Base CRM’s Fall 2012 Update

 Base CRM from Future Simple keeps getting more robust every month I use their product. To learn more about the details of what this simple CRM can do, read my previous reviews on Base 1 Post Here and 2. Post Here

In short, Base CRM is the best small business CRM on the market that works beautifully with mobile smartphones, tablets, Macs, PCs and Google Apps. Key feature updates:

  • It offers both online and offline access of your data when you are on the go, which many competitors do not currently offer.
  • Incredible native apps (installed on your device): iPhone, iPad, Android & Windows Phone (offline).
  • Integration with Mailchimp for Email Marketing: This is a brand new feature this month. It works well. You can add people to select list. I am a huge fan of Mailchimp for sending emails, so I am excited about this new feature.
  • Sending emails within Base CRM: If I’m too lazy to send an email within my Google account, I can do it within Base. If I really wanted to, I could just use Base for sending/receiving. (I still like my Google Apps though). It notifies me if the person has received and read my email as well. It then stores a copy within the customer note section. New Feature: All my emails sent from within Google are auto BCC’d to Base. No more having to remember to auto BCC or forward emails.
  • Sales Automation: Those of you who have a set sales system in place will love their easy to use Sales Automation feature. You can setup all your Sales Stages and what Task will auto populate when you’ve told it to do so. This is perfect for those who have a sales team and want to make sure you remain consistent. Sometimes this feature can be overwhelming, because you definitely will get reminders and task that you have to check off to move on. Regardless, this features is a real plus. (Paid users only)
  • Deals: Easy to create, track and manage deals from a desktop or mobile device. You can add files to Dropbox, set follow up task, run quick reports on where you are at in the pipline/sales stage and more. The deals in Base CRM are a real plus.
  • Pipeline & Reports: Their reporting features got a major upgrade and facelift this Summer 2012. The graphs and reports are cleaner and easier to view.
  • Easy Tagging and Contact Look up. (Multi-Tags too)
  • Custom Fields
  • Task Features are getting better. The task features within Base CRM are powerful but still need a bit of improvement. They work just fine, and I use them everyday. My main “beaf” with their task management is that currently I can only set task on the hour: 12, 1, 2, 3. I then get a reminder 1 hour before. I’d like more customization here. That is coming, from what Base has told me. So expect some Task improvements Shortly. I’d like to add a feature request to have Google Calendar be 100% synced to Base…no bouncing back and forth. I want to create an event with a customer within BASE and have the interface be Google. It is ok to have a wishlist!
  • Google Gadget. See Above Picture. I can add a note, a task or a new contact right within my business Google Apps account.
  • iPhone and iPad Apps: When Base released their almost completely bug free iPad version in late August, they gave the iPhone a facelift too. I liked the old version, but this one still is quite user friendly and bug free.
  • Overall New Design: Base CRM also was given a completely new and improved look. It is cleaner, faster and easy to use.

Base CRM is really a great Customer Relationship Management program for the small and medium size businesses. For the little guy who doesn’t need it for lots of sales, he cause use Base for free. For everyone else, $15 a user for the basic plan and $45 a user for all the advanced features. It is worth the cost based on all the features and easy of use.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion to help small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, the latest gadgets, marketing ideas, personal thoughts on small business and more.

12 Comments

  • Hi David – Have you tried http://www.contactually.com? Although a bit slicker than most of the small business CRMs, Base is still very much data entry driven, which can mean sales people won’t use it (does it help them sell?). Contactually works differently and is more proactive than reactive, so would be interested to hear what you thoughts?

    I’m not connected with Contactually btw!

  • David says:

    Greg:

    I think the key seller to Base is how easy the mobile products are to use (for my audience anyways). Most of my guys are in and out of the office. Most CRMs are built for the person sitting at his/her desk. Pretty much any CRM will work for someone at their desk. Base is very mobile friendly. A salesperson can enter his sales info on the go, follow up task etc. As for can it help someone sell more? Yes. With the sales automation feature it can. It keeps sales people on task to let them know what is next. Contactually looks awesome from a UI standpoint. It just seems to be missing the mobile connections. There is enough web based CRMs that all look the same. Contactually looks similar to Nutshell CRM. Just my two cents. I’ll keep an eye on your recommendation though.

  • “There is enough web based CRMs that all look the same” – completely agree. I just don’t think many (if any) help sales people (not sales managers) sell. Cheers.

  • David says:

    On that point…you are probably right. My clients primarily are contractors. So Highrise, Base, Pipeline Deals etc are more simple, easy to use and a good fit for most. I also think most folks in my industry would not use the world’s best CRM even if it read one’s mind. There are so many steps to take in a pre and post sale. So many things to norther a relationship. People get lazy and just don’t enter their info into anything. So knowing that, I think CRM companies do need to make things easier and simple: like Apple did with their iPhone. The seniors can use their devices.

    Thanks Greg. Been following your Tracks for Highrise for awhile too.

  • Dan says:

    As a simple CRM tool you can use this web based app:

    http://www.YouTargets.com

    You can use it to manage up to 30.000 contacts, and keep track of your deals and communications with them. Other features include Cases and Tasks.

  • Allan says:

    David – I currently use Capsule CRM…but may be looking to switch to Base CRM. Have you gone back to look at Capsule and would you still recommend Base over Capsule. I think they are both very competent CRMs, but Base’s mobile app is just a cut above, although I like Capsule’s web-based software better. Torn between the two. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • David says:

    Allan: I agree with you Capsule’s desktop version is pretty decent. I’ve seen it recently. The mobile version still is not good. Base is way ahead on the mobile piece. And I agree the Base desktop version is good…not great. Base has good integration will Mailchimp and google. I’m not real excited about their $45 a month plan for everything because their online version is not quite there. For $15 a month….Base is the best.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW, I see you are in the greater San Diego area. My Dad runs a paint company near La Jolla. You should connect! Chism Brothers.

  • Allan says:

    Wow…quick response. I agree with all that you said. I don’t like changing too often. I just dropped Batchbook which was leaning away from Sales over to Capsule a few months ago. Just getting the iPhone, I see the great need for a really good mobile app. Now that Base has Mailchimp integration….I think I am sold. Thanks.

  • Karen R. says:

    Thanks David, I’ve found your information very helpful about CRMs. I’ve narrowed my selection down to Base or PipelineDeals. At the moment, I simply need to track where I am in the sales pipeline with each potential customer. And I need it to be easy to understand and use. Project management might be nice for the sales I close.

    Any off the top comment that would help me decide. I’ll probably flip a coin if I can’t decide after a quick trial run of them both.

    Question. Do any of these have a GPS function. I would love if I could pull up a list of the contacts near where I am to pick from? (yes I know, ultimate lazy request).

  • David says:

    Karen,

    What mobile device are you using? How often do you want to use a CRM in the field? The strength of Pipeline Deals is their support and simple features. It is easy to learn and just a very solid, almost bug free CRM. Where it lacks is the mobile capabilities. However, they are close to releasing an iPhone App (May 2013). It is nice…as I’ve been testing it.

    Base CRM’s Deals (where you are at in the pipeline) are easy to follow, especially on the mobile and tablet devices. If you want to know how many deals are in stage 3 (let’s say “follow up stage) it shines. You can create task and/or auto task for all the steps in the sales pipeline. The reports in Base CRM stink, in my opinion. I mean they will probably get better, but I don’t use them. Pipeline wins, hands down, on reporting and goal setting.

    I like Base for their mobile platform and design. Both Base and Pipeline are not really project management tools. You can do very basic things with them for follow up (post sale) but it is best to move to a project management program for that, like Basecamp, Trello, etc.

    I will say, the support at Pipeline Deals is the best I’ve seen anywhere, yet Base CRM is not far behind them. Base is just crushing it making the best mobile platforms. Pipeline is just making a solid CRM, slow and steady. Hope this helps. Oh and both don’t have GPS features you would like. Base and probably Pipeline has a decent keyword search. So you can search by city or zip and find contacts nearby that way.

    Let me know what you decide upon.

  • Darel Baker says:

    Great information. I have tried a couple of Sales Tracking systems in the past and ended up discarding them as they seemed to get more complicated the longer you used them. I know I need to make the move and start using a CRM/Sales Tracking system and Base seems to be a good alternative. Three questions…is it still $15/month? It is efficient for information flow if you are sending leads to members of a sales/delivery team? If I change my mind after 6 months how easy is it to get my informtion back? These might be basic questions but I am a bit new to these systems. Thanks!

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