Latest posts by Amanda DiSilvestro (see all)
- 7 Story Mapping Programs and How to Use Them To Increase Engagement - June 22, 2017
- 10 CRM Tools We Swear By to Help You Grow Your Reach - June 8, 2017
- 5 Creative Ways to Create a Personal Touch with Marketing Automation - June 6, 2017
Every business needs a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to manage customer relationships and, of course, the data associated with them. No matter what point in a business, whether it be a startup, a Fortune 500, or somewhere in-between, all companies have clients they need to manage and keep track of in the most effective way possible. This is where CRM tools really come in handy—professionals need to be organized in order to reach the growth and goals expected.
The Basics of CRM Tool Selection and Functions
Truth be told, there is so much CRM software available that it can definitely be overwhelming to sort through and prioritize all of the different features that are available to you. We are going to walk through some of our favorites in this post, but before we do, here are some tips for selecting software to meet your needs. According to Zapier, there are three main priorities to consider for your individual selection of CRM software:
- With so much out there, you want to focus on unique features to distinguish what is most important to you.
- Make sure it is user friendly. You also want to avoid extensive instillation or set-up time.
- You want it to integrate well to your existing workflow.
Of course, there are other considerations like cost, which is very specific to your budget and needs, but important nonetheless. Keeping these aspects in mind will help you to pick software (out of many great ones) that is right for your business and are sure to help you grow your reach.
What Can You Use CRM Tools For?
CRM tools have so many different functions, but their primary categories include:
- Organizing contacts
- Recording and assisting conversations
- Generating leads and signing deals
- CRMs that you can classify as “multipurpose”
10 CRM Tools To Help You Grow Your Reach
When your business to looking to extend reach, generate more leads, and grow, CRM software can be just what you need. Here are out 10 favorites that aid with this task:
Salesforce is not only one of the most popular CRM softwares, but it is a good fit for small, mid-range, or large organizations. With a focus on sales and customer support, it is one of the best choices for customer service, sales management, marketing automation, leads, and managing accounts. This platform is comprehensive and definitely a good choice for its user-friendly design. As an avid Salesforce user, this has been one of my favorites over the years because it has so much power and possibility when it comes to data collection. Pardot is also an excellent supplement to marketing automation once you get started, which you can learn more about here.
Marketing 360 is ideal for individual business owners or small businesses because it is a web-based platform. This CRM focuses on growing your business through marketing efforts, with special emphasis on digital marketing, SEO, and social media advertisement. It also has tools that help you with web design, user experience, and overall branding and consistency.
Oracle + NetSuite is a great integration package that allows you to gain insight into your customer pipeline from lead to sales, and of course follow-ups and renewals. In terms of managing customers and their interaction with your company from start to finish, this is one of the best interfaces available. Oracle tends to be a popular choice for midrange and large organizations because it can be costly, however, it is not off-limits to smaller-scale start-ups and organizations.
Pipedrive is a web-based program that focuses on sales CRM and pipeline management. The software allows you to manage and monitor sales and also provides you all of the tools that you need to get a lead to a conversion. This program has been acclaimed for its “robust interface” and custom sales reporting tools.
If you are a business to business company, than Team Support is truly one of the best options for CRM software out there. This is one of the best team collaboration softwares available, with its main focus being team communication and customer support. Companies with a large sales team would do well with this system.
FreshDesk is a cloud-based CRM software that offers multichannel customer support. Its unique feature is really customer support agent trouble shooting, integrating well with customer conversations through multiple channels including phone, email, and social media (such as Facebook and Twitter customer interactions).
Insightly is a CRM and project management (web-based) software that makes big claims about both ROI and competitive pricing, making it an ideal platform for small businesses. You can manage contacts, leads, partners, and vendors. Project management, social CRM, and business reports are all a part of the software, and you can easily integrate with your other existing software (as Insightly’s website claims, with: email, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, G Suite, MailChimp, Outlook 2013/Office 365 Business Edition, QuickBooks Online, Torpio, Xero, and Zapier). This is one system that has been gaining in popularity in recent years, so it’s one to keep on your radar.
Infusionsoft is a CRM tool for small business marketing automation. We like that this software is super upfront about its niche and objectives because marketing for small businesses is clearly different than for large corporations, and a CRM software should reflect that. If you want to build connections with your customers and generate more leads through your digital marketing efforts, this sales and marketing automation tool is an ideal place to start.
Five 9 Cloud Contact Center
If you utilize a call center, this is by far one of the most popular CRM softwares for managing inbound and outbound calls. It is used widely by call centers to collect data, stay organized, and increase sales and conversions. With the claim “make your call center more productive” this CRM’s goal is clear—so if you do utilize this kind of customer service, definitely give Five 9 Cloud a try!
Last but certainly not least is HubSpot CRM (which is an official Google software partner). This CRM emphasizes the need for a visual pipeline, organization of sales activity, and lead information, which is all stored in one interface. The best part? It is 100% free, and as they note “always will be” making it a perfect platform for small businesses and startups. I personally have used this system and highly recommend it because it was so intuitive I didn’t need a long lesson to get started.
There are so many CRM software options to choose from, and as we mentioned in the introduction, it is important to consider what your business actually needs to best support your growth. In most cases, a free or low-cost platform that is all-inclusive will do the trick, but many organizations need more specific and detailed CRM software. My recommendation is to work with the CRMs you have the best instinct about and see if you can get a free trial. Most will oblige, and this will allow you to get the facts you need to make the right choice. It can be a big headache to switch CRM systems after you’ve made your choice, so spend the time to research!
Have your tried out any of the 10 recommended CRM software tools on this list? Let us know in the comments section below which you prefer and why.