One of the biggest challenges SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) face is business development. This means more exposure, more clients and employees, and most essentially more revenue. However, when striving for growth and development, many things have to be in place. Workflows and organizational processes need to be streamlined so that all your business processes can run smoothly.
This is where using Customer Relationship Management becomes of great value to small businesses. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will improve and manage your customer data, customers, and prospective customers. This frees up more time and energy to focus on the other parts of your business. So, how can you benefit from CRM software, and how do you pick the right CRM for your business?
What is CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an organized approach that can help you develop, manage, and maintain a relationship with your clients. It is a system of tracking and examining every interaction and communication you have with your clients. Customer Relationship Management provides the company with a central pool that guarantees security, simplicity and scaling of client interactions in an organization.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will improve and manage your customer data, customers, and prospective customers, giving you enough time and energy to focus on the other parts of your business.
However, all your clients must be registered in the platform’s customer database where fields are used to identify each customer’s uniqueness so you can easily connect with them. Also, you can track, automate, analyze, and optimize your customer interactions with specific tools. Thus, it increases the business profits, customer list, and your interactions with them. As your business develops, manual business processes become increasingly inefficient and costly.
CRM for SMEs helps employees be on the same page, bringing marketing and customer support together with all relevant data they need to succeed in their roles. However, there are many CRM companies, so getting to know what to look for in a CRM is essential.
The following are few things to look out for in the best CRM software:
Ease of Use
You will be using the CRM tool for your business almost every day. If the software is not easy to operate, it is advisable not to use it since it won’t help you reach your business goals.
This means that you and your team can access client details anywhere, anytime. Over 64% of companies and businesses using mobile-friendly CRM software exceeded their sales targets.
Fund management is essential, especially with your sales team. You can track your customer details from just browsing without missing any parts.
Features of CRM systems
CRM helps achieve contact management, sales forecasting, pipeline management, and lead management. Good CRMs also allow for instant messaging between employees, email tracking and integration with Outlook and Gmail, file and content sharing, and dashboard-based analytics.
Benefits of CRM features
- It provides a great and enhanced customer relationship
- It supports enhanced cross-functionality and thereby increases sales team collaboration
- It mitigates cost and reduces manual efforts
- Provides strong efficiency in serving customers and sales team satisfaction
Tracking customer data can be complicated for businesses when their customer data or contact data is kept in a spreadsheet. SMEs quickly lose track of business deals and have lesser accessibility of data without CRM tools.
Benefits of using CRM software
It organizes your contacts
As your business’s customer develops, you need to organize your customer database to build your business. However, this overview of your clients’ contact will also assist you in running the sales process more smoothly.
It generates sales reports
A CRM can help you overview sales and marketing performance through many metrics like calls made and deals booked. This is ideal for managing your sales pipeline.
It segments your customers
Sales teams are often concerned about market segmentation. A CRM is beneficial for personalization efforts, but it can also break down prospects into smaller units like deal size and location. However, this segmentation, thus, gives sales teams more focus.
What to look for in the best CRM software
The following are the essential things you as – a small business owner – should look for when choosing a CRM software:
Startup companies and small businesses always look for the most cost-efficient option to develop their business.
Small learning curve
This is an essential part of small businesses. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to master complex software. Make sure your CRM doesn’t require an IT or CRM expert to integrate into the business.
Some tools dissect every minor interaction that may produce an overwhelming quantity of data and keep you away from your business goals. However, choose a CRM software with a wide range of applications.
Integrations with other tools
It’s ideal to have a CRM tool that can integrate with other software applications.
Customer support is another excellent feature to look out for when choosing CRM software. Most small businesses have small teams, which makes it more helpful for them to have a CRM tool that provides sufficient customer support to get them up running.
The Best CRM Software for Small Business
To use customer relationship management software for your business, you need to develop a good relationship with your customers. For that reason, the following are the shortlisted ten best CRM solutions that you can use to launch your business:
Drip is one of the most popular CRM solutions for both small and large businesses. It’s powerful and has a beautifully intuitive interface, and it is easy to set up for any business.
Drip makes it easy to develop workflow automation, sales automation, email marketing campaigns, and sales force automation. Also, you have the choice of creating your email list with a simple visual builder or text builder..
It offers conversion tracking, content customization, list segmentation, purchase intent marketing, and lots more. However, you can also learn more with tags, events, and custom fields. This makes it a great customer database software solution that helps you profitably manage your customer contacts.
A Drip CRM System is designed to increase your bottom line and help you generate more leads, manage your contacts and turn them to repeat buyers.
Drip is packaged with features that include project management, actionable reports, email marketing, eCommerce user tracking, and more. It is easy to integrate Drip with other third-party integrations services such as email services, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
Sendinblue is another powerful email marketing service with all the essential packages you need. It is an excellent option for any startup company since you can get started with a free CRM package and upgrade as your business develops.
Sendinblue provides reliable email delivery, automation, intelligent segmentation, and many more.
Unlike other CRM systems, Sendinblue also has SMS marketing and live chat. Sendinblue is a powerful CRM tool that can instantly increase sales and engagement.
- easy segmentation and personalization,
- powerful marketing automation tools,
- transactional emails with reliable delivery,
- landing page and signup form builder,
- detailed and actionable analytics, and many more.
HubSpot CRM is one of the best CRMs for small businesses looking for a cost-effective CRM solution package. HubSpot CRM is an excellent customer database solution for managing new prospects. It is an easy CRM solution system that provides a wide range of tools to manage client journeys. HubSpot offers free plan packages forever with limited features for their CRM, Marketing, and customer service features. HubSpot has an excellent interface that allows users to see their entire sales pipeline right on their dashboard.
It has a mobile app both for iPhone and Android, real-time notifications, email templates, scheduling, phone calls, and much more.
HubSpot integrates with over 300 applications and services such as WordPress, lead generation software such as OptinMonster, and many more. Although HubSpot software has a free plan, you can upgrade to a paid plan to enjoy more powerful packages like Marketing sales, Service hubs, and more.
Constant Contact a popular email marketing service, which can also be used as a CRM tool. It is suitable for small, medium enterprises with a simple and easy to use operate dashboard, reporting, sales funnel, and drag and drop feature for creating emails.
Also, you can use the tool to manage your customer information and add third-party integrations (such as eCommerce integrations) from Constant Contact’s big market marketplace. However, the number of integrations makes it easy to develop a solid platform for your business.
The key features:
- Email scheduling
- Easy list segmentation and list cleaning
- Marketing automation to prospects nurturing a breeze
- Drag and drop interface to create amazing email lists easily
- More than 100 templates
- Easy integration with eCommerce platforms
The pricing plan starts at $20 per month for the email package, but the Email plus package begins at $45 per month with all the features that will make it a simple CRM option for you.
Sales flare is an easy-to-use CRM, and their tagline says it all: “less work, more sales.” This is because Salesflare is a CRM platform that enables you to connect with your customers along with your favorite marketing tools.
With just a few clicks, you can get started with the platform and make more sales even with a bit of data beginning. Salesflare helps automate your lead generation and nurturing funnel, and it can also be used to gather your leads’ contact information from social profiles or other public sources. More so, all your meetings and phone calls are automatically logged, so you don’t have to to worry about forgetting tedious data entries.
The key features:
- Contact information is gathered and automatically updated from public sources
- Meetings and phone calls are recorded and filed to keep you well organized
- File exchanged with clients are automatically sorted and tracked
- Sales opportunities are placed in a simple to read dashboard
- To-do lists are automatically generated to assist you to stay productive
Pricing plans start at $29 per month when billed annually, but jump to $49 per month for the pro plan, while $99 per month for the Enterprise plan.
Salesflare is a CRM platform that enables you to connect with your customers along with your favorite marketing tools.
Zoho CRM is a cloud-based tool suite that gives you all you need to run your business quickly. You will get a robust set of sales marketing packages with Software-as-a-Service applications (SaaS) and online productivity tools.
Zoho CRM makes it relatively easy to organize contacts, market their brand, sales pipelines, provide customer support, and more. Also, you can use the Zoho tool to integrate with other marketing tools you already use, capture prospective buyers, social media, segment your visitors, and offer customer support using built-in live chat.
Zoho offers different plans with about three users per month, including essential packages like lead management, task management, workflow rules, and mobile app.
- Multichannel contact management (like email, phone call, and live chat)
- AI voice assistant for creating intelligent dashboards and forecasting business trends
- Sales lead management (with lead scoring), so you can prioritize leads and turn them to buyers faster
- Team collaboration tools and teams roles
- IT management for monitoring websites and handling support tickets
- And many more.
It has a free plan package for up three users, but plans with great features are in the paid packages, and those start with $12/month per user and usually are billed annually.
7. Agile CRM
With Agile CRM, you get customer self-service, customer relationship managment, sales and marketing, and many more, all in one dashboard.
With Agile database software, you have access to 360-degree contact view, project management, sales cloud, event and calendar, timeline, gamification for your sales reps and sales CRM to inspire fun competition, and more.
However, Agile software offers single-page contract life-cycle management, deal tracking, voicemail, automation, project management, appointment scheduling, and lots more. Also, Agile software has key features like landing page builders, email tracking, single-page contract life-cycle management, fully integrated marketing automation, multichannel campaigns developed and managed with a drag and drop interface, advanced lead tracking and reporting, and a lot more.
They offer a limited free plan, and their paid plans start at $9.99/ month per user, typically billed annually.
With Agile database software, you have access to 360-degree contact view, project management, sales cloud, event and calendar, timeline, gamification for your sales reps and sales CRM to inspire fun competition, and lots more.
Pipedrive is one of the best CRM software packages that is developed with simplicity in mind.
You will get an overview of your sales process when using Pipedrive management features. More so, with a straightforward interface, you will get sales reporting and forecasting and mobile applications so you can have access to your account anywhere around the world.
- Mobile alerts and emails reminders,
- email templates,
- iOS, and Android mobile applications,
- API for easy integration with any software, and lots more.
Another popular CRM tool and one of the best CRM for SMEs. Salesforce can be used to take leads through a personalized customer journey and use the different platforms to generate sales through emails, SMS messaging, social media platforms, and digital advertising.
Salesforce includes tons of advanced features and solutions for everything you could need for your business growth and development.
- Guided onboarding,
- custom dashboards and reports,
- social media and email support
10. Freshworks CRM
Freshworks CRM solution is previously known as Freshsales. It enables business owners to automatically capture their website visitors as sales leads and group them based on their arrangement with their websites.
It uses AI-powered lead scoring to quickly prioritize leads that are more likely to convert to sales.
Also, it can be used to set up custom workflow automation, track events, use the 360-degree customer view to see all the most essential information from a single screen.
- access to customer profiles,
- visual sales pipeline with a drag and drop interface,
- automatic contact profile updates