Our Favorite CRM Platform

I’ve used multiple Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms over the years, both for clients and for my own businesses, and for my small business needs, I’ve found that Dubsado is giving me exactly what I need – lots of features and a great price.

A CRM is much more than just a contact list, so I knew what additional features I was needing to reach that “relationship management” piece.

My last CRM platform that I left to go with Dubsado did a lot of great things, but the one BIG thing I needed that it didn’t offer (at least, not without paying a LOT more) was more workflows.

See, for me, without those automated workflows, I may as well just been using a spreadsheet program, and I already paid for Excel plus have Google Sheets available.  Spreadsheets can track a lot of information about my clients, whatever I decide to add, so having a CRM that didn’t do much more than that wasn’t so helpful.  Heck, a lot of the features I can do simply with Google Contacts – but neither that nor spreadsheets are true “customer relationship management” – they’re just a list.  Those have everything I need to manually track clients, so why was I paying for a CRM that provided just barely more?

What I needed – and one thing I’m always a big proponent of when it’s done right – was automation.

Check out the Dubsado free trial here (and get 20% off your first month or year)

I wanted a way to integrate all of the different systems I was using, so that when a prospect filled out a “lead form”, everything after that was automatic.

  • They would be taken to a page with more information.
  • Then they could select a package they wanted.
  • Then they would automatically get a contract to sign.
  • This would be followed by automatically sending an invoice.
  • Behind the scenes reminders would be put on my to-do list and the prospect would be tagged with keywords…

You get the idea.

I have a LOT of systems, and none of them were providing this level of automation so that prospects don’t fall through the cracks.

My previous CRM offered these workflow automations, but I was limited to three.  And each of those was limited to three steps.  So in one workflow noted above, at even it’s basic form, we’re looking at 6 or 7 steps minimum.  And only 3 workflows?  That limited me further, because in addition to that workflow when they became a lead, I wanted a separate workflow for onboarding, one for offboarding, and then workflows in between based upon what type of project we were doing.  3 workflows with 3 steps wasn’t going to cut it.  And the price the other CRM wanted to charge to add another 3 workflows was ridiculous.

What makes it a bit worse is that, because I have basic coding skills, I know what the code for a workflow entails.  Now it’s not easy to set up – you have to have someone who knows what they’re doing.  And the code has to be housed on servers which cost money, and those servers need enough memory and space to be able to run all of the actions that multiple people are setting up in their workflows, which costs more money.

But I’ve set up a basic personal workflow on a server before … so what they were wanting to charge to double for just didn’t seem worth it to me.

Then there are other platforms that offer a ton of integrations (I’m looking at you HubSpot and Salesforce).  I actually use HubSpot for a couple of items on my website (I haven’t switched those over to my new CRM yet) … and they do have a free version that offers quite a bit, but if I wanted to be able to integrate both my sales AND marketing on their platform, it carried a hefty monthly fee.

I also tried some of the free open-source software CRMs that you can host on your own server – such as VTiger and Sugar CRM – but even though I work on servers all the time, the back end maintenance on these was WAY more than I wanted to do.  My business isn’t THAT complicated, so no reason to make it complicated just because of the CRM I chose to use.

So when I was researching new CRMs last year, Dubsado was one that came across my research list, and when I compared the features to other existing plans, and then tested with a free trial (you get access to everything, with 3 test clients you can set up and try).

Once I realized that not only was it giving me the workflow automation pieces that I so desperately needed, and found out that I could add team members for just a bit more, I quickly signed up for the paid plan.

What’s really funny is that initially I only mean to sign up for the monthly plan and pay as I go.  That option is always enticing because it can be easier on your cash flow for your business.  Instead, I accidentally signed up for the annual plan and paid the whole chunk at once.  Rather than beg them to fix my mistake, I realized that one year on Dubsado was about the same as, or less than, one MONTH on a lot of these other platforms.  

So I just decided to jump into the deep end and go all in.

Since then, I’ve been working through planning and setting up more workflow automations to help streamline some of the pieces that I was having to do manually before. I’m investing a bit of time now, to save quite a bit of time on a regular basis forever.

And note that button above will also get you 20% off your first month or year (depending upon if you go with the paid version and choose monthly or annual subscription).

Want to test and see how Dubsado’s workflow automates from a prospect standpoint? Fill out this simple lead form which is embedded from my Dubsado CRM. This form provides you access to our Facebook business page planning worksheet as an example:

Note the Dubsado links on this page are affiliate links .. and if you purchase a paid plan I receive a small discount off my own Dusbado service. I don’t recommend products that I don’t personally know, use, and love.

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