March::Engenus popular Spring+ communications engine extended to give SMEs an edge.
“I don’t have the budget to do the kind of marketing that the big guys do but if I don’t do something I end up with a big hole at the end of the current job,” said one of our SME customers, The Vast Agency, “and when I speak to CRM providers all I get is market or techno-speak when what I want to know is what will it do for my business.”
March::Engenus does work for large corporations which have account managers and sales teams and all sorts of technology to help them track contacts and actions. They also regularly contact people and do good “account management”.
“Why can’t we do that for SMEs” Paul Smith, Managing Director of March::Engenus asked one if his development team. After a little scratching of the head we looked at our popular Spring+ communications product and, bingo, we had a service that could compete with the big customer relationship management products but at a price that would make it accessible to the SME market”.
“This is a winner,” added Paul, “it handles contacts and diary actions and provides campaign management features which exploit the multi-channel nature of Spring+. Communication using e-mail, text messaging, the web is possible easily and tracking of the success of contacts made is also easy for the busy SME manager”.
Spring+ has contact management features you’d expect from systems used by large corporations. Typically this means:
-Storing basic details about contacts like company name, contact details, address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and web details.
-Storing prospecting information like the contact’s manager, last contact details, referral and lead generation information, ‘hotness’ of the lead and next contact details.
-Tracking the contacts with free text notes.
-Searching for contacts to view, modify or remove.
-Tracking actions and meetings for contacts.
-Importing contacts using comma-separated value files.
-Sharing diaries between people.
-Exporting contacts and calendar to Outlook.
-Alerting by e-mail or text message when actions are due.
-Contact reports giving for a period number of calls done, number of overdue contacts and number of prospects at each level of “hotness”.
Spring+ is more than a contact management system though. It also has very powerful campaign management features too.
With these features you can create a campaign to communicate with a group of prospects or customers. The prospects are selected using the powerful search features of Spring+. It would be possible, for example, to select “All warm prospects who are interested in our slimline range of products and who haven’t been contacted for six months” and communicate with them.
Spring+ is unique in allowing two-way communication. The recipient can reply and you can view replies in detail or summary form.
Campaign management features of Spring+ typically include:
-Choosing candidates for the campaign using Spring+ search features.
-Deciding the type of campaign as e-mail (plain or rich text), text messaging or mixed where a text message is sent to prospects with a valid mobile telephone number and e-mail otherwise. You can also send faxes though this is limited to one-way communication.
-Deciding whether replies are to be allowed to the message.
-Limiting the number of messages sent for the campaign.
-Limiting the number of messages a recipient receives.
-Activating the campaign to send the messages.
-Viewing the results of the campaign. Typically this involves searching for a campaign and viewing the overall results (like number of messages sent and number of replies received) and then drilling down to view the actual messages received.
-Automating responses by replying via a text message or e-mail with a pre-defined response – to send product literature to an enquirer for example.
The Spring+ service is available to SMEs for the equivalent of £20 a month with only campaign messages costing extra.
For more information about March::Engenus, its products and services visit www.marchengenus.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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