Customer relationship management (CRM)

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

William Clements

Moderator
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
948
Points
63
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.
 

William Clements

Moderator
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
948
Points
63
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.
 

Albus

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
11
Points
3
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.

Thanks
Albus
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JohnHolling

Serial entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
66
Points
18
Hey @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!

Cheers!
John
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Edvin

MVP
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Messages
328
Points
63
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.
 

Brittney

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
13
Points
3
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 acros s 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.

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.
 

BrianR86

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
8
Points
3
Hi Guys,

I would like to also share Salesmate CRM.

The reason why I like it is the following is because it can be used for Marketing & Sales and also just to get your business setup easily.

1. You can use their in-build Telephony system. You can buy a phone number for your business & reps. Start calling and get detailed reports of all activity. Put that phone number on your website. (I used to use Grasshopper, now I only use Salesmate)
2. Manage your inbound leads into a Sales Pipeline so you can close them (Use a Wordpress Plugin, never miss follow-ups)
3. Marketing - I send mass emails & mass text messages directly the CRM. Makes it super simple.

Coming out with a drip campaign feature soon. This will replace the need for mailchimp and others. So now you have 1 system to do everything and give you the organization you need to close deals and have timely follow-ups.

Everything is easy to use, and the yearly subscription is only $144 per user or you can pay $15 monthly.

I would give Salesmate a try.
 

Edvin

MVP
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Messages
328
Points
63
Thanks for the suggestion BrianR86.

I'm wondering if anyone has tried the following process management...

Every activity takes time, no matter how mundane or administrative; therefore, having a historical record is helpful for reflection.

I've tied my email to get case created for every inbound email. This has the benefit of associating communications with a contact/account and avoid items slipping through the cracks since "my assigned tasks" must be processed (by me or another team member). However, this does lead to an issue with getting CRM cases created for simple email notification (e.g. facebook notification, support ticket from vendors, etc.).

I feel instead of a "new case" being created, it would be preferable to add an activity to an existing case (i.e. notification case). With SuiteCRM, this level of implementation cannot be done via simple workflow and requires customization.

I'm wondering if anyone has gone this far for integrating communication into CRM.
 

Inva

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
34
Points
8
Thanks for the suggestion BrianR86.

I'm wondering if anyone has tried the following process management...

Every activity takes time, no matter how mundane or administrative; therefore, having a historical record is helpful for reflection.

I've tied my email to get case created for every inbound email. This has the benefit of associating communications with a contact/account and avoid items slipping through the cracks since "my assigned tasks" must be processed (by me or another team member). However, this does lead to an issue with getting CRM cases created for simple email notification (e.g. facebook notification, support ticket from vendors, etc.).

I feel instead of a "new case" being created, it would be preferable to add an activity to an existing case (i.e. notification case). With SuiteCRM, this level of implementation cannot be done via simple workflow and requires customization.

I'm wondering if anyone has gone this far for integrating communication into CRM.
This should be fairly easy to create in a custom system, and you can filter out those emails you don't want in a number of ways. The best way would be to not use your work email for anything other than work, so then you won't be getting SM emails and such. You can do this through a "mail alias/forwarder" and block emais coming to those addresses from going into the system.

For exampe, if your main email is work@edvin.com then you can create sm@edvin.com for your social media accounts, and in the system you check to which address the email went, and if it was work@edvin.com you process it in the system, if it was sm@edvin.com you don't process it.

But i think it's already something that many platforms support, especially ticketing platforms, where you can email the support department for example, and this automatically creates a ticket in the system.
 

zigihub

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
11
Points
3
Everyone gives the software for free but don't give much services for free you have to upgrade it even for smaller features. look for different tools decide whether is it going to solve your problem or not, is it affordable and does it deliver as they say. i suggest to check with the pricing in depth before finalizing the software. :coffee
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
14
Points
3
SuiteCRM is just right for a small and medium-sized company, open source and many different modules.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
65
Points
18
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.
You can build your own?! That's awesome! Did it require a lot of tech heavy skills, or did you feel that it was pretty intutive/seamless?
 

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Latest posts

Top