A business that deals with a high volume of customers needs a system to manage those customers. You need to be able to track customer activity, fulfill orders, and generate quotes, invoices, and bills. QuickBooks is one important piece of the puzzle when it comes to customer management.
Yet, QuickBooks alone isn’t your complete customer management solution. A full-fledged CRM (customer Relationship Management) product is generally the best way to gather customer data. That data, however, has to interact correctly with QuickBooks.
There are two primary ways you can integrate customer management with QuickBooks:
- Through the use of a CRM plug-in or service. This year, QuickBooks released an option that will allow you to integrate your QuickBooks installation with SalesForce, one of the leading CRM products on the market today.
- By using the CRM-like functions in QuickBooks. Some of the customer management functions you need are in quickbooks. For example, the Lead Center in is a new feature that can be found in QuickBooks 2012. This feature lets you add prospects to QuickBooks even before they become a customer.
Really, it depends on your business structure as to which of these works best. You’re better off with a CRM package that integrates with Quickbooks if you:
- Have a large customer base
- Have customers that generate several orders each month
- Have a sales team of several people, all of which need access to sales data.
Conversely, you can probably get by using the customer management features in QuickBooks if you:
- Have a small customer base (10 or fewer regular customers)
- Have just one individual that accesses sales contact data
- Tend to have one-time customers or customers that order less than once a month.
Managing your customer information is essential to making sales, getting paid, and growing your business. Make sure you’re using the kind of solution that works best for your business.