Like many small business owners and marketers, the search for efficient workflows and software to support your operations never ends. Just when you think you have it down, another new program arrives, and you think “This is the Holy Grail!”.
A little later, the “Holy Grail” turns out to be a mirage. Then, the whole cycle repeats itself; excitement-frustration-disappoint-discovery repeats itself.
This is a short story of how I tried and tested a plethora of contact management systems, only to realize my mistake and return to FullContact (which, in my opinion, is the most efficient CRM within Gmail).
My CRM Requirements
My small business, Foxxr, is a digital marketing agency with 11 employees. We support over 30 SEO clients and hundreds of website clients throughout the country. We are active in the community through networking groups, the Chamber of Commerce board, and a Meetup we host with over 850 members.
Every email connection is an opportunity, and I need to manage those opportunities fast and efficiently. I live in my Gmail. It’s a beast that feeds me leads, builds relationships, manages projects, and responds to the needs of my clients.
The Quest for the Perfect CRM
I was a FullContact user two years ago. Thinking the grass was greener on the GSuite Marketplace, I spent the last two years fumbling around with lightweight and heavyweight CRMs that were either too cumbersome, too expensive, or lacked many of my basic needs. I tried Active Campaign, Streak, Zoho, Insightly, Prosperworks, Solve, and Mixmax.
With each maneuver, I went through the same emotions; excitement, pride, confusion, frustration, and shame. I was ashamed that I spent so much time and energy trying to make something work that lacked many of my fundamental requirements.
My Return to FullContact
As it turns out, the fundamental features were right in front of me the whole time with FullContact.
It’s Lightning Fast
FullContact sits nicely within my Gmail right sidebar and does everything I need lightning fast.
I can easily add, edit and tag contacts on-the-fly, add notes about the contact from within the sidebar, and view social profiles that FullContact automatically picks up from the sender’s email. I use Google Hangouts to place phone calls, so the ‘copy phone number to clipboard’ feature is handy for quick calls.
It Features Powerful Contact Management
This ability to instantly manage contacts offers me a sense of security knowing that I will not miss an opportunity while working in my Gmail.
For example, leads from our website arrive into my inbox with the contact details in the body of the email. With the FullContact Chrome Extension, I can just hover over the email of the lead, and FullContact automatically pulls up a matching GSuite Contact or creates a new contact profile for quick editing and tagging. Additionally, it populates social profiles associated with the email and attaches those linked icons to the contact record.
It Makes Me Super Productive
To make up for some of the productivity features other CRMs offer–email templates, to-dos, snoozing and email tracking–I use the Gmelius Chrome Extension. It only costs $60 per user per year, works well with FullContact and all its features nest within my Gmail.
I also use Zapier to copy new contacts in my “email marketing” category to MailChimp along with a few other productivity Zaps.
The Lesson Learned
If you are a small business GSuite user who wants quick contact creation, editing and tagging, then FullContact is the answer!
Beware if you think you need more features in your CRM. You may end up paying more in terms of time, money, and frustration. Like me, you will probably discover that these feature-rich CRMs lack even some fundamental tools of the trade; plus the real-time syncing FullContact provides.
About the Author
Brian Childers is the Founder & CEO of Foxxr, a digital marketing agency based in Capitola, CA. Childers leads a team of digital marketing experts with specialties in; Web Design, Local & National SEO, Paid Search Management, Link Building, Content Marketing, and Social Media to help clients attract an insane amount leads and revenue.