Top 3 CRM for Small Business
As more and more affordable and web-based solutions become available, a higher number of small businesses are turning towards CRM in order to handle interactions with both existing and potential customers. A lot of these enterprises are working with very basic email marketing or contact management solutions.
The growing popularity of small business CRM means that there are a variety of systems out there, each with different levels of functionality to cater to different kinds of small business. This article will discuss the essential features of CRM for small business and a guide to some of the best solutions available.
What Applications Should My CRM for Small Business Have?
Contact management – this is the critical feature of any CRM solution, no matter what size. CRM needs to be able to consolidate vital customer data into a single database. Organising in this way makes retrieving important information much easier, as the user doesn’t have to search through many different systems, inboxes or address books to find contact information or associate notifications, tasks, notes or files.
Sales management – sales management applications are essential for any small business with a dedicated sales team, or that requires the organisation of a large number of leads and to automate follow-up. These applications can track deals and different stages of the sales pipeline and integrate sales activities and appointments. These applications can even contain automation and reporting.
Marketing automation – Marketing automation can aid your attempts to attract potential customers through web traffic or email marketing by creating landing pages, email templates and web forms built to draw in potential customers. Some applications can send personalised messages to potential customers based on their behaviour.
Customer service management – These applications usually concentrate on trouble ticket management, which lets small businesses document, track and resolve customer issues. This is especially useful for small businesses that have to resolve a large number of customer queries or complaints.
Top CRM for Small Business
Salesforce is a full-featured CRM solution that works with any size of business. It offers a huge range of essential applications to expand your business, including contact management, lead generation, opportunity management, sales forecasting, workflow automation and collaboration tools, everything you need to locate and retain customers, track and close sales, conduct and monitor marketing campaigns and provide service post sale.
Though the only vertical solutions it offers is to the financial services and wealth management sectors, AppExchange, its partner network, provides a host of other industry-specific solutions. The applications are built on the Force.com platform which offers increased flexibility and scalability to any company, no matter what size. Developers can acquire access to the application development environment and find the tools and resources required to design, create and deploy a custom application for their business. There is also a social media application Included called Chatter, which permits social networking and collaboration across your company.
Salesforce is a Cloud-based CRM solution, allowing for access to your data at any time wherever you are, even from mobile devices. Deploying all applications in the Cloud means that they can be designed, built, tested and deployed without having to buy hardware and IT support.
Salesforce provides almost unlimited possibilities to develop its central functionalities so that they suit your business’s requirements as best as possible. This is achieved through various third-party integrations through the Salesforce Exchange. This offers access to hundreds of third-party integrations that can help tailor your CRM to the systems your enterprise currently uses.
Infusionsoft provides email marketing, sales, lead generation and social media tools for small businesses. Its CRM functionality includes creating and hosting web forms and links, implementing automated campaigns and tracking returns on investment (ROIs), offers real-time customer updates for sales, and allows users to manage customer databases, all of which helps users to engage leads, streamline sales and close deals.
Included in the solution is a flowchart-style campaign builder. This makes the task of building email campaigns much less of a dry experience, and allows your customers to be interacted with in a personalised way, whilst freeing you up to attend to other areas of your business.
One of the focusses of the company is to have an engaged and involved community. There are community forums, private Facebook groups and their annual ‘ICON’ conference in Phoenix, Arizona which provide the community with platforms to share ideas, have their say and assist each other. Infusionsoft also provides personalised one-on-one coaching services so you can become operational as fast as possible.
Many organisations are initially put off by its expensiveness. There are four packages, none of which is cheap, and the mandatory kickstarter coaching package sets you back even more. However, when you look at the ROI that Infusionsoft has provided other companies, it is clearly a worthwhile investment that can increase significant amounts of revenue in the long term.
Pipedrive is popular with small business owners because it’s simple and easy to use. Its user interface is clean and clearly depicts the sales pipeline. This focus on simplicity makes the process more efficient for your sales team, which helps them to put their focus on the most promising deals, and more accurately reflects the performance of your enterprise to senior management.
There is a Pipedrive mobile app which allows the system to be accessed anywhere, even while on the go, and suits small and mid-size businesses of almost any industry. Its CRM function provides quality forecasting agreements, and integrates easily with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier, as well as a host of marketing, customer service and other software solutions.