Still juggling multiple spreadsheets when it comes to tracking where your prospects are in your sales process? Is your follow-up reactive and ad hoc? Then you will surely improve your productivity and results by transitioning to a CRM (customer relationship management system).
The sales and customer management systems within your business are critical components that must be able to scale as your business grows. Some of these CRM systems can be quite expensive to implement. However, there are various systems on the market that allow free trials and free access, although some functionality may be restricted unless paid for.
Many of these systems are cloud-based, meaning you can access your records from any device and from any location. Oe of the systems that I use myself is Zoho.com. You can create a free account on Zoho that will allow up to 10 users to access the platform and basic functionality that can be expanded based on upgrading to paid versions.
Zoho’s offering is what is classified as a freemium, which limits the amount of functionality you can access for free. Nonetheless, this basic functionality is more than enough for a small business or solopreneur to start with. Of course there is a learning curve, and just by uploading your contact list into the platform you will be forced to create a system, where one may not have existed before.
There are also other CRM systems that are open source based that provide full functionality for free. Capterra.com has a great article on their blog that reviews 10 free CRM systems.
These systems do more than just store your contacts. They can be customized to allow you to report on where in the sales process your prospects are, your communications with your prospects and customers, remind you to follow up as well as collate your data meaningfully.
Zoho allows you to create email campaigns, share and synchronize your calendar with your staff and customers, create surveys and setup/track social media campaigns. These systems grow with you as your business expands and further functionality is needed and justified (investment wise).
There are many free services on the internet that deliver functionality ranging from project management (Trello) to graphic design (Canva and Picmonkey). Implementing just one may save you a lot of time and effort.
What are some of the free services you have discovered and would recommend?