After evaluating and using several CRM software, I must say that the best CRM for small business would be one that provides an affordable and easy to use interface to manage leads, sales and customer conversations.
The average return on investment for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent.
How to decide which is the best CRM for your small business?
Other than cost, available features are what help you choose the best CRM. What are the features that you should look for? How would these features benefit your business? How would these features help you meet your business goals?
- Contact Management: how easy is it to store customer contact details. The database to store customer name, address, contact information, social media integration etc. The process to add, edit, view and search contacts should be easy and optimized for all devices.
- Pipeline Management: the CRM should offer a standard sales pipeline. However, there should be an option to customize the pipeline stages. The best CRM for small business would also allow multiple pipelines. This feature is handy when you may have different pipeline stages for different product or service categories.
- Sales Forecasting: this feature lets you easily set and monitor trends and target achievement. Monitoring the progress and trends lets you make smart decisions.
- Email Integration: this is one of the most important features you need to look for while evaluating a CRM for your business. Most of the communication with prospects and clients happens via emails. You would need access to the email history within the CRM while reviewing the progress of each lead. Check for integrations with the most common email clients such as Gmail, Outlook etc.
- Task Management: an integrated task module helps you keep track of scheduled activities and meet deadlines. This makes the follow-up process more efficient.
- CRM Customizations: while standard features mostly suffice for all, there are few customizations you may have to make for your specific needs. The CRM must be flexible to allow minor customizations.
- Reporting: this is another very crucial feature. This provides key insights about the customer’s behavioral patterns, trends, conversion analysis etc. The reports should be easy to access and analyze.
- Team Management: this is important especially when you have a larger team. How easily is it to delegate the tasks to the team? How easy is it to communicate and collaborate with other team members? Effective team management and easy communication helps convert more deals.
- Mobile Friendly: The CRM needs to be mobile friendly so that the businesses can check the details on the go and keep themselves updated about all the deals, tasks, etc. This is a crucial feature if the team is working remotely.
- Product and Services Management: As businesses have large variations in their products or the services they provide, the need arises to streamline the data associated with the products or services in one place.
These are a few of the important features that you must evaluate while choosing the best CRM for your small business. It is important that you look into the pros and cons. Cost is another key aspect.
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