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Running a small business can be complete chaos at times, especially without the right tools.
If you find that, after opening your business, you’re still having trouble keeping customer information straight (or you’re using an outdated method of contact-keeping – like a spreadsheet), it might be time to find a solution that can actually help your business thrive.
Let’s delve into the wonderful world of CRMs and you’ll discover exactly how a CRM can benefit your small business.
But let’s get clear about what a CRM is exactly.
What is a CRM?
A customer relationship management (CRM) system or software is a tool used to track and manage every interaction between you and your customers. The goal is to help you identify opportunities to move your prospects to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
A good CRM saves you time and helps keep you organized. It also improves workflow and streamlines communication. They can also help you learn more about your customers so that you can make better business decisions.
Benefits of a Great CRM
Small businesses like yours can benefit tremendously from implementing a CRM into their marketing strategies.
Just some of the benefits include:
- Helps organize customer data
- Improves the customer experience
- Creates sales forecasts and reports
- Segments customers based on their activity (so you know which ones are the most likely to make a purchase)
- Makes it easier to track your return on investment (ROI)
- Helps you scale your sales process (and your business)
A CRM can be a great tool for small businesses just getting started. Companies that use CRMs have increased rates of customer retention and satisfaction, according to HubSpot.
CRMs can also help increase employee productivity and shorten the sales cycle. It’s much easier to interact with customers with a centralized database across your entire sales organization and it’s easier on your employees when it comes to data entry (no more typing up each contact’s information individually).
What You Should Look For in a CRM
If you’ve never worked with a CRM before, you probably have no idea what to look for. Here’s what makes a good CRM.
- User-Friendly – A good CRM should be easy to use and everything should be self-explanatory.
- Excellent Vendor Support – Even if it is easy to use, you’ll want to look for a CRM that has excellent vendor support. Read some reviews if you’re not sure about this aspect (because you won’t know for yourself until you’ve tried it, right?).
- Automation – Look for a CRM that offers automation to save you time on your most common daily and weekly tasks.
- Customization – Not all types of businesses need the same features when it comes to a CRM, which is why you should look for one you can easily customize to suit your type of business.
- Affordability – This one goes without saying, but the CRM you choose should be affordable enough so that you’re not going over your marketing budget.
Best CRMs for Your Small Business
Some of the top CRMs for business include:
HubSpot has a freemium business model so you can start with a free version and add on as much as you want (for a price, of course). HubSpot’s CRM gives you full visibility into your sales pipeline in real-time so you can get an up-to-the-minute view via a gorgeous, visual dashboard.
With HubSpot’s CRM, you’ll be able to close deals more efficiently and remove some of the friction from your sales process. You’ll also get access to email templates, live chat, meeting scheduling, and click-to-call functionality tools.
Price: Free for unlimited users, $50 – $1200 / per month for additional features.
Zoho has a free version and a few tiers of paid versions. With it, you’ll get basic small business CRM features (as well as some advanced features, such as website visitor tracking and lead scoring).
You can also integrate with other apps, including social media apps. Zoho provides robust features for sales and marketing and secure cloud storage. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Suzuki use Zoho, among thousands of others.
Price: Free for up to three users, $12 to $55 per month
Easy to use and completely free, Freshsales is a great option for those on a limited budget.
Freshworks provides automatic lead scoring using artificial intelligence and other built-in features. It allows you to set up custom workflow automations and chatbots for your website, as well as create marketing email journeys. You’ll get unlimited support 24/5 via phone, email, and chat.
Price: Free for unlimited users, $29 to $125 per month
A top contender in the CRM game, Salesforce allows you to reach out to your contacts with the right message at the right time to help keep your customers interested. With Salesforce, you’ll get a customizable, scalable platform with built-in AI and automatic upgrades. Salesforce can help you streamline and automate processes so that everyone can work more efficiently and consistently.
Price: $25 per user per month for up to 10 users (Essentials package), $75 per user per month (Sales Professional and Service packages)
Monday can help your small business manage their tasks and workflows with an easy-to-use interface and customization options that can assist you in capturing and managing customer data effectively.
Monday has templates, in-app automations, customizations, and a modern UI. It combines project management and CRM features, however, it’s pricing is a little tricky to understand for some people.
Price: $25 per month (no free version)
ClickUp is a CRM with multiple tools to help you manage and grow your business. They’ve got content calendar, A/B testing, and campaign tracking templates, and you can integrate with more than 1,000 tools to automate, track, and analyze your marketing apps.
With ClickUp, you’ll also get a visual picture of your sales pipeline and the ability to track account activity and collaborate on deals. ClickUp is much more than just a CRM, though. It can help you eliminate bottlenecks using dashboards and qualify leads with custom forms, not to mention you can break down silos and track your tasks using checklists.
I used ClickUp for task management and I loved it so I’m wondering if I’d love the rest of what they have to offer. I’ll update this article with my findings once I test it out.
Price: Free, $5 per month
Ready to Find Your Match Made in CRM Heaven?
You’ve got six solid options when it comes to CRMs now, so start taking your most compelling option for a test drive and see if it works for you. If you’re not feeling it, don’t be afraid to switch things up with a new provider and platform. It’s important that you’re doing what works best for your budget and your team.