|Built-in Complex Quote Creation|
|Process Payments: ACH, Check By Phone or Credit Cards|
|Calculate Salesperson Commissions|
|View Revenue of each Salesperson|
|View Revenue of each Marketing Campaign|
|Online Client Enrollment - Paperless Enrollment|
|Online Client Portal|
An Overview of Custom CRM
Business owners often ask the question "Which computer software is the best to run my business? Should I use salesforce.com, freecrm.com, etc?" The answer is that for most businesses, such software is usually the wrong choice. The best software is often a custom CRM written specifically for them.
Often business owners buy generic pre-written software, hoping they can make it adapt to their business, but the software ends up not being exactly what they need. They often hire programmers to add the missing features that they require, but the end result is not quite 100% what they really want. Custom CRM, written specifically for that business, inevitably end up being the only true solution, because only custom software will do exactly what they need done. When people buy off-the-shelf software, there will always be something that the software cannot do, and they will then have to buy another software, and another, and another.
The total cost of generic pre-written software is extremely expensive, far more than is realized. First, consider the cost of learning how to use the system. Since it was not designed for you, you will have to spend a huge amount of time and expense learning how that system works. Second, you will have to spend much time and expense making modifications to that system.
How many software systems are used at the company?
To determine how efficient a companies operations are, ask the question, "How many computer software systems does the company use?" If the answer is more than one, then the company might not be operating efficiently. (There are some exceptions.) Using more than one computer software is not efficient because the information in one software is not in the other software. Using two or more software systems requires double entry of data, which means data entry errors. The principal for a business owner is that only one software should do everything they need done. The ideal custom CRM is one software system, used by every employee of the company, and has every feature needed.
Do employees do tasks that could be computerized?
If employees do tasks that could be computerized, then that company is not operating efficiently. Spend time standing next to your various employees, and watch what tasks they are doing. Is there anything they are doing that could be computerized? The savings in the long term are worth it. For example, staff should never have to calculate anything on a calculator, calculate anything in Excel, calculate salesperson commissions, enter data into two different systems, etc. The ideal software should do all this automatically.
Microsoft Word and Excel
Do the employees use Microsoft Word or Excel? If yes, then they are not operating efficiently. Microsoft Word and Excel were designed for individuals to assist in occasional situations, not for the daily and regular use of all the companies employees. Many companies salespeople use Microsoft Word or Excel to generate a quote and proposal for a sales prospect, but this is mistake for many reasons. Ideally, an employee should be able to create a quote or proposal in seconds, by doing nothing other than clicking one button. The employees's manager should be able to see the quotes of their staff. There should be a history of all quotes created. All of this is not possible using Microsoft Word or Excel. Whatever functionality the company needs in Word and Excel can be done far more efficiently in a custom CRM.
Electronic Document Signing Software
Many companies use electronic document signing software such as docusign.com, etc. If this is the case, then they are not operating efficiently. The ideal custom CRM software would already have this capability included in the software. The user should not have to do anything more than quickly click one button to send out a document for signature.
Do the employees use QuickBooks for client accounting? If yes, then they are not operating efficiently. QuickBooks is fine software for a small business to calculate its overall profitability, and to calculate its taxes. But QuickBooks is not designed to be used by the entire companies employees. Client Service Representatives, and other staff, need to be able to see the balance on a clients account. But QuickBooks is not designed to be used by Client Service Representatives. We find custom CRM development to be better as that allows any selected staff to have view-only access to client accounting.
Paper Documents and File Cabinets
Does the company have a lot of paper documents stored in file cabinets? This is not efficient. Efficient companies scan their documents electronically, and keep the scans in their software. Secondly, efficient companies have clients sign documents electronically, so that not even a scan is needed. With an electronically signed document, the company needs only to record the contract text, and signing information such as the date, time, and IP address of the person that signed the document.
ACH and Check By Phone Software
Any company that uses separate software that processes ACH payments, or check by phone payments, is not operating efficiently. When using such separate software, users will have to perform double entry of all transactions. Also, managers and supervisors need to have access to inspect the client transactions, which is not the case with separate software. Such software is not designed to be used by the entire company. Client Service Representatives and other staff need to be able to see the balance on a clients account. But such software is not designed to be used by Client Service Representatives. The ideal software should allow any specific staff to have view-only access to the payment transactions.
Are salespeople or managers calculating sales commissions manually? If this is the case, then they are not operating efficiently. The ideal software would already have this capability in the software. There are numerous ways of calculating commissions, and the software should be able to automatically calculate any of them.
Client Support Web Site
Are your staff getting overwhelmed with incoming phone calls from clients about their account? Do what all the big companies do, which is to have an online client portal where clients can login, and see all details of their account. The more that clients can see online in their portal, the less they need to call your staff, saving you money.
Phone System Integration
Are employees manually dialing the phone? The ideal software should have links by phone numbers to have the phone system dial the phone automatically.
Many More Features are Possible
The above is just the beginning of what is possible. To learn more, click here.