Most small businesses don’t want or need a complicated, expensive CRM system.
Nimble, Zoho, Insightly – there are lots of them out there.
But humble Gmail can actually provide everything you need to keep on top of your customers, remember to follow up, keep track of leads and keep notes about contacts – the essentials of any CRM.
The secret is finding a Gmail ‘extension’ to give you the tools you need for effective customer management.
There are thousands out there, but ActiveInbox alongside FullContact can give you all the essentials of a CRM in a completely integrated and simple to use system. And the best part?
Its only $3 a month and it is right inside Gmail where you probably already manage your email anyway.
So how does it work?
ActiveInbox gives you two simple options to categorize emails – ‘To Do’ and ‘Waiting On’. This means you never lose track of an important email and always know what to do next.
Marking emails with these statuses adds them to a ‘list’ inside your Gmail (essentially just a Gmail label). These lists can be sorted and ordered by priority as a normal task list would be.
You can add a ‘due date’ to remind yourself to follow up or deal with the job you said you would do (or were asked to do) in that email.
You can even keep a bullet list of the next actions for the email.
These will show up below the subject line wherever you see the email in Gmail.
You can then add notes about the conversation and even view them underneath emails later so that you can save time and avoid re-reading emails.
For notes about a contact it is better to add them to a tool like FullContact which pops up in the right hand side of your email in the blank space and can give you very useful social background information on a new contact, including their job role, company, social media activity and location.
The FullContact notes don’t sync across to your Google Contacts unfortunately but you can start using their own contact manger instead of Google’s fairly basic one. The best bit is that when you add a contact to your Google Contacts, all their automatically sourced data like links to all their social media accounts will be added to that new contact also.
And its as simple as that. 2 simple extensions you can install in 5 minutes that give you a powerful and easy to use CRM right inside Gmail.
Try it out now with your 14 day free trial of ActiveInbox:
This was written by Andy Mitchell