If you are a small business owner who is looking for a CRM tool, you’ll want to demo Office Interactive.
In the past, I’ve configured and trained sales teams to use salesforce.com. I thought it was a fine tool. As a tech person, it was easy to configure. And, management could run the reports they needed with no problem. Now, as a small business owner, I don’t have an international sales staff nor an office in Bel-Air, yet. So, for me it doesn’t make good business sense to go the salesforce.com route. I want something that is inexpensive, but at the same time meets my demanding business need like sales tracking software. Basically, sales tracking software is designed by sales managers themselves so you are sure and confident that the features are relevant and based on real life experiences of sales professionals.
When I interviewed the Raz Choudhury, President and Co-Founder of Office Interactive, Inc, he warned me that Office Interactive could be much more than just a CRM tool, yet much less expensive than what Fortune 500 companies use. He said that it is ideal for the small business owner.
“Traditional software vendors have neglected the small business segment,” explained Raz Choudhury, President and Co-Founder of Office Interactive, Inc. ” Most products were either too expensive or were inadequate for small business. Office Interactive was built from the ground up on the belief that individuals and small businesses should have access to a free and easy-to-use platform that will grow with their needs.
He was right. At a base price of $9.99 per month per user, the small business owner has access to the following features:
Productivity Collaboration: Collaboration amp; Productivity Suite
Sales: Sales Management amp; Sales Force Automation
Customers: Customer Service amp; Customer Data Central
Marketing: Ad Campaign Tracking amp; Management
Billing amp; Expense: Invoice amp; Expense Management
HR: Resource amp; Recruitment Management
Project Management: Project Tracking amp; Management
Being the control freak that I am, I wasn’t too thrilled with the thought of having all of my company’s customer related information on the net. Web apps are useful and I loved being able to access my data at anytime in any place, but what about server downtime? What about set-up support? What if someone hacks into my data while it is on Office Interactive’s servers? I was pleased to find that Office Interactive has world class data center with redundant connectivity and power backup, and 24/7 security monitoring. Heck, my small business data is safer on their systems than it is on my own!
Office Interactive has a great dashboard that I can personalize to show my email, appointments, individual and shared tasks. It also has a bulletin board and blog. And, the mail feature can be configured to support Outlook.
I can Instant Message my team members, store and track my sales efforts and even project my earnings. Office Interactive makes it easy to keep track of paid and unpaid invoices, top 5 clients and top 5 expenses.
It even has an HR component that allows me to assess and develop the skills of current employees as well as candidates.
The only thing I didn’t like was the “session time out feature”. That is, for security purposes, Office Interactive would log me out if my session was idle for a certain period of time (Don’t worry. I am fully aware of the contradiction between being a security conscious control freak and denouncing the session time out feature). Of course I could manage the time out feature by changing my settings, but recently they have added a layer of security that allows the user to lock/unlock the session so there is no need to go through the entire log in process again.
Perhaps my favorite part about Office Interactive is that unlike many sites, I can use whatever browser I choose to access my data.
You can really tell that the developers know what a small business owner’s pain points are. They’ve addressed every conceivable issue. What’s more it that you don’t have to use what you don’t need. You can choose if you want to use the Billing amp; Expense feature and/or the HR feature and/or the Project Management feature.
But, you really have to try it for yourself to understand how it might help you and your small business.