Managing the sales pipeline

Lets face it, managing the sales pipeline process is not always easy. You have multiple lead channels (sales funnels as some prefer to call them) i.e. email, phone, Twitter, Facebook, direct, referral etc and you need one place where you can ideally manage and track them.

There are many CRM systems out there and i’ve tried an awful lot of them, however i’ve always been put off by their complexity of setting up / implementation or price. Salesforce is the goto CRM solution, however when you need to start paying consultancy fees to help get it setup and integrated properly, it’s then outside the reach of many small business owners.

Open Source?

There are many open source solutions out there but why go that route? As a software developer, this is always my first port of call if i’m honest. I know how to write code, I can take most products, add my own slant to it, own it, deploy and host it on my own servers etc, however more recently i’ve started to kick this back as well – what am I more interested in, writing or fixing someone else’s code or getting new sales leads in to convert into £££’s (ok $$$$’s for the Americans out there 🙂 ) – obviously my focus is now upon making some money so open source is no longer an option (again lots of involved setup, time consuming fiddling etc).

A new kid on the block

I came across SalesFlare CRM by a chance offer on a mailing list I subscribed to and decided to give it a shot. It promised much, had a nice clean interface which is always a bonus and I kinda liked the ethos behind the product. I quickly signed up for a trial account and gave it a bash and I can honestly say it’s so simple to use, straightforward to setup (mostly) and helping in my day to day activity management.