by Michele Nachum
Published on 16 May 2011
WebCRM is a comprehensive CRM solution for small businesses with two to 250 employees. The product helps companies to manage contacts, track sales budgets and forecasts, implement email marketing campaigns and more.
In addition to WebCRM's rich feature-set, the solution has done an excellent job of training users. I have found in the past that many small business solutions fail to include detailed product instructions or demos, assuming the software is so easy to learn that instructions are simply not needed. That is a mistake. No matter how technically savvy a user is - having product instructions will be helpful.
As such, WebCRM provides detailed PDF documents complete with screen shots to help its small businesses get as much out of the solution as possible. Microsoft Outlook integration? No problem, there is a 13-page PDF doc with screen shots offering step by step instructions on how to integrate Outlook with WebCRM. Having any trouble getting started? No problem. There is a helpful Get Started guide.
Starting at €15a month, the WebCRM is both affordable and scalable to your business size. WebCRM recognizes that one size does not fit all - businesses with two employees might have different needs than one with 250 employees and WebCRM manages to provide for both types of businesses.
Like many web-based CRM applications, WebCRM allows small businesses to streamline and organize their customers and clients. But the solution is not just a fancy database for customer contact information - the product will allow a team to forecast and predict successful sales orders; create budgets; collaborate on documents; maintain a group calendar; conduct marketing campaigns and create lead generation opportunities. In addition, WebCRM integrates with Microsoft Outlook so all of your inbound and outbound emails, contacts and meetings could be stored in both places. WebCRM also includes a very comprehensive API toolbook so you can integrate with other solutions as well.
To help small businesses leverage WebCRM effectively, the solutions offers consulting with its team of experts. WebCRM consultants can help with many functions including the following:
* Designing the reports * Designing email templates with logos and links * Mapping and optimizing the sales and delivery processes * Defining sales pipeline levels and associated deadlines * Integration with a company website
Despite this nifty feature, I did find that the team at WebCRM was slow to respond to help messages. You may have to ping them a few times before getting a response.
The Main Menu is your access or dashboard for the WebCRM experience. According to the WebCRM website, this dashboard can be customized in the following ways for both internal and external colleagues:
These settings can be changed by navigating to the configuration section selecting Main Settings and then Graphics.
Managing contacts is not just about making sure a customer's email address is correct (though that is important too), WebCRM also allows users to input a short status report about their last meeting with the customer. This ensures that other colleagues taking a gander at the contact will be privy to recent customer interactions. The bonus, multiple users can update customer information.
Manage Sales Pipeline, Opportunities and Budgets
Remember the days when sales objectives were written on a big white board to help motivate employees to meet the company's sales goals?
WebCRM takes a more 21st century approach, allowing users to create a list of forecasted sales with anticipated order dates, likelihood of success and order revenue. WebCRM also helps small businesses create budgets for products, sales personnel, industry types and much more. Such aggregated information provides an effective status of the company's sales activities.
Also, when users update the activities and sales opportunities, WebCRM will automatically forecast and predict approximate under and over trading periods.
Clients Emails and Text Messages:
To help the sales teams keep in touch with clients, WebCRM allows users to tag clients with follow-up with reminders.
Another feature that WebCRM offers is the ability to automatically send email and SMS text message messages to customers. Like mail merge, this feature can personalize the messages to each client. In order to make it look like the messages are coming from the small business and not from the WebCRM product, each message will only contain only the small business information - no mentions of WebCRM will be included in the message.
Integration with Outlook, Excel and Website
WebCRM does an excellent job of making sure that small businesses that already have a website, Microsoft Outlook or client information on Microsoft Excel worksheets do not have to start from scratch. The solution provides clear cut instructions for integrating these functions. For example, the Website integration module allows information on a company website inquiry form to be imported into WebCRM.
In addition, Outlook users can merge their contacts, tasks, emails and meetings with WebCRM. In order to perform this integration, small business users will need to install a small WebCRM plug-in to their Outlook on every PC in their company. This plug-in adds a few new buttons to your Outlook client as well as a new tab in the Outlook configuration. At fixed intervals, or when you open and close your Outlook system, the plug-in will connect to your WebCRM system and synchronize data.
For small businesses that have put their entire customer database on multiple Excel charts - have no fear. That information can also be easily imported into WebCRM. Like most CRM apps, you may have change your Excel fields and headings to align with the fields that WebCRM stipulates.
Additional WebCRM Features:
Reporting: WebCRM will help users create customized reports on sales activities, contacts and calendar. Reports can also be exported to an Excel spreadsheet.
Group Calendar: WebCRM provides all users with a central group calendar to create appointments for multiple users as well as send email meeting confirmations to prospects and customers.
e-conomic - integration to ERP system : Exchange information between the e-conomics hosted accounting system and webCRM is also available.
Is it for you?
Given the scalability and relative ease of use of WebCRM, most small businesses will find the solution beneficial. WebCRM's ability to integrate with company websites, Outlook and Excel makes this solution all the more advantageous for small businesses looking centralize their information into one online dashboard.
Ultimately, WebCRM is an excellent CRM solution that includes all a small business would need to effectively streamline their sales and marketing practices.