Pros and Cons of having a CRM and how a Contact Sharing tool might replace it


If you work regularly with different clients, then you probably have a CRM or at least might have considered having one to help you manage your sales process. But do your really need one?

Depending on what you’re doing, you may simply need a contact management tool. What are all the pros and cons of a CRM to consider before having one or keeping it, and how can you use Shared Contacts for Gmail® (a contact sharing tool) to replace it in case you need to?


Let’s start off by defining what’s a CRM

“CRM” stands for “Customer Relationship Manager”. This system is designed to compile information about your clients, so that all of the information relevant to your organization is centralized in a single place so employees like sales and customer support reps can access it . 

Some of the information you can gather in a CRM is: 
- A client’s website,
- Telephone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses
- Client industry
- Social media account integration
- Lead status or scoring
- Date of first contact

These are only some examples, but a CRM can gather much more information depending on which one you choose. You can compile this information manually or it may be auto-populated through built in integrations with third-party data sources. 

#1 Pro: You can centralize all your client’s information


In order for customer relationship management to be effective, it needs to be centralized and a CRM might solve just that centralization. Instead of trying to look in different tools, spreadsheets and notes for information, everyone can automatically be on the same page as they can have the same access to the same data. 

Con: Learning the new system might be time consuming. 


The process of learning and implementing your new CRM might take all the excitement away from having it, as it takes time for people to learn how the system works, what are the capabilities and how to accomplish tasks with it. Once everyone gets used to it, the benefits can be enormous, but the training period might be a killer. As instead of  setting up appointments with clients or reaching more prospects the time is consumed by the technicalities of the new system. 

If you believe that the information you need to centralize is more simple, Share Contacts for Gmail® might not be as sophisticated as an actual CRM… But it’s simple enough for everyone to use without the learning process and doesn’t turn into an admin chore, as it is perfectly integrated with your Google Contact Manager. 

#2 Pro: You can have an efficient dashboard for sales activities 

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Most CRMs allow you to organize the order in which information appears, so that the most relevant information is at the top of the screen. Additionally, some might even let you customize your dashboards, reports, and sales funnel in order to make a lot of tasks easier.

Con: CRM’s might be focused on the wrong person 

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Although automated processes can save time and make tasks easier, this also means that some human element in the business relationship might be lost. Not to mention that many CRMs are more focused on the needs of the sales manager than they are on helping sales reps sell. This might be counteractive as sales reps are the ones trying to sell and hit quota. 
Shared Contacts for Gmail® gives your team an atmosphere of collaboration instead of stress on the numbers, since everybody can contribute to the same address books and contacts directly from Google. 

#3 Pro: A CRM is a solution that grows as you do! 

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As the number of customers grow for your business, it might become difficult to meet the specific needs of each client, as there is a specific time investment that needs to be given for each new customer and follow up. This software is a scalable solution that will organize tasks and time for clients as the organization grows so that the needs of everyone can be effectively met.

Con: Cost & Support Process 

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A CRM might come with a high subscription cost, usually based on the number of user licenses. In addition to this, you might also need a CRM tech support. Many CRM companies will provide support, but it could come at a higher price that isn’t included on your first purchase of the solution. You may need to pay for outside consultation or hire an in-house administrator. This normally isn’t an issue for large organizations, but it could be for small businesses.

#4 Pro: Data can be accessed anywhere 

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This wasn’t a benefit a while ago, but now thanks to the cloud, you can access most CRMs online without having to install it on a specific computer. Not only that, but depending on the CRM you choose, some might offer you a mobile application so you can access the database on the go! A great example for this one is Zoho CRM, which offers a wide range of mobile apps to access such information.

Con:(Without proper setup) access might not mean user friendly

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Many CRM systems will automatically back themselves up through the Cloud, but not every system does it or it might take a while to be synchronized. Additionally to this, because of the sophistication on the information collected, it might be hard to get an overall glance from a mobile. Even Cloud systems can fail if there is a problem with the internet connection or the server on the other end. 

If you would like to access to your customers information on the go, Shared Contacts for Gmail is perfectly integrated with Google so the experience is smooth and seamless, unlike most CRMs. With Shared Contacts for Gmail, once contacts and contact groups are shared, the domain admin can enable synchronization for any and all users. This means your selected users can have access to all the shared contact details they need, via Gmail, Outlook and of course, on their mobile device.

Conclusion

CRMs can be amazing tools for organizations, but this doesn’t mean they are for everyone. The decision you make regarding CRM will depend largely on your business’ unique needs, goals, challenges and budget. Whether you decide to use one or not, the pros should outweigh the cons and if they don’t, there’s the chance that you might not need a CRM or might be using the wrong one for your needs. 
If you would like to switch from a CRM to Shared Contacts for Gmail®, without any strings attached or risks, you can try the app for free here. If what you need is a CRM then don’t hesitate to contact us in case you want help to find a good option. 

Regardless of what you decide to do, we’re here to assist you and give you the guidance you need!

Success Story: Lyska



Share Contacts for Gmail® is a contact management tool, simple enough for everyone to use and doesn’t turn your customer management relations into an annoying admin chore. 
Lyska knew that they could use such functionality so they decided to use the app to simplify the process and save some headaches along the way. 


The Customer

Lyska is a young tech startup that plans and creates enterprise software solutions. Currently they are building an API to standardise eCommerce data. 
They believe that new technologies and digital tools offer several capabilities. But instead of making things better,these could often make things more complicated. Their goal is is to make things easier by the use of tech, and that’s why they decided to try Shared Contacts for Gmail® to manage their customers contacts! 


The challenge

Lyska needed a simple but effective solution that would provide the whole team a quick access to account names and contact information of their clients and would also be integrated with their email and activity management. 


The Solution 

Yves Schleich (CO-founder and frontend developer of the company), decided to try Shared Contacts for Gmail® in order to solve the matter. Now Lyska has the possibility to have organized and updated contact groups with all their client information. Furthermore, the organization can easily distribute the contacts to the appropriate person and the synchronization is fast.


What did they say? 


“Shared Contacts is simple to use and serves as the best alternative for a CRM. It's the best possible alternative right now as far as I evaluated so far.” - Yves Schleich 

Are you experiencing the same issue Yves had? Don’t feel committed and just try Shared Contacts for Gmail for free.
Are you evaluating wether you should use a CRM or a contact management tool? Then this article might help you evaluate the pros and cons of having a CRM.


How to be prepared for GDPR in 5 Steps


GDPR is coming and you must be prepared...But why? 
Let’s start with the obvious reason: You’re sharing your contacts with Shared Contacts for Gmail®, hence you’re handling personal (your contacts’) information in your organization...and who doesn’t? 

This May 25th, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is going to be enforced and all companies storing data from European nationals will have to be compliant. 

Even if you think this might not concern you, it does… Because, if you heard about the latest Facebook scandal, you will know that authorities from several countries have been pushed to consider taking more serious measures when managing information. 

So how can you take action? And what does this mean for you as a Shared Contacts for Gmail® user? 

Let’s begin with defining what GDPR means:
Enacted by the European Commission, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has the purpose of protecting personal data of Europeans, stored by organizations and businesses like yours. Soon with GDPR your duty is provide individuals with the right of information, access, rectification, portability restriction and most importantly, deletion (or “right to be forgotten”). 

So what are our obligations with you as a user? 
Besides that fact that the app is 100% hosted on Google Cloud infrastructure (the most secure in the world), by making Shared Contacts for Gmail® GDPR compliant, we have the responsibility to keep you informed. 

Therefore you must know that unless you’re in the Corporate Edition and have activated the contact backup feature, we won’t keep any of your contacts in our systems. Instead, we will use hash technology to compare and synchronize every update you make.

In order to provide you with the best service, Shared Contacts for Gmail® stores the following data: 
-The names of your contact groups (so you can share them) 
-The names of your user groups (in order to facilitate sharing with a mailing list)
-Your sharing settings (so you can manage who can access which contact group) 
-The users in your domain (if you are using G Suite)
-Your language and country 

What happens to your data if you uninstall Shared Contacts for Gmail®?
If you canceled your subscription with us, the information mentioned above, will be kept during 2 weeks and then will be permanently deleted. However in case you wanted to exercise your right of deletion before that period, or you want to request access to the information we store about you you can always contact us.

How can YOU take measures to protect your contacts’ personal data?
To be compliant with the new regulation, you essentially need to ensure the privacy and security of the personal data you store about individuals, by doing the following:


1. Understand what kind of data you’re storing and where 

Make sure that you know all the places where the contact information of your contacts and users is located (CRM, Gmail contacts, devices, mail client, backup files etc).

2. Make it obvious! 

Make obvious to your customers in your website the steps on how to request right of access or deletion. Remember that they also have the right to be informed.

3. In case of a deletion request 

If someone requests to be deleted from your company contact lists: 
  a. Delete the contact from the shared group it belongs to
  b. Make sure every user deletes it from specific (not shared) locations.
  c. Delete the contact from your backups.


Need assistance? Gapps Experts can help you make a domain-wide search to make sure that the contacts of your choice have disappeared from your systems. If you would like to know how to be compliant as a G Suite user you can read more here

4. Make it simple

Once you know where you’re storing all your data, apply the minimalist concept of ‘less is more’ by making sure that you keep only the information that you need to operate in your activities and in the minimum locations. This way it will be easier to access them in case of request for inspection or deletion.

5. Always ask questions

Remember that GDPR is just common sense! It’s all about having a sense of the data you store so you can understand its purpose and being transparent about it.

But in case you still have questions or need further guidance, feel free to ask! That way you can ensure a smooth transition for GDPR compliance.



What's new with Shared Contacts for Gmail®?

Waiting is 'out'! Instant Synchronization is 'in' (New Chrome Extension)



In the past, Shared Contacts for Gmail® team have broken all the barriers for their enterprise users, in order to share their contacts seamlessly. But synchronizing contacts in a matter of minutes wasn’t enough. We live now in a world where most things happen in a split second. Therefore sometimes when users wanted to edit or add a change to their contacts , they couldn’t wait for the regular synchronization to push the updates to the whole team. But now changes and additions can appear instantly to all the users that have access to the shared group. That is what the Shared Contacts for Gmail® Sync Booster is all about! 


What is it?

The Gmail Contacts Sync Booster is a Google Chrome extension available to all the Enterprise Shared Contacts for Gmail® users. The extension will most definitely take group & contact sharing to the next level! This extension is used for detecting any change in shared contact groups and triggering the sync process in the Shared Contacts for Gmail® App. 


How to make it work? 

Step 1 
Click here to install the Chrome extension.

Step 2
Once the extension is installed, click on the icon and log in the account you’re using to share your Gmail contacts 



Step 3 
Make sure the users that have 'Add and Edit' or  'Add, Edit and Delete' permission, have installed and logged into the extension as well, repeating the steps above. This way all changes will be instantly synchronized for everyone. 

Step 4 
That’s it! There isn’t a fourth step because once your team installs the extension, you can give an instant boost to your sharing app. You can proceed to make changes in your shared contacts or add new contacts to your shared groups directly. There will be no need to open the app to synchronize the changes or to spend precious minutes for the auto sync to happen. 

-Want this feature but you’re not an Enterprise user? Click here to upgrade 

Psst! We’re having a promotion until the 15th of February where you can upgrade and receive a free month.

-Are you new to Shared Contacts for Gmail®? Try all the features for FREE 


Success Story:The Center for Corrective Exercise & Shared Contacts for Gmail®

Shared Contacts for Gmail® is the simplest solution for sharing your contact groups with any Gmail or G Suite user, just like you share a Google Doc or a Calendar

You can share with no limits of contacts, groups or collaborators across your organization! The Center of Corrective Exercise (CCE) knew that, and they were very happy with the results. 

The Customer 

The Center for Corrective Exercise (CCE) is a center located in California, dedicated to help people reclaim physical mobility & strength, by utilizing advanced chiropractic care, orthopedic massage, and corrective exercise. 

The Challenge 

The organization needed to share client information across the company, in order for them to provide a better service by having organized and updated details on their customers. Since the Google Contact Manager does not allow its users to share several contact groups at the same time, neither synchronize them seamlessly, CCE could not share this information among the organization. Thus, facing a big limitation in order to improve their contact management. 

The Solution 

Andrew Clarke (the CMT of the company), decided to try Shared Contacts for Gmail® in order to solve the matter. Now CCE has the possibility to have organized and updated contact groups with all their client information. Furthermore, the organization can easily distribute the contacts to the appropriate person & the synchronization is fast. 


What did they say? 

“This app is awesome! It does exactly what I wanted it to do - share our company client information across our company platform” - Andrew Clark 

Are you experiencing the same issue Andrew had? 
Don’t feel committed and just try Shared Contacts for Gmail for FREE