Are you a business owner looking for a CRM system in order to improve your processes?
In today’s video, I’m going to help you save time by giving you an in-depth review of Close.io, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as who it is most appropriate for.
Hello and welcome to another video are you a business owner or an entrepreneur and you’re looking at some type of a sales or a CRM system for your business however you don’t have a whole lot of time in order to be able to our resources in order to do research and development on the plethora of tools that are out there today.
I’m going to be doing an in-depth review of close dot io and what some of its strengths are what some of his weaknesses are and who it may be appropriate for and who it’s not appropriate for in order to be able to shave down a lot of that research time for you so if you are unfamiliar with me or my channel I am Tom ‘batman’ Ziegelbauer and I help businesses and entrepreneurs scale through the use of technology.
So we’re just going to get after this and have kind of a conversation about it so we are currently in close dot io and we are making a transition out of close dot io to HubSpot which I do another review on in another video so if you’re interested in that please check out that video especially if you’re thinking about doing the transition that we’re doing.
So a little bit history on the background of the company and why close.io is the choice that we’re currently in so close was chosen way before I came on board as cto of zero percent and it’s really kind of focused in on the solo picture entrepreneur or the entrepreneur or solo printer in terms of if you have one product one sales channel one pipeline you don’t need advanced reporting it’s probably for you and it’s pitched that way and there are a lot of startups that use closed audio and I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are are happy with it.
Day one of me coming in to the company and actually negative like couple days like as I’m interviewing I’m told that their main main problem in the company is reporting like the reporting is all over the place so the person that set this thing up I believe from the history of it as I understand it was sold salesforce and salesforce integrations and and setups and so he had a lot of hand on in terms of the setup of this thing and they then we’re connecting a lot of automations through zapier in tracking their sales in google sheets.
We’ll get into that why because that kind of seems backwards to most people and so I get into this thing I start taking a look at it and within my first week I tell the kind of the head of sales this thing sucks we need to get out of here like immediately in transition to something else well you know it works and you know down time and this and that well fast forward six months forward and this is broken and that’s broken and it doesn’t do this and it doesn’t do that we draw a line in the sand.
Basically six months ago and and say okay the way that we’re reporting doing this google data sheet thing is not working you have six inbound reps right now and all six of them have a different process so the data that’s coming in is being reported out like six different ways and there’s no way to homogenize it or make it all all the same so I get together with the head of sales and I say okay you and I we’re gonna take two days we’re going to define the sales process in this and make it the same and draw a line in the sand and basically go okay.
Everything before this point in time is suspect going forward now is much much better in in terms of the accuracy of the reporting and we actually will hold our sales people accountable to a certain standard in terms of the data input or recording of their their calls and their sales and how that data is entered so we we do all that.
So the reason why we were using the google you know basically a sale comes in and then we’re pushing some data into close and then we were pushing into the google sheets is because and this is closest fundamental flaw and I think for clothes to grow and scale beyond where they’re currently at to envelop a larger customer base.
They’re gonna have to fix this their reporting is horrible is horrible there’s no way to really manipulate the reporting part of their side of the clothes on the inside of it you can do some like smart views which is like advanced reporting of saying okay show me how many clients do we have that we purchased a particular product in the month of blah blah show me all of those in a smart view okay.
So that’s kind of like a one-off and you can run that you know every so often or hey show me a rolling these are clients that haven’t been touched no touch points in the last three days in order to be able to follow up with them so they don’t go dry in the cycle so there are some things where you can do these advanced reporting in terms of smart views and then you can share them out with certain people.
Pretty good in terms of that however then that is the next pain point is there were a lot of data types of things that we wanted to do in terms of business intelligence that closed just natively couldn’t do inside of the system so then I start the process which was about a month of research to see okay what outside companies maybe have they partnered with in order to be able to tackle this problem and there’s two of them smart reporting down in South America Thomas Spada.
Awesome awesome guy he will bend over backwards in order to win you over to their company they he basically built this system because he was a closed customer himself and said hey the reporting sucks how do we how do we fix that for ourselves and so he went down the google side of things Davis studio first that was really messy and then he basically created his own thing pretty good.
They’re maturing along the way didn’t have a lot of graphical types of interfaces which was important to us in order to do pie charts and line charts and those types of report bar charts those types of reporting and so we went ahead with another group plecto which is out of Denmark.
We’re in the united states so we we chose plecto because of their it’s easier to set up it’s less a manual process you can create some formulas and kind of set them up in these dashboards and it’s kind of set and forget and you don’t have to spend a lot more time on it however this thing goes back to the organization of how close is organized in the first place which is another like if they figured this out they could really be a competitor however as businesses scales and they need to have advanced reporting this will absolutely kill them a hundred percent of the time as companies grow to the size of zero percent.
So the way that their data set works is you have a silo of data which is basically you have contacts or or yeah leads or contacts and then you have another silo of opportunities and then you have another silo of like emails and then you have another silo of like tasks or something like that so inside of plecto one of the downsides of it is you you go okay.
Well I want to report something as simple as show me the lead source for all the opportunities won for the month of march in 2021 you can’t do it you can’t do it and here’s why you can’t it as close stands today and they are changing this probably in June here of 2021 you can’t add a custom field onto opportunity.
So you can’t put a lead source on there where can you put a lead source onto the lead as a custom field so inside of plecto you can’t cross report you can’t go okay well show me this lead to this opportunity and report across the two of those you just can’t do it so there was like some manual sorts of things where we were putting sales data and placing in the customer field on a lead and then we could kind of report upon this messy messy messy.
The same messy messy you can kind of do some of this also inside of clothes itself you can definitely do it inside of smart reporting dot io with Tomas however it’s a manual process so so if you have like a number of fields and a number of say reps let’s say you have 10 reps and you have 10 columns that’s a hundred customizations of building that and let’s say now you have to basically build the dashboard.
Now you have one of those reps leave well now you have to rip all of that out and let’s say you add 10 more SDR’s in in a month oh my god so now you got to do that all over again for all those guys and again Tomas great guy he will like oh I’ll just do all that for you and I’ll set it all up well what if we need to change it and like you’re sleeping or one of your guys is sleeping.
Can’t do that a plucktos their their detriment as well as if I ever had a question with them is I would have to get up at like two o’clock in the morning to get their tech team in order to be able to ask them a question or if I’d ask them a question during you know our waking hours then it could be 24-72 hour 48 hours 72 hours before they get back to me and sometimes that stuff gets lost in translation and now you’re talking a week lost and I’m just like well I’ll just figure it out myself and if I can’t I’ll just throw my hands up and we got to do another thing.
So that’s their biggest down point strengths they are really built around like simple teams and simple products so if if that’s all you have more power to you if you’re not going to grow beyond that then this may be appropriate for you or it may be a starter for us it just got to the pain point of it’s not doing this it’s not doing this it’s not doing this it’s not doing this.
Oh hey they added this new feature I can’t pull it into plecto to report upon it so I can kind of report a pilot inside of close so we took it to the point and matt our representative over there Bondi he a fantastic guy I will say this about clothes their customer support is fantastic he basically apologized to me when he found out that I was the cto is no one talked to them in terms of the setup.
So they ended up having this whole process of you know setting this thing up and they could have had some help to do so definitely take advantage of that those services that they have there they are super friendly super helpful so then the we took this to the point and I told matt we have basically bent the processes and systems inside of clothes to make it do things that it was never meant to do before we basically have taken this engine and gone.
Nope we’re gonna make this v8 into a v12 and we’re gonna change everything out and this is now the way it works which is now creating issues for us when we’re trying to migrate out because we’re trying here’s all these things that couldn’t do.
We made it do it and now we’re trying to replicate those things in in HubSpot so that also is a challenge to now try and get that data out and we’re getting some help so at the end of the day how would I rate close across the board I would say they’re they’re an eight they are definitely maturing as a company they are a one-trick pony in terms of their sales CRM.
There’s not a lot of marketing that is tied into that there’s not a lot of these other things they just want to do this one thing very very well and slay that dragon and forget about the hordes of other people behind them that are coming to attack the castle so rating it from like a usability standpoint great our users love it, our sales people love clothes in fact they are scared of transition everyone is scared of Tran of change.
I don’t care where you’re coming from and where you’re going to so they’re super happy with that user interface is great we built a process now where it’s very easy to get somebody in and going does it work right out of the box I would say no you would have to do some customization in order to kind of mold it into your particular business is it extensible.
Yes they have lots of zapier integrations that we have taken advantage of to connect up a lot of these services that were consolidating down to the Hubspot cost a little expensive in terms of what you actually get they do have a lot of features inside of it they’re I think going to run up against another competitor here really soon called go high level and I just talked to the owner of that here the other day and we may be partnering with them not for us for some of our clients to say is closed the direction maybe.
Maybe not however if you can purchase this thing over here and it’s a total of what their highest package is like 4.99 and you can have unlimited users in there including all of your marketing people and all of your sales people and it has some better reporting in inside of it and they’re they’re making huge strides.
They’re basically the they’re not David and goliath they are basically giving the slings and the rocks to their customers to slay the the goliaths of the HubSpot’s and the and the sales forces out there so I really enjoy my conversation with them they’re they’re a great company and I’ll do a review of them as well in another video so at the end of the day what it if if I had the choice with the size business that we have would I have picked them.
My first day as cto at zero percent no I wouldn’t have I would have and I told them I said we should look at Hubspot or we should look at a sales force or something like that for a long term strategy for our company so hopefully this helps you and gave you some insight to close all itself the the monthly cost for us right now is 145 per user and so as you add more users into that just kind of keep.
Keep that in in mind as as you’re thinking about scaling your business and whether this is a long-term solution for you so hopefully this helped you if it did definitely hit those three buttons down at the bottom like subscribe and alert so you are alerted to additional content through my channel and if you have additional comments about maybe your experience with close or Hubspot or salesforce or you know any other tools that you’re using in your devops right.
Now for your company feel free to drop those down in the channel and I’d love to do another review of some of these services for the channel to give you some insight as to what I’ve done in terms of my research so at the end of the day remember people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and we will see you on the next video appreciate you thanks for watching.