How to Determine Disk Space of an Act! Database

When migrating to a new server, hosting provider or a new CRM, it’s a best practice to know how much disk space Act! uses.  The video demonstrates how you can determine this for your own database.


Is Salesforce Overrated?

Salesforce Logo

A lot of businesses now think about how overrated Salesforce was and are now making the shift. The counterproductivity and the total cost of ownership for Salesforce are the main reasons why businesses look for alternatives. Aside from the price and complexity of the software, small businesses find themselves lost in the added features and fees that may not be necessary.

These add-on payments are disadvantageous to the business because you are going to pay for extra features that you don’t need. The features of Salesforce are not unlimited as they say.  For instance, there is a cap in broadcast emails that is usually only about a thousand per day. It may seem that Salesforce is an intuitive tool, but the learning curve is too high. It may not need installation, but you have to set it up and can’t be used right away.  Like most CRMs that need to be more than a big address book with notes, you may require a specialist set it up before your business can use it.  In Salesforce, the user may require multiple clicks to get to the most frequently needed information where our solutions can be programmed to make it available right on your home screen.

Here are some more reasons why your business should make the shift:

Salesforce is expensive

Salesforce customers usually complain about the price of the software.  One cost you may overlook is the data storage. Each edition includes some storage.  However, as time goes on this becomes insufficient for the needs of a business. To solve the storage problems, customers will be on the hook to buy extra storage for their database and day-to-day processing needs.  Or, you have to resort to posting URLs from systems like Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and Zoho WorkDrive.

Another reason why the prices are skyrocketing is the support offered for basic packages. Businesses will have to upgrade from their standard plan to make the most out of the CRM service. Aside from this, businesses sometimes will need to resort to getting third-party support services to ensure that they will have the support needed for their upgraded features.

As for renewal and the sales team, remain mindful about paying for services you might not use.  The features might feel good but at the end of the day, it will cost you a lot. You have to carefully consider when renewing your plan because it’s unlike others where you can cancel any time or be subscribed annually, instead it’s for two years or more. Think twice before renewing an annual or bi-annual basis because you cannot easily back out.

Money Spend

Our Platforms Cost Less than Salesforce

WiredContact Enterprise offers a highly customizable CRM built for small business, and there is no need to compare features among different tiers.  All the features are included in the same license.  You can either deploy WiredContact in the Cloud, or you can install it on your own server.  When our clients install it on their own server, they can save money on hosting costs and manage their own security.

Complicated Customization

Every business has a specific need and most are not aware of how their Salesforce customization is going over the top. There are a lot of complementary components that a business thinks that they need, and since Salesforce offers a lot of moving parts, customers get off track with their scope and budget.

Everyone wants to have the right solution to their CRM needs and the choices offered usually are way more than what a customer needs for their business. After some time the business will notice that they’ve already exceeded their limit and budget.

Limited Options

There are a lot of CRM providers out there who offer more than one deployment option for their customers, but Salesforce offers only a cloud deployment option. This can be problematic for businesses because they might want to manage the infrastructure and security of the CRM on their own. 

Having only one or few options for deployment like on-premises, cloud, or hybrid solutions is important because each business has a different need. Not having options as a business is greatly advantageous. 

Adoption Issues

Salesforce is complex and regular users will have to spend a lot of time learning it, or the business will need to hire an expert to set it up. The training will take up time; time that can be used doing something productive. The said training can also take up days depending on the features acquired, the more complex or add ons the longer it will take. 

Even with the training and equipping, it’s not a sure guarantee that the users will readily master the tools. Most of the users find it inconvenient because the learning curve is steep and the adoption rate to the processes is low and slow. It’s also a concern when customers are required to fill out fields with data. These extra steps can be tedious and counterproductive

Complex for Small Business

Salesforce works best with large-scale businesses but very poorly for small businesses. It’s because of the complex setup and configuration of the software. Most of the required add ons or features are not necessary for startups or small businesses. 

It will be best for small businesses to get away from salesforce and find another CRM solution that fits their scale. It will be a costly disadvantage if a small business will embark on trying to insert Salesforce into their production and marketing processes. 

Most of the issues lie with navigating everything and updating reports with multiple clicks, not single and this takes up a lot of time. It will be frustrating for small businesses to use Salesforce because the main goal of having a CRM is minimizing manual workload and finding a cost-efficient way to process sales. Their usability for sales and marketing tools might not be worth the investment because it might hinder you in doing more because of its complexity.

Final Thoughts

All CRM platforms offer an overwhelming array of features with lots of cross-over among them, yet their subtle nuances when it comes to costs and features can determine a good rollout from a great one. There are plenty of options for small and medium-sized companies that offer simplified pricing.  MondoCRM offers more than one solution, and we would be glad to help you find an alternative that offers a lower total cost of ownership and delivers the features you need. Let us help you.


Using AI with Zoho CRM

How to setup data enrichment with ZIA.

I found a practical and easy to setup feature in CRM to take advantage of AI. This 2 minute video will show you how to configure ZIA (Zoho Intelligent Assistant) to fill in missing data (ex: a phone number or email address) on a new lead you just acquired.

Why we believe it's significant

One of the problems CRM faces is data entry. Reps, stereotypically, don’t like to do the admin work CRM needs so we can analyze the data further.   This tool makes it easier for everyone to get better data to make better decisions.


How to Wisely Spend for CRM

Do I need a CRM?

YES. A CRM system has now become a necessity of every business because most of the transactions are now done online and the processes and database need to be accessible all the time. Businesses now shifted to making themselves available online because everyone is online and customers are now confident in transacting with businesses who are available at any time of the day.

There are a lot of advantages of CRM and this is not only for the customers but more so for the business processes. Everything is streamlined and centralized because anyone in the organization can access the database with ease. Communication within the business becomes easier and smoother too. With the right CRM package, the processes and reports that you need in your business can be easily dealt with. CRM prices may seem steep for some CRM providers and you need to be careful when choosing the right service provider and package. CRM software is a much-needed investment for your business and it’s best to consider everything before purchasing anything.

Here are some tips to guide you when spending on CRM software:

CRM Stock Photo

What features do I need?

Before making a hasty purchase, you need to know and plan out the features of CRM that you need for your business. Some necessities are contact management, marketing, email, customization, intelligence and reporting, accounting and inventory, usability, lead management, task management, security, contacts, and storage space.

Out of all those features, you may not need all of them at once and it’s better to just get what you need at the moment. It will help you spend less on the features that you will not be using often. You need to customize your package to save on your CRM software expenses.

Employee at Desk

Consider customer service

This is an important point to consider because you will surely have issues especially at the beginning and the after-sales of a CRM provider should be efficient enough to help you. It’s best to review and see if the CRM provider was able to support their current users. The CRM cost most of the time depends on the structure of the system that you will purchase. Some of the available options for customer service are also placed on the packages.

Consider the type of support that you will be needing on your end. There are different types of basic support like live chat, email, knowledge base, and video demos. Wisely choosing the kind of support that best suits your business needs will make CRM software service worth your money.

Woman in call center

Billing Cycle

Most of the billing cycles are offered annually and monthly. For annual options, there surely are big savings because you can save up to months. However, there will be risks too like being locked with a vendor. You need to make sure that the CRM provider is consistent with their service when planning to go for annual billing cycles.

Cash Box

Modular vs Suite

Another consideration is when planning to get modules or suites. There are CRM providers that offer modules and this is a good thing when planning to save up because you can mix up modules that you need and create a solution that’s tailored to your business. It will help you save money because you can avoid buying features and modules that you don’t need.

Blocks

Free and open source software

Some CRM providers offer a free trial or a free edition of the program (ex: Zoho CRM Free) and you can try this first before considering purchasing the package. You need to test out the free sources until you reach the limits. It may sometimes surprise you that what you need may be available for free and you need not purchase a package. There are a lot of advantages though when you decide to purchase because the features can be customized according to your business needs.

Settings

Software Compatibility

This is one of the most important considerations because people in your organization including you will be using the CRM software daily in your business processes. The users in your business should all agree and be capable of integrating CRM software into their tasks. The software should help them lighten up the load and not make things complicated. Check if the CRM system can be accessed on mobile and not only through desktops. Having the ability to access the CRM software at any time and anywhere will be a great advantage and worth your money.

API

Consider different purchase options

It’s crucial to do your research before purchasing anything, especially your CRM software. Include in your research the support that they offer, reviews, and price points such as a monthly or annual fee. You may also come across other providers where you can compare the price, services, and features offered.

Options

Conclusion

To determine if your CRM is overpriced you should do your research and make a spreadsheet to compare each vendor. Look into the service that they are providing and check how much are other providers charging for the same quality service. There are a lot of SMEs when it comes to quality CRM software and it will be best to consult seasoned experts. These people have years of experience and they will surely help you in making guided decisions when planning to cancel and change your CRM software.

Conclusion

Export Notes from Act!

How to Export Notes from Act!
(Hint: You cannot do this within the native program)

Data Screenshot by Sai Kiran Anagani courtesy of Unsplash.com

In case you are looking go at it alone or with your I.T. contractor, you can export some of the data, but not all the data.  For instance, the contact list view doesn’t export the unique IDs so notes, history, opportunities or the calendar won’t connect to their proper contacts when you import them into another CRM or an ERP.  When you are trying to use any Act! native tool such as the ACTREADER, SQL Studio or ODBC connection, these tools alone cannot strip out the RTF/HTML code formats as shown here.  Our services get the data into CSV format for the other systems along with the unique IDs..

Sources:

For current Act! users, here are a couple ideas.

Keystroke Dash Screenshot

If you are trying to get more than what the standard history list provides and you want to remain in Act!, we implement Keystroke Dash (formerly TopLine).  You can export on the notes or history tables and add additional fields to the reports standard Act! doesn’t provide.

You can create dashboards, charts or lists with Keystroke Dash.  We find it very easy to train people on this program and it offers extensive customization.

We also support Microsoft Power BI, where you can combine Act! with other data sources to gain additional insight into the business.  Check out our case study.

Options:

We offer alternatives to Act!, and we convert the data.

Check out our approach.

MondoCRM is platform agnostic, which means we aren’t tied to one CRM’s limits, and we can weigh a couple options.

Additional Platforms:

If your CRM or ERP isn't listed here, we can still help.

Export Abstract
Photo by Kevin Ku from Pexels

We offer the Act! export service, so you can take the spreadsheets to your consultant so they can do the import.  We have done this for companies moving to Salesforce, Hubspot, or other industry specific ERP or CRM system.

Fee:

  • Budget $600 per database.