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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone!

I'm looking into a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and I can't seem to find exactly the one that suits my needs.

I'm using Highrise right now and it is simple and works for us. However, I really want a CRM with an advanced task manager. It needs to have detailed workflow that can generate automatic tasks based on different steps in the sales process.

Entering tasks with reminders works only as good as the person who enters them. If someone "forgets' to enter the reminder then it's useless.

Maybe we need a reminder to enter the reminder.. but a good CRM would be better!

Thanks
 

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I have used ACT! In the past, currently I am using Google Contacts which really isn't a CRM.

You may try posting over at the JLC Online forum - Joe Stoddard has lots of experience with CRM's.
 

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Search out FSM

As software providers have become more abundant, there's more products out there to fit your needs. Field Service Management Software (FSM) would be more up your alley. A good FSM should include a CRM and Workflows, however many do not, so be sure to ask.

I say FSM will be more up your alley, because they should also include the ability to create quotes, work orders, and invoices, manage inventory and assets, and scheduling and dispatch tools. Basically a CRM built for service companies.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
CRM software basically stands for customer relationship management software. In CRM (customer relationship management), CRM software is a phrase is used to describe a category of enterprise software that covers a broad set of applications and software to help businesses manage customer data and customer interaction, access business information, automate sales, marketing and customer support and also manage employee, vendor and partner relationships. Its merely used in the various multi national companies as the workload is very high.
I have to disagree, use of CRM should not be limited to multi national or large companies. I use Highrise CRM now and it's worked well to keep us on point which in turn has increased our close ratio. At this point I feel we have outgrown Highrise and am looking to expand the options available. We're a small company, only 3 employees, and I wouldn't think of operating without CRM.

Top reasons I use CRM:

1. To stay on top of leads (I think it's unacceptable to lose a sale for lack of follow through)

2. To keep all documents in a central location so they can be accessed anywhere

3. To monitor close ratio

4. To track closed sales that have yet to be invoiced

5. To forecast future sales

6. Scheduling resources

7. to encourage open communication between team members

8. to track emails/conversations so we can see potential problems early

9. as a task manager

10. data backup

This is good for any business that has customers!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree. ^^^

As a long time user with Highrise, we since have switched to Podio 6 months ago.
Cole, I'll look into Podio, thanks!

In about 10 minutes I have an online meeting with "Decisions". What I like about them is the automatic task generation by use of a workflow. Since every job runs through my business the same way it makes sense to automate it. A "task" only works if someone enters it, and I don't want a task for entering tasks, haha
 

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PNW Remodels
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I tried podio a couple years ago and found it a little cumbersome. has it gotten better? I see now citrix owns it. Cole and SCKitchens how is it working for you?

Any other CRMs out there for construction. I don't like MSFT dynamics either. I have thought about Salesforce but have not really looked into it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello all!

I've actually switched to pipedrive. It's a bit more of a workflow CRM but its great at seeing what stage each deal is at. Unlike highrise where all deals are listed alphabetically.

So far I love everything about it except for the file storage. They actually separate file attachments from the emails. It's not a deal breaker though because the upside is so much greater
 

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CRM Conundrum

Currently using UDA Construction Suite Green Residential originally purchased for $1500 along with their Online Pro account at $750/year or $75/mo. Also, have to buy Total Care for $50 month for CS program/pricing updates and customer support. Wondering if there's something that would work smoother for a 1-3 man company for the modest $125/mo with less upfront costs?

Just when it seems I have evaluated everything out there I find a new CRM or similar innovative product like Podio, Asana, and most recently buildz.com. They will crop up more in the future, but which one utilizes the newest tech for the best results in small and large companies alike?

I like that UDA CS and CO are construction specific but the automation is pretty lacking, too much mouse clicking for all data entry, clunky contact management, and difficult to keep all components on the same page. Not everything syncs between their own few programs and apps much less other platforms. Workflows are not automated while being tied to editable actions within their desktop program only. Estimate templates are nice if you have a full time estimator or a bunch of time to format and reformat their own type of excel spreadsheet in OnCost. Provided templates are very vague and non-specific for any trade. They moved away from excel using macros I'm sure because it was slow and unreliable a while back. Quickbooks integration is okay for sales info while splitting up contact data. With their Job Specifications module comes more entry of details ineffectively tied to estimate. Never needed to use their takeoff integration, partly because of additional costs for other programs needed. I spend more time verifying data than I would like :censored:, maybe I just talked myself into another program altogether. :whistling

I would love a web based platform that just works with all parties involved, utilizes all social channels for management success, coordinated with suppliers for live cost data of commonly used assemblies, even price out jobs on site and accept deposit with contract. Dreaming about a web based tool where customers are in the drivers seat, similar to http://www.bluhomes.com/homes/configurator/. What a world if the customer could spec out want they want, we come in to verify and finalize order, come back with all products and man power on schedule and budget. I understand all this would be crazy hard to integrate, but we as industry practitioners could all contribute to an open source format, thereby validify all trades with fair market value costing per geographic region.

If more effort were spent on how to get work done effectively together, we can spend less time working against each other only driving down costs, quality, and profit for the other guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It looks good for a plumber that does a lot of service calls. The repair ticket system works great for that. As an overall management software it doesn't seem to show "deals" or projects and their associated values. These are types of things I need to keep track of. We have a long sales process so keeping track of meetings, quotes, and other information is important to the flow and overall close ratios.
 

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What I would personally really like is a CRM, invoicing and accounting tool all-in-one. Not sure there is cloud-based one, unless someone here knows of one?
 

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I've tried Salesforce, Zoho, and act!. They definitely have a learning curve to modify/customize and learn all of the features, but I like the idea.

I rather schedule/reminders on my computer's calendar though, as that gets sent to my iPhone with the cloud automatically.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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We use Infusionsoft on the real-estate arm of our family business and it works quite well for me any time I need to do any lead generation.
 
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