CocoaCRM ® - Q&A
Answers to Obvious Questions
Another CRM product? Really?
In 2015, when we are launched the macOS version of CocoaCRM ®, there were very few CRM products for the Mac which are standalone desktop solutions. And today, that is still the case.
Most Apps you can download from the Mac AppStore are just front ends for web services, and thin clients at that. In contrast, we believe that for many small businesses, it shouldn't be necessary to rent a CRM product perpetually - you should be able to pay a low price just once and own a traditional software license.
Well, aren't there at least a couple of established Desktop solutions for the Mac?
Do you mean DayLite®? Maybe we are missing something, but we think DayLite is the only other Mac based Desktop solution worth considering. And we like it alot - it is feature-rich, pleasant to work with - it is a good solution. But CocoaCRM is also feature-rich, and priced at a fraction of the price. And philosophically, we have come at things differently - we offer an alternative take on what a CRM product should be.
Okay, so how does CocoaCRM differ from DayLite?
Well, for example, we don't offer a centralized server option, as CocoaCRM is focused on addressing the needs of salespeople who tend to work independently. Our App does support exchanging records - including easily through direct Dropbox® integration. And we think this is enough for the people we aim to serve, for supporting periodic record transfers. So while not appropriate for teams requiring constant synchronization of account information, CocoaCRM can be a great solution for people who need to exchange records periodically or invariably.
How else does our product differ? Significantly, we think we are delivering a more ergonomic environment for getting things done... We think that not just DayLite - but many CRM Apps - have failed to stay focused on the fact that a CRM App must be something without clutter - something ergonomic - something easy to navigate quickly. We offer a long and growing list of rich features - for filtering, classifying, reporting, etc., ... but we recognize the most important thing, is to support moving rapidly between records when you are trying to work with many organizations each day.
So CocoaCRM takes a fresh look at what a CRM product should be?
Actually, no. What we are trying to do is get back to basics. We started our careers as B2B sales people ourselves, using Microsoft Windows ® solutions such as Maximizer ® and Act ®. We think that a long time ago, before these products themselves got bloated, they got it right. Streamlined functionality is what we want to offer, and we don't pretend this is original thinking - just thinking that has become lost along the way.
Okay, but what if I use CocoaCRM, and then downstream, I find I need to use something else?
Glad you asked. We believe we offer the best import/export features of any vendor. Yes, we can export records as CSV files. So okay, that will let you then import your records into 99% of other solutions. But we also let you import/export as structured JSON - preserving relationships between records... We think that a whole ecosystem of products around this is well overdue...
Huh.... You mean if I don't want to keep using your product, I can export all my data in its tree structure?
Exactly. It's YOUR data. You ought to be able to preserve the relationships between records you create within our product, without continuing to use our product, if you are so inclined. And you ought to be able to do this in an open and "human-readable" format - such as JSON. With JSON, we let you export (or import) Organization records with Contact records nested within them, and Conversation/Meeting Notes in turn nested within individual Contact records.
Is this some special feature I might only rarely use?
It is a feature you should use every day for backing up your work. We believe that importing and exporting your records as JSON should be a standard thing you do... And we intend to offer other products that will leverage this, and we hope other companies will too.
Why don't other vendors support this already?
We don't know - go ask Salesforce ® for instance. Or maybe we do know... Where is the "stickiness" in allowing people to export their data in a useful manner? How can customers be really "locked in" by any vendor if their data is so easily pulled out? We think the large CRM providers are particularly cynical about this...
You mentioned the gorilla in the room. Do you have any other beef with Salesforce?
We have many. We in fact started developing this App just out of frustration with Salesforce having turned the whole CRM space into what it has become. We think the whole mantra of "software as a service" has gone too far. There ought to be more alternative solutions - desktop solutions - where:
- there is no web latency
- data is truly private
- user behavior itself is truly private (we offer a solution where there isn't - and never will be - any embedded user tracking software - something now common in too many Apps, both CRM Apps and otherwise)
- each user pays just once for a perpetual software license, rather than be forever taxed
- product features are focused solely on the needs of salespeople - rather than the very different requirements of large teams with layers of management
That last point - let's address that - what if my small company ends up growing fast, developing a large sales team that we want monitored by multiple tiers of the organization?
Well, then, what you spent on each macOS license of CocoaCRM becomes a sunk cost. You will need to switch to something like SalesForce, SugarCRM, etc., or some other enterprise class solution. We intend to keep improving CocoaCRM over time, but our goal is going to remain focused on the needs of small sales teams. In other words, we graciously cede the market for enterprise class solutions to the vendors that already dominate them:)
A trivial last question - why the name CocoaCRM?
First of all, you go and try and find a better name where the domain is available! Good luck with that. Secondly, we wanted a name that showed our commitment to the Apple ecosystem - and Apple's developer libraries for both macOS and iOS are its "Cocoa" libraries. Third, our development team eats the traditional amount of chocolate that we have been led to believe is critical to the coding process...