Customer relationship management software is successful if it handles your small business data in an intuitive, accessible way. The best CRM for small businesses will keep customer data organized and accessible while streamlining communications.
Small business owners are busy, often personally handling IT, finance, marketing, and more – which would have entire departments in larger businesses. This makes a CRM tool more important for small businesses. It helps lighten the load and establishes record-keeping conventions that facilitate growth.
What to Look for in a CRM for Small Businesses
Today’s CRMs are often integrated with other tech tools, like social media managers and analytics trackers. At a minimum, a good CRM manages customer data to facilitate sales and communication.
Some key attributes to look for:
- Multi-channel data entry
- Call from interface
Your CRM should be able to gather data from your web interfaces as well as phone calls and emails with clients. Ideally, a voice-to-text transcription feature can help capture information from client calls so your customers don’t waste time repeating their concerns.
Best CRM Platforms for Small Businesses
Hubspot: An impressive free platform with a streamlined interface, Hubspot is an easy way to keep sales data updated and integrated with marketing, lead generation, and other metrics.
Salesforce: The best-known CRM platform has a tailored offering specifically for small businesses called Salesforce Essentials. It’s a good place to start if you think you may need to scale up later.
Close: Focused on “turning leads into revenue,” Close has a particularly good contact-from-interface function that makes it easy to follow up with leads and close the sale.
Zendesk: Relatively new to the CRM world, Zendesk offers a robust contact management tool that integrates with its audience analytics tools.
If you are just starting a small business, the sooner you can implement a CRM, the better. CRMs help you keep customer info organized, and it’s always better to maintain an existing system than to implement one from scratch.