Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.
A CRM system gives everyone — from sales, customer service, business development, recruiting, marketing, or any other line of business — a better way to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success.
A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and hold your people accountable to sales goals, all in one central location
CRM’s make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
Have your contacts in one place
Sales Reporting - Helps you keep an overview of sales performance by way of various metrics such as calls made and deals booked. This is ideal for managing your pipeline.
Customer segmentation - This is not only useful for personalization efforts, but also breaking down prospects into different groups such as how big the deal is, where they’re located, and more. This gives your sales team a bit more focus.
There are a couple of facets you – as a small business – should look out for when selecting your CRM software:
Easy to Use and Learn to Use
Integrates well with other tools
Examples of CRMS:
Insightly – Pros easy to use Insightly also includes various project management features such as task management and tracking. Cons Pitfall: it does not provide custom reports or dashboards and is really only convenient for SMBs.
Zoho Pros Zoho – in comparison to Insightly – offers a bit more in terms of sales/marketing features. It offers its users' website visitor tracking, lead scoring, sales signals (with pop-up notifications about leads) and more. Cons Most of the advanced features are included only in the professional and enterprise editions.
Hubspot Pros - offers a completely free version of its CRM software that is rather popular among small businesses. The software includes all of the basic features provided by CRM software, allowing you keep track of your company’s activities, including contacts and company profiles, assigning & tracking deals, and managing all of that data in a detailed dashboard
Cons – Once you exceed the free version it is quite expensive for a small business.
Salesforce: Salesforce is perhaps one of the biggest and most widely used CRM software on the market. Con it is hard to learn and it is expensive
Agile CRM – Free version is limited Pricing: Free for up to 10 users, or choose the Starter package ($14.99/user/month).
Teamgate - Pricing: There are three packages: Starter ($9/user/month), Professional ($22/user/month) and Enterprise ($65/user/month)
Capsule CRM One pitfall, however, is that it offers less functionality in terms of campaigns and reporting.
Funnel CRM - Easy to use for small businesses.
OnePageCRM This CRM software is more catered to users looking for a task-based CRM solution.
Base CRM Base is a CRM software that is ideal for companies looking to customize their sales pipelines. 45 per user
Streak is a great CRM software for Gmail enthusiasts. 49 per user
ConvergeHub ConvergeHub includes built-in SalesForce automation and marketing automation modules too. Pricing: Starts from $9/user/month (Starter package) up to $59/user/month (Premium package).
Apptivo - Apptivo is probably one of the best options if you’re looking for a CRM software that provides you with customizable solutions. Pricing: Ranges from free to $20/user/month.
vTiger CRM vTiger is another all-in-one CRM software made for small businesses. This tool offers a great deal in terms of sales automation, email marketing, and project/inventory management. Pricing: Depends on the package you select (Sales CRM, Help Desk or All-In-One), but pricing can range anywhere from free to $30/user/month.
Nimble Users can set reminders to Stay in Touch with certain users as well as mark certain communications as important to stay ahead of the game. Pricing: Ranges from $9/user/month to $19/user/month.
At the end of the day if you buy into a CRM – it is only as good as the time and energy you put into it. It will not work if you don’t use it.
If your business is going to last, you know that you need a strategy for the future. You have targets for sales, business objectives, and profitability.
Getting up-to-date, reliable information on your progress can be tricky. A CRM system can give you a clear overview of your customers. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more.
Running a business without CRM can cost you real money.