Information about customers is the fuel that drives the sales industry. If you use it wisely, you will be able to cultivate customer relationships that will endure for the entirety of your business while also effectively driving sales and revenue.
This can be difficult to achieve given that sales data often tends to be quite dispersed (stored in various locations and formats) – a problem that has been made worse by the shift toward remote work. And if you run a small to medium-sized business that is expanding, you can forget about having your sales representatives juggle multiple spreadsheets, emails, or even post-it notes.
In situations like these, customer relationship management (CRM) software can be of great assistance. It is able to keep track of your sales data and identify the unique requirements of each individual customer, which enables salespeople to personalise their interactions with those customers.
Continue reading to gain a better understanding of the top-ranked CRM software vendors and explore the reasons why incorporating this technology into your business process is absolutely necessary.
Why is it necessary for a small to medium-sized business to invest in a CRM system?
Relationship management becomes more laborious and fraught with potential problems as your small to medium-sized business expands and its customer base grows.
A customer relationship management system has the potential to easily alleviate many of the most common complaints voiced by sales managers, including the following:
In the absence of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, the sales relationships that exist are primarily between customers and salespeople, as opposed to the company and the customers. This results in high turnover costs. Because sales reps have a propensity to take these relationships with them when they leave a company, this can be a significant disadvantage for the business. In addition to this, you will need to devote a significant amount of time and energy to the training of replacement salespeople so that they can comprehend each individual customer.
When your sales data is dispersed or siloed, sales teams frequently struggle to turn that data into insights, which can result in decreased customer satisfaction. As a result, you wind up using a cookie-cutter strategy for your interactions with customers, which does not resonate with them and may cause them to switch to one of your competitors.
The management of data is a productivity-killing endeavour because compiling and entering sales data from spreadsheets, emails, business cards, events, and interactions with customers is not only tedious and time-consuming, but it also introduces the possibility of making errors.
Internal communication deficiencies: If a company wants to keep their customers happy and enable referrals, upselling, and cross-selling, the marketing, sales, and customer care teams need to work closely together. On the other hand, these teams typically lack the resources necessary to regularly share information with one another regarding the most recent interactions with customers.
Problems that arise when members of the sales team are remote: Sales executives are frequently out in the field, meeting with customers and prospects in person, or simply working from their homes. Without a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it is impossible to keep the rest of the team informed on the current status of a deal, to quickly secure internal approvals, or to share sales orders and commercial invoices with customers in these kinds of scenarios.
The best 10 customer relationship management programmes for small businesses
Your customer relationship management platform serves as a central repository for the various departments’ contributions of data pertaining to individual customers. Everyone contributes in some way, from marketing and pre-sales to support and maintenance.
This technology not only gives you an all-encompassing perspective of your customer interactions and sales, but it also assists you in the management of your opportunities and automates a large number of routine sales processes.
Having said that, there are hundreds of different CRM software programmes available online, making it difficult to find one that is an ideal fit for a small business like yours.
If you are looking for ways to eliminate sales friction, provide marketing automation, and delight customers, the following is a list of the best customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses to consider investing in:
Professional Version of the Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning
When one thinks of customer relationship management (CRM), the first name that typically comes to mind is Salesforce. This company’s customer relationship management (CRM) software is widely regarded as the industry standard, and its sales solutions are among the most well-known and widely used all over the world.
Its Sales Cloud Lightning Professional option is a cloud-based solution that gives you the ability to customise it to work with the specific workflows of each individual customer. In addition to this, it provides upgrades and patches on a regular basis, ensuring that you will always have access to the most recent technological advancements available on the market. The best part is that it has a growing network of apps and integrations from third-party companies.
Sales Cloud Lightning Professional is more expensive than most of its rivals, coming in at a cost of $75 per user per month when purchased on an annual plan. We strongly suggest taking advantage of Salesforce’s free 30-day trial to get a firsthand look at the adaptable and user-friendly features that more than justify the solution’s pricier premium price tag.
The HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot is an excellent option to consider if cost is an issue; however, you are still interested in acquiring a CRM solution of the highest quality. This forward-thinking CRM service provider offers a freemium model that includes useful features like contact management, email tracking, email campaigns, email scheduling, sales quote generation, and document sharing.
If you want to invest more in the solution as your company grows, you always have the option to upgrade to one of the premium versions of HubSpot CRM, which start at $45 per month for two users. If you want to learn more about HubSpot CRM, visit their website.
The Professional Edition of Zoho CRM.
Zoho CRM is an excellent option for sales managers who are looking for a CRM product that is not only user-friendly but also offers a comprehensive set of features at an affordable price point. It includes lead management, mail integration, social media CRM, workflow automation, and analytics among its extensive list of features.
It even gives you the ability to turn selling into a game by providing gamification options, in which sales goals are determined and winning teams are awarded badges and trophies. Another advantage is that it integrates without any problems with the other products in the Zoho ecosystem, such as Zoho Projects and Zoho Books.
There is a free version of Zoho CRM, which allows up to three employees to use the CRM without incurring any costs; the professional version, on the other hand, costs $30 per user per month (billed annually).
Freshsales CRM provides a lightweight and straightforward solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are looking to get their sales automation technology up and running as quickly as possible. AI assistant, auto-renew, and reminders to renew contracts are some of the standout advanced features that this product offers.
Freshsales provides a free basic plan that is always available, which includes account and contact management, contact lifecycle stages, and features for chat, email marketing, and phone calls. The Growth plan, which costs $15 per month (per user) when purchased on an annual basis, comes highly recommended by our team. This version of the solution provides salespeople with predictive contact scoring that is powered by AI, sales sequences, as well as custom reports and dashboards.
Are you looking for a system that provides superior sales automation and pipeline visibility? Try Zendesk Sell. Interoperability with other software in the Zendesk ecosystem, particularly Zendesk Support, gives it the potential to act as a platform for end-to-end customer engagement in addition to its ease of use and lead management capabilities. This gives it the potential to act as an end-to-end customer engagement platform.
This customer relationship management system also interfaces easily with other productivity and business applications, such as Dropbox, MailChimp, HubSpot CRM, and Intuit QuickBooks, which enables you to sell within the context of your existing workflow.
The Team tier of Zendesk Sell costs $19 per seat per month, while the Professional plan is $49 per seat per month. Zendesk Sell provides a free 14-day trial of both of these plans.
Less Annoying CRM
When a company is being funded by its own resources, every penny counts. At this low price point, Less Annoying CRM gives amazing value for your sales team in terms of flexibility and performance. It was built specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and it has only one plan with a price of $15 per user per month (paid annually).
Contact management, lead management, and access to reports are just few of the features that are provided. At the same time, it provides clients with free support and excellent mobile website execution.
Less Annoying CRM is readily available to all SMBs due to the fact that their plan is uncomplicated, inexpensive, and basic.
The best thing is that you don’t even have to input your credit card information to test out the full version of the software for a whole month!
Apptivo CRM is an incredible deal since the Premium tier solution only costs $8 per month per user (when invoiced annually). This solution may be easily customised to meet your needs, and it provides exceptional support for mobile platforms.
The sales team can take advantage of a wide variety of capabilities, such as company branding, IMAP email, reports, message templates, invoicing, and interfaces with third-party services.
You are able to test-drive any plan with the 30-day trial, or you may join up for the free starter plan, in order to see whether or not Apptivo is a good fit for your business.
CRM system Insightly
Insightly, which provides CRM, project management, and lead management functions, will be very beneficial to larger small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). This visually appealing and easy-to-use customer relationship management system also includes a broad variety of connectors, such as Google G-Suite and Google Docs.
The Plus tier comes with a monthly fee of $29 per user (billed annually). Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with a big staff base could benefit from Insightly’s product support plans, which start at $1,500 per year. Despite the fact that Insights CRM is extremely intuitive and user-friendly,
You don’t need to input any billing information in order to make use of this mid-market CRM’s free subscription for the first 14 days so you may test it out before purchasing it.
Pipedrive is a deal-driven and sales pipeline CRM tool that offers features such as a configurable lead generation chatbot for websites, in-depth reporting, phone and email synchronisation, and easy mobile apps. These features can be found on the Pipedrive website. Integration with productivity tools like as Google G Suite, Google Maps, and MailChimp is also available.
Pipedrive’s Essential plan costs $12.50 per user per month (when paid for on an annual basis), however you may sign up for a free trial of the software for a period of 14 days before making a commitment to purchasing it.
The fully integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system offered by Sage (which includes modules for Sales, Marketing, and Service) ensures that you have access to the actionable insights you require to assist in making wise business decisions. The G2 website states that the service’s cost begins at $39 per month for each individual user.
Your whole sales process can be automated with Sage CRM, from the generation of estimates and proposals to the projection of sales and the transformation of sales leads into possibilities. It promises to produce gains in productivity of sixty percent and an increase in revenues of twenty-five percent.
You should be aware of these four benefits of customer relationship management software.
Mobile customer relationship management systems are becoming an essential component of every successful business.
It is anticipated that the customer relationship management (CRM) market would reach $113.46 billion by the year 2027, driven by the increased automation and accessibility characteristics of the solution.
The following is a list of the top four reasons why it is important for small firms to adopt customer relationship management software:
A sales CRM provides consolidated access to historical customer data and real-time sales trends, which helps sales and marketing work together to bag clients more quickly and with less effort. This is made possible by the fact that a sales CRM offers sales insights. In addition to this, it enables you to determine which leads are potentially not worth the effort, as well as which leads are more likely to result in satisfied consumers. In addition to that, it offers detailed reports that throw light on the sales success of your team and the areas in which there is room for development.
Improves the effectiveness of the sales process in that: Do you remember how we just discussed how customer relationship management systems can improve productivity? As a matter of fact, it achieves this goal by developing time-saving procedures for your company and automating the most routine ones. CRMs make certain that every sales action, from the exchange of pipeline updates to the generation of sales reports, requires less effort than it would without them. Because of this, your sales executives will have more time to devote to cultivating connections with customers and completing other critical activities.
Improves data security and compliance: When you move your sales data from physical files or disparate spreadsheets to the data centres of a CRM vendor, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is being secured with the most up-to-date technologies. This allows for improved data security and compliance.
Allows sales to be made from any location: Your staff will have access to all of the relevant customer data whenever and wherever they need it thanks to a solid mobile-first CRM. Using a mobile CRM app, it is also simple to keep clients and coworkers up to speed about the status of the deal.
How to pick the ideal customer relationship management software
The following is a checklist of essential elements that should be present in any CRM solution you choose, presented to simplify your decision-making process:
Cloud-based: If you want your customer and prospect data to be accessible from any location and at any time, you should look for a CRM software that can be scaled up and that runs in the cloud.
These alternatives are far less expensive and simpler to put into action compared to on-premise systems. In addition to this, the capacity of the storage service can be expanded or contracted according to the changing needs of your business.
Mobile-first: Your customer relationship management system needs to provide access to a user-friendly mobile experience.
This is essential in light of the fact that modern sales representatives and customers rely largely on mobile apps in order to remotely conduct business and receive updates and insights.
Adaptable to Your Specific Business Needs and Sales Procedures Pick a CRM provider that can tailor the solution to your specific company’s requirements and sales procedures, and then implement it rapidly.
Lengthy trial periods: Before settling on one CRM solution, you should be able to test out the others that you have narrowed down your options to for at least one month.
A lengthy trial period gives you the opportunity to test out all of the features of the product, allowing you to evaluate its pros and cons and choose whether or not it will be a good fit for your business.
Choose a SaaS CRM solution that allows you to pay on a monthly basis rather than one annual sum, especially if you are just starting out with the product. This will save you money in the long run.
After you have gained some familiarity with the system, you may want to think about upgrading to an annual plan, which offers significant cost savings.
Exceptional quality of the customer experience and rapid onboarding: Is the solution simple to implement and utilise? In that case, your sales team won’t use the programme on a consistent basis, which will affect your return on investment (ROI).
Secure: Find out if the CRM system maintains the integrity of your data and protects it from any harmful cyberattacks or prying eyes that might be looking at it.
Organizations that operate within the European Union or companies who conduct business with European clients are required to have a customer relationship management (CRM) product that complies with the GDPR.