CRM Systems

We’re looking for a CRM system but we’re a start up business. What do you suggest? It’s a bit of a minefield and there are plenty of sites out there that can talk about CRM systems, so I’ll tell you about our experience! We use Act and I wish we didn’t. It’s great in terms of keeping up to date with our clients as a database, managing the sales process, adding templates to automate standard letters and forms, but it’s not yet compatible with Vista which we’d love to use. It’s also a bit clunky in places. If we move away from Act now we’d have to export all our data, which seems simple and is, for anything ‘above the line’ [there is a line or bar in the centre of your Act page view and anything above this is saved] but the bad news is that anything below – which includes my notes, comments and records of phone calls, can’t be exported. Unless I move them all into a new field…. That would mean going through hundreds of records, a big manual job. Also, there’s no ‘dashboard’ in Act and I’m so used to working with instant summaries and dashboards that I would find this useful. We know clients that use Outlook as their system, it seems ok but has limitations. The new Microsoft CRM system is mean to be great – if you use Microsoft :-) If we were starting again today, I’d go for an online solution. Something scalable and easy to use with dashboards etc. One system we’ve seen and we like is TactileCRM. Developed by Senokian Solutions in Coventry, it’s achieved great reviews and looks so easy to use. Better still, for start-ups with less than 250 contacts and 2 users it’s free. You can scale up as the company grows, no need to buy any software, it’s all online which I love as this means you can access your data from anywhere. Rather than needing to be at your desk, as I am now :-(

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