A Module for Leads/Opportunities
I would love to have a section within freedcamp to track leads/opportunities.
I get that the current CRM module is for that, but to be honest, it's a pretty lackluster offering at any price. I just need a simple tool for tracking opportunities so it can be managed separate from projects. Like in other systems, opportunities can often be converted into projects. That would be great.
It's probably best to just improve the existing CRM product you have. All opportunities need to be connected with the companies and/or individuals they are for anyway.
At a bare minimum, a sales opportunity in a CRM module needs:
- Company/contact it's for
- The $$ amount that the sales opportunity represents
- Status (ex: lead, qualified, proposed, negotiating, closed (won), closed (lost)
- description of the opportunity
- notes (sort of like how discussions work)
- tasks/to-do's (like your existing ones)
* It would be great if there was a simple way to get emails recorded into the system and recorded against the opportunity. Email conversations are often a very important part of the sales process, and tracking the opportunity through the process. Basecamp, Highrise, Insightly and all the other systems have some sort of unique email that you can forward messages to in order to get them stored against your opportunity. And Insightly even has an awesome gmail widget that shows up at the bottom of your emails which allows you to store the email against any opportunity you've created in your account. I don't know if this is possible for you guys, but the functionality and ease of use they've created with this is hard to beat.
I am currently using Freedcamp for all my projects, but Insightly for all my CRM related stuff. It's an excellent solution and provides everything you need to stay on top of your sales opportunities. And it's free. Their model is kind of like yours - the main system is free but add-ons for additional storage and premium features have a tiered monthly fee structure.
Lastly, being able to convert an opportunity to a project would be really nice to have, but it's not an essential "core" feature that I would want.
Most of the CRM systems I've tested have rates between free and $20 per month, but most are in the $10 to $15 per month range. Your CRM solution would need to be on par with some of these other services - offering the above described features before I would be willing to pay for it.
Good luck with getting a sponsor for your CRM improvements. That would certainly make it easier.
Eventually this needs to be inside CRM and we should charge for it.
Now you can easily create a project called 'Leads' and track each lead as a task or a Milestone or a Task group - plenty of ways exists. You will not see progress bar but you can easily set due dates for follow ups.
Is converting a Lead into a Project is a big pain point for you now? No question - it is good to have. If an issue - create a new project in a project group called 'Leads'. When deal is signed - move a project to another project group, archive sales activity tasks so you do not see them, if necessary.
If I will be able to find a business sponsor to improve CRM right now - we will do it straight away.
Insightly has a pretty good way of doing this. Opportunities are like tasks - in that they have files, tasks, discussions, etc. but there is also some fields for the sales amount which the opportunity represents, as well as some sort of scale for measure where the opportunity is in the process (lead, contacted, proposed, negotiation, closed.
There are also reports so you can see how you've done over time (how many won, lost, abandoned, etc.). Opportunties can also be converted to projects which I found useful when I was using Insightly for everything.
The biggest thing is to have something that helps you track your progress through the sales cycle, so you can know where you are when you go to the page that shows you your opportunities.
Insightly used a progress bar graphic to represent what stage of the sales cycle the opportunity was in, and you could define the steps of your own sales cycle.
Most systems that have something for tracking Opportunities or CRM sales cycles use some sort of similar system. Prosperworks has a pretty slick one and they use kanban view a lot for visualizing where things are in the process. Those are free to have a look at if you're considering digging in and gathering ideas for how you guys might want to do that.
Describe functionality, give examples with links?