Dropshipping 101: 5 Top CRM Tools That Won’t Cost You A Penny
Customer relations management – or CRM – is vital for any dropshipping enterprise. Managed and hosting CRM services will allow you to leave a lasting positive impression on customers while simultaneously creating a discreet venue for communicating with frustrated customers. Both allow you to build your reputation as a trusted dropshipping source, retain loyal customers and discourage irate customers from filing chargebacks or ranting on public websites.
CRM software, however, can be quite expensive and can significantly eat away at the profit margin of smaller dropshipping ventures – but not if you start off with these zero-cost software suites:
FreeCRM is a pretty good piece of software to start with as long as you have internet access and a web browser compatible with the site’s features. Lead tracking, contact management, deal pipelines, competitor information, call tracking, call automation, event tracking, surveys, reports, campaign management, customer support functionality – all these are available on a web-based platform. It’s simple enough for those new to CRM but is powerful enough for more advanced campaign management later down the road. The free version is offers users the ability to deal with 2,500 contacts, provide 30 minutes of recorded voice-mail support and has banner ads – pretty good for a small to medium-sized wholesale dropshipping business.
Insightly is a CRM service provider that is ideal for the dropshipper that prefer to work on mobile platforms like tablets, phablets or smart phones. It has all the basic features you would expect from a CRM suite – contact management, email list management, project pipelines, milestones, reports, potential revenue streams. The main draws of Insightly are twofold. One, connectivity with a wide range of apps like Google Drive, EverNote and Office 365. Two, you can use Insightly on a web browser or download the Insightly app for mobile devices. The free version has support for 2,500 records, 200 MB of storage and only 3 users at a time – enough for most small private label shipping companies.
OpenCRX is the ‘hardcore’ CRM management suite for advanced users that are willing to spend the time to learn its ins and outs. OpenCRX is by nature a complex beast that you can modify yourself to accommodate your needs. You can tweak it to serve as a simple directory of contacts and projects or you can customize the graphics user interface to create processes that work using Excel-like operators and wildcards. This suite is ideal for the wholesale dropshipper that is willing to study up on working with OpenCRX to unlock its full potential at virtually zero cost.
This free version is a straightforward software suite that focuses on the more essential processes of CRM: finding leads, following up on leads and closing deals. You can then check up on the status of your leads and deals using reports that get straight to the point. The paid version of EQMS has significantly more features, but the free version nonetheless does a pretty good job at CRM for small dropshipping enterprises that want to keep things as simple and as low-cost as possible.
TopSales Basic – Single
TopSales is another bare-bones suite that focuses on contact management, lead analysis and mailing lists. Various fields allow you to categorize your contacts and leads by demographics, allowing you to get a birds-eye view of the nature of your potential customer base. TopSales Basic also has a quirky feature – you can install it on a flash drive and plug it into any computer you need to work on. There is even an Android app for added mobility. The free version can only be accessed by a single user though, which is not that big a deal for smaller dropshipping enterprises but could be prohibitive for larger operations.
Keep these free CRM suites in mind and you’ll have an easier time managing leads and contacts without putting too much strain on your dropshipping enterprise’s financial resources!