Cloud-based sales management is able to take a variety of forms and can work with numerous types of interfaces, and the precise way in which such a service is created can have a major impact on the overall success of the sales management and improvement plans. Base is a customer relations management tool that sets itself apart from other offerings primarily through its focus on simplicity and convenience. A number of positive features may make base an attractive candidate for both small and large businesses, as well as individual workers such as freelancers, but with serious issues in pricing, this service may fail to be a long-term solution or to adequately meet the needs of very large organizations. An overview of the service’s interface, main selling points, and other considerations should help prospective users decide whether this promising but currently crippled system is worth using as it is.
Beginning with Base
Fans of super-simple, clean interfaces will probably love the Base environment thanks to its low-key looks, easy readability, and general lack of clutter. A nice organization of menus and work areas allows users to quickly move from one task to the next, and there aren’t unnecessary objects to gloss over or complicated access issues. A simple overview area allows users to see an event stream, which may be useful for managers and others in need of an idea of how usage is progressing. The overview screen also features a quick snapshot of the status of sales, with data on the number of clients, deals, and potential income clearly displayed. Throughout the Base system, inputting data and modifying it is fast and fuss-free, and custom fields make overcoming the boundaries of typical item entries a breeze.
As with any type of sales management system, data must be entered in order to produce a useful program. Companies and groups with a large volume of existing data may be daunted by the task of transferring client and sales details into the Base engine, but importation options make this step significantly easier. In fact, Base shines in its ability to make data entry quick and painless, mostly through the merit of its super-simple interface. Whether users have experience with a sales management system or are approaching the idea for the first time, it’s unlikely that usage problems will crop up. A free trial can be accessed from the site’s main page, and should give users a solid sense of how the system is used and whether it’s comfortable both visually and functionally.
The Base of Operations
Keeping clients organized is a central function of Base, as is keeping an eye on outstanding contracts, potential deals, and client history. These functions are carried out nicely by Base, which provides a nice combination of graphic and text-based information to make reviewing individual cases and groups simple. Many potential Base users are likely to be most interested in the service’s claim to assist in the creation and improvement of a sales funnel, which is an essential part of any thriving business. Because of the many custom fields that can be created for users as well as for deals, the collection and presentation of sales data is likely more effective in Base than it is in other CRM offerings.
Users can also customize the sales funnel itself to define how a selling process should work and which steps should be involved. This seemingly simple yet crucial service aspect may make Base a valuable tool for businesses, and the versatility of the inputted data means both small-scale and larger companies are likely to derive some benefit from Base’s reporting and visualization functions. An option to specify reasons behind lost deals is also likely to contribute to a positive experience with Base, especially for managers in search of getting a simple but complete picture of the progress of a given sales campaign.
Extras and Missing Perks
An especially interesting aspect of Base is its ability to create custom lead capturing modules that users can place on their websites in order to directly import information to the CRM system. Though this feature may not be entirely workable for all users, those who intend to source leads in bulk online may find that this option is capable of delivering a powerful streamlined sales process with a minimum of effort.
While a range of mobile applications would be expected from a service like Base, apps for iPhone and Android are apparently still in the works. These features may be worth waiting for, but anyone with an immediate need for access to sales data on the go may need to look for an alternative in the meantime. Also missing is widespread integration with other applications and services. From data transfer to publishing and beyond, there are many opportunities for useful partnerships, but Base seems to have left this part of its service offering for later, if ever at all.
From a usability and sales management perspective, Base has a lot to offer to a wide variety of potential clients. Unfortunately, the company’s unconventional approach to pricing may make it a poor choice for anyone interested in more than an initial tryout of the service. While Base is free for the first fifty deals entered into a given account, users are placed at an impasse beyond this point. There appear to be only two options; either users can become a part Base’s sales force by referring other users, thereby earning “free” additional deal entries (but only up to 100), or they can pay for 300 deal entries with a monthly fee.
Why Base would limit its users to a relatively low number of deals even with monthly payment is fairly mysterious. Though the attempt to make Base more popular through an incentive-heavy referral system is certainly creative, large businesses likely don’t have the expendable time to complete this task. Highly usable and potentially effective sales features combine in Base with a sales structure that may prevent it from succeeding –time will tell if this CRM can smooth out its creases.
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