There are plenty of CRM options cropping up to challenge Salesforce.com for mindshare with small businesses, including Batchbook, Highrise and Zoho CRM. What makes newcomer Stride different is its focus strictly on prospect and deal management.
Stride has stripped out most of the contact management features you'd find in other CRM tools to provide a simple interface where small-business owners and relevant employees can track deals and sales, said Andrew Dumont, cofounder of Stride, who originally began developing the application for his own needs as an entrepreneur.
"The focus is the deal and the relationship is part of that," Dumont said.
The service is targeted at small-business owners, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs that weren't necessarily trained in formal sales processes.
Let's be clear, Stride is officially a beta service right now. There are about 5,000 people using the service. If you want to try Stride as a beta customer, visit the company's sign-up page and enter "ZDBETA" as the invite code.
Stride plans to charge a flat-rate of $7 per month to manage an unlimited number of deals; you can manage up to 20 deals per month.
The company is also working on a collaborative version of the service that will let teams of people within a small business touch different prospects. Pricing is still being worked out for that option, but it likely will cost between $20 per month and $25 per month, Dumont said.
The current site is optimized for access via mobile devices, but Stride is also planning an iOS mobile application to complement its cloud-based application.
In addition, Stride ultimately plans to build features into the service that can help ensure that users stay on track of deals that might need attention. So, for example, Stride might sent an alert when it is time to follow up with an account. "The idea is that we want to work in algorithms and best practices so that someone who isn't a sales person can go through the process," Dumont said.