The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 14, 2008 • Issue 08:04:01
Customer care for the little guys
Job one for ISOs or merchant level salespeople (MLSs) is to manage and nurture relationships with merchants. StreetSmart's Small Business Customer Relationship Management (CRM) version 2 is designed to do just that: track leads, collect and collate client information, facilitate collaboration among colleagues - and do it all affordably.
Part of InfoStreet Inc.'s Web-based Internet technology and productivity software suite StreetSmart, CRM mana-ges client relationships from prospecting, through closing of that account, to serving existing accounts.
With CRM v2, businesses are able to connect satellite offices and independent contractors at remote locations or in the field, which can foster greater organization and communication among colleagues, which, in turn, can lead to increased sales.
Businesses sign up online for the entire StreetSmart suite of services, giving users access to all of InfoStreet's software as a service (SaaS) applications, including administrative, address book, file sharing and mailing list. The CRM v2 application is part of that suite.
But for ISOs and MLSs, it can be a critical one. Through the application, sales reps can create a customized database of lead contact information. Then particular leads can be assigned to a particular rep.
When the rep communicates with that lead, the rep can then update the lead's electronic file on InfoStreet's online database, with e-mail notifications of the update sent to the appropriate people within the organization, keeping them abreast of all the latest developments and interactions.
CRM v2 is also able to manage client relationships, giving users a choice of actions - whether a particular client needs a follow-up call, or perhaps a quote should be sent or a meeting needs to be arranged. Furthermore, the application can be used to track clients' likes and dislikes - which products and services businesses are most interested in purchasing.
Like an electronic file cabinet, the application automatically stores all data compiled on each client - contact information, e-mails, comments and any other client-specific information - in a centralized archive, giving authorized users access to all communications with clients and notes about clients.
In the volatile payments industry, when leads pass from one MLS to another, or accounts are transferred to different departments, all the data is easily and instantly accessible by new parties.
The service is customizable. One CRM can be built for a company's field force and another for the inside sales team, and the two can be hidden from one another to avoid channel conflict.
According to InfoStreet, for a business to get up and running on CRM v2, all of its current files are easily importable into the StreetSmart system
Tarzana, Calif.-based InfoStreet claims its service is highly cost effective, especially for smaller businesses.
InfoStreet CEO Siamak Farah said, "We set out to provide [a product] that is not only an order of magnitude cheaper, but in many ways an order of magnitude better" than competing SaaS offerings. Many of the features on CRM v2 are a direct result of feedback InfoStreet received from its customers.
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