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Basic CRM Software

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:14 AM   #21
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Re: Basic CRM Software


I definitely wouldn't pay $80 a month for one. If you have a smart phone you can find several apps for free. There are also online programs you can use that cost little to no money. Some CRM software is also just to track customers, not necessarily tasks, so be sure to check whatever you choose for both.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:27 AM   #22
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Re: Basic CRM Software


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Originally Posted by alongston View Post
I definitely wouldn't pay $80 a month for one. If you have a smart phone you can find several apps for free. There are also online programs you can use that cost little to no money. Some CRM software is also just to track customers, not necessarily tasks, so be sure to check whatever you choose for both.
Yeah, it's kind of crippleware unless you pay monthly fees apparently. I woudn't spend. I come up with 150 / month - 360 / year / user - 5 users minimum.

I'd build my own before I's spend 150 / month on it ...
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:16 AM   #23
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Re: Basic CRM Software


Zoho offers free CRM cloud software. There's a limit to the amount of users before you need to pay. It integrates with Google Docs.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:06 PM   #24
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Re: Basic CRM Software


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Originally Posted by angus242
Zoho offers free CRM cloud software. There's a limit to the amount of users before you need to pay. It integrates with Google Docs.
I use Zoho. Simple and easy to learn. I like that I can use it to inventory a job for the foreman. What I mean is I can list everything thats supposed to be delivered, write a special note like maybe an old antenna is staying and he can just have the paper without a price on it.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #25
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Re: Basic CRM Software


Hi Guys,

New to ContractorTalk. I was wondering if any of you have used Highrise? We are currently in the process of implementing CRM software in the office and I am responsible for finding the best one. Key components desired are remote access (mobile, laptop), form attachments, customizable fields, outlook sync, campaign, auto-dial just to name a few. I have looked at salesforce, goldmine, and highrise. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #26
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Re: Basic CRM Software


We use www.MarketSharpm.com and it works well for us.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:26 PM   #27
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Re: Basic CRM Software


What type of software to use depends on a myriad of factors unique to your business. Before looking at and evaluating software packages, I think you first need to give some serious thought as to what you really want a package to accomplish for you versus looking at packages and their capabilities then deciding those would be nice features to have. Smaller single location businesses are going to have different needs than larger multi location ones. The type of marketing/sales approach, the type of work you do, the size of the jobs you do, the cycle time from start to finish and many other factors are going to vary significantly from company to company and will be the deciding factors on what is your best choice.

We use a number of packages, I never found one that would fit all. ACT! is the backbone of our system. It of course keeps the basic Contact data but I spent around 300 man hours customizing it to where we are able to enter roof data (roof area, perimeter, hip & ridge lengths, etc.) and it will automatically perform the math to create an accurate purchase order and roof crew instructions. We create insurance invoices, supplements and customer invoices from ACT!. Were we to scrap ACT! tomorrow and try to do the same functions manually, I'm convinced we'd have to hire two more people minimum to maintain an equivalent output. We use Xactimate for most of our estimating since we do insurance work and Quickbooks for our financial.

One thing we've done that has been extremely helpful is use SugarSync (very similar to Dropbox) to make file input and synchronization easy. We keep the master files on one computer and then distribute shared folders to our employees and reps. A manager has access to higher level folders while a Rep would have their own job folder. When a Rep signs a new contract with a Customer, takes pictures, brings in a scope of loss or whatever, they can scan the documents and place them in their own job folder on their computer. This automatically syncs then to our server and to everyone else who has access to their folder. If an estimator creates an estimate for a sales rep, they place the estimate in the job folder and the rep then has it in their folder. Bottom line, for our people who are lower on the scale in computer competency, our SugarSync set up allows them to drag and drop versus having to use FTP or some other somewhat complicated process to upload and download files.

One thing I wish is that Xactimate had an open architecture where we could use hooks in Xactimate to easily transfer the data created there into ACT!. That's now done manually.

I would add that in my opinion, ACT! off the shelf really wouldn't be that useful to most people. What I like about ACT! though is how open it is to customization.

Prior to using ACT!, I had created a rather robust Excel Workbook that essentially did the same thing as ACT! now does. Problem is, this wasn't a data base. If we had 300 Customers in a year, we had 300 Excel Workbooks. So we couldn't do any tracking, reporting or data analysis. Excel is extremely easy to use but it also has a lot of limits that I didn't want to live with.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:50 AM   #28
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Re: Basic CRM Software


I was just checking out this software, which seemed VERY Reasonable for only $ 9.95 Per month.

https://www.niceoffice.com/features.shtml

Now, add a gps enabled time card function for your employees and I think you can actually save some money.

http://econz.com/

Timecard is a mobile timesheet solution that enables time and attendance information to be recorded remotely using cell phones.

Timecard costs $12.99 per device per month.

Ed
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #29
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Re: Basic CRM Software


As a sole proprietor, while doing my own paperwork, I have used Cardscan Executive (now merged with Dymo.com) to scan all of my business cards (capable of 2 sided scan) into a color onscreen Roledex; this info, then,flow through MS Outlook; then, into ACT contact management with 99% accuracy.

From Act, I have subscribed to a product called Handheld Contact, which syncs all key data by satellite at times you determine from Act to certain Blackberry cells, and, now certain Androids. Basically, you are carrying your entire office on your phone. Note: Act also has their own product to sync, but I am not familiar with.

Dataviz.com allows you to create, sync and edit MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe files on I-phones, Android and Blackberry (see site for others).

I hope this helps.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:02 PM   #30
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Re: Basic CRM Software


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
Timecard is a mobile timesheet solution that enables time and attendance information to be recorded remotely using cell phones.

Timecard costs $12.99 per device per month.

Ed
Looks pretty damn cool! I like the auto clock in/clock out based on location. They are usin some old schoooool phones tho thats for sure.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:40 PM   #31
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Re: Basic CRM Software


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As long as it's your webserver, and your database you're fine. What worries me, is when data is stored on someone elses server - the "software as a service" model. With that model, some other company has your data, and can hold it hostage pending your yearly subscription fees, or give access to your competitors - even if it's anonymous.
You are dead on with that one. I once used a POS system which manipulated my bookkeeper into closing out the system four days before the end of our contract. When I called up to have them turn it on again(for the final three days of the contract) so I could finish printing my invoices for backup copies they told me the "discovery" and "technology" charges were going to be $900, to access my own database!

For those of you that love setting up spreadsheets, consider creating a database, there are plenty of freeware options like OpenOffice. Databases will allow you to simplify the system so other people can enter and retrieve info without massacring your baby.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #32
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Re: Basic CRM Software


As someone who pays my bills I really dont worry about my data being on someone else's server. I used a desktop based system for 6 years until I lost all of my data and backups to fire damage. I'd much rather pay someone to worry about that stuff for me than risk doing it myself
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:46 AM   #33
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Re: Basic CRM Software


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
I was just checking out this software, which seemed VERY Reasonable for only $ 9.95 Per month.

https://www.niceoffice.com/features.shtml

Now, add a gps enabled time card function for your employees and I think you can actually save some money.

http://econz.com/

Timecard is a mobile timesheet solution that enables time and attendance information to be recorded remotely using cell phones.

Timecard costs $12.99 per device per month.

Ed
Ed isn't smng like this can be done cheaper with IPAD app? Since lots of techs out there have IPADs seems like GPS and time tracking can be done using it.
Correct me if i am wrong.

UPDATE:
was thinking it was separate device. For an IPAD app check tsheets.com - lots of contractors use it. Around $5/month per employee.

Last edited by johnytech; 05-13-2013 at 11:01 AM. Reason: T
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:56 PM   #34
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Re: Basic CRM Software


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I've got SugarCRM installed on our web server, but it has yet to go live. I keep thinking twice about keeping all that sensitive data in cyberspace, but if you've got guys in three states it would be worth it.

Anyway, if someone fills out a contact form on the front facing site it goes directly into Sugar as a web campaign lead. It can be telephony integrated as well so that customer info is populated on the screen for the receptionist when she answers the phone. The big one I need that is requiring some hacking (with the free community edition anyway) is trouble tickets/customer portal. GC has a roof that's ready to watertight, he can just open a trouble ticket by either sending an email, or logging into our CRM to post one or view past tickets/status.

I don't know how to use spreadsheets.
jmiller hi,

So how is your experience with SugarCRM?
I am leaning towards it for our office. I like to have full control over things, so sugarCRM CE seems like nice choice.
Would like to hear your experience/opinion
Still kind of hesitation between SugarCRM CE / HighRise / PipelineDeals.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:35 PM   #35
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Re: Basic CRM Software


I'm testing GeoOp at the moment. Lets me see where all of my guys are, and has the added benefit of keeping up with all of the history associated with any client. (Or tower in my case). Pricing is very reasonable, I just wish they supported Quickbooks integration.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #36
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Re: Basic CRM Software


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Spend a week teaching yourself a spreadsheet and that can do just fine. If you don't have time for that then purchasing a product can be a good thing.

I have customer contacts all day long because my projects are very short. I use spreadsheets for everything. If you need some ideas I can help you along. It all depends on how you want to approach it. Spreadsheets can be very basic or extremely sophisticated but overall they can do pretty much everything.

At one time I used a Palm Pilot and that was really great but spreadsheets allowed me to do much more for my customers.

Mike
Mike, that is some good advice. I use a lot of spreadsheets. They really save a lot of time.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:15 AM   #37
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Re: Basic CRM Software


www.improveit360.com is a larger player in the Contractor/Remodeler space. Robust and built on Salesforce, so at least you know the technology/safety part is good. Probably not great for really small guys, but I know quite a few medium to larger sized businesses use it especially for the front end stuff and when they have call centers. They've got mobile apps too.

I've used generic biz CRMs like Zoho, Salesforce, etc. They require so much customization it's sometimes not worth it unless you have an IT guy or know what you're doing. Although something is better than nothing!
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:30 PM   #38
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Re: Basic CRM Software


Hey everyone,

My business partner and I are actually in the process of developing a CRM/Quoting/Invoicing platform for trades people. It's main focus is on the sub-contractors of the world. We are not ready for launch yet, but we are in the process of doing some market research. If anyone here wants to provide feedback and maybe get the first crack at it, email me! [email protected]

Cheers,
Terence

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