A CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) is critical to businesses that need to keep track of customers, prospects, and suppliers. I have been networking for over 25 years and teach business networking workshops. In my Less Annoying CRM review, we will look at whether Less Annoying CRM (LACRM for short) is up to the standards of this savvy old business networker and whether it is really “Less Annoying.”

Here are some critical features I look for in my software choices:

  • Ease of use: I want a nice clean interface that is easy to use

  • Great support: I am tech-savvy but I STILL make sure I ask support lots of questions when I start using a new tool. This is to make sure my clients and students will be well-served if they adopt the software as well.

  • Multi-device capability: I need to be able to access any new software on my desktop (main device), laptop (travel), Android tablet, and Android smartphone. Programs that have no mobile feature are never considered, nor are smartphone apps that don’t have a desktop version because I don’t want to be taking huge amounts of notes on a tiny smartphone keyboard.

  • Tagging: Tagging is a key method of organizing information across multiple projects and I look for this in ALL my software.

  • Integrations

LACRM WorkSpace

Let’s start with a tour of the Less Annoying CRM interface and main workspace/dashboard.

Less Annoying CRM review - workspace

When you first log in, you are taken to the [Workspace] section. This is your dashboard page that shows you your day at a glance and gives you your navigation options.

On my dashboard, you can see:

  • Today’s Agenda

  • Today’s Tasks

  • Pipeline Overview

The Agenda is taken directly from my Google Calendar which is integrated with LACRM.

The tasks are my scheduled follow-ups to connect with my contacts in the CRM.

The Pipeline shows a report on all my different contacts in LACRM and what category or status of lead they are. You can choose what these names will be for yourself, but the ones I have chosen work like this:

  1. Audience – This is the category I use for new prospects I have identified but I haven’t had any contact with. For example, a conference I might like to speak at, but haven’t contacted yet.

  2. Acquaintance – This is for prospects I have met, but we haven’t explored how we might work together yet.

  3. Action – In this case, we have met for a 1:2:1 meeting. This might be at a networking event, a coffee, lunch, or a Zoom call.

  4. Account – These are my clients. People who have purchased a product or service from me.

  5. Advocate – Advocates are people who regularly refer clients and other resources to me.

  6. Ally – Allies are people I have formed strategic partnerships with. This might include co-promotions, joint product development, or working together to create themed conferences such as my Productivity Summits.

This Workspace is customizable. You can click on the [Customize] gear icon at the top right and this takes you to a section where you can add or remove various widgets and control how the calendar works.

You can go to a full page for the Agenda or Tasks section by clicking on the [Open] icon.

Less Annoying CRM Review - Navigation

Left Navigation Panel

On the left navigation panel, you have these options:

  • Logo/Home – takes you back to your Workspace

  • Search – Search for contacts by name, phone, email, or notes

  • Add – Adds a contact, company, task, event, or lead

  • Workspace – takes you back to your Workspace

  • Contacts – takes you to where you can view your entire contact list, groups, and recent or starred contacts

  • Calendar – Shows your appointments and tasks

  • Reports – Shows pipeline, activity, and task reports

  • Settings – Change your settings, customize your dashboard, change your billing, etc.

  • Help/Support – Takes you to a searchable knowledge base, plus an option to contact them directly

  • Account Info – This section will show your picture if you uploaded one and let you edit your settings. Same as the [Personal Settings] area under [Settings].

Adding New Contacts

Let’s say you connected with a new contact at a networking event by them giving you a business card or you connected via email. You can add this contact:

  1. By scanning their business card (best method). I use the Covve Card Scanner and Zapier to scan business cards and then automatically create new contacts in LACRM.

  2. By delegating data entry to your staff or virtual assistants. (Second best method). Your team can add your contacts, and set up follow-ups.

  3. Manually

When you add the contact information, you have the usual fields of name, email, phone, title, company, website, etc. You can also add your own fields. I added a field to indicate the source of the contact, for example, if they came from my Bx Networking group. or from my website. This helps show me which of my marketing methods are working to convert prospects into customers.

For the website section, I also add their social media profiles so I can gather additional intel before contacting them.

LACRM- Add a Contact

Adding a Task

I add a task and due date when I want to follow-up with the prospect. For example, if a coaching client has just finished a session with me, they already have a link to where they can book their next session, but I set a task for 1 month in the future to poke them and remind them to book another session.

Adding a Note

When I call a client or receive a call from a contact, I immediately open LACRM and add a note to the contact. This way, I always have a reference to what we talked about and don’t have to try to keep hundreds of conversations in my poor head!=

Groups

Groups are the real powerhouse of LACRM! When you add a new prospect, you can add them to multiple groups. Some of the groups I use include:

  • Industry – graphic designer, realtor, plumber, etc. This makes it easy to find people I need or make referrals to others
  • Edmonton – I live near Edmonton, so I have an Edmonton group so that I can invite people to workshops I teach in the Edmonton area
  • Speaking Opportunities – conference organizers I want to approach to engage me to speak at their events
  • Partners – people I have partnered with or are collaborating with
  • Personal – you can use the personal category to indicate personal friends

The opportunities for groups are endless.

Relationships

The relationships option lets you connect contacts. You can use this to indicate who referred the prospect to you.

Email

You can use a browser extension to automatically send a copy of every email you send into LACRM who then collects it under the email address of your contact. This is brilliant because you can see all your email conversations with a contact.

While in LACRM, you can click on the email address and your chosen email program will automatically open. I then use Text Blaze to automate my follow-ups in seconds.

Finding Contacts

The [Search] option lets you search for your contacts by name, email, phone # or the other primary contact elements. The search works very fast so I can quickly find a contact when they call me.

Filtering Contacts

When you click on [Contacts] you have the option of filtering your contacts by groups, name, titles, locations, and many other options. You can combine these to for example find:

  • All realtors in a certain city
  • All clients that came to you from a particular source so you can tell which of your marketing investments are paying off
  • All Chief Financial Officers, etc.

     

Keyboard Shortcuts

I am a big fan of keyboard shortcuts with ALL software. It is much faster once you learn shortcuts to type a couple of keystrokes than to navigate mouse menus to access options. LACRM does offer keyboard shortcuts as shown in this image.

 

LACRM Strengths

  • Love the name!
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Pricing
  • Multi-device capability
  • Integrations:
    • Gmail – using BCC plugin
    • Zapier
  • Support – Good support options with a knowledge database plus a prominent [Contact Us] button, unlike many companies that try to hide any methods of direct contact. In my experience, LACRM is prompt in replying to my support questions.
  • Tagging functionality (called Groups in LACRM)
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Keyboard shortcuts

LACRM Room for Improvement

LACRM is amazing and very affordable. Having said that, here are a few things that I think would make LACRM even better.

  • Gmail/Browser Button – I would love to have a browser or Gmail button that would build in the BCC use so I don’t have to use a 3rd party app to add my emails to LACRM. I would also love an “Add to LACRM button” in my browser to easily add a contact from Gmail or LinkedIn. Some other CRMs have this capability and it is very powerful.
  • Can’t search notes so if you can’t remember who you talked to but remember a phrase you added to the notes, you can’t find the contact that way.
  • Pricing per user – This isn’t a complaint about LACRM particularly, nearly EVERY software company sells subscriptions per user per month. (See my software pricing rant here) And LACRM’s monthly fee is lower than most. The problem is when you start adding team members and virtual assistants, even a low price of $15 per month per user adds up. With 5 team members, you are now paying $75 per month. And, with all the other software tools I am also paying, I am soon paying $600 or more per month in software tools. I would love to see another tier where I pay something like $25 per month and can have up to 5 team members in my account.

Conclusion of My Less Annoying CRM Review

Overall, I am very pleased with LACRM. It has a nice clean interface, is easy to use, provides good support, and is affordable for my small business clients. I regularly recommend LACRM to my clients and feel it is well worth a look for anyone looking for a new CRM.

I am an affiliate of LACRM, so you are supporting me as a content creator by checking out your free trial of Less Annoying CRM here.

I am not recommending LACRM because I am an affiliate – LACRM IS my current CRM for my businesses so I use it every day.

Reach out if you would like personal training on using Less Annoying CRM or group training or if you would like to book my “Level Up Your Follow Up: Mastering the Art of Business Networking Follow-up” workshop for yourself or your team.

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