Having a customer relationship management (CRM) system is a must for anyone in sales. These systems allow you to manage your leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities. Some provide reporting, such as showing your sales pipeline. There are desktop and client server solutions like ACT!. Salesforce.com is probably the premier on-line CRM. The problem is, these solutions are often too expensive or too complicated for small businesses. SugarCRM is a good open source alternative, but it can be a little beyond the small business owner to install and deploy (it requires a web server or a hosting account). We also like Zoho CRM: it integrates with Google Apps and there is a free version which is more than enough to get you started.
A recent post at the Software Advice blog outlines how small businesses can use Google Docs to create a CRM. It’s compelling: easy to set up, easy to customize, and easy to use. Perhaps the best feature of this approach is the ability to share your CRM system, since Google Docs has sharing and collaboration built in:
By using Google Docs you can build your own CRM system on a platform that will allow for sharing and same-time editing by many users. What this means is that if both Bob and Joe are using the CRM system at the same time and Bob inputs some new information into the CRM system, Joe will immediately see the changes.
Head over to the Software Advice blog for complete instructions on How to Create a CRM System Using Google Docs!