All businesses are looking for that extra edge over the competition. Something to help them streamline operations, increase productivity, and improve customer service. Well, customer relationship management (CRM) software lets you do all that and more. 

But there are so many out there to choose from, it can be difficult for small business owners to know what to look for. In an effort to make the decision a little easier, let’s talk about CRM software. 

Specifically:

  • What is CRM software?
  • What are the benefits of CRM software?
  • What should I look for in CRM software?
  • What are the top-rated CRMs on the market?

What is CRM software?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a useful tool that allows for better communication and interaction with customers. It’s software that team members use to manage customer relationships in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

It’s a huge benefit for any customer facing role, making life easier for employees and the customers they deal with. 

What are the benefits of CRM software?

If you’re still not convinced, let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits that CRM software can offer your business.

More sales

As a communication tool first and foremost, sales staff are going to have a much easier time engaging with customers, which will inevitably lead to higher sales. 

Better customer retention

CRM software allows you a ‘360 degree’ view of customer data. This includes their contact info, account history, and previous feedback. Having all this information at their fingertips will let your team better serve the customers they’re speaking to, giving them a better experience all round. 

Streamlined sales funnels

CRM software lets you view different customers at all stages of the sales funnel. So you’ll know where they are, what’s next, and at what stage most customers are opting out. 

Marketing integration

Your sales and marketing data can be integrated, leading to a better service all round. Plus CRM software makes it easy to plan, track, and manage email marketing campaigns. 

What to look for in a CRM?

So we’ve mentioned the benefits, but what should you look for in a CRM solution to actually achieve those benefits?

Setup time

How quickly and easily can you set up a CRM, and is there online support if you run into any issues or have any questions?

Ease of Use

The whole point of CRM software is to make work life easier, so ease of use is a big selling point for most CRM products.

The best CRM software will provide you with good data visualisation and a streamlined hub that’s intuitive and flexible. 

Price 

This will depend on your budget, the size of your team, and what they actually need. The subscription cost is usually a fixed amount per seat (potential users), so the amount will increase as your team grows.

Luckily, most CRM software offers a free trial period so you can try a few before you buy. 

Add-ons

Some CRMs are better equipped than others when it comes to plug-ins and add ons. Each will have a specific library of software that they’re compatible with, so it’s best to double check the CRM you choose works with other applications you already use day-to-day.

Customer Service

Different CRMs offer different levels of customer service. Some will offer 24/7 support, while others will keep regular office hours. Some will offer phone calls and live chat, while others might only offer email service and FAQs.

Interface

This one might sound the most trivial, but it’s actually quite important. After all, this is a system that you and your team will be staring at for most of the day, so a visually pleasing interface that’s intuitive will make a huge difference in the long run. 

What are the top-rated CRMs on the market?

While there are a lot of great CRM software solutions on the market, the results are pretty clear when you look at user reviews. No matter where you look, these three CRMs have consistently excellent reviews:

They all have unique selling points, so let’s dive a little deeper into what earned them such great reviews.

Monday CRM

Monday’s CRM software is known for being user-friendly, simple to set up, and easy to customise even for those with limited IT skills. 

It has advanced workflow features for your team, great integration potential, and allows you to share information with customers. A great all rounder with a good looking interface. 

There are 4 different packages you can buy at different prices, but they all offer free trials:

  • Individual – completely free, but can only be used by up to 2 users. Ideal for small operations. 
  • Standard – £9 per user, per month. This is their most popular option. 
  • Pro – £14 per user, per month.
  • Enterprise – price is only available upon request. 

Freshsales

One of the easiest CRMs for daily use, with an emphasis on sales pipeline display and management. 

Freshsales has automatic sales processes and lead organisation; you can group leads together based on website engagement, and assign leads to specific sales staff based on any metric you choose. 

Freshsales offer 4 different CRM packages priced like this:

  • Free – completely free, with no user limit.
  • Growth – £12 per user, per month.
  • Pro – £29 per user, per month.
  • Enterprise – £55 per user, per month.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is all about lead generation and growth. Your sales team will have easy access to all the customer information they need to close more sales.

They also put an emphasis on scalability and integrations, so you have room to customise and evolve your CRM for whatever needs your business has. 

Pipedrive doesn’t have a free subscription, but still has 4 different price points. 

  • Essential – £12.50 per user, per month.
  • Advanced – £24.90 per user, per month.
  • Professional – £49.90 per user, per month.
  • Enterprise – £99 per user, per month. 

Keep track of your finances with a simple app

Now that you’ve got CRM software to improve your customer relations, why not try accounting software to improve your bookkeeping?

The Countingup business current account makes it easy to manage all your financial data in one simple app. The app comes with free built-in accounting software that automates the time-consuming aspects of bookkeeping and taxes. 

You’ll receive real-time insights into your cash flow, profit and loss reports, tax estimates, and the ability to create invoices in seconds. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward.

Find out more here.

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