The Founder of ACT! and SalesLogix on CRM and Why ACT! Is Not CRM

CRM – customer relationship management – one of the tech industry’s favorite buzz words (next to VOIP, SaaS and social media). CRM is wonderful and very much needed but to successfully implement a TRUE and strategic CRM strategy it takes a lot of planning, pro-active work and expertise.
Sure, you can dump all of your contacts into Outlook, ACT! or some other application. But that’s not CRM. CRM is an ACTION. It’s a SYSTEM. It’s not a piece of software.
TMCNET has an interview with Pat Sullivan, founder and former CEO of ACT! and SalesLogix. They writes ..who has recently joined the board of Infusion Software, whose CRM program is, according to Sullivan, “built specifically for small businesses — which is really the last great opportunity in the CRM software market.”
I highly encourage you to read the interview.
Some key points he raises are:
– ACT! is not really CRM, but usually gets placed there.
– On what’s missing from CRM: Mostly elegant simplicity. It needs to be powerful but not overwhelming. Most products have way too much hitting a small biz user in the face. Infusion recognized this and is constantly trying to hit this goal. I hope to help them accomplish this even more.
– TMC asks ACT! has, as you note, done pretty well selling basically a contact manager. What small business CRM needs aren’t being met by that?
Answer: Primarily great nurture marketing features. Using behavior of your customers to automatically drive marketing campaigns. Integration with ecommerce engines. Small biz is often living and dying by their Web site.
This guy for sure knows what he’s talking about. I’ll take a peak at Infusion and see if they’re that much different than other companies offerings.