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Using a CRM

Discussion in 'Marketing mastery' started by andrewdrake, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. andrewdrake

    andrewdrake Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Anyone here using a CRM, or are they just all too expensive? I've tried a few over the years having been a freelancer for 12 years now and just wondering what people's thoughts are on this when running a small business.

    Andrew
  2. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo @andrewdrake .

    It is great to have you!

    Thank you for joining our community and posting.

    There are a number of free CRM's for the budget inclined soloer :)

    Cheers
    Paul
  3. andrewdrake

    andrewdrake Member

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    Hi @Paul - FS Concierge

    Thanks, I actually joined quite some time ago but first post in the forum :)

    I was wondering how many solo people actually use a CRM, what sort of free ones are available that aren't too complicated or sell you into upgrades?

    Right now I personally spending something like $800/mo on the various "apps" I require to operate my business efficiently these days! Seems crazy and I'm looking into a better way also.

    Andrew
  4. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Andrew,

    You can try Streak CRM if you use Gmail. I used it for a while and liked it. Keeps it simple.

    Hubspot has a free CRM now, but haven't tried it.

    I've found it takes a fair bit of trial and error to find one that suits your needs, so if you've found one that you like already, it may be worth the money.

    Good luck!
    Dave
    jayen likes this.
  5. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    I think to get a valid answer, a better way would be to explain what kind of business, and what your need of a CRM is. All business have slightly different needs of a CRM, and one size does not fit all, although they all say they do, they don't.

    And also remember free is not always free.

    When you say $800/month, I cringe with fear, at do you really need all those apps, or are you running some huge business, because thats a lot of widgets you need to sell, just to pay for the app's, then add on top of that normal business costs. Maybe a review of your whole business is in order.
  6. andrewdrake

    andrewdrake Member

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    It's rather easy to get to $800, I'm an enterprise web app developer / consultant CTO. Actually looking at my Xero P&L it's closer to $1000/mo!

    IDE, Database modelling, adobe suite, project management, client comms (slack/zoom), prototyping software, code deployment, code analysis/checking, security monitoring, code private storage/repos, UAT software and a few more. Most of these tools range from $20/mo up to $200/mo

    These days with privacy laws and changes to insurance policies as a developer working on projects with private data there needs to be a "compliant workflow" which has meant a few more tools were needed to manage administrative tasks

    Without all these tools I would not be able to deliver secure, enterprise grade solutions in a competitive manner against every other developer out there.
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  7. MattH753

    MattH753 Member

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    Hubspot or EngageBay
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  8. Tom ISW

    Tom ISW Active Member

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    Yes, I use Pipedrive CRM. I only pay for the "silver" subscription so it was about $200/year for me. You can buy the silver package (what I have) and if you need extra functionality the price goes up from there.
    Paul - FS Concierge and robdash like this.
  9. IBFlyingSolo

    IBFlyingSolo Member

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    Hi Andrew, I too am a Freelance Consultant and I use ZOHO One.
    It's AUD $50/mth per user and has about 40 apps attached to it.
    It has the CRM that has Modules like Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Deals.
    It also has a bunch more like forms etc.
    But the real secret sauce is the Apps that go with it.
    It has Cmpaigns which is like mailchimp or hubsport, it has books which is the same as Xero, it has Surveys, It has Forms, it's got Cliq which is like Slack, Notebook which is Twillo (I think that's waht it's called). There's more and they are all connect with API's and can also connect with Chrome extensions and other 3rd party apps.
    The killer is how simple it is to write workflows and blueprints (stages of a process) and they can trigger actions when a record field is changed. It's friggin awsome.
    It's not intuitive and if you like to get into the details (like I do) it took me a few months to figure it out. I now have an administrator who's managing it for me now.
    They also have a cut down version called Bigin which is just a simple sales crm with lots of the ZOHO One functionality and I think it's around $10/mth
    There is over 13 million users and they've been around for 10 years (I think)
    As you can tell I'm an evangelist for it - I can't help you with the product as I don't do that work, but I recommend it because it's so awesome.
    If you need someone to show it to you let me know and I can introduce you to my administrator.
    If not there are plenty of resources on You Tube too
    MattDell likes this.
  10. MattDell

    MattDell Member

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    Whichever CRM you choose should be based on ease of workflow
    What integrates with your email / contact / quoting-billing software?
    My limited experience with Hubspot was that it had lots of integrations and could reduce steps taken, not increase them
    Better to pay a fair amount for something that makes work more effective than little or nothing and have it be harder

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