Google Apps Review: Applane Enterprise CRM
Applane CRM uses role-based access to provide users with immediate access to only the data they need at any given time. Plus it offers full integration with Google Applications and is enterprise-ready.
Google Apps Marketplace offers a number of applications that are designed for Google Application users. The big deal for businesses is that many of these apps are "installable apps" that integrate directly with Google Apps. With so many organizations using Google Apps — including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs — it is not surprising to see a growing number of customer relationship management (CRM) products available in the Google Apps Marketplace (see Google Takes an Interest in Analytics, CRM).
The Google Apps Marketplace currently offers a number of CRM applications, including social CRM and project-based CRM apps. One CRM application that is currently receiving positive reviews from Google Apps users is Daffodil Software's Applane CRM.
Applane CRM lets business and enterprise users track a complete sales lifecycle; you can track contacts, sales, RFPs, determine which of your sales team members are keeping on-task, who is producing sales, analyze marketing trends, and even send bulk emails from within the application to customers and contacts.
One of the most important features of Applane CRM is that the product provides role-based access to your CRM and business data. When you set up Applane CRM there are six pre-defined roles to choose from: Admin, Sales Manager, Data Miner, Sales Executive, Quote Executive, and Quote Manager. These roles determine access to data based on your organization's hierarchy.
This creates a nice, tight CRM working environment. Every individual or team working in the CRM has access only to the data they need, which means no wasted time looking through data and reports that are not relevant to a person's specific job role and tasks. Additionally, mangers have access to their team's data and with a single click they can see who is on-task with leads, who is producing sales, who is expected to close a deal or contact a hot lead, and many other useful functions.
Easy CRM Interface and Usability
The interface of Applane CRM is both intuitive and user-friendly. Applane CRM is designed to get users to the data they are connected to and need to access with a minimum of clicks and fuss.
There is also a tightly woven usability standard within Applane. Each report is laid out in a typical spreadsheet format, so most will already be familiar with the look and feel of the Applane CRM interface. Training and time to get accustomed to the application will be minimal — most users will be able to jump right in and use the application if they have experience with manipulating spreadsheets.
The dashboard is also well organized and the CRM options are consistent in design, access, and functionality across the entire user interface. For example if you need to access your "Organizations" reports, the standard options include New Organizations, Free, Due, Overdue, All, In Discussion, and so on. When accessing Campaigns, Opportunities, Quotes, Contacts, or Customers, you'll find that data is available based on the same options as in Organizations — with some specific features included (for example, Quotes may also be viewed by Won or Lost).