BigContacts, a good lightweight SFA solution

My first reaction to seeing BigContacts was “how could you build a business off contact management” almost immediately forgetting that some very successful products (ACT!) have done just that.

Note to self: always remember that it’s not the product feature set that makes the product but the context by which it is rendered to users.

Contact management is not a business, it is a lever that is pulled to give utility to applications. For example, the emerging killer feature in gmail is the address book that is compiled as you use it, which is then repurposed to the other applications, like Calendar, to give Google a legitimate competitor to Outlook.

For BigContacts the SFA opportunity for low SMB is ripe for picking because the dominant products for sales professionals at this level are long in the tooth and backed by companies not known for pushing any envelope when it comes to extending them in innovative ways.

I’m not referring to Salesforce.com, which is obviously a dominating player here as well but their price points and broader functional footprint mean they still fit the “M” part of SMB better than the “S” part of the market. It’s not a criticism, just an observation.

I’ve been using BigContacts and generally like it, although I would say that the UI could withstand some streamlining but want to emphasize that it’s not a bad UI and I would be remiss in not pointing out that this is a beta release as well. In using it I was reminded of one of my favorite blog posts titled trying something versus using something.

This is exactly the kind of service that Teqlo is built to hook into rather than building contact mgmt components from scratch. I immediately saw a great opportunity to build some components that pulled data from and feed into BigContacts. This is where the “context” part of everything comes together because while BigContacts could build to the obvious opportunities such as a solution for real estate professionals, what about the less obvious ones like home inspectors who are also in the real estate vertical but need a unique solution?

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