Did You Get The Memo? CRM’s Are Now Social!

Managing projects and customers is one of the headaches you have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s not exactly glamorous to have to spend most of your time trying to coordinate activities in a way that would make them productive. This is why the customer relationship management (CRM) platform has become the centerpiece of a lot of technologically-inclined businesses. To address these issues, CRMs often include various task management, contact management, and lead-chasing solutions that allow businesses to better cater to their customers.

Recently, many CRMs have come up with something wonderful: An internal social network where one can share posts, subscribe to others, and focus on tasks rather than chasing after everyone to keep progress on projects synchronized. This new medium for exchanging ideas vastly changes the landscape of the CRM stage. Their numbers are growing, and here are three powerful CRM solutions that contain social networks:

  • Batchbook - This software gives you a very good “out of the box” experience and lets you interact with other collaborators with significant ease. One of the hallmark perks in Batchbook is its pricing. For an unlimited amount of users, you can start out at $10 a month, giving you up to 2,000 contacts and 5 GB of storage space. The only drawback in this service, according to user reviews, seems to be its inability to properly import contacts. According to one user, Batchbook does not add custom fields in imported CSV files. Some other minor bugs have been found, like the inability to automatically add pictures of contacts from social media. Before paying for anything, you get a 30-day free trial of the application. Update: Batchbook read up on this piece and has listened to customers’ demands for a simplified platform for importing contacts. They have successfully added the ability to drag and drop vCards and spreadsheets right into the interface, allowing you to easily get your contacts into their system.
  • HyperOffice - This CRM provides you with a very modern interface, email-driven contact management, and several perks that might make it worth the price you pay for it ($15/user/month in the Enterprise package, with 250 MB document storage + 5 GB email storage). Their basic “Core Collaboration” package is $7/user/month, and it has everything Enterprise offers except for the project management, email, publisher, and Outlook Sync features. There have been mixed reviews about the software, particularly regarding its slow speed. Others have said that it worked quickly, but there were a few glitches when using HyperDrive (a drive you can mount on your computer). You can obviously try it before you buy in its free trial.
  • Podio - Probably one of the most interesting CRM suites, Podio lets you create your own apps without any prior programming training. It’s as easy as dragging components and dropping them in place. The CRM also gives you pre-packaged applications such as a lead manager, client project collaboration, project manager, recruitment app, workspace, intranet, and full-blown CRM (of course). The solution is free for up to 5 users, and it’s generally received good reviews save for a few complaints about a slight learning curve and the lack of real-time IM capabilities. For more than 5 users, Podio charges you $9 per user per month. You get unlimited storage, apps, and external members.

Each of the three solutions mentioned above have their own pros and cons, and they each offer something innovative to the marketplace. At least one of them must appeal to you. Try them out!

avatar

About Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel Leiva-Gomez is the owner of The Tech Guy, a blog that presents futuristic and current news about technology with a light touch of humor, catering to the average consumer and prospective investor. Miguel has been working with computers and gadgets for more than a decade, working together with people to help them solve their problems and breaking down complex concepts into simple bite-sized pieces that the average Joe can chew.

  • http://twitter.com/pamohara Pamela O’Hara

    Thanks for including Batchbook, Miguel, and for going the extra mile to research user experiences with all of the systems in your article. We’re hearing the same things you did and already have some slick improvements to the import process launching shortly. Thanks for the story – let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com/ Ramon Ray

      Thanks for contributing Pamela and continued success to Batchbook!

      Ramon Ray , smallbiztechnology.com

      sent from my cell phone (hopefully not while driving or with my family)

  • http://twitter.com/alyson2 Alyson Button Stone

    Miguel, would have loved to see Nimble on this list. We believe passionately in the value of relationship building, and our product reflects that. We’d be happy to brief you any time.

  • http://Smallbiztechnology.com/ Ramon Ray

    Alyson, you’re right. We get things right 87.9% of the time. The other 12.1% chalk up to my imperfections…and that some companies are just so awesome we don’t need to include them :)