Effective communication and data management are two critical elements of any successful business. These are especially important in modern online marketing when you’ve got readers, subscribers, followers, prospects, customers, collaborators, partners, and colleagues, and you’re communicating with each of them through different channels. How do you get a handle on it all and actually use that information to help you grow?
Offering a comprehensive solution built for the digital age is Vtiger CRM. Do you want to improve your marketing performance? Grow those sales numbers? Boost your customer service performance? For all those and more, Vtiger contains a remarkably robust set of tools that you can access anywhere you can get online.
What Is Vtiger CRM?
Arming yourself with a wealth of information doesn’t do you much good if that information isn’t organized in a meaningful way with clear action points to follow. Vtiger CRM intends to give you that by “connecting the dots along your entire customer journey.”
While they talk about “customers” in the traditional sense of the word, since that’s who CRM (customer relationship management) is generally designed to work for, it’s easy to see how this CRM software is useful for online marketing and sales. Interested in managing relationships with sponsors of your blog or website? Getting into influencer marketing and building and managing an email list? Working on a mobile app with a distributed team and a global audience of beta testers? Those can all be served here.
Depending on who you work with, and how, Vtiger offers you a choice of tools. You can get just the sales tool, the help desk solution, or the integrated combination of the two. There are also tiered “Starter” and “Professional” licenses for each with slightly different feature sets, which we’ll explore further in just a moment.Into the Dashboard
Into the Dashboard
When I first logged in my demo account with Vtiger, I have to admit, I felt a little overwhelmed. There is a lot going on, because this is a remarkably robust tool to handle every step of the customer journey. Thankfully, Vtiger immediately sent me on a virtual tour (which can be accessed again and again if needed).
And while the main dashboard contains a lot of information and plenty of options, it is all laid out in a clear and intuitive manner. For example, the “notifications” overlay pops out in a different color when I click on the corresponding button in the top-right corner (shown in the screenshot above). This makes it immediately obvious and easy to take action on the items may need my attention.
From the main screen, you can see your history of activity, opportunities by stage, revenue by salesperson, upcoming activities, key metrics, opportunities in your sales pipeline, your sales funnel, your top opportunities and more. You can even create and pin new charts summarizing data to the dashboard. If you need help with any of it, support by live chat is also always available via the button in the lower-right corner of the screen.
So Many Tools, Features and Functions
It will definitely take some time to familiarize yourself with everything you can (and should!) do with Vtiger. This is not a simple piece of software designed only to do one thing; it’s meant to help you see and optimize each of your customers’ entire journey with you.
To get even a high-level sense of what you can accomplish with Vtiger, take a look at the screen above. When you click on the “menu” button in the top-left corner, it reveals an expanded navigation that includes essentials like your email inbox and calendar, as well as six broad-sweeping categories of tools: marketing, support, projects, sales, inventory, and tools.
Each of these tools do not exist in isolation, as they all “speak” with one another. That means the data you enter about interactions with a customer in their contact record are accessible by your colleagues who may be working on a related project.
Vtiger’s tools consist of more than just things that you have to do to work with your customers – they can also take care of work for you. For example, you can setup automated workflows that respond to emails and form submissions on your behalf. These responses and any customer replies are logged in the relationship history with any contacts they touch so that anyone can see them later.
Like those responses, when you deep dive into the relationship history with any given customer, you can look into every interaction that anyone within your organization has ever had with this person. It’s not just email. You can see when there were phone calls, listen to recordings, and read what was discussed. You can reference online chats, deals, invoices and payments. It’s all here.
And yes, you can send quotes and invoices from directly within the Vtiger CRM interface too. When those invoices get paid (via PayPal, for instance), that all gets tracked and logged as well.
Building and Emailing Your List
One potential online marketing use case for Vtiger is building and leveraging a email marketing list. To start building a list, Vtiger can grab contacts automatically from just about anywhere. From your website through an embeddable form that creates a contact record in Vtiger whenever someone fills it out. From any email you receive. From any contact management software you use like Google Contacts. Or, in old-school fashion, from a CSV file.
Sending an email campaign to your list is a 3-step process. You start by creating an audience by filtering on data in your contacts’ records. You then use Vtiger’s drag-and-drop builder to build and design the email – here you can add fields that automatically substitute contact specific information, like a name or location. Lastly, you schedule or send the campaign. After the campaign launches, returning to the campaign’s record you’ll see a report of how well it did – with information about who opened and clicked, down to what links each person clicked.Prospecting Your Opportunities
Prospecting Your Opportunities
When selling with Vtiger, the whole sales and marketing process works heavily around the concept of sales “opportunities.” After all, it is through these opportunities that you have the chance to generate revenue and grow your business. Part of this is managed through a kanban board interface.
If you’ve ever worked with kanban boards before, likely in the context of team and project management, then you’ll feel right at home here. The goal is to move the various “cards” from the left side all the way over to the right side. Each column describes a particular step in the process.
Using the kanban board, it’s easy to see what opportunities (or prospects) are at each sales stage and how much each potential contract is “worth” in terms of actual dollars. You’ll also see the corresponding expected dates that a deal will be done. Need more information about the opportunity? Clicking on any card shows you more detailed information about it. This all ties seamlessly back into the main CRM so that you can nurture those contacts with targeted email campaigns with full link tracking as well.
Collaboration and Partnership
I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with what you can do using Vtiger – there’s so much more to it.
Working with a sponsor on some blog content? You can use Vtiger to store and share blog drafts, with the ability to collaboratively view and discuss right on the draft from within the browser. Then, track when and how often your sponsor views the document.
Project management with clients can go even further than that. You can even collaborate with other users as you work on deals and other initiatives too.
Want to build up your brand awareness online and engage with the right influencers and customers at the right time? Vtiger can be used to monitor your social media accounts, too. Need to manage your inventory and your interactions with vendors, including purchase orders and invoices? Vtiger does that too. The list really does go on and on.
The pricing structure of Vtiger starts with deciding if you want the sales tools, the help desk, or the ultimate CRM to connect the two. From there, you can choose from starter or professional plans, or even the free plan with the help desk. Check the pricing page for full details. The monthly price starts with a free tier for the Support Edition, or as low as $10 for Sales.