Reviewing GoldMine CRM as a user of over 10 years
June 07, 2014

Reviewing GoldMine CRM as a user of over 10 years

Gary Perkins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • All

Overall Satisfaction with GoldMine

GoldMine has been used by the whole team since we started the company back in 1998. Originally, I had used it from 1996 when the first Windows version was released. It is used by Sales, Customer Service and our consultancy team to manage all activities with clients and prospects. Finance use it to chase up clients and to understand if there are any sensitive issues they need to be aware of. In my view, it was probably the first real integrated CRM system.
  • GoldMIne is great as a telesales sales tool since you can call and progress calls very quickly, we regularly are able to make 90+ calls per day since it is fast and in my view easy to use (it does need some training to get the most out of it)
  • It still has its own integrated email system, although it works with MS Outlook, but this means everything can be in one place, surely what CRM is all about?
  • Customising GoldMine is also in my view pretty straightforward and if you have ever used a CRM before, reasonably easy and quick to pick up.
  • Of course, there are always areas that could be improved, in my view the Report generation tool, hasn't really changed in the last 10 years at least, whilst other CRM products have more powerful and easy to use and customise Reporting tools, although there are plenty of Reports to choose from
  • The Database schema has stood the test of time but is quite restrictive in certain areas and what you can do with it
  • Integration with other system unless you are a developer is not easy as there are only one or two areas to show/bring in information
  • Without GoldMine when I started out, I don't know how we would have managed starting the business and chasing large numbers of leads (bought in and sourced). In my view, it paid for itself within months.
  • Once you know it well, I believe that the product works well in giving a true CRM view of your activities with a client and I rely on it heavily still. functionality such as Dashboards have been around in GoldMine since I can remember, just called Graphical Analysis and we used this to measure Telesales activity amongst users
  • The Opportunity Manager has a feature which measures "days open" and in my view this is a great KPI since most of the time , depending on the project you will have an pretty good idea of how quick a project will land. Using this measure instantly shows which projects are starting to drift! And thus, need some sort of action
  • We have a rule that if it's not in GoldMine, then it didn't happen and this I think ensure activities are completed. Which means as a Mananger you can measure quickly employees efficiency
Originally, I only knew GoldMine, but over the last few years have used and trialled lots of other software. The big competitors really I think are ACT! and Maximizer for onsite software, still I think my preferred route. At the moment, whilst I think that cloud CRM products look often more colourful and attractive, I 'm still not convinced of their speed of use.
Lots of information acquired internally and we have a host of contacts to ask who have had similar experience. GoldMine's new releases seem nowadays to be pretty stable and robust, which is very good,although the first issue of Premium Edition in around 2007/2008 was a bit buggy, it appears lessons were learned.
Experience in software industry means that unless there is a great new feature, that we tend not to rush at upgrades, which means they tend to bed-down before we would upgrade to them.
In my opinion, GoldMine works well in telesales, telemarketing and general sales and marketing where there are large number of customers and prospects. Its really good, if you don't want to invest in MS Outlook, since you have an in-built email tool, which is pretty good.

Although it has a customer service module for logging of case or tickets, I'm not sure if this is powerful enough or flexible enough. However, in a sales and marketing role, with lots of data it is pretty good and robust. More importantly, it is very fast and I've compared it to other CRM tools, and still think Goldmine is fast in this sort of role.

The biggest issue I suspect is that like a lot of off-the-shelf CRM system it can look a bit daunting from the outset, but with an hours training, you should be up and running, certainty that's what we've found over the years with new starters.

That is the key point I think, GoldMine users that have been trained well, regularly return to the product.

Using GoldMine

6 - All areas of the business use GoldMine as their day to day activity tool. The main users are telesales and account management who effectively login in the morning and use it all day every day. In fact, we even use it as a time log in system since it measures this as well. They use the core functionality of making and scheduling calls, creating new record and sending emails from within GoldMine every day to a high degree. Our Finance or bookkeeper is using GoldMine to log and chase overdue accounts ensuring that all calls and emails are recorded,meaning that the days he is not in, we all know the situation and can follow up on her behalf.

Marketing uses it to segment prospect and customer data and for exporting purposes as well as importantly tracking what happens to any Leads each week and month.
2 - As an IT company, we have got pretty good database skills and having used it for over 10 years have acquired pretty good in-depth knowledge. The key I think is always having at least one or two persons with more in-depth knowledge and of course, there are now forums and Google to search online.
  • Lead Management. Measuring and tracking all leads entered into the company is critical to our future, not losing these is the no.1 reason for a CRM database in my view
  • Sales Management. This is critical and whilst we have had a few false starts, now using the Opportunity Manager and Pipeline Dashboards on a daily/weekly basis for business forecasting
  • Customer Account Management. Ensuring that all clients have a regular contact, but which I mean phone contact and conversations means I hope, we maintain and continue to maintain good relationships with our clients, which means we keep them. Missed or too long a lapse between calls is easily picked up with a simple GoldMine Filter
  • Marketing track what happened to the lead and in fact, it was down to GoldMine, that we have not bothered to advertise in a magazine since 1999. We know what sources works well for us such as the power or referrals and focus our marketing budget accordingly based on hard facts, from GoldMine.
  • Management Reporting function such as the forward pipeline and the key metrics we measure and track are all based around GoldMine data as the core, this ranges from Account Managers calls, to lead per month which we track back to 2005! This has meant we can take remedial action and support judgements with hard supported facts!
  • In the early days, we used it for Technical Support creating our own type of activity to record calls before the Customer Service module was added around 5 years ago
  • Our best way I think is we now used the "Other Action" activity for a regular Customer Satisfaction Survey, which now goes back to around 2004 and which all new starters end up doing . This means we use the result code with a number 1-6, we can track and measure our index over the last 10 years. and yes, we tried email survey, but never got the volume of replies. The call really strikes a chord and is remembered, plus it helps new starters feel that the company values its customers,which is a good thing in itself.
  • We have also experimented over the years with the Organisation Tree (now known as Relationships Tree), although my preference is for using the Referrals tab, probably one of the most important tabs. This helps build up strong knowledge as you can add in notes on the nature and type of each referral, which is time stamped and user stamped). In one tab, we can see who is linked to the company/contact record
  • Mobile GoldMine is now available and this is something we need to review over the coming months. Having just acquired an iPad, this is something that is on the list for this month!
  • We are actively now looking at the new Constant Contact integration, which coincidently we had started to use before the integration was announced last year. This is the next phase and will probably be introduced when we upgrade to GoldMine 2014 over the coming weeks. That will complete the loop and ensure our key marketing activities are integrated.
  • Also, looking at the Office 365 integration capabilities as well
For me, the software is bought, so its in place and can't be switched off, although upgrading and keeping it up to date are important in my view. In common with a lot of companies who have invested in CRM over the last 10 years, there is also a cost to move away, thus although we have reviewed this, due in part to functionality requirements over the years, for the foreseeable future, we will stick with GoldMine. I suspect the main reason is it's now embedded and everyone knows it very well and that I 've found usually there is always a way to do something in GoldMine if i need too.

Evaluating GoldMine and Competitors

Yes - Well actually, it replaced MS Excel really since that was what it was like for many start-ups the first real contact spreadsheet, but I found that this was impossible to use really well and so restrictive in a telesales role, becoming cumbersome and unwieldy.

With Excel you can't use Email to show a thing and end up having information in two different places, whilst this was ok for a few weeks, Contact Management software solved this problem with everything in one place, enabling me to find, update and schedule calls really really quickly. It just doesn't work in Excel is my opinion, even if you think it's the cheapest solution, the lost and wasted time, not to mention an inability to quickly and easily print off even a simple "Call List" report to take with you makes it actually more costly in the long run!
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
For me, it was the fact that I knew the product and had had some experience of alternatives at the time, but knew when I started out, GoldMine was very fast and easy to import data into.
My initial usage was telesales to build a customer base and this meant i wanted a fast and easy to use contact management system. GoldMine matched this requirement easily and the ability to print off both Client Profile report with all my activity prior to going to a meeting as well as a Call List meant everything was in one place.
A tough question. Nowadays, there is a host to CRM systems to choose from and I suspect, the availability of CRM on-the-road would be a critically important question, especially usage on tablets so I could update and have to come in and start up the laptop each night!

But, here is the rub, when I'm using it, it needs to be fast and quick to enable me to move to the next call or find the next record. This all helps my productivity and I'm sure is critical to success in building a business and for any sales people on the road a lot.

GoldMine Implementation

As I said earlier, to me now with all this experience, it is ensuring that you focus on two things:-
1/ Ensure core customisations only are required until you get users started and embedded in using the system.
2/ Ensuring users get some good level of dedicated training time, internal or external, but I feel this is best done in a group rather than at your own speed.

Afterall, no one really customises their MS Word or MS Excel each time, they just ignore the bits they don't need or ask if they do need them.
Yes - In effect, I focussed on the Sales and Marketing performance aspects and functionality first and it was only after a period of time that other ideas such as the Customer Survey and Technical support were added. My view was that lead management and measurement was the single most important thing in establishing the business, biut also in getting the system working well with a large volume of calls and emails.
Change management was minimal - At the time, there was me to start of with, new people were added after one or two years. GoldMine started as single user implementation in the back bedroom on a laptop, and then grew as we took people on! My view is that the key was that the first new starter also wrote a user manual which meant it could be refined and used by other joiners later as the product changed. Importantly, an gaps in their knowledge were soon able to be filled in.
  • Going back , 18 years, probably what customisation to make. At the start, I probably created too many fields, experience shows, just to focus on the core fields I need
  • Importing data in those days was more complex and a learning curve. Key of course is how to de-duplicate if from different sources
  • Using for Marketing purposes in the early days was very basic until html email templates came in which gave more impact in this area.

GoldMine Training

  • In-person training
I was originally trained by the UK distributor and then subsequently trained my self and had access to GoldMine consultants. In the long run, this saved me a lot of time really since I knew the product on an advanced/administrator basis and able to perform day to day tasks. Some things, still needed the consultants. The trick was with the training, I knew when I was out of my depth!

Configuring GoldMine

How much is too much customisation? My view is that whilst there are restrictions, the key is not to try to over-customise, especially when you are starting out with CRM. The temptation to create lots of extra fields because you can should be avoided. Only create ore relabel core pieces of information that will give you value and they will be 100% updated by your users.
As previously, try not to overcomplicate in the early days. Only apply those key customisation that are needed and will be updated by your users. If they don't either see the value or understand why something is important to update, they won't and that will impact on your marketing and segmentation report building. My mantra is 'less is more'
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - Probably 80% of customisations that have proved useful were done in the first two or three months after implementation. 50% of these were the initial one and are still used and monitored. Any other customisations have been dropped in or added over the years for particular campaigns or research objectives to our system.
Some - we have added small pieces of custom code - Initially, I added some custom code within the GM+ folder to show Streetmap data, but not don't really use this. We have added in some Lookup.ini code over the years on the Account Type is update a Stage field basis. This just enables a quick view of the status of a prospect.
We do use to track Serial Numbers for Software and use the details tab to record all licence details ,since we can add to this each time and hold multiple licence details. It is quite a useful tab as it can be expanded out to create its own tabs and nowadays you can display which ever tabs, standard and custom you want.

GoldMine Support

Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
No - To my knowledge there is no premium support line, plus we find we are pretty self sufficient. there are forums nowadays as well to do searches on. if in doubt, we have consultants we can call upon.
My view is that the most important time to consider a Premium line would be in the first 6-12 months after the roll-out since everyone is learning at that point. Maybe year two would revert to standard support
Yes - Yes, I can't recall as a few years ago, and next patch resolved it. Whatever bug it was didn't impact on the day to day activities hence I would have recalled it in more detail. My instinct says it was to do with MS Word plugin or MS Excel plugin around 2007
This is a tough one, but we did have one instance where the US support team dialled-in to troubleshoot and then fix a problem for us over a few weeks which was great. Again, this goes back around 3 years so the detail escapes me,but think it was to do with non-standard access via Citrix or a Terminal Server issue and not a general GoldMine issue.

Using GoldMine

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Finding Company, Contact records quickly and easily
  • Find what activities such as calls etc need to be completed today, this week and which ones I've not completed or need to reschedule. I can even do a 'rollover' or 'forward', although this is rare for me to do.
  • Being able to queue emails to send at a specific time. So, someone may say, email me next week to remind me for example. I can just schedule email for that time and on the day, send it. Really good tool when needing to do something now and schedule in the future
  • Changing and amending the Report module is now the easier thing to do and you need to understand a bit more about the internal fields to understand what is possible.
  • Social Media connections could be improved, although i suspect this is a 'first pass' as I ve looked at other off the shelf system and it seems similar basic connection at present
  • Would prefer that the iGoldMine product was built-in to give me on the road access
Yes - Since only just acquired my iPad, I will be testing this more, until now, I have used the Goldsync option with a version on my laptop when i just need to synchronise. I know, many CRM applications nowadays don't have this or are phasing this out, however, for me, at the moment this is still a key requirement and bonus!
Personally, perhaps I should give it a higher rating, but I do genuinely think it was very easy to pick up and run with, but I did have a full training session and of course was keen on using it. In my previous marketing role many years ago, I 'd tried to create an MS Access database and this has taken ages, so being introduced to the power of GoldMine really impressed. People have comments on it, but my opinion is its still fast and a great workhorse.

GoldMine Reliability

GoldMine, when maintained well has always been pretty reliable and in over 10 years, I don't think we've ever lost a day or more than an hour or so when we cant use it. Occasional a 'blip' will happen and you will have to log out, the only thing to bear in mind, which I'm not good at is ensuring you keep the mailbox to less than 2000 mails in your inbound box, I hover around 1800 and need to streamline this to get rid of my junk or notifications from LinkedIn groups for example when i mean to read, but never get round to it.
For me, its always been there, no worries here about downtime or the internet being down or switched off. Having it on a laptop as well with Goldsync means I'm always able to updated my notes and then synchronise. This to me is one of the benefits of purchased on-premise software, it cant simply be turned off!.
Pretty good, Yes, there are occasions when i may think there should be an easier way to do things, but over the years, I've always found a way to get the information out that i want, sometimes just needing a bit of help from the technical team. Day to day,. it works for me very well.