CRM Providers Target SMBs

On tap: mix of hosted, licensed products.

Intuit Inc. and Marketplace Software LLC are each developing CRM software options for small and midsize businesses, which have lately sought such functionality through hosted customer relationship management services.

At the same time, Salesnet Inc. is planning enhancements to its hosted CRM applications.

Intuit, of Mountain View, Calif., last week announced two customer service software applications, QuickBooks Customer Manager and QuickBooks Client Manager. The moves were prompted by company research that showed only 13 percent of its QuickBooks small-business accounting software customers have CRM software deployed.

The news followed startup Marketplaces release last month of E-manage. The software includes modules for customer and contact management, project management, SFA (sales force automation), service and warranty management, commissions, asset and human resources management, employee and customer Web portals, and e-mail marketing.

CRM for small biz

Newcomers licensed software offerings:



Intuits Customer Manager and Client Manager

Manages customer and contact information

Marketplace Softwares E-manage

Modules for customer service, SFA and related fields

Intuit and Marketplace, of Long Beach, Calif., are both taking aim at companies with 20 or fewer users.

Hosted services companies, however, are looking to take advantage of the ability to have customers regularly log on and update capabilities. For instance, by the end of this month, Salesnet plans to release Version 2 of its Dashboard, adding full drill-down capabilities. Users will be able to click on graphical presentations of sales data to see underlying data. The current version provides only a graphical interface to reports.

By the first quarter of next year, Boston-based Salesnet expects to add support for foreign languages and currencies, according to company officials, speaking at DCIs CRM Conference & Exposition here last week.

Jennifer Fox, marketing specialist and Salesnet administrator for ImageMax Inc., in Fort Washington, Pa., said she cant imagine how licensed software could give her company what Salesnet does.

"For a company that has offices around the country, a tool like this is almost a necessity," Fox said.