SmallBizCRM Review Of InfusionSoft
“Ultimately Infusionsoft is a powerful all-in-one solution and a wise choice for small businesses.”
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Many CRM systems make a sincere effort to be more than simple data-entry apps or hosted spreadsheets. They claim that their system can actually improve a business and save time, rather than just be a repository for customer data. Business intelligence is becoming a pivotal aspect of CRM apps and despite this popular claim that ‘they will make your business grow, save you time, and eliminate staff costs’, CRM apps are still having trouble meeting these guarantees. Most CRMs, that is. After spending time evaluating Infusionsoft I must say – this system actually does stand up to its claims; it actually can grow and improve your business.
Infusionsoft is all-in-one sales and marketing system that is comprised of three main functional areas: CRM, marketing, and e-commerce. It’s targeted towards small businesses with 2-25 employees. The aim of this software is essentially to help small businesses attract and capture leads, close deals (either through sales people or a storefront) and save time. The true power of Infusionsoft, however, lies in its marketing automation features. These incredibly in depth and customizable automation processes allow you to manage the entire customer lifecycle automatically and as Infusionsoft says, “without losing the personal touch.” Let’s break this system down section by section.
Infusionsoft goes a large step beyond traditional CRM systems by capturing everything about your leads and customers in one place, including:
- Lead source (where your leads come from)
- Web activity (pages visited on your website, how long they stick around)
- Marketing activity (landing page and form submissions, opened emails, clicked links, etc.)
- Sales activity (sales stage, product interest, etc.)
- Purchase activity (past purchases, subscriptions, pages visited in your online store, etc.)
All of this information can be used to help automate your sales process. For example, when a lead goes to your website and downloads a free report, you can track that activity and then add them to a follow-up campaign.
Infusionsoft lets you manage contacts, companies, sales opportunities and partners separately. When working with company records, you can attach contacts to these companies – a feature that is extremely useful and often overlooked. One detail I also quite liked was Infusionsoft’s automatic weather display on a lead’s profile based on their location. A quick glance at this will give you a great conversation opener!
The sales pipeline is completely customizable and allows you to bring in leads from web forms, qualify and score leads based on their behaviors, manage lead distribution, run sales reports (although reporting is not very visual), and even use a round robin feature for lead assignment. A few other noteworthy features include permission management, file management and calendar & appointment tracking.
My favorite thing about Infusionsoft would definitely have to be the marketing automation features. It is through combining marketing automation with the CRM, e-commerce, and marketing aspects of Infusionsoft that this system really shines and saves time.
Using their visual campaign builder, you can easily create multi-step marketing campaigns, put them on autopilot and monitor their effectiveness with awesome insight. Campaigns can include landing pages, web forms, emails and more.
You can easily customize your landing pages and emails using the drag-and-drop builder. You can measure the exact effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns with reports (Infusionsoft has a 99% deliverability rate and integrated spam-scoring tools to ensure the job gets done). Lastly, the auto-responding features are naturally more effective; as they are behavior based and will change depending on a lead/client’s actions (think back to my brochure example).
It is through tags that Infusionsoft can categorize every entity/activity in the system and appropriately decide what to do next. When a lead clicks something on your website, submits certain information through a form, or does something else based on ‘triggers’ you customize, a series of follow through actions will occur and the contact will be communicated with accordingly. This may mean a follow-up email thanking them for purchasing your product two weeks ago, asking how it’s working. Or it may be the next step in a sales pipeline, offering an upsell to a previous product.
The options are endless and it’s all completely customizable based on your business. It’s through these elaborate multi-step behavior dependent campaigns that Infusionsoft can save you so much time; as you customize the whole process according to your typical sales process you can still personalize and humanize the client’s experience. This functionality is hard to come by!
What really justifies Infusionsoft’s claim of being all in one is its e-commerce features. These allow you to handle the entire lifecycle of your clients, from capturing leads to managing your sales pipeline to billing customers, all through the same app. The e-commerce module has been improved over time and now includes features to help with everything from finance tracking to automated billing. You can manage and customize your own storefront and shopping cart experience, create custom order forms, invoice clients, apply discounts or upsells, create payment plans, and manage your inventory and fulfillment. Infusionsoft integrates with multiple third party merchant gateways as well.
Another feature is Infusionsoft’s affiliate management features, which allow you to track all business affiliates as separate contacts, as well as referrals and commissions.
- Customize your client lifecycle and put it on autopilot, without losing the personalized touch.
- Build campaigns easily using the visual, drag-and-drop campaign builder.
- Host landing pages, web forms, storefront and shopping cart for FREE! This cool feature adds to the all-in-one claim; you don’t even need your own website to capture leads and sell online.
- Track everything about customers using extremely effective tags.
- Create landing pages, web forms and emails in no time with the drag-and-drop builder. A child could use it and make it look professional.
- Access the public API.
- The reporting is lacking. It’s not as visual as many other CRM systems out there, which is becoming a common requirement.
- If this system offered project management/task management/time tracking functionality it could truly be considered an all in one small business tool, but until then it’s not going to be as useful for service-oriented businesses.
- Despite the great functionality, the pricing is somewhat steep for small businesses. You must purchase a $2,000 Kickstart service package, which includes a personal coaching mentor who evaluates your current business/marketing style, helps you understand Infusionsoft, and generally aims to improve your business – and I’ve heard this is actually helpful, but nonetheless it’s a hefty cost or small businesses.
Infusionsoft offers a tiered pricing model, ranging from a standard package with two users at $199 per month to an enterprise edition with 20 users for $999 per month. Additional users can be added to any package for $59 each.
Despite categorizing the Kickstart service package requirement as a negative (and as ironic as it sounds), this package epitomizes why Infusionsoft is different from other CRM systems out there. By providing in-depth training and mentoring, Infusionsoft is proving that they want to invest in their clients just as much as their client’s invest in them. They want to make sure that everyone that uses their product is going to use it to its fullest potential and truly improve their business.
Ultimately Infusionsoft is a powerful all-in-one solution and a wise choice for small businesses. With complete integration of sales transactions, shopping carts, auto-responders, inventory management, client profiles & lists, order histories, marketing phases & responses, lead management, and other useful tools, this web app will help power your entire small business for a somewhat reasonable cost.
September 8th, 2014