There are no CRMs out there that is good enough to serve my lazy ass. CRMs require discipline, and if I have to take N minutes of my day to maintain my CRM, I will not use a CRM. Also, if I cannot even be bothered to do it, how can I expect my staff to do it?

CRM means customer relationship management

The CRM is a glorified contacts app for the company. And it solves the following problems:

  • A new sales staff coming into the company should have a clear idea of who has been approached, and who hasn't by searching the CRM.
  • A sales staff that is taking over another sales account should immediately be able to jump into the account with full vision of the conversation history.
  • The VP of sales should have a birds-eye view of the flow of his entire sales team.

These problems can be solved with CRM

IF every sales staff is diligent in inputting every event that has happened:

  • Say a phone call has been made to a contact, the sales staff should input the call event and summarize the contents of the call.
  • If a sales staff connects with a new contact, the sales staff is expected to input this information into the CRM.
  • Contents of email correspondences are added to the CRM

The thing is, humans are leaky and unpredictable which in turn makes the CRM leaky and not reliable.

Zero-Input CRM

I have tried many CRMs, and the closest CRM that has nailed minimal input is possibly Streak CRM because it sits in my Gmail and that means it has all my emails  and email contacts automatically added as data for the CRM.

But what about Whatsapp?

For about two weeks now, my Super Mario intern has been commissioned to work on my pet project. I call it the Zero-Input CRM, or ZIC in short.

Like TMP, ZIC uses Slack and Trello as the user-interface.

Trello serves as an overview of of the sales funnel so the VP of sales can eyeball precisely how well the team is moving along. It also serves as a search engine and database for past conversations. And every email and Whatsapp conversation is added as a comment on the card.

  • To identify prospects that have not replied in a week, sales staff can search for cards tagged with the  "no-reply-7-days" label, and perform a relevant follow-up action.
  • To move a prospect along the sales funnel, drag the prospect from the Qualifying list to Demo stage.

Oh did I mention that ZIC requires zero-input? ZIC syncs your entire (work) email and Whatsapp daily and adds those conversations, those extra cc-ed contacts right into the CRM.

Be lazy like me -- so you can spend your time thinking about how you can automate menial stuff away.

If you are interested, you can view the specifications for ZIC's user interface at this link.