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Any good CRM for long-term client management?

pilskalns profile image Andžs ・2 min read

Hi,

Let me try explain a problem, I know there must be solution, but don't know what it is. I hope you could help me finding it.

In my workplace, we provide a lot of different IT services and configuration to each client (B2B) around the core product (not relevant here to explain). Those extra features all are optional, but we can provide if needed.

For example, some of them answers to:

  • Do they have FTP server, or we should provide one?
  • Can they do their own monitoring, or should we do it?
  • Do they have AWS (any other) cloud account or do we setup it?
  • All servers for app on cloud or barebone, or both?
  • Any 3rd party licences, do they buy them or we?
  • etc.
  • etc.

I imagine a system where could I go to client profile and add a recurring service like FTP (500GB) (AWS) or Monitoring (basic to email), and the core product as well. These are simple examples, but IRL it gets more detailed.

Workflow I ideally imagine:

  • Sales enter new clients / PoC details, contact info (multiple persons per each client)
  • Then we (production team) realize a solution, change things over time
  • Accountancy could see standardized list of services and send out a bills each client

The CRM's I've checked are directly towards sales / leads, closing a deal. Work again, sell a product, but this is completely not that. Also, this is not accountancy system I am looking for, many options are not generating costs, but still need to remember, like which cloud(s) are used for each client or simply timezone they operate.

Suggestions can be OSS or paid subscriptions, maybe with some API available

Do you track services you provide to clients? Any system for that? Can you suggest anything? Please halp!

Discussion (3)

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stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee • Edited

My last major CRM work involving companies and individual contacts was with CiviCRM. We used it at a supply chain trade org (hosting industry events, training people to manage global supply chains with our proprietary certification framework) on a company membership model (at the time, I had to build a module that checked individual's employment status, company membership status, and assigned both CRM and CMS permissions based on that check - they've since integrated that).

It may be (or seem like) a lot for your use case:

  1. It attaches to an existing CMS. The Drupal module version has the most features. On the plus side, there are a lot of Drupal modules you probably won't need to enable, and as of Drupal 8 (v9 was just released) it makes an excellent headless server (REST and JSON:API by default, GraphQL available). How well Civi integrates with that, I'm not sure, as my last major work with it was in Drupal 7. You also benefit not only from Drupal's massive module ecosystem, but also Civi's CMS-independent plugin ecosystem. And you get Views, probably the #1 applauded and copied Drupal feature.
  2. The C in this particular CRM stands for "constituent," not "customer." In my use of Civi, this hasn't been an issue and it did what we needed for customer relations as well. That may be a positive for your use case, or it may not.
  3. It's self-hosted and PHP-/MySQL-based, depending on how you feel about that.
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thebrandonwu profile image
Brandon Wu • Edited

Hi Andžs,

We added custom fields to Markd (relationship management tool) recently - it sounds like this might be a step closer to what you need?

We don't have collaborations yet though - working hard on getting these key features in soon :)

Thanks for sharing your insight into this issue. Totally agree that CRMs are not just for sales!

Cheers,
Brandon

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pilskalns profile image
Andžs Author

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for a thought on this, but this isn't the CRM we are looking for. Even though we might be in touch only with one person from client, our clients are companies. The information must perfectly persist when contact person changes, same way when eventually our support team changes.

The key is to (a) be able to define standard services and tasks, (b) attach to client (as an organisation), (c) share this information pool within our team.


Although this smells like in-house custom extension to our SaaS product, the en-visioned functionality must be already done somewhere. Our dev team is really busy with core product.