Salesnet Express aims for low end of CRM market

Salesnet's latest edition of its hosted CRM software will target the lowest end of the CRM market, with a monthly per-user price...

Salesnet's latest edition of its hosted CRM software will target the lowest end of the CRM market, with a monthly per-user price starting at less than $20.

Salesnet Express will offer almost all of the functionality in Salesnet's standard service, removing only a few hierarchical features such as customised access controls for users in different segmented groups, according to Salesnet chief marketing officer Dan Starr.

Sales will be limited to 10 users per organisation.

The service's features include tools for account and contact management, scheduling, e-mail campaign administration, document sharing, reporting and forecasting.

Salesnet Express runs on the same architecture used for Salesnet's other editions, so customers can upgrade without any data migration, Starr said.

Salesnet is among a number of ASPs moving into the business applications market, bringing to midsized organisations features traditionally found only in pricy, complex packages.

Salesnet competes in the hosted CRM market against Salesforce.com and UpShot, which all offer a basic price of $65 per user, per month.

Salesnet also offers a more advanced edition, Salesnet Extended, for $99 per user per month. Salesnet Express will be sold in annual subscription packs of either five user licences for $1,195, or 10 licences for $1,795.

"We've focused to this point on midmarket companies and enterprises, but we felt there really wasn't a company that was bringing this type of technology to the low end of the market," Starr said.

Aberdeen Group CRM research director Denis Pombriant said he questions whether very small organisations need the features offered by hosted CRM providers. At such a low licensing price, Salesnet will have to sell its service at a significant volume to make the low-end opportunity one worth chasing, he said.

"I suppose there will be some demand, based on whether you have multiple users that need access to the same data," Pombriant said. "There isn't a great price advantage. There's a market, but I don't know how big it is."

Stacey Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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