CureCRM is new software as a service that aspires to be the "cure for the common CRM." As you might be able to tell from its logo, the service is first and foremost about integrating closely with email.
It acts as an email-based assistant for CRM work, and it can automatically log business-related email activity on both its own site and Salesforce.com. The product also focuses on including Twitter in the mix, making it a promising, if not entirely complete, addition to the social CRM space that is rapidly maturing in 2009.
Twitter Relationship Manager
In addition to the relationship management that you're probably used to, CureCRM includes a little bit of character from the social CRM space by integrating smoothly with Twitter. If you opt to connect your company's account with OAuth, tweets become a part of the workflow. Twitter friends become a part of the contacts system, you can track conversations just like email, and team leaders can assign an ongoing Twitter conversation.
The core paradigm of CureCRM is built around connecting closely with email. It extracts your contacts to seed your CRM, it feeds out assigned tasks and reminders, and it can automatically log related emails into both their site and Salesforce.com if you opt to integrate the two.
In addition to connecting with Google Apps/Gmail, as well as Outlook and Exchange servers, CureCRM features a personal email assistant somewhat reminiscent of the now-defunct Sandy.
CureCRM might seem a little strange for those familiar with more common CRM systems. But that's because it's more like an application that sits on top of your typical CRM, allowing you to do a better job of managing and automating the pipeline of activity. The system creates a central administrative view that is a stream of emails and tweets.
In practice, that kind of management means you can do things like automatically pull in prospect-related emails into your CRM, rather than relying on salespeople to go to your CRM and manually log them.
The basic package with CureCRM is $29.95/month, or $49.95 if you want the whole shebang with the Outlook plugin and Salesforce.com integration.
Room to Improve
In our tests, CureCRM was fairly intuitive, especially to someone who might already be familiar with Twitter. As someone who has felt the frustrations of having to manually chronicle customer interactions in a CRM, I could see this system improving things for people.
But if it wants to continue as something that feels like an improvement to the typical CRM, then they need to connect with more than just Salesforce.com and Twitter. Integration, both the ability to do it and how easy it is, is a huge concern for enterprises looking to adopt SaaS solutions.
The software needs to work with other kinds of CRMs (which might not be SaaS) and connect to other public networks where conversations are happening. By doing both, CureCRM could show real potential for building on what it has gotten right with CRM already.