CRM Reviews & Guide to Finding CRM for Your Small Business
A CRM solution is a centralized system that allows everyone in your business to collect, store, and access data on all business relationships, specifically customers. It stores customer data like an address book, but CRM is better because it’s more than contact information, which could lead to better customer support, sales, upsells, cross-sells, and retention.
How Can CRM Software Help Your Business?
CRM software can streamline all the processes, such as logging emails, phone calls, and notes, and organizes it for each client. In turn, these automated tasks free up each department to focus on what they do best: market, sell, and support. Additionally, CRM software lets you run reports to show you revenue, goals, and customer buying patterns, to name a few, to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can forecast for the future.
For an at-a-glance look at the software small businesses are most interested in, read the CRM reviews below. If you’re still unsure of which CRM is best for you, keep reading to find out which features you’ll need, and how CRM can improve nearly all areas of your business.
Insightly lets users organize and manage their customers and business leads. Prices range from $29 to $99/user/month. View Profile
Salesforce is a CRM platform that allows users to utilize customer information for their business growth. Prices range from $25 to $300/user/month. View Profile
Freshsales is a CRM tool that lets users scout and track leads, monitor deals, and run sales campaigns. Prices range from $19-$79/month. View Profile
Pipedrive is a CRM software made specifically for sales teams. Prices range from $15 to $75/user/month. View Profile
How to Choose the Right CRM
A CRM used by every department in your business is the right one, and to make sure you choose wisely, you need to consider several factors. Your salespeople want contact information, an easy-to-read pipeline with hot leads, follow-ups, and to know when they should be making contact. The marketing department wants demographics, customer segmentation, and automated workflows. Managers are interested in reports, quotas, and streamlining all the processes.
Follow the steps below before choosing a CRM that focuses on sales, analysis, or collaboration, or take our short quiz for recommendations that will fit your needs.
List Your Goals
It’s important to understand what challenges you want CRM to help you solve. Create a list of your short- and long-term goals for your company, and then you’ll be poised to pick the right CRM for your business. For example, you want to:
- Automatically update customer contact information
- Easily see when it’s time to follow-up with existing customers
- Have a centralized hub for communication, events, and documents
- Improve the customer experience with customer support
- Track the success of marketing campaigns
- Increase revenue
- Improve customer retention
- Secure new leads
Your goals may vary slightly to the above list, but those are the basic wants of most small businesses. If your goals are more defined or more specific, you may need to seek out a niche CRM for your industry.
CRM Benefits: See What Features are Available
Any CRM is going to give you a base set of features and they typically fall under the “need” category. However, not every small- to medium-sized business has the same needs. It’s important to go through the feature set to ensure you’re getting everything you require.
Basic Features of Any CRM
The CRM software that’s available in the market offers a base set of features to help you run your business more smoothly. Here we’ll explain what those features are and how they’ll benefit you.
- Data collection/organization
Automatically records contact information for a customer or client, along with demographics, interactions with salespeople and customer support, purchasing history, and more.
- Tracking customer behavior
Shows how a customer responds to content marketing, behavior on your website, and interactions a customer has had with various departments of your company.
- Marketing tools
Lets the marketing team create campaigns, manage projects, and search your CRM’s database of customers using tags.
Keep all documents, images, video, and any other bits of information related to a customer, project, or campaign in one place — your CRM.
See which customers are most loyal and spend the most money. Find out the average length of a sales cycle, so you can better prepare for the future. Get pipeline reports to better see opportunity stages and help marketers set quotas.
- Email integration
Reduce the amount of data entry for all your teams, and see all the communication in one spot, which will also reduce time spent in other applications.
- Sales automation
Get reminders of appointments, follow-up call suggestions, calendar events, and see a timeline of customer interactions automatically.
When you get into the advanced aspects of a CRM, you’re unlocking tools of the system that can help further streamline processes, automate tasks, and make the business of your business more effective and profitable. Now’s a good time to pull out that list of goals to compare to the features most available among CRMs, and those that are more advanced.
Advanced Features of CRM
While many CRM systems will include a few of these more advanced features, not all do. For example, marketing automation is typically left alone by CRM, but the software will allow for third-party app integrations, such as Pardot.
- Mobile app
Access pipelines, contacts, customers, calendars, reports, interaction data, and more from your smartphone.
- Marketing automation
Set up campaigns automatically with an “if this, then that” approach, create push notifications that nudge a customer on a website, or craft email marketing campaigns for better lead nurturing.
Use custom fields to collect more helpful information on your customers, run custom reports on customers, finances, or any other set of data.
- Customer segmentation
Divide and conquer, whether that’s by demographics or territory. This allows you to target specific customers directly, or assign sales staff to specific areas, which is helpful for a slightly larger business that has a lot of area to cover.
- Social media management
Engage with customers who post, tweet, or @ your business with this feature or integration. You can keep conversations going on social media, generate leads, and target marketing efforts.
Consider Whether Niche CRM is Right for You
Most CRM software is created to serve a variety of industries, but when you have specific goals and needs, you might need to find CRM that caters to your industry. A construction company might need features, such as asset management, budgeting features, and project management. A beauty salon may need CRM with options to manage appointments, commissions, and loyalty program management.
Here are some examples:
Best for Real Estate: Contactually
Best for Car Dealerships: Selly Automotive
Best for Insurance: insureio
Think about the features that are most important to you and your business. Once you have an idea of what you want your CRM to do for you, then take a close look at the features most commonly available, and the advanced features that might make everyone’s job at your company easier and more effective.
All CRM Reviews & Pricing
Now that you know the common features and what have considered what you need for your business, here is a list of reviews for all CRM software.
All CRM Reviews
Nimble is a CRM software that allows users to communicate with their customers through social channels. Prices range from $12 to $25/user/month. View Profile
Infusionsoft is an advanced CRM solution that offers an integrated sales and marketing platform. Prices range from $99 to $379/user/month. View Profile
HubSpot is a free CRM software that includes basic customer management functions. It is a free product. View Profile
Streak is a cloud-based CRM solution for small businesses. Prices range from $0 to $129/user/month. View Profile
Contactually is a CRM tool designed for real estate professionals. Prices range from $69 to $599/month. View Profile
Bitrix24 is a CRM, project management, and sales management system. Prices range from $0 to $24,990. View Profile
Less Annoying CRM is a web-based CRM solution that enables businesses to streamline their sales and marketing functions. Price is $10/user/month. View Profile
How CRM Can Help Your Business Retain Customers & Score New Ones
You’ve likely heard of the customer experience by now. While it’s true that pricing is important to a customer, it isn’t at the top of the list for most shoppers today, whether they’re buying a trinket, a house, or a service. Customers want to feel they matter to the company they’re giving their business, regardless of who they’re interacting with in the company.
Various studies have reported that more than 80 percent of customers are willing to pay more, if it means they’re getting the best experience, including personalized attention, feeling as though the company listens to them, and they’re rewarded for loyalty. Using CRM can help your business tailor the customer experience for each unique user.
Helps Sales Staff Close Deals
Sales will have access to a customer’s purchasing history, conversations by email or phone, and activity on your website. All this data can help guide sales to making contact at the right times with customers, turning leads into sales.
Helps Your Marketing Team Target the Right Leads
Marketing can use the same information to craft targeted plans for groups of customers, or even the individual, to help drive revenue, and then track the success of those campaigns. Plus, your marketing department can track and generate leads, nurture them through content marketing, and then pass off hot leads to the sales team.
Helps Provide Better Customer Service
When customer support gets involved, they’ll also have access to a customer’s history, such as previous conversations, which means support can offer a more personalized experience with the customer, and even predict what the problem is before the customer presents it.
Thanks to the CRM and your various teams’ diligence, each of your potential and existing customers are getting precisely what they want: a personalized customer experience. If you’re ready to see which CRM is right for your business, take this short quiz, and you’ll be closer to increasing sales, providing customers the experience they want, and hitting all your business’ goals.
Here are 8 Questions We Recommend You Ask Before Committing
At this point, you should have a good idea of whether you need a niche CRM solution and the features you need and want to meet your short- and long-term goals. To narrow your choices further, get the answers to these questions. Each one is important to get you the CRM that works best for your teams.
You can find the answers to these questions in the reviews we’ve written, or you’ll need to answer them yourself, and if you want more in-depth answers, you may want to ask them of each CRM vendor that appeals to you.
- How easy is the CRM to learn and use?
You want a CRM that your whole company will adopt and use, and the more intuitive it is, the better your investment.
- Is the CRM customer support available 24/7?
Having round-the-clock customer support may be worth it to you, but if the CRM doesn’t offer 24/7 support, it could still be a good choice if support is still quick to respond, or if the training is comprehensive.
- Can you easily switch from your current system to the new CRM?
A great CRM company will help you make a seamless switch from whatever you’re using now to its system. Be sure you take the necessary steps to prepare for a CRM switch.
- Will your new CRM scale with your company’s growth?
A simple CRM with easy-to-use features is best to start with for a small business, but you want to make sure the CRM can keep up with your business’ success and growth.
- Which third-party integrations are allowed?
If your sales, marketing, or customer support teams rely on specific third-party apps, you need to make sure they’re supported by the new CRM you’re considering, or that there’s a good alternative.
- Does the new CRM offer a mobile app?
A sales team that’s always in the field will appreciate a CRM that can be used on a smartphone, tablet, and anywhere sales could happen outside of the office.
- Can you live with the CRM’s limitations?
There are some great all-in-one CRM systems out there, but you may find that a missing feature or integration from the CRM you like the best is a dealbreaker. Or there could be a suitable alternative. Consider carefully.
- Will the CRM replace most other software and become a centralized hub?
We can answer this for you. In a word, no. You’re likely to still need accounting, enterprise resource planning, and time tracking software, to name a few essentials.
Finding the best CRM for your small business comes down to choosing the features and tools that will help your company now and in the future. Check out our CRM reviews and the top CRM Fit Small Business recommends.
The CRM landscape is vast and continuously evolving with each software provider offering different functionalities. Popular features include keeping track of contacts, scouting for potential leads, managing sales pipelines, monitoring project progress, and analyzing business performance. The number of CRM in the space is reflective of how important the software is to businesses of all sizes and industries.
CRM By the Numbers
- There are currently over 600 CRM in the space, with the growth of the CRM industry only continuing to boom. According to Grand View Research, the CRM market is expected to reach $81.9 billion by 2025
- 53% of companies identified investing in a CRM software as one of the top priorities of their IT departments in 2018, alongside Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
- Small to medium-sized businesses are driving the growth of the CRM industry with the segment estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.0% over the next nine years.
- More CRMs have already been founded in the current decade (2010-2018) than any previous decade.
- The vast majority of companies (70%) have less than 50 employees. Only 1% of CRM have 10,000+ employees.
- The average year founded for CRM companies with more than 10,000 employees is 1980. This means that the current most successful CRM companies were founded over 25 years ago.
Interesting Facts About the CRM Industry
- Giant CRM companies are leading the pack with Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and Adobe, taking the spots as top picks among all business sizes.
- From the pool of players, there are also small business winners. For smaller companies, the top CRM include Insightly, Pipedrive, and Prosperworks.
- According to users, the three most important features they look for when it comes to choosing the right CRM are ease of use, schedule management functionalities, and a complete snapshot of their overall customer management activities.
- The landscape is continuously evolving with social media functionalities being one of the biggest emerging trends. On the other hand, cloud-based solutions and analytics capabilities are already considered as necessary features of every CRM software.
- Some CRMs are also made to fit specific industries. There are CRM software that are particularly designed to cater to real estate companies, call center operators, pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturing companies, among others.
How Do Businesses Benefit From Using CRM Software?
Did you know that, more often than not, customers stop patronizing a product or a service because they feel that the company doesn’t care about them? According to a study, 82% of customers don’t really stop purchasing due to pricing or because of the product, they leave because they don’t feel valued.
This is where the need for a CRM software comes in. Businesses need a tool to help them organize the various customer-related aspects of their company to ensure that they don’t miss any important aspect when servicing their customers.
Proven benefits of using a CRM tool in running a business are increased productivity and better performance of customer service agents and sales representatives. Additionally, using a CRM tool also contributes to the business growth of a company because it provides actionable insights that help business owners navigate their operations better.
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Top Sales Influencers of 2018
We’ve scouted the web for sales influencers with a prominent social media presence and put together the list below of the top sales influencers of 2018.
Our goal for this list is to present helpful tips to small business owners right from the experts themselves. We found that the diverse quantity of influencers listed has outstanding credentials, expertise, and skills pertaining to sales, as well as an impressive quantity of social media followers.