What do you like best?
Please note that I was a Salesforce user before Contactually. SF is really just a database in my view. Unless you integrate a whole bunch of other stuff, it is not useful or easy to use. Contactually, by comparison, is super easy to use and helps automate common daily sales tasks. We trailed AgileCRM, ZoHo, InfusionSoft, Nimble and several others before settling on Contactually.
1) It consolidates all emails and calendar appointments from Outlook into Contactually. This means I can send emails from either Outlook or Contactually and they will show up in contact history. Any appointments from Outlook also show up in contact timeline history.
2) Good mobile app that allows me to dial my contacts then pops up a note-taking window to keep my history current. I can create tasks, send email using templates and more, all from my phone!
3) It allows me to create email templates and then create programs to automate the sending of drip campaigns. It can track, opens, clicks and replies to those emails.
4) The interface is easy to use and very intuitive. I didn't need a bunch of training to get up and running and producing value.
5) It is very reasonably priced for the functionality it provides.
What do you dislike?
It's not perfect but its really pretty good for the price and is giving us value. Will it survive long-term? I think that depends on how their development team and how much they improve the product. Longer term we want better marketing automation, more role based control over access to records and better reporting but price to value is high for us as a startup.
1) The email marketing automation (called programs) are weak. They can kick off a campaign and send multiple emails but there aren't granular controls over actions in the program. For example, if a user clicks a link in an email I should be able to set a series of specific actions as a result (such as creating a specific "call" task or setting a specific "tag" in the contact record). "Programs" in Contactually do not allow for this level of granularity and that is a miss from a marketing automation perspective. But typically you have to pay a lot more and spend a ton of time "learning" and integrating CRM solutions that do give you this. AgileCRM was much better at this but also had some real software glitches that were hampering our everyday work.
2) It has several "close" to really good features that ultimately miss. For example, the pipeline interface/deal tracking section is very easy to use but has virtually no reporting. You can see all sent "emails" (across all contacts) but have no way of searching/filtering those based on particular campaigns or status (opens/clicks/replies for example)
Recommendations to others considering the product
For us this was about time to market, value and price. It isn't perfect but we get so much value out of seeing all the consolidated history information and the simple email marketing automation that it so far has been worth it. Will it survive long term? I think that depends on the development team at Contactually. They need to make the marketing automation more robust and need to support much greater volumes of daily email in the future. For anything over 300 emails per sales person, you really need to add an external service such as MailChimp or MadMimi.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
It allows us to keep track of all our activity around our customers and prospects. I can finally see a really great history of all emails, meetings, tasks and notes in a very intuitive interface. It is easy to set follow up tasks and stay on top of my critical customers. The ability to see when an email was opened, clicked or replied to is very powerful. The marketing automation programs, while not perfect, allow us to cover a lot more ground very quickly with our prospects as compared to must creating endless follow up tasks. I can send 6 emails spaced out over time for every new prospect and wind in several follow up call reminders into the mix. This is very powerful.