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Brandon Krieger

Evernote Business - CRM - Lead tracking

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Good morning fellow Evernote users, 

 

I was wondering does anyone use Evernote as their lead tracking and follow-up system. A very light CRM? 

 

Recently I have been looking at different cloud type CRM systems, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, ACT....etc the list goes on and on. 

 

I was wondering 

 

1) Have you tried to use Evernote as a CRM for lead tracking and follow-ups? If so what is your workflow 

 

2) If you don't, what system do you personally use. I know Evernote has partnered up with Salesforce, but I would like to hear what you use. 

 

 

I look forward to learning from you. 

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Hi Brandon

 

I have just recently started with evernote and have developed a very simple and easy way to track leads and follow up.

 

I'm in B2B sales and can call on up to 20 plus businesses per day. It's not much fun doing that if you don't have a fast, simple and easy way to handle the information. It needs to be a system that you don't need to worry about and gives you complete peace of mind that you've got it all covered. Imagine at the end of the week how much stuff you would need to do and think about if you didn't have a system. No bags of business cards here.

 

This is what I do.

 

Step 1

 

Set your note books up on the desktop. I have one for April, May, June Etc

 

Step 2

 

Inside those note books make notes for each day of the month. Dated.

 

Step 3 

 

Step the smartphone app up and sync.

 

I then go out doing my work, I will call at the first prospect and leave with a head full of info and a business card. That information and the card is then placed inside the mobile app with notes, photo of the card and reminders. Sometimes I even attach a audio note. I then place that information on the correct note for that day.

 

When the reminder alerts me to the action required I can then just get on with it. If I have to move the lead to another day. I can just place into another note.

 

Easy. Simple and straightforward. It's like I can insert the information and forget it until the reminder goes off.

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Thanks Mark for your process. 

 

I setup. 

 

I came up with my own CRM type follow up system. 

 

 

1) I capture the lead, their information, contact information, business card, personal information 

 

2) Then I have created a stack that is called "Leads"

 

3) In that stack I have created 5 notebooks called "Follow up 1", "Follow up 2"...etc

 

4) Then I set reminders on the notes when I need to follow up with so that on that day I receive an e-mail report. 

 

 

It's is a very simple CRM for me. 

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Hey it's good to see this thread - must have been around the time we were chatting about it.

Is the system still working well? Have u tweaked it any?

I'm dabbling in Highrise HQ again. As I recall u mentioning, lack of automation gets tedious after awhile and you're right.

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Hi,

 

I have been a long time user of Maximizer as a CRM, from it's DOS days and used to teach companies how to use it.

 

As the years went on, Maximizer became more and more complicated and they stated that you had to get a representative to install it at an exorbitant cost. The more I tried to get it sorted the worst it got! I researched other packages but they all seemed to have the same problems.

 

I have been using OneNote then Evernote for some years and found myself relying on Evernote to give me my day to day information.

 

Below is information on how I have set up my company. I published it originally in 2014 and it works exceptionally well for us.

 

 

In my set up of Evernote I have a 'Diary 2014' Notebook and a 'Diary 2014 Completed' Notebook.
 
Any emails or enquiries get sent to my 'Diary 2014' Notebook. I do this by clicking on the 'Evernote' icon in Microsoft Outlook, I then add a date code to the start of the title followed by the name of the company and name of the individual, leaving their title. By way of example lets say I get an email with the following title:
 
Quotation Required - Reference Stonehenge Water Treatment Works
 
This will be forwarded and the new title will be:
 
140525 - South West Water - Joe Bloggs - Reference Stonehenge Water Treatment Works
 
With this and other tasks now in various Notes I begin to work on them.
 
Any communication from a customer is highlighted in Green
 
Any communication from a supplier is highlighted in Purple
 
Any communication from me is highlighted in Red
 
This allows easy viewing of notes within a Note. 
 
All emails to and from customers and suppliers are copied into the Note, with the newest information shown at the top. The original opening part of the Note includes any relevant details such as pricing information and always stays at the top along with a Tick Box at the bottom of that section and a line.
 
Once the task is completed the 'Tick Box' will be ticked meaning the Note has been completed. The Note is then moved to the 'Diary - 2014 - Completed' Notebook.
 
It becomes an easy way of dealing with tasks as I go through my day and I can easily see how many 'tasks' I have to complete by the quantity of 'Notes' in the Diary 'Notebook.
 
What this method does for me is keep all of my tasks in one location and by keeping the date code (thanks again for the suggestion GrumpyMonkey) the Notes are in date order. My Notes go back to 2007 and if a customer calls about something I have done in that time a quick search can bring all the relevant information to hand.
 
 
Here is a link to a typical and simple Diary Note
 
 
 
 
Finally and more recently I did away with Maximizer when I found that the full version of Microsoft Office has a hidden gem in Outlook called Business Contact Manager - BCM. This allowed me to import 15,000+ customers into the database and it automatically linked every email. 
 
So when I create a quotation for a customer in Word, it is saved and goes into a folder on my computer. It is automatically saved to a Notebook in Evernote.
 
When an order comes into the office, they will search by the quote number. This will bring up two Notes. One is the diary Note which gives all information on how the quote was created, details including buy and sell prices from suppliers. It will also bring up the Note with the quotation. They then write in the Note with the quotation the date the order comes in, the customer order number and our order number. What this means is that I can easily search when I am out and about to see if a specific order has come in.
 
Forgive me if the above is a bit difficult to read, I have written and added to it on a few occasions. Perhaps I should write a new description and put it in the Business section.
 
If you have any queries, just let me know. If you live near Wiltshire in the UK, I am happy to attempt a meet up to explain if that helps.
 
Best regards
 
 
Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

Just one note of caution: Microsoft has discontinued BCM as of Outlook 2016, so it's critical that you not upgrade to Outlook 2016 if you rely on BCM; and also if you're on Outlook 365 that you block Outlook from auto-updating to Outlook 2016.

 

Details on all of the above can be found here.

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Hey Chinarut,

 

yeah it was. How are things going with you?

 

I am playing around with Inslghtly.com as well as Hubspot.com CRM's to see which one works best.

 

To bad Evernote hasn't looked at developing on their core. I know they were working on Hello and they could of developed that out to be a CRM tracking.

 

How is Highrise HQ?

 

/Brandon

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Hi Chris,

 

Just one note of caution: Microsoft has discontinued BCM as of Outlook 2016, so it's critical that you not upgrade to Outlook 2016 if you rely on BCM; and also if you're on Outlook 365 that you block Outlook from auto-updating to Outlook 2016.

 

Details on all of the above can be found here.

 

 

Hi Phil,

 

Yes and I should have stated that when I posted.

 

I have a block on the update and a load of us are already onto MS to get that decision cancelled. Whether it happens again - they tried to do it a couple of years ago - remains to be seen.

 

Again we are looking at the paid for but over the top version that MS has as well.

 

Best regards

 

Chris

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If your staffers simply need a note-taking application, Evernote is an obvious choice it's the 800-pound gorilla, having grown in five years to 50 million users. But the program also offers an eclectic assortment of productivity features, and this is where its utility in business environments is much less obvious moreover if you want to take some advice related to your business you can go for http://www.crosscamp.us/this website. This will help you in achieving your desired goal.

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Based on Phil reminding me that we only have about 10-11 months left with BCM before MS pull the plug on Outlook not updating, I have been doing some research again!

 

Every now and then I take a look at reviews and then investigate CRM's. With a cloud version also high on my 'want' list, but everything I found up to now is too complicated or very expensive.

 

This last week I found and have been testing 'insightly' which appears to be a great product and from free if you are a small business. I would be looking at $12 per person, per month which would be suitable for us. Just trying to get my head around how I can use it to link to MS Word when creating quotations. At the moment it appears to be too long winded. I have sent them a query.

 

Will report on my further tests, but so far I am very impressed. Oh and it links to Evernote!

 

Regards

 

Chris

 

PS Please see my post below regarding insightly not being as useful as I originally expected.

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Oops - I didn't meant to get everyone off topic here - sorry about that.

 

I mentioned Highrise HQ because my experiment trying to do everything in Evernote lost steam after a year.   To be honest, I want to continue to use Evernote - I hate thinking my data lives outside of Evernote and that if I need to find something, I need to search multiple systems.

 

I never thought about Hello's potential around CRM - that's a really great insight - I just went to the Evernote hello page and sad to see they pulled the plug on this app along with Food.

 

This pretty much confirms this is a job for an Evernote 3rd party developer to implement something more lightweight than salesforce.

 

I'm really curious why developers are stopped by this idea - this is not the first time it has been suggested (see @Robert's comment)

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As mentioned previously, I have been using CRM packages for a very long time, back to when we used them in DOS.

 

I cannot see that Evernote would be any good unless you only had a handful of customers. If this is the case then it would be fairly straightforward. I would have one Notebook per customer and keep all Notes including quotations within that Notebook. You could give yourself alarms for important events or tracking events.

 

For us  with close to 15,000 customers, that is not possible.

 

Salesforce is not only too elaborate but extortionately expensive when you have more than a few people who are going to use it. This is so with most of the 'big' names, who are pricing themselves out of the small business market. I still get emails almost daily from Maximizer, but got so fed up with them telling me I had to pay for a site visit to get it up and running. The cost for that was far too high and it needed doing every time a computer was changed or there was a major upgrade to OS software.

 

Do have a look at insightly, I am so far very impressed. If you are new to CRM's you will find some neat ways to make it work for you. I am still trying to work out how it can link to my MS Word quotations, but I will find an answer soon enough. They have a free version which won't work for us, but you can do a 14 day trial on the pro version. I think for most people the $12 per person per month would work very well. You can import Notes from Evernote if you want to as well.

 

Best regards

 

 

Chris

 

PS Please see my post below regarding insightly not being as useful as I originally expected.

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Good morning all,

 

I felt it only correct to let you know the following regarding my experience with insightly.

 

An important part of our process is to use Microsoft Word, where we not only have templates but use auto-text also known as building blocks. This makes even long quotations quick and easy to create.

 

Unfortunately I could not find any way of getting insightly to do this and more importantly, I emailed them and they told me to go on their forum, which is supposedly manned 24/7. I did so and even though I replied to my own post asking for help urgently before my 14 day trial period ended, I received no response. The same with their facebook group, no one responded.

 

Further investigation and I found that Zoho CRM is similar in it's operation and does have MS Outlook, Word and Office 365 integration. I have therefore moved my trial over to this software.

 

So far it appears to offer all we need and the cost is similar, starting at free, $12 and their is a $20 per user, per month that we will need.

 

Hope that helps anyone looking at this post in the future.

 

Regards

 

Chris

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Hi Brandon,

 

Not that I am aware of. I have uploaded nearly 15,000 contacts to Zoho and no charge beyond $20 per month per person.

 

Best regards

 

Chris

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I have a note book called "Contacts"

I send a vCard for new contacts and store it in the Contacts notebook.

I then create a tag for each customer.

I have a seperate note books for sales leads, quotes, sales, repairs, office etc and then an "Archive" notebook for once it is actioned.

I have a numbering system for grouping that I add to titles to search for related notes for sales and projects.

I use the same numbering system in my spreadsheet for tracking totals.

My motivation for using Evernote is ease of importing data, cross platform and I can store the current data on my device so as to not be dependent on an Internet connection.

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Hi Bradley,

Very useful, but I don't think it will work if you have a lot of customers and suppliers. As mentioned above we have over 15,000 and currently at 30K+ Notes in Evernote.

Regards

 

Chris

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Hi all,

For those who have been following this thread, I can report Zoho is brilliant for the money.

Getting so much done so easily is great.

Ask away if you have any questions.

Best regards

 

Chris

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Hi Everyone, 

I have been using Hubspot.com which is a free CRM and it's been pretty good so far for what I need.  I wish Evernote would build up a relationship with hubspot to integrate Evernote with them. 

 

 

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I am late to this thread, but am interested in CRM programs or templates.  I am a 1099 sales person, One man shop so to speak, looking for lead identification, Lead management and lead follow up.  Ideally something that would either send notification alerts and or sync to calendars.  Reading this thread I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions ?

Thanks

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Hi Ted, 

Go have a look at Zoho. I have been involved with CRM's since DOS days and used to be a Maximizer fan, but it got too complicated and too expensive.

Zoho, which is an online service, seems to tick all of the boxes and integrates well with MS, in particular for us Outlook at Word. 

Definitely a product worth investigating. 

Best regards

 

Chris

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