Palo Alto Software is dedicated to helping small businesses start up and thrive. Founded in 1983 by business planning expert Tim Berry, the Eugene, OR-based company offers business and marketing planning software and a Web-based service email management application, in addition to free articles and financial tools. More than one million entrepreneurs and small businesses turn to Palo Alto’s products to develop plans, acquire loans, and succeed in business.
Released in mid-February 2011, Palo Alto’s new Sales and Marketing Pro planning software is designed with the vital tools small businesses need. The package of complementary features from several vendors helps users build an effective plan for designing business rules, finding customers, attracting attention, and measuring results.
A fast install wizard guides users through the CD-ROM install for Sales and Marketing Pro. From here, access sales and marketing plan guides as well as included partner products.
Through an easy-to-follow set of selections, create a sales plan, define the sales process, track progress, and measure results. A competitive analysis tool measures success. Commissions are automatically calculated based on the commission percentage set.
Sales and Marketing Pro comes with trial access to helpful software, services, and products from vendors outside of Palo Alto. This provides a nice array of tools to get a business started, while giving them a chance to try out the technology before committing to it.
One of these tools is exclusive access to marketing materials from Vistaprint. Users choose one of seven packages, with original prices ranging from $9.99 to $39.99.
Other marketing elements include access to one Advanced Online News Release from PRWeb to broadcast business news. Another is a 1,000-email package through provider VerticalResponse on a pre-designed or custom template. Sales and Marketing Pro also provides tools and tips for social media marketing.
With the Network Solutions component, users design and launch a business Web site. It is equipped with a Web site builder and marketing tool, over 100 customizable design templates, domain name registration, and Web site hosting for one year.
Palo Alto’s Email Center Pro for two users is featured. It is designed to help businesses collaborate and respond to customer email more effectively. This email management service comes with unlimited shared inboxes, templates, and unlimited storage.
Sales and Marketing Pro requires a Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2, or 2000 SP4 operating system. Although a Macintosh version of the software is not available, Palo Alto says that its products can run on a Mac computer using Apple’s Boot Camp technology or third-party virtualization tools.
Sales and Marketing Pro requires approximately 100 megabytes of free disk space and at least a 800x600 monitor.
Users are provided with up to four free telephone support incidents and unlimited free email support. Buyers are protected by a 60 day money-back guarantee from Palo Alto.
The Sales and Marketing Pro package combines over $900 worth of services, resources, and tools. Like the product’s name, it is a good roundup of technology and guidance for developing a professional sales strategy and marketing plan.