As with any SMB, the focus of the owners, employees and stakeholders is typically on increasing sales and continued growth. Ensuring that your team has the tools to be efficient in driving lead generation and managing customer relationships begins with the development of a process that funnels into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
Enabling significant time and cost savings, implementing a CRM system can help:
- streamline the gathering of essential and consistent prospect data
- improve interactions with prospects from the initial point of contact and
- lead to consistent tracking and reporting.
As a business owner, you will likely ask which CRM software is best for your organization. Below are several cost-effective solutions that we have implemented for our clients that are worth exploring further:
ZohoCRM, one of many business and productivity products Zoho has in their offering, is a solid platform for contact management, sales activity tracking and reporting. Built on a freemium model, ZohoCRM is popular among individuals or entrepreneurs that can access many features at no cost. The ability to manage up to 5,000 contacts, field customization and even basic marketing automation are features included in the free version of the cloud CRM solution. With enterprise subscriptions topping at $35/user/month, users have the ability connect their website’s Google Adwords landing pages and track performance in a closed-loop manner. With its clean interface and drag and drop customization and simple functionality, Zoho can easily be integrated into your daily operations. Touting a user-friendly mobile app that integrates well with Outlook, Google Apps and an API (if you are looking to go custom), Zoho is a cost-effective solution for SMBs. If you are looking to get your feet wet with a CRM, Zoho is a great first step that might be enough to meet your CRM needs.
Offering a freemium version of their CRM, Insightly is another solution for managing your company’s contacts. With heavy integration with Google (Apps, Gmail, Calendar and Drive), Outlook and Office 365, Insightly is a powerful solution to seamlessly integrate with many of today’s most common business apps and services (a personal favorite being integration of the popular note-taking app, Evernote). Recommended for the on-the-go business owner and Google Business app power-user, Insightly is a seamless and cost-effective solution to manage your daily sales interactions. Standard pricing is $9/user/month and is a flexible for your SMB.
With the most well-known name in the CRM world, Salesforce is the first-mover in cloud-based CRM technology and offers a robust solution for small to medium-sized businesses. As the most expensive solution of this list, Salesforce can range from $5/user/month to $65/user/month (enterprise editions are available as well). Like the other solutions listed here, Salesforce has a vast range of features and sync capabilities with many platforms such as your website, ERP system and other business applications. If you are looking to scale your CRM across your organization, integrate with complex 3rd party or back-office systems, Salesforce should definitely be on your list to research. With an established enterprise reputation, Salesforce can be certainly fulfill your long-term CRM requirements and grow with your business.
As with any implementation, any business owner looking to introduce a CRM to his/her team should develop a detailed rollout schedule prior to project kick-off. This will ensure target milestones are met, your team is on board and engaged with the process, proper training is conducted and that the system will be successfully integrated into the core DNA of your business.