It’s hard to imagine life today without the Contacts app on your phone. Phone numbers are hard enough to remember, let alone the email and mailing addresses for everyone you know. So we outsource that to our phones, letting them remember everyone’s contact info. All we have to do is say Siri, call bob.
You need even more help with your business contacts—and your address book app isn’t enough. In addition to names, phone numbers, and addresses, you need to track the products people are interested in, what services they’ve purchased from your company, the company they work for, and more.
That’s why you need a CRM Software.
CRM as a Customer Service Tool:
CRM providers have tailored their offerings for the small business market, providing software-as-a-service options, integration with other technologies, and an understanding of what small businesses want from their customer relationships. It used to be that CRM was only for large enterprises and, then, there were horror stories about the technology being too costly, too time consuming, too complex and too disruptive to be successful. Over the last few years, however, thanks to software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM providers like Salesforce.com, SuiteCRM hosting on Fynsis cloud and NetSuite, CRM has rehabilitated its tarnished image. Because of this, large enterprises along with mid-sized companies have opened up their arms and embraced CRM in its more affordable, easier, and accessible reincarnation and even small businesses may find these tools worthwhile.
What Is CRM?
That’s where CRM software comes in. “A CRM application is a better way to manage so that you can be more organized and do more with less,” Donaghy says. An effective CRM application provides an organized, comprehensive view of a company’s customers and prospects, and employees’ interactions with them. Once a large-business luxury, CRM software packages have come down in price and scale as they have migrated to hosted applications or SaaS solutions, making CRM available to a growing number of small and mid-size businesses.
Features to look for in CRM:
Whether hosted or licensed, these are some common features you’ll want to look for in a CRM solution for your business:
Application Programming Interface (API):
This allows the CRM solution to link with other systems, eliminating the need to enter information multiple times, says Clate Mask, president and chief executive officer with Infusion Software.
Multiple contact information: Users should be able to organize and access information by a person’s name, as well as his or her company, says Harding. That makes it possible to view all the interactions that have occurred with a particular person, as well as with multiple individuals within a single company.
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The system should provide a summary view of the sales opportunities underway across a company’s customer base and the employees working on them. With this, promising opportunities are less likely to fall through the cracks, says Harding.
Employees should be able to use the system to electronically delegate tasks to their colleagues.
Information entry and access: Employees also should be able to enter and access information from anywhere within the system, says Donaghy of Smart Online. For example, if they’ve talked with a client on the phone, they should be able to enter details of the call under the person’s name. Once in the system, that information should be accessible through both the individual’s and the company’s name.
How Much Will a CRM Cost?
CRM apps’ pricing are as varied as their features and design—so there’s guaranteed to be a CRM that fits your business.
HubSpot CRM is one of the best, as a full-featured contact CRM that lets you store up to a million contacts for free. Many others, like Zoho CRM and Cloze, let you store up to 25,000 contacts for free, plenty to get your business off the ground. Or, open-source CRM apps let you manage contacts on your own server for free.
When you’re ready to buy a more full-featured CRM for your team, you’ll typically need to spend from around $5 to $75 per user per month, depending on the app you choose. Contact CRMs are often the cheapest, ranging from around $4-12 per user per month. Conversation CRMs tend to cost around $15-$30 per user per month, while Lead and Deal CRMs can go from around that price to $75 a month per user or more for tools like Salesforce. Marketing Automation CRM apps are often the most expensive, often costing nearly $100/month per user – 0$ Per User Per Month For Unlimited Users with SuiteCRM.
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Why SuiteCRM is the world’s best Open SourCRM CRM – It is a software fork of the popular SugarCRM (Community Edition – Open Source) which is the most downloaded Open Source CRM in the world.
SalesAgility in London has been working on Sugar CE for 7+ years & has taken the torch to sponsor an updated Sugar CE called SuiteCRM. With a growing team of partners around the world. Now we call that SuiteCRM!