This release of ACT! marks the 26th anniversary of the contact management / CRM (customer relationship management) software and the 10th iteration of the program since it was rewritten from the ground up in 2004.
Why do you care?
Because ACT! is a mature product with a proven track record while many of the newer players at the table – not so much.
Makes me think of the “early” days of CRM – back when it was still being called Sales Force Automation – large portions of the Javitts Center in New York City were filled with sprawling displays from literally hundreds of hungry new vendors… Most of them long gone today.
When it comes to selecting a system that will have as much impact on your business’ viability as CRM, you must make informed choices…
ACT! is a powerful, yet quick to implement system that sales people love and is a great fit for many entrepreneurs and small businesses (heck, there are tons of huge companies that use it, but that is not my forte).
That said, like any software, ACT! cannot be all things to everyone, so following are what I consider to be the 4 primary reasons that you might (note I said might) not find ACT! CRM to be your best bet.
If after reviewing these considerations, you have any remaining trepidation about using ACT! – call me – we can arrange to get you set up with a trial – 866.568.5123
#4: You are a Mac or Linux shop.
The main ACT! software is an honest-to-goodness Windows program.
It is not browser based and it relies heavily on the Microsoft tech stack including .Net 4 and SQL Server 2008.
Now, you can use ACT! on a Mac if you setup something like Parallels, but this may be more hassle than you want.
ACT! does offer a very capable browser client (one of the best I have seen truly) included in the Premium edition of ACT! v16, however, the “rich” client is not 100% compatible with Mac browsers and the “mobile” HTML 5 client has a reduced feature set – what it does, it does well, but as of this writing there is no support for things like reports or dashboards.
#3: You are committed to the concept that your company will only be using cloud based solutions.
ACT! can be hosted – both by Sage and from quite a few reputable third party hosting vendors, so this may not be as big of a show stopper.
The biggie here is to do your homework because there are numerous ways cloud versions of ACT! are offered and depending upon what you choose, it can have significant impact on the features that will be available in your implementation ( not to mention the month to month $$ fees ).
Call, I can help – 866.568.5123
#2: You have extensive customer support and service needs.
Out of the box, ACT! does not include customer service and call center features that are generally considered to be “typical”: tickets, knowledgebase, defect tracking or concurrent user licensing.
You can customize ACT!, and yes, there are add-on products that provide customer support functionality, but their level of integration with ACT! varies.
If you are in need customer support for your ACT! system, call me and I will work with you to find the tool to fit your needs – 866.568.5123
#1: You use the iPad or Android tablets exclusively for your sales force (in other words, no PC access at all) .
This is similar to item #4 above: There are ways to access your ACT! data on a tablet (and your smartphone), but they are diverse.
So, you must have a very clear understanding of your users’ real-world requirements before picking a mobile CRM solution.
Otherwise, you can find you and your salesforce hamstrung with tablets with which they can’t do the job.
If you are moving to “mobile” in a big way, be careful, get help.
ACT! is a highly flexible system, supporting a wide range of browsers in both rich and thin clients along with disconnected/remote branch support, and of course, Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 7, Windows 8, and Small Business Server 2011.