Let’s look at the top 5 Reasons to start using a CRM. and review our top 10 CRMs list. If your business is ready for the next level, a CRM is your key to managing customer data, optimizing sales and marketing processes, and gaining deeper insights into customers’ behavior. Find out in this article why it is essential for any business to start using a CRM, and the top CRMs available on the market. !
Introduction to Customer Relationship Management. In the business world, customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.
The goal of CRM is to help businesses nurture stronger relationships with their potential and existing customers through improved and timely communication and a better understanding of their needs and preferences. In turn, this can lead to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention rates.
There are many different CRM software solutions available on the market today and we’ll look at what we determined to be the best options depending on your type of business, including such differentiators as price, functionality, addons, scalability, and integrations.
1. Improve Customer Service – With a CRM system in place, you’ll have all of your customer’s information readily available in one centralized location. This will make it easier for your team to provide fast and efficient customer service. One member can pick up with the other left off, with available notes to quickly get up to speed on the issue at hand. Some of the CRMs we will discuss below also have (or integrate with ) ticket systems. which is the best way for customers to request help on a certain issue.
2. Increase Sales & Revenue – By tracking customer interactions and analyzing buying patterns, you can more effectively target cross-sell and up-sell promotions to existing customers. while nurturing sales and marketing efforts toward potential buyers. This can lead to increased sales and revenue for your business.
3. Boost Customer Loyalty & Retention – A good CRM system can help you keep track of important customer details like birthdays and anniversaries. This allows you to stay top-of-mind with your customers to either remember them on their special days and/or provide promotions and/or discounts.
A CRM, (or customer relationship management system), should be a part of your operating business ecosystem. As we’ve noted in many articles, time is money. And automation saves you time.
Automation is to your time what compound interest is to your money.
– Rory Vaden
While there are many benefits to using a CRM, perhaps the most important are that it manages and tracks your sales and improves your marketing strategies. With a CRM in place, you will have a central database where you can store all of your customer information. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to convert leads into customers. Some CRMs have built-in auto-trigger functionalities so that you can:
In addition, by tracking your customer interactions, you will be able to identify any areas where your sales or customer service processes could be improved. You’ll be able to keep track of your customer interactions., get to know your customers better., increase sales and close more deals, and automate your marketing efforts. and stay organized and efficient.
If you build a Knowledge Library (FAQs, articles, or videos) to send customers to when they send support tickets to inquire about certain common problems, This will free up your staff to focus on more important tasks, such as developing new products or providing one-on-one support to customers. In addition, by having all of your customer data stored in one central location, you will be able to save time when dealing with any given customer
If you’re not using a CRM in your business, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers and sales. Here are some of the top reasons why every business should be using a CRM:
1. Keep track of your customer interactions.
2. Get to know your customers better.
3. Increase sales and close more deals.
4. Automate your marketing efforts.
5. Stay organized and efficient.
Sales and revenue are the lifeblood of any business. If you’re not generating enough sales, your business will eventually fail. This is why it’s so important to have a CRM system in place. A good CRM system can help you increase sales and revenue by:
1. Helping you better manage your customer relationships – A CRM system can help you keep track of your customer interactions, so you can follow up with them more effectively and build stronger relationships. This is for existing customers that you want to cross or up-sell, as well as new prospects.
2. Helping you close more deals – A CRM system can help you track your sales pipeline and make sure that deals are getting closed. It provides a task system with reminders so that no potential (or existing) customer falls between the process cracks. It can also help you identify potential roadblocks so you can address them before they become problems.
3. Giving you insights into your customers’ needs – A CRM system can give you valuable insights into what your customers want and need, so you can tailor your products/services to better meet their needs.
4. Helping you improve customer retention – A CRM system can help you keep track of customer satisfaction levels (as some have built-in rating systems) and take action to address any issues that may arise. This will help reduce customer churn and improve customer retention rates.
In today’s business world, marketing is a huge undertaking. When you recognize that marketing is solely about telling a story, then you begin to understand that all the terms you hear bantered about — Search Engine Optimization, local SEO, directory management, Social Media marketing, sales funnels, PPC, and PR, to name but a few — are simply the tools and tactics to tell the story.
Your CRM system is an essential tool for managing a marketing plan. Depending on the features of your CRM, some provide the ability to map a BPM (business process management), and pipeline blueprint that streamlines and automates the marketing process. For example. you can automate it so that any visitor captured on your website drops that customer’s email into a newsletter list; that list can be arranged by content tops, services, or leads vs customers.
The automated rules in a CRM can also notify your sales team, or a customer, based on certain benchmarks that are triggered by a customer’s purchase history. And for prospects, gentle updates and reminders keep your business top-of-mind. We’ve all experienced seeing a product/ service offer repeatedly (whether via email or video, etc.) until we were compelled to purchase. I just signed up for two new SaaS platforms this week alone.
The modern customer has high expectations when it comes to the level of service they receive from businesses. In order to meet these expectations, businesses need to have a streamlined system for communication. A CRM system can provide this type of communication by keeping track of customer interactions and providing a central repository for customer information. If you’ve ever had a long string of email interactions with a client you know how conversations can become entangled and emails misplaced — especially if there is a gap of time between one communication and another.
Moreover, with the sheer volume of information that comes at us these days, a way to organize it all is essential just to remain sane. It requires a system that can capture new leads (from email, website, or social media visits) and convert them into contact profiles (prospects, customers, vendors, etc). Further interaction can then be categorized into requests or problems, and auto-create tasks accordingly. This allows businesses to quickly and easily respond to customer inquiries and provides a way to proactively reach out to customers with information about new products or services.
There are a lot of CRM systems out there, but you don’t need the best CRM; you need the best CRM for you. We’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the top options. However, our suggestion is to separate the systems with the features you want and need first, and then compare those for functionality features, intuitiveness, and comfort. What we may find visually easy you may see as cumbersome, so perhaps one of the others will provide a better layout for you. Though I’m quite sure that one of these will work for whatever your criteria might be.
So with that in mind we’ve listed below the top 10 systems to consider, notating which we use (or have used) with pros and cons. Before you can set up your CRM however, you need to define your marketing plan. Need help, speaking with a marketing agency to help define the narratives, content development, and actions.
Of the systems we’ve used, and/or are using, there is one big consideration we deem to be important: Auto-responding, and then expanded functionalities. So below, we’ve listed in the first grouping sites we’ve used or currently use ourselves.
1. HubSpot Sales CRM: this is a great choice for small and large businesses. For a small business, it is cost-effective for those that want to start out small with the ability to scale so that they don’t have to switch as they grow. It offers a free plan for up to 2 users, and paid plans start at $50 per month. However, note that if you scale into a full-blown CRM and marketing subscription, it can cost as much as $800 a month. And if you’re using it solely for marketing, sales, and customer management, this is the Cadillac. And yes, we do have an account with them. For a free consultation to see if HubSpot is right for you, click here Read more information. or request a free demo here.
PROS: a fully integrated full-cycle marketing and CRM platform. It has a brilliant integration with Google Gmail. It is intuitive and provides a good ticket support system, enriched customer data, a landing page, lead capture widgets for your website, and plenty of reports. If you want a platform solely for the purpose of customer relations, sales, and marketing initiatives, this is the Cadillac of the industry.
CONS: For a small business, it can get pricy to utilize the breadth of the system’s capabilities, costing as much as $800 a month.
2. Zoho CRM: This is another great option for small businesses. It offers a free plan for up to 10 users, and its paid plans start at $12 per user per month. Moreover, it is VERY robust and can scale with your team. Contact us for more info click here.
PROS: It is the most affordable among the most robust of the CRMs out there. It integrates with other Zoho modules, as well as 3rd party apps. While it provides the standard CRM capabilities — leads, contact network management, business management, email management, sales and marketing automation, and analytics & reports system, it is highly customizable and has a built-in BPM (business process management) capability to create pipelines and blueprints to build your full-cycle macro architecture with preset triggers to not only optimize certain parts of your sales, marketing, and support process but connect it all together.
The other reason we like Zoho so much is that via Zoho One, for approx. $40 a month per user, supports your entire company-wide operations and uses 40 fully integrated modules, including but not limited to CRM, Books (billing and accounting), Subscription management, Project Management, Private Social Networks, HR, Video conferencing, Campaigns, Desk support, and Website Chatbox, and much much more — a full company-wide operating system.
CONS: It can be complicated to set up, although they do provide live video chat onboarding, and we can also configure it for a fee (including setting up the book and chart accounts, etc) after the free onboarding period is over.
3. PipelineCRM: this is a terrific CRM. We used it ourselves previously when we needed only a CRM/ sales tool. It was very powerful and one of the easier (to me) systems to be able to see the full sales landscape easily. Visit their site for more information.
PROS: It provides a free trial so you can see what you’re getting. Fully integrates with Google and other 3rd party platforms and has very easy-to-view screens, and easy-to-use features.: sales pipeline, contact management, lead management, onboarding, sales team management, and customer care.
CONS: While it does have automated task triggers it didn’t (as of our last review a year or so back) have automated email triggers.
4. Nutshell is another really intuitive and has easy-to-view screens and easy-to-use features. Visit the site here.
PROS: fully integrates with Google and other 3rd party platforms, has very easy-to-view screens, and easy-to-use features.
CONS: While it does have automated task triggers it didn’t (as of our last review a year or so back) have automated emails triggers
5. Bitrix24 is more of a full operating system, with CRM, private employee social network, and project & task management, among other things. A very good operating tool for small or large businesses to access everything in one place. It is really intuitive and has easy-to-view screens and easy-to-use features with 3rd party integrations. Visit the site here.
PROS: It has a free version (without limitation), fully integrates with Google and other 3rd party platforms, and has easy-to-view screens and easy-to-use features.
CONS: The CRM is not as robust for sales and marketing as some of the others, but delivers many extended operations features that the other don’t have.
5. SalesforceIQ CRM: This CRM is still a leading platform, it has a starter plan of $25 per month for small businesses and scales up to $1,250 per month for the full sales and marketing suite. See all pricing.
PROS: fit is a robust system for large sales teams, and integrates with Slack,
CONS: I began the process of setting up Salesforce offshore for one of our site companies, but we found it expensive. and the entire onboarding process was cumbersome..
5 Pipedrive: Pipedrive is a great CRM system for small businesses that need help staying organized and closing deals. It starts at $15 per month for the basic plan and goes up to $99 per month for the premium plan. Find out more here.
5. Freshsales: Freshsales is another good option for small businesses looking for an affordable CRM solution. The basic plan starts at $19 per month, and the premium plan starts at $49 per month.
6. Apptivo: Apptivo is a good choice for small businesses
Also, read “How do multipliers create more time” by Rory Vaden.
There is no good reason to NOT have a CRM if you’re a small operating business, and many to have one, some of which we pointed out above. The world is getting exponentially faster as technology has accelerated over the past 50 years in general, and the past 4 years more specifically. And with each passing year it not only moves faster, but the acceleration increases well, meaning the next big technology disrupter will occur in shorter and shorter intervals. So you need to automate, automate, automate. As an automation-centric company, everything we have and do is automated, and even we struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape.