I am looking for feedback on any CRM software you may be using or familiar with that offer features which can be used to capture energy audit data for further retrofit work and marketing. A tool that allows the home auditor to easily enter the data;- structure, insulation, HVAC, windows, energy usage, etc so we can easily develop targeted marketing ( example- homes with 6" attic insulation) to increase sales/awareness. Yes, there are many energy modeling and sales-to-quote packages out there- many have a high up-front cost and learning curve. I an looking for a inexpensive cloud (Internet host-based) solution for a small energy auditing company. I don't think I want to get into a full energy modeling package or complete integrated audit-to-quote package- simply the ability to capture key energy audit data with a easy to use interface and data extraction/query for targeted email or phone.
Great, helpful posts guys!!
Jose, I tried Solve 360 for a while. Just couldn't get my head around it. Hope you have better luck. I really don't like leaving Google, they change the interface and they add services. I don't like being removed from that. Hopefully someone like Rapportive will come up with a way to tie the silo's together.
Regarding comfort vs green. How you ask a question often defines the response. Craig's questions get the public face people want to present. People SAY they want to be green, particularly to strangers. But at decision making time they don't want to PAY to be green, they want green to pay for itself. That's ok, because deep retrofit does pay for itself, and this will only become more true as energy savings becomes more transparent.
COMFORT - because this is intangible people have a tough time deciding what they will pay for this. After the fact they tend to be ecstatic. But how do you quantify comfort, it's value, or what you will pay for it?
PAYBACK - this tends to be a big issue at sale, but when you call a year later so you can tune your Realization rate you find nobody tracks financial return.
This can be frustrating. You try to give honest numbers and they say "not enough" then they have no clue what return they've experienced before, just phony Warren Buffet type returns they've been led to believe they should expect by some window guy who promised window would pay for themselves in 3 years.
Hopefully more of us will track results to promise. Eventually Realization Rates will be public information. Then contractors will compete for better results, and investing in energy retrofits won't be the "blind buy" leap of faith with no accountability that currently exists.
In regards to leaving Google. I think Zoho's integration with Google Apps has come a long way since I was running my company on Zoho (have since left for a different job). Check this link if you are considering Zoho and want to keep using all your Google apps. I will think you will find everything integrated now. It may take some testing and difficulties in setting things up, but well worth it imo.