The best CRM suite

Summary:We look at seven CRM solutions, compare them and give some recommendations for where each would have the best fit.

LeadMaster

Intro

LeadMaster is an Australian on-demand CRM product that is easy to use and provides powerful marketing and sales tools. It comes in several flavours: a mini and maxi Business edition, as well as Corporate and Enterprise editions.

UI

Depending on your taste, the interface may look either spartan or clean, with simple links at the top to the individual modules for Accounts, Contacts, Administration and so forth. The uncluttered interface hides a powerful tool underneath, however, and after a bit of getting used to we quickly found it easy to work with LeadMaster.

It also integrates nicely with Outlook, providing convenient synchronisation of contacts and appointments. Emails can be automatically attached to the right contact in the CRM system, even if you use Outlook as your primary front end to emails.

The Accounts module.
(Screenshot by CBSi)

Technical

A strong point in the new version of LeadMaster is Task Manager, which ties into workflow automation to add time-based task management and business rule features. An example would be that if a lead isn't contacted within a certain time frame it's automatically reassigned to another representative, who is alerted via an email or text message. Or you could split incoming leads based on value between different sales teams automatically. Task Manager will also be a boon to sales managers who can now track sales activity more effectively; sales staff will like the fact that they don't have to manage reminders individually for each lead.

LeadMaster also offers other tools such as Virtual Call Center and Lead-Xpress; the latter is essentially a bare-bones, low-cost, CRM system just for receiving and updating leads. There's also an interesting software phone that integrates with leading VoIP providers as well as the CRM system and lets you leave pre-recorded messages on people's voicemail, record conversations and set up call scripts.

Customisation

Creating personalised emails and forms is very easy, and there are over 25 industry-specific templates to facilitate customisation to suit your business. An option to download your entire database at any time is uncommon in hosted CRM packages; this should help ease worries around the cloud and data access. LeadMaster integrates nicely with Outlook as well as Google Calendar, and is very good at capturing all leads, whether from webinars, landing pages or call centres. Customisation is very intuitive and it is easy to adapt LeadMaster to various business situations. There are no marketplace of third-party add-ons at this stage, but the API to build solutions that work with LeadMaster is public.

There are over 25 industry-specific templates to facilitate customisation.
(Screenshot by CBSi)

Mobile

LeadMaster has a mobile version for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android, as well as an offline version for laptops.

Social CRM

LeadMaster integrates with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn through Web Links Management, which is a simple way to bring selected external data directly into the LeadMaster database.

Summary

LeadMaster is an easy-to-use tool with a strong focus on lead generation and nurturing, as well as comprehensive marketing tools. It's also a flexible platform with a great approach to CRM.

Product LeadMaster
Price Available on request
Vendor LeadMaster
Phone 1300 852 599
Web www.leadmaster.com.au (trial available)

Interoperability 3/5 LeadMaster integrates with its own call centre suites.
Future-proofing 3.5/5 LeadMaster is a good CRM application with frequent additions of features and a strong following in the APAC region that will suit any small and medium business. Make sure your business is comfortable relying on a smaller player, albeit one that has proven very successful for quite some years.
ROI 3.5/5 Easy to customise and a low-cost cloud option.

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software, Oracle, Reviews, SAP

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.