In the modern world selling is a science. While there is still room for creativity, everyone needs a systematic approach and a good tool to manage the whole process. It doesn’t matter whether you sell with your Instagram account or own a huge hypermarket, by implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system you will minimize your expenses and maximize your profits. Here we describe the main benefits of using CRMs and consider nine systems you can find on the market.
Why Do You Need CRM for Sales?
A CRM system manages the entire sales cycle and automates and manages your workflows. Its goal is to make your team as efficient as possible. A CRM system also serves as a single environment for a geographically dispersed team of sales managers and other specialists and creates a completely transparent image of your company, so that you can easily analyze and identify weaknesses in the sales system.
Users of a CRM system can document their processes and create reports on the work done during, as well as sales figures for, a certain period. In a word, it is a universal multifunctional tool for any sales team. When properly implemented, in fact, a CRM system will increase sales figures due to an increase in the efficiency of your team.
There are certain problems, however, that prevent the widespread implementation of CRM systems. Many find this software complex, expensive, and inconvenient. But with the advent of modern, convenient, and user-friendly systems, this image of CRM is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Newer products provide convenient functionality targeted at small businesses with both cloud and on-premises data solutions. The CRM market is growing steadily, mainly due to small and medium-sized businesses. High competition in this area contributes to improving the quality of products.
What Can a Modern CRM System Do?
The main task of any CRM system is to optimize sales processes, marketing campaigns, and customer service; reduce the costs of sales process organization; increase sales figures; and, as a result, increase your total income. A CRM system builds a sales funnel while simultaneously automating all of the processes feeding into it. To ensure the reliable operation of a sales department, the CRM system:
- Automates the management of customer communications systems, including voice messages, chats, social networks, and email, all in a single interface. There is no need to run a million different applications; everything you need for work will be right there in your CRM.
- Sorts data streams and streamlines workflows. With CRM, you can track inventory very quickly, which allows your team to plan their work and avoid possible problems with orders.
- Allows you to track information about customers in a single interface, including their activity, completed and pending orders, and contacts, and all of it is posted automatically. This means you can quickly identify the client and track the interaction history. Using these CRM tools, you can quickly respond to any possible problems, or even prevent them.
- Offers a convenient interface for communicating with clients through a variety of channels, including social networks, telephone, chats, and email. All of this is within easy reach with a CRM.
- Includes other features, such as marketing automation, sales forecasting, and analysis tools, that will also help make your sales process more efficient.
Furthermore, most CRM developers offer apps for PCs, mobile apps, and cloud systems for browsers, which significantly expands the scope of these systems and simplifies access to data from anywhere.
Nine Popular CRM Systems and Their Features
Now let's look at some of the most popular CRM systems.
Image credit: https://www.pipedrive.com/
Pipedrive is a cloud-based sales funnel management solution. It provides tools for monitoring at both individual and team levels, analyzing information on transactions, and creating visualized reports. Its main characteristics include:
- A graphical interface for funnel management
- Email integration
- A system of alerts and notifications
- Sales reporting
- Sales forecasting
- Compatibility with mobile apps for Android and iOS
Pipedrive is available in four versions, ranging from $14.90 to $99 per user per month. A trial version is available at no cost.
Image credit: https://www.creatio.com/
Sales is a cloud-based CRM system for the professional management of sales and related business processes. Its main features include:
- Managing leads, orders, and invoices
- A corporate social network
- Internal telephony
- Document management
- Segmentation of the contact database
- Search for a contact's profile on social networks
- Automation of business processes
- Product cataloging
Implementing this CRM will cost you $22 per user per month. A free trial is available for 14 days.
Image credit: https://www.zoho.com/
Zoho is a customer relationship management system that is a great solution for small businesses due to its ease of use and inexpensive price. But at the same time, the CRM program has fewer options for individual customization. Some additional features can be added by purchasing extensions from the Zoho Marketplace. This allows you to tailor the system to the individual needs of the business and do without programmers. The main features of the system include:
- Basic integrations that do not require programmers
- Versatile analytics
- Real-time alerts
Starting at $12 per user per month, the standard version is from $14 to $52 per user per month. There is a free 15-day trial version available.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
Image credit: https://learn.microsoft.com/
Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps in organizing sales, services, and marketing. You can use a cloud or boxed solution, and it can be easily integrated with other Microsoft products. Its basic features include:
- Managing contacts, support, sales, marketing, and other data in one system
- Visualizing data on a custom dashboard
- Automating data processing with scripts
- Creating Word and Excel file templates for quick reports
- iOS, Android, Windows, and web apps available
The price starts at $65 per month per user.
Image credit: https://www.hubspot.com/
HubSpot is a system with huge possibilities for free use. They have a vast online library with many learning resources: how-to guides, e-books, free courses, and much more. Other features of HubSpot include:
Tools for analytics
- Tracking subscription forms and pop-ups
- Website-tracking activity of site guests
- Tools for maintaining a contact database
- Information about contacts and company
- Facebook Ads incorporation
Paid plans start at $50 per user per month and go up to $113 per user per month.
Image credit: https://cargas.com
Salesforce is a universal cloud-based CRM system designed primarily for large multitasking projects. There is a cheaper Small Business Solutions package for small businesses. It has some basic features such as:
- Lead generation
- Managing contacts and opportunities
- Sales forecasting
- Workflow automation
- Powerful analytics
- Lots of customizable collaboration and project management tools
The minimum cost of the system is $25 for up to 10 users per month. Salesforce Essentials is free for 30 days.
Image credit: https://startpack.ru/
ProsperWorks is a CRM that works directly from your Google account. ProsperWorks integrates with G Suite and is very easy to use. No special skills are required to start working with it, and the whole operations process is based on the Gmail principle. Here are its basic features:
- Integration with Hangouts
- Email tracking and distribution
- Tracking the activities of customers and employees
- Reports on movements in the funnel
- IP telephony
The price of the system starts at $19 per user per month. A 14-day free trial is available.
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The basic features of SugarCRM are similar to most other CRMs targeted at small businesses and startups. The difference is in the huge number of opportunities for custom manual settings. If you have a team of strong developers at your disposal, SugarCRM will be an excellent choice.
For self-development, the service provides many resources, such as tutorials and technical documentation. In addition, reliable and helpful technical support is at your service. Basic features include:
- Unlimited integration via open API
- An active and open developer community
- Robust reporting and management tools
The minimum price is $40 per user per month, and a free trial is provided.
Image credit: https://highrisehq.com/
Highrise is another simple CRM created by renowned developer Basecamp in 2007. Over the past 11 years, the project has grown into a multimillion-dollar business with a loyal customer base. Its features include:
- Recording of leads and their contacts in a single system
- Checking the progress of tasks and reminders
- Mass mailings
- Compatibility with any email system
- Reports on lead promotion
- Letter templates
The minimum price is $24 per month.
No matter which product you choose as your CRM system or whether it will be implemented in the cloud or locally on PCs, this system will increase your income even in the short term by optimizing and improving sales efficiency in your company; however, it will take some time to train your staff on the new product. But in this case, the ends really do justify the means.
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