This BLOG POST was originally posted as a HELP TOPIC in the Fletcher Method Funnel Community where I am a Member >>>
I am early in the process and wondering what is the best CRM for a start up to use to manage the email and sales process. I was using Infusionsoft but at this stage it is a little too expensive for me.
Does anyone know of a good scalable starting option?
TFM Member (name removed)
Response from: David.Jamison@MarketingMouseTrap.com
Without knowing Business type it is difficult to give a bullet proof response…
As the business type impacts the choice… Will you have Sales Staff? Is the Sales Cycle Longer than Average? Is there Outbound Calling? etc. With those factors, it drastically effects the Choice.
But knowing that this Community is focused on FUNNEL Building and I do Funnel Builds for myself and numerous other companies, the CRM in a Perfect World would be integrated into the FUNNEL Platform. So the Choices become more limited. When you are doing FUNNEL Builds and have to integrate the CRM on the backside my process goes like this:
START: With the END in Mind
Back your Way in or Reverse Engineer your Sales Process and CRM Selection by Identifying your VETTED Technologies, see what products have Complete Functional “Bi-Directional” APIs and start matching up products. The worst holes I have dug for myself years ago was falling in LOVE with a Funnel Platform and then having to CONNECT external products. And they may SPEAK to each other in 1 direction well but then you find that there is not communication coming the other way. Especially with a CRM.
To Clarify the above I will give you a short example:
A Medical Specialty Office with FUNCTIONING FUNNEL for New Patient Gathering (Let’s say they do STEM CELL Therapy, PRP and Related PAIN type Patients), Generate Traffic (New), Retarget etc. *** Patient Prospect is in the FUNNEL… their Engagement SCORE warrants a PHONE CALL from Staff or the Prospect has REQUESTED a CONSULT. The Designated Staff makes the Call based on the Scheduled Activity. Adds notes to CRM, Schedules an In-Office Doctor Conuslt… ALL is Good as the Prospect appears to be in the process of CONVERTING. Right? Well the Problem is this: The CRM if not Connected to FUNNEL properly (tech stuff) does not update the Automations, TAGS, Custom Fields etc. and the Prospect continues to receive the SAME Funnel Sequences that they were in and the prospect is now in a different PHASE of the Sales / Conversion process. The Secondary Issue is this… It is Easy for me to FIX the Automations for that Prospect when it is ALL handled by the FUNNEL AUTOMATION. The BIG CHallenge I have had with this scenario is STAFF Compliance in CODING or UPDATING the CRM Settings for the PROSPECT so that the downstream automation do what they are supposed to do in the ORIGINAL Funnel Blueprint or Design.
Another Scenario is that the PATIENT has SUCCESSFULLY Converted and Traveled ALL the way through the FUNNEL and the FUNNEL PROCESS was Flawless. Were removed from the Automation or Automation Ended with NO Re-entry. But the STAFF never CODED them as a PATIENT “procedure_completed” and now should go into a SOCIAL PROOF gathering FUNNEL. Where you would be Thank the Patient, making sure ALL is good and then Requesting or Recruiting TESTIMONIALS: Emails, In-Office Interviews / Videos etc. to be used for GREAT FUNNEL Content. If 1 little FIELD is not updated by a HUMAN not the FUNNEL it breaks the process and a very HAPPY PAIN FREE Patient never gets to tell the WORLD about how GREAT Doctor X is…
(END of my SCENARIO Stories) Thank God right? 🙂
So with ALL of that being said, and knowing you were using InfusionSoft (I used to use it as well) the Low Cost Alternative to InfusionSoft that is a BETTER Value, Great FUNNEL AUTOMATION Tools and is capable of handling virtually any business type AND has a SOLID ROBUST CRM is ActiveCampaign. Now I have to tell you that I am an ActiveCampaign Partner so I am biased. There are TONS of Good CRMS that are Low Cost, ZohoCRM, SugarCRM, OnePageCRM, CapsuleCRM, PipeDrive CRM… but you have to CONNECT via API, Webhooks, Zapier etc. and that sounds fine but things are not always as they seem and the communication between the FUNNEL and the CRM can breakdown.
I would say AC is the best choice for a lower cost alternative to ConfusionSoft… I mean InfusionSoft. 🙂
Sorry for the LONG Response… But this TOPIC is Near and Dear to me (I worked with and for Autodesk for years in the AEC realm and have a ton of Experience with SalesLogix, SalesForce etc. and know how critical the CRM is to certain business types. I also know 1st hand from doing FUNNEL Builds where a CRM is Critical to the process and have seen the DOWNSIDE of the wrong choice.
Make the RIGHT Choice by backing your WAY in…
Feel Free to reach out to me if needed…