5 Best CRMs for SMBs
Customer Relationship Management
CRM, short for Customer Relationship Management is the largest, fastest growing, and probably one of the oldest enterprise applications.
Whether you’re a retail outfit, trading firm, service company, or a small manufacturing unit, customers are always the center of focus for the business. A CRM can help you maximize ROI on your marketing and sales spend. A CRM solution is a must to ensure that you do not miss any communication or opportunities with your customers and that no information is lost. Modern CRM tools manage customer relationships across the entire lifecycle, from sales, marketing, social media, e-commerce to customer service interactions. Modern CRMs often use AI to predict buying intent, are cloud-based which means that there is no infrastructure required to manage the software, and are available as mobile apps – allowing you to operate your business on the move. Many small companies can avail low cost, easy-to-use and scalable CRM software. There are plenty of options to choose from.
Benefits of a CRM for small businesses
- Know your customers – Segment customers based on sales criteria
- Meaningful engagement with customers -introduce personalized campaigns
- Automation saves money
- Centralized data breaks all silos
Here are the top 5 CRMs for SMBs for the year 2021 (in no particular order)
Salesforce is one of the most tried and tested products in the CRM realm currently. Salesforce was chosen as CRM Magazine’s Mid-Market CRM for six consecutive years starting from 2008 to 2013. It was also was named Destination CRM’s Winner for Small Business CRM for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2013. Besides Awards, ratings, and honors doled out by the industry, customer reviews and word of mouth have made Salesforce the top CRM in the industry.
Salesforce has editions to suit every business right from start-ups to small companies to enterprises. The essential module is well-suited for small businesses whereas the professional edition works for mid-size companies. Prices are also very competitive and wouldn’t hurt SMB’s. As your company grows, you can add on modules such as Sales, Marketing, Service, Commerce, Engagement, Integration, Analytics, etc.
Some of the salient features of Salesforce Essentials and Professional are
- 360-degree view of your customer and history
- Email connect to your customer data
- In-app tutorials, guided setup, and Salesforce Trailblazer community.
- Automatic capture of customer emails and meetings
- Capture sales cycles
- Closure of deals through Salesforce mobile app from anywhere
- Automation of repetitive support requests
- Scalable solution by adding on prebuilt apps
- Customizable dashboards, and reports for your business
Essentials: Sales and customer service tools in one app, $25/user/month
Sales Professional: Complete sales solution for any size team, $75/user/month
Zoho is a complete end-to-end CRM that has successfully served 250,000 businesses in 180 countries in the areas of sales enablement and marketing automation. Zoho has helped more than 60 million+ users worldwide to convert more leads, engage with customers, and grow their revenue.
Zoho is an enterprise software, but it has recently released Bigin, a new CRM solution for small and micro-businesses. Bigin is an easy-to-use, pipeline-centric, and affordable solution for small to medium businesses. It particularly caters to those customers who still use a spreadsheet for sales management. The solution has built-in telephony, multiple pipelines, workflow automation, customizable dashboards, and a fully-fledged mobile app to provide the power of a CRM on your fingertips.
With more and more companies resorting to remote working in the current times, Zoho’s cloud collaboration platform helps you run global sales teams successfully. With the Remote Sales Office module, you can conduct online meetings, make group audio and video calls, and streamline your organization’s communication all from the Zoho CRM.
Salient features of Zoho are
- Easy-to-use interface
- Migration-wizard helps in importing data from spreadsheets and other CRMs
- Multi-channel support such as telephone, email, live chat, and social media
- Real-time notifications of customer interactions
- Automation of time-intensive and repetitive tasks
- Analyze performance indicators to derive current trends and future direction
- Zia, an AI-powered sales assistant predicts buying intent and increases sales closure
- Mobile apps to sell on the go
ZOHO Bigin Pricing
As low as $7/user/month
With HubSpot, you can now get a full view of your sales pipeline. HubSpot is one of the best options for small businesses. It offers a limited version of the CRM completely free forever.
Some of the free features are
- Reporting dashboard
- Company insights
- Deal tracking
- Pipeline management
- Contact management
- Call tracking
- Company insights
- Email tracking & notifications
- Prospect tracking
- Meeting scheduling
- Live chat
Mid-size companies can use the starter or the professional pack.
The professional pack premium features include
- Workflow Builder
- Campaigns Tool
- Custom Report Builder
- Collaboration Tools
- Ads Optimisation Events
- Web Traffic Analytics
- $45/month (Starter)
- $1600/month (Professional)
- $4000/month (Enterprise)
Salesflare is a powerful sales tool that helps increase the productivity of your sales team and boost sales. It lets your sales team focus on what they do the best ‘Customer Interaction’ and frees them from monotonous tasks such as data management.
Salesflare ensures that you never miss your appointments. It reminds you of the customers you need to follow up with, interactions of your team with the customers, email read notifications and automatic collection and collation of customer and account information.
The product is very easy to use and specially designed for Outlook, Gmail, and mobile devices. Salesflare can be connected to third-party applications using APIs. Zapier, an automation platform, gives you the power to integrate Salesflare with 3000+ other apps you use such ad Mailchimp, Google Contacts, and Slack to automate the tedious tasks in your workflow.
The basic product Growth and Pro are quite popular with small and mid-sized businesses.
- $29/user/month (billed annually) for Growth
- $49/user/month (billed annually) for Pro
- $99/user/month (billed annually) for Enterprise
Freshworks is a leading CRM software to be watched for this year. The company was featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 for Sales Force Automation and CRM Lead Management.
Freshworks provides you with a 360-degree CRM solution and claims that it can generate 10X more leads and win deals with personalized customer conversations.
An intuitive, refreshing UI helps the users get going within minutes. It empowers an all-rounded view across touchpoints that leads to customer delight. The AI-powered contact scoring, pipeline management, and forecasting can help you shorten the sales cycle and meet your targets easily. Freshsales use AI-powered lead scoring to help you easily prioritize the leads that are more likely to convert.
Freshworks equips you to develop nurture campaigns with triggers, actions, and conditions which can increase repeat purchases by over 50%. It allows you to send transactional emails to customers to up-sell and cross-sell.
For small and fast-growing businesses that need an all-in-one CRM, Growth edition is ideal. For mid-size companies that want to scale up, Pro is suitable.
Growth, $29/user/month (billed annually)
Pro, $69/user/month (billed annually)
Enterprise, $125/user/month (billed annually)
One size doesn’t fit all
When choosing a CRM for your organisation, do keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all. Besides considering features, cost, ease of use, one must consider other factors at play –
- The time taken to implement a learn a CRM software as it may replace existing processes.
- Scalability of the CRM within your organisation
- Integration with other systems and workflows
- The response time of the CRM service providers to address queries