Helping Small Businesses Around the World.
BigContacts is an affordable CRM & Marketing Automation software built for small business success.
BIGContacts is designed for small businesses that have outgrown spreadsheets and address books, but don’t want the cost and complexity of an enterprise-level CRM solution. Our software has proven to be an invaluable tool for small businesses. Today, we have the privilege of helping thousands of small businesses around the world. We are proud to say that we are making a real difference in the businesses we serve.
Don’t take our word for it? Check out how we are helping our customers in their day-to-day operations below.
How BIGContacts Got Started
Prior to founding BIGContacts in 2007, Bob Walton spent more than twelve years in the Financial Services industry. During that time, Bob grew from a one-man operation to a team of over fifteen that managed money for thousands of affluent clients. As the business continued to grow, things reached a tipping point where the manual processes that he had in place could no longer handle the growing demands of his client base. Bob needed to move beyond an excel spreadsheet where he kept key client data. In 1999, with just three team members, the decision was made to purchase and implement Act! Client data was imported into Act!, and the team began using the system.
Bob’s team continued to grow and eventually branched into multiple offices. Act! immediately became ill-equipped in the new environment. Act! is a PC-based application and you only have access to the data if you can bring your laptop with you. This is not so hard to do, but the impossible task was to network the constantly changing data and allow all team members to gain real-time access to this information. It was back to the drawing board as the team needed a new platform and quick!
In 2001, Bob set out to find a web-based application that could solve the need for real-time access to data from multiple locations. This was an early time in the web-based market for Contact Management (CRM) Software. Bob made the decision to go with base-line version of Salesforce, as it was the only version that would fit within the team’s technology budget. This system was web-based and solved the team’s immediate and pressing need for remote, real-time access to client information. That was the good news, the bad news was that the system proved to be over-bloated with features his team didn’t use and was not easy to use.
The team learned to use the system and was now back on track. After getting comfortable with the system, it became apparent to Bob that the system had some holes that inhibited the full potential of how clients could best be served. The common thread between platforms was that they appeared to be written more from an engineer’s perspective of sales and marketing rather than from the user’s view. It didn’t feel like the software developers really understood what went on out in the trenches.
The more the business grew — the more magnified this mismatch with the true needs of the end-user became. There came a point that the team required more features and overall capacity to better manage their growing client base. This is when the shock came. Bob called to check into upgrading to the next level of service and quickly found out that moving to the very next level meant a 5–fold increase in monthly expenses! There was no other choice as the team was heavily invested in the system and needed the added features. Bob reluctantly upgraded and paid the much larger fee for this upgrade, but this was the beginning of the end for his use of this “off-the-shelf” software.
In 2006, Bob got together with a software developer to discuss the possibility of building an application that was designed from the ground-up with a real user’s perspective. The goal was to build a system that was custom-made to address the needs of a small business – his. The system needed to be easy-to-use to ensure quick adoption and consistent use by all members on the team. It also needed to be very robust in its capacity, as it had to pass the test of handling several hundred million in invested assets spread across nearly 1,000 client households.
After many months, hundreds of man hours, and the help of two additional software developers, Bob’s team had a system of their own CRM system in 2006! The program turned out so well that it was decided that not only could Bob’s team benefit from this great tool, but the rest of the small business world needed to know about this. In 2007, BIGContacts was born and was now available for public consumption.