CDC Offers Home Builders a Solid CRM Foundation

CDC Software has released a vertical application based on its Pivotal CRM 6.0 platform. The upgraded application, Home Building and Real Estate — one of Pivotal’s few nonfinancial verticals — targets an important buying constituency for CDC, said Steve Lewkowitz, director of professional services for the company.

“It is an important market for us, and because we have developed expertise in this space over the years, we have been able to build an application that has tailored features and function for the space,” he told CRM Buyer.

Riding the 6.0 Wave

Like CDC’s other vertical applications — most of which are aimed at financial services — this vertical is a template that users install onto their 6.0 platform.

It builds on the Pivotal 6.0 platform’s standard features of front office applications, which include marketing automation, lead management, sales automation, option selections, contracting and customer care.

These features are then tailored for the home building community, Lewkowitz explained. For example, industry statistics show that the vast majority — perhaps 70 percent — of home buyers use the Web to conduct their research.

While they have established websites, most home builders do not have the proper systems in place to handle online leads — or online campaigns, for that matter, said Lewkowitz.

The home builders’ app can designate the best leads for follow-up by the sales force. It also can channel longer term prospects — that is, lookers who are not quite ready to buy — into a lead-nurture campaign module for ongoing communications. The app also has features that help the company segment the prospects into these various segments.

In addition, there are reporting tools that help real estate firms and home builders track costs and revenues on projects and campaigns, focusing on metrics most important to this group. For example, the system can track lead sources so that the customer’s full lifetime value can be stacked up against its initial lead cost.

Microsoft Platform

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Another strength of the app is its strong Microsoft heritage, Lewkowitz said. Microsoft is a familiar computing environment for most home builders.

The platform is built on Microsoft .Net technology, with embedded Microsoft SharePoint and Office applications. It is also tightly integrated into Outlook, with an emphasis on its productivity applications of calendaring, task management and email, said Lewkowitz.

With the last upgrade, the company enhanced these integrations, he said, along with upgrades to its search and reporting capabilities.

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