Archive for January 2013 – A Comparison

January 30, 2013

Many businesses are investigating cloud software solutions to help manage their business. One of the most popular functions for deploying cloud-computing solutions is sales, with sales force automation, CRM, sales lead management, marketing automation and email marketing. In this document we will review the primary differences between and (SFDC) as it relates to key features, ease-of-implementation and ongoing costs.

Deploying a software system to help manage your sales process is a crucial business decision and vendor experience is an important consideration; LeadMaster has been in business since 1998 and SFDC since 1999. Both companies offer time-tested cloud- based solutions that can be tailored to a multitude of industries.

Research indicates that user adoption is a critical success factor. For ease of use the advantage goes to LeadMaster. Overall LeadMaster is much easier to use with the contacts, account and opportunity information all on a single page for easy viewing and updating. By contrast SFDC has a pre-defined sales process such that you will have multiple instances of the same contact / company in different places in the application. For example the same person may show up as a customer, a lead and an opportunity. This is overwhelmingly complex and confusing for many users who complain about having to ‘hunt’ for their information. Additionally many companies have their own sales process and don’t want to use the pre-defined SFDC process.

Along with ease of use is ease of administration. LeadMaster wins big in this category. SFDC is a complex application and they recommend 3 or 4 days of basic training for administrators (cost $1,800) and 5 days of advanced training for administrators (cost $4,000). LeadMaster by comparison is relatively simple and training an administrator usually requires only a few hours.

Customizing your system is an important part of having your software solution work the way you do vs. having to do business the way the software works. With LeadMaster you can customize almost everything yourself and you’ll be assigned an experienced consultant that can either customize the system for you or provide you with the resources so you can customize the system. SFDC is a complex application where all too often a hired certified consultant is

needed in order to customize your system to fit your needs.

Forrester forecasts that the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. The total size of the public cloud market will grow from $25.5 billion in 2011 to $159.3 billion in 2020


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End user support is another important consideration when determining the best sales and marketing system for your business. At LeadMaster a dedicated consultant, the individual who helped you setup the system is your first line of support. With SFDC If you need support you’ll be speaking with someone in a call center (offshore?) who does not know your business or system configuration. For an additional 15% to 25% of your annual license costs you can purchase access to an assigned SFDC support rep. To qualify for an assigned SFDC support representative you must have at least 50 licenses and spend a minimum of $12,000 for an annual support subscription.

Planning and forecasting growth for your business is a challenge for most businesses. Entering into a long-term contract for a cloud- based sales and marketing system is less than ideal as future business needs may change. SFDC requires a minimum 12-month contract and will not let you reduce the number of licenses even if you are no longer using them. By contrast LeadMaster offers a flexible month-to-month contract allowing you to expand or reduce your licensing needs as your business changes. This is especially attractive for companies that have seasonal peaks in usage like call centers or real estate agencies.

It seems that some cloud computing companies want to make it difficult for you to get your data out of their system in the hopes it will keep you as a customer and unfortunately it appears that SFDC falls into that category. On the other hand, LeadMaster makes it easy to both import and export your prospect and client information. There are several options to choose from to extract your data from LeadMaster. You can download any / all of your data on demand. You can subscribe to a download either incremental or full on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Or your data can be placed on a secure FTP server on a schedule of your choice.

SFDC has many features but many of them are only available as a ‘plug-in’ from other vendors. This is a potential integration and support nightmare, not to mention the additional cost. For

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example, Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation are built-in to the LeadMaster solution but are only available from third parties with the SFDC solution.

SFDC has stratified their solution / pricing into several categories with limited features in the less expensive versions. By contrast LeadMaster has more features included in the standard offering. Feature-wise the LeadMaster Professional Edition compares to the SFDC Enterprise Edition but costs less than half as much.

For companies that want to share opportunities / leads with business partners (e.g. distributors, manufacturer’s representatives, insurance agents, real estate agents, etc) LeadMaster has an interesting product called Lead-Xpress. Lead-Xpress provides a way to distribute leads and update the CRM without having to have a full license and without having to log in to the system. A Lead-Xpress license starts at $10 per user per month. However, SFDC users will have to purchase a full license for each user in order to be able to share opportunities and leads.

To put this in perspective, the cost difference between 100 Lead-Xpress licenses and 100 SFDC Enterprise licenses is equal to $138,000 annually (100 users times $115 ($125 for SFDC – $10 for Lead-Xpress) times 12 months). Using the Lead-Xpress solution for 10 years adds up to more than $1.3 million in license savings. When the estimated cost of training and administration are added to the SFDC cost the total savings with the LeadMaster Lead-Xpress solution exceeds $2 million over a 10-year period.


• SFDC can be overwhelming for the typical user. LeadMaster is easy to learn, use and administer.

LeadMaster offers an integrated all-in-one solution vs. the SFDC solution with requires purchasing products from third parties to provide a complete solution.

• SFDC locks you in to an annual contract and you can’t reduce the number of licenses even if you aren’t using them any more. LeadMaster offers a flexible month-by-month plan.

LeadMaster has a clear price advantage for licenses, training, customization and implementation.


The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New Feature – Record Information for Callback / Event Reminders

January 30, 2013

If you use the call stats / express checkboxes / express updates to schedule callbacks and reminders in LeadMaster you may have noticed that you don’t see the name of the company or primary contact in reminder.

Starting next week, information about the record (company and primary contact name) is displayed for each reminder in the list.

Call Back & Event Reminders with Company & Contact Info

Call Back & Event Reminders with Company & Contact Info

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

How do you track who entered records into your LeadMaster system?

January 15, 2013

A customer asked this question today and although LeadMaster doesn’t have a search for who entered the record it is fairly straightforward to create a workflow that will allow you to search to find out.

To begin create a marketing activity (or marketing status is you prefer) for each person you’d like to search on. For example:

  • Records entered by Andy
  • Records entered by Joe
  • Records entered by Sue
  • Records entered by Beth

Then create a workflow for each person you want to search on that is activated anytime a new record is entered into the system that add has a condition equal to either the group, account manager, partner or partner rep. The resulting action will be to add a marketing activity equal to that person’s name.

Now whenever a member of the group, account manager, partner or partner reps enters a record a marketing activity with their name will be added to the record as well.

You can search at both the record and contact level for marketing activities.

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.