Agile CRM comes with an interesting back story.
It was built by the team behind Click Desk because they were unable to find a product that met their needs, in particular the need to automate their marketing.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s taken Agile CRM to a really interesting place as a product.
The first thing you notice when logging in is that the product packs in a lot of features that you don’t usually get in a standalone CRM. For this reason there’s a slightly steeper learning curve than you’ll get with other CRMs, but by no means a difficult one.
The product is organised into three main areas that you select from in the toolbar at the top of your screen:
Each of these breaks down further into a number of areas, but the common element that unites the three is Contacts (viewed here in Sales mode).
From this page there are options for selecting customers for a campaign, and you can filter based on previous campaign activity.
Before we too far into the system it’s worth mentioning that two-way email integration and tracking comes as standard on the free for 10 users plan if you use Gmail. IMAP or Office 365 users need to be on the Enterprise plan to get this, so to be able to get it for free is pretty epic.
If you are signing up for an account then getting your Email configured is one of the first things you should do before putting the product through it’s paces.
The other area you’ll want to take a look at is Notifications, which can be configured to tell you when a prospect is looking at your website, opens or clicks a link in an email. These work in real-time to help you reach out and connect with your customers at exactly the right time, or have Agile do it for you with a range of Automations.
There’s also useful set of integrations (which they call Widgets), including billing (Stripe, Braintree etc.) and eCommerce (i.e. Shopify) that enable you to connect transaction data to your contacts.
The sales functionality breaks down like this:
- Contacts – see above
- Companies – allows you to send bulk email to all contacts (for selected companies)
- Deals – giving you a straight-forward Kanban-style view of your pipeline
- Documents – which can be uploaded and tagged to contacts
- Online Calendar – enabling customers to schedule a discussion with you
- Activities – gives you a feed of user activities
- Reports – a comprehensive suite of performance reporting on automations, deals, calls and conversion
- Automations – currently in beta this enables you to set event based triggers against contacts, deals, emails, calls and calendar items.
- Trash – allowing you to restore deleted contacts etc.
These are listed as icons down the left hand side of the page (or the top if you prefer), and there’s a dashboard that you can customise by adding and removing widgets (which Agile call ‘Dashlets’).
The user interface perhaps isn’t as design-forward as other CRMs, but it’s well organised and needs to be considering the level of features in the product.
There are no revelations in the sales functionality, but the Online Calendar is a nice touch for internal sales teams that want to allow customers to book in their own appointments.
This is where the magic happens.
Agile gives you the ability to create and manage a huge range of digital assets including email, video, web forms, pop-ups and landing pages.
Forms and landing pages deployed as part of your website and feed straight back into Agile, but things start getting really clever when you have the tracking code installed in your website.
Web Rules allow you to customise user experience, with a whole range of modal pop-ups that can be customised and deployed based on any combination of conditions you choose to define. This could be pretty general (e.g. an email sign-up for contacts you don’t know) or highly specific based on the contacts organisation, tags etc.
Want to tell contacts who work for BMW about your new range of alternators? No problem.
This is impressive functionality for a CRM, but things really move to the next level when you start exploring what the Campaigns functionality can deliver.
Put simply each Campaign is a collection of ‘nodes’ that allow you to deploy a series of emails (or even Tweets) in response a Trigger (e.g. completing a web form).
You can use this to do everything from sending a simple thank you email, right through to defining a series of events with each one conditional on the last.
You can even apply tags when contacts perform specific actions, or update their lead score to help your sales team focus on their hottest prospects.
Campaigns can be run to a group of Contacts you select using filters, or initiated by a Trigger.
Almost anything that happens in Agile can be used to Trigger a campaign.
Inbound email, updated service tickets or even transactions in Stripe or Shopify can be used to determine when it is appropriate to communicate with your customers.
You even get this with the free for 10 users plan, although you are limited to a maximum of 5 nodes per Campaign.
There is loads of marketing “oomph” in here, including the ability to create and build forms and landing pages – and the automation means it can be deployed at scale, without the need for a large team.
Agile also gives you a very capable ticketing system.
The higher plans include Knowledge Base and Feedback, but even on the basic plan the name of the game is automation.
Automations work like Campaigns and can begin whenever a Ticket is created, updated or closed, enabling you to send canned responses, or change the status of a Ticket as it is progressed. You can even keep your support team engaged with reminders when they have not responded to a Ticket, or alerts if the Contact performs certain actions e.g. visiting a page on your website.
Even a small team with a heavy workload should be able to use this to deliver great service.
Integrations include a good selection of web forms, email, SMS and there is even support for the main e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Magento and Woo Commerce).
Agile offer four-tier pricing – from Free through to Enterprise at $47.99/mo (which includes a 40% discount for advance payment).
There’s a huge amount of value in the free for 10 users plan, although the extent to which you can use the Campaigns is quite limited, so Agile are clearly counting on this being the thing users will want more of.
And why wouldn’t you?
At $8.99 and $29.99 per user per month (including discount) the Starter and Regular plans give you access to some serious capabilities that are likely to mean you won’t need huge numbers of users to run your business.
Even when you get to Enterprise level pricing Agile looks like seriously good value compared to big name CRMs that require lots of integrations to pack the same punch.
The way Agile have managed to connect sales, marketing and service in a single product really is very impressive.
What really stands out for me is the marketing functionality, and the endless possibilities for driving revenue and service using automations.
I’d recommend this product to any marketing-oriented business with a high volume of customers, and I’m sure it will tick boxes for a lot of other businesses besides.
Marketing-focused CRM that helps you achieve scale using high levels of automation. Perfect for businesses who need to manage lots of customers and prospects.
Ease of Use
Value for Money