Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

CRM Recommendations?


#1

I’m getting close to (re)launching one of my products. I’m going to be a lot more proactive on sales than I was originally and would like to use a CRM system. I’ve used both SugarCRM and Salesforce at the day job and they both are a bit overkill for my needs. I’m currently looking at Highrise, Nimble, and Insightly. Anybody have any experience with those?

I’m thinking I might pass on Highrise due to 37 Signals selling it off shortly and the fact that I don’t use Basecamp for project management.


#2

I’ve had a lot of people recommend Zoho CRM to me, so that’s what we were using until I switched over to Infusionsoft for our efforts. Zoho was a well put together product - and it was Free for one user.

I’ve also used Base CRM which is pretty nice and free but requires upgrades to unlock most of the useful features. They also have a proposal generator that feeds into Base automatically.

I’ve also used social CRM’s like Nimble, Contactually, Gist and Batchbook but honestly I never quite understood how to make the most of them.

If I can answer any questions about the ones I mentioned, please let me know


#3

On the topic of Highrise, they didn’t specifically say that they were going to sell it off, though that was one of the possible scenarios. Considering Highrise is something of a flagship product for them, I’d expect it to see a better fate—probably given a dedicated team, with 37Signals retaining partial ownership. So while the fate of Highrise does come with a few question marks, I wouldn’t assume it’s already headed down the road of, say, Sparrow.app.


#4

I’d recommend my product Clevertim CRM, but of course I’m biased. That’s probably one of the few where you might be able to influence the roadmap if you need something :slight_smile:
Nimble is more geared towards social CRM, Insightly is big in their gmail integration.
I think the starting point is to define your business processes, workflow, that’ll translate into a set of must have features. Then give some CRMs a try and see how close they’re mapped onto what you want to do. If you start with a CRM solution, you’ll be forced in their way of doing things.
Ultimately, a successful CRM is more about discipline than about the actual tools.


#5

well said @mikesperanza36


#6

Cool product! I’m looking around for CRM tools for our 2-person bootstrapped startup and your offer looks pretty sweet. The only thing that I don’t understand (forgive me for being a CRM n00b) is what an “opportunity” constitutes. Pretty much everything else seems self-explanatory to me, just not sure what that’s referring to.

Anyway, kudos on a pretty awesome product!

Kind regards,

Kartik


#7

Full disclosure: I work at PipelineDeals

With that said, I believe it will standup to any of the tools recommended. So much about a CRM is preference and workflow. If you can’t support your existing process with a certain tool, get a new one, but don’t let the tool dictate how you work.

Pricing is typically $24/user/month. However, we’re offering bootstrapped companies a free account. I thought it was particularly useful for this crowd.

Hope this helps!


#8

Hi Kartik,

An opportunity is short for a “sales opportunity”. Some CRMs refer to this as a “deal”.
If you’d like to talk more about the product and your needs, please drop me a private message.

Regards,
Mike


#9

Two CRM products I’ve bookmarked for future reference, just FYI:


http://www.streak.com/

I used Highrise in the past, and found it quite lacking. Now it’s basically in maintenance-mode, so prob not a wise choice.


#10

Streak looks really cool. The only turn-off for me on first glance is

Streak is currently free while in Beta and there will always be a free plan. In the future, Streak will offer paid premium features, stay tuned.

and the fact that they’re investor-backed and based in San Francisco. That makes me think they’re just shooting for an acquisition, not a long-term business.


#11

I think this conversation would be more useful if people specified whether the kind of sales they were doing. “CRM” is a broad term that can imply a lot of different functionality for different phases of a customer (deal pipeline vs pre-sales support), the types of contact (in-person vs phone vs social media) and for different types of sales methods (high touch vs self-serve).


#12

That’s awesome man!! Signed up for that free account.

Feeling inspired to make that same offer myself for bootstrappers! Although my product has limited usefulness to bootstrappers.


#13

I agree with @mikesperanza36 – it’s mostly about discipline, rather than the specific tool. Especially for a bootstrpper just getting started.

I’ve tried a few in the past (Sugar, Salesforce, Highrise) and have been using Base for about a year. Their free version does everything I need and I find it both elegant and easy to use (important for that discipline). It has a chrome plugin that automatically turns a LinkedIn profile into a lead, and that saves me a load of typing.

Several of the tools in this thread look great too, but I’m happy with Base & it’s a pain to switch.


#14

I’m currently using Nutshell which I really like - it has a fairly advanced feature set, is reasonably priced and works well with teams.

Another really nice one is Contactually (great UI - and seems to be very actively developed/enhanced).


#15

You can try my product, it’s only $23/mo for unlimited users. http://www.jitbit.com/hosted-crm/

It has absolutely no features :smile: no complex integrations, no reports, no scheduling, nothing. Simple as it can be.

I would love some feedback by the way, since it’s a new product we’re trying to get off the ground…


#16

I’m using Insightly, but as has been mentioned, actually getting myself to use it is a challenge.


#17

Trello.

My SaaS relies heavily on inbound phone sales and consultations. Most of our traffic is directed to our “request a consultation” form (Gravity Forms, wordpress plugin).

From there, it goes through Zapier, which connects to Trello. Creates a card, outputs the lead’s submitted info in a nicely formatted way (using markdown in the description).

In the Trello board, we have a few lists: New Leads (to contact), Contacted (but didn’t connect), Connected, Promising, Signed Up, Didn’t Sign up.

We use Trello due dates for followup reminders, and every interaction gets a comment on the lead’s card.

I went into much more detail here.


#18

+1 for @casjam’s Trello system. Great post to read through. I’ve used that as a base for our system, and it has significantly improved our handling of leads since implementing.


#19

Wow, that’s a beast of a post @CasJam - very nice.

I’m giving streak a try right now. I like that it’s integrated into gmail because I’m already very comfortable in there. So far the UI is decent - seems like it could be polished up a bit.

At this point the main thing that I’m beginning to find is taking up more of my time is follow-up. I’m trying to be a lot more persistent about follow-up, taking a queue from Steli from close.io.

Up until now I’ve been using a gmail snooze script which helps to at least snooze the conversation until you need to talk next.

Streak does that as well, and it also has a nice page where it shows you all your leads in each stage of the funnel. I think the trello board view is probably a better visualization / management tool for this than streak though.

I may eventually just automate all of this one way or another, but I’m trying to do the follow-up manually for now because I don’t want it to come off as being annoyingly automated, and I want to get the process down first.

I’ll let you guys know how it goes!