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  • #978693
    AndreaF
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi everyone!
    I’ve just bought a business that has hundreds of advertising client files. They are literally in several plastic boxes from Bunnings! We also have the basic client information on an Access database (I’m by no means a competant Access user). The hard copy files have handwritten notes and other bits and pieces of useful client info.
    I’ve recruited a new Accounts Manager who will be working from home, which is 200km from my office, but we’ll get together once a week.
    What I would like is some sort of CRM system, probably with a cloud base, where the client info can be stored and shared and the AM can share data with me on workflow and day-to-day operations and performance. Clearly nothing fancy as there is only 2 of us, possibly another sales rep later down the track and I don’t want to pay for licences I won’t use.
    We’re based on Sunshine Coast/Gold Coast/Brisbane, so if any FS member would like to build, sell, instruct me into a system I’d be most grateful.

    #1108869
    Gavin_S
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    • Total posts: 80
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    Hi Andrea,
    There are lots of different CRM programs out there – In choosing one it really comes down to what features and functions you want, and how comfortable you are with each system.
    I’ve tried a few different programs over the years, and the one I currently use is “Zoho CRM” – it might be worth you checking it out as it’s cloud based, easy to use (in my opinion), and it’s FREE.
    They then charge if you want to upgrade for more features. I used the free version in the beginning but have since upgraded to the $12 per month plan, plus I added the Outlook add-on which I think was another $3 per month.
    They also have an iphone app, which is perfect for accessing your files outside of the office (I believe this is $3 per month for full access).
    I’d suggest you check out a few different programs and read some positive and negative reviews to get an idea of how they work. Some of the CRM programs I have used in the past were terrible, but I have clients who use them and they rave about it. So you need to find what works best for you and your business.
    Most offer a free trial – but don’t get sucked in to using the free trial to enter ALL your data, that’s how they convince clients to sign up (because you have already invested so much time putting your data in there). Just enter 4 of 5 contacts and then play around with the system.
    Good luck!

    Gavin

    #1108870
    Ondetto
    Member
    • Total posts: 110
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    Hi Andrea,

    we use Capsule CRM – http://capsulecrm.com/

    They offer a free plan for 2 users and up to 250 contacts. After that it’s $12 / user / month.

    It’s quite a clean, easy to use system and helps you manage your contact details and sales opportunities / pipeline.

    Note that they count people and organisations separately as “contacts”, so you may reach your 250 free contacts a little more quickly than you would first think.

    Frederike

    #1108871
    AgentMail
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    • Total posts: 1,741
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    Hi Andrea,

    I have found Insightly http://www.insight.ly to be a great little cloud based CRM. It works in with GMail so well, you can simply add content from and email to their record at the click of a button. Depends if you are on GMail though.

    Another favourite of mine for small biz is Act! by Sage. It has heaps of customisation and can be used on a shared environment – http://www.sagebusiness.com.au/act – this is a low cost system which is scaleable as well.

    Everyone has their preferences, and it is really all about what works for you. Most will offer a free trial, so jump on and have a play with some, and see which one best suits your needs.

    #1108872
    websitedesigner
    Member
    • Total posts: 917
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    I like Insightly too but it’s probably more of a project system than a CRM. I know it’s called a CRM but I don’t think it really does a lot of the stuff that a CRM does. Have you checked out ZohoCRM? I haven’t used it but have heard it’s good, they have a free plan too might suit your needs.

    #1108873
    soliddata
    Member
    • Total posts: 392
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    Good thinking – plastic boxes are a little old school :-)

    I have been through Act, SugarCRM, Outlook, now on Zoho CRM, and have used other things such as iContact as a mailing list facility.

    All have good points, but I found:
    – ACT is very powerful, but not so good if you want to access from outside the office
    – Zoho does the basic stuff well, though you need to start paying as you get bigger. I have used it in a similar way with an AM in Sydney (I am an Canberra) and it worked well.

    Kev

    #1108874
    pioter
    Member
    • Total posts: 1
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    There are many great apps out there, choosing the right one might be difficult.

    The ones that i can recommend and were not mentioned earlier are:
    http://www.nutshell.com/
    http://centriumcrm.com
    http://highrisehq.com

    Hope you will soon find a solution that meets your needs.

    #1108875
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Also suggest Zoho have too heard good reports.

    #1108876
    IT Advocate
    Member
    • Total posts: 195
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    Another one not mentioned is Batchbook. We have recently set it up for a client after testing 8 or so of the more well known cloud solutions. While it does lack some functionality of the larger systems, its extremely easy to use (and teach). It offers powerful customisation with the use of it’s ‘Supertags’.
    One thing I really liked about it was that it catered for Business to Consumer. Contacts didn’t have to get assigned to Companies to create deals, so it suited our client perfectly as they were selling direct to the public.
    Pricing is good as well.

    #1108877
    JaxiB
    Member
    • Total posts: 68
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    Ondetto, post: 121245 wrote:
    Hi Andrea,

    we use Capsule CRM – http://capsulecrm.com/

    They offer a free plan for 2 users and up to 250 contacts. After that it’s $12 / user / month.

    It’s quite a clean, easy to use system and helps you manage your contact details and sales opportunities / pipeline.

    Note that they count people and organisations separately as “contacts”, so you may reach your 250 free contacts a little more quickly than you would first think.

    Frederike

    We use Capsule as well. It is easy to use. We started with Salesforce and it was a horrible beast.

    #1108878
    Blink
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi Andrea

    Why don’t you give our (relatively) new service a go, it’s called Blink.

    http://www.thinkblink.com.au

    It has great CRM features (with unlimited clients/contacts) plus a whole lot more; contacts, jobs, invoices, quotes, timesheets, projects, tasks etc. It’s only $19 a month (for 3 users) and there is a 9 day free trial so you can check us out at no risk.

    It’s built and supported here in Aus “by Flying Soloists for Flying Soloists”.

    If you have any questions, send me a message and I can guide you through it.

    Cheers

    #1108880
    Paul Roussell
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
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    Hi Andrea

    We can help. We are the only Zoho CRM reseller based in SE Queensland (just near the Story Bridge). I have over 15 years’ experience in implementing a number of CRM systems, so if Zoho is not the best solution for you, I can advise on others.

    Cheers
    Paul Roussell
    The Integrators
    http://www.theintegrators.com

    AndreaF, post: 120991 wrote:
    Hi everyone!
    I’ve just bought a business that has hundreds of advertising client files. They are literally in several plastic boxes from Bunnings! We also have the basic client information on an Access database (I’m by no means a competant Access user). The hard copy files have handwritten notes and other bits and pieces of useful client info.
    I’ve recruited a new Accounts Manager who will be working from home, which is 200km from my office, but we’ll get together once a week.
    What I would like is some sort of CRM system, probably with a cloud base, where the client info can be stored and shared and the AM can share data with me on workflow and day-to-day operations and performance. Clearly nothing fancy as there is only 2 of us, possibly another sales rep later down the track and I don’t want to pay for licences I won’t use.
    We’re based on Sunshine Coast/Gold Coast/Brisbane, so if any FS member would like to build, sell, instruct me into a system I’d be most grateful.
    #1108881
    microsync
    Member
    • Total posts: 19
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    Hi Andrea,

    http://www.insight.ly is a good choice if you’re looking for a free simple cloud based product that integrates well with Google Apps Product Suite.

    I have used it before and it is a great entry level cloud based CRM.

    Regards,
    Iss

    #1108883
    Brent@Ontrax
    Member
    • Total posts: 336
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    Not sure if you have found a system yet but remember that the definition of CRM in America is a Contact Relation Manager and not a Customer Relation Manager, as it is known as everywhere else.

    If you are looking a free system which will do more than just CRM have a look at a Professional Services Automation (PSA) System. AllocPSA – http://www.allocpsa.org is a free downloadable system and can be installed onto the same server as your website, and therefore sharedable, You actaully receive the entire source code (PHP) and therefore can tailor it anyway you like. They do have a hosted (cloud) based version as well from about $12 a month.

    I recently downloaded the system and started tailoring it and it isn’t too bad.

    Good Luck with your venture.

    #1108884
    Justin Davies
    Member
    • Total posts: 1
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    Hi, I also use Capsule for one of my clients. Thought it might add some value as to why I picked capsule:

    • cloud based
    • you can cc your emails to dropbox@capsule and it will automatically capture the email and also the contact => less keypunching
    • You can create prospects and projects and also have emails to cc for those (like basecamp) – so it becomes much easier to track correspondence
    • If you are using gmail there is a plugin
    • you can easily create activity tracks and tasks ie qualify lead, create bid plan, create bid, present proposal, complete agreement etc which helps with automation
    • no cost to try, low cost to buy

    There are plenty of CRMs out there to play with, and I’ve spent time playing with a lot. It really depends upon what you need – but most businesses large and small want to track people, associated companies, opportunities and emails related to that…

    Good luck!

    Justin

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