WEB APPS CRM REVIEWS

Sales Cloud 2 from Sales Force - Substance over style

Sales Cloud 2 from Sales Force - Substance over style
It’s a CRM, a Customer Relationship Management system.  Keep tabs on your regular accounts, your sales leads, deals closed, and deals fumbled.  And get a birds-eye-view on how your sales team is doing.

At the flick of a switch, well a few switches and a couple of dials, Sales Cloud 2 enables you to see who’s your selling machine, your selling medium, and your selling muntard (“Come on, help ‘ol Gil out here!”, Gil Gunderson, The Simpsons).

With this beastie you can oversee anything from a small crack sales team to an army of door knockers.  It’s all there and it’s ‘relatively’ easy to use.  This watchable little video will give you a better, more succinct rundown of the functionality than I could hope to tap out here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhHGUWMy_WE

Well...it certainly works.

And what ‘had me at hello’ about Sales Cloud 2 is it’s ‘Chatter’ feature…a Facebookish live chat system that allows you to see what your sales team is up to in real time.  A great way to measure the hubbub around the office at a quick glance.

The info storage is simple to use and comprehensive enough, it would seem.  Lots of appropriate fields to fill in and handy pull-down menus of options that help you dodge repetitive data entry (allows a big plus!).  You can have an account up and running pretty quickly.

The same with sales leads…

It’s not all fun and games though!

But I have to admit, I’m not exactly bubbling over with enthusiasm here.  Why?  Sales Cloud 2 has a cool name, and seems like it could be funky on first impression.  But it’s not.  It’s severely pragmatic.  Austere even.

If you don’t care about aesthetics or atmosphere in your workplace then no worries.  If you do, then the sheer nuts and boltsy look might get to you.  I’m a huge fan of the ‘make work fun’ movement and Sales Cloud 2 reeks of seriousness.  Sales is a people oriented business.  It’s all about relationships and personality.  Then why can’t the software have a bit of personality too?  For instance, off this is the visual impression of this ‘help’ gateway…

…it doesn’t bode well for the friendly, supportive vide of the help cavalry.  They may be really cool, but I shouldn’t have to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Their open door, ready to help attitude should smack me in the face from the outset! These guys need to take a leaf off Mail Chimp’s (link to review) banana tree.

So now, down to the nits and grits.  How much coinage are you going to have to chuck into the pot for Sales Cloud 2?

That didn’t hurt, did it?  Sales Cloud is affordable, I’ll give them that.  I’m not sure if the $5 contact management option is worth it as you’d probably be better off with a spreadsheet and something like Outlook or I-Cal.  My impression is the Sales Cloud isn’t designed for the small operator.  A three man sales team would barely scratch the surface of functionality here.  But if you’ve got an army of door knockers to manage, and you care not a jot for funky colours and friendly messages, then Sales Cloud 2 could be your ticket.

Is the Sum greating than the parts?

Were I to wake up one day in alternate universe where I was a sales manager…I still probably wouldn’t pick Sales Cloud 2.  It’s simply too ‘beige cubicle’ for me.  But if you’re a substance over style kind of guy or gal, then why not give it try?


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