesses have been moving their ACT! databases online to gain the core advantages of any web based contact management software – access anywhere without the technical hassles and reduced internal costs related to installing, managing, supporting and upgrading CRM software.

 

Sales teams depend far more on email to communicate with customers now. Use ACT! to send “form” emails to customers is not so easy. There’s a lot of internal IT hassle associated with making sure the emails templates can be used by the entire sales staff no matter where they are at the time. Not to mention trying to send an email blast using an email template in ACT!

 

Plus, the growth of SaaS business solutions or “cloud computing” has changed everyone’s expectations of software. ACT! is just too time consuming to administrate for a remote sales team. Just creating a report that you want each sales person to use requires lots of editing and copying of files.

 

It used to be true that 9 out of 10 sales people had used ACT! before, which allowed businesses to reduce training and ramp up time for new sales hires by using ACT! However, that’s not really the case anymore. It’s more common that the business owner and sales executives have had some experience with ACT! and may be real fans but, the sales team is younger and may not have ever even heard of ACT!

 

We’ve completely redesigned the SalesNexus user interface. Up to now, many loved our interface because it was familiar to ACT! users. We’ve built the interface to be easy to learn and navigate even if you’ve never even heard of ACT! while being familiar and intuitive if you’re a long time ACT! pro that’s just moving online.

 

Don’t worry though! All the rich capabilities are still there and in many cases they’re easier to find and use. We’ll also continue to enable the easy customization that customers have always loved. No need to spend thousands on programmers and consultants to get SalesNexus fit to your unique business. We’ll help you get there without busting the budget.

 

And of course, SalesNexus will continue to be the only web based contact management system that allows ACT! users to import their entire ACT! database with no software to buy or additional fees.

 

Speaking of using email as a core component of your marketing and sales processes, the new SalesNexus is the first web based CRM to combine complete email marketing capabilities in the same package at one low price. More on that in our next article.

 

What I think is most important for users of ACT! contact management to know about SalesNexus is that you will not be throwing the baby out with the bath water. All that money and time you’ve invested in ACT! licenses, upgrades, customization and all the priceless history of your customer relationships will not be wasted. You’ll logon to your SalesNexus online contact management solution and everything currently in your ACT! database will be there, in familiar places with familiar capabilities.

 

The difference is you’ll find you’re able to spend more time leveraging all that valuable contact and customer relationship information to create new opportunities because you’re not slowed down by just keeping the software running and synchronizing databases. Plus you’ll be able to leverage the powerful email marketing and sales process automation that SalesNexus offers.

 

So, there’s really not a trade off to make. With other online CRM solutions, you’re gaining the advantages of cloud computing but, losing all of your ACT! contact history. With SalesNexus, you get both.

 

Remember, you can see the new SalesNexus live on September 2nd at 2pm Eastern. Register for the webcast here .

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