Starting a small business is challenging, and even more so during times of economic distress. A vital way to grow your customer base when clients are staying in is to make use of the countless digital platforms that allow you to keep track of and analyze customer interactions, known as customer relationship management software (CRM). With the critical information provided by CRMs like Groove, you can optimize your marketing strategy and streamline your daily contacts. Finally, CRMs provide a singular place for your business to keep track of its interactions, making team cooperation intuitive.
Still, not all CRMs are made the same, with each offering features that may or may not be ideal for your needs. Here are important characteristics to consider when choosing a CRM program.
With numerous CRM programs available, there are a variety of price points to choose from. Often, CRMs offer a lower tier that provides essential features for beginning businesses, a professional tier for developing businesses, an organizational tier for large enterprises, and an unlimited tier for those organizations that tend to require unlimited storage of its client database or the ability for software developers to customize client databases and records. In general, small businesses require the essential or professional tier, with the first tier ranging from $10 to $15 per user per month and the second ranging from $20 to $40 per user per month.
Ease of Use
Often the most important feature, the ease of use of a CRM solution determines how quickly small businesses can get started using this service and optimizing their sales strategy. Often, businesses that are in their early stages of development tend to prefer CRMs that do the basics: keeping track of their contacts and outputting reports of sales, among other features.
However, for businesses that are growing and that, for example, may be dealing with Enterprise customers – clients that are themselves companies – then ease of use may have to be sacrificed for the sake of additional features. The most intuitive CRMs are often less expensive but less customizable – for example, integration with third-party applications like email is frequently not included or is only available in a higher cost tier.
Specific Features Offered
Additional features particular to specific CRMs are oftentimes the deal breakers in this decision. In addition to third-party integration, analytics, and client tracking, CRMs with professional tiers offer customizable workflow automation. For example, when a realtor starts the process of looking for homes for a client, a CRM will record the buyer’s information and display the next steps for the realtor: finding potential homes for showing, scheduling the showings, following-up with the buyer, and completing the documents required to close on the property. As each CRM has its own workflow design and other unique features, ask for a trial of the CRM before purchasing.
The current global economic recession has made times uncertain for small business owners. However, it can also provide fertile ground for the growth of existing and new businesses, as occurred during the last economic crisis. In these times, stay above the fray by using the tools to maximize your sales and leads through the use of the right CRM program.