Apr 3, 2018
5 min

CRM, CMS, Workflow Automation: What is Dubsado?

Your business is picking up and suddenly, that paper system you’ve always used to manage clients, just can’t keep up. The multiple emails, systems, software and tools are getting hard to organize. Turning to the internet for help, you come across terms like:

  • CRM

  • Client Management System

  • Workflow automation

You search for ways to simplify and organize your business but instead get overwhelmed by confusing terms. Dubsado could be called any of those terms, but what do they mean? Why do they matter to your business?  

Though those terms are relatively interchangeable, understanding them is important. Really knowing what a CRM is might explain why Dubsado could be the thing that takes the pain out of running your business.

Today, we’ll break down some the terms CRM, CMS and workflow automation, how they relate to Dubsado and why that means Dubsado is the tool for you!

CRM/CMS (Client Relations Manager/Client Management System)

A CRM is defined as processes implemented to manage a company's interactions with customers and prospects. A CMS is defined as a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content. It typically supports multiple users in a collaborative environment.

So what are some signs you might be ready to use a CRM/CMS?  

  • You’ve been using an excel spreadsheet for some time to manage leads, jobs and clients, but things are starting to come in faster than normal.

  • That trusty whiteboard can’t quite keep up anymore.

  • Your file cabinets are bursting at the seams, or you’ve got papers littered all over your office.

  • You have 3 email accounts linked to your phone, one of them is your business and it’s blowing up.

  • You capture leads on one website, send them a welcome email through a different one, send them forms from yet another website, invoice them elsewhere and, you get the idea...

These are all situations that relate to how we manage intake, organization and follow up with our clients. From how we capture leads, organize them, what email we’re sending from and what we can include in those emails. How we build our “relationships” with clients; or how we manage our clients; all of these things make up a critical component of what we call the “client experience.”

Dropping the ball in any of these areas can hurt our overall client experience as well as our sales. When clients feel as though the process of working with you was smooth and simple throughout, it results in not only a willingness to work with you again but in wanting to recommend you to people they care about.

A CRM/CMS like Dubsado has functionality in both the front and back end of your business process, though so often, backend management is neglected. To clarify:

Front End: Of or relating to the part of a business that is accessible or visible to the general public.
Back End: 'Behind the scene' operations center of a business with which the customer rarely comes in contact.

The sad truth is that most people will wait until their backend process is broken beyond repair to recognize just how crucial it is to the overall client process. The backend process isn’t isolated; if it’s organized, managed and smooth, your clients will feel it. You will be less focused on where your process might break behind the scenes and more on how you are engaging and serving your clients.

As a back-end process manager, Dubsado allows you to:

  • Create lead categories to move your leads through.

  • Sync with your email address to allow for all correspondence with your clients through Dubsado to be sent from your business email address.

  • Manage bookkeeping.

  • To-Dos / Project Boards / Call Logs.

  • Calendar Sync.

  • Send invoices and get paid through payment processor integration.

Front-end involves anything your client will see, and with Dubsado gives you full control over customizing those resources as well with:

  • Custom lead capture forms to embed on your website.

  • Branded emails and branded contracts, questionnaires, proposals, and invoices. Create any form imaginable, all with the ability to be interacted with by your clients. Proposals can even auto-generate contracts and invoices!

  • Stunning client portals with all your branding.

Dubsado takes care of everything you need to deliver a strong client experience, and that’s just on the initial side of client management/relations. Let’s dive into the aspects of the system that tie it all together.

Workflow automation

Workflow automation is defined as a software application which automates, to at least some degree, a process or processes.

Pretty straightforward, yet probably one of the scariest terms you can hear as you transition your business online. Automation means I lose that personal connection with clients, right? It means I get lazy and sloppy?

Good workflow automation could not be further from all of those fears.

The workflow part of workflow automation relates to the process you follow more or less when working with clients. When approaching workflows, we always tell clients to physically write out the step by step process they usually follow when working with clients or offering particular services.  This is your workflow.

For example, it could look like:

  • Lead captured

  • Send a welcome email immediately

  • 1 day later, send a questionnaire to capture more info

  • Once the questionnaire is completed, create “to-do” to schedule appointment

  • Once to-do is completed, send a proposal

  • Once the proposal is accepted, send a contract

  • Once the contract is signed, send an invoice

  • One day after invoice paid, send a thank you email

Your workflow could be as few or as many steps as you’d like. It’s YOUR business process. To automate that workflow then, would mean to make those steps happen automatically. That’s where you think it would get scary.

We value the relationships we build with our clients and strong relationships are created through personalization and care. Might automating things take that human element out and instead, lead to more generic interactions?

At Dubsado, the answer is no. That's because, with Dubsado’s smart fields and email/form template creator, everything you send from Dubsado can automatically include every detail you need to make the client feel known, without sacrificing the efficiency. Imagine that workflow checklist you created and how you would communicate with your client at each step.

  • What would you say exactly?

  • What would be on your forms or contracts?

  • At what point in the process you would send them? At what times?

Imagine, every single step in your client process, sending emails and forms with all your unique flair, including all your client's personal details, without lifting a finger.

That’s the power of workflow automation.

Form Builder

This is a side note, but worth reinforcing. There are systems that exist, solely to allow you to build various forms for your businesses. Proposals. Contracts. Invoices. Questionnaires. You can find systems for each of them.

In Dubsado, you are able to build each of these forms, from scratch or from our free template library. These forms are completely your own, with none of our own branding.

Once you’ve built these forms, seamlessly include them in emails, workflows or your client portal. Forms are the core of what your client sees from you, and Dubsado makes sure they see the very best forms imaginable.

Dubsado is called a lot of things because it's a lot of things! CRM, CMS, Workflow automation: at the end of the day, the terms don't really matter: all that matters is what Dubsado is to you.

Regardless of what you call it, or what features you utilize, Dubsado is your system - so call it what you want. That flexibility has helped thousands of people all over the world completely revolutionize their businesses. We've heard stories of people getting hundreds of hours back a year; making thousands more dollars because their proposal process is so smooth. People who probably started, just as overwhelmed by all those terms as you are.

Whatever it is you need, we think you'll find it at Dubsado. With a free no time limit trial, industry leading customer service and loads of resources to help you get started, it couldn't be easier to find out. What are you waiting for?

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