The following article is a guest post.
There are many answers to the question of which CRM is right for your business.
The only way to answer the question is to also answer the question of what you need. To succeed with CRM you need to consider not just what your business needs now, but what it will need in five years.
Fortunately answering these questions and breaking down what your company needs makes it easier to choose a CRM. Let’s take a look at where to start when choosing a CRM for small business.
CRM for Small Businesses
When your company is young and new you’ll want to keep an eye on your expenses. You should also introduce systems that work together without the need for you to branch out beyond your workflow.
Here’s a checklist for choosing a CRM for a small company:
- Is it Free or Freemium?
- Does it work well with your existing applications?
- Does it fit with your current workflow?
- Does it fill a need?
What are you using?
It’s a good idea to start by looking at what you already use. A good place to begin is your email client and provider, because they can be integrated into many systems.
Perhaps you use Google Apps Mail, or maybe you’re using a different solution. Where are you reading your emails? If you read them in a browser then you can use an extension or a plugin. There are also some choices if you use a dedicated email client.
You also need to look at marketing. Do you use keep in touch with current and prospective customers by using a marketing automation platform? Ensure that the CRM system you decide to use works with this platform.
If you send out things like newsletters and product announcements with a separate service, then you also need to consider this service. Some companies will keep these separate from marketing automation and, if yours is one of them, you also need to ensure that it will work with your chosen CRM.
What do you need?
After looking at what you have it’s time to consider what you need.
Do you have problems with your funnel, or are there problems with closing and retaining?
A funnel solution will come with a heavy focus on outreach rather than closing deals, while a CRM designed to help you close will help you retain customers and close deals with them.
Closing and Retaining
If you’re focusing on closing and retaining then a simple system like Streak, which is compatible with Gmail, is a good choice.
As well as working perfectly with Gmail, Streak allows everyone in the company to share information about how they have communicated and interacted with customers to aid collaboration.
Yesware is another good choice that works similarly to Streak.
Yesware focuses on working within your inbox which will make it a hit with many business owners. From creating email templates to tracking and putting together analysis, Yesware offers plenty of functionality and features. As the company continues to grow, Yesware can be perfectly integrated with Salesforce if you would like.
Improving the Sales Funnel
The other side of the CRM coin is the social CRMs that will improve your sales funnel.
There are several great choices here but the three best ones are Insightly, Contactually, NetHunt CRM and Nimble. These are only some of the choices that should be able to fit your needs.
In the end, the question of which CRM is right for your business depends on your business. There is no single answer. But taking the time to ask yourself the right questions can make it much easier to choose.
The big names such as Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics are good fits for small businesses, but that doesn’t make them the best choice.
When you start a business, you start small and you need to be running lean. As such, you need to use a CRM that works in the same way you do.