People Process and Technology CRM

How Capsule CRM and Piesync makes me 30% more productive

I have been using Capsule CRM for over 5 years now, and have set up Capsule CRM for several of my clients, and use it for Emergination and Prezentt. Like any system implementation – it is important to align people, process and technology when implementing CRM.

I have looked at many CRM systems, and even smashed together a rudimentary system many years ago before many of the great saas offerings were available.

So in this post, I’m going to cover a brief bit about how to get the people on board with CRM, how to implement the processes – and the technology that I use – Capsule CRM. You can of course use other systems – Salesforce, SugarCRM and a myriad of others.

people process technology  CRM
People process and technology CRM

3 Things to Get the Sales Team onboard with CRM

The thing that I have found are important with CRM systems are firstly to get the sales team – the people – on board.

Here’s what’s important:

1. Easy to use.

Salespeople hate typing – they prefer to be engaging with customers – which is exactly what they should be doing.

So using the CRM must be easier than not using it. If it doesn’t help make sales, it isn’t going to get used – nor should it be implemented…

If can be too easy for sales people that are experiencing call reluctance to distract themselves by spending endless time inputting and managing data. Useful to get started – but then it is important to get back to the core business of identifying prospects and engaging them.

2. Works nicely with email
Email is one of the most useful – and time consuming tools ever invented. The unstructured nature of emails make the processing of those difficult – is this email for information, does action need to be taken – and if so what? Further the sheer volume makes processing that information all the more difficult.

3. Make it dead easy to apply consistent sales processes
I am often working with technology founders who have technical / engineering / software expertise – but they struggle with sales processes. The key is to see sales as a system – a series of steps – a series of consistent steps that build from the identification of potential prospects, finding means to entice them, and then through to pitch, proposal, sale and ongoing client service.

So why did I pick CapsuleCRM?

My technology stack is as follows:
– Google apps for email
Saasu for all accounting and billing
– Toggl for timetracking
CapsuleCRM for all client work – from prospecting and sales, to projects
Business Catalyst or Wordpress for web presence

I used to use Basecamp for projects – but ditched that as most activity was really occurring in email anyway.

Here is why I found Capsule CRM compelling out of all the systems I tried:
1. Lightweight – it is fast to implement, covers only what I need and nothing more
2. Integrates to Google Apps. I use the Piesync subscription to keep two contact integration (if I change a contact in Capsule CRM or Google Apps, it automatically syncs to the other platform)
3. Very easy to set up task lists so that a consistent approach is applied to every enquiry and every project
4. Low cost – their freemium model allows a client to experiment, decide if they like it or not – and then commit or not. In some cases the freemium model has allowed them to use the product for a number of months – so when it becomes time to upgrade they do so willingly.
5. Integrations – with Mailchimp and the Prezentt application – we always have a single view of the customer and all activity via Capsule CRM.
6. My absolute favourite – and how I get the productivity improvement – the Google Apps plugin. This allows me to see each person’s contact information that appears in Capsule CRM – and create a new opportunity, task, action, or case direct from Google Mail.

There are many systems to choose from and it depends upon what you are doing as to what makes most sense. For many, a simple rightweight system like Capsule CRM is a great place to start.


Portal Smortal – Sharepoint, Websphere, Oracle – what are we trying to achieve here?

When someone suggests they want a portal the very first question to ask is, “what does a portal mean to you”.

Portal, like CRM – and many other terms in IT – tend to be all encompassing words designed to solve a complex raft of problems.

“We can’t get to our information easily” “I spent ages trying to find a document that I know is here somewhere and gave up” “We have heaps of copies of the same document” “I want a dashboard or traffic light to let me know when problems have emerged so I can immediate action” “I am sick of signing in to lots of different systems”

There is actually a fair bit of complexity in this – but the answer seems to be Portal (or intranet / new enterprise content management system – take your pick).

Same with CRM:

“I can’t get a single view of our customers” “ one understands who is doing what with whom” “I was trying to cross sell and they already told us they can’t buy it” “The client told me that they were already dealing with another of our divisions and our company should already have a heap of information on them already”

Again, complex issues – people, process and technology at play again.

So what do we do? Start with the business problems to be solved, then resolve the process issues – and then the technology solution becomes much more simple – and effective.

Service – I’m not getting any – the dangers of implementing CRM software without understanding the need first

I was speaking with a friend today who was feeling pretty frustrated. You see, he had purchased a CRM software product for his business, but it wasn’t doing what he wanted. The vendor had considered that he had done his part – sell the product, install it on site, provide the user documentation, all thumbs up….

What the client actually needed was:

1. Assistance to clearly understand how to implement CRM as a strategy

2. Get the people on the bus committed to the approach

3. Define the new processes, and define these into an agreed requirements document

4. The vendor to configure the application to meet the defined requirements

5. The vendor to train the users and the administrator in exactly how to make CRM technology deliver on the CRM strategy

6. The vendor to come back and check / realign things after staff have been using it for awhile

My recommendation to you – if you have a complex business environment, or quite a number of people using the platform, be very, very wary of buying any software that runs across your business without buying implementation services (not just technical ones, but solid business analysis). See my post on people, process and technology for more on getting software implementation right.

SAAS CRM software products have been changing the landscape. There are plenty to choose from and I’ve looked at quite a number of CRM Software options including Sugar CRM and Salesforce. For my business I use and recommend Capsule CRM and have implemented it for many of my clients. In some cases for smaller companies and consultants, they have used the product for 12 months or longer without hitting a purchase threshold. It is low cost, from $12 per user per month.

What I like about Capsule CRM is that it is lightweight – it has what you need and no more. Integration with Google Apps is a winner as well, allowing me to get more done and churn through email from Gmail.


Capsule CRM
Capsule CRM