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Customer relationship management (CRM)

Discussion in 'Sales' started by William Clements, Mar 12, 2016.

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  1. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Member

    Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels -- or points of contact between the customer and the company -- which could include the company's website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers' personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.

    Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation.

    All online businesses and those who run them should be and are most likely either using an CRM tool or doing everything manually that an CRM system could do. Manually doing everything is tedious and a big wast of time. If you deal with any type of sales, leads, or communication with prospects then you might already by using an CRM system unless done manually.

    I am referring to an autoresponder. If using one, you can set it up with emails to be sent once they have been subscribed for an amount of days and you can have unlimited amount of emails to be sent out on those days for the right price. Those is sales or MLM, you can add your sales copy/ads to it for prospects to help close deals without manually keeping an list and remembering to email them.

    FACT: It takes an average of 7 to 13 emails sent before prospects become an client. I learned about this when I was in the MLM industry.

    With this being said, what type of CRM tools do you use? Can be an autoresponder or some other CRM tool such as calendars, quickbooks, notes, etc.
    Edvin likes this.
  2. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Member

    I'll start...

    I recommend Insightly. Even though, it is new to me and what not, looking into it yesterday, it seems to have a lot of tools one would need. Also, for those who are a small business running it by yourself or with an partner, Insightly is free for up to 2 users. After that, you would need to upgrade so more employees can access it.

    Here are the CRM features this tool has...

    Tasks - You may add in what tasks you need to complete and by when.
    Contacts - All your contacts for your business can be stores on there into one place
    Organizations - You may place or add organizations you work with in this section. This will create lists of contacts per organization when adding them.
    Opportunities - Any type of opportunity in which you may have now or in the near future of any kind.
    Projects - This can be used for any type of new projects you have to do.
    Reports - Here you can get the stats of all information in the system and over all outcomes.
    Emails - Only thing in this section is an unique email assigned to you. You would send an email to that with contacts you want to add to system by adding them in CC or BCC.
    Calendar - Dates for all data in the system can be seen in the calendar and others can be added directly into the calendar.

    All of this is mobile friendly and can import and export all information in the system.
  3. Albus

    Albus Member

    Hi William,
    Nice suggestion, here I would like to share my little experiences about CRM tools. Honestly, I don't have much experience with Insightly, but I tried Bitrix and Apptivo my side both are tested well. My newbie period totally confused which one will adapt to manage my business clients. Then take a free trial of Bitrix, it storage space, users offers are pretty good but problem is monthly pay is $39. It not suitable for my small budget and team. Afterwards, tried Apptivo CRM. This one also pay per user but its cost is $10, I need simple features to manage my clients in a single portal. I compare these two tools, then I make a decision to switch on Apptivo CRM. One more important point is my startup stages I faced many difficulties to manage my business customers, accounts, marketing, etc. So, I join here to share my experience and what are the troubles coming in start up stages and like to suggest some overcome steps for small startup business owners.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
    William Clements likes this.
  4. JohnHolling

    JohnHolling Serial entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor Administrator Moderator Member

    Hey @William Clements@William Clements!

    Insightly is great! Good suggestion. I've used a ton of CRMs, from Bitrix to Infusionsoft and here is my take:

    For full featured CRM and email marketing functionality plus a ton more, you can't beat Infusionsoft. However it's quite pricy, has a steep learning curve, and much more feature-rich than many small businesses need. We basically ran our whole company with it before we were acquired, and its functionality is very impressive.

    For an inexpensive but full-featured, solid platform, I always recommend Zoho. They have a suite of products that is presented "cafeteria style" so you can use and pay for only what you need. Lots of awesome tools, easy to use, and very reasonably priced. In fact, their CRM has a free version that would work for most small startups.

    So, that's my 2 cents. :) Great topic!

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
    djbaxter likes this.
  5. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Member

    JohnHolling likes this.
  6. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor

    I like to suggest SuiteCRM, which is free for 10 people. I think it is a great tool when you consider 80-20 rule.
    The software is available as open source, which means that it can be used for free. To keep cost down, it can be installed on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) by outsource talent (i.e. freelance.com). This way you get the benefit of using the VPS for other purposes website (i.e. wordpress, drupal, etc) , marketing automation (i.e. mautic), surevey (i.e. LimeSurvey), etc.
    Every few months you can reach your outsource talent to help with system update.
    When you have more spending power, you can invest in hosting solution or other commercial packages.
  7. Brittney

    Brittney Member


    Built my own with Podio... For emailing (has auto-responders), use mailchimp.... For emailing, you could also use an open source software to save/eliminate costs associated with it.
    Edvin likes this.
  8. Yuliabrvk

    Yuliabrvk Member

    Interesting topic. I am looking for a convenient to use. Will you prompt?

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