Frontrange Solutions – GoldMine Business Contact Manager 5.7 review

from basic contact management to enterprise CRM
Photo of Frontrange Solutions – GoldMine Business Contact Manager 5.7
£165.00 + VAT per user (volume discounts apply)

CRM is a popular acronym in the IT press. It stands for “customer relationship management” and explains how companies have to keep close tabs on the way they’re dealing with their customers. This has obvious benefits – if you treat your customers properly and promptly, they’re less likely to wander off to your competitors.

As well as being a basic contact management package, GoldMine Business Contact Manager 5.7 can also function as a CRM tool. It’s a surprisingly scalable solution that should make it suitable for small office / home office users and companies up to around 100 employees.

At the heart of GoldMine is a database that keeps track of telephone conversations, e-mails, personal meetings and postal communication between company representatives (usually the sales team) and customers. Every activity is logged and the sales person has complete access to the customer’s details, from the time and date of the last point of contact (plus the name of the sales rep concerned) to any pending items, the customer’s contact details and even their birthday, spouse’s name, kids’ names, non-work interests etc. All this can – supposedly – help to close a sale.

When GoldMine is set up as a network solution, any sales person can access the details of another rep’s customers (unless specifically restricted), so it’s easy to ensure that whoever answers the phone, there’s no loss of confidence on the part of the customer, because the rep should have all the necessary information on screen.

Full account history tracking is built in, as is document management (for standard letters and e-mail templates, for example). There’s also ‘opportunity management’ which shows the status of pending sales, potential revenues of each sale, close dates and so on.

Further automation is demonstrated by the program’s ability to send out automated reminders and maintenance notices, lead analysis (to check that your sales cry of ‘buy from us – we’re great’ is really working) and in-depth statistical analysis of all sales, whether closed or not.

New in this version is tighter integration for remote users (i.e. the notebook warriors in the field) and better compatibility with other contact management packages. There’s also a selection of industry templates supplied although these are quite generic.

GoldMine looks a little bit like Microsoft Outlook in its user interface, although FrontRange Solutions might claim that their design came first. Whatever, it’s a simple solution to the problem of multiple screens – scroll down the left side to find the section you’re after, then navigate the main window’s selection of tabbed information screens. You can configure these tabs as you see fit, and indeed configure the whole package, docking or undocking various calendar and contact windows as you see fit.

A selection of add-on packages let you integrate the main program with popular accounting tools, add CLI tracking, mapping, scanning and various other facilities. As a family of products, GoldMine Business Contact Manager 5.7 is one of the most comprehensive tools of its type.

Company: Frontrange Solutions

Contact: 0118 938 7300


Verdict
There's a balance between letting your sales people get on with their job and requiring that they fill in details of every customer contact using a CRM/contact management package such as this. If you, as a manager, can strike that balance well, GoldMine Business Contact Manager 5.7 could truly help you to make the most of your customers' budgets.