Salesnet CRM Review
Salesnet is a best of breed CRM software solution for small and midsize businesses. Founded in 1997, and beginning production operations in 1999, Salesnet was one of the original cloud CRM pioneers that has since taken an unconventional journey. In May 2006, Salesnet was acquired by RightNow Technologies for $9 million in an effort to shore up RightNow's sales force automation (SFA) offering. However, a waning interest in the B2B market and a change in product strategy by RightNow that de-emphasized SFA in favor of customer support and customer experience jettisoned Salesnet in September 2008 to become an independent business unit—headquartered far from Bozeman, Montana in the Atlanta, GA area.
Salesnet was transitioned to a new joint venture to be managed by a prior top Salesnet partner, SFA Strategies. The partner turned publisher was a Salesnet Value Added Reseller (VAR) since 2003, and was clearly one of the most credible and largest distribution partners for the former Salesnet.
The two year hiatus with RightNow, including the lull of going without a dedicated executive team and the absence of a plan in the wake of a poor acquisition, took a toll on business growth and customer acquisitions. However, customer support remained strong and Salesnet was successful in maintaining about 200 customers, representing about 5000 users, through the transition and has since greatly expanded its customer base.
Since the change in management, the new Salesnet has shown it can stand out by delivering powerful SFA software and has also placed new emphasis on an enhanced user interface (UI) and improved user experience. Combined with enhanced analytics, workflow improvements and a revamped Outlook integration, Salesnet is better positioning its CRM software for more mature sales users and organizations—customers who are looking to go deep within sales and marketing as opposed to staying broad across a wider software suite.
The Customer Relationship Management software suite is limited to sales force automation software, marketing software and some mobile CRM. Notably, a customer service module is absent.
Sales force automation is the core competency of Salesnet. The SFA software is feature rich and designed to enhance effective sales processes and best practices. Salesnet SFA also strikes a good balance between ease of use and broad but often unused features. A "Keep It Simple" design enables flexible configuration selection and at the same time allows much of the unused functionality for a particular account to remain out of sight.
The Process Builder workflow design and automation tool is especially strong in enabling consistent sales processes across accounts and sale opportunities. The tool is also quite flexible and permits sales managers to create different processes for different sales staff or mix processes based on the sale opportunity. Process Builder also permits managers to assign workflows based on position, team or user. Applying best practices and consistent sales processes to each and every prospect and sale opportunity is often the single greatest method to increase sales win rates. Salesnet's strong facilitation in this area makes it a clear SFA stand-out.
On the downside, win/loss analysis is light, competitive intelligence or analysis is missing, and SFA software is not able to create quotes or take orders.
The CRM reporting is more deep than broad but covers all the basics and delivers good pipeline and forecast analysis. A unique capability that we don't see in other CRM systems is the Report Snapshots—which record point-in-time data views of your subtotal reports and illustrate comparisons to prior periods or historical data. The comparisons viewing can contrast report snapshots in a color-coded comparison report to show an easy visual perspective on just how your sales pipeline is changing.
Like most cloud CRM marketing modules, the marketing software is campaign specific and permits user-defined attributes, target list creation with account segmentation, broadcast e-mail distributions, mail merging and simple campaign reporting. Some budgeting and actual cost data provide the basis for campaign financial performance and ROI calculations while response rates and conversion metrics deliver campaign effectiveness reporting.
The Salesnet XDC (eXternal Data Capture) service can be used as a web-to-lead form in order to transfer website inquiries into the leads table. This tool also permits configurable lead routing, redirection and assignment options. Campaign generated leads can be stored in a queue and assigned to sales staff via round robin or other sequencing.
Salesnet competitive advantages include stand-out and feature-rich Sales Force Automation software, business process automation and workflow design generally not found in cloud CRM software competitor products, the backing of a software company that maintains helpful and personal relationships with its customers and low cost.
Top Salesnet weaknesses include limited offline and mobile CRM capabilities, lacking Platform as a Service (PaaS) tools for software customization, missing social media tools, the absence of an online ecosystem of third party integrated products and a company brand that doesn't compete well in the competitive marketplace.
When evaluating Salesnet or identifying and recommending the most relevant and direct Salesnet competitors for comparison purposes, we typically consider the customer's sales and marketing focus, then align specific company objectives to Salesnet CRM software functionality (to assess fit) and finally consider company size, user count, user types/roles, industry, geo-locations, internal resources, constraints such as cost and technical considerations such as system integration and software customization.
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Salesnet CRM may be a good fit if:
Your seek a best of breed and easy to use Sales Force Automation (SFA) system with impressive business process automation and good reporting.
You want a quick to deploy and low cost SFA software solution.
You want the backing of a flexible CRM software company, willing and able to accommodate customer requests and deliver packaged or custom professional services.