- Expert Review
The small business CRM market is becoming crowded with service providers jostling to grab the attention of tech savvy small entrepreneurs. In order to stand out in the crowd you therefore need to make your solution striking, comprehensive and powerful. Customer relationship management is really becoming pivotal for small businesses to thrive in the competitive market and in order to grab most attention from customers SMBs are increasingly becoming reliant in CRM solutions.Most SMBs expect the CRM to stretch beyond a contact management system to become a complete business solution. They want applications that will cover all their sales, marketing and communication aspects so that they don’t have to invest in separate software solutions. Most CRM vendors promise to offer an all-encompassing solution but rarely meet the promises made. In recent period I had the opportunity to test most of the CRM solutions targeted for SMBs available in the market and found that Converge Enterprise alone satisfies the parameters of becoming a comprehensive customer management solution for small businesses.
Converge Enterprise is designed to be simple and intuitive, yet powerful, cloud based solution. It is targeted to eliminate the learning curve and improve user adoption through simple design and navigation.
Converge Enterprise Dashboard
Converge Enterprise is targeted for small organizations with 20-500 employees and offers all-in-one sales and marketing solutions. The CRM dashboard has a comprehensive designing that offers single screen, at-a-glance view of all your CRM activities. The dashboard is dynamic, i.e. it captures real-time data, and is customizable.
The home page of each module offers a simple listing view that allows advantages like-one click access to the details page, inline edit, delete, mass updates, export etc. You can add entries to your Follow and Favorites lists to receive live updates on those.
Sales process automation
Converge Enterprise has implemented advanced intelligence to make the sales process automated and allow sales executive close more deals. The system will automatically escalate the lead, from the time it’s captured and process it through its lifecycle till closing through its effective deal management feature. A really attractive feature is that it allows you to attach score to a lead to help your track them based on their probabilities.
At the core Converge Enterprise is marketing automation tool that helps you design, run and manage marketing campaigns directly from your user account. You can manage and create email marketing and DRIP marketing campaigns using the simple UI that helps you create simple as well as complex marketing campaigns following minimum number of steps. The CRM has an inbuilt collection of attractive email and newsletters templates that allows you to customize your marketing campaign.
You can create lists of customers you want to add to the campaign and further describe segments to create sub-lists to make your campaigning more targeted and effective. Converge Enterprise allows users to import their contacts in CSV format and directly add them to marketing campaign lists so that no time is wasted in initiating a communication. Its advanced level features allow you can set exclusions and add stop criteria actions to make your campaigns more intelligent.
This module is created to offer on the go task management solutions for busy sales executives. You can view your plans for the day, week and month, add to your calendar or reschedule appointments from your calendar homepage. It covers the bare essential functionality of a CRM system but the crisp and smart design helps you know about your activities ahead to plan your day effectively. Moreover, the details of meetings can be viewed from the calendar entry so that you always know the person, purpose, time and venue of
the meeting beforehand.
Custom field creation
What sets Converge Enterprise apart from others is that it is a fully customizable application that can be molded as per your business or industry requirements. This is my personal favorite feature of the CRM. You can create and add tabs to the details pages for different modules as well as create customized dropdown lists for fields. Converge Enterprise allows customization for the listing pages as well – you can add or omit fields from the page view.
- App store and third-party app integration: A comprehensive apps store that allows users shop for a hoard of third-party apps on per-user/per-month basis. Currently app integration solution is available only for – Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Fax Solution, Docusign, Box.com, Twilio and Google Apps.
- POS integration: Converge Enterprise can be integrated with all the prominent POS systems available in the marketplace. The POS-CRM integration improves dissemination of information and helps creating better business platform.
- Web meeting solution: Inbuilt web meeting platform will be introduced shortly so that users don’t have to buy third-party applications for live chat. Using the interface customers can be engaged directly in conversations. It will also enable product demonstrations through chatting.
- Document sharing and storing: Upto 2 GB of document sharing capacity has been incorporated. Users can upload/download files as well as share them through Converge Enterprise. For document sharing clickable compressed URLs can be added and also the user can control viewer access, number of views, number of downloads, availability duration, etc.
- All the documents shared are listed under Library. The document library can also be managed and edited from the homepage of the Library module. I found the history section in document details page very useful.
- Security and data storage: Converge Enterprise offers strong data storage and backup solution. As per their pricing FAQs, all data are stored in highly audited datacenters that are manned and monitored round the clock. Data is encrypted both on transit and in store.
- All-in-one solution for sales, marketing and communication for SMBs.
- Simple, intuitive designing.
- User friendly interface.
- Hosted in best of breed cloud architecture.
- Multiple language compatibility.
- No learning curve.
- Exhaustive user guide.
- Intelligent DRIP marketing and lead nurturing functionalities.
- Custom field and dropdown menu creation.
- Mobile application.
- Quick access to create tasks and add events to the calendar.
- Highly customizable to suit business and industry requirements.
- Company logo, colors and themes can be added to customize the interface.
- Multi-channel marketing campaign integration.
- Cross-browser compatibility.
- Free trial available for 30 days. After that membership can be upgraded to paid version by paying through your Converge Enterprise account.
- Backup and data security.
- Though you can create custom fields but it can’t be mapped with existing tabs.
- Limited app integration solution. More exhaustive app store is underway and will soon be launched.
- The ecommerce platform is yet to be completely functional.
- It lacks in social CRM aspect. You can’t yet directly receive social updates on your customers in your Converge Enterprise account.
Converge Enterprise is competitively priced keeping in mind the targeted users, i.e. small and mid-level businesses. The CRM is available in three versions, namely – Lite, Professionals and Premium. Lite is the most basic version and Premium being the most advanced one. However, most users opt for the Professional version. The billing cycle is quarterly and subscription can be cancelled any time during the billing period. Special discounted rates offered for yearly subscription.
Free trial period is allowed for 30 days, which can be upgraded to paid membership during that time period or afterwards.
- Free Trial – 30 days
- Lite – $9.00 Per User Per Month
- Professional – $29.00 Per User Per Month
- Premium – $59 Per User Per
Converge Enterprise CRM Overview
(Please note this is a Vendor submitted overview. SmallBizCRM will conduct its own, independent review in the near future).
Converge Enterprise is a powerful all-in-one web-based Business Growth software for sales, marketing, service and collaboration that enables fast-growing small business as well as large enterprises get more customers and grow sales.
Converge Enterprise delivers everything a business needs to attract more prospects, close more deals and retain customers. The simple platform with intuitive navigation combines the power of customer relationship management, multi-channel marketing, business process automation, document management, partner collaboration, and dynamic reports and analytics under one roof.
With its ability to deliver messages to targeted audiences via multiple channels, build nurturing one-to-one relationships through marketing automation and increase efficiency through business process management, Converge Enterprise enables businesses to grow their revenue by attracting more prospects, closing more sales and, at the same time, shortening the sales cycle.
It’s easy to use screens and customizable processes are designed for businesses to be up and running within minutes.
How Converge Enterprise users benefit?
- Intuitive Interface: Simple navigation and friendly interface ensures quick and easy user adoption.
- Powerful automation: Better command of the business with automation of business processes and repetitive activities.
- Unified Platform: One central platform to nurture leads, recognize opportunities, close deals and support customers.
- Collaboration: Enhanced collaboration tools to work together and generate revenue.
- Reports and Analytics: Important data at fingertips through dynamic real-time reports, dashboards and summaries.
- Security: Hosted in the cloud at professionally equipped world-class data centers.
- Mobility: Real-time access from any smart phone or tablet.
- Technical Support: Product specialists to provide quick implementation and expert advice.
App store and third-party app integration: A comprehensive apps store that allows users to shop for a hoard of third-party apps on per-user/per-month basis. At present, app integration solution is available for – Quickbooks, Docusign, GoToMeeting, Twilio, Google Apps and many more.
POS integration: Converge Enterprise can be integrated with all the prominent POS systems available in the marketplace. The POS-CRM integration improves dissemination of information and helps creating better business platform.
Web meeting solution: Inbuilt web meeting platform has been introduced shortly so that users don’t have to buy third-party applications for live chat. Using the interface customers can be engaged directly in conversations. In addition, it will also enable product demonstrations through chatting.
Document sharing and storing: Up to 2 GB of document sharing capacity has been incorporated. Users can upload/download files as well as share them through Converge Enterprise. For document sharing, clickable compressed URLs can be added and the user can control viewer access, number of views, number of downloads, availability duration, etc.
Security and data storage: Converge Enterprise offers strong data storage and backup solution. All data are stored in highly audited datacenters that are manned and monitored round the clock. Data is encrypted both on transit and in store.
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