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Do you want more customers to be satisfied with your services?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is designed for this purpose. So why aren’t more small businesses using this system?
I think it’s because CRM software has a reputation for being massive, expensive and very difficult to use.
It was, but it’s not anymore.
In fact, there are dozens of CRM software solutions that small businesses can use today. They are affordable, stylish and ready to help teams communicate with customers on their own terms.
Here’s my list of the best CRM software that can take your small business to the next level.
#1 – HubSpot Review – The best for rapid scaling
HubSpotCRM is an option for small businesses wondering if they need dedicated CRM software.
First, their freemium plan is very generous in terms of quantity. You get chatbots, sales pipelines, and dozens of other features you’d normally pay for.
Moreover, the number of users is unlimited and the service is free for life. So you don’t have to worry about the number of contacts when you are trying to grow.
When you’re ready, you can upgrade individual nodes to advanced tools for sales, marketing, customer service and content management. Pay only for what you need.
So let’s take a look at how the free HubSpotCRM software can make an impact from day one.
For example, in a HubSpot-enabled inbox, users can see the history of each contact in the sidebar. This includes both past interactions (across all channels) and recent activity in the social contact channel.
It provides up-to-date customer information to every HubSpot user, regardless of location. Whether communicating with a confused customer or preparing a proposal, agents and representatives can easily provide personalized and relevant information.
HubSpot can do this because everything is centralized in the customer’s CRM folder. Every ticket, call and email is recorded and organized with no extra effort.
By entering less data, employees have more time for individual customers.
In addition to phenomenal contact management, the free plan offers a host of other features, including:
Live chat and chatbots
Gmail and Outlook integration
Email tracking and notification
That’s not all, believe me.
It will take some time for users to become familiar with everything that is included. First, because there are so many of them, and second, because HubSpot has its own lingo and way of doing business, known as inbound marketing.
This is by no means a disadvantage, considering how many companies have used inbound marketing to increase their customer base.
If you are already fully committed to inbound marketing, HubSpot is by far the best choice as a CRM software. And even if not, the platform is flexible enough to apply all strategies and simple enough to get people involved.
Premium hubs allow you to automate processes by creating workflows for customer service, sales automation, marketing automation, email automation and more.
Given the prices of the paid plans, the Starter Growth Suite is a good option for small businesses that want to take advantage of Hubspot’s premium features. It starts at $50 a month and includes additional features for sales, marketing and customer service.
For companies that are already using HubSpot’s marketing and sales tools, it doesn’t make sense to add their CRM software.
For teams just starting out with CRM, HubSpot’s freemium plan is really generous. Small businesses can get a good idea of HubSpot’s approach.
And if they like HubSpot, nothing else will work for them. Try it today, for free.
#2 – Review of Salesflare – the best automated customer intelligence collection
I’m a fan of software vendors who know exactly what to put in their bread. Salesflare is a good example of this: this company has created a CRM specifically designed for small B2B sales teams and focused on lead management tools.
You often hear the phrase simple but powerful in reference to many software solutions, but it’s a perfect fit for Salesflare.
Everyone in your company will immediately understand how to use it. It uses a simple dashboard with four main components:
Account area to gather necessary information on potential customers, prospects and clients. It also provides details about potential customers’ actions, such as opening emails and visiting the website.
The Contacts section, which serves as a central point of contact for your entire
team The Opportunities section, which displays everything from leads to wins and losses in an easy-to-read Kanban-like graph. You can also configure and customize your sales pipelines here.
Dashboard for tracking internal indicators that can be segmented by sales team member, account, date range, etc.
The essence is in the accounting, which by itself would be a powerful CRM, without anything else.
This is where Salesflare’s automation really shines. The software will collect data about customers from their social profiles, email signatures and the internet in general. It also automatically suggests contacts it recognizes as related to the person or organization you’ve added to your accounts.
From there, you can start seeing the actions of prospects and leads on their Salesflare account timeline. When they open an email, click on a link, visit your landing page, etc., Salesflare records it in your account dashboard and even sends you push notifications in real time.
It also records all communication and contact moments with the accounts. That way, you can see everything in chronological order when a rep sends an email to warm up to a prospect, or when another rep makes a phone call to walk them through the sales process.
This is very useful for B2B sales teams that use information transfer at some point in the buyer’s journey.
Salesflare is also easy to integrate and sync with Gmail, Outlook or iCloud. This feature is not only useful for saving emails and sending quick follow-up emails from Salesflare, but is also used in another feature of this CRM: email workflows.
This means your team can use the time saved by Salesflare’s automatic information gathering and depth of activity details to truly target their email campaigns.
Easily set up trigger events based on customer, prospect or lead behavior and create email texts for each segment you want to divide your campaigns into. The amount of data Salesflare helps you collect from accounts and share with your team will help you identify the best audience segments, leading to more effective email personalization.
Salesflare offers three price points:
Pro: $49/user/month, which adds the ability to set permissions for users and more robust workflows to the growth plan
Enterprise: $99/user/month This plan focuses on a white hat service, including a dedicated Salesflare account manager and individual training for your team.
Unfortunately, there is no free unlimited version of Salesflare, but that won’t stop you from trying it out. They offer a free trial for up to 30 days, or you can contact them for a demonstration.
Either way, it’s a powerful tool that meets both the needs and the budget of most small B2B distributors.
If you want to improve the capture and organization of your leads and customer data, try Salesflare today.
#3 – Less boring CRM overview – The most affordable sales and marketing solution
Less Annoying CRM has a purpose, and I bet you can guess what it is.
It is a simple platform with transparent and affordable prices. They know that small businesses need a CRM solution, but can’t spend all their money or time on software.
Such is the case with Less Annoying CRM, or LACRM for short.
It is a powerful and cost-effective tool for managing and organizing all business contacts on a single platform. Users log into their LACRM workspace and are immediately aware of all their key customer relationships.
There is an agenda that records the day’s events, a priority list, a pipeline report and an activity report. Individuals can see the status of all their actions, and managers can also see the status of the actions of all the people they manage.
Say goodbye to paper notes and forgotten conversations.
Every task, meeting and document can be linked to one contact person or company. Since each participant has all the necessary information right in front of them, there is no need to email each other to determine how to proceed.
I really recommend LACRM to any company that wants to make life easier for their sales and marketing teams, but doesn’t want to spend money on it. It’s not the most visually appealing platform on the market, and integration with email can sometimes be difficult.
The customer service module is also missing. This is something to consider if you plan on using one CRM in the future, as LACRM does not have integrated integrations with other CRM or help desk programs.
However, for sales and marketing, LACRM has many features that increase audience reach and drive sales, including:
Role-based access control
Configurable contact fields
LACRM is definitely an assembly line oriented product, which is great for sales. But it’s very flexible. Teams can use the platform to set up referral and loyalty programs, and track customer feedback and marketing spend.
LACRM costs $15/month per user. End of story. There are no contracts, rates, usage limits or extra options.
It won’t work as well for large companies with complex reporting and automation needs. However, for smaller companies and teams, LACRM is gaining more users.
This is exactly the tool they are looking for at a reasonable price.
Their desire to be less intrusive extends to customer service. When you sign up, they strive to make the process as easy as possible and help you where you need help.
The updates are transparent and free. Your data is always backed up to multiple servers at Amazon Web Services.
If you are happy with this, you can try their platform for free for 30 days without providing any credit card information. After that, the monthly payment becomes predictable and there are no unexpected costs.
#4 – Nutshell Review – Best for B2B sales teams
Nutshell offers a good balance between ease of use and complexity, which is ideal for B2B sales teams.
Salespeople get the information, support and collaboration tools they need to sell smarter, even during a long sales cycle.
B2B transactions take time and require interaction with multiple stakeholders throughout the process. It is very difficult to keep track of multiple transactions.
Nutshell makes sure you don’t miss important people and conversations. The CRM interface is very user-friendly (your employees will really want to use it), and the mobile application is just as good.
Edit contacts, save appointments, receive notifications and scan business cards to create new contacts, all in the iOS or Android app.
There are many options for CRM software with mobile apps available, but not all of them have a good reputation. HubSpot, for example, still has a lot of work to do in this area, while Nutshell offers the best services on the market.
Sales representatives should be able to provide a quote without having to call the office back. With the Nutshell mobile app, they can access customer information and product catalogs and create a quote on the spot.
An iron can’t stay hot forever, especially in a space flooded with competitors targeting your customers through all channels.
Nutshell is also equipped with tools to help B2B sales teams coordinate their activities. Never miss a prospect again, never double book an appointment, and never forget to contact you, thanks to features like :
Customizable sales pipelines
Command @ messages and alerts
Conversation click records
Reporting and performance tracking features make sales management more efficient and productive over time.
Sales managers get real-time information through customizable dashboards and can report on new leads, losses, success rates, pipeline growth, sales cycle size and more.
The pricing of Nutshell is very simple:
Starter: $19/month per user
Pro: $35/month per user
Starter is an elegant, no frills CRM software solution that will work wonders for your sales team. With Pro, you get many more sales automation tools, including:
Automated lead allocation, promotion and assignment
Post-Sales Lead Management
Nutshell syncs with G Suite, Microsoft 365, Outlook, and Exchange. They also offer one-click integration with leading email marketing services like MailChimp and Constant Contact, as well as other key business tools like Slack and Quickbooks.
No other CRM software for small businesses is as suited to the challenges of small B2B sales teams. It is a fully featured mobile app, collaboration tools and comprehensive sales reporting.
Nutshell is like getting the best parts of Salesforce for less. It won’t work across the board, but for a B2B focused sales force, everything you need is there. The only difference is that the Nutshell is much easier to use and doesn’t require a developer to set it up.
Nutshell’s customer service is always available by phone, email or chat, and there is an extensive online knowledge base for self-service. They also offer free help with importing and recording data to make the transition as easy as possible.
Empower your sales team and start your free 14-day trial of Nutshell today.
#5 – Nimble Test – the best for teams with Microsoft 365
Nimble is a great CRM for small businesses that don’t want to change the way they work. It integrates with over 160 business applications to bring all your contacts, conversations, meetings, inboxes and social media connections together in one interface.
For teams using the Microsoft 365 productivity suite (formerly Office 365), Nimble is simply the best CRM.
Tools like Microsoft Outlook are designed to manage basic contacts, but users must constantly search for information on Google or keep multiple tabs open to keep track.
When Nimble is activated, Outlook becomes more intelligent. The Nimble sidebar contains detailed information about each contact, as well as related meetings, transactions, events, etc.
Instead of basic information, Nimble provides a full digital contact record that is always up-to-date in your Microsoft environment. Whether you’re working in Teams, SharePoint or Dynamics, all the information you need is in the interface.
Think of it as the missing piece of CRM for Microsoft 365. Your teams can work in the same way as before, but now benefit from features such as :
Intelligent email tracking
Reminders, alerts, and notifications
List segmentation features
Sales and customer dashboard
Sales forecast and analysis
Bulk email marketing
Nimble doesn’t have a dedicated customer service module, so I only recommend it from a sales and marketing perspective. If you really need customer service, HubSpot can help and provide a similar experience, although the integration with Microsoft 365 is not as tight.
Nimble Business starts at $19 per month per user. It should be noted that each user has 2GB of storage, after which you have to pay $10 per month for 10GB of additional storage.
Nimble also works with G Suite, but its integration with Microsoft 365 is more extensive, making it a better choice for companies that have already invested time and energy in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Try Nimble free for 14 days and see if your teams can benefit from a streamlined way of working.
Maybe Microsoft will come out with a CRM software one day, but it will probably cost a lot more than Nimble and have features that small businesses don’t need.
What I looked at to find the best CRM software for small businesses.
A small business owner may spend an entire year trying out all the options for CRM software and may only be able to handle a quarter of the products currently available.
To find a product that works without spending a lifetime on it, focus on what will truly benefit you, save you time, and provide useful information for your business.
That way, you can filter out some interesting options from the start by considering how each item fits into your specific situation.
I called it the basic considerations. With CRM software for small businesses, these points become even more important. Here’s why:
Ease of use: Everyone using the CRM must enter correct information, otherwise the platform is useless. To avoid requiring every employee to undergo complicated training, find something so simple that people unfamiliar with the technology can use it and troubleshoot themselves.
Integration: The CRM should be linked to the tools you already use. Direct integration is ideal because DIY and API integrations can easily break down as you grow. It is better to centralize the tools that small businesses use than to bring in additional staff.
Channels : Customer relationship management needs to gather information about the customer, no matter where it comes from – a call, a text message, a chat, social media, etc. If they can only connect to a limited number of channels you use, the information will be incomplete and the customer experience will be fragmented.
Price : If growth is the goal, the platform you choose should fit within your budget. Costs may vary depending on the number of users, contacts, emails, etc. Budget this to avoid annoying limitations or the need to adjust your CRM. No small business wants to spend resources migrating customer data while trying to grow.
There may be a CRM that looks very attractive, until you realize that the necessary integrations and channels are not available. It is best to go through the basic reasons before getting to the heart of the matter.
Once you’ve found a short list of products that meet these requirements, it’s time to look at how each product handles the three main tasks of CRM software relevant to your business: Contact management, process automation, reporting and business intelligence.
Organize and maintain contacts
The main role of a CRM software is to help businesses organize and track every contact in their database. How they achieve this goal varies somewhat from platform to platform.
Small business owners should ask themselves the following questions about each option:
Does it help teams develop their contact list? Look for websites, landing pages, forms and other touch points that interested customers can use to find and contact the company.
Does this help teams clarify their contact list? Look for products with strong segmentation capabilities.
Will it help teams manage their contact list? Look for tools that allow users to take notes, schedule appointments, and make phone calls directly in the interface.
Does it provide teams with real-time customer information? Look for tools that make the entire customer story accessible regardless of where users are working (inbox, chat, phone, etc.)
Does it help teams achieve their goals? Look for options that provide a framework for achieving goals such as closing deals, solving customer problems and building long-term relationships.
When it comes to CRM software, small businesses need a tool that can help them achieve all of these bold goals.
For some, this means having a sales pipeline and marketing automation capabilities. Others focus more on equipping an above-average responsive support team. Some people may need everything.
Some also have outreach tools you can use on social media to turn passersby on Twitter and Facebook into your next customers.
Start with customer-facing goals and work backwards to determine the CRM software that will actually help your employees keep track of all relationships.
In general, there are two different levels of automation for CRM software. Both can make a big difference for small businesses.
The first is the automation of routine tasks such as data entry.
These platforms automatically create contacts when a representative or agent initiates a conversation with a customer who is not in the database. Instead of creating a customer, the CRM software automatically generates a new profile or allows the user to create one with a single mouse click.
Some CRMs look at the domain in the email, consult public databases, and fill in as much information as possible themselves. Some of them automate list segmentation, which essentially means grouping customers according to criteria you specify, for example. For example, age, gender, shopping habits or location.
Marketers who want to send thousands of emails to interested customers can query the CRM based on relevant criteria (e.g., customers who have signed up for the newsletter in the last 90 days) and their list is ready to go.
Every minute you save means more time to reach out to prospects, close deals and solve problems. Moreover, all customer data is available at any time, without you having to spend time looking for it. This is just one example, but good CRM software is constantly working in the background to eliminate many routine tasks, saving minutes with every interaction.
This also makes workflow automation a very powerful option. A marketing team that has just built a list of thousands of new subscribers can immediately launch an automated email campaign.
As contacts enter the sales pipeline, tasks can be automatically assigned to the appropriate representatives. When a customer has a problem, they can be automatically directed to the right person.
Whether it’s streamlining customer contact processes or closing deals faster, CRM software can help small businesses do more with less.
Reports and company information
CRM software contains information that can help small businesses decide where to focus their efforts and resources.
This goes far beyond simple metrics like conversion rates. Let’s say you want to increase the number of customer service calls that are resolved on the first call. CRM software can provide teams with the information they need to see what tactics are working and adjust accordingly.
With segmentation capabilities and a complete picture of each relationship, you can examine exactly why some prospects convert and others don’t.
Some of the most robust CRM platforms have extensive analysis capabilities that translate large amounts of customer data into clear visualizations. Many of these systems allow you to customize dashboards to track key indicators and turn your database into actionable information.
I started blogging over 10 years ago. Just me and the screen.
There are a lot of moving parts in my shop right now. Although we’re still small by industry standards, with less than 50 employees, we connect with thousands of customers every hour through our content, emails, newsletters and podcasts.
Small teams need powerful CRM tools. All of these CRM options provide the functionality teams need to stay organized as they grow:
HubSpot – best solution for rapid scaling
Salesflare – best automated customer intelligence
Less Annoying CRM – most affordable sales and marketing solution
Nutshell – best solution for B2B sales teams
Nimble – best solution for teams using Microsoft 365
For teams looking to expand their reach, Less Annoying CRM does the job at a truly competitive price. Since they benefit from communicating with a larger number of clients, they can recruit new team members at the same low rate.
Teams working in a Microsoft environment must pre-select Nimble. It’s designed to work in a Microsoft environment, which means teams don’t have to change their processes to implement it.
For B2B sales teams, Nutshell is specifically designed to handle the long and unpredictable sales cycle. With collaboration tools and a powerful mobile app, every rep is ready to strike when the iron is hot.
If you’re looking for a complete CRM solution, HubSpot is the best choice for small businesses. The freemium plan is unmatched in its depth, and it’s the only option on this list that has a dedicated customer service module.
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