What About CRM and Marketing Automation Products?

Alternatively, firms have purchased Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or bulk marketing products to accomplish business development. Examples of CRM products include Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, Results CRM, Method CRM, and more. When I perform paid consulting work in mid- and large-size CPA firms, these products often make my recommendation list:

  • Zoho CRM
  • Results CRM
  • Levitate
  • Dynamics CRM
  • Salesforce
  • Sage CRM
  • Highrise
  • Infusionsoft
  • SugarCRM
  • HubSpot

Please note that these products tend to work better in larger firms, and many of these products do not fit the culture of professional accounting firms. The exception on this list might be Levitate, which has been created by the founder of ShareFile.

We have been a fan of integrated CRM in accounting software at all levels. Integrated CRM has been included in mid-market products like NetSuite or Acumatica, as well as in entry products like Zoho One or DoMoreCRM. We believe you are wise to advise your small business clients to capture prospect and customer information in a CRM system that is integrated with their accounting.

Bulk marketing products have included email marketing products like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. More sophisticated and expensive examples of marketing automation include AgileCRM, HubSpot, and Infusionsoft. Zapier has produced an eBook The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Apps by Matthew Guay, which provides guidance on these tools and more.

Unfortunately, these CRM systems or marketing automation systems rarely have integration into practice management. We wind up managing multiple systems that may not even be connected instead of being able to convert a suspect to a prospect to a client in a single system. Both team members and clients have inconsistent experiences when disparate systems are used, particularly when they are not integrated properly.

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