Really Simple Systems CRM Review
“A simple, robust and fast all-in-one CRM system that small businesses can actually use, actually like and actually can afford!”
- Really Simple Systems (RSS)
- CRM Software
- Product Author
- Reviewed by
Really Simple Systems (RSS) is an award winning, easy-to-use cloud-based CRM with integrated support system and marketing system. Having more than 10,000 users from over 7,000 businesses, it’s one of the world’s largest CRM vendors. Their client base has some big names including The Red Cross, NHS, Royal Academy of Arts and IBM.
RSS is designed for B2B businesses that have 5-10 users at different locations. Having said that, RSS has many single user systems as well as a few 100+ user systems. Though it’s an extremely simple application, yet in terms of functionality, it can be compared to high-end CRM’s like SalesForce, Capsule, BlueCamroo, Sugar CRM etc.
On the other hand, we encountered a few minor issues but we would like to see two major improvements in RSS: 1) inclusion of an inline mailer to drop your consumers a line directly from the dashboard and 2) integration with social media portals to allow real-time communication with the prospects and clients.
RSS now includes an integrated email marketing module allowing users to mail directly from the CRM and design emails and newsletters.
There are three different editions of RSS available:
Just like Bitrix24, Zoho, Soho Planet etc., Really Simple Systems offers a free edition which allows up to 2 users and 100 Accounts (companies). It offers all the features to manage customers, prospects and sales.
The premium edition has everything you need to manage your customers, prospects and sales pipeline, plus advanced security and reporting. It offers two free users, while you can add more users at only $15 per user per month. Premium edition allows up to ten users (includes 2 free).
Enterprise Edition CRM is a full suite sales, customer service & support, and marketing CRM that is user-friendly and fast to implement. Easy to use for everyday users, and yet has advanced reporting and control for managers. For Enterprise Edition systems you can have an unlimited number of users and the contract period is per quarter (three months).
- Our Rating: 88/100 ( OR 8.8/10)
- Free Trial: Yes (for 30 days)
- Ideal for: Small and medium businesses (5-10 users)
- Training required: Yes – Basic Level
- User Limit: No
- Mass import/export: Yes
- Email marketing campaigns: Yes
- Lead Capturing: Yes
- Awards: Software satisfaction award (multiple times), Euro Cloud 2011, database marketing award
Brief company background
Established in 2004, RSS launched their free CRM in 2010 which quickly surged the number of users. The company has offices in UK and Australia. Staff comprises 13 fulltime employees with no hierarchies. John Paterson, the CEO & founder, has lifelong experience overseeing different CRM’s as a salesperson, sales manager, sales director, COO and CEO. He has run several well-known companies including Systems Union Group , Oxygen Solutions and Zeus Technology.
Set up & getting started (5/5)
Really Simple Systems lives up to its name when it comes signing up. All you need do to get started is to key in your email address, they’ll mail you your credentials… and that’s it! It’s a web-based cloud application, and you can access it through any web browser. No setup, no credit card, and no hassle.
The workspace is an amalgam of simplicity, aestheticism and cutting-edge features. To keep the work area neat and tidy, the three major modules: sales, marketing and customer care are on separate pages but can be accessed quickly via the drop down menu at the top.
Though it doesn’t quite have workflow rules that automate the business processes as we see in BlueCamroo, Maximizer etc. yet certain important actions e.g. email notifications, are automated.
There is only one menu bar that has all the main menus – it not only keeps the work area uncluttered but also increases accessibility. Each and every single piece of info regarding an Account/Contact is on the same page and in a perfect logical order. In short, we totally loved the well thought-out workspace.
We noticed a few minor hassles. There is no Quick Add button for instantly adding new records (Now included). What’s more, if you fill a form and accidentally click another button, you’ll be redirected to the other page without any warning and the information you’ve entered will be lost.
User interface (9/10)
If we were reviewing RSS 10 years ago, we would have easily labeled it the most user-friendly interface while comparing it with complex systems like SAP, Siebel etc. But today, most people would compare any application with Facebook and Twitter. Of course, a functionality-rich CRM like RSS can’t be as simple as Facebook, yet it has an amazingly user-friendly interface. Moreover, there are several themes to choose from, so you won’t be getting sick of the same look and feel.
Considering the free edition, and two pricing options of $15 per user per month and $50 per user per month, Really Simple System is one of the most affordable CRM’s available.
Integration with 3rd party apps (6/10)
RSS allows integration with KashFlow, Sage One, and Xero, three of the most popular accounting packages for small businesses. It also integrates with and embeds Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar, the free web based diary that can be easily shared among your colleagues, co-workers and subcontractors. Again, social media integration is missing which can be important for some businesses.
Personalization & Customization (6/10)
Customization of menus is available in all editions and screen layout customisation can be done by the support team, and for Enterprise Edition only. You can add custom fields to all the major tables including Account, Contact, Activity, Task and Opportunity. For data entry, a field can be either entered into a simple box or selected from a drop down list controlled by a LookUp table that has been set up by the User. You can also choose between different themes to personalize the interface.
Mobile support (5/5)
To use the mobile version of RSS, just log on using your mobile device’s browser and the system adjusts automatically – no need to download or install any additional software.
Really Simple Systems CRM is designed for teams having 5 to 10 members, however, you can add unlimited users in the Enterprise edition. Some big organizations with more than 300 users are successfully managing their business using RSS.
Customer support (10/10)
Our experience with their customer support was simply impeccable. You can get in touch with the support personal via email (recommended), live chat, phone or even request a call back, and rest assured that you’ll get quick and comprehensive response.
Backup and security (10/10)
Following are the security measures taken by RSS:
- Data is available for download at any time which you can keep as a backup
- RSS is registered under the Data Protection Act, and complies with EC Data Directives
- Two datacenters are running concurrently; if one fails, everyone is seamlessly switched to the other. This methodology has helped RSS achieve an uptime of 99.999%
- Your data is backed up every night, and stored offsite in a fireproof safe
- No customer can access another customers’ data, and role-based access gives the management total control to decide who can access what
It’s the main dashboard that gives a quick overview of pending tasks, sales funnel, and opportunity and forecast summary. It also features the getting started guide, contact information for support, and notification of public holidays.
Contact management (Accounts and Contacts)
Really Simple Account & Contact Management keeps all your customers and prospects in a simple two-tier data structure: Accounts (companies and organizations) and Contacts (people who work there).
Both the menus offer a wide range of useful features to make managing even complex businesses a breeze.
RSS tracks all your potential and closed deals, allowing you to prioritize sales effort and giving you visibility of your and your teams’ sales pipelines.
Just like Contacts and Accounts menus, it also keeps all the related info on a single page. The opportunity management system is a godsend for businesses that offer multiple products and services to their clients.
Task management is probably the only menu we felt was slightly lacking, you can’t even add new tasks from the Tasks tab directly. Since there is no built-in calendar, tasks are stored as a list so you can’t view tasks on a visual calendar. A more automated and visualized task list as we can see in some powerful CRMS like InfusionSoft, InTouch CRM, or Salesforce, would make RSS much more desirable.
It’s a reporting system that has several built-in reports as well as offers a convenient way to create custom forecast reports.
Tools is a simple menu with just a handful of options including listing reports, importing data, document management, and themes.
Here the top management can define and control different backend options e.g. managing users, custom fields, company info, web transactions etc. Here, you can also download your data, view the system log and view/update subscription agreement.
This module allows you to measure performance of all your marketing campaigns with powerful marketing management features which include integrated mass emailing and allow capture leads from the web.
Service and support management
Customer Service & Support uses Case Management to track support and service requests and escalate them to meet target service levels.
Really Simple Systems vs. Others
Here’s a brief comparison of RSS with similar CRMs:
Advantages of Really Simple Systems CRM
- Quick, intuitive and robust web-based cloud CRM makes managing your business a snap from anywhere, anytime
- Every piece of related info is on the same page, so you can perform any operation on your Contacts without having to switch between tabs
- Ideal for small companies not in need of complex functionality and also for larger organizations where user adoption is the main issue and willing to trade deeper levels of functionality for ease of use
- Three affordable editions: Free (2 users, 100 Accounts), Premium (pay for what you need), Enterprise (unlimited data, all features, $50 per user per month)
- Personalization and customisation
- Handy email scheduling using DribbleMail™
- Tracking of opens and click-throughs from multiple links within the email and unsubscribed and bounce handling
- Spam score reporting; and clickable graphs and reports
- Topnotch data security and first-rate customer service
- Support Hub features step-by-step guides on all features
Areas of concern
- Info was lost when we accidentally clicked another menu while adding new contacts
- No social integration at the moment
- No built-in calendar
- Though RSS is a simple app overall, some features e.g. Web Transactions, are complex
- Switches from Marketing/Customer support module to Sales module whenever you click a main menu
- Some menus (Web Transactions, Customer Support) were not working when we signed up, but were quickly enabled by the support team
- Doesn’t support multiple languages and currencies
Though we noticed some minor shortcomings, RSS is unquestionably a solid application offering a useful mix of user friendliness and powerful functionality. With incorporated sales, marketing and customer service, John Paterson and his team have succeeded in formulating an all-in-one app for small businesses, yet their packages are ridiculously affordable. The 30-day free trial gives you ample time to test-drive the application before purchasing the premium or enterprise edition. With our rating of 8.8/10, we definitely give RSS two thumbs up.
September 8th, 2014
September 5th, 2014
September 5th, 2014