Personal experience: how we searched for CRM for an educational center

Tariffs are not the main thing, but technical support, on the contrary, is very important. dlja-obrazovatelnogo-centra-57e0e55.png” alt=”Personal experience: how we looked for CRM for an educational center” />

Anastasia Ivanova

Director of ANO DPO “CPPK ”.

Personal experience: how we searched for CRM for an educational center

Anastasia Ivanova Director of ANO DPO “CPPK”.

We are engaged in postgraduate education at the CPPK. We receive from 200 applications per day, we work with a client from two weeks to several months. To automate interaction with customers, we use a CRM system. Previously, we had Salesforce – we conducted transactions with clients in it. And all project tasks were recorded in Trello.

However, since March, Salesforce has ceased cooperation with resellers from Russia. We realized that the system could be closed for good. Immediately, Atlassian turned off Jira and there was a risk that Trello would also leave. Therefore, we decided to urgently switch to Russian CRM.

Why does a business need a CRM system

There are quite a few reasons, we will highlight the important ones for our business.

  • Collect requests from different channels.Clients leave them on the site and write to the chat, call the call center and instant messengers, they can write to the mail. If there are many applications, it is easy to miss something. CRM can become a single brain that will unite work with customers in different channels: requests will always fall in one window.
  • Sales funnel automation. Each category of goods and services can have its own the client's journey – from the moment of acquaintance to the transaction. And each needs a separate sales funnel. So that managers do not think about how to act at different stages in different situations, there are automations in CRM. The system itself creates tasks, sends letters and documents, calls customers at the right time.
  • Maintaining a customer base. To turn new customers into regular customers, their data needs to be stored somewhere, and people themselves need to be constantly warmed up: make personal mailing lists, inform about promotions, discounts and lead to orders. CRM can collect data into cards and send emails at the right time.
  • Team management.Among the CRM functions, there is usually a task tracker. You can set tasks and deadlines for employees, assign responsible persons and track progress. This way it will be clear who is underperforming.
  • Linking services for business. In CRM, you can connect IP telephony, mailing services, banking, social networks and instant messengers – this is called integration. Data from these services will be included in the cards of the right customers. For example, we connect telephony – and the history of calls and a record of conversations with a client is sent to his card. We connect Telegram – the same thing happens with correspondence.

What was important for us when choosing CRM

1. Cost. CRM itself costs a little. Much more expensive is setting up the system for a specific business and connecting external services: Internet telephony, banking, instant messengers and social networks. Therefore, we not only looked at CRM rates, but also generally estimated the implementation budget with all costs.

We had 250,000 rubles, including license fees and integrations. This is already a lot: on average, implementation for a small company will cost about 100,000. But in our case, for some options, the declared budget was not enough.

2. Module with projects. It was important to combine CRM and task manager without integration — to be built-in and convenient, like Trello. Now almost every system has them, but we needed a good one.

3. Document templates.We send students contracts, acts and invoices for payment by e-mail. Document flow is crazy – we send hundreds a day. Salesforce knows how to fill in templates according to user data in CRM, and we expected the same from the Russian system.

4. Chats in one window. People write to us in a chat on the website, in instant messengers and on VKontakte. I wanted the system to collect all correspondence in one window. But at the same time, each manager should have their own chats.

5. Support.This is our pain. Salesforce communicated with us only by e-mail. And we needed consultations in the chat and by phone – so that they answered quickly and to the point. Therefore, we did it simply: knocked on support with a stupid question and watched how quickly and how carefully they answered us.

6. Flexibility. Usually CRMs are stuffed with a bunch of useful things that no one ever uses. We did not want to overload the workspace for employees. It was important to leave only the necessary modules and customize the desktop for yourself.

Which CRM systems we tested

Personal experience: how we were looking for a CRM for an educational center

We understood that we would stay with the chosen system for a long time, and the next move would cost hundreds of thousands of rubles. Therefore, they sat down and started testing programs: making deals, setting tasks. For this, almost everywhere there is a free trial period. We started with those whom everyone has heard about.


Personal experience: how we were looking for a CRM for an educational center

  • Budget for implementation: 300+ thousand rubles.
  • Tariffs : 1,990–11,990 rubles per employee.
  • Flexibility: weak.
  • Tech support: not tested it.
  • System Complexity: 4 out of 5.
  • Our rating: 2 out of 5.
  • < /ul>

    This is a complex and expensive system. For each integration, you need to pay both the external service and the CRM owners. The range of possibilities is tied to the cost of the tariff: if you want more, pay. There is no chance to figure it out and implement it yourself.

    But there is an army of integrators – guys who will come and set up the system for your business. We were sent a table of companies, and only in Tyumen (and we are from Tyumen) there were about a dozen representatives ready to start setting up.

    We tested the functions: we registered a couple of funnels, created several deals and tasks. That's all that's available on the free plan. We wanted to evaluate the work of the support service, but this does not work without a paid license. And the implementation budget turned out to be higher than ours: the integrators asked for at least 300 thousand rubles and promised to start no earlier than in a month.

    What we liked:

    • has a website builder;
    • powerful product features for merchants.

    What I didn't like:

    • a lot of extra stuff in the interface;
    • technical support conditions – the more you pay, the better they are;
    • binding a set of functions to the tariff;
    • lack of chats in one window.

    Site « Bitrix24″ →


    Personal experience: how we searched for a CRM for an educational center

    • Implementation budget : 240 thousand rubles.
    • Rates:499–1,499 rubles per employee.
    • Flexibility: weak.
    • Tech support: 2 out of 5.
    • System Complexity: 3 out of 5.
    • Our score: 3 out of 5.

    AmoCRM is a direct competitor to Bitrix24, only simpler and in some places cheaper. But the accountant dissuaded us from this option: he argued that CRM slows down. The same is written in the reviews, which is not surprising – the system has a huge audience.

    Our fears were not confirmed: there were no problems with performance. The interface is not overloaded with details, everything is simple and clear. Deals are easy to create, auto-actions work, fields in cards are easy to set up.

    AmoCRM has a whole set of unique features, such as neural networks, sales bots and triggers. But there is no normal module for project management, as well as a personal account constructor. I didn’t like the work of the support service yet: they answered us for a long time and simply sent links to the instructions.

    The guys themselves select integrators and give them the customer's contacts. We got a call back from several companies, but none of them had a representative in Tyumen – implementation and training of employees is only online.

    What we liked:

    • concise and fast interface;
    • trial period without restrictions;
    • a powerful set of features with a bunch of features.

    What I didn’t like:< /strong>

    • online deployment only;
    • no module with projects;
    • linking a set of functions to a tariff;
    • poor support.

    AmoCRM website →


    Personal experience: how we searched CRM for an educational center

    • Budget for implementation: 210 thousand rubles.
    • Tariffs: RUB 599–1,399 per employee.
    • Flexibility: weak.
    • Support: 4 out of 5.
    • System Complexity: 2 out of 5.
    • Our rating: 3 out of 5.

    Megaplan has an excellent task scheduler, reactive technical support and its own implementation team. But the CRM interface disappointed: small print, inflexible menu, no common module with chats, and the concepts of “lead” and “contact” were not heard even in technical support – only “clients”.

    In “Megaplan” it will not work just to take and create a deal on click. First, you draw a sales funnel and work out accesses, and only then you get to deals. Notifications for clients and templates with documents, as well as automation – only at the most expensive rate.

    The guys themselves are engaged in implementation: they charge from 60 thousand rubles for analysis, configuration and training. More than 100 thousand came out for our tasks. Let online, but inexpensive. But the price for us is higher than that of Bitrix24 and AmoCRM, by about a third.

    What we liked:

    • module with projects;< /li>
    • good technical support;
    • low price tag for implementation.

    What I didn't like:

    • tariffs;< /li>
    • interface;
    • approaches to sales organization.

    Megaplan website →


     Personal experience: how we were looking for a CRM for an educational center

    • Implementation budget:RUB 190,000
    • Rates: RUB 380–550 per employee
    • Flexibility: moderate
    • Tech Support: 4 out of 5.
    • System Complexity: 2 out of 5.
    • Our rating: 4 out of 5.

    OkoCRM has a simple and intuitive interface, there is nothing superfluous, the system does not seem heavy and cumbersome. There is a task manager that resembles Trello, even the icon is similar. I was surprised by the work of technical support: the specialist answers quickly and with humor. Immediately after registration, there is demo data with funnels and deals.

    There are fewer chips than Bitrix24 and AmoCRM. There are no triggers and neural networks, you can't build your website, there are no ready-made integrations with 1C and accounting systems, there is no built-in accounting.

    But document templates and interface customization work smartly. And there is also a duplicate removal wizard, wide role settings for employees, a module with chats. The full range of features is available on any tariff.

    The guys themselves are engaged in the implementation and modification of the system for the customer. When we requested a price calculation, we were offered to meet and negotiate – OkoCRM has an office in Tyumen. Implementation cost: from 90 thousand with analytics and employee training, another 100 thousand were calculated for a quarterly tariff, telephony and external services.

    What we liked:

    • live implementation;
    • full set of functions on all tariffs;
    • free business chat for posting on the site.

    What I didn't like:

    • few ready-made integrations;
    • no team chat for employees;
    • no module Accounting.

    OkoCRM website →


    Personal experience: how we searched for a CRM for an educational center

    • Budget for implementation: 380 thousand rubles.
    • Rates: RUB 500–1,400 per employee
    • Flexibility: high.
    • Tech support: 2 out of 5.
    • Difficulty: 4 out of 5.
    • Our score: 4 out of 5.
    • Elma365 is complex but flexible. If you have time to understand and understand, with the help of a Low-code designer, you can assemble your own CRM with fine-tuning. The system has a powerful and modern BPM tool for modeling business processes, including workflow, audits, interaction with departments.

      The downside of powerful features is the thoughtfulness of the system. If Elma365 slows down, you won't be able to create a deal or contact. And setting up a section or document is a task for the whole day. We pestered technical support with questions, but they answer for a long time and only by mail.

      A separate story is implementation. The price tag is much higher than that of Bitrix24, although there are not so many integrations. The trick is that Elma365 closes user requests with its own solutions. Hence the problems with speed and settings.

      If you do not have “heavy” processes, such as electronic document management with counterparties and a complex organizational structure, it makes sense to look for something simpler.

      What I liked:

      • powerful feature set;
      • Low‑code‑designer;
      • business process modeling.

      What I didn't like:

      • thoughtfulness of the system;
      • high price tag for implementation;
      • setup complexity.

      Elma365 website →


      Personal experience: how we searched for a CRM for an educational center

      • Budget for implementation: 200 thousand rubles.
      • Tariffs: 1,890–10,990 rubles for 5 –30 employees.
      • Flexibility: moderate.
      • Support: 4 out of 5.
      • Difficulty: 2 out of 5.
      • Our score: 3 out of 5 .

      Flowlu seemed simple and convenient, although design is not the strongest point of the service. The interface resembles Bitrix24, there are many modules for automation and industry solutions.

      There is a module with projects, customization, a client portal and a built-in corporate messenger. Funnels, tasks for transactions, client base, analytics – like everyone else.

      Technical support at the level: quickly responds and responds to the case. Critical things for us: no integration with instant messengers and mailing services. There are still no document templates – it will not be possible to upload a contract or send an invoice. The integrators promised to solve this issue by modifying the source code, but for an extra charge.

      Implementation only online: with the analysis and training of employees, we counted 100,000. Features-based pricing, but prepackaged for 5, 10, and 30 users.

      What I liked:

      • flexibility;
      • tech support;
      • mind maps.

      < strong>What I didn't like:

      • lack of document templates;
      • few integrations;
      • online implementation.

      Flowlu Website →


      Personal experience: how we searched for a CRM for an educational center

      • Budget for implementation: 180 thousand rubles.
      • Tariffs: 399 rubles per 1 employee.
      • Flexibility:< /strong> high.
      • Support: 3 out of 5.
      • Difficulty: 2 out of 5.
      • < li>Our rating: 4 out of 5.

      WireCRM is a modular system with a single tariff. The interface resembles something between Excel and 1C. But everything is flexible: you can assemble your own system from different modules, and you don’t need to pay extra for it. There is a task scheduler, a document designer, auto-completion of details and other necessary functions. Clients, tasks, transactions – everything is like everyone else.

      Many previously unknown entities scared us away, and the help confused us even more. They knocked on technical support: they respond quickly, but obviously not according to the script and links to help. When we asked about the telephony we needed, we promised to develop the integration after purchasing a license for a year.

      Implementation is only online, the partner network is small, and the price tag is lower than the rest. And the guys also have a single tariff for all cases without restrictions on functionality.

      What we liked:

      • tariffs without reference to a set of functions;


      • flexibility;
      • prices.


      • no mobile applications;
      • online implementation;
      • weak design.

      WireCRM website →

      What is the result

      Our choice was most influenced by the implementation mechanics. We chose CRM, whose representatives came to us themselves, presented the system and offered to set it up themselves – right on the spot. In an area where everyone works online, the presence of the implementation team in our office turned out to be the most valuable.

      We also made several conclusions that we want to share.

      1. Free CRM is a scam. In any normal system, a feature set costs money. It is better when during the test period you are given a chance to feel all the options – you will understand what you need.

      2. Tariffs are not the main thing. Much more money is needed to set up and implement chips that expand the operation of the system. To start, set a budget of at least 100,000 rubles.

      3. In integrations, quality is important, not quantity. It is necessary that you can connect business services with which you already work with the system: telephony, banks, social networks and instant messengers, accounting and analytics modules. If the services you need aren't there, what difference does it make how many there are?

      4. Technical support is very important. If something breaks, is not clear or does not work, you will write to her. And the sooner your questions are resolved, the more comfortable you will be.

      5. The feature set of CRM is very similar. There is a slight difference and sometimes there are unique features. But in general, everything repeats itself. It is better to look at the clarity and convenience of the interface. It’s also important to find a competent implementation team to fine-tune the system for your business.

      Cover: frame from The Office series