For those of you who haven’t used a CRM system before, or even know what such a system is (it stands for Customer Relationship Management), we highly recommend that you invest in one as soon as possible.
The day to day management of our whole business revolves around our CRM system, which is Capsule incidentally. It is one of a few web-apps that we all have running all day, every day!
Capsule was launched back in 2009 following the founders’ frustration with existing CRM systems that were either overly simplistic or far too complex for most businesses. We can see where they are coming from. We have looked at many CRM systems and, while it is easy to get carried away with all the features you think you might need, most of them are either too complex to set up and manage that they never get fully adopted by your team.
Capsule doesn’t try and be all things to all people, it sticks to a few main functions and does them well:
People & Organisations
This is your database of organisations that you have contact with, and the people that work within them. Store their contact details, upload files, create opportunities (e.g. sales prospects) and cases (other projects or jobs).
One of the best features are ‘Tracks’ which are ‘to do’ lists against specific opportunities and cases. For example, all of your ‘Existing client sales opportunities’ may follow the same step process:
- Send client the monthly newsletter on the 5th of every month
- Ring client 2 days after the newsletter to arrange a catch-up meeting (+2 days)
- Meet with client (+7 days)
- Consider any up-sell opportunities (+8 days)
- Email over a mini proposal (+10 days)
- Ring client for feedback on the proposal (+12 days)
So, create an Opportunity and allocate a specific Track to it. Reminders will pop up on your dashboard!
Calendar & Tasks
When you have jobs to do in the future you can create them as tasks and they automatically drop into a calendar view (with reminders for those of you who are absent-minded!).
This section takes all of your sales opportunities and displays them as graphs according to your pipeline value (based on the total value of all your potential sales), the percentage probability of winning that pipeline and how much you have converted over time.
A simple view of all the cases you have open (and closed too) at any one time.
This is what the Capsule team say about their system and, to be honest, they have pretty much nailed it:
“We believe the value of a modern CRM lies in the ability to help businesses stay organized, know more about their customers, build strong relationships and to make the most of sales opportunities, all while minimizing user input. We built Capsule to deliver on these values and today Capsule is used by thousands of businesses of all sizes all over the world.”
And the price?
Well, you can get a free account for two users (up to 250 contacts) and it’s only £8 per month for each user after that (with a 30 day free trial).