6 months back we were badly in need of a CRM that could help us keep track of all our leads and customers.
As our business grew, the number of enquiries and customers served was, beyond what our memory can hold.
My first stop was HubSpot. After all it was often raved one of the best freemium CRM systems out there.
We needed a system that was easy to learn. I didn’t want the system to be more work, even though our team members are tech savvy.
It needs to be free. I want to try the system without paying first. Yes, most CRM offer trials, but 30 days just didn’t seem enough.
Besides, I was not ready to fork out extra money for a system that I don’t feel would be beneficial to us. At this tiny scale, we can easily work off a Google sheet.
The system should integrate well to our workflow. And our data shouldn’t be lock within the CRM.
I was first attracted to it by the simplicity of this CRM. It seats right in Gmail, doesn’t require any effort to set it up.
Till date, we have used Streak CRM for about 3 months. I use it heavily to manage my sales process, tracking from leads to customers, to after-sales.
I thought it would be great to share this with our experience with any start-ups or business owners look to put in some order to their sales process.
Streak is insanely simple. At the core of it are Boxes, which are folders. They can be anything; your deals, your clients. You can also add data fields that are important for your business under the Custom Columns.
For us, each Box is treated as a new sales order. We capture, the service details such as the destination, the price, order date, the service date and more.
You can do it in any way that fits your business.
Each box in streak is managed by a pipeline. A pipeline is simply a list of boxes categorised based on their stages.
Streak comes with several preset pipelines; Sales, Hiring, Support, Fundraising.
We used the sales pipeline which creates a few default Stages (Lead, Closed-Lost, Success). We added a few more stages to fit our business. Today our pipeline looks like this:
- Final Confirmation
Why I like Streak
Gmail and G Suite Integration
Streak integrates nicely with Gmail. It shows up as an extra column on Gmail. There is no need to login to a separate CRM app or website to access any data. Everything in Streak is inside my Gmail.
Freemium Plan Available
Streak offers a free plan. This is excellent because I had the liberty to extensively try it out, learning about the features it offers (and the limits) too.
No Learning Needed
Streak is insanely simple and intuitive. When you open up a pipeline, it displays the list of boxes in a spreadsheet style.
If you are a frequent user of Google Sheet, you will feel right at home. The sort and filter functions are just like those that you will find in a regular spreadsheet. You can also directly update your details of your boxes directly without opening it up.
Track Your Emails
Once your email is read, Streak tracks the activity, such as location, device, time. You will also be notified. It is great because you know if your email is getting the attention of your leads, and perhaps, it would be a great time to follow-up with them since they have read your email.
Schedule and Snooze Your Emails
The snooze function is useful for scheduling your own follow-up emails. Perhaps, it is too early to follow-up, and you want to create a reminder in 1 week’s time. Streak will send you a notification about this email at a later time.
The schedule function simply sends your email at a later time. Perhaps, it is not a suitable time to send out your email late at night. You can schedule it to send the next day morning.
Type Less with Snippets
With snippets, you spend less time typing routine emails. Plus, we can standardised the emails throughout the entire team.
Unlimited Integrations with Zapier
Streak provides an API for greater integration and automation of tasks with the system. If you’re not a web developer, than the API won’t mean anything to you.
But fortunately Streak is well-integrated with Zapier. You can easily hook Streak with other services that’s available in Zapier.
This is how we use Streak and Zapier. Once we have a successful sale, which triggers the Box’s stage to Booked, Zapier automatically adds an event in Google Calendar and a series of tasks.
Room for Improvements
Streak works best if there is a flow, which works with the pipeline concept.
Otherwise, it can get a little awkward. For example, I wanted to use Streak to management payment of vendors. It just doesn’t work. Would a pipeline be suitable? Should each box represent a vendor or a purchase order? I couldn’t get my head around using Streak for the management of my vendors.
Built-in Workflows and Integration
I wish it would be easier for me to create automated tasks instead of relying on Zapier. Of course, the beauty of Zapier is that it connects to 1000s of other apps and services. But automated workflows within Streak seems like a basic function that shouldn’t depend on Zapier.
Export of Contacts
I often work from desktop to mobile, and I would find that I do not have the contacts of my clients inside my iPhone. Although Streak has a mobile app for iOS, the contacts does not integrate into the iPhone. I was hoping for the Create New Contact function via the app.
Should you get Streak?
Streak is an excellent free CRM for small-business owners.
If your work revolves heavily around Gmail, then you will love it!