Less Annoying CRM Means No More Excuses

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Michael Zunenshine

Search “CRM” on Google and it gets you over 250 million results (even more than The Beatles?!). It’s huge. 

But ask around, and you’ll find that, outside tech companies and startups, there’s still a lot of small and independent businesses that haven’t adopted a CRM platform: shop owners, artisans, contractors, even freelancers. Sure, they’ve heard of it; they know it would probably be useful. 

But, you know, learning new stuff can be a pain in the derrière.

Less Annoying CRM (LACRM) gets it. Adopting isn’t a totally effortless endeavor. So, at least it can be as minimally annoying as possible. Right?

A walkthrough of Less Annoying CRM

LACRM’s lean but nimble toolbelt has got you covered to manage all your customers and other contacts, track your leads through pipelines and stay on top of events and tasks in calendar and agenda forms. 

The main page

Your standard workspace shows you all the day’s scheduled events, like meetings, as well as the tasks, like that email you’ve promised to send. These tasks can be checked off like items on a to-do list. From this workspace, you can switch to a calendar layout, which shows both events and tasks while keeping them clearly distinct. 

The workspace gives a brief summary of pipeline activity, showing the number of contacts per each step along the customer journey. For example, you might see you currently have 20 prospects and 10 qualified leads.

There’s an activity feed too, and if you are a team leader, you can see what your team has been up to. You can always further expand the activity report to search through it for more details.

Keeping up with who’s who

The contact management dashboard lets you add notes to contacts, upload files associated with them, get a history of all their events and activities, and add tags. 

The full list of contacts makes it easy to search based on personal or professional details and company name. Contacts can be sorted into groups, and when you create a new group you can choose to keep it private or share it with others on your team.

The CRM also offers a status variable where you see at what stage in a pipeline a contact currently sits. For example, as a prospect, a qualified lead, or a sale. Finally, you can prioritize contacts based on how important they are, or how likely they are to be converted into customers.   

Your time laid out before you

Calendars and tasks follow the same simple and functional aesthetic as the contacts page. There’s color-coding based on primary or private tasks and events. 

As a team leader, you have the option to view the calendars of your team on top of your own. Aside from viewing the calendar by day, week or month, there’s an agenda view which lists all upcoming events and tasks.

Every step of the way

Pipelines and leads are a bit of a drill-down from the full contact list, the latter comprising personal contacts, vendors and other 3rd parties that are not necessarily prospective customers. 

The point here is to keep track of how qualified each lead is as it’s moving along the pipeline. There are loads of filtering options here, and obviously “status” is among the most important. These statuses include prospect, qualified lead, sales won, and sales lost.

You can create new pipelines using one of LACRM’s templates, or build one from scratch. Templates include obvious things like sales, orders, projects or job applications. When you custom-build your own, you get to name the statuses for each stage. 

For example, say you want to make a pipeline for leads who have been sent an email promo to try a free trial of your subscription service. You can set the statuses to: 

sent email > clicked the promo link > singed up > done free trial > bought a subscription

Back on the contract pages is where you’ll see a list of all your pipelines, so you can insert a contact into one of them and assign them a status. Conversely, clicking on a pipeline shows you every contact who is in it and their status.

Log those emails

Emails written and received outside a CRM platform can get logged inside LACRM. LACRM provides every user with a unique email logging address, for which you create a contact with whatever email provider you use (it’s useful to name it “LACRM”). 

Whenever you email a contact, you just ‘BCC’ the LACRM address, and LACRM will match the email of the recipient with their contact information on the platform. Then, when you view the contact, you have access to these logged emails. 

Similarly, when a contact emails you, you can forward that email to the LACRM email address to log it.  

A less annoying startup story

LACRM is certainly no new kid on the block, often ranking in top lists for categories like operational CRM

They’ve been in the game since 2009, beginning as the micro-operation of two San Francisco brothers, Tyler and Bracken King. They only hired their first employee in 2011. By 2012 they reached 1,000 users. This year, 2019, saw them kick off with almost 20,000 users.  

Today, they’re no longer battling it out for space and talent in San Francisco, but instead call St Louis, Missouri home (in fact, this is the hometown of the Kings). It may seem a less-than-traditional locale for tech startups, but the King brothers swear the diversity and talent pool in St Lous is as vibrant and as competitive as the coasts (but with much less exorbitant overhead, obvs!). 

As for spreading their name and message across the CRM universe, LACRM has begun holding annual conferences in St. Louis. Subjects they cover include email marketing, sales, SEO, and content marketing. VIP attendees get extras like 1-hour in-person account audits with a CRM Coach.

But while LACRM’s reputation has grown over the last decade, its commitment to helping small companies has never wavered.

The philosophy is simple: The benefits of CRM for small business are overwhelming. Less Annoying CRM helps you smash any and all annoying barriers to adoption.  

Hold the junk

LACRM has a single pricing plan across the board. It’s $10 a month per user with unlimited contacts, and that’s that. This price plan is pretty contiguous with LACRM’s philosophy. 

As the company explains, with certain CRMs that offer “complex pricing tiers, usage limits, long-term contracts, upfront payments, [and] upsells,” you can never be sure the platform was optimally designed for small businesses. 

In other words, Less Annoying CRM suggests that any CRM with several plans actually function best only for the big players who take the Cadillac packages with all the fancy-schmancy fixings, you can never be too sure those “cheap” plans aren’t just stripped-down versions of the premium ones.

So, when a company like LACRM boasts of one basic plan with zero extras, it’s their way of proving they’ve dedicated their platform specifically and entirely around small business concerns.

LACRM provides the least annoying platform with the most basic but useful tools, and with “none of that junk that you don't” need. With an all-inclusive, single-price package, you know the platform was designed for the small business from the ground up.