The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
My cleaning company uses Highrise. It’s for our service managers and owners. We track all of our email communication with clients, important information, anniversaries and notes about their homes/offices. It also has tasks so I can make sure my managers take care of things. With reminders, we never miss a client anniversary. It’s been a great web-based CRM solution.
2. Streak for Gmail
The Poshly team uses Google Apps for Business throughout our organization, including for email solutions. Because we’re in Gmail all day, it’s easy for us to integrate Gmail-based CRM options, like Streak. Streak is fantastic because it not only has traditional CRM capabilities, like shared contacts and accounts, but it also lets us save text “snippets” that we can use to standardize email replies.
3. Intuit QuickBase
Being a startup, we loved custom-building everything to our own needs, rather than getting frustrated with standard options. We absolutely love Intuit’s product QuickBase that allows a young company to customize fields and sections according to its unique workflow. After seven happy years, we’ve grown and are now migrating to Salesforce.com, which is better suited for larger organizations.
We use a combination of UltraCart and a proprietary software that our customer service company developed. UltraCart has scaled very well for us, and I highly recommend it.
We originally used Zoho, but we switched to Saleforce.com as we grew our sales team. At this point, Saleforce.com has even more features than what we need; this will enable Saleforce.com to scale well as we continue to grow.
We are big fans of Infusionsoft. While it’s not advertised as a CRM, it does so much more to automate your business and your marketing. As we’ve grown, it’s become more and more valuable. Sometimes, it seems as though it can do just about anything, which leaves endless possibilities for as long as we are technically a small business.
I’m a fan of ONTRAPORT. The software offers a good 360-degree view of your contacts, along with lead scoring and automatic routing of leads.
Salesforce.com is an amazing platform that can be customized well beyond its basic features. There are also many plug-ins that can be used for things like marketing and ERP integration. We periodically make changes to the way we use the system, so it can grow as our organization grows.
9. Our Own System
We built our own proprietary CRM from scratch over the last five years. The existing products in the market, from Salesforce.com and similar companies, were not specific enough to our particular business. Building it in Ruby on Rails and hosting it in the cloud (Amazon’s EC2 stack) has allowed us to easily scale up as our company and team grew.
10. Highrise and Salesforce.com
When we first started out, we had a small team, and Highrise (37signals) was an excellent way to manage contacts, keep emails attached to accounts and delegate tasks. Now that our organization is bigger and we have more sophisticated campaigns, Salesforce.com really is the way to go. Innovative features, like Chatter, allow for an organization with a global presence to keep everyone in the loop.