By Emilija Nikoloska


People who are already familiar with the term CRM are those who had been using one or had a chance to be involved in the work of a Business Development or Sales department of a business/company. For everyone else, CRM is just another term that they’ll google.

Since this blog post is meant for beginners and experienced professionals alike, here’s a brief definition of a CRM system. 

CRM stands for Client Relationship Management, and a CRM system is a web/app technology for managing relationships and keeping track of the communication with potential and current clients. 

What’s the Goal of Using a CRM?

While the main purpose of CRMs is to help us be more efficient in our communication with potential leads and clients, it also serves as a crucial tool for record tracking and if data are used in the right way, it plays a pivotal role in scaling up your business

As a Senior Business Consultant who has had the chance to use several different CRMs (like Pipedrive.com and Zoho.com) here, I’ll tell you more about my personal favorite so far i.e., Close.com

It’s an All-In-One CRM Platform

When using Close, you are covered in all areas as it is a platform with built-in emailing, calling and even texting. The platform enables you to send and receive emails and text messages, as well as to make calls within the same API (application program interface).

The most awesome part is that you can integrate the system with your existing email address and mobile number. Whether you are communicating with a client via email, mobile phone, or telephone, all you need to do is just log in to Close. You do it all from Close and under the client’s name is listed all the communication from day one till today.

As an addition, comes the personal notes that you can make. Goes without saying you can schedule tasks and create reminders and make sure you never miss a potential opportunity with a lead or a follow-up with an existing client. 

Email Templates Option in Close CRM

Anyone who has been reaching out to potential leads and who has been communicating with current clients as well can tell how much of a time-saver can be email templates. Be it just a paragraph or entire message, we often use previous messages word-for-word, or they serve as an inspiration to us. Either way, Close offers an option where you can create tailor-made templates with a subject line, and the only thing you need to adjust is the name of the person you are reaching out to.

In order to create a template, you need to go to the Settings section and click on the Email Templates option (it’s last under Communication). Then you write headlines, go on and type the message in the body part and hit the save button. Once the template is created, you can use it whenever you want. All you have to do is just select the one you want to use from the Choose a template bar that is next to the subject line. 

Customized Reporting

Maybe the most important feature that a CRM can have. As in any business activity, we need to have means that track our performance. With Close, you can export several types of reports that are crucial for your strategy.

Activity Overview

It gives a better look and understanding of the overall team’s performance. There’s an option for you to customize the metrics and see the results of those activities that are of your interest. There’s also a leader board option that shows you who of the team performed best following the metrics of your choice. You can also compare the overall performance of the team to a previous period of time. 

Activity Comparison Report

This report offers an overview of the individual performance of all team members in the form of a spreadsheet. Again there are over 50 activity metrics to choose from and to be tracked so that you can get a fully customized report on how individual members contribute to the overall success. Just like with the Activity Overview report, you can compare the results to the previous period and opt for a filter-by-user option or smart view.

What else?

There are available three more options that one can find very useful when evaluating the sales and client management efforts. Let’s not forget the Status Change, Explorer, and Sent Emails reporting sections. The status change report gives you insights on how leads change through the process and stats like how many leads were qualified over a certain period, how many turned out to be bad fits, how many were closed etc.

The explorer is there to answer all of your questions that can’t be answered by other types of reporting. This type of report can show all the leads you have by industry or existing clients only by industry, or you can graph really anything; like leads created by certain users or certain activity by the particular user. All you have to do is just select the preferred metrics and see the graph for it.

Last but not least comes the sent emails option that gives you precise data on how your emails performed over time. What templates work best and what doesn’t live up to the expectations. You can see the open rate and response rate, which gives you a clear picture of how email communication is doing over a given period of time.

As I mentioned, all reports in Close can be exported at any time, and they come in the form of CVS or JSON file.

Excellent Customer Support

At the very beginning, when I first started using Close I was limited to using it just for keeping track of new leads and making reminders on who shall I contact next. I tested sending emails from the app, but I didn’t like the fact that next to my name there was a note via close.com

Since I thought nothing could be done about it, I limited my use just for entering new leads (I loved how it automatically checks for duplicates) and creating alerts. Not a full month later a note popped up asking if I want to rate the app. I hit #3 out of 5 explaining what bothered me. Within 24 hours, I was contacted by a support rep from Close explaining that the note will disappear once I sync my email with the platform. I followed their instructions, and voila magic happened! I noticed that the whole email correspondence now was available on the platform and no matter if I sent an email from my Gmail account or Close it appeared in both places. Also, I was able to use the templates and send even bulk emails (when appropriate) from the app.

Integration with Other Apps

Close.com can be integrated with a variety of apps that you are already using for communication, marketing, prospecting, analysis, and reporting, etc. 

Here I’ll mention just a handful that can be easily integrated with the platform: 

  • Slack
  • MailChimp
  • Zendesk
  • Marketo
  • Shopify
  • Eventbrite (among many others)

To sum it up. All of the above is in a way a personal testimonial of one individual user and for all who want to learn more about Close feel free to visit their website, read more about Close vs. other apps and see what the pricing options are. The only setback may be that this awesome app is not free. Still, for all potential users, there is an option to sign-up for a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. Also, the good news is that there are discounts that are offered only to qualifying users based on their specific features like the team’s size and budget. Feel free to contact Close sales team for more detailed information.  

If you found this post informative, don’t forget to come back for more


Sources:

Close.com

Pipedrive.com

Zoho.com