What to look for in a small business CRM in 2021

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is one of the most essential tools for a company’s success today.  A study by Forrester states that companies that use CRM get a 245% return on investment. As technology advances, the number of available options in the market are growing rapidly. Though finding the right tool for your business can be challenging and it isn’t enough without a good development strategy But what is CRM software?

But what is CRM software? It is essential for you to gain a better understanding before you look for one that features the solutions of what you are planning to tackle. CRM is a tool that helps sales representatives to reach higher sales targets by organizing and applying data about prospects automatically. Once you reach a mode advanced level, it can help you in areas further than sales such as marketing and customer service. This boosts your team’s efficiency and revenue flow. Think of CRM software as a digital address book of a sales representative. Initially, sales representatives used manual methods to keep track of their prospects to make sales calls and schedule meetings. Today, CRM tools automate this process by tracking prospect information and managing all sales-related activity. It helps you include information beyond just contact information such as demographics, social media profiles, history of interactions, and purchase history.  This data combined with analytics helps you spot trends and identify prospects in different stages of the pipeline. You can also analyze what product appeals to which customer and detailed information about their buying behavior and interests.

CRM software can automate the management of your sales cycle by automating messages to prospects, scheduling meetings, and follow-ups. A sales manager can also use this as a platform to assign prospects to representatives and track their progress and performance. However, today, CRM is more than a pathway to automate sales, it also provides data to other departments such as marketing, product inventory, accounting and other areas of the business. CRM tools are beneficial for all aspects of your business. 

Small business and CRM go hand-in-hand. In fact, the CRM industry has now become one of the largest software industries in the world, and the revenues from CRM are expected to go over $80 billion by the next 5 years. Let’s look at what is CRM for a small business, the benefits, and features of choosing one.

Depending on the integrations you pick, there are numerous things you can do with a CRM. In simple words, it will help you manage your relationship with your present and prospective customers. With the help of CRM tools, mundane, repetitive tasks can be automated and outreach can be made personalized. A small business CRM is a lightweight CRM tool that is driven to satisfy the needs of small businesses. These companies don’t really need the extra advanced, top-tiered functionality yet. So these CRM systems are built with simple and basic functional features. Some common features that differentiate them are:

  • Simple set-up: Small business CRM software can be implemented with much ease. While most of them are on the cloud, setting up is as simple as creating an account, adding team members, and adjusting the workflow and allocation.
  • Smaller teams: While there is no limit to the number of people that can use the CRM software, small business CRMs are specially designed keeping in mind 5-10 employees.
  • More economical pricing: CRM software are very much lucrative to all businesses today. Small business CRMs are a few hundreds of dollars cheaper than enterprise CRMs. Some of them could even be free with limited features. 
  • Basic functionality: Small businesses do not require enterprise-level CRMs with deep analytics and advanced features. They only focus on those that improve, streamline, and keep the communication going.

Despite there being numerous different CRM platforms out there, you need to find one that fits your needs. As a small business, here are a few things to look for in your small business CRM:
Easy integration: Small businesses need CRM software that is simple and easy since the main objective is to simplify the working processes. Easy to implement, easy to adapt to, and easy to learn, they just make it easier to work with.
Third-party interactions: There are a lot of features squeezed into one platform and hence, CRM software is seen as overly complicated and underused. When your business is small, you should make a list of different systems that integrate with each product.
Tailor-made platform: The CRM software you pick for your business needs to fine-tune to fit the needs and pain points of your business. While no businesses are the same, the best CRM tools are flexible and give you what you need.
Analytics: Knowing how your campaign is doing, what part is performing well, and on what channel is critical to help you optimize the process. You can track where the numbers went up or where they shot down. This is an important feature because data-driven insights help you make wise and informed marketing investments.
Personalized reporting: With the help of strong analytics and real-time data, CRM software can help you customize your reports. This is essential to put together your marketing strategy according to what you intend to see and the best part is that you can mold your CRM to report accordingly. You can use this as a platform to compare campaigns, result through channels, and will help you learn and improve to serve as a lead generating machine.
Niche: There are many CRM software that cater to specific industries. For instance, CRM software for real-estate would allow the management of deals, integration of third-party listings and creation of new listings using bill of sale template.
Accessible on mobile: Sales representatives spend a lot of time on the go, the CRM software needs to be mobile-friendly. There is a need for portable access to real-time analysis and data driven-insights. A sales representative should be able to offer a seamless customer experience.
Security: All businesses view data as a precious asset. It is critical to read the software policy and security statements beforehand.
Sales process tools: Making sales representative’s day effective helps them process their capabilities and increases efficiency. When plenty of monotonous tasks take over, it is these processes that allow the representatives to focus on the closing targets.
Cloud-based: With cutting-edge technology and advancement, cloud-based CRMs make everything so simple and easy to navigate through.

In conclusion, CRM software is an all-in-one, central location where all the information about your reads is stored. It promotes efficiency, communication, and organization in all businesses. Are you ready to integrate a CRM with your business?

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