Founded in 2009, Texas-based Mothernode is a spin off from ASI Signage with the entire development team moving over to the new company. Starting with an ERP solution developed while at ASI, they added a cloud-based CRM solution in the fourth quarter of 2011. The CRM service is heavily focused on sales force automation, and targeted at the small business customer with 5+ employees having revenues of at least $1M. They currently have 70 customers, with 30 of them being customers of their CRM product. Between the two products, Mothernode is managing $65M in commerce for their customers, as well as $100M in their customers’ collective pipeline.
While starting with ERP, they are focusing on growing their CRM customer base due to hearing from smaller companies looking for a better SFA alternative, as well as a less expensive alternative to Salesforce.com. They offer a 15-day free trial to try things out, with pricing starting at $39 per user per month up to the first five users. Pricing discounts kick in above in two bands:
- 6-10 users - $35/user/mo
- 11-20 users - $31/user/mo
Customers who sign on to use the cloud-based service get their own account manager, which is a really part of a nice experience most small business service don’t provide. And new customers are automatically enrolled in the “7 Steps to Getting Started” onboarding process to help them get acclimated to the system and understand the deep SFA capabilities available to them. They also supply ongoing tips by way of a weekly email tip users can subscribe to.
The service is really made for small businesses needing to manage the sales pipeline and collaborate on closing deals. The homepage is set up for easy access to show:
- Current monthly sales numbers at the top (against quota)
- Current appointments and tasks on the right side
- Recently completed activities
- Recent interactions (in a Facebook-like interface) from a variety of sources (emails, calendar events, etc.)
- Notifications from an internal messaging system (Yammer-like)
And the Sales Management view makes it easy to track important information like:
Sales Management View
- Aggregate Sales Goals Information, as well as the ability to drill into an individual sales reps numbers
- Top 10 Open Leads
- Top 10 Open Quotes
- Top 15 Leads & Opportunities Closing in Next 15 Days
- Leads/Opportunities by Sales Stages
- Month-to-date Goals vs. Actual
- Quarter-to-date Goals vs. Actual
While there’s lots of important functionality available to manage the pipeline, a really nice selling point for Mothernode is the ability to manage quotes in the system. Their ERP experience really shows through here as you don’t see many vendors including this kind of functionality at the SMB level – or at any level for that matter.
Another nice touch Mothernode added is the ability to create forms you can place in Facebook with promo codes tied to them to track how many leads/sales come through it. While they do not currently integrate with email marketing service providers, Mothernode says they are looking at doing so in the future, with possible partners like MailChimp, Constant Contact and InfusionSoft.
For a company that’s on version one of their first CRM offering Mothernode is off to an impressive start. Their experience with ERP software development served them well in putting together a very thorough salesforce automation service for the low end of the market. They provide deep functionality with respect to the sales process, but also include quote management along with it. And they have a nice analysis tools, and a surprising capability to track leads coming from Facebook pages created in the app that quite honestly we didn’t see coming. And they also have a nice little LinkedIn profile integration at the contact level, as well as an integration with Twitter.
Going forward, while putting a bunch of functionality into the service makes for great value for the small business target audience, we’d like to see more of an ability for users to customize the application to fit unique needs they may have. We also would like to see more integration partners in the future, to make the system even more available to other applications small businesses use on a regular basis. But the overall value Mothernode is offering to small businesses is very good. But they may need to add some premium services and/or editions in order to grow revenues.
The bottom line is Mothernode has built a solid foundation for delivering great SFA functionality for small businesses. We look forward to seeing how they progress in the next couple of years.
Reviewed by CRM Idol 2012 Primary Judges
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