Sales Management Software Shortens the Sales Cycle

A well oiled sales organization is traditionally the result of a process driven sales manager, an individual that understands the value of implementing a process for properly qualifying leads and a structure for managing the sales process from introduction to closure.  For decades highly focused sales managers performed these task with very little technology or sales tools to assist them, yet many succeeded in delivering revue growth and profitability to their organization despite the lack of technology.

Today, sales management software programs are available to assist first line management and executive management in automating and streamlining the sales process.  Programs like Commence CRM software enable sales managers to quickly and efficiently utilize proven sales tools and best practices to improve the sales process.  Often referred to as sales automation software, CRM systems like Commence CRM provide sales management and individual sales representatives with a structured approach to selling that shortens the sales cycle and results in higher close ratios.

How Does Commence CRM Work?

Commence CRM begins by creating a sales methodology and automating the sales process.  Every company that sells a product or service goes through a series of steps before they win new business.  The initial step is commonly called the introduction phase, which may be followed by a needs analysis, sending out product samples or if you are in the software industry, a product demonstration.  Once this is completed, sales representatives often create a quote, a proposal for services or an estimate or bid. This may be followed by a verbal commitment, a contract review or simply closing the business deal.  What is important here is not the exact steps or process (which can be customized in Commence CRM), but instead the automation of the sales process so that every sales representative has a structured path to follow and management can assist during different stages of the sales cycle.

The CRM sales management software standardizes the sales process so that every sales representative approaches a new sales opportunity the same way.  The sales management software also provides the sales management executives with a snapshot of where each new opportunity is in the sales pipeline or sales funnel so that they may take a proactive approach to helping close the business or sales opportunity.  Sales management tools like Commence CRM offer sales representatives and sales management the opportunity to significantly improve sales execution and get a leg up on the competition.

Commence CRM software for sales management is a web based CRM solution that operates online and is managed under a cloud computing environment.  Commence CRM is highly regarded for its robust CRM features and ease of use and is listed as a top ten CRM software solution.

Top 3 Mid-market CRM Contenders

Commence CRM – Salesforce.com – Sugar CRM

The CRM software sector is one of the most competitive segments of the computer software industry.  Despite this, each year more and more vendors enter the race positioning their CRM products as easier to use and lower cost than the established CRM vendors.  The CRM gold rush has created an environment chock full of low cost entry level CRM programs that provide basic contact management and a sales forecast and little more.  While this group of newcomers struggle to compete in this difficult sector, three companies have risen to the top of the charts based on the functionality they provide, the quality of their products as reviewed by customers, and the level of service they provide.

Salesforce.com CRM is often viewed as the industry leader especially among enterprise level organizations.  The company offers a highly scalable CRM solution capable of supporting several thousand users, robust functionality, multi-language product versions and an add-on developer’s toolkit that enables experienced programmers to customize the applications.

The middle market has become a much tougher battleground for Salesforce CRM.  This is due to two very well established companies that offer a comprehensive suite of applications that compare favorably to Salesforce.com, are known to be easier to use, and are much less expensive.

Commence Corporation has served the middle market and small enterprises for two decades. The company has a top rated CRM solution that is highly regarded for its robust functionality, ease of use and ability to be quickly customized without programmer intervention.   One of the unique characteristics of Commence CRM is the product’s modular design which offers customers the flexibility to select only the applications they require for their business vs. being forced into higher CRM costs with a pre-packaged set of CRM features at a set price point.  Commence CRM is also available as a cloud based offering or on premise. This has made Commence CRM an attractive alternative for larger companies that desire an on-premise CRM solution at an attractive price point.   While not yet a household brand name, Commence CRM is built using industry standard technology and the company’s CRM software is currently being used in more than 35 industries and in 22 countries around the world.

SugarCRM is another company that provides a mid market CRM solution and competes with Salesforce.com and Commence CRM.  Originally offered as an open source solution at no cost, the company changed direction and now offers their CRM product under an annual software licensing model. Sugar offers comprehensive functionality at a lower price point than Salesforce.com and the ability to be customized as well.   The downside with Sugar CRM is that the product is written using the PHP programming language which means you must be a developer to tailor the applications.  This adds additional cost to their offering.

You may find it interesting that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is not included above. This is because the company’s hosted CRM Online solution was recently released and there is simply not enough history to determine the quality of the product or the ROI and value realized by companies that may have selected it.

The Bottom Line:

If you currently looking to implement CRM software to streamline your internal business processes, you are in the driver’s seat.  There are dozens of options available, but a shake-up is coming and it will be difficult for many of the lower cost CRM solution providers to survive.  Perhaps a more compelling reason to focus on an established CRM vendor is the following: the competitive nature of this industry sector has forced CRM solution providers to reduce their cost to such a degree that the difference between an unknown low cost provider and a world-class company like those listed above is just a few dollars per user per month.  You will also find the level of service provided and the protection of your data with the three industry leaders is far superior to the lower cost, “new to the market” solution providers.

Commence Corporation Introduces CRM Best Practices E-Book

eBook Best Practices Sales Management CRM
Click the image above to download the free eBook

TINTON FALLS, N.J. / MMD Newswire/ April 21, 2011 –-  Commence Corporation, a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for mid-size and small enterprises, has announced the release of a CRM Best Practices E-Book which may be downloaded from the company’s web site at no cost.

Today’s sales environment is characterized by intense competition, strategic sourcing contracts, online purchasing, customer pressure for self-service and an ongoing debate over fee-based services. To thrive in this environment, businesses need more than leading CRM technology to achieve long term growth and many are beginning to look outside their four walls for growth ideas. In an effort to help businesses sell more and sell more effectively, Commence Corporation has developed a compendium of more than 40 Smart Business Practices, culled from interviews with leading executives within high growth companies and building on a comprehensive review of published perspectives on smart selling.

“… the only path to successful selling is to first develop a consistent marketing and sales process…”

Larry Caretsky
Commence Corporation CEO

“Commence Corporation knows that the information technology investments of sales departments are often wasted due to failed implementations and lack of structure,” says Larry Caretsky, president of Commence and author of the e-book. “This study focuses on the keys to successful selling, all of which can be enhanced with the proper application of technology.” Based on the company’s extensive experience, Commence believes that the only path to successful selling is to first develop a consistent marketing and sales process, then utilize these processes in a disciplined manner reinforced by dynamic training and carried forward through effective coaching. Many companies are contemplating adding a centralized sales and marketing database system sometimes called CRM, sales force automation or contact management. The objective of the e-book is to ensure that these initiatives, by whatever name, succeed for sellers and deliver the results promised.

About Commence Corporation:

Commence develops and delivers a diverse suite of award winning CRM software that integrates people, processes and technology. Commence CRM solutions are using throughout the world to streamline sales and customer service front office business processes. Commence is delivered online as a cloud based CRM solution or as a desktop CRM system. For more information about Commence’s web based CRM offerings visit the company’s web site at www.commence.com.

Commence CRM a Robust Offering for SME’s

TINTON FALLS, N.J. /WiredPRNews.com/ November 21, 2010 –-  Commence Corporation a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management software for small to mid-size enterprises has evolved into a robust CRM offering that now includes Help Desk and Project Management applications. “CRM is all about capturing, managing and sharing vital customer information with the people and departments that require it to efficiently do their jobs,”  says Larry Caretsky, President of Commence Corporation. “This requires more than simply managing contacts, leads and sales opportunities. Most CRM solutions for SME’s are focused on contact management and sales automation and fall short when it comes to managing customer service or projects. This makes it difficult to become a more efficient sales and service organization if customer service personnel and the vital information they capture are left out of the equation” Caretsky concluded.

Commence offers a suite of comprehensive business applications for contact management, sales and marketing that now include a Customer Service module and a Project Management system. The Help Desk module offers an advanced ticketing system with threading, a feature that provides a service representative with the ability to note the conversation that occurred between themselves and the customer. This is then linked to the account and contact record so that everyone involved with selling or servicing the customer has a complete service record and history of all correspondence including e-mail. The application also includes a Knowledgebase and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that has proven to help customers provide best in class service by providing employees with access to information in the Knowledgebase and the ability to e-mail the appropriate response to the customer.

The Project Management application provides the ability to efficiently manage projects, establish tasks and timelines for completion of the project, assign personnel and keep track of billable hours. Time slips are also incorporated within the application. The Project Management functionality is also fully integrated with each account and contact record providing all authorized personnel with the ability to review service history and projects along with sales, and marketing activity.  Commence CRM incorporates functionality traditionally only found in higher level enterprise solutions. This has made Commence the clear choice for small to mid-size companies that require more than basic CRM solutions.

About Commence

Founded in 1988, Commence develops and delivers a diverse suite of award winning CRM products that integrate people, processes and technology. Delivered via the popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) model or implemented as on premise licensed software, Commence CRM software solutions are used by thousand of companies to streamline sales and customer service front-end business processes. As a result, Commence clients increase workforce productivity, generate positive customer interactions, and reduce cost. More information about Commence can be accessed at www.commence.com or at 1-877-COMMENCE.

Commence CRM Software Highlighted in FEDA News and Views

FEDA-Automating

feda-march-april-2011 (1)

Click to View the Article

TINTON FALLS, N.J. /MMD Newswire/ April 14, 2011 –- Commence Corporation a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management Software was recently highlighted in the FEDA News & Views March/April magazine about the merits of automating the sales process for improved sales execution. Managing editor Stacy Ward, interviewed Commence CEO, Larry Caretsky about the company’s experience and work in this area. Caretsky expressed concern that too many companies view CRM software as a technology component rather than a business strategy for improving sales execution. As a result, the adoption rate of CRM software has been very low in the sector he stated.

Caretsky goes on to offer valuable advice about the commitment required for the proper implementation and utilization of CRM software and to make sure you are fully prepared to invest time and resources to the project. “The ROI associated with automating the sales process is well documented says Caretsky, but so are the failures. Typically a lack of commitment and focus are the culprits. This is where experienced firms like Commence Corporation can be a valuable partner. We have established a series of CRM best practices for sales execution which has resulted in hundreds of successful implementations. The CRM best practices coupled with Commence’s top rated CRM software ensures that new business opportunities do not fall through the cracks and that sales management can review each opportunity from introduction to closure”.

The magazine also offers its readers assistance in selecting the right CRM solution for their business. A full copy of the article 7 Points to Consider Before Selecting a CRM Solution written by Caretsky, is incorporated in the article. “We certainly hope that the information we have provided will assist the FDA member organizations who may be looking to use CRM software to improve sales execution and call on Commence Corporation for our expertise” concluded Caretsky.

About Commence Corporation:

Commence Corporation is a leading provider of cloud based CRM software for mid-size companies and small enterprises. The company has been providing web based CRM software and sales consulting services for more than two decades and has several thousand customers around the world. For more information about Commence CRM, visit the company’s web site at www.commence.com.