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Maximizer Mobile CRM Freedom solution for BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 18 Aug 2009 07:55 am EDT
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Maximizer

Throughout my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to try on different hats. Within each experience, I’ve been able to adopt new practices into my own skill set and vice versa. When I was involved in corporate sales, I was initially taught three very important things that have stuck with me over the years:

1.    Know your client; maintain a personal rapport.
2.    Keep records of everything; you never know when you need them.
3.    Don’t get mad at me if you can’t do your job.

Whether in sales, marketing, customer care, or any job that requires dealing directly with clients, detailed and easy to access records is crucial. Accounts, deals or you own job may depend upon your dependability. I’ve used a few tools in the past to help me keep all of this information separate and accessible, but never wielded a solution using my BlackBerry smartphone…until now. Maximizer Software has a wide array of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Solutions available, which has been around for 20 years. I had the fortune to sit down and discuss their BlackBerry smartphone offerings and the benefits. With access to customer cases, opportunities, dash boards, and other information (without having to store information on your device) you could see your efficiency and profitability grow. Read on for more!

About Maximizer Software

The CRM solution, showing up as ‘Max Mobile’ on your BlackBerry smartphone, grants access to customer/client information online, on your desktop or, in this case, from your wireless device. This solution by Maximizer Software, is currently in version 10.5 and will take up 1MB of space. It works with BlackBerry smartphones running 4.0.2 or higher. PC World named Maximizer Software as one of the top 10 must have applications for the BlackBerry earlier this year. It’s also available for Palm and Windows Mobile devices (2003, 5.0, 6.0, 6.1). I met with Angie Hirata (Worldwide Director, Marketing and Business Development) and John Easton (Manager, Product Management) to learn more about the CRM solution, after finding parking in downtown Vancouver of course. Their core market is small to medium sized businesses, as well as divisions of large businesses.

Main Menu
The Main Menu

Having a look at the home screen, you will find the following tools;

Address Book Max Mobile’s address book not only lets you create, edit/remove contacts, companies and individuals, you can also leave detailed notes that are easily viewed. You can keep track of items including; a company’s account manager, sales leads and lead status, partners and how to (or not to) solicit them. That way, you can keep contact details that will help maintain a good rapport and allow for continued business. From here, as well as in other tools, you can also map their location, create or retrieve a case or an opportunity (we’ll look at these in further detail).

View Company Details
viewing contact information

Opportunities: Yes folks, they just don’t knock anymore. Here you can manage your potential sales. You can view current or all opportunities with any company you are dealing with. Each entry will detail facts including the name of the company or individual, contact name, the objective, products, description, the stage and “confidence rating” of the opportunity, revenue and close date. At the top of each opportunity, you will find a probability progress bar; detailing what percentage you have of winning this opportunity.

view opportunitity
viewing a potential sale

Customer Service: Helping you out in field service automation. Using this tool, you are able to deal with cases/issues as they arise. Each case allows you to manage case numbers, elapsed time, description, priority, and severity - to name a few. Important information is detailed in the case list, so you know what to handle first.

view case details
viewing a care issue

Hotlist: Your supped up task tool. Besides setting the date, time and alarm, you can also write down the detail, choose a priority, mark it personal or business related and (when ready) mark it completed.

Calendar: View your appointments and such as normal. You can also add attendees found by a company name or an individual’s name. Additionally, you can set the priority, products/services, categories and much more.

Wireless Synchronization: Since you can access your account from your desktop or your BlackBerry smartphone, you should make sure the two are always in sync. From here, you can manually or automatically update all of the entries found in each tool.

Dashboard: Nothing like visual aid to, well, aid you. The dashboard is designed to give you access to activity, sales or an overview. Each dashboard visually details your information. For example; in the sales dashboard, a pie chart will depict what percentage of your opportunities are at a specific status, value of opportunities in progress, daily closed/created opportunities, your pipeline report and campaigns. It’s a great way to quickly determine where you stand.

view dash
visualize your work

Help: The help tool will walk you through the ins and outs of Max Mobile. You can learn how to sync, add address book entries, manage opportunities/cases, notes and tasks.

Preferences: each tool, and message/call preferences can be altered here.

preferences
Preferences

On top of all of these features, the application continues to work to make itself easier to use. I have my BlackBerry set up to prompt logging outgoing and incoming calls and create contacts from call logs and messages. I remember seeing colleagues lugging around files, laptops and scribbled notes around in their car, which eventually looked like a filing box exploded in the back seat. I hate to say it, but I worked with a few who didn’t bother updating notes regarding sales meetings or care calls until the end of the day, if at all. Max Mobile will help keep information organized and simplified. Employees can minimize their use of larger devices and stick to their BlackBerry smartphone to keep accounts up to date. Having your account synced also helps you know of last minute opportunities or critical issues that have come up. These issues you may have not known about prior to contacting the client. This would be crucial if you wanted to look entirely proactive to a potential client. A solution like this will allow for more time allocation in the day to schedule appointments, increase sales and efficiency and also allow you more valuable family time in the evenings. I could have used Max Mobile on my BlackBerry years ago, but alas… my previous company’s loss.

With the information retrieved and managed wirelessly, one would think the data usage would be fairly high. For example; a mid range user has a record of 1500 account/leads- the data usage for a sync, in this case, would be roughly 60kb. Sync 4 times a day and that works out to be 240 KB- that’s only 5.3MB per month (based on 22 work days a month).

Conclusion

I can see why Maximizer Software has sold over a million licenses to over 120,000 customers. Maximizer CRM Software is a must have for any company or individual looking to build upon and efficiently manage their business. In this day and age, we don’t want to be bogged down by paperwork and stuck in front of computers typing reports. We need to be out in the world, making money and keeping our clients happy. You can do so by having access to all of their information in a neat little package; your BlackBerry. You can check out their wide range of solutions at Maximizer.com

For more information on Maximizer Software click here.

Pros

  • manage and sync for the most up-to-date information
  • view maps, graphs and progress
  • minimize reporting time and paperwork

Cons

  • none

More Info


Reader comments

Maximizer Mobile CRM Freedom solution for BlackBerry

6 Comments

A single licence/user @ $219 is far too high !! I was interested until I saw the price. Better off buying Goldmine/ACT and sync with your BB. Far better CRM.

I disagree Charlie. Back in the mid 90's to early 2K's, I was a Maximizer Business Partner, an ACC (ACT! Certified Consultant) and a GoldMine trainer. Both ACT! and GoldMine are contact-centric: the contact is the focus of everything. From the DOS days, Maximizer has always been company-centric. So it is very easy to see everything you have done with an organization and all your contacts at that organization. Try that with ACT! or GM?

Rather than being so negative about MaxMobile, I would invite you to download a free trial and test it out. You might even like it ... and find out that price isn't everything!

Regards,

John

Ryan, you must be new to CRM, never used CRM, never used CRM in a team environment and don't very well understand mobility or scalability.

Here is a QUICK list of problems I see with this product
1) Team exchange expensive $800.00 for a 5 pack. If you are working as a team THIS IS A MUST, but for $800 bucks! there are FAR BETTER solutions

2) No Synch with Google Apps, this is almost a must for scalability from a single proprietor to partnership or corporation. Without scalability, I wouldn't even look at this.

3) Website forms. The big development in CRM software is the ability to create a simple or complex form, export the html code to a site and have the site feed your CRM the lead info, this can't do that.

4) No REAL Desktop management application: It synchs with Outlook, Word, Excel, products that don't do CRM. The purpose of a CRM is to GET AWAY from these products!

5) MaxExchange is their solution for online backup, how secure is this, what if they have a data breach and all your client info is released, did you read their fine print? I am guessing you didn't.

6) Tech support, what if you out in the field and you need it on a very loaded day? The battery drain of this app running and the simultaneous call to support will kill your battery quickly.

I could go on, but I think that speaks enough for you to want to look else where. I recently looked at SalesForce and it has NONE of these CON's. It is maintained on their servers, updated automatically (3 times a year), web enabled access through your iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device, does the online form creations for lead generation AND with that gives you the coupled advantage to harness the power of SEO on your site. I am not a sales person for SalesForce, but now I am debating it.

Looking at this comment above I think I have to disagree with the 'obvious cons'.
In my previous experience with Maximizer and indeed MaxMobile these cons are not apparent.
1) Google Apps is almost a must? I don't have a definite need for Google Apps so it is not a must. Perhaps a comment to the company suggesting this may be worthwhile, but not something that would stop me buying any CRM system.

2)Website forms - was there not a tab titled 'web' and an option 'create web forms' in Maximizer. I used Maximizer 10 and there was. It worked well for our website.

3)Every major CRM system is robust, and uses a server for backup, but every company has a very minor possibility of breach, and I'm sure every CRM company has fine print

4)Battery life - thats the phone and how you use it. You need to charge your phone for 16+ hrs on initial charge. I used a bold with MaxMobile and it did not affect my battery life yet some of my friends would kill their battery with a couple of calls. Why? Because they did not charge it properly to start with, sure there is something in the phone manual about that.

And finally, the purpose of CRM is not to get away from those products you mentioned. The purpose is to have a complete and linkable view of my customers, my prospects and indeed my own company, and to be able to store information, see all actions and act immediately. Every CRM system I have used we always added documents, presentations, spreadsheets etc to the records. What do you use to write letters, quotes on etc. We used these in conjunction with dashboards and accounts management. Thats a null and void comment of yours.

Personally I found Maximizer a good CRM system with great functionality. Every one has their own preferences and with CRM, you have to get the concept right and use it properly. I have used four different CRM systems in the past all with pros and cons and I would recommend Maximizer to any company. Furthermore, CRM on your BlackBerry is definitely the way forward

Maximizer is obviously struggling. The company was delisted from the TSX last year. I suspect that its user base is declining. Its frontline staff come across as cynical and demoralized.

We fled from the horrible recent versions of ACT! three years ago. Maximizer10 was fine. We expected our recent upgrade to Maximizer11 entrepreneur to be routine. It was not clear from the initial documentation (although this was hastily added to their website after our purchase) that tethered blackberry/maximizer sync was not available.

Webserver infrastructure is required, something that is going the way of the dodo bird among small businesses, as many of us migrate to the cloud. The Maximizer techs and salespeople that we spoke to didn't seem to know anymore than we did, so maybe I have this wrong.

The salesperson promised a refund more than a month ago, but I am not holding my breath on that one. Maximizer is infamous for its cheap refund policy.

Avoid Maximizer and ACT! Probably the only options left are the online crm providers which bring a whole new set of security, access, and reliability issues.