Integrated project management and CRM software for digital agencies

Problem defined

As a busy agency, we use multiple pieces of software to run our business on a daily basis. Often from different vendors, a combination of online and application-based and with different licensing limitations.

What we needed was an integrated solution that we could use to run our entire operation, from initial enquiry through to quotation and implementation.

As nothing could be found that did what we want, and with us being techies always on the lookout for a challenge, we decided the solution was to write our own software. So, off we went to design and build it…

Generate high-quality PDF quotations

Often the first impression a new client has of your ability to deliver quality work is when they received your quotation. Creating something that looks good takes skill to produce, and is costly in time.

Furthermore, a lot of the content was copied from previous quotations which became an exercise in copying and pasting.

What we wanted was a software tool where we entered the client name, an overview of the project, a summary of our solution, and a cost breakdown. Then the ability to click a button and have the software generate the PDF for sending to the client.

It needed CRM functionality!

Over the years we’ve tried various software approaches to managing our sales leads, from spreadsheets through to Hubspot and a one-page solution appropriately named OnePage CRM. As good or bad as each solution was, they didn’t feed directly into the software we used for project management. Requiring duplication of data entry and transcription mistakes making place.

As enquiries came in, we validated them by their value and how likely they were to finish as paying work. Looking at other solutions we liked to see our leads sorted as ‘shown interest’, ‘meeting held’, ‘sent proposal’, ‘lost’ & ‘won’. With each column showing the combined total of the project value to the business.

Project management and time management

Keeping track of the progress of a project and recording how long work actually took is fundamental to a successful quotation system. So once a project has been set up, each staff member is required to record their time against jobs (paid and internal) which tallies against the project. Giving us the ability to easily see if a project is over, under or on budget.

Time management tracking is also useful for ensuring that all work is recorded and that we don’t end up doing work for free.

Working solution

All in we were pleased with the software we’ve created. We now have a solution that can help streamline our business, give insights into how we’re performing and communicate with our clients. We can quickly see how the business is performing, quote for new work and keep in touch with clients using accurate information.

If your business could benefit from something similar, get in touch, see if we can build the perfect software for managing your business.

Future developments

We’re not going to rest on our laurels and already have some new features on our development roadmap:

  • Quotes to be emailed to clients
  • Read receipts on client opening
  • Electronic contract signatures from quotes
  • Client portal access to download maintenance reports
  • 2-way project communication on projects