Zero BS CRM. A CRM using WordPress.

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Wait. What’s that you say? A CRM using WordPress?

Yes. That’s right. WordPress can be used for more than just a blogging platform or a business website. You can now use WordPress for your very own CRM. What’s a CRM I hear you say?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers. It helps you improve your profitability.

CRMs should be central to everything you do. If you’re not running a CRM for your business or your side projects then you should be. With Zero BS CRM it’s even easier and much more accessible than ever before.

 

What was available before?

CRMs aren’t a new thing. I’m sure you’ve heard of the likes of SalesForce, Hubspot, and other big CRM companies.

When going with one of this ‘ Software as a Service’ companies you’re giving them your data and they charge you per month, per user of the software.

When trying their free trials the services provided were good and you’d expect that for the price you pay BUT crucially there weren’t that SIMPLE to use. The price also escalates quickly as soon as your business starts to grow.

That’s how they get you. They tempt you in through the door with free trials, onboarding, getting your data in and then as you get more customers the price creeps up, as you grow your team, the price creeps up.

Now’s the time to consider using WordPress. Self Hosted and run your own show.

 

Enter WordPress

We love WordPress. We use it every day for our websites and are familiar with the admin panels, the login process and the way around it. When we found Zero BS CRM which claimed to be a simple to use full CRM running on WordPress we instantly wanted to try it out.

We’ve tried other WordPress CRMs in the past but a lot of these were either gateways to CRM software (e.g. adding lead forms to your website which sent contact details to your other CRM) or were not the easiest to use.

Through using WordPress as your CRM you keep control, you self-host your own databases and manage the people who can access your data. So when Zero BS CRM came to our attention we wanted to give it a go.

The team over at Zero BS CRM have done a handy feature comparison of CRM’s on WordPress (you can see it here) it stands out as a fully feature packed offering so let’s give it a whirl.

 

Zero BS CRM

This ‘new kid’ on the block is about to turn 1 year old and has moved on massively in development since it was launched. You can see this by checking out the ‘updates’ on their blog about feature releases.

The new version 2.0 is here now and we’ve had the chance to have a play with it (running the Entrepreneur’s Bundle) so we can give the tires a good kick.

 

The “Core” of the CRM

Before we get onto the extensions included in the bundle first we want to touch on just what’s included “in the box”. Zero BS CRM is a FREE WordPress plugin which is hosted on WordPress.org.

What we were met with on activation of the free CRM is just wow. Most WordPress ‘Plugins’ we have dealt with just activate and give you a side menu and leave you to figure it out.

Zero BS CRM is on the same level as WooCommerce when it comes to getting you started. It has such an ease of use and before even taking you to the menu you’re asked some questions to tailor the CRM to your needs.

Then once you’re in and all set up (we chose the Slimline menu) you can access your CRM from a simple to view a dashboard of features.

 

Modularised

It’s also very cleverly modularised. The above panels take you around the CRM with ease but there’s also the usual Admin menu with links too. If you want to check out the extensions you can head to the Extensions panel within the Plugin to see what’s enabled and enable (or disable) anything you do (or don’t) need.

 

Free Extensions

There’s a ton of value in the Free Extensions and these are optionally enabled as part of the welcome process.

Recapping what these are (and not forgetting these are all FREE) and included in the core of the CRM

  • Client Portal – lets your clients access their very own area (housing their invoices etc)
  • API – the API is new in version 2.0 and lets you program ZBS with other services
  • Quote Builder – send and maintain quote templates to customers and let them accept
  • Invoice Builder – create itemised invoices and send them to clients
  • PDF invoicing – generate PDF copies of your invoices
  • Front End Forms – Capture leads from your website and track conversion % of each form
  • CSV Importer LITE – lets you import contacts into your CRM

CSV Importer LITE – lets you import contacts into your CRM

 

Paid Extensions

This is what’s currently included in the Entrepreneur’s Bundle. There’s a ton of additional value here (a full review of each of these extensions is too much for this article, but we’ve tested them and they’re all easy to use and add real power to the CRM).

Touching on each of the extension which is included in the Entrepreneur’s bundle.

  • PayPal Sync – Imports your transaction history from PayPal and assigns transactions to customers – see your customer’s total value easily
  • WooCommerce Sync – the same as above, but for WooCommerce orders + customers
  • Invoicing Pro – accept Invoice Payments from your client portal using PayPal or Stripe
  • CSV Importer PRO – extra tools and functionality on top of the Lite version
  • Mail Campaigns – send targeted emails to segments of your customers based on total value, tags, name, when added and more
  • Sales Dashboard – revenue metrics, gross sales, net sales.

 

Extending the CRM

We were lucky enough to grab a copy of the Entrepreneur’s Bundle so we got to really dig into the power of this CRM. With the extensions, it really does turn into an amazing piece of kit.

Let’s take a minute and look at the price of the Bundle and what it includes. It retails at $397 (annual renewal for future updates, future extensions, and support). But what do you get for that vs other ‘services’? This is at the time of writing and the Entrepreneurs Bundle gives you access to all future extensions as well.

Zero BS extensionWhat’s it does?Comparable to
Sales DashboardGives you a barometric style sales reports on your business revenues.Baremetrics – $600 to $6000 a year
Gravity FormsAllows you to connect Gravity Forms to your CRM
PayPal SyncImports your PayPal customers and transaction history to the CRMPaysketch – $80 a year
WooCommerce SyncImports your WooCommerce customers and order history to your CRMWooCommerce ‘CRM’ on codecanyon $55 one off.
Mail CampaignsSend targeted email campaigns to your customer segmentsConvertKit, aWeber – $360
Invoicing ProLets your users pay your invoices online using PayPal or StripeZoho, other invoicing services ($180)

 

There’s also the CSV Importer Pro extension which gives you more control over imports and extended capability.

With the Version 2.0 Launch offer you get all the above all for $199 per year which is a fraction of the cost of signing up to the services above. There are more benefits to using Zero BS CRM and the extensions too:

  • You only need to sign into one place (your WordPress Dashboard)
  • You can add more WordPress users and give them a CRM role. This doesn’t inflate any costs (no per user, per month here)
  • You can do a lot with Zero BS CRM and use it to grow your business to the next level. Once you do grow, ZBS sticks with you.
  • If you decide to stop paying (i.e. cancel your subscription) you keep access to the CRM (it’s your WordPress install after all) and you keep access to all your data. You don’t need to worry about having to extract it and re-import it anywhere.

 

Per Year Costs

This one always worries us, but in reality, it’s the way most of the software producers are going with their products. Certainly with a product as feature packed as Zero BS CRM. The per year cost is optional and you can continue to keep using the CRM and all the extension even if your subscription for updates and support have ceased.

What does this mean though?

  • You can keep using your CRM and all the data in it, without limits, forever (the license is a lifetime license)
  • If you want to have access to the developers for support then you need to keep the subscription active
  • If you want to continue to receive new extensions as they’re released then the subscription needs to be active.

This is pretty common now with places like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads following the same pricing model.

Keeping the subscription active helps keep the development of the product and keep it improving. The value which Zero BS CRM adds to your business is well worth the price of having access to the extensions and support (we’ve chatted with the ZBS guys a lot any they’re really great and most importantly committed to continuing to develop the product).

 

In Summary

Zero BS CRM is THE CRM that you should be using for your business. No matter what stage you’re at in business you could consider joining the Zero BS CRM movement and hosting your very own CRM.

It keeps the costs down, in the long run, you keep control of your data and the new extension bundles cater for all use cases:

  • Freelancer’s Bundle – slightly cheaper, limited to 4 extensions
  • Entrepreneur’s Bundle – access to everything, including future extensions
  • Reseller’s Bundle – if you’re looking to sell this to your clients you can get a 10 site license for $499 and sell it onto clients

We’re big fans of this software and strongly encourage you to try it out and use if for your own business and side projects.

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