If Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) service providers are small fish in a large, multi-billion dollar pond, they sure aren’t acting like it.
Saying that it has removed the final objection enterprise customers might have to Net-native CRM services, UpShot Corp. today announced at DEMO 2003 in Scottsdale, Ariz. new features designed to allow companies to adapt their sales processes and permit sales reps to personalize their own screens.
UpShot has dubbed its new customization-through-configuration features MultiProcess Management. UpShot claims that the new capabilities represent the first time a Net-native CRM service has offered this number of views and level of process customization. UpShot reports everyone involved in the sales process, from the CEO to a telesales rep, can now have a view that matches the processes they use.
“Web-based CRM has now addressed all the obstacles,” said Keith Raffel, chairman and founder of UpShot. Raffel told ASPnews that the first obstacle was offline support. The second was integration with legacy systems. The customization is the last hurdle, according to Raffel. “Customization was the last advantage of client-server CRM systems.”
While CRM enterprise independent software vendors (ISVs) may have offered customization for years, Raffel said it hasn’t done so effectively. Raffel used the analogy of buying clothes for a growing child. If it takes six months for the clothes to come in after you have ordered them, he said, the kids have outgrown them before they can use them.
Like many Web-based CRM vendors, UpShot sees a opening left by ISVs such as Siebel. “Client-server CRM went from nothing to $14 billion in a few years. Why? It promised to increase sales and provide better forecasting. But it has delivered less than it promised,” Raffel said. To be successful, he said, CRM has to do two things: It has to be be adaptable to salespeople or they won’t use it. And it has to conform to the way companies operate.
“MultiProcess Management enables our customers to tailor UpShot to their needs in a matter of minutes or hours, instead of the months it would take a team of Siebel consultants,” Raffel said.
UpShot’s MultiProcess Management is designed to deliver three core elements: multiple user-driven views, process management and a workflow engine.
Multiple Views are designed to allow different groups within an organization to view and manage different types of information and consolidate it into a centralized system without having to sacrifice each group’s needs. According to UpShot, individual users can use a drag and drop interface to design how they want view, create and update information. Companies can designate which users or groups of users have access to a view.
Multiple Sales Processes are designed to allow companies to roll out new sales processes based on evolving best practices. UpShot reports that companies can dramatically speed up user adoption, shorten sales cycles and improve sales productivity by 20 percent or more.
Automated Sales Process Workflow is designed to allows UpShot users to automate the sales process. For example, UpShot says that Automated Sales Process Workflow offers the following features:
- Route new leads to the qualification team, while routing leads from an existing customer to the sales rep who owns the account.
- Assign qualified opportunities to the appropriate sales group — inside or field sales, partner or VAR, partner — depending on criteria such as deal size, requested product, company location and so on.
- Create follow-up activities. For example, when a sale closes, UpShot can be configured to automatically schedule a to-do for the sales rep to check in on the new customer within a set period of time, which may vary depending on the type of product sold;
- Send notifications to alert the appropriate people when immediate attention is required.
Last week, rival Salesforce.com announced enhancements to its enterprise offering (see Salesforce.com’s Enterprise Voyage Continues. Like Salesforce.com, UpShot claims to be gaining ground among the world’s largest companies. Raffel told ASPnews that in the past two-and-a-half months, it has closed eight Fortune 500 companies. Its customers include American Airlines, GMAC, Hewlett Packard and Xerox.
UpShot is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Service Provider.
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