CRM stands for customer relationship management. It describes various processes and strategies used by a business to maintain strong relationships with its customers. Maintaining a strong relationship with customers is essential to the growth and success of small businesses, and CRM tools provide a data-driven platform to manage every aspect from one place.
Developing customer retention strategies is just as important as providing good customer service, and the best CRM software will include tools and systems to streamline sales and marketing processes. The best CRM system will help you manage every aspect of the customer relationship through every stage of the journey, whether through email marketing, targeted advertising, loyalty and referral programs, strong customer service systems, or otherwise.
You’ll want a system that helps you identify new opportunities and bespoke strategies based on data analysis. A great CRM tool will utilize AI to offer intelligent insight and will facilitate easy automation of admin tasks so that you and your team can stay focused on relationship building.
There are plenty of robust tools that streamline the CRM process, but many are designed for large businesses and this is reflected in their pricing. However, there are a few options that offer cost-effective solutions that cater to small businesses.
The best CRM for small business
Keap’s CRM is renowned for its user-friendly, efficiency-focused platform. Because of its ease-of-use and simplified user interface, Keap is favored by small business owners who are less tech-savvy but still want to cut down on the menial tasks that come with customer relationship management, and with over 20 years of experience, Keap is more than capable.
Optimize email campaigns with tracking and analysis, automate processes to attract and contact new leads in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise, and take advantage of a vast selection of pre-written emails and templates to save even more time. Connect your Keap account with Zapier to integrate over 2,000 apps with your dashboard, including Facebook and Shopify.
2. Freshworks CRM
Powered by Freddy AI, Freshworks CRM helps you discover new leads, enhance customer engagement, and reinforce your relationships with existing customers with smart, unified solutions.
Establish and manage personalized journeys based on customer actions and interactions. Track the progress of developing deals in real-time and gain AI-driven, personalized insights and forecasts that help you close deals faster.
You can use Freshworks CRM tools to categorize customers based on engagement scores, helping you build and maintain more personal customer relationships that correlate directly with each specific customer’s journey.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing suite offering a range of CRM tools. While its premium service is aimed at large-scale operations, with a price tag to match, small businesses can benefit from HubSpot’s free CRM, with the ability to upgrade to a premium account as they grow. All of the features we highlight here are available on the free version of HubSpot CRM.
On the marketing end, you can manage email marketing, create forms and landing pages, operate live chat systems with customers, manage social ads, and gain insight with traffic and conversion analytics. Sales tools help with scheduling, quoting, and tracking – with various tools and templates to assist task management and the ability to automatically generate detailed sales reports.
A full customer service suite helps you connect with customers with ticket creation bots, reporting tools, email templates and more. HubSpot includes its own award-winning CMS for content creation and management, offering SEO tools, adaptive testing, free website themes and more. Plus, it can be integrated with over 300 apps and services like WordPress, Microsoft Office, Salesforce and Shopify.
The Salesforce Customer 360 Platform offers a specialized suite designed specifically for small businesses targeting growth. Salesforce helps you automate the sales process, cutting down on admin and allowing your team to focus on what they do best.
A truly smart CRM, Salesforce eliminates manual data entry and route work and offers AI-driven tools like intuitive chatbot support for your customers. Productivity tools help customer service agents stay on track with a streamlined view of all customer interactions. Prebuilt performance dashboards help small business managers optimize their customer support processes and systems.
Small details like specialized keyboard shortcuts and macros help make Salesforce one of the most user-friendly, comprehensive and intelligent CRM tools available. A recent update allows both B2B and B2C businesses to establish loyalty tiers and time-based customer promotions.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.