Airtable is a flexible tool that can be moulded to be almost anything, including a CRM. As a small business (or solopreneur), using dedicated sales software is overkill or simply expensive.

That’s why setting up Airtable as a CRM might sound like a great idea. Thankfully, this post is going to walk you through all the steps you need to manage your sales right from Airtable.

Setting up a CRM on Airtable

The biggest benefit of using Airtable is that it works the way you want, and you don’t have to adapt your work to the software. So, when it comes to building a CRM on Airtable, there isn’t one correct way of doing it.

With that said, the following steps are for setting up a CRM on Airtable as a freelancer. Feel free to change and personalize your Airtable to fit your business.

Step 1: Add your contact list

The first step is to create a new base in your workplace.

create base in airtable
Create base in Airtable

If you already have a list of contacts to import, this comes in handy. But if you don’t, just hit start from scratch.

After this, name your base as you like and start organizing fields, data, and formats. Whether you import data or not, the end results should look like this:

contacts in airtable
Contact details in Airtable

Here are the basic fields you’d want to include (with their corresponding format):

  • Contact name (single-line text)
  • Email address (single-line text)
  • Phone number (single-line text)
  • Account (linked record or single-line text)
  • Position (single select)
  • LinkedIn profile URL (listing URL)

Any information about your prospect goes here.

Once you’ve successfully imported your contacts, create an “Accounts” table and link the contact field with the accounts.

Pro tip: You can also auto-populate your tables with your prospect’s data from other apps if you use integration software. Ideally, if you want to auto-populate your airtable with your prospects' data from other apps, Automate.io lets you do that.

saved contacts in airtable
Populate all contacts in Airtable

Fields you can create here include:

  • Account name (single-line text)
  • Contact (linked record from contacts)
  • Company website (URL)
  • Company LinkedIn (URL)
  • Country (single-line text)
  • Number of employees (integer number)
  • Deals (linked record from deals)

After this, you’ll have a complete database of contacts and accounts you can work with. Let’s use it.

Step 2: Set your deal opportunities

Start by creating a new table called “Deals” or “Opportunities”.

Here, you’ll go through each account and set the deal/opportunity related to them.

Deals have different stages (for each step of your sales process), so if you have a well-defined sales process, create a single-select field to indicate the actual stage of your deals.

deals overview airtable
All deals inside Airtable

Link records with “Accounts” and “Contacts”. And if you like, you can add a “priority” field to signal the weight of each deal.

Step 3: Track interactions

With your “Accounts” and “Deals” table, you can start tracking your interactions.

To do this, create a new table and set the date of your interactions as the primary field. And then add linked records from “Contacts”, “Accounts”, and “Deals” tables.

new table for interactions
Create new table for interactions

Don’t add interaction data yet since you can group up your table by accounts (or deals) and easily add every interaction later without having to deal with a messy spreadsheet.

For this, click on: “Group” —>“pick a field to group by” —>“Account”.

grouping in airtable
Create groups in Airtable

This way, you’ll see every interaction you’ve made with each account, and be able to add them easily just by looking them up. This is how it looks like:

interactions record in airtable
View all interactions inside Airtable

What’s great about this, is that you can easily spot your last interactions, add them, and even schedule them!

Step 4: Create your views

The last step is to create views and personalize them.

For example, you can see your sales pipeline by going to your “Deals” table, hitting the view button, and clicking on “kanban view”.

anban view in airtable
Kanban view inside Airtable

You’ll be able to track your deals by stage and know exactly where to start your sales work.

sales pipeline in airtable
Build sales pipeline in Airtable

You can even name your view as “sales pipeline” if you want, check your interactions on a calendar, or filter your accounts per number of employees.

Feel free to play with it.

How to automate sales in your Airtable CRM

Airtable comes with many automation options that can save you time.

However, if you need to automate tasks that involve other apps, like adding sales-qualified leads to your CRM or sending emails after certain conditions are met. You can use automation software to integrate Airtable with many other apps like your email marketing tool, scheduling app, internal messenger, payment apps, and meeting apps.

Here’s what you can do with Automate.io to make your sales work easier on Airtable:

The possibilities are almost endless when integrating Airtable with other apps.

Start building your CRM on Airtable

Airtable is so flexible that you can build a CRM that fits any business. The key is to understand your sales process, so you can use the right features and create a tool that fits completely with your business.

And despite its limited automation options, you can still use software to integrate it with several other apps you might be using as well.

So be smart, and start automating right away!