As business models evolve and competition for leads is getting fiercer, now more than ever, you need the best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to achieve your business goals.
Even if you already have one in place, it’s worth considering an upgrade to ensure you’re maximizing sales while delivering a five-star customer experience.
The right CRM tool can optimize workload management across your entire organization, measure your sales and marketing performance, and track customers at every stage of the buyer journey.
Getting the right insights at the right time will help you move them down the funnel and nurture customer relationships.
In this article, I’ll talk you through how to pick the best CRM software for you and provide some top options so that you can find a tool that will work for your business and your budget!
Choosing the right CRM software for your business is not as straightforward as visiting a store and picking the first product off the shelf.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. You can get the best CRM tool money can buy, but if it doesn’t solve your business problems, you’ll have essentially thrown away your hard-earned money.
With so many CRM solutions cropping up, finding one that suits your needs and business style may seem as likely as finding a needle in a haystack.
But, it doesn’t have to be if you have the necessary resources to make an informed decision. In this article, I’ll help you arrive at this decision.
Here are the main things to consider in order to pick the best CRM software for your business needs:
What is your business size?
Finding (and paying for) the right CRM software might not be that complicated when you employ 6 people. But, if you have separate sales, marketing, IT, and customer service departments, you’ll need a more comprehensive tool with advanced features.
What problems do you need to solve?
Speak to your customer service agents, IT department, sales reps, or anyone at your organization who will be using the CRM software. Together, identify the main bottlenecks. Is your sales cycle too long? Are you finding it difficult to find customer data or retain customers? Or, maybe you need a solution to measure agent performance?
Once you know what processes need to be streamlined, you can shop around for a solution.
What are the main features?
The exact features will vary depending on the business problems you’ve identified, but there are some main areas any winning CRM software must cover. These include: lead and contact management, workflow automation, campaign management, social media management, document sharing and storage, and mobile access.
What does the setup look like?
Is your CRM tool of choice easy to use for everyone? Does it offer customization options? What measures are implemented to ensure the security of your data? What support options are included in your package?
What tools are you already using?
You won’t be able to truly automate or streamline your business processes unless your chosen CRM tool works well with the ones you’re already using. Check if your CRM integrates with your social media and email platforms, internal communication tool, analytics software, customer service software, calendar, and so on.
What pricing options are available?
Is there an option to test drive your chosen solution or start with a free version? Can your subscription grow with your business? Does the vendor offer custom plans? It’s important to answer these questions to make sure your CRM solution is aligned with your business model.
I put together a list of the best CRM software for this year in line with these best practices. No matter what your business model or requirements are, you’re certain to find the right tool to take your organization to the next level.
When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Salesforce is not just the market leader. It’s the industry benchmark that both longstanding and up-and-coming solutions measure themselves against, and for good reason.
Known for its versatility, this cloud-based CRM tool adapts to the needs of all business departments, from sales and marketing to customer service and IT.
They also provide specialized solutions for 14 industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, consumer goods, or financial services. You can essentially pick and choose which applications you’re going to need and build a complete CRM solution to match your business goals.
At the core of Salesforce’s CRM solution is Salesforce Sales Cloud. It allows you to monitor customers at every stage of their buyer journey and set up sales forecasting and reporting to make better informed decisions.
You can also integrate it with Marketing Cloud to automate email marketing or with Einstein Analytics for AI-based business intelligence, so you can spend less time doing menial admin work, such as data entry or lead scoring, and more closing deals.
Other modules include Opportunity Management, which enables you to land more clients by identifying the perfect business opportunities, or Contact Management, which allows you to track customer history and social media mentions. With the Sales Performance Management module, you can also easily set and update sales targets.
Salesforce’s CRM solution comes with a very visual dashboard, so you can see the main numbers at a glance and get deeper insights whenever necessary with just a few clicks. It’s clear and easy to navigate, so even less tech-savvy users shouldn’t have problems using it.
Pricing: Starts at $25 per user per month. The most expensive plan costs $1250 per user per month. You can also get in touch for a customized plan.
Wide range of advanced features, add-on functionalities, and third party integrations.
Robust social collaboration options.
Third-party app marketplace, so you can build a custom solution to match your business needs.
Clean, user-friendly, easy to navigate interface.
Compatible with all devices and various operating systems.
24/7 customer support.
There is no free plan available, and the existing packages are pricey.
Other solutions offer some of the customization options and advanced features at a much lower cost.
Salesforce started as a CRM tool, but now comes with various SaaS offerings, which results in a steep learning curve.
From its new free content management system to its award-winning CRM, HubSpot is known for its all-in-one tools connecting your entire business from sales teams to customer service representatives. HubSpot provides an easy-to-use CRM that tracks and analyzes your activities at every point of your customer journey.
While HubSpot has standard CRM tools like email and prospecting tracking, customer databases, and contact management, what really puts HubSpot over the top is its ability to sync your company in one location.
With this CRM, you can keep track of all your customer interactions and touchpoints and provide visibility to all your teams at once. Your CRM connects your sales, marketing, operations teams, and tools. This means quick access to email marketing campaigns, sales reports, and more.
The best part of HubSpot is that its pricing scales with your company. If you’re a small business or startup, you can start with their free CRM plan. As your business and needs grow, you can take advantage of HubSpot affordable pricing plans that will unlock new features and opportunities. It’s not just about where you start, but where you want your business to go.
Pricing: You can start with the free plan. Paid plans begin at $45/month and grow with your business.
Intuitive, easy-to-use solution.
Allows you to connect all teams within your organization for a more streamlined workflow.
You can easily keep track of all data points and reports in one place.
You can start with a free version that allows an unlimited number of users and up to 1 million contacts—ideal as an entry into the world of CRM tools for smaller businesses.
You’ll have to upgrade to paid plans for more comprehensive features.
Salesmate is an all-in-one cloud-based customer management platform. It’s particularly helpful for organizations wanting to nurture business connections and deliver personalized experiences at all sales touchpoints across all channels.
At an age where personalization is the most important predictor of success, Salesmate ensures that by adding a personal touch to your communication, your prospects are getting all the right insights at the right time.
By gathering all of your team’s activities in one central place, you can streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and save time.
There are also several sales automation features, so you can create automated copy for any stage of the sales funnel, automate sales sequences, and nurture existing leads with minimal effort on your part.
Salesmate’s lead assignment system makes it easier than ever to assign contacts to the right sales reps to shorten the sales cycle. And, there’s a user-friendly report library that you can use to run reports on any of your sales data with just a few clicks.
Salesmate is a CRM tool that adapts to your needs and preferences, not the other way around. You can easily create dashboards to match your business needs or personal preferences to focus on the most important insights.
Pricing: Starts at $12 per user/month for the Starter plan. In addition to three pricing options, there are also custom Enterprise plans available.
Clean, straightforward user interface.
Easily customizable solution.
Wide integration options allowing you to connect Salesmate with your favorite tools, including Google Apps, MailChimp, Zapier, or Microsoft.
High enterprise security and compliance standards mean that your private and sensitive data remains protected.
There is no free option available.
Other market solutions offer more accurate email tracking options.
If you want to use their dialer feature to reach your contacts, it’s relatively expensive.
Most CRMs require a lot of hard work to keep them up to date. And if you don't fill them out diligently, you won't reap the benefits.
Salesflare is different. It's the only CRM out there (that I've heard of!) that automatically keeps track of all your interactions with your leads and customers, gathers data about them (from email signatures and social media), and actively helps you follow up better.
It also integrates fully into LinkedIn, Gmail and Outlook, which is super handy if you're in B2B sales. This means it eliminates all need to switch tabs or manually copy over data.
And if you want to send personalized email sequences or automated emails, that's built in too.
I love how easy it is to set up Salesflare (it's the #1 easiest-to-setup CRM on G2!) and how much more it helps you get done with less work.
If you're a small or medium-sized business and need a CRM that your team will actually love and use, have a look at it. You won't regret it.
Pricing: Starts at $29 per user on the Growth plan. This plan comes with almost all functionality.
Salesflare is the easiest CRM to keep up to date.
It comes with email sequences, an email finder, and a LinkedIn sidebar built in.
You get a clear overview, automated reminders and live notifications, so no leads can slip through the cracks ever again.
It's built for B2B, so if you're selling to consumers, it's not for you.
There is no possibility to create custom objects like in Salesforce.
If you’d like to get a complete overview of your customer data to track every aspect of your sales funnel, monday.com is a safe bet.
It allows you to build custom sales pipelines and workflows, so you can easily monitor the entire sales process, from generating leads to providing after-sales support.
Most importantly, you can instantly visualize any data using the monday.com dashboard, which is perfect for identifying any obstacles in your sales cycle. You can choose from various graphs, tables, pie or bar charts to present hard data in an easily digestible way.
You can also organize your dashboard using up to 50 different columns, for instance to do lead scoring and nurturing. The interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate, so you don’t have to worry about finding the necessary data. If you want to find out more about a given element, all you need to do is click on it.
As their Work OS is an open platform, virtually anyone can shape the tools they need to perform their everyday tasks using different applications, building blocks, and integrations. This will drive the overall efficiency and productivity of your business by ensuring that all teams’ tasks are aligned.
If you’d like to have access to all your data on the go, you can also download monday.com’s mobile app to always remain up-to-date!
Pricing: The Individual plan for up to 2 seats is free forever. There are also 3 paid plans starting at $10 per user/month and an Enterprise plan with pricing available upon request.
Highly customizable solution—anyone can build a custom workflow to automate and optimize their tasks.
Setting up third-party integrations doesn’t require any coding knowledge and there are plenty of popular software apps to choose from, including Outlook, Gmail, or DocuSign.
You can start with the free Individual plan and upgrade as you grow.
Features an open API, so anyone can adapt the platform to their needs.
Works great for job scheduling, so you can easily assign leads to salespeople and track their performance.
All CRM plans include 24/7 customer support and unlimited boards, so you can easily organize your customer data, projects, and internal processes.
There are automation limits to a certain number of actions per month.
More attractive features come with higher plans, which can be unattractive to smaller organizations.
More advanced compliance and security features require an Enterprise plan.
Whether you’re choosing a new CRM tool or upgrading your existing one, any decision needs to be preceded by thorough research.
Before you choose a CRM, you need to consider the following things:
How big your organization is
What business problems you need to solve
What features a given solution has
How easy it is to work with
What integration options it offers
What pricing options are available
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can take any of the tools mentioned in this article for a test drive. They’re all battle-tested industry solutions that will help you streamline internal processes and build better customer relationships!
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