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Cost effective CRM systems

The role of technology and computerised systems in modern business is greater than ever. Increased affordability and accessibility have allowed startups to join established companies in embracing the latest facilities. As such, the topic of CRM systems is one that should be on the top of every entrepreneur’s tongue.

Here’s all you need to know about CRMs along with advice on the best solutions on the market for startups and other small businesses.

What is a CRM system?

The term CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. Essentially, CRM systems are a group of technologies used to build winning client relations by collecting and processing data relating to the interactions held with customers. The purpose of any successful CRM system is to streamline a range of processes that influence sales, customer service, and retention rates.

Implementing a robust and responsive CRM system allows businesses to make calculated decisions to meet the expectations of their customers, which can increase the efficiency of time, money, and energies to unlock greater profitability. Frankly, persisting with manual approaches to the customer relationships will fall behind. At a time where customers can easily take their custom elsewhere, this can bring serious consequences.

The Best CRM Systems For Small Businesses

All companies can now benefit from the use of CRM systems. Nevertheless, with so many options on the market, it’s necessary for all businesses to find the solution that reflects their requirements. There are a number of key features to consider, including but not limited to;

  • Affordability
  • Ease of implementation
  • Where it can be accessed from
  • Customisation possibilities
  • Scalability opportunities
  • How much data it analyses

Of course, other aspects such as the UX and general presentation of data will influence the decision, which is why no business owner should dismiss the role of personal preference. Nonetheless, here are three of the best CRM systems for small businesses currently on the market:

#1. Salesforce

If you’ve ever conducted any research into different CRM solutions, you’ll have almost certainly encountered Salesforce.

The cloud-based system is now into its third decade, making it one of the oldest CRM providers in the world while the company was also named the best company to work for by Forbes in 2018 (and second in 2019). It is one of the most frequently used CRM systems on the market, being adopted by thousands of companies from various territories, industries, and backgrounds.

While popularity doesn’t always equate to quality, the widespread appeal of Salesforce is warranted.

Salesforce for small business

Salesforce is a completely scalable service, meaning it can follow you for the lifetime of your business journey. Crucially, it boasts an Essentials package that is tailored specifically for smaller businesses and includes a host of cool features including;

  • Sales CRM that rack contacts, key deals, sales performance, and customer interactions to provide real-time insights that removes the admin work and help your team get back to selling. Even on the Essentials package, this can be used by up to 5 users.
  • Service Cloud that collates all client interactions across email, social, phone, and chat to enable your team members to pick up the full conversation and provide the right answers. In turn, this can boost the lifetime customer value by improving the standard of service.
  • Marketing Tool that uses intelligent marketing automation to build winning campaigns including email streams while also utilising ideas like A/B testing. Lead generation is supported by lead capture facilities that keep the sales team happy.

Salesforce allows users to build Apps or use pre-built Apps from that have been built by the communities developers. With Essentials starting at $35 per month, it can be one of the greatest additions to the business arsenal.

#2. Agile CRM

Agile is another very popular CRM solution that brings elements of sales, marketing and customer sales all under one umbrella.

The cloud-based SaaS service can be used across multiple device types including smartphones, tablets, and computer for increased convenience and collaboration opportunities while its easy interface is particularly attractive for anyone that is used to using tools such as Google Analytics or website Content Management Systems.

When looking for an easy-to-use solution that still offers plenty of possibilities, this is one of the best options on the market by far.

Agile for small business

Agile CRM as a small business solution is particularly impressive as it is free for up to 10 users. It also enables SMBs to complete a host of tasks that would have previously been associated with larger companies. Some of the best opportunities include;

  • Use custom appointments and email reminders to automate the customer notification tasks, presenting clients with the appearance of a far larger operation that takes professionalism and attention to detail very seriously.
  • Track deals funnels to see which marketing campaigns and client interactions actually generate converted sales, as well as monitoring email open rates, revenue graphs, and a host of insightful features.
  • Manage all contacts in one place and access all relevant details from anywhere in the world, even when the customer has previously dealt with a colleague or another department throughout their interactions with the brand.

If the company outgrows the free version, upgrading to the Starter package is affordable too.

#3. Zoho

From A(gile) to Z(oho).

Zoho was once considered a CRM tool exclusive to big enterprises, but has since evolved to diversify its offering with Free, Standard, and Professional versions of its service. While some features are restricted to Professional and Enterprise editions, small businesses can still achieve great things before upgrading to a bigger package if required at a later date.

The Indian software company launched in 1996, and its CRM has been a key player for several years. No wonder it’s so popular.

Zoho for small business

The introductory software packages are used by over 150,000 businesses in 180 countries, and automate various aspects of running a modern business to unlock the full potential of customer relationships. Key elements include;

  • Sales automation that uses lead management and deal management to ensure that the right pathways are followed to ensure strong conversion rates and boost repeat sales gained from loyal customers.
  • Process management that focuses on helping your sales team and customer care staff decide what action to take depending on the habits of your customers. This includes setting up advanced processing rules as well as offline elements.
  • Multichannel interactions that cover interactions across email, telephony, social media, and customer portals to ensure that a customer’s previous dealings are never forgotten. This brings quicker and more effective solutions.

Zoho encourages smooth contact and improved sales conversions with telling results.