What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth. That is, the goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. Likewise, A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your lifecycle with them, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.
Who is CRM For?
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 manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
With visibility and easy access to data, it's easier to collaborate and increase productivity. Everyone in your company can see how customers have been communicated with, what they’ve bought, when they last purchased, what they paid, and so much more. CRM can help companies of all sizes drive business growth, and it can be especially beneficial to a small business, where teams often need to find ways to do more with less.
Customer relationship management systems can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of any business type and size. Start-ups, large enterprises, and verticals like real estate, healthcare, insurance, legal, media, restaurants, travel, banking, tax, freelancers, and non-profits all use a customer relationship management software for increasing their sales, marketing, and customer support efforts.
From managing an account's contact information to staying up to date with business deals, payments, and reports, B2B companies do best with a sales CRM in place. It helps them create a common platform to keep their partners, vendors, and other stakeholders of their business in sync with each other.
B2C companies have shorter customer life cycles, and they typically require a solution that is more direct and less time-consuming. A multi-channel CRM tool with features like lead management, sending out instant surveys, marketing automation, etc. helps B2Cs reach out to their customers more easily.
With advanced CRM features like workflow management, advanced analytics, territory management, sales and marketing automation, enterprise CRM software can help reduce the time salespeople spend on mundane tasks, have more time to concentrate on their customers and unify their operations across multiple geographic locations.
For Small Business
Small business aren't small and medium businesses but smart and modern businesses. There's no truth to the common misconception that cloud CRM is too expensive and complicated for SMBs. They can always start their CRM journey with a free CRM software. By being a great technological leveller, small business CRM systems provide SMBs with a level playing field and the ability to compete against the bigger players in their industry. The biggest challenge for small businesses (or SMBs) is growth. And by growth, I mean more exposure, more customers and employees and definitely more revenue. And while being in the process of this growth the workflows and organizational processes need to be streamlined within your business. That’s when CRM software becomes of great value.
A CRM system should provide you these benefits:
Small businesses and startups are always looking for the most cost-efficient option. That is why we’ve selected all budget-friendly tools (some of which are even free!).
Easy to learn:
The learning curve is also an important factor for SMBs. Most smaller businesses don’t have the time to master a complex, enterprise-grade software. There is no IT or CRM expert needed to use the tools listed below.
Some tools dissect every minor interaction which can not only produce an overwhelming amount of data, but also keep you from your goal. Try a tool that has a wide range of applications but doesn’t overdo it.
Integrates well with other tools:
It’s always good to have a software that can take on all your other tools and mix data for the ultimate results.
This is another big one. Because most SMBs have pretty small teams, it’s helpful to have a tool that offers sufficient support to get you up and running.
Contact data organization:
CRM helps you organize information about all your contacts. This allows your team to keep track of who a customer has spoken to and what they discussed. In sales, this information aligns your team so that your sales process runs smoothly.
Track quota attainment and metrics such as emails sent, calls made, meetings booked, and deals closed to understand what your team is doing well and what you can do to improve.
Accurate sales forecasting:
Don’t rely on complicated Excel formulas or back-of-the-napkin math. A good CRM system generates a sales forecast for you, making it easier to predict revenue and manage your team’s pipeline.
Segment your contacts by properties such as location, deal size, close date, and more, to find the warmest leads to focus on.
Scaling a sales process:
A repeatable sales process is key to testing new sales motions and strategies. The data you keep in a CRM system will help you spot effective and ineffective patterns in sales behaviors. This knowledge will help you grow your business effectively over time.
Greater employee satisfaction:
With so much going on, your sales reps can get lost in the sauce. A CRM will streamline a lot of your sales reps day by logging notes, playbooks, tasks, and reminders so that your sales reps are organized. This means that your sales reps will spend more time on generating revenue than having to perform manual organizational tasks.
Imagine reaching out to a lead that your coworker has already reached out to. Talk about an awkward moment and also a waste of time. With a CRM, you can see your contact’s profiles which shows if they’ve been communicated with recently. This can be extremely useful if your CRM works with Marketing and Customer Service teams as well.
Increased revenue and profitability:
This is the one we all dream of. The benefits listed above all contribute to your company being more effective at closing deals. In turn, you’ll get ROI on your CRM and scale your revenues more than you had been doing before.
Why Do Small Businesses Use CRM Software?
When it comes to running a small business effectively, the most important goal should be boosting sales and strengthening relationships with your customers.
To do this, you’ll need a CRM, or customer relationship management tool. A CRM is a management software that allows you to store, organize, and manage your lead and customer information in one place. A good CRM solution also gives you insight into your business’ history with each customer.
The best CRM software products will store contact information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, and any correspondence you’ve had with your customer.
For example, your CRM notes may have emails, invoices, and a sales pipeline so you can continue to build relationships with leads and nurture existing customer relationships.
In addition, a CRM will help your sales teams by working as a task management tool to help their overall sales process.
Having a CRM helps your salespeople stay in touch with those that are most likely to buy from you. They also help your entire sales team access data in real time and stay up to date on where in the customer journey each lead is.
How We Evaluated the Best CRM for Small Business
The best CRM software for small businesses should be relatively inexpensive and provide a simple process for managing and tracking customers and prospects. Upgrade plans should allow companies to expand efficiently and include features such as process automation, system integrations, email marketing, customization, and advanced reporting.
Here are the criteria we used to evaluate the best CRM for small business:
Monthly user costs should offer multiple price points to meet a range of budgets, and we considered the overall features for the price to determine the best value. We also looked at providers that offer free plans and trials to get started.
Ease of use:
Everyday use should not require advanced technical skills. Therefore, we compared how easy it is to set up and to use each featured CRM.
Creating, editing, and searching for contacts should be simple and integrated with functions such as email, phone calls, and other tasks.
Deal and opportunity management:
Deal and pipeline creation should be customizable, visualize, and easy to manage.
These features automate functions such as the sales process, follow-up tasks, and other reminders.
Reporting tools track data such as sales, rep activities, and forecasting.
A good CRM will integrate with other software such as accounting, ecommerce, and marketing.
Customization of items such as contact fields, opportunity fields, pipelines, and sales processes are typically standard with high-tiered plans.
Positive user reviews of CRM providers and multichannel customer support options are indicators of a satisfying customer experience.
Top CRM Software for Small Businesses
With Salesmate CRM you can speed up the sales processes and offer customers a personalized experience. Manage your contacts effectively and keep track of all related sales activities. This tool is also perfect for sending out email campaigns and you’ll know what happens to your emails once you hit send. As a Small Business you appreciate flexibility and scalability and Salesmate understands these needs.
Pricing: Starts at $12/user/month.
Though we previously included Zoho in our enterprise-grade software list, this software can also be employed by small businesses – thanks to the variety in editions offered. 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. Note: Most of the advanced features include only in the professional and enterprise editions.
Pricing: Free version, Standard ($12/month), Professional ($20/month), Enterprise ($35/month) and more.
HubSpot 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 (visible to all team members). Already a HubSpot Sales user? Then you can also use this CRM software to boost your inbound sales. Not to mention, HubSpot offers several integration options with popular apps like SalesForce, Shopify and Microsoft Dynamics.
Pricing: Free of costs.
SalesForce is perhaps one of the biggest and most widely used CRM software on the market. Luckily for smaller business, SalesForce offers a basic edition called Lightning Essentials. This package provides the user with an advanced contact manager that includes email integration and follow-up reminders. It also includes a lot of options for integration and customisation.
Pricing: Lightning Essentials package ($25/month/user), Lightning Professional ($75/month/user), and more.
Agile CRM is a particularly interesting CRM software in that it offers a lot of those big business features like custom appointments, drag-and-drop marketing automation and reports via email. This software also supports widgets, a large library of plugins, API-powered integrations and more. The free version, however, is quite limited in terms of features offered.
Pricing: Free for up to 10 users, or choose the Starter package ($14.99/user/month).
Freshsales enables you to automatically capture your website visitors as sales leads and group them based on their engagement with your website. Assign them to the right salespeople on your team. Reach out to each lead with complete context and track deals by the personalized pipelines.
Pricing: Package for Growing Teams ($25,- /user/month).
Capsule CRM is a software that’s been around for quite a while now. Starting up in 2008, it has become quite popular in recent years. It is a very easy-to-use software that allows its users to track both relationships and sales pipelines. Straight and to the point. Not to mention it can be used on both desktops and mobile. The user interface is broken down into five groups: dashboard, people and organisations, sales pipeline, calendars and tasks and lastly, cases. One pitfall, however, is that it offers less functionality in terms of campaigns and reporting.
Pricing: They have both a free package (up to 2 users) and a Professional package (£12/user/month).
With PROSOFTLY analyze your company and compare it with industry data. Also, set goals, delegate these goals to your employees. Moreover, track all the work done to achieve your company goals for success. Use one of the best free CRM software for small business and startups. Create customers, deals, products/services. Manage your deals using sales pipeline. Analyze your customers and deals to nurture more sales out of your contacts. Create your customers and keep track of all the details you have about them. Create deals and interactions for each customer. Manage these deals using sales pipeline to manage your sales activities much more efficiently. You can track sales of your product or services, keep track of their performance analyze them in detail.
Pricing: A free package (up to 3 users), a Business Package $8/4-10 users/monthly, a Business Elite Package $7/11-30 users/monthly, and Enterprise
Base is a CRM software that is ideal for companies looking to customise their sales pipelines. Users can make use of a sales tracking solution that lets you customise sales stages. You can add things like leads, collaborators and records to all your sales deals in the Sales Pipeline section. Base also offers real-time visual reporting via templates as well as integrations with social networks and other third party apps such as Zapier, MailChimp, Yesware and more.
Pricing: Starting from $45/User/Month
MICROSOFT DYNAMICS 365
If you are a Microsoft user you’ll probaly know that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an all-in-one platform for sales and marketing. This CRM is more than your average CRM. AI Of course this platform can extend with other Microsoft products.
Pricing: Different modules and licensens offered. Sales Insight i.e. (€ 42,20/user/month)
Based on these criteria, we determined Prosoftly is the best CRM for small businesses because it’s a fully featured and competitively priced solution that is easy to use and completely customizable.