The Best Xero-Integrated CRMs

How can you provide great customer service? Consistently?

IF YOU ARE LIKE most businesses, you’re probably communicating with your customers and clients via multiple touch points — email, social media, phone calls, chat bots. But how are you keeping track of all these interactions?

A while back I wrote a blog asking the question whether MYOB is, in fact, a CRM and which CRMs I found to be the best and why. It’s worth a read if you want to familiarise yourself with exactly what it is CRMs can do for you and your business.

Batchbook

Batchbook CRM xero integrated learn xero online training course videosBatchbook is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that collects your communications in one central place. It also lets you organise to-do lists and automate tasks, but you will need to go elsewhere if you’re looking for a platform that will automate the sales process.

Batchbook integrates with Campaign Monitor, Wufoo, G Suite (on the “advanced” plan only), Twitter, Hootsuite (if you’ve multiple social channels), Xero, Quickbooks and Freshbooks.

Pricing starts at $19.50 per month for an “essential” plan and tops out at $39.95 for the “advanced” plan.

Batchbook alternatives

Hubspot

hubspot crm integration with xero learn xero online learning training course videosHubspot is one of the leading CRM apps and it’s always free. Businesses get everything they need to manage their contacts and companies, book meetings, log emails, phone calls (you can phone any telephone number for free through the Hubspot app) and sales.

If you want to manage your marketing and social media, you’ll need to go up a step to the paid Marketing plans.    

It integrates with Zendesk, PandaDoc, Proposify, WorkflowMax, and Freshbooks; a Google Chrome extension lets you track emails so you can see when emails, documents and links are opened.

Zoho CRM

zoho projects best integrated xero apps for project managementZoho CRM lets you manage your contacts, log emails, phone calls (you can make calls to any telephone number through the Zoho app) social media, and online chats, while Zoho provides detailed analytics of each communication.

Meanwhile, advanced CRM analytics give clear snapshots of top performing salespeople and your best clients. It also lets you “gamify” the sales process to motivate your sales team.

Zoho CRM integrates it Slack, Zendesk, Microsoft Office and Google G Suite. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem, you can also connect to other Zoho apps — Zoho Books, Projects, Campaigns, etcetera.

Pricing starts at $15 per month, per user for the “standard” plan and tops out at $100 per month, per user for the “ultimate” plan. A free plan for a maximum of 10 users is also available.

Freshsales

Freshsales is the fourth addition to the Freshdesk ecosystem, which includes its online customer service platform, IT support, call centre management, HR, messaging, and marketing platforms.

With Freshsales you can manage your leads, contacts, accounts, and deals; send and reply to emails, while its built-in phone lets you make and log calls. It integrates with Google G Suite, as well as other Freshdesk apps.

Basic “sprout” plans are free, while paid plans begin at $12 per user, per month for “blossom” plans and top out at $49 per user per month for “estate” plans.


We will help you keep abreast of new and emerging technologies for doing business better. As part of our Updates and Additions policy, any new content we add is yours’ FOR FREE as a current EzyLearn student. 

Interested in finding out about more Xero-integrated apps to help you manage your project more efficiently? See our recent blogs where we review for you and come up with a list of pros, cons and prices: Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps and Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps and the Best Xero-Integrated Document Management Platforms.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

The Best Xero-Integrated Document Management Platforms

‘Seal the deal’ with a beautiful proposal

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Sometimes it’s all in the proposal: win over your clients by presenting them with your value proposition in a way that not only looks professional and competitive; but that you can also track online.

FOR MANY BUSINESSES sending quotes and estimates to prospects doesn’t accurately describe the work you’ll be providing them.

Sometimes it’s because you’ll be providing an ongoing service or solution to a business problem — property management, content marketing, bookkeeping — and other times it’s because your business will be competing with others in a public tender.

In these instances, you’ll need to send a proposal to potential clients to explain your value proposition and how you’ll solve their business problem. Rather than sending a proposal in a Word document that you can’t track, use a cloud-based document management platform.

Quote Roller

quote roller learn xero online learning course training videosNow powered by PandaDoc, Quote Roller lets businesses create proposals and quotes quickly and uniformly, using templates and pre-set content blocks.

The platform’s real selling point is its back-end analytics that provides insights. For instance, you can see how long a prospect has spent reading each section; prospects can also ask questions in the built-in messaging tool and sign electronically.

Quote Roller integrates with Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Basecamp, time management app Harvest and cloud accounting software Xero.

Professional plan pricing starts at $19 per month, per user; business plans cost $39 per month, per user. Enterprise plans can be tailored to your business needs.

Quote Roller alternatives

PandaDoc

pandadoc-logo best xero integrated crms learn xero online training course videosPandaDoc acquired Quote Roller in 2015, but the two still provide fairly different services. Quote Roller is a basic solution for businesses wanting to automate and monitor their documents using analytics; PandaDoc, on the other hand, provides a robust tool to generate proposals, contracts and quotes.

It integrates with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot CRM, Oracle, Zoho CRM, Zendesk, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Xero.

Professional plan pricing starts at $19 per month, per user, and business plans cost $39 per month, per user. Enterprise plans can be tailored to your business needs.

Proposify

proposify learn xero online learning course videos training in xero onlineProposify promises to help you create beautiful proposals that close deals. It’s where design meets business, with a gallery of free, customisable templates that get the full electronic treatment — document analytics, electronic signatures, messaging.

Proposify also integrates with a boatload of third party apps, including Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Hubspot CRM, Harvest, Basecamp, and the cloud accounting apps Quickbooks, Xero and Freshbooks. Next on the list: PayPal, Dropbox, Trello, Slack, Asana, and more.

Pricing begins at $25 per month for individuals (5 active proposals) or $75 per month for unlimited users (50 active proposals).

Better Proposals

Better Proposals will help smaller businesses create beautiful proposals, just like Proposify; they’ll also close deals. The difference? Template design is limited, the analytics aren’t as in-depth, there’s no messaging built into the platform, but the pricing is more affordable. You get what you pay for.

It’ll integrate with Salesforce, Hubspot CRM and Zoho CRM, as well as payment provider PayPal; no accounting software integrations, though.

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We will help you keep abreast of new and emerging technologies for doing business better. As part of our Updates and Additions policy, any new content we add is yours’ FOR FREE as a current EzyLearn student. 

Interested in finding out about more Xero-integrated apps to help you manage your project more efficiently? See our recent blogs where we review for you and come up with a list of pros, cons and prices: Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps and Best Xero-Integrated Project Management Apps.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses. 


 

 

What is Xero HQ?

Now you can do more with Xero

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Xero is adding to its list of features with Xero HQ so it’s no longer just for more basic bookkeeping, but can be used for analysis as well.

XERO HAS LONG POSTIONED ITSELF as the cloud accounting software for small-to-medium businesses. It’s one of the most popular of our online training courses; appealing not only to bookkeepers, but small to medium sized businesses in all industries.

What makes Xero so popular is that it is inexpensive software that’s simple to use and has lots of time-saving features.

In doing so, it’s basically left MYOB to hold the mantle of the accounting software used by accountants and bookkeepers.

Now, however, Xero is looking to close that gap, with the launch of “Xero HQ”; a data and insights platform for bookkeepers and accountants who are part of the Xero Partner Program.

Xero HQ wants to help you grow

To shake MYOB’s stranglehold on the accountant and bookkeeper market, Xero had to do something to differentiate itself and tempt accountants and bookkeepers away from MYOB.

And they’re betting that Xero HQ will be the thing that does it. Xero HQ will provide bookkeepers and accountants with data and insights tools so they can provide “advisory level” services to clients.

Xero’s focus on “advisory level” services is important here, because it reveals a couple of things Xero plans to do with the industry. The first is to continue to automate many of the tasks a bookkeeper would traditionally carry out — the introduction of bank feeds eliminated data entry, for instance — and the second is to up-skill junior bookkeepers, while simultaneously embedding them within the Xero ecosystem — which will fit nicely with their recently launched Xero Lifelong Learning platform.

What exactly is the Xero HQ platform?

If you’re part of the Xero Partner Program already, then access to the Xero HQ platform is free. The Xero HQ platform is essentially a separate workflow that you access online, which provides a number of features not available though your regular Xero software.

These Xero HQ features include the following:

  • Activity feed: When your clients’ GST or activity statements are due, a notification will appear in the activity feed to alert you.
  • Client list: This is essentially like a contact book, where you can store all your clients’ information in one place; even those clients who aren’t on Xero.
  • Explorer: This feature pulls data Xero knows about your clients to help you provide them with better advice, or help you up-skill in areas you know are important to them. For example: it will show you which apps are popular across all your clients, so you can learn how to use them.

Xero HQ app marketplace

The Xero HQ platform also has an app marketplace, which has a focus on apps that will help bookkeepers and accountants with their business. That’s different to the existing Xero app marketplace, which is geared towards small businesses in any industry.

The Xero HQ app marketplace is split up into three tiers, depending on the size of your bookkeeping or accounting practice.

Which Xero HQ app marketplace will suit you?

If you’ve 100 or fewer clients, then you’d be best suited to the “activate” package of apps especially “curated” by the Xero HQ team.

If you have between 100 and 200 clients, then you’re best suited to the “energise” package of apps; practices with 300 or more clients suit the “supercharge” package.

It’s up to you which apps you switch on, but Xero has eliminated the leg work involved in finding apps to suit your business needs.

Some common third party apps, recommended across all three Xero HQ app marketplace tiers include:

  • Futrli: A forecasting and reporting app designed to help control cash flow and accelerate growth. Technically, you can pull all these data out of Xero by running a number of different reports and exporting them into Excel, but this app does all that work for you, and just delivers the insights. Partner pricing starts at $399 per month.
  • Receipt Bank: Extracts relevant information from paper receipts and invoices, imports the data into Xero, categorises it, and stores both the data and receipt safely in the cloud. Your clients just snap a picture of the receipt using the Receipt Bank app on their smartphone or upload from their PC.
  • BOMA: Is a marketing and advertising platform that lets you export data from Xero and use it for your marketing and advertising campaigns. With BOMA you can create and broadcast marketing and advertising messages across five channels (email, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), including sponsored advertising posts on those platforms. It also provides you with all the imagery, templates and other design needs to create your campaigns. It’s basically a one- stop -shop for digital marketing and advertising. Partner pricing starts at $49 per month.  

Xero HQ is where accounting meets CRM

In essence, the Xero HQ platform is where accounting and customer relationship management meet. Xero provides bookkeepers and accountants with a platform that enables high-level analysis and data management through integrating third-party Xero HQ partner apps.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles; and they can use the Xero Lifelong Learning platform to up-skill and provide those services.

“Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles…”


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.


 

The Best Xero-Integrated Time Management Apps

The best time management apps — without unnecessary bells and whistles

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There are a host of time management apps that are better than basic, but don’t have unnecessary features, and which integrate with Xero.

ALTHOUGH MANY CLOUD ACCOUNTING applications include basic time-tracking features, most businesses need something more robust.

Time management applications help your business understand how your time is spent, how much of it is billable, and whether projects are profitable — but without the additional task management tools of a platform like WorkflowMax.

Harvest

harvest xero integrated time management app learn xero online training courses onlineEstablished in 2006, Harvest was one of the first cloud-based time management applications, and the first to integrate with Twitter so users could track time via tweets. It’s broken down into three core functions:

  1. Time tracking
  2. Reporting
  3. Invoicing

The biggest barrier to effective time management is remembering to start the timer. Harvest’s mobile apps, integrations and extensions make it easy to start a timer, without having to exit one program, open one, or forgo one when you’re on the road.

Harvest has been purpose-built to integrate with apps like Atlassian, Basecamp, Slack, Github and Trello, as well as cloud accounting platforms Xero and Quickbooks, and payment platform PayPal.

Pricing starts at $12 per month, per person for unlimited projects; a free, one-person, two-project plan is also available.

Harvest alternatives

Hubstaff

Hubstaff, a time management app that was developed to help businesses manage their freelancers and remote workers, but works just as efficiently with teams operating in house.

Hubstaff bills itself as the next best alternative to Harvest, not just because it provides all the same features a few months a month cheaper, but because it’s also a project management app that can be set to take screenshots and track keystrokes to analyse employee activity.

It integrates with all the usual suspects: Asana, Basecamp, Github, Trello and Salesforce, along with accounting apps Quickbooks and Freshbooks and payment provider PayPal.

Basic plans start at $5 per month, per person, while premium plans start at $9 per month, per person; a free “solo lite” plan is also available for one user teams.

HiveDesk

hivedesk best xero integrated time management apps learn xero online training course videosHiveDesk, another freelancer time management app, promising to make “remote collaboration easier”, also takes screenshots and tracks keystrokes.

HiveDesk isn’t web-based, so users must download an app for both desktop and mobile; it’s compatible with most operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etcetera). Because it’s not web-based it doesn’t integrate with any third party applications.

Pricing starts at $15 per month for up to three users (plus one administrator) and costs as much as $100 per month for up to 20 users (plus one administrator).

Time Doctor

Time Doctor, again, provides all the features you’d expect of a time management app — timers, screen monitoring, keystroke tracking, timesheets — plus GPS tracking and payroll. It integrates with Asana, Basecamp, Google Apps (G Suite), Salesforce, Trello, Yammer, Zoho Projects, Slack, and the cloud accounting apps Quickbooks and Freshbooks.

Pricing starts at $5 per month for one user on a limited feature plan or $9.99 per month, per user for all features.

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We are devoted to checking out new and emerging technologies to help people do better business. As part of our Updates and Additions policy any new content we add is yours’ for free as a current EzyLearn student. Find out more about our suite of Xero online training courses.