What does building a brand new CRM for medium-sized businesses look like?

Way before pushing our first pixel, we listened to people recount their frustrations with CRMs on the market today. We had long discussions about how we wanted to both empower sales people to do their job more efficiently, and enable the business to control and codify the sales process. We spent long sessions in front of the whiteboard, and days sketching out and talking through these ideas.

Now in the final stages of development (eying a launch later this year), we thought it as good a time as any to show you a few of those early sketches.

Sketchbooks are our friend
Sketchbooks are our friend.

Viewing a Lead

An early focus of our sketching, the first screen we coded, and the recipient of ongoing TLC, we’re really proud of the lead screen. Not only does it tell you the accounts, contacts, products, and competitors associated with your lead (and let you add new ones really, really easily), but it even guides you step-by-step through the sales process. It tells you about the activities you have coming up, lets you quickly add notes and files, and even provides a complete audit trail.

Four early sketches of the lead screen
Four early sketches of the lead screen.

Managing the Sales Process

If you’re like most organisations, each of your company’s leads probably have certain steps to go through before the deal is won. Ever wished your CRM could help facilitate that process? Nutshell boasts a very powerful process builder that gives the sales director the power to create comprehensive processes, complete with input requirements, prerequisites, and delays. We’ll admit: it’s a hard interface to pull off (none of our competitors have), but we’re confident that we got it right.

Our super-duper sales process builder
Our super-duper sales process builder

Accounts, Contacts, Activities

Ever had trouble navigating a website? We certainly have. Sprawling links and confusing interfaces abound on the web. When designing Nutshell, we took extra care to make it straightforward to use, and that includes an innovative technique for keeping things like accounts, contacts, and activities contextual to what you’re working on. We don’t want to give away too many secrets, but we’re sure that you’re going to love it when you see it.

Modal windows for displaying accounts and contacts.


Not only does Nutshell help the salesman do his job better, but it also provides the sales director a birds-eye view of the team’s performance. Last quarter’s total sales? Easy. Pipeline for this quarter? No problem. Won leads from the past 12 months worth over $50,000 for widget X? Sure, why not. You even get charts and graphs and the ability to export your data. We think you’ll like it.



Oh yeah, did we mention we’re building an iPhone app as well? Unlike our competitors, Nutshell has actually been designed from day one to be cross-platform. From our API to our user interface conventions to our cloud infrastructure, mobile is part of who we are. And when you log a sales call between the car and the office, we know you’ll appreciate having a CRM that goes everywhere you do.

iPhone app
iPhone app.

Stay Tuned

You can bet that if we get this excited sharing a few pieces of paper with you, we can’t wait to show you the real thing. We’re heads-down in final development now, but keep an eye out for the new CRM on the block later this year. In fact, give us your email address over at Nutshell.com and we’ll send you an invite to our upcoming beta when it’s ready!

Originally published on the Nutshell blog.

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