What CRM systems would you recommend that firms consider, especially as an upgrade from Excel? A member wrote in to ask:
Jim Zack, AIA | principal
156 south park • san francisco, ca • 94107
t. 415.495.7889, ext. 201 • f. 415.495.7869
It depends a bit on the size of your firm (# of users), what you want to do, if you want a web-based product or something you install on your local machine/network, and how much you want to spend.
If the software is easily configurable (e.g., add user-defined fields and screen design), then everything you mentioned is theoretically possible in a small and basic software package. But you'll need to compare features to understand what you do and don't get with each one. Comparing them will also help understand what you need vs. want vs. don't want. Look for free trials for online software, that way you can try before you buy.
Sample architecture industry-specific solutions:
· If for some reason you want an industry-specific solution (which you may not need)...
· This functionality is built into industry-specific ERP solutions, such as Clearview InFocus (but it does many other things)
· Or is available in standalone products, such as Deltek Ajera CRM
Sample industry-agnostic solutions:
· There are more choices than you can shake a stick at, but some that I've heard of:
· HubSpot CRM (and its FREE)
· Zoho CRM
When I find something that might work, I like to use Google to search for "XYZ alternatives" or "XYZ competitors" to see what else pops up.