When it comes to contact management, most people can muddle through with OS X’s Address Book or Microsoft Entourage. But salespeople typically need something stronger—something that allows them to gather detailed information on prospective and existing customers, track projects, create reports on the status of sales in progress, and forecast future sales. Marketcircle’s DayLite 1.7 provides these features and more, giving you complete control over all your sales information. It even lets you merge data with applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel and The Omni Group’s OmniGraffle. This powerful CRM (customer-relationship- management) program can be somewhat difficult to learn; however, it’s so valuable that you won’t regret spending the time to do so.
Get a Grip on Your Customer Base
Moving data from your current contact database to DayLite is easy. The program imports information from a variety of address-book programs and personal information managers, including Windows-based applications such as Best Software’s ACT and FrontRange Solutions’ GoldMine. The program is also intelligent enough to group your contacts logically. So if you have several contacts from the same company in your address book, DayLite will link them by company without any effort on your part.
Like any standard calendar application, DayLite lets you schedule appointments, tasks, and reminders. But the program gives you far greater flexibility than simple scheduling. For example, if you have a sales lead in your database, you can send him or her a letter or an e-mail directly from DayLite. As the lead becomes a customer, you can create projects, schedule events and tasks, and create notes, which DayLite links directly to your customer and his or her company. As you perform each of these tasks, DayLite maintains a detailed history of your correspondence (including the actual letters), project statuses, and potential closing dates, so salespeople and their managers can get a detailed view of the progress or history of any sales event (See screenshot).
Unfortunately, DayLite doesn’t notify you of pending events if the application is closed. You can remedy this by exporting calendar events to iCal, but this workaround is unwieldy for a program that is otherwise quite comprehensive.
Although DayLite is great for individual salespeople, the program is also designed for use in multiuser environments: one database can be shared by an entire sales and support staff. You can also sync your contact and scheduling data with any Palm OS-based device, or even your iPod, using iSync.
DayLite’s only major weakness is complexity. It’s easy enough to get your contact information into the program and begin setting up appointments. But to make the most of DayLite, you need to thoroughly understand the program’s reporting and project-management features. Fortunately, Marketcircle’s Web site contains dozens of video tutorials that guide you—from the basics of creating new contacts and scheduling tasks all the way through administering the program in multiuser environments. Free technical support is limited to 30 days after purchase or to three incidents, after which you’ll need to buy a support contract from Marketcircle.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
We highly recommend DayLite 1.7 for Mac-based salespeople. It’s an excellent application for managing leads, scheduling appointments and projects, keeping track of current customers, and gaining insight into future sales.Marketcircle’s DayLite provides powerful contact–management features and maintains detailed histories of your interactions with customers.