Maintaining updated customer information is crucial for any business. It also involves storing huge amounts of data.
Now, imagine what it must have been like before the age of computers and even after, before the arrival of Customer Relationship Management software (CRM).
You see, for a while, the only option available for managing this kind of data was an Excel Spreadsheet. Excel was a huge relief from the old physical filing system, but a tedious task nonetheless.
This is where CRMs came to the rescue!
A CRM tool allows you to manage and monitor customer interactions with your business in real-time throughout the sales process.
Here’s Why You Need a CRM System
It’s a solution for staying organized and tracking progress as it gathers all kinds of customer-related initiatives into a central point where co-workers can collaborate to stay up-to-date.
Here are a few specific reasons:
Central Point for Customer Data
Customer data is valuable throughout the sales process. A CRM system tracks every step of this process, which includes managing past and present customers as well as prospects that are not yet acquired.
This pool of information is then made available in a single location: the CRM dashboard, where it’s easier and more efficient to manage business-customer relationships.
A CRM is designed to offer a real-time information experience. It allows sharing and collaboration among colleagues to maintain updated systems.
An Organizational Tool
You can also use CRMs as organizational tools to track and stay on top of phone calls, emails, meetings, appointments, etc. You can also set it up to automate follow-ups, which helps to reduce workload.
Room for Opportunities
When it comes to traditional record-keeping, there’s no way a business will maintain an updated list of prospects who aren’t showing much interest in their products or services. It’s just too much work with few chances of conversion.
However, just because you haven’t sold today, doesn’t mean you won’t sell tomorrow.
Customers change their minds all the time and a CRM takes care of this issue by maintaining contacts with cold prospects, leaving a door for possible opportunities in the future.
9 Best CRM Systems To Consider for Your Company
Below are top CRM systems used by businesses of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs.
Salesforce is a leading CRM software that has become one of the most efficient and sought after platforms on the market.
The Salesforce design makes it suitable for use in both the B2B and B2C environments. This places it in a unique position as a tool that can function within any industry.
Once integrated, the software offers a simple but effective panel for easy navigation. It presents key metrics and functionalities such as sales forecasting, real-time tracking, marketing resources and reports among others.
But what is it that gives Salesforce an edge over other equally amazing platforms?
The cloud-based software offers a number of effective solutions that are customizable to fit the goals of a business regardless of its size.
The platform boasts the ability to scale up businesses by growing sales revenue, increasing lead conversion, and increasing customer satisfaction rates.
2. HubSpot CRM
Usually placed on a par with Salesforce, HubSpot is a heavy-weight CRM and an all-in-one platform with far-reaching solutions. It was awarded the Best CRM Software 2019 designation by Finances Online.
It’s also free — probably the best free CRM solution on the market.
But is it the best solution for your business?
That depends on your needs. However, the tool is designed to offer almost every useful functionality when it comes to customer management, sales, and marketing.
You can integrate the software with the most popular sales channels like emails, phone calls, webpages, social media, etc.
The platform effectively organizes contacts, tracks leads, and manages overall performance from its interactive dashboard.
If you’re looking for a platform that has taken the all-in-one approach to a whole new level, look no further than ClickUp.
The software is more than just CRM, it’s a team collaboration and task management tool that offers a solution to almost every aspect of data management from sales to marketing.
The platform is easy to use and effective in tracking and organizing projects. It offers a real-time dashboard with customizable features for best performance.
Some of ClickUp’s popular features that you can tweak to suit your needs include recurring tasks, Google Chrome extension, and task layout among others.
Additionally, ClickUp comes with some of the in-demand CRM features like scheduling, chat, calendars, goals, docs, reminders etc.
The software certainly gives HubSpot and Salesforce a run for their money and should be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a platform with multiple options that allow you to move around and adjust things to your taste.
4. Zoho CRM
Zoho is another leading and well established CRM on the market.
When it comes to overall workflow, this powerful CRM streamlines multiple processes including lead tracking, contact management, and marketing automation.
An award-winning software, Zoho has proven to be an effective multi-purpose tool with a robust marketing structure aside from customer data management.
The platform is easy to use and customize with well-known industry channels such as email marketing, social media, and Google Ads.
Zoho is a large company that has kept its target simple when it comes to its line of business management tools. The focus for Zoho is an easy-to-use platform that works well with businesses of varying sizes.
Pipedrive is a CRM with emphasis on sales management. It doesn’t offer a wide range of tools cutting across various aspects of a business, unlike major platforms like HubSpot and Zoho.
However, the features Pipedrive does offer are usually effective and far-reaching.
The software has a system in place that visualizes the steps in the sales process. This allows the software to act proactively, automating certain processes like tracking and organizing contact information
It’s worth noting that Pipedrive is not meant for businesses of all sizes. The platform steers clear of this approach by focusing mainly on SMBs (small and midsize businesses).
Monday.com is an easy-to-use CRM software that has user satisfaction at heart. It sports a simple and interactive dashboard for faster navigation.
Still, the software’s simplicity doesn’t take away from its top-notch capabilities. It offers data management, facilitates customer interactions, and generally does everything — depending on your customizations.
However, as a paid platform, the access you have on certain features is restricted by your pricing plan.
As an all-in-one solution like other top CRM alternatives, Monday.com offers automation of certain repetitive tasks to cut down on workload and improve productivity.
Some of the tasks you can automate with this platform include job assignments and notifications.
Insightly is not new to the CRM industry, even though it may feel like it is. The platform wasn’t well-known at first, but since around 2017, it has become a major competitor on the market.
The software comes with pretty expensive plans, but even its basic plan (in this case the ‘Professional’ plan) has enough CRM features to provide a reliable experience.
Aside from content management for monitoring customer relationships, the platform also provides project management, sales management, reporting, and task management features.
Additionally, Insightly offers customizations and can be integrated with a number of popular channels like email marketing apps.
8. Oracle CX
Oracle’s Sales and marketing solution comes in the form of the robust Oracle CX Sales Cloud, an all-rounded sales and marketing platform that doesn’t just stop at customer relationship management.
Oracle CX pools together contact management, social media, and call center functions to offer optimal customer experience.
The platform has one of the best contact management databases with an in-built cross-referencing feature for effective data record maintenance. It also comes with a comprehensive digital portfolio for monitoring customer engagements.
One of Oracle’s main selling points is its marketing platform, Eloqua, which works perfectly within both B2B and B2C environments.
Closing this list is the Really Simple Systems CRM, a platform with an all-in-one solution for your sales and marketing needs.
Although not as popular as other CRMs on this list, Really Simple Systems holds its own when it comes to the small and mid-sized B2B business category.
The platform prides itself on simplicity. According to their website, the CRM is easy to set up and learn the basics in minutes. You can integrate it with multiple business applications for optimal performance.
The best is that the software comes with a free 14-day trial under the professional plan to test out their capabilities before committing.
You’re probably asking yourself what it is that makes one CRM software better than another.
Well, the answer is not as clear-cut as it may seem. Each platform you come across brings something unique to the table. At the same, time they all share features that are inherently part of the CRM technology.
Therefore, what gives one platform an edge over another is client satisfaction. This is the reason why you should come up with questions your business needs answers to and then find a platform that answers those questions.
If you’re looking to address certain pain-points in your business, figure out your needs and go look for a CRM system that offers solutions to your needs.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at REVO with 5 years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making REVO a place to call home.
I am a passionate blogger sharing business tips. I write primarily on SEO, Email Marketing, CRM, Marketing Automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.