Dec 28 2010
Spreadsheets. These simple tools have transformed the business world. Many companies use them to keep track of critical information. Even those that migrate to software solutions still find themselves exporting their data to a spreadsheet to try to make sense of it. I have a friend who works for a large chain department store best known for its patrons. She needed help setting up an Excel macro to dissect tons of information. No matter how much software progresses businesses always seem to come back to spreadsheets.
Regardless of this inevitable fact, migrating to a small business CRM is still the way to go. Ultimately spreadsheets become unwieldy and difficult to read. Important facts can be missed. I’ll personally confess to sometimes writing ‘See Email” when making notes in a spreadsheet. The boxes, although expandable, don’t lend themselves to leaving lengthy notes.
Now there’s a new small business CRM tailored directly to small businesses. It doesn’t have the millions of features required by (or they would have you believe, offered by), the larger CRMs such as SalesForce and Act. Despite their promises, these solutions require training classes, an IT guy, and a lot of effort to set up and maintain. For small operations this is outside of the budget as well as time schedule. Giving businesses the opportunity to migrate away from the spreadsheets they’ve been clinging to is AddressTwo. A simple CRM.
The first thing you have to know about AddressTwo is that it’s first and foremost a contact manager. So almost everything you do begins with the contact. These can be associated with larger accounts if there are multiple people within the company, or they can be set up as individual customers. Every activity with the client can be recorded, such as if you make a call, need to set up a reminder, or win the sale. First you search on the contact, then you perform the action. To contrast, you don’t star with the tasks tab to create a new task, you start with the contact. This is infinity more intuitive than most other CRM systems. As a not so minor aside, affiliates of AddressTwo are experts in using Drip Marketing techniques to gather more contacts. This is a marketing technique that can be executed with AddressTwo.
Following the same thread, let’s say you’d like to see the entire history of a client. Find the contact you’d like, then click on the account. This brings up all the details associated with the account including contacts and history. Being able to quickly know the status of an account is critical to handling customers. If a client calls you out of the blue oftentimes you don’t know what’s going on with the account. With AddressTwo you can quickly find out the latest status to better understand their issue.
AddressTwo offers an impressive amount of search and sorting capabilities for a simple CRM. You have the option to create queries or lists. Queries are where you search through the contacts based upon a common criteria. For instance, you head into the office on Monday morning and want a list of all the hottest leads. As all clients are assigned a status, this is perfect for setting up a query. Let’s say a small unrelated subset of your clients all experienced the same problem. We’ll call them, “Clients that installed XP Service Pack 2 and the security features disabled their software.” (Note that this may have some relevance to real life situations.) Here you can create a list of each client that has this special one time problem so you can readily track and resolve their issues. Being able to quickly search through your data is one of the key reasons people value CRMs.
AddressTwo provides the tools you need to manage your business. It doesn’t overwhelm with so much functionality you’ll never have the time to figure it out, but it provides the depth of features necessary to maintain your business. Beyond contact management it offers a project management tool and campaign manager. The latter is a powerful email manager that allows you to manage your marketing campaigns. Probably the best source of learning about AddressTwo is straight from the people who bring it to you. I’ll note, I’ve seen a lot of intro videos, but this is fully worth your minute and seventeen seconds. If nothing else for the entertainment value. One thing’s for sure, AddressTwo’s simple CRM conveys an understanding of the pain small businesses feel in migrating to contact relationship management systems.