Capsule CRM is a cloud based Client Relationship Management system which allows you access to your client data from any location you choose to work. It is an ideal solution for an individual or small to medium business with sales teams who want the full functionality of CRM without installing the server based software to access it.
It is simple to use, effective and flexible. The ease of integration with other popular cloud based applications such as Xero, MailChimp and Google Apps makes this CRM software a favourite for business owners wanting an uncomplicated and straightforward system.
Capsule CRM focuses on tracking relationships and sales pipelines, plain and simple. It offers less functionality in other aspects of CRM such as campaigns and reporting, yet as a CRM for smaller businesses, not seeking all the bells and whistles (and the accompanying complexity), Capsule is pretty much an ideal solution. Data is kept nice and secure via redundant servers hosted in Amazon data centers, and it’s backed up every hour.
The user experience in Capsule is easily one of its strongest points. The interface is incredibly intuitive and simple, with only five tabs to navigate between in a simple layout (unlike many other CRMs out there that tout powerful simplicity). This is really important, as the rather cliched phrase “ease-of-use”, is actually the biggest reason affecting user acceptance and adoption, or lack thereof.
The user interface is split up into five main modules: the dashboard, people & organizations, calendars and tasks, the sales pipeline, and cases. You have the ability to create new tasks, contacts, cases, and opportunities from anywhere in the system, which always comes in handy.
All contacts stored in the CRM are stored according to user defined categories. The contacts can be tagged and then sorted for easy identification such as vendor, customer, and lead/opportunity. A user can also add notes such as scheduled meetings, meeting outcomes, and other notes about the customer, which feeds through to the client history wall in the contact’s profile. This is the lifeblood of Capsule – one centralised place to store everything related to your contact. The social feeds are also quite useful; you get a summary of recent Twitter updates and LinkedIn feeds, among other things. Think of the potential! In one place, you have every detail about your contact you could ever need to know. This feature of congregating the data helps the user get up to speed with the customer before interacting or presenting an offer.
It has a great sales pipeline for tracking bids, deals, proposals and other opportunities. The dashboard will give you a quick summary of opportunities on the go, as well as all the latest updates. It’s a great place to start your day; see all new updates on items, new files, tasks, changes to current tasks, and sales forecasting. You can filter your updates by person or the type of item. Then jump in and create new tasks or opportunities right from the dashboard.
If you have a mobile sales team they can directly access, edit and create customer data via the mobile app. Capsule CRM allows businesses to collaborate in real time with their employees via tasks assignment and brings accountability tracking for managers. There is the capacity for simplistic task automation or workflows to ensure your operational processes and the delivery of customer experience are consistent.
You can even customise the CRM to fit your business, by adding the data fields you need and branding it with your colours and logo.
What we love…
Seamless integration with Xero & Google Apps:
The Xero integration specifically is seamless and particularly fantastic. The Gmail gadget let’s you add opportunities from within your Google account inbox, attach email to opportunities and manage contacts. Installation and configuration of Capsule CRM is so easy. We compared different CRM systems and we wanted the Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn information within our database. Capsule does a really good job in synchronizing this information. The mobile version (web browser only) is working good on iOS, like a native app, the performance is somewhat slow but it will do for the functionality required.
Email marketing using MailChimp:
MailChimp is a popular email marketing tool and the integration with Capsule is easy to set-up and use. The Website Contact Integration form will enable contacts to opt-in and be loaded directly into Capsule and then be exported or synced into your MailChimp account. You can create interest groups or segmented lists using tags in Capsule for targeted eDM campaigns. The integration is simple in terms of purely syncing lists so you will need to view campaign results from within MailChimp.
Smart integration with Wufoo:
Wufoo is a simple application that helps one create functional and powerful web based forms. The application creates all scripts that are needed to gather information from your users. With Wufoo, you don’t have to create or upload any form on your website. It can create forms within a few minutes and also create a linked database where the information collected through forms is stored.
Added functionality with Dropbox:
Users can create a new opportunity and link it to the email and send it to Dropbox. Capsule CRM Dropbox then creates and stores contact information along with the opportunity and email. This feature allows users to save time, as they do not have to manually create an opportunity and link it to the email. The application does this task automatically.
What we’re not so keen on…
A key aspect of a CRM tool is its ability to keep a record of all communications between your business and a lead or client. If you are using Google Apps with Capsule this is pretty straightforward, as you can either use the Gmail gadget provided by Capsule to save communications, or send the email within Capsule (a Gmail ‘new message’ window will open so that you can send the email, and Capsule will store the message).
However, if you are using an email client like Outlook or Thunderbird, Capsule doesn’t play so nice: if you want to email somebody and store that message in Capsule against a contact record, you’ll need to BCC a ‘dropbox’ email address to forward and save the message in your Capsule account. I personally would nearly always forget to do this, and there are other solutions out there which I feel handle email activity tracking better – with Zoho CRM’s POP and IMAP integrations, for example, all email history can be stored automatically, regardless of what email program is being used to send and receive emails.
This is by far the biggest downfall of Capsule and will likely be the reason some businesses decide against adoption of this software. User hierarchy or or the ability to set different levels of permission in Capsule are essentially non-existent. You can choose to set a user as an administrator, which will give him the ability to invite other users, do some minor configuration, or choose whether they can export data – but that’s it. Everyone has the same permissions when it comes to viewing opportunities, cases, contacts, correspondence, and other business information. Capsule’s reasons for avoiding implementing this feature are unclear, but I can’t personally see how adding permissions would conflict with how Capsule currently works.
While you can attach files to nearly everything in Capsule, there’s no dedicated file section, which can be problematic when managing important files and more general, non-associated files. Part of the reason for this is the claimed Google Apps integration, but the integration isn’t ‘true’ integration. It’s not a two-way auto-sync with Google Docs.
Capsule is a solid, easy-to use CRM system which is a good tool for small to medium-sized businesses, particularly those using Google Apps. It is competitively priced, and it provides a feature set that will allow you to efficiently manage a large database, identify business opportunities, track communications and manage a sales pipeline with relative ease. There are a few things it could do better, particularly around email history tracking but overall it’s a very solid product.
As with many other tools, you can get a 30 days free trial of Capsule before committing to the product. If you’re looking for set-up resources take a look at Squirrel Business Hub’s YouTube channel for some handy ‘how to’ videos.