9 Great CRM Tools for Startups

CRM for startups



“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. ”

Kyle Clayton, Jackrabbit Janitorial

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, likeStreak. 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.”

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

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. ”

Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia


“We originally used Zoho, but we switched to Salesforce.com as we grew our sales team. At this point, Salesforce.com has even more features than what we need; this will enable Salesforce.com to scale well as we continue to grow. ”

Jesse Pujji, Ampush


“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.”

Benji Rabhan, MorrisCore


“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.”

John Hall, Influence & Co.


“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.”

Ziver Birg, Zivelo

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.”

Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

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.”

Michael Costigan, Youth Leadership Specialist

Mike Muhney: Business Is A Contact Sport, Your Mobile Device Gives You A Competitive Edge

Mike Muhney,VIP Orbit,CRM,Startup,Guest Post,Dallas Startup,ACTBusiness is a contact sport. And every contact counts, as does the way you treat them. After all, your customers are your competition’s potential customers. And those you’ve yet to reach, well, their business is only one good play away. The competitor who wins their business will most likely do so by utilizing whatever means possible to reach them first and best. Make no mistake about it, whether your competition considers you a threat or not, they want you to be a casualty.

More often than not, the success of your business efforts depends on more than the product or service that you provide. It’s also determined by the attention that you deliver to customers and potential customers in order to grow your business. As you prioritize building effective relationships, you’ll not only gain, you’ll maintain a powerful, competitive edge. So how can your mobile devices be used to help you to compete more successfully? Three words: Mobile relationship management. With the powerful tools available on mobile devices, there is no longer an excuse for not building better business relationships.

Back in the mid-80’s, the laptop computer and its mobile technology enabled people to have access not only to their spreadsheets and word processing documents at all times but also their contact information, both business and personal. It’s no coincidence that of all the applications professionals had with them at all times, they found having the breadth and depth of information about each of their contacts most useful. They were the first business “competitors” to recognize that business was truly a contact sport. They could deal with more people, more effectively than those who relied on paper systems and were faster and better than their competitors at leveraging that information.

For the first time, professionals could take along their digital files for anytime/anywhere access to their entire filing system of all the pertinent contact data and their entire relationship history with those contacts. Compared to those who didn’t use mobile devices for the purpose of disciplined contact management, they had a significant edge in demonstrating their concern, credibility, and competence. Today’s competitor has even more efficient means at their disposal, the tools available on their smartphones and tables.

When they first emerged, laptop adoption was slow, and the number of users harnessing the power of mobile computing for contact management was even smaller. Those days are long gone. With millions of people carrying a mobile computing device, a smartphone or tablet, there has never been a better time or means to manage your relationships, calendars, and communications on-the-go, all with the goal of winning more business.

Imagine if, in addition to all the other fun ways you use your mobile devices, you now have instant recall with photographic-memory-like detail regarding every contact in your network, and everything you know about them. Sure, your competitors can see that stuff, too. Not much of a competitive advantage there. Instead, you can go above and beyond by capturing, recording, and following up on the information you exchange privately.

In addition to this insider-information, a mobile relationship manager is the best personal assistant…ever! It helps you schedule important meetings and calls, alerts you of impending deadlines, or even reminds you of a little detail that could mean a lot to your contact. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a full-time personal assistant, they probably aren’t on-call 24/7. But your mobile device is!

Whether you work for yourself, a small company, or even a large one, everyone is his or her own business. Your “employment” is dependent on results, most of which don’t occur without a strong network of real relationships. Further, whether you like it or not, everyone is in sales. That’s right, whether you’re an accountant, attorney, or architect, what you are is a salesperson. Why? Because even if you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling your ideas or your methodology, even if it’s just to your supervisor. The bottom line is that we all deal with people and are therefore relationship-centric to some degree. Managing those relationships more effectively than your competitors, even those in your own organization, gives you a competitive advantage.

Don’t forget that every person with whom you have a relationship also represents countless others, the people in their networks, with whom you could potentially reach, as well. Demonstrating concern, credibility, and competence could determine whether or not you obtain access to them. Who would risk their own reputation by recommending someone whom they don’t know or who hasn’t earned their recommendation? For that reason alone, using your mobile device to build and strengthen relationships gives you a competitive edge in growing your business, by turning existing customers into repeat and perhaps even into referring customers.

The playing field is more level than ever before, because we all have similar access to existing tools. The advantage now goes to the competitor who adopts and implements those tools in the most effective manner. When you use your mobile device to manage your contacts, calendars, and communication, you’ll have the “right stuff” when it comes to the quantity, and more importantly quality, of your relationships.

Mike Muhney is a recognized expert in the field of relationship management. He is the co- founder and co-inventor of ACT!, the software product that created the entire Contact Management software category and is acknowledged as the catalyst that started the entire CRM (Customer Relationship Management) industry. Today, he is the CEO and co-founder of VIPorbit Software, creator of the Mobile Relationship Management category for users of smartphones and tablets, beginning with the iPhone and iPad. VIPorbit provides full-featured, affordable solutions to today’s mobile device user. VIPorbit can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or www.viporbit.com.

Interview With St. Louis Startup Systematic Revenue, Eons More Efficient Than Constant Contact

Earlier this month we reported that Cultivation Capital had invested $100,00 in Sytematic Revenue.

Systematic Revenue is a great automated system that allows you to keep consistently following up with your contacts, customers and prospects. According to many sources it takes up to 6 follow ups with a contact to make a sale. With Systematic Revenue those followups are automated, but learned and made to feel genuine. This is achieved because Systematic Revenue’s system learns about your contacts.

You start by importing all of your contacts from your major social networks, Outlook, Google contacts or any other relevant data file. From there you can create campaigns with any number of steps you like and any frequency that you like. You can also incorporate Systematic Revenue with your contact form on your company’s website so that when you get a new contact it’s automatically entered into Systematic Revenue’s database and entered right into the campaign.

Systematic Revenue takes the premise of ConstantContact and makes it relevant to the business world by providing some features originally only found in robust CRM systems and applying them to your contact database, making the followups relevant and easier to create sales and revenue.

We got a chance to interview Systematic Revenue below:

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