I had an interview appointment with Salesboom.com CEO Troy Muise within a few days, so I was interested in the series of comments on a recent news posting about Salesboom.com, an up-and-coming entry in the SaaS wars, currently led by salesforce.com.
Not all of the comments were friendly—even though all SaaS suppliers could benefit by studying the piece they were commenting on, one that Muise wrote after an analysis of the actual behavior habits of Salesboom users.
What really ticked off the readers seems to be this closing note by Muise:
Salesboom.com is a leading vendor of on demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business software services to over 30,000 subscribers and 3500 customers in over 159 countries. Customers include LexisNexis, Transcontinental and PointRoll. Salesboom SaaS business solutions help SMBs improve Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service and manage Inventory, Accounting, and Human Resources processes, on demand.
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One commenter called the study “bluff” and seemed surprised that a software CEO would try to sneak in a “commercial message” into an Internet submission.
As a matter of fact, Muise said none of those cited were found in his computer file of customers, mentioning that competitors were not above making negative comments in cases like these.
Muise did not hesitate a minute when I asked who he perceived his main competitor is. “Salesforce.com,” was his immediate reply.
Evidently, salesforce.com is winning, with 20,000 customers versus 3,500 for Salesboom. But they have different business models, according to Muise. Salesboom makes modifications and ERP add-ons for a fee. Some are recycled to all users during one of the four-times-per-year software upgrades. Salesforce asks customers to do it themselves, using the salesforce “open” platform. And Salesforce has a headstart of two years.
But Salesboom is not afraid of competition. In fact, they gladly publish comparisons with more than 35 CRM packages, as shown below:
Compare Salesboom to: Maximizer, Entellium, Oncontact, Aplicor, Soffront, ADAPT Software, Avidian, Epicor, Goldmine, InsideSales.com, Kana, Microsoft, NetSuite, Onyx, Oracle, Parature, Pivotal, RightNow, Sage, Salesforce.com, SalesLogix, SAP, Saratoga Systems, Siebel, SugarCRM, Surado, ACCPAC, ACT!, amdocs, Appshore, Aprimo, Ardexus, Astea, Aurum, Chordiant, Commence CRM, CSG Systems, Dendrite, eGain, Enterprise Wizard, Everest, Infor, JD Edwards, LeGrand, NetOffice, Peoplesoft, SalesJunction.com, Salesnet, Visitar, Infusion Software, Dataforce CRM, BrainSell, Zoho, LeadMaster, VanillaSoft, Model Metrics, PipelineDeals, Tour de Force, Balgord Software Solutions, Landslide, C2CRM, CRMG, PhaseWare, CNP, 24SevenOffice, Exact Software, Revelation, Majestic
In fact, he welcomes the competition, who have worked hard validating the SaaS technology model, saying that the old security questions of the 1990s have disappeared (but is our customer data safe??) and have been replaced by questions about price and functionality.
Speaking of price, Salesboom is hard to beat. Their price list is quite simple:
|Price Per User||$249/year||$200/year||$40/month||$75/month|
Some additional facts. Salesboom serves 3,500 customers and about 35,000 users. Revenues are in the $66.5 million area, with a profit of $6.5 million. There are no venture capitalists on hand—the company has been funded by the principles: Troy Muise, CEO, and President Rami Hamodah,
But two or thee of the commentators cited specific customer care problems—so I decided to talk to some of Salesboom’s customers.
Muise had one of his lieutenants sent me a handful of email addresses.
The first one politely told me she was dissatisfied and has asked for her money back. She claimed that a Salesboom salesman had not been honest with her. (Bad news, Troy.)
The next customer was deliriously happy with Salesboom, giving them a 10 in answer to Loyalty Guru Fred Reichhheld’s “Ultimate Question”: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend Salesboom to a colleague or friend?” (Good news, Troy)
And the third customer responded with an 8 to the same question. He said his contract called for a warning of a price rise, but he got no warning because according to his salesman, he purchased at a special reduced rate, and therefore this phrase was no longer valid. Thus the positive but passive promoter urged me to lock in any special low prices.
My sample was small and hardly representative, but I would like to see the answers to the Ultimate Question by all of Salesboom customers.
Finally, Salesboom features a first.
It is the only web-based CRM system with official affiliates. Yes, if you promote Salesboom and it results in sale, you get a 10% commission on revenue generated.!
Full disclosure: I am considering joining up.