It was last year when I came across www.Bitrix24.com. To be honest, I can’t remember how I did discover it, but straightaway I realised the social-media format could be a great tool to help my virtual team be more connected. Having a central portal also helps me manage the customer work and business, knowing everyone can access the relevant and up-to-date information, wherever they are.
There are 6 key parts of the software that I want to highlight here.
Activity Stream & Messenger
Bitrix24 is a social intranet for your business. It incorporates a Facebook style Activity Stream and an Instant Messenger function. This may seem like a recipe for disaster - “my staff will just spend all day chatting” - but I think it makes communication within your team easier. When anything is added to the system a notification will be put into everyone’s Activity Steam, so they will always be aware of new documentation, etc. It is also a way of quickly and easily getting updates out to the whole team, getting feedback through a poll or keeping moral high by sending an appreciation badge.
WorkGroups allow you to set up different groups for different projects/customers and invite the relevant members of the team. All the communication, documentation and task management for that project can be done within the WorkGroup and only the relevant team members have access. This helps keep the ‘noise’ down in the Activity Streams as it won’t come into your feed if you’re not part of the WorkGroup, and it ensures confidentiality of information.
Whether it’s within your company section of the software, or within one of the WorkGroups, there is the ability to store and manage your documents. Obviously documents stored within a WorkGroup will only be available to the members of the group, but you can manage access permissions as well if required. You can also share your documents with people outside of your company with time restrictions and passwords.
Bitrix24.Drive will be launched during April and this is an alternative to Dropbox/Google Drive/etc, allowing synchronisation between your desktop and the web documents.
The Tasks function allows you to set up a task then—delegate the task, track time spent on the task, manage deadlines, create sub-tasks. This function also includes a Gantt Chart so you can view at a glance the progress of tasks in your project. There is also a reporting function which includes some standard reports and allows you to set up your own.
A recent update in Bitrix24 has massively improved the CRM. As well as the standard Contacts and Companies, it now includes a Catalog for your products/services, a Sales Funnel, Leads that can be converted into Deals. There are a variety of reports and the My Activities section give you a list of everything that you should be doing—calls to make, messages to send, meetings to attend, etc.
This section ties in closely with the CRM, as it is the instructions that make the CRM interactive and populate your activity list. This function is something I have only just discovered on a webinar I participated in this week, but I think it will have a big influence on the work I do with my clients, as this will allow me to make the processes I create come alive.
And the best bit about this software? All of this is included in their free version! Click on the picture below to take a look: