by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 6 May 2013
There are two problems with most customer relationship management solutions (CRM) in the market. The first one is that they are too expensive for small businesses. The second one is that they are difficult to customize. For example, it is difficult to customize a solution that has pre-defined features and processes. In this Converge CRM review we will see how it can solve both the problems mentioned above. We will look at its interface, features and see how it can be of use to you.
Given the glut of CRM solutions in the market, I was curious to know how Manash Chaudhuri, founder of Converge CRM, distinguished his solution from other available alternatives. According to him, none of the market solutions approach CRM in a comprehensive manner.
"Salesforce is the market leader in the enterprise world but only solves the sales side of business," he says. "To get the marketing side, you have to go in for third party integration, which, in turn, costs additional license fees." Similarly, open source solutions require extensive IT and network setup. Other CRM solutions are limited in their customization capabilities.
Chaudhuri says that Converge Enterprise is designed to be comprehensive, in marketing as well as sales. "It is a complete integration suite of sales, marketing and communication solutions for small businesses," he says. This means that it adapts easily to your marketing needs. Converge Enterprise comes packaged with a world-class automated engine to power your CRM needs and has specialized features, such as - ability to configure both simple and complex DRIP marketing campaigns. All of these are available at price points that are affordable for small businesses. " You don't have to buy third-party applications for specific tasks," says Chaudhuri.
Any Converge Enterprise review would be incomplete without a mention of its guiding principles. While designing the solution, Chaudhuri and his team were guided by the design principles of simplicity and flexibility. "We have made Converge Enterprise highly intuitive, super simple and easy to deploy and learn," he says. This meant that they wanted to make the software simple and flexible enough to change and suit the business and not the other way round. " User acceptance and value proposition of the solution for small businesses go up with this approach," he says.
Converge Enterprise can be used for a variety of tasks, including lead management and campaign management. In fact, the solution's dashboard provides a comprehensive look at the solution's features. Thus, you can view and customize key metrics related to your CRM efforts, such as leads by source, acquisitions or number of new deals and activities.
Converge Enterprise has features that span the gamut of the full marketing and sales lifecycle. For example, you can enter, track, and close deals using the solution. In addition, you can generate customizable reports and analytics to track your efforts.
Converge Enterprise includes team management features that enable you to create a hierarchy of features and set data security rules for access permissions. You can track all details associated with a contact, whether it is an individual or organization.
You can also use the solution as a time scheduler and calendar.
However, Converge's real utility is in its capability to automate the sales process. You can configure rules and descriptions for each task associated with your process. Each rule is associated with a trigger point and can be related to specific leads. You can specify trigger actions and flows (such as sending out emails or notifications after a specified period of time) etc. This facility can be especially useful while implementing a custom marketing campaign such as the DRIP marketing campaign.
There are several things to like about Converge Enterprise. For one, it has a simple and easy-to-use interface that is both intuitive and useful. I also liked the fact that Converge Enterprise is integrated with social media. With a public API and numerous custom features, it is relatively easy to manipulate the solution to suit your process. This is especially important for small businesses that struggle with SaaS solutions, which have great features but cannot be customized to suit their ends. I also liked the fact that the solution has integrated team management features. Thus, instead of building out a new tool (or, integrating the tool with an existing feature), Converge Enterprise makes it easier for you to track tasks and manage your time.
Based on the feature list available to users, Converge Enterprise has three tiers of operation: Lite, Professional, and Premium. Each tier is associated with an increasing set of features that enable you to scale your campaign costs and operations. Each tier also has two price points for users: monthly and annual. For example, you can add unlimited contacts and associate quotes with product details or fax details using the premium features.
With its extensive feature list, flexible and affordable pricing, Converge Enterprise scores on all counts. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, most CRM solutions have two problems: expense and customization. Converge Enterprise solves both problems and makes it possible for small businesses to implement world-class campaigns at affordable costs.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5