Relationship Management

From Eugene Eric Kim
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I'm using Capsule for my CRM. Thanks to Leonard Lin for the recommendation!

See also:


  • Always updated contact management intelligently synced with all of my apps and devices. In particular, it should work well with Google Apps, my different social networking apps, and mailing list software (currently MailChimp).
  • Track interactions. Ideally would be able to integrate all interactions (e.g. mailing list interactions, social networking interactions, task-oriented emails, phone calls / meetings, business transactions, etc.) in a centralized database.
  • Segment relationships in useful, flexible ways.
  • Analyze contacts in useful ways. This encompasses good reporting tools, but also things like automatically suggesting people you should contact. I'd love to be able to do a competitive analysis from within my CRM, although I would settle for doing this from a separate tool with good integration.

Use Cases

Market Research / Competitive Analysis

I have a product offering. I want to be able to capture data about all of my potential coopetition and slice and dice this data in interesting ways. For example, fees for coopetition, pricing for competitive workshops, etc.


In the past, I've used some combination of homegrown tools, CiviCRM, Salesforce, and Batchbook. In 2013, I evaluated Salesforce, Capsule, and Pipedrive, and I chose Capsule.

Salesforce Capsule Pipedrive
UI Ugh. Zero improvement over the years.
  • Clean and simple.
  • When adding new contacts, only basic information available in initial screen. Can add additional information from full contact screen. Potentially slows down batch entering lots of information because it adds multiple clicks.
  • Can backdate notes
Default screen is pipeline (befitting the name), which is visual, simple, and smart.
Ccing emails Does not automatically create contact if not in CRM. Process for doing so is convoluted. Automatically creates task for confirming association. Works as expected. Automatically creates task for confirming association.
Google Apps One-way sync only with Google Contacts. I originally thought this was a problem, but maybe this is a feature?! Less bugs, more predictability. It would offer a way to keep my contacts segmented between personal and professional. I'd have to change my workflow to update contact information in CRM first, with expectation that it would sync with Google Contacts. Two-way sync with Google Contacts. It was really nice to configure this, and to see all of my contacts updated live! Two-way sync with Google Calendar. Saves attachments to Google Drive.
Custom fields One of Salesforce's strengths. You can configure it to do anything. It's completely counterintuitive, but it's possible. Uses Batchbook's notion of associating custom fields with tags, except better implemented. Can also do universal custom fields. Basic data types. Yes.
Tracking relationships See "Custom fields."
  • Cannot affiliate with multiple organizations
  • No fields for associating people or entities with each other. (A la Batchbook. Not sure if Batchbook has this functionality anymore. Suspect not.)
Same as Capsule.
Segmenting contacts See "Custom fields." No tags! Would have to create a custom field to organize my contacts.
Pipeline Straightforward, decent reporting capabilities, very customizable. Not quite as nice as the default visual pipeline of Pipedrive, but still very good. The focus of this tool is the pipeline, which serves as the primary dashboard, and which has a clean, visual UI. Very customizable.
Social network integration Suggests social network linkages and integrates photos. None.
Form integration
Importing data
Price $25/month. 14-day free trial (does not require credit card). $12/month. 30-day free trial (requires credit card). $14/month. 30-day free trial (does not require credit card).
Other Support help desk functionality (dubbed "Cases") UI / features are very configurable. Not necessarily an advantage (I'd prefer good defaults), but potentially useful.