5 CRM Solutions for Small Businesses

Article type: 
Business News Daily

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an invaluable tool that lets businesses find, manage and keep customers. By organizing prospects and current customers in a centralized platform, CRM gives businesses a bird's-eye view of their pipeline, allowing them to streamline processes, deliver stellar customer service and increase sales. Finding the right CRM solution, however, can be a challenge for small businesses. Because many CRM services are created for large enterprises, they aren't just expensive, but are also too technically complex for small businessusers. Instead, here are five CRM solutions that are affordable, easy to use and specifically designed to fulfill small business needs.

1. Insightly

Insightly is a comprehensive online CRM software that has everything a small business needs to keep an eye on their customers and the entire business. Users can manage everything from contacts to projects and workflows, as well as create real-time opportunity reports, automate activities and track milestones. Insightly also integrates with social media — just plug in a contact's email address and it will find virtually all social media accounts under that email address — and popular business apps like Google Apps, Office 365, MailChimp, Evernote and more. The full version of Insightly starts at $7 per user per month. A free version is also available, but is limited to 2,500 records and three users.

2. SugarCRM for Small Business

SugarCRM aims to let businesses create personal, one-to-one connections with customers. It provides a 360 view of customers, which includes individual histories, key contacts and account intelligence to gain a better understanding of who customers and prospects are and what they are looking for. Other features include sales automation and forecasting, support automation, reporting tools and mobile access. Businesses also have a choice of whether they wish to deploy the service on-premise or on the cloud. SugarCRM starts at $35 per user per month. [How to Use CRM for Your Small Business]

3. Salesforce Small Business Solutions

Popular enterprise CRM software Salesforce now offers big business capabilities at a small business scale and price tag. Its features include complete contact management to help the business grow by tracking tasks, deals and opportunities; real-time collaboration; automation to improve business processes; and integration with apps like Outlook, Desk.com, iContact, Box and more. Salesforce also aims to help businesses create better customer experiences with customizable ordering systems (for instance, via mobile app), individual customer case management, up-to-date interaction histories and ticket support systems. Salesforce starts at $25 per user per month.

4. Batchbook

If you need a CRM solution without all the frills, Batchbook offers a simple CRM platform packed with all the necessary features to get organized and close more sales. In addition to keeping track of deals, projects and workflows, users can build to-do lists, create customer groups with action items, collaborate with team members, set up text and email reminders, and more. Batchbook also aims to make getting started a breeze — simply drag-and-drop a CSV spreadsheet or vCard files of your customers and the software will automatically create individual, data-rich contact profiles. For added capabilities, Batchbook integrates with popular business apps and social networks such as Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Intuit, Google, Hootsuite, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Unlike most CRM services that charge a per-user fee, Batchbook starts with a flat fee of $35 a month for your entire team.

5. ContactMe

ContactMe is another simple CRM solution that makes it easy to find and keep track of customers. It lets users organize contacts, leads and customers in one place, and attach any notes, emails, files and other associated information to individual contact profiles. ContactMe also helps sales teams stay on top of appointments, meetings and deadlines with calendar tools and reminders. Other features include button and form creation — which can be added to your website, Facebook page and other Web properties to generate leads — and data syncing with Facebook, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Wordpress and other marketing tools. ContactMe is free to use for individual users. A full-featured account costs $7.42 per month.