Best CRM for small business in 2021 (Expert’s advice)
What is CRM Software?
What is CRM – In a few minutes you will not only know the answer but probably use what you learn here to make your business more efficient and profitable.
When you don’t know what CRM is or what it might be for Don’t worry, we won’t leave you alone with this. In a matter of minutes, not only will you know exactly what CRM is?
you will probably already be thinking of a few different ways that using a CRM system can dramatically improve your business improve and increase your profits.
So, let’s take a look at this. The acronym CRM stands for customer relationship management, but that’s too general, isn’t it?
I mean, what does customer relationship management mean to the business and why is it necessary to set up a customer relationship management system?
Let’s analyse a little more CRM in its simplest form. It’s a way of managing leads. In other words, potential customers interested in your business and managing your existing customers in the most efficient way possible to get the greatest possible value and purchase value.
why you need CRM for your business?
The aim is to improve business relationships with customers through customer loyalty and customer acquisition.
Whether you’re a small business looking for a place where information is stored and available on multiple devices, or a larger company that focuses on customers and customer interactions want to manage the improvement of customer satisfaction.
You will not get around the desire for CRM software. Many companies try to solve these problems with the help of spreadsheets, e-mails, and other tools from dark corners before they realize that it is never wrong to have a real CRM system to use
because it simply makes everything a lot easier. In fact, in a recent survey of users, 67% of those who use CRM suggest that using a CRM system has helped them better track opportunities and leads. And 56% said I have improved customer relationships because all customer interactions are accessible in one place.
how to choose the right CRM for your business?
Consider these 4 steps to choose the right CRM for your business
1. Start with a brief
As with most projects, it’s best to start by writing a brief. Outline all of the problems that you believe a new CRM will solve, and all of the features and benefits that you hope this new CRM will bring to the table.
Once you’ve compiled the document, I recommend you take the features that you’ve identified and list them in a spreadsheet.
Make a note of whether they are nice to have, or non-negotiable. A few things to consider that some people neglect are-
- how much support is there in the onboarding process?
- What level of support is provided ongoing?
- How does the cost change as you add more team members?
- How does the cost change as you increase the number of contacts or emails?
- How does it integrate with the rest of your tech stack?
- How much tech or development support will you need to set it up?
- Do they invest in creating new features?
These are all questions you should consider on top of your unique requirements for a CRM.
2. Research the platforms
There are plenty of well-known CRMs that you should take the time to check out, but also search for CRMs that are specific to your industry.
At this stage of your research, you are just looking at what’s available and so you don’t need to speak with a sales rep, just spend 5 to 10 minutes looking at their websites.
You should jot down which platforms you’ve looked at, whether or not they look like they meet your criteria, and an estimate of the price you will need to pay.
From here, create a shortlist of 3 to 5 platforms that you would consider and list them horizontally in your spreadsheet.
3. Book a demo
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and set up a time for a demo with each platform on your shortlist. Most companies will ask you specifically what you want to see so use your brief document to help guide the demo and come up with questions.
If you feel comfortable doing so, send the brief to the person providing the demo beforehand.
This can help them get a better idea of what you’re looking for so they can deliver the information that you need to make a decision.
The demos will likely uncover features and benefits that you hadn’t considered. These can be great but don’t let them distract you too much, make sure you don’t compromise on the features you identified because they’ve promised something shiny and new.
Take notes of all your demos so you can keep track of what was discussed and then go back to your spreadsheet.
4. Select the platform that is right for you.
The next step is harder than it may seem. The truth is, it’s unlikely that any platform you choose will be able to do everything that you want and fit within your price range.
You will probably have to compromise on some features or the price so bear that in mind when evaluating your options.
Have a look at your spreadsheet, which is now a selection matrix, and evaluate all of your options. Are any of them unable to deliver non-negotiables?
Did you dislike the interface when going through the demo? Was there something about the process of the demo that you didn’t like? This should rule them out immediately.
The rest is up to you. Provide feedback to the platforms that you’ve decided not to go with and they will often come back to you with alternative ways to get the features you’re looking for.
One last tip – negotiate! You’re likely to be paying this company every month for many years so it’s worth trying to make a little extra saving, especially if you’re compromising on some of the features or price.
The bigger your account the more wiggle room you’ll have to get a better price but it never hurts to ask. That should give you everything you need to select a new CRM but don’t rest yet.
The hard work of actually implementing it starts now. This is particularly the case if you’re transferring from an existing CRM.
According to these tips I reviewed best software for small business in 2021.
best CRM for small businesses.
So diving into our top five free CRM software for small businesses first on our list we have HubSpot’s free CRM.
HubSpot stands out as a leading CRM firstly because you can engage with unlimited users on this platform completely for free as well as having no cap on data usage,
and you can capture up to 1 million contacts HubSpot’s free CRM provides a smooth and easy to understand and navigate user interface which makes it ideal for members in your team that are not too tech-savvy within HubSpot.
you can simply create landing pages with the easy-to-use landing page builder and start capturing customer or prospect contact information through your forms,
and lastly, HubSpot allows you to simply engage in email marketing by generously allowing you to use up to 2000 email campaign sends per month.
- Contact management
- Deal pipeline
- Meeting scheduling
- Live chat
- Reporting dashboard
- Simple automation
- Conversation routing
- Multiple currencies
- Rep productivity performance
Core plan – free
Starter plan- $45/user/month
Professional plan- $450/user/month
Enterprise plan- $1200/user/month
Next on our list, we have Zoho’s free CRM Zoho offers users a full-featured free version of their flagship CRM platform.
this CRM software is ideal for businesses of three or fewer team members Zoho’s free CRM has an attractive yet simple layout and the dashboard can be simply customized to your needs.
the Zoho deal feature is one of the easiest to use for beginners Zoho’s free CRM also offers one of the smoothest sale pipeline user interfaces making it simple to manage sales stages and organize specific follow-up actions with complete ease.
however, you do have major limitations in terms of mass email functions and you will need to upgrade to make the most of the core cerium features.
- Analytics Mobile App
- Artificial Intelligence
- CRM Analytics
- CRM with Email
- Call Customization
- Call and Email Workflows
- Cohort & Quadrant Analysis
- Contextual Form Builder
- Custom Modules
- Custom Signals
- Customer Journey Planner
- Customer Segmentation
- Customer Support & Service
- Developer API for Third-party Integration
- Document Library
Core plan – free up to 3 Users.
Standard plan- $14/user/month
Professional plan- $23/user/month
Enterprise plan- $40/user/month
Ultimate plan- $52/user/month
Now I want to highlight a unique free CRM called streak that is built into Gmail so essentially if you use a free Gmail or google workspace for your business mails then streak is a perfect fit for your small business.
all you need to do is add the streak extension to your browser and this will be directly integrated into your Gmail this is a more simple and streamlined CRM compared to the other tools that we have highlighted today.
the free streak CRM offers important core CRM features like tasks and reminders custom columns and fields up to 500 rows of items moving through your pipeline and email tracking.
it’s also extremely easy to customize your pipeline layouts from a hiring pipeline to project management and sales process.
we love this CRM for the smooth flow of data as everything is organized and managed through your Gmail inbox the only obvious downside to streak’s free version is it can only be accessed by one user so if you have a small team greater than one you do need to upgrade to a paid plan.
- Customizable Workflows
- Mail Merge
- Send Later
Core plan – free
Solo plan – $15/month
Pro plan – $49/month
Enterprise plan – $129/month
So, the fourth free CRM that we want to discuss is called Bitrix24 .this is one of the most popular CRMs next to HubSpot.
There are a few reasons for this firstly Bitrix24 allows up to 12 users for free it means you can access all the CRMs features and engage with the large team over the other CRMs that we’ve discussed today.
The Bitrix24 user interface is one of the most modern and attractive also you can use this tool as a project management software giving this tool more dimension than the other tools.
however, this free CRM can be quite daunting and confusing for beginners therefore if you have ever used a CRM before we would not advise you to get started with Bitrix24.
- Task Automation
- Bitrix24 Webmail
- CRM Document Builder
- New Contact Center
- Mobile Tasks
- Print Bitrix24 Pages and Slider Panels
- Expense Tracking
- Mind Map
- Appointment Scheduling and Resource Booking
Free – $0/month
Starter – $19/month
CRM – $48.30/month
Project – $48.30/month
Standard – $69.30/month
Professional – $139.30/month
And last but not least we need to discuss monday.com as a potential CRM for small businesses however monday.com does no longer offers a free plan.
we still thought it was a great idea to highlight this powerful tool due to the full feature user-friendly CRM that they offer for an affordable price firstly the visual user interface stands out from the other tools we’ve discussed today.
the pipeline management is visual and easy to navigate and manage now the basic plan is for small teams of up to three users and this gives you unlimited contacts custom fields and full use of leads contacts and deals management,
if you do have a budget set aside for a CRM then I would seriously give monday.com a free trial a go I can promise you you will fall in love with the visually pleasing user interface and extensive features.
- Organize contacts
- Pipeline management
- Customer tracking
- Marketing operations
- Customizable dashboards
- Workflow automation
basic plan -INR.600/month
standard plan – INR.750/month
Pro plan – INR.1200/month
Enterprise plan – based on your requirements.
guys that is it for the CRM software review now let me know in the comments below what CRM software you decided to go for and with that said thank you so much for reading the CRM software review through to the end if you got value make sure you share it and Tweet it.