Purplewire Consolidates its Lead-distribution Product Lineup

The recent release of channelLEADS 6 is the first milestone of a strategic initiative to better serve our markets with a sharper focus. Many of the innovative features developed under the LEADpiper project were incorporated into the new channelLEADS release to offer customers the best of two worlds: sophisticated collaborative features and privilege controls, in conjunction with simple, intuitive system administration.

We have ambitious plans going forward to bring more value to our customers with a single focus and at a faster pace. Consequently, we are retiring LEADpiper as of today, Dec 18, 2012. This means we will no longer be offering new LEADpiper accounts, but will continue to service active users indefinitely. We encourage users to consider migrating to channelLEADS in order to realize the benefit of our ongoing development efforts on that product, and we will provide any help necessary for a smooth transition. Please contact our support team at (315) 234-0079 x345 or support@purplewire.com with any questions.

Purplewire Has Moved

Purplewire has moved our offices downstairs in the same building (the Loew’s Building) to Suite 305. Our new address is

Purplewire
108 W. Jefferson St., Suite 305
Syracuse, NY 13202
 

The new space looks great. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and check it out!

Also, please note that our fax number has recently changed to (888) 501-4949. Our phone numbers have not changed.

 

Announcing channelLEADS 6

The latest version of Purplewire’s popular lead distribution and tracking system — channelLEADS, the flagship component of the channelSUITE ™ product line — comes with a host of new and powerful features and a brand new interface to make the user experience simpler and more intuitive. The new version lets the user devise and tailor their own lead distribution rules and more easily manage footprints in Europe and Asia. Highlights of the new features are:

  • Use postal codes anywhere in the world to manage geographical territories
  • Ability to design and store lead-processing “schemes” and tailor them for each individual lead source
  • New “Market Match” feature systematically and continuously finds the right channel for each lead by geography, product, or both.

For more info, visit the channelSUITE website or talk to one of our sales engineers today, at (315) 234-0079 extension 346.

Purplewire Develops New System for On Point for College

Purplewire and On Point for College are pleased to announce the launch of On Point’s new Transportation Database system.

On Point for College (OPFC) is a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization that provides first-generation college students with a support structure to help them succeed in school, from the application process through post-graduation job search. One of the services provided by On Point is transportation to and from campus for students. The rides are often provided by volunteers. The process of managing the information about requested rides that need a driver, and getting the up-to-date information to the volunteer pool, is a labor intensive process. Previously this was done using a combination of spreadsheets and manually prepared emails. Purplewire saw an opportunity to streamline the process, and volunteered to help. The development and ongoing maintenance of this system have been donated to On Point by Purplewire free of charge.

“We’re very happy that Purplewire stepped forward to help us organize our transportation process”, says OPFC Deputy Executive Director Sam Rowser. “The new database system saves our staff a lot of time, makes collaboration with the volunteers easier, and gives us new ways to view current and historical information.”

The new system is based on Purplewire’s OppTuna™ web-based customer relationship management (CRM) system. Purplewire realized that the process of managing the information about volunteers and clients (students), and the activities (rides) assigned to volunteers on behalf of the students, are very similar to existing functions of the OppTuna CRM system. From that starting point, several features were added and modified to meet the unique needs of the nonprofit organization. The resulting system includes a facility for automatically generating email updates for the volunteers, and includes a “volunteer portal” interface that allows the volunteers to access data about the current list of rides requested, sign up to provide a ride, update their contact data, and review their history of previous rides provided.

Purplewire CEO Chung-Chi Cha says “We’ve been familiar with the good work On Point does for some time now, so we’re glad to have the opportunity to apply our technical expertise to helping them fulfill their extremely worthwhile mission.”

Jay Mortensen, the Purplewire CTO, adds “It was a pleasure to work with the crew at On Point, and we’re happy with way the system turned out. This project has really opened our eyes to some of the similarities and differences between commercial and nonprofit operations. We’re now exploring the market potential for a new version of OppTuna targeted towards volunteer-centered nonprofits. There are a number of companies that produce CRM systems for nonprofits (often called Consitituent rather than Customer Relationship Management in this space), but most are geared primarily towards the fund-raising aspect of nonprofit operations. That’s an important component to be sure, but we feel we can bring something new to the table in terms of helping streamline the nonprofit organization’s processes and collaboration with volunteers, thus freeing the operational staff to direct more of its energy towards the core mission.”

Nonprofits with any ideas, suggestions, or feature requests for such a system are encouraged to contact Purplewire through the website at http://www.purplewire.com. Purplewire will soon be accepting applications for beta testers who may be eligible to receive free implementations of the new system.

For more information:

 

channelFUNDS Integrates with ERP to Provide Credit Confirmation

In a recent implementation of channelFUNDS at a Fortune 100 site, successful integration with the client’s ERP enables confirmation of distributor reimbursement of a co-op marketing funds claim. This allows users to access the credit memo ID issued by the ERP, and its time stamp, through the claim record in the channelFUNDS interface.

The new credit confirmation function will soon be appearing on channelSUITE’s standard feature list, offering our clients several ways of providing the valuable data to channel partners.

In this same implementation, channelSUITE was used as the master user access/privilege control center and single sign-on provider for several other legacy applications. This integration, which required minimal modifications to the legacy programs, allows the client to maintain control of all channel-facing programs and partner data from one centralized facility, and provides the internal and partner users with a portal interface to the various applications.

Comparing Purplewire Lead Distribution Solutions

Purplewire offers two different solutions for sales lead distribution: channelLEADS (the leads management module of channelSUITE), and LEADpiper.

Why are there two products, and how do I know which one is best for me?

Good questions!

channelSUITE is geared towards a vendor with a relatively diverse indirect sales channel. Common operational processes like lead distribution (and also co-op marketing funds management, partner recruiting and credentialing, etc.) become much more complicated when partners are assigned to different theaters and regions, handle different product lines, or when responsibility for the “care and feeding” of those partners is split between multiple internal channel administration staff members.

In such a scenario, you probably feel the need for a tool like channelSUITE to catalog all the attributes and theater/region associations of the partners, and also to keep track of which of your internal channel staff (we call them “administrators”) has responsibility for which partners. We can build a solid foundation for this data in channelADMIN (the central channel management module of channelSUITE) and then use it as a platform to drive the operational channel processes like lead distribution (via the channelLEADS module) and co-op funds management (through channelFUNDS) in a consistent and cohesive way.

Another defining characteristic of channelSUITE is that each channelSUITE customer gets their own private software installation (hosted and managed by Purplewire) with its own database, branding, and URL. This “single tenant” approach allows us great flexibility to customize your installation both in terms of functionality and “look and feel”.

But what if you don’t care about all that stuff?

If you don’t need custom functionality or private label branding, you have a single lead administrator, your sales organization has a simple hierarchy, or you’re only looking for a “point solution” for lead distribution, LEADpiper may be a better fit for you.

LEADpiper is a “multi-tenant” web application; you can register for an account on the site and start using it right away. There are no setup fees, and we give you some free credits so you can use it for a while for free. Setup is very easy, and you can get started sending leads to your recipients immediately.

Although LEADpiper is in some ways simpler than channelLEADS, it’s not lacking in features. It provides the same flexibility in accepting leads from multiple sources in multiple formats, and provides a robust but easily usable set of features for defining lead routing rules based on lead content (including geographic data).

We’ve put together a new “feature matrix” that demonstrates some of the similarities and differences between LEADpiper and channelLEADS. Please give it a look. Hope you find it useful, and as always comments and suggestions are welcome.

LEADpiper Usability Updates

We’ve been hard at work lately making LEADpiper easier to try, easier to learn, and easier to use. We’ve made a lot of updates recently; some are obvious, some more subtle. Here are a few:

  • Menus have been reorganized
    • The new Sources menu includes the functions you need to set up your lead sources, including spreadsheet imports, scheduled downloads from your GlobalSpec and Salesforce.com accounts, and Direct Post website forms and API connections.
    • The Leads menu now includes the actions you do most often: enter or import leads, send leads through the Distribution Queue, search for previously-sent leads.
  • The spreadsheet import screen is easier to use.
  • Page titles and headers are more specific and more consistent for easier navigation through the site.
  • The screen used to “register” website forms and API connections is now called Direct Post Source Setup, and it’s found in the Sources menu. The Direct Post documentation and sample HTML code have been greatly improved.
  • The Incoming Leads and Outgoing Leads reports are now simpler and more useful. They’re found in the Reports section.
  • The “Thank You URL” that a user is redirect to after submitting a Direct Post website form is now specified as a hidden field in the form data rather than as a setup option in Direct Post Source Setup. This gives the webmaster better control over the user experience. Note: Thank You URLs specified in setup for existing forms will still work.

LEADpiper lead “Source” is now protected information

We’ve added a feature that allows you to protect information about where you get your leads. The lead “Source” field is now hidden from lead recipients by default, although you can show the source information if you wish. This is how it works:
(1) If you prefer NOT to show the lead source to your recipients, continue to put the information under the field name of “Source”. You will be able to see it, but your recipients won’t.
(2) If you’d like to show recipients where some of your leads are coming from, simply import or send the leads in with that information under a field name other than “Source”, like “Campaign”, or “Origin”, or “generator”, ..you get the picture.

LEADpiper users now have the tools to define sales territories anywhere in the world

With the new territory tools, the user can assign states or provinces in any country to someone’s territory. The user is free to introduce names of provinces that are consistent with those used by the sources of the leads. The new LEADpiper tools also let you use postal codes and blocks of postal codes in any country in a similar way.

new LEADpiper tools make rule-building easier and more intuitive

We all know that one of the best ways to teach is by example. LEADpiper is now ready to learn from its users by example. If something in a lead makes you think that leads with similar data all fit a certain market and should be distributed the same way, just right-click on the relevant field and show LEADpiper how to make use of it systematically with a new rule. You’ll have a whole smart distribution engine built before you know it.