5 CRMs for Small Business Owners


Small business owners have a lot to do, and keeping track of clients or potential clients is a challenge. Of course you’re not using a Rolodex anymore, but if you’re still managing your list of people with your email contact list, it’s time to upgrade to a CRM.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it helps you manage your relationships so you can improve customer retention and guide potentials through the sales funnel. Sure, your address book might do the same, but good CRMs can do so much more than offer a simple list. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

What CRM Features Are Useful?

Business owners have a lot going on, so the best CRMs do more than just give you a contact list. Look for features including: [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Sales pipeline tracking and analysis, so you can see where a contact might be in the sales funnel and work to move him/her forward. Good CRMs offer charts/graphs of the data, summaries, reports, and a way to share opportunities with coworkers.

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Integration with other systems, such as your email marketing, billing/invoicing, email, and chat systems.

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Tasks/To dos related to clients, making tracking a bit easier.

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Attachments and a place for notes about each contact.

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Project management and/or email marketing. Some CRMs are sold as all-in-one packages to help your business do multiple things. These can be very useful, but some of them don’t have as robust a CRM as you might like if that’s your focus, so check them out before you decide.

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Mobile friendly - Most systems are accessible from a mobile device these days, but if you’re considering something free, make sure it has this feature. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere with only your tablet and unable to access what you need.

The features you find appealing in a CRM depends greatly on your business. Some CRMs are based mostly on contacts, while others are focused on leads and the sales funnel. Some others are based on threading conversations together.

5 CRMs to Try

Every small business owner has a different approach to managing clients and contacts, so try one, and if you don’t like it immediately, try a different one. There are far too many options out there to waste time trying to like something that doesn’t work for you. On the other hand, don’t spend too much time trying them all. To really get the full use of your CRM, you and your team have to decide which features are most important and then commit to using it.

Here are a few that are worth a look:

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Capsule - Capsule has a nice user interface and does a little bit of everything, with email integrations, to-do lists, and sales/pipeline tracking. You can dip your toes in with the free version or sign up for $12 per month. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Zoho - Zoho integrates with your email server and has a lot of customizable features. Pricing ranges from $12 to $35 per month. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Salesforce - Salesforce is one of the bigger CRM companies and consistently ranks as No. 1 in the CRM industry. It focuses on leads and sales and is customizable. The pricing is a bit higher, ranging from $25 to $125 per month, so in some cases it’s not the best fit for smaller businesses. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Ravetree - Ravetree is a Raleigh-based company that offers a CRM and project management tool all in one. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]● [endif]Nimble - Nimble’s main selling point is that it brings your contacts’ social media information into the mix so you can see your interactions with people on multiple platforms. Pricing is a set $15 per month.

Argosy Business Solutions can help with your contact management. Give us a call today at 919-267-6478 to learn how we can help your business succeed and grow.

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