CRM software for training providers – 5 Low cost options
CRM software for training providers – 5 Low cost options
Like other businesses, training providers need to collect data about enquiries, sales leads and customer engagement. You can start with Excel - data stored in spreadsheets - but in the end you need a better, more scalable customer relationship management (CRM) system.
A good CRM solution will improve data accuracy, simplify communication with customers and save time. You also want a CRM system that will grow as your training business grows because switching systems later - migrating data to another system - can be difficult. Here are 5 options. Some work for any type of business while others are designed for training businesses - they come with extra features that streamline the admin associated with publishing courses and processing enrolments.
Hubspot is a popular CRM system which offers a free plan with up to 1,000,000 contacts and no limits on users or customer data. Although Hubspot is primarily aimed at sales, it can be adapted to suit your training business. A few of the popular Hubspot free features are:
- Simple UI, allowing you to easily sort through companies or contacts by over a hundred different fields. You can associate individual contacts to their company, store and track deals and track their website activity;
- Emailing tools. Hubspot comes with Gmail and Outlook integration, 5 free email templates, and up to 200 notifications on prospects who engage with links in your emails;
- Meeting organisation. The free plan comes with a personal widget that allows customers to schedule a meeting with you via a ‘meeting link’. The free plan offers 1 meeting link.
Zoho CRM is another solution that offers a free plan for up to 3 users. The free plan provides basic features:
- A digital contact book for easy management of companies and contacts. Zoho makes it simple to log customer sales activities, add notes and create tasks;
- Email service. Integration with Gmail, Outlook and other providers allows you to keep in touch with all your contacts from one place. The free plan comes with 10 free email templates and you are notified when your emails have been delivered, opened and when they were read;
- Integrated lead generation. Zoho CRM offers you the tools to capture potential leads from a form on your website and have it automatically uploaded into Zoho - saving you the hassle of updating the contact list manually with each new customer. The free plan comes with 1 form/module.
Upgrades to Zoho CRM start at £12/user/month and come with increased access to some of the free features – more templates, more forms etc. as well as a range of new more powerful features. A comparison can be found on the Zoho website.
Hubspot and Zoho CRM are both generic pieces of software. For something more suited to training management it's worth considering a service like Coursedate. Coursedate is primarily a course booking system, but it comes with built-in CRM. As well as being able to manage your course bookings and learners, Coursedate provides you with the tools to view and analyse data in a simple way, allowing you to effectively market and grow your training business.
Arlo is a training management solution that also comes with a built-in CRM. The ‘Simple’ Arlo plan costs £69/licence/month and gets you the basics in course management, payment services and a CRM service. With the CRM service you are able to:
- Link contacts to organisations and create hierarchies;
- Keep your CRM data organised with automatic duplicate cleaning;
- Create key notes for contacts to track information and tasks;
- Monitor results and grades and assign them to registrations.
The pricing increases to £122/licence/month with the Professional plan and up to £163/licence/month with the Enterprise plan. A feature comparison is available on the Arlo website.
Administrate is another training management system with integrated CRM. Administrate’s pricing is scaled based on the size of your company and the size of the system you require. Administrate’s CRM system has all the basic features.
- Accounts & Contacts. The accounts section gives you all the information on any organisation you have been in contact with. You can see contact details, their employees (contacts), sales, tasks, events and financial statements. The hierarchies system allows you to keep track of which accounts may be subsidiaries of others;
- Reports. The filtering system in Administrate lets you filter, search and build complex reports from your CRM data. You can create powerful custom reports, export data for use outside of Administrate, share reports internally and create marketing lists;
- Marketing. The marketing system lets you set up, manage and track all your marketing campaigns. It includes features like landing forms to collect data from prospective customers, marketing lists to determine which of your clients will receive certain outbound communications, marketing campaigns to set targets in number of responses, contacts, sales and costs and marketing activities;
- Sales. The sales system is both a sales and a booking processor allowing you to keep track of leads and sales, save time and enforce processes along your workflow pipeline. It works for customers whether they are in your CRM system or not and you can specify where in your pipeline their details should be added to the system.
There's plenty of choice if you're looking for an online CRM solution for your training business. One way to narrow down the field is to come up with a checklist of essential requirements. Cost, support for email marketing campaigns, configurable data entry forms and ease of website integration could be on your list. You should also spend sometime thinking about generic CRM vs CRM systems built for the training provider market. The benefits of a system built for the training provder market - if it is a good fit with your business - may out weight any additional cost.