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Alpha Testing Underway

Happy Tuesday! It’s been a busy few weeks, here’s an overview of what’s new:

  • Alpha testing is underway. Right now, Intro CRM is helping 10 active entrepreneurs, manage 55 deals, totaling $359,297.
  • Intro CRM officially has a mascot—a little chipmunk! See what he looks like below. One day, I might have a Japanese-style mascot costume made. 
  • Configurable currency, date format, and thousands separators have been implemented. The first step towards a widely accessible platform.
  • Integrations are coming. Along the lines of accessibility, I want Intro CRM to be where you work. I’m evaluating integrations for BasecampTrello, and Asana.
  • I just re-launched the website and implemented Fathom Analytics for tracking. (Learn more about the bootstrapped companies we rely on to run Intro CRM, companies like Fathom!)

This update was sent to the Intro CRM email newsletter first.

Alpha Testing Underway

Have a look at the alpha version of Intro CRM below. I’m building in public and making improvements as quickly as I can based on user feedback. Hopefully it’s immediately clear how simple the user interface is.

There are not many fields there because in practice… I don’t think they’re necessary. This light footprint also means Intro CRM doesn’t collect data, which helps the goal to be a privacy-focused CRM. 

Building a CRM for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs means focusing on that early stage where you’re still conducting customer development. Intro CRM has this built in. As you get repeatability in your deals, the time may come to migrate to a more complex system—good! It’s an ideal outcome for an introductory CRM tool like this. 

If you’re interested in trying out the alpha, let me know. It’s an early stage alpha, which means things are improving quickly.

One of those improvements that you can see below is configurable currency symbols, date formats, and thousands separators. I just implemented those over the weekend thanks to feedback from a freelance web developer in Ireland who’s using the product. 

Thanks in advance for your patience and sorry if screenshots I’ve previously shared have changed!

But that’s the life of a bootstrapped CRM SaaS product. I’d rather build with real feedback—rather than build in private and hope I am on my way to creating a unicorn.

Oh and there’s one thing you might notice…

This is a fictional pipeline! Featuring companies from Arrested Development

Deals overview page, intentionally simple so that you might actually use it.
The edit deal pop-up window. It’s an introductory CRM, so it’s lightweight without a lot of data collection.
Customer development workflows built into Intro CRM to help you understand and acquire early customers.

Meet the Mascot

Intro CRM chipmunk mascot.

Why a mascot? To add a little character (pun intended) to the brand.

Why a chipmunk? They plan for the future by storing up food, hopefully Intro CRM helps you do that with your deals, too.

Plus, they’re cute!

CRM Built for Accessibility

My goal for this project is to build a CRM that is built for accessibility. I want this to be a narrowly useful tool—it specifically helps individuals manage the deals that they are responsible for. With this narrow focus, I hope to make it broadly available.

While I’m not an expert on the subject, to me, accessibility means meeting people where they’re at. For this product, that might mean building a tool that is:

  • Effective for people with vision impairment.
  • Doesn’t require tons of time—so you can get in, and get out.
  • Has a simple interface for people less comfortable with technology.
  • Lightweight enough to allow translations to different languages.

I also hope to build a tool that can fit in with people’s existing workflows.

Whether that means access through voice technology, potentially a desktop or mobile application, or integrating with project management tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Asana. It’s why responsiveness is being built into every aspect.

Why does this matter?

Because the people I’m building for—people like you—don’t have time to spend all day in a CRM. Chances are, you’re using other tools for your day-to-day. I want this to co-exist alongside those, while offering additional capabilities when you’re logged in.

For now, I am building with these things in mind while also focusing on building something that works well. So far, so good!

One More Thing

In case you hadn’t noticed or you are new here, I recently updated the website to stay consistent with the UI of the app as it’s in development. This means a refined color palette and typography.