As any business owner will tell you, the back-end of the business is always the least enjoyed. This includes administration tasks such as book keeping, managing client’s and lead’s contact information, invoicing, and project management. To make all of these things less painful, we have evaluated numerous software packages and web 2.0 applications. Here is what we’ve decide on for managing contacts, proposals, leads, and all things related to winning and keeping you as a client. This is also known as a CRM package.
How do we keep track of your requests and information?
As a shameless plug for the service we use, I have included their banner at the top of this post. Highrise CRM is one of the best web-based CRM packages available today. In a nutshell, it allows us to keep client information, proposed, new, and ongoing business, and email chains. We BCC highrise on all emails related to you or your projects so we can easily access key decisions and see conversation history. When they receive a BCC’d email, their software will determine which client we sent it to based on the “to” address and attach it to their portfolio. We can even break it down into projects in the event we have multiple parallel projects.
Why web based?
We evaluated other complete packages such as openERP to find that they were very complicated and had a steep learning curve. Additionally, they would need to be installed and maintained on our server. Not only does this add additional cost to our hosting expenses, but it means that we have to spend time on something that is not our core competency. Highrise has very affordable month-to-month packages that are less than one billable hour of our time. I spent well over 8 hours just installing and trying to learn openERP only to give up and look for something easier. If you just consider the expense of switching from a standard web-hosting package to a virtual private server (VPS) required to host openERP is nearly the cost of Highrise CRM, then it becomes a no-brainer.
How does this benefit our clients?
This first and foremost reason is keeping our overhead down. By keeping our overhead costs down, we can also keep your development costs down. In the long run, these savings will allow us to maximize your funding to include additional features or even an entire additional project.
We have three other web applications that we’ve decided to start using for similar reasons. These help us with project management, book keeping, and invoicing. I will cover these in three separate posts very soon!
Let us add you to our Highrise CRM software and make you a customer today by visiting our Contact Us page!