What's the best CRM/system for managing remote work opportunities?

#1

I’m currently doing some work through Upwork, but it’s sporadic and I’m keen to get more active on other platforms like Freelancer, Toptal, CodeMentor, Fiverr etc

Currently I’m managing leads in a Google sheet. Basically it’s just a list of projects I pitched for, how much I bid, what I did differently from the last pitch/bid, how much time went by before I got a offered a job etc.

I’m not actively following up anybody, and I’ve in fact ‘lost’ a few jobs where the client was keen, but then disappeared without a trace. I guess I need to keep in touch with those people to ensure that they remain focussed on our agreement…

I’m also keen to take on more small projects concurrently, without dropping the ball on any of them.

I’ve done a quick Google and turned up a few names including Salesforce, Zoho, Nutshell, HighRise, Base, Nimble, etc etc. But testing out all these products isn’t all that appealing, so I thought I’d ask here first :slight_smile:

Ideally I’d like something that integrates with remote job boards in some way.

Feature list

I’ve done some research and currently have this feature list:

Proposal building & tracking

  • Compile proposals from snippets - technologies, past projects
  • Quickly pull together a realistic/client friendly quote
  • Test and measure different approaches
  • Beat proposal deadlines while maintaining quality
  • Fine tune pitch material to bid more quickly and win more work – templates
  • Store history about past projects involving common needs and technological solutions
  • Learn which proposal content is working, and which is not

Lead generation and client management (CRM)

  • store info about regular clients
  • track remote projects which I’ve pitched for
  • Remote Job Board integration
  • search multiple job sites for keywords
  • track projects across multiple remote platforms – API integration / message alert/response

Project Management & Scheduling

  • Break projects down into granular tasks
  • Gantt chart to visualise overlapping jobs
  • Calendar to schedule daily work, deadlines, R&D
  • follow up, plan and schedule future work now, rather than once current work has dried up
  • offline reminders via a dedicated Android app
  • time tracking – to get an idea of true cost, to flag issues to client
  • BitBucket integration

Billing

  • Integration with Xero
  • tracking status of payments, actual payment date vs expected payment clearance date

Marketing

  • Get repeat business
  • Build Word Of Mouth
  • Proactive lead generation
  • Publish proposals as case studies

Cheers,
Dan

1 Like
#2

Hey Dan,

Not sure if it has all the features you list, but I use https://centralstationcrm.com/ - They have a free starter version where you can save 200 contacts. I only used it as CRM, to stay on top of communication with (potential) clients and bidding but not for proper project management/Team work.
Your feature list is quite extensive, so you might need to go with something more complex like salesforce.

#3

Hi them,

Thanks for your reply. No I hadn’t heard of Central Station, I’ll definitely give them a try, thanks!

At the moment I am using Trello to manage the pipeline and PandaDoc to quickly put portfolios and estimates together. Trello is not very good as a CRM, so maybe Central Station can fill that gap.

Cheers,
Dan

#4

I would give a go to Agile CRM too. :wink: