Sales Cycle Management
June 1, 2004 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Needed: Reliable software that will automatically respond to email sales leads, send those sales leads to our dealers in the customer's particular region, and follow up with an email to the customer a week later to see if the dealer has contacted him or her, or if a sale has been made. [more inside...]

I am not sure if this is possible with one software package, so any suggestions that even closely resemble the requirements below. Most of the solutions I've researched seemed to be from companies I've never heard of with generic sites using a bit of Flash here, a bit of stock photography there, with a sprinkle of sales "buzz words," so I'm a bit weary of them. I'd really appreciate if any MeFites who're familiar with this type of software could point me in the right direction.

Our company receives a hundred or so emails a day from customers who've been to our web site and have filled out a form requesting information about our products. We also receive response cards and call reports as well. What we'd like to do is have an auto responder tell the user that their request has been received and that their inquiry will be send to a local dealer. We would also like to be able to enter the emails given to us on our response cards or call reports so that we can send a similar message to them to indicate we're aware of their interest.

Then we'd like to send the information we've received to our dealer in that area so that they contact the customer and try to make a sale. Several days or weeks later, we'd send a follow up email again to the customer to see if they have been contacted or not, or if a sale has been made with the dealer we referred them too (sort of a mini-survey).

Lastly, we'd like to be able to have reports/statistics of the leads we've referred to the dealers based on information we've received: # of leads sent to a dealer versus how much they've sold, # of negative responses on follow ups, etc.. Because we spend about a million dollars or so every year just on lead-generation, so we'd like to know that our dealers are actually doing something with what we're sending them.
posted by lotsofno to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
This seems quite simple with a bit of bespoke software development, or do you require an off the shelf application ?
posted by ajbattrick at 6:27 AM on June 1, 2004


I've been part of several efforts to automate this type of data gathering/reporting.

There are several "CRM" applications out there that do this, and some are even multi-user.

They are very expensive, and it sounds like you wouldn't need the whole enchilada.

What web environment are you on? PHP? Cold Fusion? ASP?

I'm sure there are several folks here (present company included) that could, given an adequate spec and some cash, create just the app you're looking for...
posted by tomierna at 6:36 AM on June 1, 2004

Response by poster: How long would a tailored application like this take to develop? What kind of support should we expect (and for how long) if we contract someone to program this for us? Would it be able to integrate with our current system (some hacked-up "Promotions Manager" that we've had for 26 years now I think)? The last part isn't necessary, but would be nice.

I would be very much interested in presenting the idea of a tailored CRM app (customer relationship management) to my boss, but would still like to be able to present a couple of other options with "off the shelf" programs in my meeting tomorrow. I'm not really sure about the details of our current web environment, but anyone interested in getting more information from me, or if you have any other suggestions, can send a message to me: "ecaoili @t gmpopcorn dot com".
posted by lotsofno at 7:20 AM on June 1, 2004

Lotsofno - I could do it under a week, and depending on your needs and what it would need to be integrated with in your systems, it should be just a couple thousand bucks -- much less than a Multi-User Microsoft Act! license. I code custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems for a living... I've been doing it for the past few years to pay the bills through college, and I'm starting up a company to create and support CRM and backoffice apps this month...
posted by SpecialK at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2004

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