Choosing the best free CRM for small businesses can be a confusing and overwhelming task.
Do you need on-premises or cloud? What kind of data do you want to store? How much are you willing to spend? The list goes on…
To help make this process easier, we’ve compiled a list of factors that should be considered when selecting a CRM. We hope this helps!
First, we understand what CRM is.
What is CRM in simple words?
CRM is a system for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers. The goal of CRM is simple: to improve business relationships while creating the ability to streamline processes to increase profitability.
Why is CRM important for small businesses?
Customer Relationship Management is the most essential and valuable aspect of running a successful business. A CRM system will help an organization maintain connections with their customers, streamline processes to improve profitability and develop more efficient customer interactions through data mining.
CRMs allow companies to have better relationships with current or potential clients. Using CRMs, companies can save time and money by streamlining their business processes. CRM systems let users’ sales teams manage the customer interactions, track prospects to get in touch with them again and again for future deals.
Now let’s get back to our main topic of considering essential factors when selecting a CRM for a small business.
##1. Your company’s goals
If you’re looking for a CRM, it’s likely because you have specific goals that you want to achieve.
What are your overall objectives? Do you need increased sales? Are calls and leads important to track? Consider the big picture before diving into solutions.
When selecting a platform, make sure that it is scalable and expandable. In the event that you outgrow your current CRM, it should be easy to migrate to a new one.
Are you looking to manage multiple channels? Some CRMs are highly geared towards certain contact points. For example, some might be more focused on email correspondence while others have capabilities to track social media activity. Find one that suits your needs!
##2. Ease of use
The CRM market is abundant with varying degrees of formality.
Some are very basic and cater to those who want a simple way to manage contacts, while others offer robust features for those with more demanding needs.
If you’re looking for something simplistic, look into a low barrier of entry CRM solution that offers out-of-the-box capabilities. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a high-end business solution, look into ones that offer more complex features.
Other considerations may include:
Is it easy to learn? Is there ample support available? How user-friendly is the platform? Can users manage contacts on their own or do they rely heavily on other team members for data entry and management?
When it comes to CRM, every business has different needs. Evaluate the areas of your business and determine what factors are most important when selecting a platform. From there you can make an informed decision on which solution is right for you.
##3. Ease of Integration
If your small business is using another software program, it might be worth investigating if that program has an integration option with CRM.
Integration allows you to seamlessly connect your data from one platform to another, making the process of transferring information easy for both you and your team members.
Think of it this way: instead of manually transferring your contacts from a spreadsheet into a CRM, you can do it automatically. Bam! Saved time and energy.
For example, if you’re using a marketing automation platform to manage your email campaigns, consider looking for a CRM that is able to seamlessly integrate with it. This way when sending an email campaign, important details such as your contact’s name or address won’t be overlooked!
##4. Data management
How you plan on managing your data is crucial when selecting a CRM.
Do you need to be able to track activity over time or simply track current activities? Are you looking to create reports for specific tasks?
Some of the top functionality areas that a company might look into include: contact tracking, sales funnel management, lead management capabilities, marketing automation, integrations and reporting.
In addition to functionality, consider the type of data you want to be storing: is it basic contact information such as name and address or more in-depth details such as customer lifetime value? What are your tracking goals?
All of these factors can help determine which CRM might be the best option for you. Again, it is important to consider your needs when making a decision!
##5. Budget When looking at CRMs
CRMs’ price point will vary significantly depending on which functionality that you’re most interested in and what you need.
The good news is that there are options out there with varying price points. If you’re just looking to track a few leads or manage contacts, there are many free options that might work for you!
However, if you need a more robust software solution with more complex features, be prepared to open your wallet wider.
Cost of the CRM is only one factor in determining if it works for your business. The other factor that you should consider is the return on investment (ROI) of a CRM and how it may benefit your company over time.
##6. Customization Finally
when looking for a CRM, be flexible! While you might find one out there that seems to have every feature imaginable, don’t immediately write off a solution that doesn’t offer the ability to track an important activity in your business.
Integrations with additional services will allow you to create a customized solution that may be able to tackle those needs.
For example, if you’re looking for a CRM that is able to aid in lead tracking, but find one that doesn’t include it as an option, there is a chance that an integration plugin can be used to link your CRM with another service able to manage leads.
You never know what amazing solutions may be out there!
It is important to remember that no CRM will offer every feature imaginable for you and your small business. Therefore, it might be worth linking up with a technology provider who can provide the best possible solution that takes into consideration your unique business requirements.
Author Bio: Abdullah mangi is a writer with a knack for writing engaging content that resonates deeply with readers to produce results, all while maintaining professional standards.