Managing the sales process is a formidable challenge for nearly any business, and a variety of approaches have been proposed to help managers organize sales data and squeeze extra efficiency out of their work. Recently, such approaches have moved to the cloud, where the promise of having a centralized, online solution will doubtless attract professionals used to more conventional, and likely more time-consuming, management processes. Among these cloud-based approaches, amoCRM aims to offer a simple yet effective answer to various problems encountered by companies with lots of leads or laborious sales steps. While this easy-to-use suite may have valuable solutions for certain types of businesses, those with smaller numbers of customers or simple sales processes may find that amoCRM is not much more than a client database. With a few nice features and others that suggest waiting for future releases might be in order, amoCRM could be a useful member of the cloud –but only in certain circumstances.
Getting amoCRM to Get Going
This management tool clearly aspires to treat its users to a low-stress environment and simple methods of operation, but there’s a considerable hurdle to jump for anyone starting out with amoCRM. Though creating an account is certainly easy, getting started with the system relies on a heavy load of data entry. Users are expected to input the names, contact details, relevant notes, and current deal statuses of their customers into their amoCRM database. Companies with small numbers of customers may not view the process as being quite so monumental, but then, amoCRM is specifically geared towards those with significant numbers of clients. Those considering using amoCRM will have to decide for themselves whether the benefit of the management tool is worth this initial investment of time and effort, as there isn’t any readily apparent way to sidestep it.
Once this data has been made available to the amoCRM system, users can begin taking advantage of some potentially useful tools, but there’s plenty of updating to be done in order to get the maximum benefit out of the software. Each time a meeting takes place, a phone call is held, a decision is made, or a client’s account is otherwise affected, users are prompted to update the account in amoCRM in order to make the data readily available, archived, and available for others to see. While this may indeed be able to contribute to better sales, it requires a fair amount of focus, attention, and time from individual users, and may not be the answer for particularly busy businesses or those in search of a more hands-free approach.
Taking Stock of the Tools
It’s true that amoCRM requires a large upfront time investment, but there’s a significant perk for large companies waiting at the end of this process: the system’s client database management. With a clean and well-designed interface, this database is easy to navigate and features a decent search function that can help users identify clients as well as elements such as milestones in the sales process. The system also features a reminder service that may help set the database features apart from other software. Though again, data will have to be inputted in order to truly take advantage of the reminder service, large companies with lots of items on their to-do lists may find this feature helpful.
An event stream is also available, and shows users how various projects or tasks are progressing based on the inputted updates of individual users. Managers may be able to extract value from this feature by using it as a sort of snapshot of a sales team’s activity. Managers are also likely to enjoy amoCRM’s impressive permissions system, which allows administrators to set highly specific rights pertaining to what users can and cannot create, edit, delete, or view. The permissions interface is especially well-done, and is likely to make privacy and modification control a great deal easier in companies where such issues are relevant.
One of amoCRM’s biggest claims is that it can help companies see where they’re doing well and where they might improve, with the ultimate effect of increasing sales. This attractive idea is likely to interest a variety of potential users, but it may not be especially viable for all of them. Based on the status linked to each client account, and on client history, amoCRM can create data visualizations that show users which statuses are most common. While the developers claim that this functionality can serve as a tool to reveal why a sales process may be failing, or at least, performing more poorly than desired, it fails to take into account individual client circumstances and ongoing events. The larger a company is, and the more clients and steps in its sales process are involved, the more meaningful amoCRM’s charting features may be. For small and medium businesses however, it’s dubious whether these capabilities have the specificity and versatility needed to contribute to more intelligent decisions.
Continuing the trend of amoCRM’s applicability to larger businesses, the pricing schedule is fairly discriminatory towards smaller users. Low-priced monthly packages are available, but user numbers are highly limited and the allotments for contacts and open leads are are decidedly low. An option for large businesses is available at what may be a reasonable fee for those able to get a lot of use out of amoCRM, and this option features plenty of unlimited values to help open the doors to the system’s full functionality.
The allure of a well-visualized, powerful sales funnel is sure to make amoCRM seem promising to prospective users, but without huge volumes of data, companies may find that this system is seriously underpowered. A small collection of accompanying features may be occasionally useful but fail to drive amoCRM into the “must-have” category. As collaboration with other programs improves and basic refinements are made system-wide, this offering is likely to improve for users who already find it valuable. For everyone else, however, the promise of better sales management may be broken.
About the Author
View Author Profile