Running a small business is no easy task. You’ll face many pitfalls on the way, like client attrition, sales slump, fierce competition, market volatility, etc.
Despite the challenges, you need to drive revenue, sustain healthy relationships, and grow your small business.
Most of the challenges are fixable; all you need to do is pause for a while and rethink your strategy. Sometimes small investments can prevent your profit margins from eroding and help improve your business bottom line.
From a growth standpoint, adopting a CRM system can be a great investment. Formulating efficient CRM strategies can help streamline sales processes, maintain customer relationships, and increase your small businesses’ overall growth.
What is CRM software?
CRM, this popular acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management software. This modern tool helps businesses manage various aspects of sales, organize customer information, and foster strong customer relationships. It is packed with multiple features that work well for businesses of any size and industry. Some CRM solutions can even be customized as per unique business needs. It is one of the best tools to track and improve sales performance.
How to choose CRM software?
CRM has garnered a lot of attention in the business world. Due to the surging demand, the vendors selling CRM had also increased.
With so many options to choose from, how to select the right CRM software that will give the best ROI?
Well, here are a few ways to do it-
Be clear with the features and functionalities you need
CRM comes with a wide array of functionalities to address different business requirements.
But, why pay for the features that you don’t need or won’t be using?
It is better to stay away from the “one-size-fits-all” solution.
Your business is unique, and so are your needs. So convene different teams of your company and analyze what’s required. Find out the problem areas and create a list of features that can help resolve them. Prioritize your requirements to ease your search.
Start looking at different products
Once you are clear with what you need, start finding a solution that aligns with the list of top priority features you’ve created. Pick your top four choices and read reviews about them on various reviewing sites like Software Advice, Capterra, or G2 crowd.
However, remember that just like even the best restaurant can have bad reviews, it is likely that you won’t find a CRM without all positive reviews. Focus on both positive as well as negative reviews to make a better decision.
Test drive with a free trial and demo
Most of the best CRM offers a free trial and demo. So, instead of purchasing the CRM software at face value, it is better to test it.
You can ask for a live demo, where the salesperson will walk you through the software and show you how to use it. So you can easily ask questions regarding the CRM software and clear all your doubts. Through free trial, you can explore the software and its features to find out how it can be beneficial for you.
Best CRM software of 2021
To ease your work, I have compiled a list of the top 7 CRM software used by companies from different business verticals.
Pricing – starts from $12 per month.
Workflow automation – Reduce manual dependency and automate most of your sales processes by setting intelligent workflows.
Power dialer – Plan your calls for the day, and Salesmate’s Power Dialer automatically dials contacts one after the other from the selected list.
Sales pipeline – With a clear pipeline view, keep track of your sales deals and focus on high-value opportunities to meet your sales quota.
Sales reports – Use prebuilt and customizable reports to get actionable insight for tracking the sales team’s performance and spotting improvement areas.
Built-in calling – Quit toggling between a CRM and a phone system. Make calls directly from Salesmate CRM with a single click.
Sequences – Drive better engagement and follow-up in real-time by creating email and text sequences inside Salesmate CRM.
- Easy to implement and use
- Has a highly interactive dashboard
- Provides regular reminders for completing tasks on time
- Excellent analyzing and reporting capabilities
- Integrates with a wide array of popular apps
Bottomline – Salesmate CRM is packed with multiple features for effectively managing sales and customer relationships. It is smartly designed for sales teams of all sizes. Salesmate has advanced capabilities, and it perfectly suits the on-the-go work environment.
Pricing – starts from $25 per month.
Opportunity tracking – Close more deals by tracking opportunities and giving real-time attention to what’s important.
Contact management – Keep all your contacts streamlined in one place and get easy access to critical data of customers and interaction history.
Quote management – Create and manage quotes effectively. Create a set of quotes to show different combinations of products, discounts, and quantities.
Lead management – Track your leads from click to close and continuously optimize your campaigns across various channels.
Visual workflows – Using visual workflows, drag, drop, share and track files and updates.
- Has rich customization capabilities
- It can be integrated with multiple external systems like DMS, ERP, ITSM, etc
- Its reporting is robust and flexible
- It is secured, having granular security options
- It offers multilingual and multi-currency customer support
- It has in-built process builder and lead generation tools
Price – starts from $40 per month
Social media monitoring – Find out how your brand is performing on social media. Track mentions and other interactions too.
Sequence – Automate your follow-up by creating a sequence of emails. Easily use templates and send a series of timed emails.
300+ integrations – You can integrate Hubspot with more than 300 apps and work with more functionalities.
Sales pipeline data – Get an up-to-the-minute view of the sales pipeline with insights into sales activities and individual performance.
- Provides educational support
- Provides valuable insights into customer behavior
- Tracks interactions and logs activities
- It has an excellent form builder to capture lead information
Bottomline – Hubspot is renowned for its time-saving tools and marketing automation capabilities. It can even be used as a CMS for content marketing and to build your website. Hubspot CRM works best for growing, mid-market, and enterprise businesses.
Price– Starts from $29 per month
Lead routing – Track the most relevant lead information and get leads auto-assigned to your sales reps.
Pipeline management – Gain full control over your sales pipeline to track where prospects are in the buying process.
Relationship linking – With the help of flexible record linking functionality inside Insightly, understand complex customer relationships.
Extensive third-party integrations – Integrate Insightly with a wide spectrum of applications like Outlook, Dropbox, Gmail, and more.
- Neat dashboard for quick lookups
- Offers training videos to familiarize the new user with different functionalities
- Provides timely notifications and reminders
- It has inbuilt reporting tools
- It is highly scalable and customizable
- Provides automatic email reminders
Bottomline – Insightly is a power-packed solution for multi-level organizations. It offers a wide variety of features that can be used by both sales and marketing teams. It is user-friendly and it provides a macro/micro view of your business.
Price – Starts from $12 per month
AI-powered analytical assistant – Analyze and extract insight in minutes with Zia, Zoho’s AI-powered analytical assistant.
Real-time reports – Track key performance indicators and make smarter decisions with powerful sales reports.
Process management – Chart out every step of the sales process with sales builder and processing rules.
Automation – Cut out time-intensive repetitive tasks and trigger instant actions with smart workflows.
- It tracks customer interactions
- Integrates with G-suite apps
- Simplifies the process of creating quotes
- Ensures data security and regulatory compliance
- Offers holistic calendar management
Bottom line – Zoho is a simple yet highly effective CRM. It is fast to deploy and has numerous customizable features. Zoho can be accessed and used across all channels like live chat, phone, email, and social media.
Price- Starts from $19 per month
Contact management – Import your contacts, calendars, and emails from any source and store it in a centralized repository to access it anytime.
Pipeline management – Through four different views- board view, list view, map view, and chart view, you can choose the way you want to see your pipeline and manage it effectively.
Reporting – Easily find out what’s working for your business and where do you need to improve, through insightful reports.
Email automation – Create and schedule one-on-one sales drips to connect with your valuable prospects and capture their attention.
- Offers tutorial to acquaint users with the platform
- Provides multi-channel customer support
- It offers unlimited online storage
- It provides a highly collaborative environment
- It is compatible with mobile devices
Bottomline – Nutshell is a smart CRM that is capable of handling all facets of business and is a perfect tool for maintaining detailed records. It is fully customizable and is quick to set up.
7. Sugar CRM
Price – Start from $40 per month
Project management – Build and manage projects seamlessly inside Sugar CRM. Streamline tasks and get work done quickly.
Lead management – Spot opportunities and manage leads efficiently by segmenting them based on industry, channel, lead source, and geography.
Sales forecasting – Get predictive insights and make data-driven decisions with Sugar’s sales forecasting software.
Quote management – Build quotes with greater efficiency with drag and drop reordering and export functionality.
- Support 30+ languages
- Offers wide deployment options
- Has an innovative UI
- Allows users to analyze and predict sales growth
Sugar CRM is deployed as a sales and marketing tool. It helps companies of all sizes establish and maintain strong customer relationships.
Don’t be in a hurry to make a decision. Take time but choose a solution that’s cost-effective yet provides all the functionalities that your team needs to improve the performance. Go through the features of these CRM solutions and pick the top four that meet your requirements. Read reviews about them and ask for a demo or explore the system through a free trial. After pondering over different factors like price, features, system performance, etc, choose the best fit for your organization.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.