Build a ClickUp CRM | Relationships & Rollups Use Case Tutorial

One of the most common use cases for the new Relationships and Rollups custom fields in ClickUp is building a CRM in ClickUp.

In this tutorial, I’ll walk through how you can construct a basic client management database from scratch within one ClickUp Folder. I’ll also give you a crash course on how you can use the relational database features that were recently released in 2021 to improve your sales or onboarding workflows in ClickUp.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, customers are your most vital asset. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a way to effectively organize and track valuable information to plan, analyze, and, most importantly, care for the people investing in your business.

In this video tutorial, Layla, a Vetted ClickUp Consultant and host of the ProcessDriven Membership (formally, ClickingUp Community), shows us how to construct a basic client management database from scratch in a single folder using some newly added 2021 ClickUp features, Relationships and Rollups. If you follow along, by the end of the walkthrough, you’ll have a custom CRM database with dynamic fields to streamline your workflow and save you from searching for or retyping crucial information.

Not a video person? Looking for specific tips? We’ve captured the highlights below and corresponding timestamps, so you can jump to the demonstration or section you need. 

We love your questions and comments, so don’t be shy about reaching out to us below if you have your own experience to share or would like additional clarification.

The Benefits of CRM

Before diving into the nuts and bolts of creating basic CRM in ClickUp from scratch, let’s look at the benefits of centralizing your customer data. Perhaps most importantly, CRM provides a big-picture overview of your customers and their history with your business making it easier for you to see where they are in the sales journey and respond accordingly. 

In short, CRM provides valuable data for analysis and planning, allowing for more accurate sales forecasting, and when used for customer segmentation and relationship building, can lead to increased sales and retention. 

Getting Started with CRM in ClickUp

Here is a breakdown of the steps to create a customer database using Relationships and Rollups. If you’re having trouble following along, use the timestamps to jump to the on-screen demonstration.

1. Go to your Workspace and create a new Folder called CRM. (1:23)

You’ll find a default List called “List” in your new folder. You can rename it to something more suitable and create some additional Lists. Layla makes three Lists in the demo, one for Projects, Customers, and Services.

Each List functions as sort of a database which we’ll map together using Relationships and Rollups to build a simple CRM solution. You can set permissions for each List and select the Task Statuses you want to include. If you use a default set of ClickUp Statuses for your Workspace, you can enable them here. 

2. Add Custom Fields. (2:21)

Opening one of the Lists you just created, add Custom Fields for the information you want to track, like Due Dates, Assignees, budget, notes, etc. You can also hide any unnecessary fields that don’t apply to your business. 

📌 Pro Tip: Using the Text Custom Field instead of Website allows you to include links with additional notes or text, while the Website field only permits URLs.

For example, in the Customers List, you’re likely to include each customer’s company and contact information, the salesperson assigned to their account, the date of the last contact, account status, and notes for personal details like “don’t call on Tuesdays.” Add as many Custom Fields as you need.

Open your next list and repeat the process. So, for Services, you can add each service offering along with the applicable Custom Fields, such as description, price, and a link to the sales page. You might also assign someone to each service and add a due date to indicate that person should review the service and adjust the price at regular intervals. Once you’ve entered data into all your newly created lists, it’s time to start building Relationships!

Ready to feel fully in control of your business so you can hire, scale, or sell your business with ease? Check out ProcessDriven Foundations™️.

3. Create Relationship Custom Fields and Rollups. (4:28)

Now you can smarten up your database by adding the new Relationship Custom Field and forming links between your lists. Maybe you want to know what projects each customer has started or are currently in progress. You could create a Custom Relationship Field called “Contracts,” select “tasks from a specific list,” and then “Projects.” This enables you to choose tasks from the Projects list you created instead of typing each or selecting from a long list of possibly irrelevant options.

You can also add Rollup fields (6:19) to your lists to streamline things further. You will see this option in the mini window when you create your Custom Field. Choose your appropriate Rollup fields and add them here. 

Maybe you have a big customer with several ongoing projects and want to see how much each contract is worth. 

  • Create a new Custom Field called “Contract Value.” 
  • Link it to Contracts.
  • Add a Rollup of the overall budget. 

📌 Pro Tip: By default, it will show each contract value, which could be good. But if you’d rather see it as a sum, click Calculate, Sum, and then click Done. Now you can see the total contract value for all your customer’s active projects.   

It’s that easy! You could even create another Rollup field that also uses the Contracts relationship. Something like “Date Updated” would show when the last action took place for each contract. This is useful when you want to know when a project was modified or when each project manager last spoke to the customer. Are you contacting them too often? Is contact overdue? 

Repeat this process for each list item until you’ve linked all projects with a contract and each contract with a project. You’ll notice that they’re not mutually exclusive. You can connect more than one project per customer or add different customers to each project. You can easily remove projects by clicking the X to delete them.

4. Build a Services or Orders Log. (10:02)

Now, finally, we have Services. In your Customers or Projects area, wherever it makes sense for you, create a Relationship Custom Field called “Services Included.” You can create a dropdown to select Tasks from your established services list. Maybe instead of seeing which services a customer has, you want to see how many. You can do that too. There’s a lot of flexibility to Custom Fields.

5. Use CRM for a Holistic View of the Customer Lifecycle. (11:11)

Customers aren’t static. They grow and evolve just like your business. You can use CRM to see track these changes and identify new opportunities. For example, if you have a newsletter or run an online community, you can create a Relationship to see which customers are also members or subscribers. Using Custom Fields and Rollups as outlined above, you could track a customer’s sign-up anniversary or renewal date, see what other services they’ve purchased, or what projects they’re involved in. 

Perhaps you want to see how many customers are also community members, you can do that too. This allows you to target customer segments with personalized communication and offers. You wouldn’t want to send a new member sign-up offer to customers who are already part of your community. Today’s customers are aware of data collection and expect it to be used for their benefit. Remember, the top reasons people unsubscribe from email marketing are too frequent contact and irrelevant content (aka spam)! 

6. Add Custom Views for Lists and Folders. (12:57)

Once you feel confident with your Lists’ contents, you might add some creative Views. Maybe you want a Map View of all your customer’s addresses or a Board View grouped by Status or a Custom Field. Changing Views provides new ways to display important data and allows you to focus on only the information you need without distraction.

Wrap-Up: Can ClickUp Replace a Dedicated CRM? (13:33)

Even though ClickUp isn’t an apples-to-apples CRM replacement, with Custom Fields, Relationships, and Rollups, it can handle many of the most common tasks. 

The CRM we just built really isn’t a proper replacement for something like Streak, Copper, or HubSpot. It’s more of a client database. But it’s a way to keep track of orders, accounts, and records if you’re not a purely sales-focused organization. 

If you are strictly sales-focused, we encourage you to look at some of these tools and use ClickUp to fulfill those orders or to manage accounts once the high interaction and human sales process is complete. 

We’d love to hear what you think. Can ClickUp be a CRM? Or is it simply a client database? Something in-between? Do you use a similar structure? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to feel fully in control of your business so you can hire, scale, or sell your business with ease? Check out ProcessDriven Foundations™️.

Related Resources

What are Custom Fields? | ClickUp Tutorial for Beginners

ClickUp Views EXPLAINED | ClickUp tutorial for beginners on Filters, Group by, Sort by, & Me Mode

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