• February 13, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Salesnet Celebrates With Silver

Salesnet today launched the 25th Anniversary Edition of its on-demand CRM product, which includes 250 new features, many of which better integrate marketing automation into the company's traditional SFA play. Salesnet 25 will proceed at the pace of the customer, says Jonathan Tang, Salesnet president. "Users will see the same screens and tabs [today] as they left on Friday," Tang says. "It's up to administrators to turn on and change the functions and appearance. We knew the release would affect large numbers of people." Two new modules, lead management and campaign management, head up Salesnet's venture into marketing automation. Lead management includes a dashboard with several prebuilt reports and tight integration with sales functionality as leads are converted into prospects. Campaign management allows managers to track specific campaigns, analyzing their real-time performance and measuring them against predefined goals. Marketing and sales communications are both improved with a WYSIWYG HTML mail editor that sends messages through the user's own servers instead of Salesnet's, allowing an unlimited number of messages and preventing accidental filtering by recipients' spam blockers. "We expanded into marketing because our customers are a big driver for functionality," Tang says. "Users have loved our SFA end and wanted better inputs into it." Further, Tang says that integrating sales and marketing in one on-demand product enables Salesnet to better compete with Salesforce.com, which gets much of its marketing functionality from third-party providers. Additionally, the company will announce at least one major customer win every week for the next four to six weeks, according to Tang. "Salesnet is moving toward enabling customers to do a better job integrating their sales and marketing processes, with the longterm evolution and nurturing of customers and lead information," says Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research. "There are also a lot of improvements to usability as requested by Salesnet's users." Beyond marketing, Salesnet 25 expands the ability to customize the application. Tabs and fields now can be altered to match terms specific to a user company's business, and single sign-on Web tabs let users access external applications without leaving the Salesnet interface. Custom list queries and layouts provide advanced search capabilities. And to manage it all, Salesnet 25 includes a new user permission management module and redesigned setup interface, as well as a partner portal on the back end allowing OEMs and resellers to manage customers more efficiently without Salesnet's assistance. "There are over 200 nifty new things in this release, but it's not simply about adding features--it's about changing the orientation of the product," Pombriant says. "You can only go so far in building an SFA engine before you reach diminishing returns. The next logical thing in SFA is to improve inputs into SFA." Related articles: Resellers Can Build Their Brands
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