A SMB All-In-One CRM, Marketing & More Solution
GreenRope originated from the email marketing industry, where it started as Cooler Email, and leverages this history for unique footing in a crowded CRM and marketing automation software industry. And while not self evident, the company's moniker is reflective of another application strength. Green references sustainability. Rope references strength. The more strands that are tied together the stronger the rope. To this end, Greenrope consolidates many otherwise disparate CRM and marketing functions into a central application.
This business system is best suited for the SMB (Small and Midsize Business) market with a sweet spot for companies around 100 employees. With a theme of simplicity and integration, and a goal to deliver a 'Business Operating System' which includes much of the application software a company needs to conduct business, the scope of Greenrope software includes CRM, marketing automation, project management, website content management system (CMS) and a portfolio of related productivity tools. For purposes of this vendor solution brief, we focused our review on the CRM, social CRM and marketing software.
Customer Relationship Management
The CRM records act as the system of record for most functions throughout the application. The CRM software includes the traditional tenants of account/contact/activity/opportunity/case management but goes further to also include tightly integrated marketing capabilities as well as broad website integration.
The benefits of this approach are clear—a unified system that shares data in real time among functions and people, decreases cycle times and facilitates better reporting. A less clear but no less important advantage is that the complete suite is significantly less costly than comparable suites which must be assembled from multiple vendors.
Email marketing is feature rich and flexible. Email distributions may be created from templates using flexible target lists, may include embedded components such as surveys, RSVPs and count down timers (to invoke a sense of urgency), and upon distribution can simultaneously send to social networks. Basic email testing using previews and spam detection from SpamAssasin can improve deliverability rates.
The company is also ahead of the curve in supporting events management. The application can profile event-based campaigns and supports payment acceptance (through PayPal) for event registration, coupons and redemption, event check-in and attendance tracking.
Lead scoring covers the basics well, such as designating point scores to individual pages, but doesn't get into the more advanced scoring capabilities such as multiple lead scores, placing caps on scoring behaviors or depreciating scores based on periods of inactivity. As the application is a unified CRM and marketing software system (which is unusual among marketing automation systems), lead transfer of sales-ready leads is seamless and supports Alert notifications (for example, based on prospect activities occurring in a 24 hour period).
GreenRope is continually expanding its social CRM and social media integration. CRM contact records link the contact's profile with his or her social network profiles thereby permitting sales and support staff to view the contact's social activities and behaviors and better understand the contact and the social conversations they engage in.
The application supports social media management, including scheduled posts and updates to social networks, and a social media dashboard with a view of social activities and separate tabs for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to display more details, such as activity streams, direct messages, searches and trends. These tabs also permit users to perform keyword searches in order to identify relevant conversations and engagement opportunities. The dashboard also displays social media performance metrics such as conversations (measures replies), amplification (shares and retweets), applause (likes and favorites), impact (weighted sum of factors) and interest (volume of clicks shared).
Overall, the solution's social CRM approach is well positioned for its SMB market. However, one shortcoming we hope may be forthcoming is the ability to automatically extract attributes from social profiles and activity streams, append that data to account and contact profiles, and leverage that data for customer segmentation, marketing campaigns, account profiling and key metric calculations such as CLV (customer lifetime value)—which includes not just current or future financial value, but also referral and influencer value.
- The application breadth is impressive and can aid SMBs in transitioning from a slew of disparate systems to a unified application.
- The solution delivers quick time to value. The application is relatively simple to configure and fast to deploy.
- The CRM software is empowered with social CRM, and aided by integrating contact profiles with social media connections, with a keyword-based social listening Brand Monitor which queries Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn conversations,
- The company counts over 3000 customers and a small but vibrant reseller and white label distribution channel.
- GreenRope has a strong leadership team headed by a mature and visionary CEO who is steadily leading the company in the right direction.
- The financial value is uniquely strong. Subscription fees are among the lowest in the industry and include unlimited users. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is among the lowest in the CRM software industry.
- While the application is intuitive and usability is straight-forward, the User Interface (UI) is lacking and doesn't deliver the user experience comparable to consumer or social applications. Interestingly, the reports are highly graphical and deliver data in rich context.
- As with most marketing automation systems, PPC integration is lacking. This is an increasing void as SMBs are continuously adopting and increasing their PPC spend and need methods to correlate that spend with earned revenues. GreenRope source attribution identifies the referring domain, but is unable to identify individual PPC campaigns and keyword attributes (such as cost).
- The company lacks brand and market recognition and far too often flies under the radar of CRM and marketing software buyers.
- The application does not offer global functionality such as multi-currency management or global certifications such as Safe Harbour or ISO 27001. Geographical representation is largely limited to the U.S., although the company does support some resellers and customers in Mexico and Europe.
GreenRope offers a feature-rich, no-frills CRM application that is particularly well designed for the SMB market and delivered at a compelling price. While the user experience, geographical limitations and brand recognition currently challenge company growth, management shows the ability to continuously advance this solution with each iterative release delivering new value, and which may ultimately mitigate current challenges and position the company for increased growth.