Workbooks is a web-based CRM designed for small and medium businesses. It is used in a variety of industries including finance, telecommunications, construction, logistics and manufacturing (among others). It was launched in 2007 by a UK-based company. Since then, it has won many accolades for its product and customer service.
Workbooks has functionality to support marketing, sales and service activities, and offers features such as online lead capture, customer management and case management. Additionally, it provides integration with MailChimp, Google Apps, Sage, among others.
Aahad from ComRes
It is an essential tool for companies to monitor and manage their CRM. I also personally use it to manage my tasks and sales - without it, I would be a little lost in that respect.
It can be quite fiddly and tiresome, in the sense that it sometimes there can be easier ways of entering information, or sharing information with others (no copy/paste function of tasks for example).
Tailor and minimize it to your needs only, it can be quite bloated if you do not.
Claire from Navarino
Specialty: Hospitality / Travel
Easy to use and very efficient- Until a year ago was not used to using a system like this at all but was very easy to learn and it is a fantastic tool for the job I do
Nothing I can think of really. Obviously a year ago the product was quite alien but not anymore!
Ease of use, simply and vast functionalities, flexible to organisations
Valerie from Navarino Services
Specialty: Hospitality / Travel
The filing and retrieving of information is easy to do. And you can access your file from any computer.
Reporting - Not very straightforward to create a report
No particular recommendation to make - Keep things simple and easy.
Doug from 3BG Supply
The ease of transition from Opportunity to Quote to Order to Purchase Order to Invoice
No ability to replicate a existing order without all attachments
Replaces many other CRM's and does the best job from what we can see!
Shane from 3BG Supply Co.
The tasking functions are great. Very more robust than Zoho. Being able to communicate with my employees through a tasking system this robust led us to the ability to complete more tasks more efficiently.
This also kept us very connected with our customers. We rarely miss an opportunity to follow up on new quotes or new business.
How I have to duplicate the windows when using more than 1 screen. This drives me crazy because I run off of 3 screens and have to sign into 3 different workbooks windows.
Also the modification costs can get really high since not very many programmers know Workbooks.
Really spend a lot of time figuring out how it works. It's very robust.
Emma from Navarino Services
Specialty: Hospitality / Travel
I don't deal too much with the Vendor directly, however, they seem to be able to make the necessary updates required in a prompt manner. This product is easy to use to track all customer interactions and sales leads, straightforward and fairly intuative for anyone who has used a lead management tool
Reporting is pretty complex, not so intuative but exports to excel very well.
Use as much of the system as possible, ensure you have plenty of experience with the product you are reviewing/evaluating
Fredrick from Journeys are Made @ Gapyear.com
Specialty: Hospitality / Travel
Simple to use and very easy to set up - it our must have been purchase each year
Wish the customer support team was a bit more reactive and less focussed on selling time units for help/support
Make sure you look at your end goal and where your business needs to be in 5 years as WB has all the tools to do this
Anna from Clark Howes
The best thing I like about this product is that its an efficient and easy way to keep all your contacts and prospects in one database.
It has taken awhile for the installation and setup - meaning that we are unable to use workbooks yet, because of problems with the initial setup with workbooks.
Think about what you would use this for on a day to day basis - how easy or quick is it to use?
Anna from Clark Howes
It's scope to do pretty much anything you need it to with the right customisation.
There is no denying that it's a powerful tool, however, our service is through a third party partnership with other workflow software (CCH) and there have been a lot of problems that go beyond just usual teething. I get the impression if we were dealing with just Workbooks this wouldn't be an issue.
Be very clear at implementation stage about what you want to achieve, and make sure who ever is delivering your implementation is just as clear.
Darren from DGM Aromatics
Specialty: Healthcare / Medicine
As a small business it is great to have a tool that is used in big business. Having a CRM that you can access anywhere with all your customer details and information when you are on the go is essential. We use the free version as we only need two users to access the information, but if my business needs to add more users we can for a very low cost.
Ok so we can not customise it totally but we can do so much more than other CRM's out there without the added cost.
reviewing software and giving feedback will lead to improvments making it a better business tool.
David from National Aquatics Distributor
It's somewhat easy to do a new quote and send/email direct to a customer.
There are too many tabs and it's confusing. If I put in a part number, only a portion shows in the tab. Overall, I find it's not user-friendly. I tried to put in new items and had to call our IT person. There's no way I would have found it on my own. It should have been a simple choice to enter a new item.
Simplify and intergrate with order processing. Make it more user-friendly.
Angelo from Frey Technologies
Specialty: Other services
Reminders for follow up actions. The vendor has been very helping in helping us customize this to meet our needs.
The search feature needs to be too exact. Would like to search in more general terms.
Take advantage of the free trials offered by various customers.
Stuart from National Aquatics Distributor
I am new to this product, but find it easy to operate.
The initial setup was a little cumbersome, but I eventually was able to work through any issue.
I feel the product is good and don't have any recommendations, currently.
Matt from National Aquatics Distributor
It's overly complex in some areas and not enough customization in others.
I dislike the fact that some fields are locked.
Spend as much time as possible with it. Learn all of the ins and outs, and get everything set up the way you want it.
Mark from PhysEmp.com
Specialty: Software / IT
Relative to the completion, it provides a lot of functionality at a very reasonable cost. The support is responsive and good too.
The only reason I'm not giving it a 10 is because it isn't as intuitive to use as some of the other CRMs, and the integrations aren't as smooth as Salesforce.com.
Clearly list your requirements/expectations. Don't only get demos, but get a hands on trial version to play with, and make sure you ask the tough questions!
Lori from EcoLife Innovations dba WooBamboo
Easy of use. Haven't encountered any bugs that have held us up in any way.
The Email Outlook Connector is not compatible with IMAP Exchange.
If using Outlook for email, make sure that the Outlook Connector is compatible (or you'll need to use Dropbox, as we do). Consider the great customer service and availability of web training sessions offered as a definite plus.
Amber from Frey Technologies
Specialty: Other services
Lucid Switch responds almost immediately to your questions, and any support issues are handled in a professional and timely manner. I love how the programs is almost completely able to be customized to whatever our needs might be and whatever fields of information we want to track. With a little experience, you can literally design the fields to be whatever you want it to be. We have used that feature a lot to make the program our own. I also love the automated reporting so that I can send my reports to my superior by simply scheduling the action once. The owner likes the program so much that he instituted it in his other company, as well.
There are a few features that I wish we could do away with completely, like the fact that quotes in Workbooks are Drafts first and then Posted later-- that feature doesn't really mesh well with our company although I can see why it might be beneficial to others. I also wish the icons on the Desktop were movable and stayed where you placed them (like a Microsoft desktop).
Figure out how you want the system to work step by step, considering all contingencies, and then explain your needs to Lucid Switch. They will work with you to perfect the system to be exactly like you want it to be.
Jaime from NovaVision
Specialty: Healthcare / Medicine
The product is customizable and affordable. The customer service is prompt and thorough.
The many applications that can be added to the CRM are not already integrated.
All companies need a CRM; this platform is the most affordable for a startup/small business.
Jason from Lucid Switch
Workbooks offers an affordable solution for sales and marketing. It allows easy integration possibilities with most other systems with an API and has good integration with other systems out of the box. They take customer support and feedback very seriously and are continuous on their roll out of updates. This CRM offers transaction documents out of the box for Sales Processing, which is very convenient for sales. Other modules for event management and customer support makes this CRM just more than your typical CRM. This system has its own tabbed Windows-like interface which can make it very easy for new users.
The CRM could use a better mobile app, but it does provide basic functionality if you want to check your records. Some tasks and stronger functionality in Workbooks CRM may require some more consultation. But this is understandable because the system has to be gentle for new user but allow functionality to admins on the same instance.
It is best to always speak with someone who is already familiar with the system rather than having to go through learning it from scratch. Also, people would prefer transaction documents (the PDFs) to be customized, and it is possible to do this if you have a developer or can hire a developer who can code in XSL. This would be an example of something which may not appear to be easily editable but is very possible.
Eddie from Newsela
I like its simple, yet effective outlay and performance.
It's a little clunky. The program seems disjointed, but on the other hand it serves our needs.
A CRM should be able to seamlessly tie the work of multiple users into a process that makes sense.
Rob from Osirium
Employees number: 51-200 employees
The ability to move towards a single, powerful platform which streamlined business processes from marketing to sales and order processing and gave each area of the business full and powerful reporting.
Support: Workbooks have a very strong and capable support team which really helps outweigh any of the slightly frustrating areas of the CRM. They are very quick to respond via email and very few problems taking longer than a single phone call to resolve.
Capability / Flexibility: The system is extremely flexible. It allows a huge amount of different areas of the business to be logged, controlled and reported on. Some CRM systems can deal with lead tracking and customer tracking, but Workbooks very easily deals with this as well as all financial areas of the business sales orders, invoicing, purchasing and more.
`Single Platform: linked to its flexibility, Workbooks, with the introduction of the Web Insights and Email Marketing platforms is able to deal with a contact end to end, from warming a lead up, to delivering a product once they have become a customer and then their journey via support and account management.
Reporting: The reporting engine is so powerful that you can create virtually anything you can think of. I have only found one thing when creating reports that I wasn't able to do, even then it was a nice to have.
Once you understand how the platform works, it becomes an invaluable tool.
Capability / Flexibility: Although this is in the pros, it is not without its frustrations. The flexibility of the platform, in particular 'how' you make it fit what you need, also makes it difficult to understand. It is not immediately intuitive to customize and if you add modules after using it for some time, (like the advanced security) it can be extremely painful.
Some areas of the platform seem overly convoluted and often either need the help of their support team (who are excellent) or sometimes a consultant which comes at extra cost.
Reporting: Again, as the reporting engine is so powerful it creates its own downside due to being unintuitive and even with some understanding difficult to understand. You cannot simply open a new blank report and create even simple reporting without having some idea of the logic behind how it works. A number of other CRM's allow you create 'general' reports far easier due to a more simple interface but they lack the power.
I think there are areas where the platform could be easier to use and therefore create some frustrations but if you are aware that you need to have training and understanding in how the platform works first, you will have a versatile and powerful tool for your business.
Mark from Langbar Consulting Services
Employees number: 1 employee
We selected Workbooks CRM in competition with other cloud based CRM packages, for a client new to CRM. Key criteria were flexibility, ease of use for the sales force, and ability to provide a basic quotation system for a fairly complex product line (We had previously looked at specialist CPQ systems, but decided to go for the integrated capability in Workbooks). The presales support was excellent, the vendor showing a real understanding of the client's needs and desire to get to the optimum solution. The product has a fairly 'traditional' look and feel, easy to navigate in a way that will be very familiar to Windows users, but not as 'sexy' as products like Pipedrive which are based on a more modern UI paradigm. Functionally, it covers all the CRM bases well. The quotation capability required some custom work to meet the client's needs but as in pre-sales the support was excellent. I would recommend the product to anybody looking for a full function CRM for small to mid sized sales force, who wants a quotation facility embedded.
Full functionality CRM
Easy to use
UI is fairly traditional, not as modern as some other products
David from APMG-International
Employees number: 51-200 employees
The best thing about Workbooks is how flexible the reporting is and having access to API data for any report you create is an added bonus. The template html sales lead forms are handy for getting a sales lead form onto your website quickly and have been very beneficial to us. I recently used the bulk updates feature for data cleansing, which helped me to clean 600 opportunity records in less than 20 minutes.
Reporting, bulk updates, custom email templates, sales lead web form.
Lack of built in lead allocation functionality. Automated lead allocation would required custom php code.
carly from BALI
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Workbooks is a really easy system to use. The reporting side is always very helpful, and the support team always do there best to assist and help. I would recommend workbooks to anyone wanting a simple, yet effective CRM system.
Easy to use
Sometimes it can be a little long winded, for certain processes, but the end result it always work it
Ray from Leadership Management UK Ltd (LMI-UK)
LMI-UK is a relatively small and simple franchised business offering top class Leadership & Management Development here in the UK. We are part of a global corporation operating in over 70 countries. We needed a comprehensive tool, easy to operate which all our UK Franchise owners could use. Workbooks fitted the bill perfectly and at a price acceptable to everyone. (Although the contract is with LMI-UK, in Franchising it is typical the individual 'User' cost is passed onto the respective Franchisee)
Our Franchisees manage their clients and prospective clients, track their marketing campaigns and now feel in control of their individual businesses. Which is key to our desired and actual growth.
We would recommend any business, Franchise or otherwise, to take a closer look at the Workbooks option before making any final decision concerning who to CRM partner with.
Matthew from CCH
Great user interface, easy to use, flexible and comprehensive. Meets pretty much all the needs of my customer requirements out of the box. Excellent Outlook integration.
Peter from Wizard Systems
Great CRM software at a good price point. It has all the functionality you would expect. Users find it easy and intuitive to use. The interface follows a consistent style throughout which makes each task easy for all users and administrators. There are plenty of options for customisations and it is straight forward when configuring to your business requirement. The integration with email is excellent and even if you do not use or opt to use the outlook connector, the Email Dropbox is a great way to get emails in to the CRM from other applications. The online documentation is better than most I have seen which is great when you need to learn how do use any part of the system.
There is a free trial available so well worth a look with no obligation.
Shenel from Lucid Switch
Some of the reasons Workbooks a highly worthy CRM are:
It is a web-based CRM allowing you to access from anywhere!
You can automate basically all of your business processes.
You are able to track the Opportunity's progress through your sales cycle.
Data security is taken very seriously to ensure Confidentiality, Availability and Integrity.
You are able to forecast profits track marketing's ROI.
Brian from Lucid Switch
Employees number: 2-10 employees
As a software service company we had been using crm that did a lot of what we needed but whose functionality didn't allow us to scale, and customer service was very difficult to get in touch with. After switching to Workbooks in early 2013 our company has grown, we have been able to automate nearly 60% of all processes, and have thus been able to focus on growth.
Easy integration with other cloud software. We have integrated with Quickbooks for accounting, Teamwork PM for project management, and Workbooks has a great out of the box integration with Mailchimp that we use as well. Very simple and easy to use.
Integration with google calendar is not present until August of 2014. That will be a great add on!
When selecting a CRM you should not only be concerned about the license and implementation cost, both of which are important, but you should be equally concerned about the long term viability of the first supplying the CRM. There are 100's of small and cheaps CRM's that will not survive for very long. And if you have spent the time implementing, embedding these in your business process and training your staff, you will have a huge disruption to your business if they disappear. Workbooks is increasingly popular and consistently receives high customer satisfaction rating because it easy to use and very flexible to configure. Quite simply, your sales and admin people will like using it! .
Workbooks has all the features you need in a CRM and more. Its ease of adoption is its #1 attribute.
The mobile client uses HTML5, so it is not ideal. A new IOS and Android app is due out soon, really looking forward to seeing that.
I'm about two weeks into using Workbooks and I have to say that I'm extremely impressed with the product. One thing I can stop thinking about is the desktop-style UI, with the movable windows, file icons, and pop-up start menu, all work just as well as Mac OS or Windows (Pre-W8) desktop. I've never seen a web application do anything remotely close to this, and didn't know it was even possible to have something like that in a browser. Really friggin' cool, blows the more traditional setups you see in Zoho CRM and Salesforce out of the water.
The workflow customization is top-notch, and I've been able to keep an eye on all my sales team's progress with leads, activities, emails, and phone calls with minute precision via WB's reporting capabilities. Bravo.
We originally took on Workbooks as a CRM, but it now effectively runs our whole business process from campaign management, sales, production through to invoice. We've integrated it into Sage and our Project Management system so most admin tasks have now been completely automated.
It's flexibility to work around current business processes.
We know we're probably not using it to its potential, and getting staff to realize the more it's populated, the more useful it is.
We use Workbooks to keep track of all our members, providers, volunteers and sponsors; communication and for managing activities. It saves vital time, which is invaluable when you are running a voluntary project as well as a business. Most importantly for me, it is easy to use and quick to learn. I really like the fact I can quickly filter data, so if I want to list all members and what activities they are interested in, it's just a couple of clicks and I have what I need. I can easily send emails or track projects.
I like the fact that we can easily personalise it to meet our unique project requirements. I am keen to now use it in my training business.
Quick to set up, easy to use and very reliable. It is also free to use for up to 2 users, which is fantastic value for a voluntary project or small business. It was so easy to convert over the data from our existing Works database into Workbooks.
I haven't found the time to really utilise so much more of what it is capable of. I am just at the tip of the iceberg of all its functions. My fault, not Workbooks.
We've been using Workbooks Business Edition now for around 6 months. The sales team find it really easy to use and it has enabled us to really stay on top of our sales pipeline and it's helped us run more structured deal reviews.
We also like the fact we can use the product book, to store our product details, including cost and sales price. This means we are doing a better job of tracking gross margins within sales.
All in all, a big plus for our business.
Easy to use and setup.
We like the desktop interface.
The ability to track leads, opportunities and orders.
Helpful CRM tool at a reasonable price. Well designed for SMBs
Very handy to manage contacts, integrate most emailing functions, lead management, marketing campaigns, access quoting tools, review forecasts...
The business account allows orders management (processing, fulfillment, pricing schemes, invoicing...)
good email marketing functionality
integrate Google Adwords
30 day free trial
web-based, no software needed
As a new business we deployed Workbooks early this year. It has quickly become a central part of our infrastructure, giving us the ability to target vertical markets , analyse the results of campaigns and make informed choices as to where to spend any further funds.
As our business grows so does our usage of Workbooks, providing quotes, forecasts and many other reports to help keep us on track as well as ensure we all share important information.
As a SAS application, the deployment is extremely straight forward. Being a small business, knowing that updates will just get taken care of, simply removes the hassle. If we do have any questions or queries, technical support is excellent too.
My dislikes are classic inherent database and process issues, eg: if for whatever reason an opportunity is lost, how do you put that organisation/person back into the “lead bucket” or why can’t I have more than one name associalted wtih a lead?
Initially Workbooks was taken on to replace the relatively medievil practice of managing prospects, pipeline and forecasts in spreadsheets and make information more accessible, and ultimately improve the way in which we dealt with customers, suppliers, prospects and so on.
Once we started to trial and use the service we recognised that we could use it for much much more, and in fact we have been able to reduce the amount of paperwork and personnel involved in managing certain tasks, such as producing quotes or tracking the success and return of marketing campaigns. We are a big advocate of Workbooks, and it is and has helped us shape the way in which we work for the better. We have now been on board for 18 months and will extend our usage of the service in the future.
Easy to customize (fields, views, reports), the service requires very little training
Configuration and policy enforcement is straightforward
Ability to manage multiple databases
Forecasting and tracking opportunites from prospect through to sale
Our biggest challenges have been with adoption and getting people working in a standardised fashion. My only criticism currently is that to my knowledge I can integrate it with outlook to record history, I believe this is coming.