So, here we go again with another peek into the backend of a CRM mentioned by leading WordPress blogger WPBeginner. This time UpiCRM, a totally free WordPress plugin, gets the spotlight.

Summary of UpiCRM System

The stated main purpose of UpiCRM is collecting leads and assigning them to the appropriate parties for orderly management.

This little plugin is very focused. In fact, the core features just stared me in the face every time I tried to find other things under the hood. You can’t make it do what you think it should do. But you just can’t miss seeing what it does.

To summarize that functionality, I would highlight its ability to integrate well with a variety of popular contact form plugins, such as Gravity Forms, Contact Form7, Ninja Forms, and Caldera. Also, you can aggregate the collected form data from multiple websites into UpiCRM. The other thing that stood out to me is the sales hierarchy setup, which is easy to configure.

UpiCRM System Core Features

· Main Dashboard
· Lead Management (View, Filter, Change Status)
· Data Types and Fields (Data/Forms Setup)
· Email Notifications
· Auto-Lead Management (Lead Routing Rules)
· Lead Aggregation (from Multiple Sites)
· Web Services (transmit and accept leads from remote sources via http post)
· Import / Export
· Users Center (Configure Salesperson Hierarchy)

UpiCRM System Extensions

UpiCRM, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have any separate add-ons. However, they have a number of built-in contact form integrations with:

· Gravity Forms
· Ninja Forms
· Contact Form7
· Caldera

Digging into the UpiCRM System

UpiCRM’s first sub-menu item is “UpiCRM” and is the overview or main Dashboard for users. Depending on the logged-in user’s role, UpiCRM presents one of two dashboard views: The Admin Dashboard presents all leads’ status and analytics data. The User Dashboard presents the same information, but only for the leads assigned to the logged-in user.

UpiCRM Dashboard

I read all 29 pages of the user’s manual trying to figure out what the CRM is made to do. The last several pages cover initial setup, which generally starts with going into your WordPress Users and choosing the desired UpiCRM role for each person you want to add to your sales team.

UpiCRM ACL User Roles

Once you’re done there, you can go into the CRM’s Users Center and create your sales team hierarchy.

UpiCRM Users Center - Sales Team Setup

Map your form fields to UpiCRM fields, and add fields that you need into the system.

UpiCRM Form Field Mapping

Configure your email notifications. (I hope you have better success than I did, as the system never ended up sending me any emails.)

UpiCRM Email Notifications Setup

And construct rules for who gets what leads.

Lead Management Rules Setup

After that, you can configure the system to aggregate leads from remote websites and do some fancy posting to other servers, if you know how. I didn’t.

Finally, you can import and export leads.

And that’s pretty much what you get. If you set it up right and get email notifications to work, I’m thinking you’ll have a system that (1) captures leads from your forms and (2) assigns them to the correct salesperson.

Oh! And you can manage your leads by making assignments or changing their status. It seemed to me that I should be able to add comments about the lead in the Lead Management Comment field, but I couldn’t seem to make that work. How else would I be able to track interactions?

Lead Management Dashboard

Pros

If you simply want a listing of leads collected from your various forms and databases and a way to make sure those leads are assigned to the right people, this is probably the right package for you. Especially if you can make the email notifications work.

Bummers

Though I really like a CRM that captures lead information from my forms, it’s also important for me to be able to track my interactions with people as I work through the sales process. This system doesn’t have a way for me to add any information to a contact record. If someone spells their name incorrectly on the form, and I later discover this, I can’t update their record. If the contact gives me an alternate phone number, I can’t add it. And if I want to make a note about an interaction I had with someone, it felt like I should be able to add it in the Lead Management Comment field, but that didn’t seem to work. So it’s a mystery to me how I would track those interactions.

Also, it seems as if a sales company would want to integrate with something for email campaigns, such as MailChimp. And wouldn’t you also want to track how much was earned from the various leads? I don’t see anything here for tracking how much a lead was worth or how much a specific salesperson brought in.

Ratings

Once again, let’s review my five criteria and why I chose them.

1. Core System — This is the system I downloaded without any extra add-ons. I’ll be giving this rating based on how robust and on-point those features seem to be.
2. Front-End Integration — It’s important that the tools available in a CRM “speak” with the front end of your site, as this is how you automate the collection of data.
3. Ease of Use and UX — Naturally, the more intuitive a program is, the quicker it is to become familiar with it. Something like 60% of CRM implementations fail because of poor user adoption. If your CRM system is not intuitive, it doesn’t matter how great the feature set is; your users aren’t going to use it.
4. Add-Ons/Integrations — That’s what WordPress is all about, right? Having the flexibility to build a system that fits your needs. To do that, you need a variety of building blocks to choose from.
5. Customer Support — This one is pretty important for me (after UX) in learning a new program. I love browsing through help documents and watching tutorials. And if that doesn’t cut it, I look for the chat box or some contact information.

Score for Upi-CRM System

1. Core System — 2.0 (What’s there seems fairly solid, but it’s lacking some key functionality.)
2. Front-End Integration — 4.0 (This is the easiest system I’ve seen for integrating with your contact forms. But integrating various websites still requires some programming knowledge.)
3. Ease of Use/UX — 3.0 (Half of the setup is straightforward. The other half less so. Day-to-day use looks simple.)
4. Add-Ons/Integrations — 2.3 (The CRM integrates with a number of Contact Forms plugins but nothing else, like email campaigns or lead won/lost values.)
5. Customer Support — 3.0 (I’m going solely by their available manuals and tutorials here.)

Total Score = 2.9

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