Today, many small businesses are finding that keeping up with customer relations can be a pretty daunting task… which is why software tools like Act! CRM can really come in handy.
So, in this review…
We’re going to cover Act! CRM to see if it really is the best customer relations management software out there.
We’ll talk about whether Act! CRM is the right tool for you business.
And at the end, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Act! CRM in general.
But most importantly, I’ll show you the exact system I used to build my own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.
If your business needs a system to track current and potential customers, then you could definitely use a good customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM software brings all of your contacts together in one location and allows you to make notes about just how you’re reaching them.
Act! Premium (starting at $25 per user per month) is available in 2 categories, first, an on-site version you install on your own hardware and a hosted variation known as Act! Premium Cloud.
Act! is a huge name, and Act! Premium may get the task done, though it does not have the range of abilities of Apptivo, the customizability of Editors’ Choice ZohoCRM, or even the in-depth features of Editors’ Choice Salesforce.com, nonetheless, and its user interface is tough to make use of.
You might be familiar with the more advance variation of the program. In that case, you must understand Act! was once run by Sage, which got excellent reviews from us for quite while. The software is currently run by Swiftpage, and it is not as powerful or even as small business-friendly as it was once, as I will show.
Just like Sugar CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Act! can be purchased as both a cloud service and as software you can operate on your personal servers. Signing up for Act! Premium Cloud ($35 per consumer per month) is simple.
There aren’t any installation steps to be worried about as you would with Act! Premium, the local version. There’s actually a third offering, known as Act! Cloud Essentials ($10 per user per month) is a stripped-down model of the software. With Cloud Essentials, you can consolidate data, manage history, keep notes, and store all of you email contacts in a single location.
I was shocked that you would need a subscription for software you operate on your own personal server, but it seems the subscription covers third-party integrations, software updates, along with additional features for Act! Premium.
All versions limit email marketing efforts to only 500 contacts.
Act! Premium, Act! Premium Cloud, Act and! Cloud Essentials each support mobile device access.
For my review, I registered for any 30 days online trial of Act! High quality. Just like Insightly and Zoho CRM, I did not require a charge card to sign on for the trial, but there were few restrictions:
I could not print or even upload files. Outlook integration isn’t supported; most importantly, not one of the info you get into the software could be downloaded throughout the trial. This is because the trial is really an interactive demo using TestDrive.
You can access the demo for just a month, though not one of the pieces of info is really preserved within the software. As soon as you choose to sign up, you have to begin all over again because there’s no chance to export data you produced during the trial.
Because I requested an online trial, I did not need to proceed through the actions required to install the Act! Premium on my server. You will find many management actions I wound up not looking at, like how the phone system and mail server will be incorporated.
I believe a trial on the hosted edition will have offered a much better software experience, honestly. In reality, I was able to get a “dummy setup” of Act! Premium Cloud after asking the product sales support staff for just a screenshot on the cloud model, though I doubt the typical user or company (businesses) will buy that.
It must, nonetheless, be considered a regular offering.
One note: The dummy account was occasionally really sluggish in my testing. Notice, also, you can buy training many hours explore the software, which anyone who prefer to use Act! Premium will probably want to do, as you will see.
Act! Subscriptions are advertised monthly or yearly, and also you can stop at any moment. Nevertheless, you will find no refunds for seldom-used meal portions.
When you cancel Act! Premium, you cannot log in, though you will be in a position to use the information on the server. With Act! Premium Cloud, you have a chance to access the data for ninety days after canceling before it’s removed from the company servers.
Act! Premium looks truly dated – it’s the appearance and feel of a Windows XP program. After dealing with the Web-friendly interface of Nutshell and also Insightly, Act! Premium appears downright old. Even Salesforce.com’s reasonably dull interface is much more modern looking compared to Act! Premium.
The left navigation bar displays the menus for Contacts, Marketplace, Emarketing, Opportunities, History List, Task List, Calendar, Companies, Groups, and Reports.
There are icons for going to the administrator web page and also opening a search window. The best selection bar displays File, Emarketing, Tools, Reports, Write, Schedule, Contacts, Lookup, View, Edit, and Help.
There’s a search area for searching for connections or even uncovering things in addition to the remaining navigation bar. The contact management buttons at best allow you to step forwards or backward through documents, create new documents, schedule company meetings, call businesses contacts, and also produce jobs.
There’s an additional search field right here, along with this’s seemingly meant to be a standard search. Obviously, you will discover many methods to get to your information that may seem great theoretically.
However, the simple fact is an unintuitive and ugly interface for its pricing that could allow it to be more challenging to get work done.
You probably will not be the sole individual working with Act! Premium, so the very first thing the administrator has to perform is to create users. Fortunately, it is pretty simple to get everything you have to begin. The admin icon on the bottom part of the remaining course-plotting pane displays the Act! Administrative Dashboard.
For integrating email, you click on Contacts at the best selection bar and choose Synchronize Google Contacts. This initiates a Google Integration Preferences dialog box (another XP flashback) to invest the Google Apps bank account info. This allows you to synchronize calendars and contacts. There’s a similar selection choice to work with Outlook. This is somehow a contact manager.
As with Nutshell, you can view the last date you emailed an individual. Act! Premium shows you separate lists for the previous phone call and meeting, too.
Far from Zoho CRM, Act! Premium does not permit the layout change of these screens, so you end up with a load of fields packed onto the screen.
When you start a contact history, you see an additional window pane, with tabs demonstrating all your notes, info about the contact’s companies and groups, relationships to other individuals, and a record of all the things you have already completed with the communication.
In this contact management, the icons showing conferences, jobs, and phone calls are beneficial in showing exactly how you have interacted with the communication. Act! Premium likewise integrates with Facebook and LinkedIn to push in info about the touch from those websites.
While I can see the final time I emailed a communication, I could not learn how to watch the content of the actual email itself, how I might find it in Nutshell and Salesforce.com. If it is available, it is installed, which happens to be a pity.
That was a continuous problem throughout this review: it’s hard to find choices in the application, and you should expect to ask some help from technical or customer support to get started.
I clicked the new button from the top bar and opened the record to make a new opening. The best pane merely shows the condition when it was opened. Once again placed in the bottom part pane, all of the specifics are broken out into several tabs.
I could not find a means to make predefined activities and activities to connect with opportunities and leads. Annoying!
On a more positive note, Act! Offers integrated email marketing tools for tracking strategies and also seeing just how they performed. Just remember you are limited to 500 relationships for email marketing campaigns.
Most CRM services and software provide email marketing as third-party integration, with equipment like Constant Contact. It is good to find out email marketing built-in, even if you’ll find limitations on the number of individuals you can email.
Act! Premium and Act! Premium Cloud has a good range of accounts, including pipeline reports, client history, and basic accounting.
You can, in addition, consider gross margins by the user, lost opportunities, as well as a listing of upcoming birthdays for connections.
Nevertheless, I discovered the service’s app Marketplace lackluster regarding the number of types offered, or maybe the forms of the applications provided in every class.
Social networking integration isn’t as powerful as I would expect, considering just how crucial social promotion is now for businesses. If your business truly depends on social media, you need to be checking out Nimble.
As additional features, you can find phone assistance (customer support), and also the software has built-in Help text. There’s, in addition, a hyperlink to an internet knowledge base.
It’s challenging to browse through the knowledge-base posts for web pages specific to Act! Premium, instead of for Sage Act! Pro 2012 and earlier versions.
The current information must actually be removed. For what it is worth, the customers support staff were friendly and looked experienced.
With Act! you can see relationship details, manage events and opportunities, and send targeted emails to your contacts (email campaigns). Pricing puts Act! Premium on par with its competitors, but the software is difficult enough to use that you will spend extra for training.
Act! Premium isn’t loved our Editors’ Choice solutions for CRM, Salesforce.com, and Zoho CRM, where the sky is the cap regarding how you personalize the interface and the features you can work with.
Plus, you might discover Sugar CRM simpler to get around if you truly desire to run the software on your personal server. Having said that, if you liked older versions of Act!, you might want to look into the most recent version; its interface will be somewhat similar features.
Act! Premium allows you to handle all of the info about your contacts in one spot. It is not simple to use, but it seems a lot more like a beefed-up contact manager for contact management than a real customer relationship management (CRM) program.
Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!
Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.
Where Act! CRM falls short is in profitability.
You can’t realistically expect to be able to make any REAL passive income when you’re only bringing in maybe (average weekly earnings).
But what if you leverage it?
With this digital real estate program, you can have the ability to completely walk away from manual labor!
Sound too good to be true?
Of course it does!
But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!
All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!
This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc.
How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now?
That’s a rent payment.
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.
This program actually allows you to collect that without working in a brick and mortar business all day.
Truly passive income!
The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.
You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.
Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions and be in a community with others on the same journey as you.
Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the brick and mortar landscape.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions…