I’ve been using Contactually for a few years now, and it’s a great system. However, I recently made the switch to Cloze and I’m quite pleased with it. In looking for what I need in my system right now, these two are the only ones that were serious contenders and I’ll explain why in a minute.
Alongside of Cloze, I’m also using two other systems. The first is FullContact, which I use to simply manage my contact list, explained here:
It was actually the integration of the sales pipeline that got me re-interested in Cloze (I had looked at it a while ago), and some features of it are why I moved over.
Before I get into that, though, I want to explain why I said that Cloze and Contactually were the only two “serious contenders” for me. The answer is proactive notifications.
Most CRM systems do a great job of reminding you to follow up with people, but only after you set those reminders yourself. That’s nice and all, but I already have reminder systems (primarily Asana and Google Keep). Cloze and Contactually go further. Both systems keep a close eye on your email history, and automatically remind you to reach out to certain contacts that you haven’t spoken to in a while. They each handle that process a bit differently, but the end result is similar — each day they’ll show you a handful of people that you should reach back out to, with some info about why. For example, I see this reminder is coming up next week in Cloze:
It’s telling me that I usually talk to Forrest every 36 days, and it’s about time again. I can choose to respond, to defer that notice for a few days, or just skip it completely. This feature is the key to Cloze and Contactually.
Both do it largely by having you group your contacts (You tell it that person x is a client, y is a friend, z is a coworker, etc) and they choose how often you’d like to handle each.
- Contactually does a bit better job of forcing this with their “bucket” system and the “bucket game“.
- Cloze, on the other hand, makes it a bit trickier to organize contacts into groups but will still send you proactive notifications even if a client isn’t sorted correctly (such as Forrest above, who I haven’t yet organized). With Contactually, if they’re not in a bucket they’ll never come up in a notification.
Managing the pipeline
I mentioned that I recently left Pipedrive as well. Pipedrive is a kanban-style deal management system, and it works great. You set up columns for your sales process (or other workflows) and then slowly drag leads from left to right as they go through your process. It feels similar to Trello for anyone that uses it. Here’s a screenshot of Pipedrive:
Pipedrive’s system works great, and it’s very affordable, starting at just $10/mo. However, it’s kind of an island — it does great with that workflow, but really doesn’t do much else. I started digging into what Cloze and Contactually could do for this piece of the puzzle, and I liked what I saw.
Proactive pipeline notifications
If you use them for your deal management, Cloze and Contactually both offer proactive pipeline notifications. You set a duration for each step of your sales process (for example, 5 days for your “waiting on client to send questionnaire” section), and they’ll bubble up those people if they’re still in the same column after the time has elapsed. That is pretty awesome, but then I had to look closer at how each system works to see if they’d fit my needs.
- Contactually feels more like Pipedrive, and I like it. That kanban-style flow works great, and Contactually’s is solid. However, they’re missing a major piece, and it’s small item; you can’t manually adjust the dates on your sales deals. I like to go into systems like these and backfill our previous deals (so we can see history, trends, etc) and Contactually simply can’t do that.
- Cloze, on the other hand, can do that. Their system is more filtered-list style instead of kanban, which I don’t like as well, but it has great fine-tuning on the dates of the deals.
In the end, it was two things that made me choose Cloze over Contactually:
- The date options for backfilled sales deals.
- The monthly price. Paid month-to-month, with the features I need, Contactually is $69/mo and Cloze is $19.99/mo.
Both are excellent systems. I’ve had great success with Contactually over the years, and it’s certainly worth checking them out. However, for what I need right now it seems that Cloze is the better fit.
What do you use to help stay on top of your contacts?