28 Dec Our Journey to Discovering Bitrix24 CRM
It started in 2016. A franchise owner of Seeff asked us to help them configure their newly licensed CRM (InfusionSoft now called keap). They needed work-flows done, for what would seem fairly simple to ask for. Like so many CRMs, the software can do a lot, in fact most things you require with a bit of advanced setup & configuration.
The simple things:
– Send a birthday reminder to their clients on their birthday
– Different automated communications and notifications to property owners vs tenants based on their purchase date or rental date (with yearly reminders)
– People looking to buy property need a fast moving timeline of automated communications & prompts to the agent
– Agents need support by the team, and managers, so all communications with a client or lead should be attached to a person or contact
– A repository of all the property sales & letting docs for easy access (and storage after completion)
On auditing the CRM, and how to set it up effectively, some requirements became apparent:
– A “per user” license for agents was inhibiting (the idea was to role out across the country)
– A complex work-flow system didn’t make it easy to do simple automation tasks – and would require a developer – or customisation
– Having the potential to integrate with other platforms and services through applications or connectors – therefore allowing extendability beyond just a CRM
– It needed to have an App, as most Agents aren’t always behind a computer
These prerequisites were not in the initial scope from the client, but they meant InfusionSoft was not the right service.
So we started a search for a CRM that was scalable, extendable and customisable (and a pricing model not based on a per user model). It needed to have a single database of all their clients and prospects, with access privileges for those designated to work on the lead/client, be that by region, by office, by job specification.
We reviewed every single CRM available in 2016. And there were a lot. We did favour HubSpot, as we’d used it before. But like so many CRMs, the basic features are inexpensive, but when you layer in more services, they price rises.
Bitrix24 CRM for the Win!
It’s at this stage the we found Bitrix24 and started trialing it. It ticked all the boxes.
Starting from the most important. It’s not a per seat or per user model. But rather 3 tiers (there are more now), with the top tier capped at $199 (for unlimited everything). No other CRM could beat it.
It was extendable with a developer App store that allowed easy integration with messaging services (SMS, WhatsApp), accounting services (Quickbooks, Xero, Sage), telephone services (Twilio, Zoiper), and the list went on.
It was customisable. For deep customisation there was an “on premise” version for self hosting (in PHP which we programmed in). But when we looked in deeper, the amount of pre-configured templates for every-date business solutions meant we didn’t need customisation, only configuration. And best of all, the emailings and marketing features we needed, were already packaged in Bitrix24.
And it had an App. Putting the whole Contact Centre and CRM into an person’s hands.
More than just a CRM!
So it was decided and the client cancelled their InfusionSoft contract, and we moved them over to Bitrix24. Configuration and training of the team & agents began. Management had used Excel for such a long time, that it wasn’t always easy training different levels of SaaS application experience.
Whilst getting to know Bitrix24 well, we realised a very valuable tool that we could use for other clients. So often, when running online advertising campaigns for clients, our knowledge of “how good is the lead” was low. So we measured our success on website traffic, and the conversions to a contact (ie completed form, a call, an email, a social message etc). We didn’t know if they were good leads. That was usually up to the contact centre person/s to report back on. So when a client says “they are all terrible leads”, we would try improve our campaigns to get a better audience (or lead).
With Bitrix24 analytics, we could now see which channel brought in the best converted leads. We could see how much the lead was costing, and per channel. We could see what the bad leads were and make considered adjustments to campaigns (side note: sales people want every lead to be qualified and potential deals or sale, but in digital marketing we are happy if it’s 10% and ecstatic to achieve 20% conversion rates).
Things we like about Bitrix24 beyond CRM
It’s an Intranet.
With instant messages, calendar sharing, live video chats, collaboration tools, tasks & projects, activity stream, daily planner and company structure with unlimited permission structures. It has Extranet features to allow collaboration from outside services, contractors, freelancers or clients.
It’s a CRM and Communications Tool.
Consolidated database of contacts and companies. Bulk emailing and messaging tool to segments. The CRM reporting is brilliant for managers to assess the team, productivity and company performance. You can build websites and landing pages for campaigns, with simple drag & drop site builder tools.
It’s a Leads & Sales Tool.
The leads and sales funnel make it easy to plan and follow processes for better conversions. With the file sharing and versioning Drive (just like Dropbox or OneDrive) every person has access to the latest files they need. You can customise the workflows and automate anything (even Bots) for faster communication and delegation of tasks. You can even build in all your products and services with pricing for easy cost estimates and invoicing.
It’s a Contact Centre.
Bitrix24 aggregates everything. WhatsApp, social messages & comments, emails, calls (recorded too), contact forms, live chats… we haven’t found an inbound channel it can’t integrate. This takes away the headache of multiple sources of customer contacts, and places them all in one system. Making it all easy to manage, with response times and manager notifications if not responded on time.
It’s a Reporting Tool.
This is where, we (the agency) get to start seeing real value for clients. And the client, well, they just love it! They can assess who the best contact agents are, who made the most sales, which channels their business is coming from. Come to think if it, Bitrix24 could run nearly all business operations!
TNNG are a Silver Partner of Bitrix24
Give us a shout if you’d like to know more.
Here is our guide to setting up Bitrix24 CRM and our associated services and costs.