9+ Reasons why epicplugins.com needed its own CRM

In this post we look at the main reasons why  epicplugins.com needed its own Customer Relationship Management system. So, what are the reasons why epicplugins.com ended up using Zero BS CRM.

So, onto the reasons why epicplugins.com needed a CRM (written by Mike from Epic Plugins).

1.I have multiple sources of income and want to track them

Yep, epicplugins.com has multiple sources of income, so just looking at tools like PayPal reporting or the WooCommerce reporting doesn’t capture all of the activity and all of the customers that flow through the epicplugins.com system. This was managed manually and as epicplugins.com grows this becomes harder to do and takes up a lot of my time as director.

What are the sources of income that I needed to track customers for

  • Sales through CodeCanyon
  • Sales through epicplugins.com
  • Sales through epicthemes.com
  • Freelance work (sourced from various locations)
  • +Other ad hoc revenue (such as eBooks)

This means have less time to spend on product development and other tasks that drive forward the business. So, looking for a CRM that fitted what I needed would save time and allow me to focus on growing the business.

2. I wanted a way to see which customers were the most valuable

Sales were coming in, customers were emailing for support and posting on the support forum, but I had no way of knowing which customers were the most valuable. Am I spending a dis-proportionate amount of time on a customer who has only purchased a $9.99 plugin and neglecting customers who have purchased 10 plugins at higher value?

So a big factor to look for in a CRM system is a way to track the total value of customers to the business over time.

3. I quit my job, and wanted a central place to manage quotes and invoices

I’ve only done freelance here and there, mostly for plugin or theme customers who want to modify plugins or themes. However, with me leaving my 9-5 there’s more sources of freelance that I’ll be using. I do work for clients via peopleperhour and other sources so I wanted a way to keep everything in one place so I didn’t get lost or miss sending a quote for work or an invoice for completed work.

4. I’m scaling my business and want to have a central place for my team (of 2)

For a while I’d been checking on my business performance via my PayPal account, but i wanted a way to add my team to my customer information. But hell no, I’m not sharing my PayPal log-in details. Nor am I sharing my epicplugins.com admin access (to allow sight of the WooCommerce sales reports and customer order information). So I needed a tool which allowed expansion to more team members so they can become fully engaged in helping epicplugins grow.

5. I wanted full control over my customer data

So, I checked out a number of the CRM’s available on the market. A lot of these systems were hosted on their servers and as such I would be giving away my data to them. While they have strict terms and conditions and privacy policies in place, there’s too many instances of these big players getting their database hacked into, or socially engineered and all the data is exposed and sold on the dark net.

I wanted to make sure my data sat with me, the responsibility is with me and therefore I can be sure I have measures in place to stop unauthorised access to my customer data. Plus, even with a super secure external CRM, who is to say the admin of those systems isn’t being nefarious with your data.

6. I wanted to self-host my own CRM system, on my own server

Related to the point above, I wanted a quick and easy way to use a CRM on my own server. What’s the easiest CMS to get up and running these days? Well, WordPress of course. So I wanted to use a CRM which worked with WordPress. There’s a WooCommerce CRM on CodeCanyon which ‘turns your WooCommerce store into a CRM’ but this brought me back to the point above, I’d need to give admin access. Plus it created a WordPress user for each customer (so they could log into my main site).. no thanks.

So now, in two clicks I’ve been able to install Zero BS CRM on a sub-domain (crm.epicplugins.com) and activate the Zero BS CRM and I have my CRM up and running. It’s amazingly easy and powerful.

7. I wanted something simple, and easy to use

I was up and running in minutes with the familiar WordPress admin system. WordPress can be ‘Quick Installed’ with most of the web-hosts these days so I literally just had to choose my subdomain (obviously crm.[domain].com) and then login, download the Zero BS CRM and activate my extensions. Winner.

8. I needed to automate the importing of customers

I’ve been doing this for some time now, using PayPal for my payment processor and it’s been amazing. But there’s no way I want to manually input all my customers to my site. So I needed a CRM with either a PayPal importer, or a WooCommerce importer. Zero BS CRM has both.

I ended up going for the PayPal Sync extension because I do most things via PayPal (including before I was using WooCommerce) as well as issuing invoices for freelance work via PayPal to international clients. The PayPal Sync let me import my historic data all in one place and gives me the full power of the CRM system to maximise my value from the customers of my business.

Customers are the most important part of any business, so keeping them happy increases the chances of them purchasing from you again.

9. I wanted a CRM that allows me to share my sales metrics

I’ve been on the road of transparency, I love how baremetrics.com gives SaaS companies the way to share their start-up data. This doesn’t work very well for traditional product businesses (e.g. t-shirt sales) nor did it work for me via digital product sales.

The main reason I didn’t start doing transparency reports sooner is that it was a chore to create some useful information to share on my blog. So I wanted something that gave me baremetrics.com type reporting from my transaction data.  The Zero BS CRM comes with an extension to easily do this.

10. I wanted to see how effective my ConvertKit sign up process was

Were customers finding me, how was my ConvertKit mailing list compared to the number of customers I have? I was hugely surprised to see I have almost 1,800 customers (at the time of writing) but only around 1,000 signed up the the mailing list.

There may even be cross overs the other way (e.g. how many of the 1,000 customers are leads?) so I needed a way to add Leads to my website from my mailing list on ConvertKit. Using the CSV importer is an easy way to do this as it’ll add customers as Leads and I can then convert them to customers using the power of my CRM and the cool tools and extensions available.

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Posted June 13, 2016

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