Contact vs Account Centric – Which CRM structure is best?
Most CRM systems are account-centric. In fact, most CRM experts will tell you that CRM is restricted to account-centric systems and do not include contact-centric systems at all.
Sage ACT! is the dominant contact-centric system
Although Microsoft Outlook is the most widely used contact-centric system on the planet, Sage ACT! is the most popular contact-centric CRM business software currently. Outlook is limited to the individual user, where Sage ACT! allows users to share contacts, documents, histories, notes, and even sales opportunities.
In the next few paragraphs, we will delve into the differences between contact and account centric CRM systems
Account Centric CRM Systems
Account centric systems have an entity layer above contact that relates or groups multiple contacts together under a single account. The advantage is being able to track account-related information completely separately from contact data. With this type of system, the following tasks are simplified:
Report on company vs. individuals easier.
View all opportunities for an account/company.
View the organization and all its contacts in one view.
View combined history.
Perform address updates.
Contact Centric CRM Systems
In contact centric CRM systems, the database is structured around contacts. Therefore, if the user has dealings with multiple people at the same company, he would have multiple contact records and in each record would be the company name. It would be a challenge to group them together.
There might exist less than ideal ways to relate different contacts together. A Contact centric organization makes sense if you are dealing with individuals and the user does need to do such things as look at an organization’s summarized/combined history. It is very difficult/clumsy to track company related information separately from contact information.
This presents a problem when trying to view aggregated data for multiple contacts. For example, if you want to track how many machines you sold to a company, you would have to somehow decide which contact record to put this data on. Typically the solution is to mark one of the contacts as “Primary”. Or if you need to track information about a firm (e.g. sic code, # employees, annual budget, etc.) separately from contact related information (e.g. favourite hobby, home phone number, spouse’s name, etc.). there isn’t an easy way to do this.
Conclusion - How to select your CRM system
Unless you are working in an industry where you only need one contact record per account, choose an Account centric CRM system.
As a rule of thumb, if your business is B2B, you will want to work in an account centric system such as Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com or SugarCRM. On the other hand, if your business is B2C, then you will be more than happy with a CRM solution such as ACT!.
Free ACT! Evaluation and Feature Review
Click here to access and download our Free Sage ACT! Feature Evaluation and Review.
With this document, you will be able to identify the key improvements within ACT!.
Enhancements addressed include:
User interface enhancements
E-Marketing, Mail-Merge and Online Surveys
Sales Opportunity redesign
Flexible Reporting, Dashboard and OLEDB interface
Advanced Outlook Integration and Invitations
Advanced Outlook Sync for Contacts and Calendar
Simplified Importing design
Smart Tasks (Workflow)
Advanced Lead Management and Importing
and much more.
Free Excel Tool for Comparing CRM Systems such as ACT, Microsoft CRM and SugarCRM
Click here to access our Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool.
With this tool, you will be able to identify the key similarilites and differences between 9 of the top CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage SalesLogix, GoldMine, Sage ACT!, Pivotal and more.
Comparison Topics include:
Key CRM Features
Pricing (Licensing, etc..)
Available Modules (e.g. SFA, Marketing, Service, etc)
Feature Details (Sync, Call Center, Quoting, E-commerce, Lead Management, Security, Workflow, and much more.
Hardware and Network support (Microsoft, Linux, etc…)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Feature and Pricing Webinars
Join us for our webinar series as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with Salesforce.com will help you on in your CRM evaluation.
Search terms for Compare CRM:
sugarcrm accounts vs contacts
account centric crm sharepoint
crm contact vs account
MSCRM Accounts in Europe
sap crm individual account
what is a contact centric CRM
what is account centric
what is difference between account and contact in sap crm
Infusionsoft is designed to help you close more deals, faster than ever. Infusionsoft scores your leads automatically and lists them from hot to not. Performance-enhancing sales tools eliminate manual tasks so your team can spend more time getting down to business.
It allows you to monitor everything about prospects in one place, including lead source, web activity, purchases and a whole lot more. Use this insight to have targeted conversations that will boost sales. Make it easy for salespeople to identify their higest ranking, most qualified leads with visual lead scoring. The more flames, the more they’re ready to become your next customer. Create custom scoring rules based on demographics, behaviors and dates so the right leads are worked at the right time.
Infusionsoft Standard comes with 2 users and can hold up to 5,000 contacts. At $199 per month, it allows up to 500,000 emails per month.
Infusionsoft Plus comes with 5 users and can hold up to 20,000 contacts. At $299 per month, it allows up to 500,000 emails per month.
Infusionsoft Premier comes with 10 users and can hold up to 100,000 contacts. At $499 per month, it allows up to 500,000 emails per month.
The 30 day kickstart package is priced at $1,999.
With Salesforce, there is a Limit of 5 users for Group Edition. Secondly, Salesforce is often viewed as quite costly. The most popular edition, Salesforce Enterprise Edition is priced at $125 per user per month. The cheapest edition for getting in the door is the Professional Edition at $65 per user per month.
Salesforce provides numerous “feature gaps” as well as hidden costs. For example, customizable dashboards and quotes are only available in Professional Edition. Also, offline access is an extra cost for the Professional Edition and not available at all in the Group Edition. The Workflow module is only available in the Salesforce Enterprise Edition or Higher; and Visual workflow is an extra cost in all editions. True complete mobile integration is priced at $50 per month per user within Professional and Enterprise Editions
The maximum number of App Exchange or custom addons is also very limited: A max of 1 for Group Edition; 5 add-ons for Professional Edition; and 10 add-ons for Enterprise Edition.
Another frequently sited knock on Salesforce is that is very hard get data back at the end of the contract – this means that the user is simploy proved multiple csv files, and limited support for common database tools. This makes it very difficult for the normal user to switch to another solution if unpleased with Salesforce.
The biggest limit is that deployment is only available within the Salesforce cloud.
REVIEW OF SALESFORCE:
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN REVIEWING SALESFORCE:
Handling Document Attachments and Mail-Merge in both Salesforce and Infusionsoft
Infusionsoft provides numerous features. Mail-merge can be performed within Infusionsoft. Use what you know about your contacts to segment them into groups for targeted communications. Combine demographic information with activity tracking and purchase history to create ultra-targeted lists that allow you to send ultra-targeted emails.
Salesforce.com does not make it easy to create a mail merge. Salesforce.com standard capabilities require the user to complete the following steps in order to create a mail merge: (1) create a CSV file, (2) export it from Salesforce.com, (3) carry out the merge in Word (no history generated inSalesforce.com), (4) and individually re-import merged documents back into Salesforce.com.
Extended mail merge capabilities are available in Salesforce, yet must be activated by Salesforce.com customer service. There are also a number of limitations.
The merged file is emailed to you as a single zipped file or added to your documents tab as a single file. Thus Salesforce.com records the merge as an activity in history, but the merged file is not attached to the record automatically.
Other limits: There is a limit of 1000 records at a time. And the template cannot be greater than 1MB. The number of records x template size cannot be greater than 50MB. And attachments sent out in mass email are sent as a link that expires after 30 day
Managing Sales Pipelines and Opportunities in Infusionsoft and Salesforce
In Infusionsoft, you are able to access all of your contact information in one place and stop juggling multiple systems. Track everything you need to know, including lead source, marketing and sales history, past purchases and more. Infusionsoft propels you to know your customers based on advanced activity tracking that logs every interaction—from their first visit to your website to their most recent product purchase and beyond. Use this insight to deliver personalized service that distinguishes you from the competition.
Manage your leads with Infusionsoft. Find the highest ranking leads in your list with the Infusionsoft scoring tool. Monitor and rank contacts based on their interests and engagement so you can focus more time on leads that are ready to become customers.
With Salesforce, the Quoting function is only available in the Enterprise Edition or above. The Product catalog is an extra cost option for the Professional Edition. And interestingly, Salesforce provides a single sales methodology out of the box. In this limited/restricted methodology, individual stages can be removed, but stage names or percentages cannot be changed or new stages added unless the company has purchased a sales methodology from Salesforce AppExchange.
COMPARISON OF SALESFORCE AND INFUSIONSOFT:
Sending Mass Email with Salesforce and with Infusionsoft
Infusionsoft is considered the industry leader in all-in-one marketing automation software that helps small businesses grow through better customer engagement. With Infusionsoft, small businesses have access to powerful, scalable solutions that brings all of their marketing and CRM services into one integrated system, enabling them to convert leads, grow sales and save time. More than 6,500 businesses around the world harness the power of Infusionsoft’s marketing automation engine to streamline their sales and marketing process.
At Infusionsoft’s core lies a powerful automation engine that does everything except pick the kids up from school. Automate follow-up, streamline workflow and send timely, targeted emails and multimedia communications that educate leads until they are ready to buy—all while you do other things.
Inside Infusionsoft, users can visually map out their marketing strategy from start to finish. They can create triggers based on timing, behavior or demographics to deliver the right message at the right time without lifting a finger. Users can design emails that get to the inbox thanks to integrated spam scoring and a 99% email delivery rate.
Salesforce users have several options for sending an email. First, the user can click on the normal Outlook Send button. This will not link the email to a Salesforce record. The email will be sent through Outlook, and moved to the Outlook Sent folder.
Secondly the user can click on the Send and Add button on the ribbon. This will send the email through Outlook and move a copy of the email into the Outlook Sent folder. The email will also be added to a matching Salesforce record, along with any attachments. The email will be tagged in Outlook with “Added to Salesforce”.
If the “Send and Add” button is clicked and a matching email address does not exist in a Salesforce record, the email will appear in the user’s Task list as an “Unresolved Email.”
Handling Cases and Knowledge Base within both systems
With Infusionsoft stay organized with calendaring and task management tools. Automatically create appointments and reminders for sales calls, assign tasks and track due dates.
In Salesforce, if a user has been assigned an Outlook Configuration that has Create Case enabled, the user will see a Create Cases button on their Outlook Home ribbon. When the user wants to create a Case from an email, the user simply needs to highlight the email, click the Create Cases button and then select the appropriate Routing assignment for the Case. One or more Routings can be defined in Salesforce.
A new Case will be created in Salesforce. If the email address of the sender matches an existing Contact email address in Salesforce, the Case will be automatically linked both to the Contact record and to the Contact’s Account record.
How do Infusionsoft and Salesforce manage Dashboards?
Infusionsoft helps you know which marketing activities are getting results. Monitor conversion rates, website analytics and the status of email blasts through reports right on your dashboard.
Learn to predict future sales with pipeline reports that show how deals are progressing through the sales funnel. Allow managers and salespeople alike to see a big picture of their pipeline from the Infusionsoft dashboard and drill down into the list to see the details. Understand how to boost sales and get organized with easy but powerful small business CRM tools to effectively manage opportunities, track the status of deals, create quotes, process payments and more.
See the behaviors that contributed to a lead score directly from the hot lead list or contact record. Drill down into the activity to view the specific emails and landing pages that caught their attention. Streamline the sales process by automatically assigning qualified leads to salespeople based on territory, industry, lead source or other demographics. Search for and sort leads based on their lead score or use dashboard reports to notify salespeople when a lead hits a certain score so they can strike while the iron is hot.
With Salesforce, customizable dashboards are not available in Group or Contact Manager Editions. This forces businesses to upgrade to more costly editions.
The Dashboard layout in Salesforce is restricted to a 3 column format. There is a limit of 20 components per dashboard. Dashboard charts are based on reports; therefore if a chart does not exist, the user will have to design a new report first and then implement within the dashboard. The problem with this is that the underlying report can be filtered, yet the dashboard component cannot be filtered.
A huge problem is that Standard dashboards override security settings allowing users see information that may be restricted. Recently, Salesforce.com introduced ‘dynamic’ dashboards to address this issue, but this feature is not available in Professional, Group or Contact Manager Editions; and limited to 5 dashboards in Enterprise Edition and 10 in Unlimited Edition. Dynamic dashboard components must be refreshed manually.
Organizing List Views within Salesforce and Infusionsoft
With Infusionsoft you can help your sales team be more productive and close more deals by giving them CRM tools to get organized, standardize the sales process, automate follow-up and more. Automate common sales tasks to increase efficiency and conversion. Add Infusionsoft notes, schedule appointments, send emails and trigger other follow-up with the click of a button.
List Views in Salesforce cannot cover more than one entity. You can only see the fields on a single entity. It is also valuable to note that duplicate alerts are not provided as a standard feature. And finally, users are not able to do much with their search results. They cannot really take action against search results – they can merely edit or delete. Not very helpful indeed.
Integration Options for Salesforce and Infusionsoft
Within Infusionsoft, you can enhance your campaigns with multimedia communications, including personalized direct mail pieces, voice broadcasts and more, all of which can be created right in Infusionsoft. Easily bring your contacts into Infusionsoft with import wizards that transfer data directly from AWeber, Constant Contact, iContact, 1ShoppingCart, Outlook or a CSV file. Once your data is imported, clean it up with our duplicates management tool.
Salesforce has the ability to link both outbound and inbound Outlook email to CRM records.
Salesforce has 2 buttons that can be added (based on defined, user options) to the Home ribbon in Outlook. From an Outlook email folder, such as the Inbox, a user can highlight one or more emails and then click on the Add Emails button. The email(s), along with any attachment(s), will be copied to the Salesforce record(s) that matches the sender’s email address.
Comparing Mobile and Offline Availability of Infusionsoft and Salesforce
Infusionsoft has a mobile app. Watch this video to learn more:
Salesforce provides only limited capabilities on FOC ‘Lite’. The Salesforce.com version only syncs most recently accessed records. It provides no custom entities and no custom configurations.
The full version is very expensive – $50 per user per month. It is reliant on full client downloads on the mobile device.
Salesforce provides no dedicated iPad client…this is only available for Chatter. Android support limited to Froyo and Gingerbread versions. There is no Safari support for iOS devices.
For Salesforce, offline access is not available in Group and Contact Manager Editions. In fact, this feature is a hefty extra cost option within the Professional Edition. Moreover, the offline and online access screens use different user interfaces. That means that users need to understand and get good at multiple user experiences. It is noteworthy that Outlook integration is not available when using the offline client. It is also extremely valuable to understand that custom objects are not available in the Professional Edition of Salesforce ($65 per user per month) or below. The user experience is not automated either: Users are required to manually synchronize before going offline and sync can be very time consuming.
Customization and Workflow Options for Salesforce and Infusionsoft
Leverage Infusionsoft’s powerful automation tools to streamline internal processes, such as segmenting leads, scheduling tasks and shipping products. Create smart triggers that route leads through your campaign based on behaviors (like clicking a link), and Infusionsoft responds by delivering a series of targeted messages at the right time.
Learn to convert more leads into buyers by routing contacts into targeted marketing campaigns based on their behaviors or demographic information.
Salesforce only limited end user personalization – and this personalization applies only to the dashboards and home tabs. Administrator rights are required in order to make the vast majority of customization changes elsewhere in the application. Right-click functionality is not supported in Salesforce, and right-clicking on the screen will only present the browser menu. Field level security is only available in the Enterprise Edition of Salesforce and higher. Leads lose closed activity history when converted to opportunities/accounts. Although Social CRM is available, in reality, AppExchange add-ons are required for social media integration. With Salesforce, standard workflow is only available in the Enterprise Edition or higher. The Visual Workflow add-on is only available as an additional cost service – and can only be implemented within the Enterprise and Unlimited Editions. Workflow is only triggered by the user, not other workflow. Workflow routines cannot be linked together.
Addons and Plugins for Infusionsoft and Salesforce
In Salesforce, an administrator is the primary determinant of all users’ synchronization settings with Microsoft Outlook. One or more Outlook Configurations can be set up by a Salesforce administrator. Each configuration can be assigned an individual user or to a group of users (the latter is accomplished by assigning a Profile or Profiles to the configuration).
Within each Outlook Configuration, an administrator can specify, for each of the three objects (Contacts, Events and Tasks), the options that will be applied users who are assigned the configuration.
BRIEF COMPARISON OF SUGARCRM AND SALESFORCE.COM:
BREIF COMPARISON OF MICROSOFT CRM AND SALESFORCE:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Analysis – Free Download
Click now to download and receive this Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM Evaluation and Assessment.
Accent Gold has experienced professionals with dozens of years of experience in data migration. We’ve worked with ACT, Goldmine, SugarCRM, Microsoft CRM, SalesLogix and more. And we will make sure that your data is brought over properly. This allows you to focus on your business processes while we focus on getting your data imported successfully into SugarCRM.
Our highly experienced team of consultants and developers is able to migrate just about any data imaginable from ACT to SugarCRM. We are pros at both systems. We have used both systems internally. We understand the nuances of both systems.
We CAN get your data out of ACT.
And we CAN get that data into SugarCRM.
Typical conversions don’t include converting ACT Email histories to Sugar Email histories. We CAN do it.
Typical conversions don’t include converting ACT dynamic Groups into Sugar. We CAN do it.
We are experts at both ACT data structures as well as Sugar data structures. If you need it converted, we CAN do it.
We’ve done it for many customers and can do it for you!
Complex ACT! Data Migration Tasks are Covered
Accent Gold has the tools and the know how to extract your data properly from ACT!, clean up your data and then map the fields to the proper modules in SugarCRM. Existing fields and drop-downs can be kept in place so that your CRM users can easily reference crucial information from past interactions. ACT! Users/Record Managers will be mapped to the proper SugarCRM owner.
What to Watch out for when Migrating to SugarCRM
The database structures of ACT and Sugar are very similar, but are not 100% alike. For example, Sugar’s Meetings, Tasks and Calls are contained in 3 different modules while ACT activities are all within one individual module. So when we grab the data, we need to parse it properly.
Different versions of ACT respond in different ways
When we extract data from ACT, we use various tools and methods depending on the version. We are able to extract data from the following versions of ACT:
•ACT! 7 (ACT! 2005)
•ACT! 8 (ACT! 2006)
•ACT! 9 (ACT! 2007)
•ACT! 10 (ACT! 2008)
•ACT! 11 (ACT! 2009)
•ACT! 12 (ACT! 2010)
•ACT! 13 (ACT! 2011)
•ACT! 14 (ACT! 2012)
•ACT! 15 (ACT! 2013)
Modules that can be migrated from ACT! to SugarCRM
In the end almost any module can typically be migrated from ACT! to SugarCRM. The most popular modules are clearly covered: Accounts/Companies, Contacts, Sales Opportunties, Calls, Meetings, To-Dos/Tasks, Notes, Histories. Please call us if you have any questions — (310) 645-0006.
Considering Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
Click here to download our Free MS Dynamics CRM Analysis.
Pros and Cons of SaaS vs On-premise CRM
Crucial User Adoption Factors
Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft CRM
Click here to access our Free Sugar CRM Evaluation Guide
With this, you will be able to view the major improvements inside Sugar CRM.
Favorites and Favorites Dashlet
Twitter and Social Media integration
Sugar Mobile 1.0 details
and much more.
Considering ACT! by Sage?
Click here to download our Free Sage ACT! 2012/2013 Feature Review.
With this, you will be able to identify the key improvements within ACT! 2012, 2011 and 2010.
Items addressed include:
User interface enhancements
E-Marketing, Mail-Merge and Online Surveys
Sales Opportunity redesign
Advanced Outlook Sync for Contacts and Calendar
Simplified Importing design
Smart Tasks (Workflow)
and much more.
Search terms for Compare CRM:
sage act 2013 reviews
act to sugarcrm migration
convert sage act to sugarcrm
act to sugarcrm
sage act! crm to sugarcrm
migrate data from sap crm to sugar crm
migrate data from sap crm to sugar
free mapping template migration goldmine to sage crm
Sage ACT! | SalesLogix | California CRM software consultants helping businesses manage customer relationships & stay connected with clients.
This Web site is owned by Accent Gold Solutions. Accent Gold Solutions is independent from Sage and is not authorized to make any statement, representation or warranties or grant any license or permission on behalf of Sage regarding any product, service or Web site content. Certain materials made available on or through this Web site are owned by Sage and cannot be used without the prior written permission of Sage.