What is CRM?

CRM systemsCRM is the acronym for Contact Relationship Management. It is a database system you use to record and manage your contacts information and your interactions with them. LessAnnoyingCRM is an online system that does just that.

When you’re small or just starting out, you might just manage with a box of business cards, or a good old fashioned Rolodex plus your contacts address book in Outlook or similar mail programme.

Then you realise you need a more central place to store all your contacts, and information and notes you make, so you might set up a spreadsheet. You might even have had to type up your contacts into a spreadsheet if you use a newsletter programme like MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Mail programmes like Constant Contact is a form of CRM system, in that you can store the contacts details and it records their interactions with the emails you send out from it, like whether they opened the mail, and/or clicked on any links within the email.

These programmes also allow you to tag contacts and create sub-lists from, for example a list of people who clicked on a link in a particular mail-shot. You could then target those contacts for a follow up email. What you can’t do is set tasks or reminders within those systems.

I like things to be streamlined and simple, so I’ve been looking at a few CRM systems, that could send out mail as well as record their details, interactions and set tasks and reminders.

A CRM system like LessAnnoyingCRM allows you to group contacts, tag them and allocate them a status, for example, prospects, clients, past clients, networking contacts.

LessAnnoyingCRM then allows you to add status’ and follow up tasks, as well as record conversations or email exchanges.

In fact this was the bit I liked best. You can bcc your account’s special email address and it will automatically add that email to the client information.

LessAnnoyingCRM can also be linked and synced with MailChimp, so each automatically check with the other for new additions and unsubscribes and records opens and clicks.

You can set up piplelines which are completely customisable so you can keep track of who is in your pipeline and where they are in the pipeline. You can also create groups that you can assign contacts to, for example you might set up groups that tell you how you came by them.

LessAnnoyingCRM syncs with your diary, and something else it does is email you an agenda of what is in your diary for the day, plus any reminders or follow up tasks you set, for example following up prospects etc. At first I wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing – I already have an overflowing inbox first thing in the morning, but then I got to quite like having a reminder of what I was doing that day, and who I should be following up.

And the best bit of all? It only costs $10 per month! Not only that they give you a 30 day free trial (you don’t need to give any credit card details to sign up), and if you use my link then you get 60 days (and if you do sign up I get a month for free).

 

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