For small businesses, CRM systems can help consolidate existing customer records and automate a variety of tasks and functions. Since many small businesses are pressed for time, this brings a tremendous productivity boost.
There are many affordable solutions on the market that provide the full features of commercially-licensed software without breaking a business's budget.
By having CRM technology in place, a small business can grow more rapidly than if it was using simple spreadsheets and limited contact database software.
Useful Features for Small Businesses
CRM applications have many features that are especially appealing to small businesses, including:
- Contact Management - From the day a business opens its doors, the goal is to make lasting connections with potential customers. Contact management helps businesses capture contact information and notes about different customers for later follow up.
- Sales Management - Managing a sales team can be complicated, but CRM makes the process easier, allowing managers to monitor team member activities and pull analytics to see where improvements can be made.
- Customer Service Management - As orders begin coming in, businesses will need a customer support center to handle complaints and questions. CRM can help log customer issues for tracking and follow up. Once the data has been compiled, businesses can pull reports to see repeat issues.
- Marketing and Social Media Automation - Once a business has collected and refined its databases, it then needs to pull that information for marketing efforts. CRM marketing software is designed to let businesses send emails and social media posts directly from the software.
Find the right CRM system for your small business by comparing providers at Expert Market.
Top Software Providers for Small Businesses
Small businesses can choose from a variety of CRM solutions on the market today. Each provider brings its own pricing scheme and slate of features.
Insightly integrates with the many applications businesses use every day, including Dropbox, Google Apps, Outlook, and QuickBooks Online.
The basic plan costs only $12 per user per month and allows up to 500 emails to be sent each day.
Small business owners and their teams have little time to manage their CRM systems and Nimble promises to automate the process.
After a 14-day trial, businesses will pay $15 per user per month, which includes unlimited deals and connections, as well as advanced field customized.
Zoho is a popular suite of business applications popular with organizations of all sizes.
Paid plans start at only $12 per user per month, which includes basic features plus sales forecasting, reports and dashboards, marketing campaigns, product customization, and more.
Although Salesforce is extremely popular with larger organizations, small businesses often see it as too expensive.
Salesforce's Small Business Solutions are tailored to the unique needs of small businesses, including an emphasis on pinpointing leads and converting them.
Plans start at only $25 per user per month and include up to five users and basic features.
Read more: 5 Most Popular CRM Systems 2017
When a small business is starting out, often one of the many free versions of paid software is sufficient. These editions generally cap users, so they're ideal for teams of less than ten. As a business grows, it can then upgrade to a paid version of the same software it is already using.
Businesses may also find that the free version of a CRM lacks the features they need to truly reach out to customers, requiring an upgrade to access features like mass emails and social media marketing campaigns.
Insightly is one of the cheapest small business options on the market today. At only $12 per user per month, this software can fit within even the most limited budgets.
Before making a final selection, however, businesses should shop around to find the solution that meets both its feature needs and its budget.
Read more: CRM Price Comparison