It’s so good to see how web apps are simplifying bloated, enterprise grade software with simpler solutions and flexible pricing. They don’t charge for a ton of hardly used features and make sure there is flatter learning curve. After tackling the cumbersome project management vertical, web apps have started breaking down CRM and ERP functionality with single purpose apps.
Quote generation, help desk and sales management are important modules in a conventional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) app. Companies pay a boatload of money to deploy them and to train their employees. But, things are changing fast. I’ve been hearing good things about Stride lately and it looks like a capable sales tracking app. Let’s take it for a spin!
Stride charges you based on the number of deals you plan to track using the app. A deal is anything that has value to your business – monetary or otherwise. They can be things like a new client, a fresh project or an important business relationship you’re trying to establish. Plans range from $9 a month and there is a generous free tier that allows tracking of 5 deals.
Stride’s user interface is a great example of minimal design. With just three blocks in the dashboard, the entire sales process can be tracked with ease.
I was able to create a deal really quickly. Each deal you create has a contact associated with it, which you can edit at any time. This helps reduce the amount of time you spend adding countless contacts to each deal or company. I found it very interesting that you could either use a dollar amount to value the deal or just use the star rating. Perfect for handling deals in case you aren’t sure how much it is worth.
The user interface of Stride looks even better when you have a few deals to track. Every deal goes through the classic five stages of the sales process and the value of the deal is always displayed against each one.
Tracking a Deal
You can do a lot of heavy lifting without having to leave the dashboard. Whenever there is a progress with a deal, click on the appropriate stage and add a note. That’s all there to it. Work together on deals by inviting others, assign tasks, and comment on activity – all in real-time.
All deals when created are marked as Leads. So, when you send an email or call the customer with a sales pitch, make a note of it by clicking on Pitch. The status of the deal gets altered.
In the same manner, proceed with the other stages and add notes for future reference or to leave instructions to other team members. When you add a note in the stage marked Won, the deal is deactivated and the value is credited to sales closed.
Metrics and Activity
To better understand the status of your deals, head over to the Metrics section of the app. Colorful pie charts breakdown the numbers and let’s you know where your sales team is excelling and where they are slipping. Track the pulse of your pipeline with total deal value, deal history, and much more.
Here too, the app ensures that only the right set of details are highlighted to make informed business decisions and doesn’t overwhelm you with complex jargon.
Stride allows unlimited collaboration with members of the team. Invite users to help you out in a deal and track all the activities from the Activity tab. Each and every action is documented in this section with a convenient time stamp. You don’t have to visit this page every time to see what’s happening. Just hover over the Activity tab and you’ll see the last five activities by the team.
In addition, the app sends you a weekly summary email that tells you everything you need to know about all your deals.
The app is well designed and has a clean interface. There is a streamlined workflow that helps you stay productive. However, sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough features. Only sometimes. And, I guess that’s exactly what apps like Stride strive for – simplicity.
The inability to add a new stage in the sales process is a let down though. Lots of businesses don’t really adhere to the standard sales process and it would do Stride a lot of good if it allows users to insert new sales stages.
Stride has a pricing structure that’s affordable and is a major selling point for the app. Even when you are tracking unlimited deals, you’ll only spend $49 a month. The next time you are looking at a conventional CRM solution, I highly recommend that you take at look Stride before making the decision!