This is the final part of a two-part series on CRM and Lotus Domino/Notes. Last week, we looked at CRM tools for help desk and customer support applications. This week, we will take a look at how Customer Relationship Management can help manage sales processes and automate sales functions to enhance long-term relationships and with customers and channels during the entire sales cycle.
Since CRM functionality leverages the "people" aspect of an organization, it works with Lotus Notes and Domino, which provide an application development platform or toolkit for workflow, messaging, and security, and roles (categories of capabilities according to user needs). CRM can be combined with Lotus Notes or Domino to enhance collaboration, automate business processes and create particular elements unique to your enterprise. This functionality is well suited to sales automation applications to help you better serve your customers.
The use of CRM can improve sales efficiency and shorten the sales cycle by delivering access to the right information, managing leads and qualifying prospects and improving communication flow and customer loyalty across sales channels. CRM can help you target and understand your customers more precisely, forecast sales more effectively, fulfill orders more efficiently and customize proposals.
Described below are just some of the CRM solutions that are available from Lotus Business Partners and integrate with Lotus Notes and/or Domino for sales automation applications. Many of these solutions address the needs of global, team selling environments. For more details, visit: www.lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/partners .
Vikara Group's TEAM can be used for account/contact management, correspondence management, account/contact history, sales forecasting, sales project/task/marketing campaign management, product and service catalogs. It delivers account data to users and can be edited to make account changes or reassignments. Multidimensional linking of all sales data, such as call reports, allows cross- referencing against a customer and a reseller. It supports a Notes client and Web browser as user interfaces.
InterWave Computer Software's LifeBoat-SFA is an enterprise-level Sales Force Automation system that tracks the sales cycle from the beginning of the sales process through customer support. LifeBoat-SFA allows customization of sales rules and steps throughout the workflow process, according to a company's corporate strategy. It supports numerous sales tasks, including contact and relationship management, opportunity management, quote and proposal management, phone call reporting and tracking, and a variety of other sales functions such as contract tracking, mass mailings, cold calling scripts, lead interviews and surveys, invoice tracking, customer credit management, competitor management, sales discussions and collaborative selling. It supports a Notes client and Web browser as user interfaces.
Relavis Corporation's eBusinessStreams is built on Lotus Domino architecture, providing Web-based collaborative CRM solutions for sales, customer service & support, call center and channel management. The suite has extensive international support, including French, German, Spanish, Japanese and English language versions. Targeted vertical industry segments include banking finance & securities, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, telecommunications and utilities. It supports a Notes client and Web browser as user interfaces.
Clear Technologies' Engage is an out-of-the-box solution that manages the sales cycle process through the contract phase. Engage uses Lotus Domino technology to provide sales professionals with Web-intelligent workflow automation capabilities. It supports contact management, enhanced e- mail capability, marketing collateral databases, opportunity and activity management, warehouse item catalogs, quoting, proposals and contracts and can be integrated with legacy systems. Engage is modularly designed, so customers can add features as required, such as broadcast fax/e-mail capability, enhanced security and quoting and contract systems. It supports a Notes client and Web browser as user interfaces
Maximizer Enterpriser for Notes from United System Solutions is a modular CRM application for Lotus Domino R5 and the Web. It automates the sales process, and can be used to qualify prospects and leads, as well as to build detailed customer profiles.
Paula Jacobs is director of The Jacobs Group, a Massachusetts-based communication firm.