Customer relationships are crucial to the success of any company regardless its size or the market it serves. Moreover, keeping track of each customer’s data can be daunting for even the most well planed organizations.
So, in case you’re after a customer relationship management (CRM) software, you’ve already came to a realization that your company must scale its operations and become more organized in order to track, monitor, and in some occasions predict customer’s behavior with a clear goal in mind – creating meaningful, trustworthy, and value added relationships with your customers to essentially boost your revenues.
The ultimate CRMs are the ones who keep track of all of your customer data points with the main goal of streamlining the sales process. Lots of vendors out there also offer supplemental software for marketing and customer service teams.
In this article we share what a CRM software is all about, what are the different aspects and features you should be looking for within the evaluation stage, and everything else you need to know to decide which CRM software can serve your company best as possible and add this special value you’re looking for.
What is a Customer Relationship Software (CRM) and why do you need one to run a successful business?
A CRM also known as Customer Relationship Management software. is essentially where proactive leaders and other company employees are managing their day to day business relationships and keep information on contact of interest, per say, potential and current customers.
The entire concept of a CRM software is that you drive retention and also grow your sales as fast and as efficient as possible.
The ideal CRM software maintain all of your contacts/leads information including but not limited to emails, phone numbers and any correspondence you have conducted with them in the past.
From emails to different tasks and sometimes invoices and the entire sales funnel and pipeline, the true meaning of a robust CRM software is to be a critical toll within your company and the center of things.
Although many across the globe are considering a CRM is as a sales tool, while we’re drifting into the future the modern CRM is also being used as an essential tool for keeping in contact with your existing customer base and building stronger and more genuine relationships with them. Even the smallest features like, knowing when their birthdays are coming and remind you of who’s opening your emails and how many times did they opened it , a CRM is a must have tool to run a successful business in the digital era.
CRM solutions are built to serve businesses of all sizes and budgets, it can serve a 10 people start up, and a multimillion dollar corporations with thousands of employees.
Here are the main reasons why you should get a CRM software for your business:
– It streamline your entire sales process
– It centralize your entire customer data point into one comprehensive and unified interface
– You get a full visibility of the customer journey (so you can ideally do journey mapping)
– Stay in charge with full visibility anytime and anywhere
– It helps you align with your goals and keeps everyone else on the company in the know about the customer data.
Things to look for when evaluating a new CRM software
After we cleared up the benefits of implementing a CRM software for your company, let’s see why choosing the best fit solution for your business requires some planning and why the evaluation process could be lengthy in comparison with software from other domains.
What type of organization you’re running and what are your goals?
Are you running a sales-led organization, or is it a marketing-led, or even a PLG (product led-growth) model? Regardless of the type of company you’re running your goals might be similar to all other leaders who are looking to purchase the best CRM software for their business.
What are you looking to achieve? and what goals are you prioritizing?
- Reduce churn rate?
- increase customer satisfaction rates?
- Improving customer engagement?
- Increase retention rates?
- Improve employee productivity?
We can go on and on with this list of goals and KPI’s, but the pattern is clear, at the end, we all have the same goals in mind, which is to make sure that our company is serving our customers best way possible by using the best CRM software we can get based on our resources.
What are the costs involved in buying a CRM software?
The most popular CRM software are running on cloud host. These kind of CRMs have monthly fees which are user based usage and seats. The vast majority of CRM vendors will require customers to buy a minimum number of CRM user licenses with their solution and will also request for an upfront annual payment for the renewal of the licenses.
Important: Aside from the actual CRM purchasing price, you must also be aware of all the ongoing possible costs. which are usually breakdown into:
Annual renewal costs – which will basically stays the same as the initial CRM software cost and will be paid upfront on an annual basis – once per year.
Extra licenses and or system users – When your business grow and your headcount grow you will find yourself adding more CRM users which will result in increasing your overall payment to the software vendor.
Reporting, Dashboard, and Analysis
Maybe the most important aspect to look at when looking to buy a new CRM software, but yet this get neglected for some reason, make sure that you can create customizable reports, that you can track the right KPIs, that this CRM software mesh well with your actual sales funnel, and that you and your team can easily adopt this new software to run your daily analysis and overall operations.
7 Best CRM software companies and the reason for their success
Thankfully, there are handful of CRM software providers you can choose for, we wanted to make your life a bit easier by showcasing our top 7 CRM software companies you should deferentially look at when evaluating new solutions for your business.
HubSpot offers both free and paid plans, when you get a centralized and easy-to-use interface to power your business, and meet your goals with an easy to use interface, built in reports, and state of the art support and documentation.
When you use HubSpot’s CRM platform, your CRM is automatically integrated with your HubSpot marketing, sales, customer service, and operations tools right out of the box.
Considered by many as the world’s leading CRM tool for the modern enterprise, Salesforce provides with a robust platform to power your marketing and sales team under one roof.
In addition to its cloud based CRM software Salesforce also combine a unique set of complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
Known by many, Zoho is one of the best options for CRM software in the global market. The lower tiers of the pricing plans are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, and the upper tiers such as Ultimate work well for larger companies that have more needs and a bigger budget.
The company have won the best CRM award in 2020.
The Freshworks CRM acts as a single source of truth for your business and provides a 360° view of your customer data and journey, by capturing and combining customer insights form different data point you can seamlessly engage with your customers via different communication channels for a complete and updated customer experience success.
It offers a “forever free” plan, you should definitely check out if you’re on lean budget.
Pipedrive, is a global cloud-based software company. It is also known as the developer of the web application and mobile app Pipedrive, a sales customer relationship management tool.
Pipedrive is well known for its ease of use and for being highly user-rated CRM tool.
You can sign up for a 14-day free trial.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a product line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management intelligent business applications announced by Microsoft back at 2016.
With Dynamics 365, you get CRM software that works as a customizable, flexible solution designed to suit your business needs.
Agile CRM Software is the best, easy, powerful yet affordable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with sales and marketing automation for small businesses.
This cloud-based CRM software aiming on integrating sales, service, marketing, social media, and other engagement avenues to create one centralized location for any of your reports, analytics, and marketing operations.
The TSC team expert tip
When looking for a CRM tool for your business always ask yourself, will my team be using this tool cohesively? will I be able to track down what matters the most? how easy will it be for me to communicate this new CRM software across the organization? and what is the type of documentation and support me and my team will get?
In case you can answer the above questions with utmost confidence you’re on the right path on getting the most suitable and appropriate CRM software for your business.
Whether you need assistance in figuring out how far away you are from meeting your marketing and sales goals or need to organize your customer data and information, there is likely a CRM out there to fit your needs when you and your company are ready for it.
The process of research and preparation are crucial to the successful implementation of the CRM software you select. We truly hope that this definitive guide helps organize your evaluation and decision process and keeps all the details in one place.