Five CRM systems for small businesses to consider

There are so many CRM systems available in the marketplace, how does any small business decide which ones to consider? Some software installations are just too expensive and outside of the financial remit of an SME. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to have Salesforce or some other mainstream package; not only might you struggle to afford them but very often they are not terribly flexible or adaptable. For this reason, we are going to look at five CRM systems that should be suitable for small businesses

All of these five systems are within budget, each is different and one of them could be perfect for your small business.  We have focused on them being powerful but also very user-friendly. There cannot be just one CRM system that is perfect for all small business so finding the ideal CRM vendor is just not possible - the idea of this article is to provide you with some guidance and ideas of the good and bad points of certain types of CRM software.

1. Capsule

Capsule integrates with other tools beautifully, syncing quotes, contacts, accounts etc.  It is far less likely to allow you to omit adding a contact and also saves lots of time as when you add the details in one place, they are mirrored in another. The user interface is nice and friendly and it does what it says on the tin.  Works well with Zendesk if you want to offer clients a ‘Help’ tool.

2. Zoho

Zoho might be on the ‘heavy’ side for very small businesses, though it still attracts great reviews and has many happy users. It will take care of your email marketing and even invoicing. If you like to have a central hub with everything in one place, Zoho could be perfect for your small business.

User interface and reporting facilities are not as intuitive as other systems. Take the time to train your sales staff, however, and you will be rewarded with an excellent contact and task management system. One major plus point is that Zoho is marketed at growing companies, so has the scalability expand with your business.

Find CRM tools suitable for your small business using our comprehensive CRM vendor directory

3. Nimble

If your business uses a lot of social media and data then Nimble may be the CRM for you.  It keeps detailed information about each contact and will link with all the usual including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  If this is where a lot of your new leads come from, it will save you loads of time.  It also integrates well with email, linking social information with contact data so that you can see exactly where they are within the company sales funnel. Also links well to Dropbox,

4. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is great for small businesses as it allows users to put in place triggers to act as alerts for their marketing campaigns.  For example, you may wish to track visitors to your website that put items into their shopping basket and then leave the site; the system can be triggered to email them offering assistance.  You may also like to set it up so that site visitors have the option of leaving an email address; this can then be added to the CRM database for your next email campaign.  It is particularly useful for e-commerce companies as it will help you to put in place some invaluable prompts.

5. Base

Base’s strengths are mainly related to reporting and design and can have a big impact upon sales.  Because the system provides such clear reporting, users can measure what they are doing effectively and easily.  It also provides an innovative call-tracking facility which can be an amazingly effective tool for sales departments. Also links well to Outlook and Gmail.

Overall, your choice of CRM depends on your type of business, how you work and the functions you need a small business CRM to perform.  Carry out your own research in depth, take a look at some of the CRM systems above and decide which could be the most suitable for you.  All have strengths and weaknesses and some are more sales savvy than others. You just need to decide what area of concentration propels your business forward the most and then go with a small business CRM that will support this as much as possible.

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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen

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