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DEVELOP ONLINE CRM SERVICES
PROBLEM: A Web-based CRM program would enhance your organization's responsiveness.
SOLUTION: Q-Link, the latest software program from AlterNetix, is a 100 percent Web-based CRM program that works with Java Servlet architecture. The program, which can be integrated within weeks, offers ways to deliver and track customer information, can provide immediate responses to customer touchpoints and deploys solutions that integrate with front office, ERP and data warehouse applications. Users can access Q-Link with a Web browser, so no client software is required. A professional services team also offers technical support and customer service information. Pricing begins at $1,200 per concurrent user. It is also offered as a hosted application with prices starting at $90 per user per month. (800) 889-6390; www.alternetix.com
PROBLEM: Your sales force finds it hard to take a bulky notebook on the road.
SOLUTION: The latest in Toshiba's line of ultrathin notebooks, the sleek, 3/4-inch, three-pound Portege 3110CT, comes ready to travel. It comes standard with a 300-megahertz Pentium II processor, 64-megabytes SD RAM expandable to 128-megabytes, a 6.5 billion byte capacity hard drive, an integrated V.90 fax/modem, 24-speed, PC Card CD-ROM and a 10-inch, polysilicon color display. Completing this notebook are ports for USB, infrared, headphones and external microphone and a magnesium encased, metallic silver design. Price is $2,299. (800) 867-4422; www.toshiba.com
MAKE A PROPOSAL
PROBLEM: The ability to create business proposals in-house would give your sales force an edge in the marketplace.
SOLUTION: Pragmatech's Windows-based The Proposal Assembler makes it easy to create individual proposals and other selling documents. Regular users can create document templates, called Blueprints, that can be reused for each new item. Key data, such as formatted text, graphics and charts, can be stored in a Knowledge Base, then integrated into Blueprints or custom documents when needed. Other features allow mobile users to create custom documents even when not connected to the Knowledge Base, and the program can be used to facilitate proposals on the Internet. Enterprise pricing starts at $25,000. (800) 401-9580; www.pragmatech.com
PROBLEM: Improving partner relationship management applications is a priority.
SOLUTION: ChannelWave Software has released the updated version of its PRM software, ChannelWave 3.0. The program uses the Internet to help companies standardize, track and engineer key business processes involving their partners. The program includes new strategic partner plan creation and implementation, partner profiling, one-to-one publishing, closed-loop lead management and other capabilities. It also includes enhancements to the previous edition, such as an OLAP reporting system to create multi-dimensional reports, and a new database integration toolkit to increase the speed of integration with CRM applications. Pricing begins at $150,000. (617) 497-8006; www.channelwave.com
PLAN EFFECTIVE MARKETING
PROBLEM: How can your organization create long-term marketing campaigns?
SOLUTION: Version 3.0 of Paragren Technologies' One-By-One group of marketing software applications allows users to design and execute complicated, multi-stage marketing campaigns. The program includes three components: a Data Discoverer for integrated exploration, analysis and data mining; a Campaign Manager for planning and designing customer acquisition; and an Interactive Marketer for executing real-time, one-to-one marketing campaigns. The design lets users plan, create and direct automated cascading campaigns, even when the promotion depends on responses to a prior promotion. Pricing starts at $350,000 for a six-user system. (703) 995-1800; www.paragren.com
PROBLEM: Your road warriors want the tools to deliver dynamic presentations on the road, but taking a computer is not an option.
SOLUTION: Your sales force can hit the road with Sanyo's PLC-XU10N, a self-contained mobile LCD projector. The multimedia, XGA projector features a built-in PC card slot that allows users to display documents, spread sheets and even PowerPoint files and digital camera images. The package comes standard with an 8-megabyte SmartMedia Card, Media Card Imager software, a VGA cable and 800 ANSI lumens--all in 9.5-pound package with a footprint of less than one square foot. Suggested price is $8,495. (818) 998-7322, ext. 288; www.sanyolcd.com
PROBLEM: Your salespeople want a portable tool to help them record vast amounts of information in the field.
SOLUTION: The QuickLink Pen Personal Scanner from Wizcom Technologies is a hand-held, pen-sized scanner that can read up to 1,000 pages of material and store it in ASCII format prior to download into a PC, Palm Pilot or IRDA infrared data port. And, at 6.4 inches and 3.2 ounces, it's compact enough to fit in a pocket. It uses OCR technology to read printed type faces in regular, bold or italic fonts ranging from 6 to 22 points. Expected street price is $149. (888) 777-0552; www.wizcomtech.com
TARGET YOUR MARKET
PROBLEM: How can your organization enhance its Internet marketing skills?
SOLUTION: I-Marketing, or Individualized Internet Marketing, is the goal of DataSage's netCustomer software system, which allows e-businesses to track customer behavior in order to individualize site content, banner ads, e-mail and other direct communications. NetCustomer incorporates data on customers, products and promotions data into an information repository called a Knowledge Hub. Using that information, the hub is then able to deliver customer-specific insights that allow for targeted marketing based on customer preference and history. Pricing begins at $75,000. (781) 942-3600; www.datasage.com
PROBLEM: An automatic mobile phone directory would make it easier for your road warriors to keep track of contact numbers.
SOLUTION: Paragon Software's FoneSync program transfers contact names and numbers from the user's computer directly into his mobile phone, eliminating fumbling attempts to plug multi-digit numbers into tiny phone keypads. The PC-based synchronization software is compatible with contact managers and personal information managers such as Lotus Organizer and Notes, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, Microsoft Schedule +, GoldMine and Symantec's ACT! Information can be easily updated and the system provides access to phone numbers while on the road. It even enables the speed-dial function on your phone. Estimated retail price is $79.95. (888) 777-6820; www.paragonsoftware.com
PROBLEM: You want a CRM program geared toward the wireless industry.
SOLUTION: Metapath Software International, a provider of software services to the wireless industry, and Prime Response, a marketing automation vendor, have joined to create a plan that helps wireless telecommunications companies develop one-on-one marketing programs. The system integrates Ceer, an MSI product that integrates real-time customer usage data with customer service information, with Prime Response's Prime Vantage software, which generates targeted marketing campaigns based on customer behavior. The marriage allows wireless companies to achieve an enterprise-wide view of customer behaviors--and respond appropriately. Pricing depends on business configuration. (513) 563-3030; www.msi-world.com
LAPTOP FOR LESS
PROBLEM: With so many laptop computers to buy, price becomes a major factor.
SOLUTION: The Soundsx 5200 notebook, the latest addition to Sceptre's line, provides power at an affordable price. The 6.58-pound unit comes standard with a 4-gigabyte hard drive (upgradeable to a 10-gigabyte Ultra DMA/33 hard drive), a 512 KB L2 cache, 32 megabytes SD Ram, and your choice of AMD K6-2-P 350/380 megahertz or AMD K6-III-P with up to 450 megahertz. Other standard features include a combo FDD/24x CD-ROM module, 56K fax/modem, USB port, MS Windows 98, one to two PC Card slots, NiMH battery pack and carrying case. Priced at $1,499. (800) 788-2878; www.sceptre.com
IN THE PALM
OF YOUR HAND
PROBLEM: The ability to create custom business forms on a Palm Computing platform would give your sales force more flexibility in the field.
SOLUTION: Salespeople can create custom forms on their Palm Pilot handheld computers, then outsource those forms to other workgroups with the latest version of Pendragon Software's Pendragon Forms 3.0. The program features bi-directional synchronization with Microsoft Access and ODBC date sources and supports Access 2000 out of the box. Version 3.0 runs on a variety of Palm Computing devices, such as the Palm IIIx, Palm V and Palm VII models, and Symbol Technologies' SPT-1500. A starter kit is priced at $149. (847) 816-9660; www.pendragonsoftware.com
IT'S A COMPUTER,
NOT A FILECABINET
PROBLEM: Your sales force is underutilizing its laptop computers.
SOLUTION: This 222-page manual teaches your field force how to use their laptop computers as an actual sales tool, rather than a handy place to keep phone numbers. How to Sell with a Laptop offers step-by-step instructions on everything from creating a customized Power Point presentation to using a laptop to build better relationships with clients. The book, published by McGraw-Hill, is available for $16.95 at retail booksellers. A marketing kit, complete with a CD-ROM, instructional video and diskette, is $199 and is available from TEAM Marketing. (800) 262-6992; www.teamdenver.com
PROBLEM: Using a standard mouse to control high-level presentations puts your sales force behind the computer when they should be in front of the audience.
SOLUTION: Presenting Solutions' Gyropoint Pro II A/V remote mouse allows mobility in a crowd, yet still maintains ultimate control of the computer screen. The Gyropoint works through an FM radio frequency that gives users a 75-foot range--and they don't have to point the mouse at the receiver to make it work. The gyro system responds to wrist movements for more precision, and clicks are registered the first time. The Gyropoint can be used with or without special features software. Priced at $175. (800) 701-9869; www.presentingsolutions.com
PROBLEM: It's difficult to find quick and reliable PC support services.
SOLUTION: PCsupport.com offers support services via the Internet. Its three products--Global Replace, which offers mobile users an emergency replacement if a notebook is lost or stolen; The Phoenix Program, which simplifies the process of upgrading to a new notebook by transferring the old computer's data directly onto the new machine; and PC Support Center, a Web-based diagnostic and maintenance service--help minimize the cost and productivity gaps that can result from software and hardware failure and loss. Pricing depends on configuration. (888) 673-1666; www.pcsupport.com
SPEED UP SALES
PROBELM: You'd like your front office application to have a strong configurator and be easy to use.
SOLUTION: Exactium introduces version 7.5 of its Exactium Selling System, which provides configuration capabilities with ease of implementation and maintenance. ESS helps generate error-free quotes and orders and accelerate the selling process. Some scalability features include relational database support for high volumes of data items such as product and parts data and multiuser support. Usability enhancements include improved display capabilities for products and groups and multiple-catalog capability, which allows individual catalogues to be created from the same product, group and rules database. Pricing starts at $50,000. (404) 705-9444; www. Exactium.com
ORDER TAKING MADE EASIER
PROBLEM: Taking hand-written orders in the field or at trade shows is a sloppy, time-consuming process.
SOLUTION: The OrderMaster order processing system uses a hand-held laser bar-code scanner to capture orders electronically. It eliminates the need for hand-written receipts and provides a printed sales order form to the customer. Originally developed for use in trade shows, OrderMaster has now integrated Symantec's ACT! as well as popular accounting packages. The system provides access to customer order history, electronic product imaging, real-time reports of sales statistics and stock status information. Pricing begins at $1,250; additional charges may apply. (973) 465-8080; www.ordermastercorp.com
PROBLEM: With so many different products, creating and managing price lists is a chore.
SOLUTION: Not only does Pricedex software help create and maintain price lists, it also offers a bridge between the front and back office functions. Once a master price list is created using Pricedex, the software can then help with the marketing function of publishing those lists in several formats. Create different lists tailored to specific customer groups, for instance, or lists cross-referenced to those of your customers. Pricedex can also create lists in several different languages, can create complex "quote sheets" and aids with electronic price list distribution. Price ranges from $50,000 and $500,000. (800) 551-7339; www.pricedex.com