Sales Vision has been refining a component-based, "mass customization" approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications that deserves your attention. Sales Vision's architecture facilitates rapid evolution, not just rapid deployment, and has been engineered from the ground up on Internet technologies.
Jsales does a fine job with all the usual contact and activity management tasks, including bi-directional integration with Microsoft Outlook. The program also has a conduit that synchronizes information with 3Com's Palm Computing connected organizers. The Palm Computing conduit enables Jsales users to automatically coordinate contacts, calendar/activities and to-do items on both laptops and Palm Computing devices.
Driven by an easy-to-use, wizard-style graphical user interface, Sales Vision's conduit synchronizes activities, contacts and to-do items from within the Jsales application with the Palm Computing platform's built-in Date Book, Address Book and To Do List. On the handheld device, the conduit files all entries into a separate Jsales category so that the user can easily differentiate CRM data from personal and other business information. The conduit supports complete bi-directional synchronization and allows business rule processing so that the user can apply custom logic and maintain data integrity.
Jsales uses a comprehensive suite of configurable Java-based business objects for sales automation that lets you rapidly create and evolve "exact fit" customer interaction solutions by configuring and linking components to solve real business problems.
The Opportunity Entry Point is your key to tracking where potential clients are currently positioned in the sales cycle. This information is the foundation for setting priorities, mapping methodologies and analyzing marketing strategies. You can easily track each opportunity's calculated potential revenue, close date, probability of close, competitive situation and rating.
structured Selling Methodology
You can use Jsales to define one or more sales methodologies that can be used for Opportunity Management functions. This entry point allows you to define an unlimited number of sales methodology templates, define sales cycle steps for each methodology and define default closure probability and months to close for each step. You can also assign default methodology by business unit user and select an override methodology at the point of opportunity creation.
Jsales lets you maintain detailed information about the Territories that are used to geographically partition your accounts and assign sales representatives to accounts. You can easily design hierarchical territory structures and reassign accounts or opportunities across these territories. It is also easy to "roll up" opportunities across territory levels.
When combined into one solution, all these business objects empower your organization to rapidly create and evolve exact-fit customer interaction solutions by configuring and linking components. Jsales' revolutionary architecture allows customization using popular Java development environments that support JavaBeans, such as Symantec's Visual CafZ and Powersoft's PowerJ.
Jsales includes several powerful features that provide real sales impact. The Application Listeners can be posted anywhere to alert you when certain business events occur. The Routed Notifications let users selectively route notifications to other users, and even partners outside the company, to see that customers are cared for properly. The powerful Web capabilities of Jsales will also contribute to a much more informed sales team by effectively communicating new product information and competitor intelligence.
Though the current version of the program does not include the kind of "drip marketing" capabilities I look for, the company did preview some interesting new capabilities (which should be shipping by the time you read this) for me. For that reason, I rate Jsales' sales impact as strong and getting better.
Ease of Use
Jsales features an innovative, universal interface for all application entry points. The program provides users with a simple, intuitive interface model for accessing and updating complex relational information. All basic interface and data manipulation functions for business objects are provided without altering source code. Jsales utilizes standard Windows conventions, including an Outlook-like menu bar, an Internet Explorer-like list navigation, tab folders, column dragging and sorting, a standard Window menu (File, Edit, View, Tools, Window) and data action icons below the Window menu. Overall, the program is very easy to use.
"Jsales features an innovative, universal interface for all application entry points."
The product's open data architecture imposes no constraints on database relationships and supports any business or selling model. A granular, component-based solution, Jsales contains business objects, which represent each facet of the selling environment, such as account management, contact management, opportunity management, team selling and forecasting.
Jsales includes all Java source code classes and can be maintained in any "bean-enabled" development environment. Sales Vision does not use any proprietary scripting language. All major components in Jsales can be customized without coding using a JavaBean customization environment.
The Jsales solution provides two layers of code: the Framework layer and the Business Object layer. The Framework layer provides the generic application functionality, including interface, navigation, data manipulation, query and reporting support and so on. The Business Object layer provides a set of business object templates that can be extensively modified, augmented and linked in any pattern required to model your business. In addition, completely new business objects can be added to the desktop and "merged" into the application without disrupting existing generic functionality and the future upgrade path.
Out of the box, Jsales typically provides 70 to 80 percent of a client's required functionality. Jsales includes a "model" sales force automation application that can be utilized as is, or can be configured to complement virtually any business, organizational or selling model. This approach to customization yields fully completed projects in 60 to 90 days.
The Bottom Line
In this overcrowded field of "me too" products, Sales Vision has made a genuine contribution to elevating salespeople's capabilities. Java has been so overhyped that I wasn't expecting too much when this one hit my desk. Instead, I was greeted with real architectural innovation that allows for uniquely customized solutions in a short time frame and reasonable budget. If you would like to apply a progressive, Internet-based solution to your complex enterprise CRM needs, make sure Jsales is on your evaluation list.