CRM Software

Customer relationship management is the technology used to manage interactions and relationships with existing and potential customers. In other words, CRM aims to improve company-customer relationships.

However, it requires patience and dedication, just as you would for a commodity at the convenience store. The same is valid for selecting the right CRM software for your business.

Deciding on the right CRM software for your small business doesn't just mean acquiring the best-in-class tool but ensuring it aligns with your requirements as well. When it comes to cultivating leads, converting leads into customers, and turning customers into brand loyalists, the right small business CRM can make a significant difference to the success of your business.

Companies need to establish a CRM strategy before they start using CRM to use it to grow the business and delight their customers. Growing popularity and growth in social media have prompted CRM software and tools sellers to integrate their software with social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. So let’s dive deep and check out more about CRM software and key things to keep in mind while buying the perfect CRM solution.

Social CRM Tools

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CRM Software: How Does it Work?

CRM systems adopt an integrated approach to store customer information. Through social media, email, and web channels, a CRM tracks the actions of potential customers who get qualified through a company's lead generation process. The system analyzes leads before guiding them through a journey that hits all the hot spots - or assisting in their instruction.

CRM software platforms provide a starting point for identifying sales trends and identifying sales gaps. They also offer the ability to track the performance of your sales team - a win-win scenario for organizations and salespersons!

CRM software and tools assist you in delivering a seamless customer experience, just like larger businesses, by making all your business processes happen in one place, from sales to marketing to data management. CRM software platforms are cited as a competitive advantage and strategic asset by companies who use them. Companies adopting CRM technology witness a significant rise in sales, leads, and customer retention, making them a must-have business asset.

CRM Software Guide: 8 Things to Consider:

Here are some tips on how to use CRM software effectively.

1. Get to Know CRM

Wouldn’t it be disastrous for your business if you, as the business owner, had no idea what CRM is? Then, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with CRM - its benefits, methodologies, and best practices, as well as how it can benefit your company.

There is no shortage of information about CRM since it is one of the most popular business solutions. The key point here is that you cannot compete with others if you do not have thorough knowledge or relevant information about the technology you use.

2. Understand your Company's Needs

You might be better off with customer experience management (CEM) software to understand your customers better. But CRM and CEM are two very different things. If your budget allows, you should use both kinds of tools at once.

As a result, you should take the time to prioritize CRM, which carries a wide range of features. Now you have to think about your needs. These usually stem from problems you are having, such as:

  • Inability to find customer data
  • Poor communication with clients
  • Difficulty in retaining loyal customers
  • Keeping track of agent performance
  • Extensive or long sales cycles
  • Scheduling problems for agents

The objective is to tie everything together and streamline your sales processes and operations. Those are your final goals and requirements. By creating a detailed checklist, you'll be able to evaluate your options and narrow them down to the best CRM software.

3. Learn about the Different Types of CRM

It would be best to investigate the different types of CRM. There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. However, you can get close to that with operational CRM software and tools that offer a common platform and a single set of customer data that all departments can use.

Types of CRM

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Operational CRM

  • Analyzing the lead-to-customer cycle with sales force automation
  • Streamlining marketing campaigns and processes with marketing automation
  • Managing customer service and support with service automation

Analytical CRM

  • Advanced techniques such as pattern recognition and data mining are used in an analytical CRM for analyzing customer data.
  • Create precise and targeted offers by gaining deep insights into customers' buying behavior.

Collaborative CRM

  • Entails the integration and synchronous sharing of customer interactions within an organization to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty and to maximize profitability and revenue.
  • Ensures that customers, processes, strategies, and insights are integrated so that organizations can serve and retain customers more efficiently and effectively.

4. CRM Deployment: On-Premise or Cloud-Based

The major difference between cloud and on-premise solutions is where data and software are stored. While on-premise software deployments normally involve on-site servers, cloud deployments store data and CRM software on remote servers that can be accessed online.

Compared to taking things in-house, cloud CRM has the benefit of not requiring hardware to be installed or any software maintenance issues. Organizations need to decide on the deployment method of CRM software to keep cost in control and maximize return on investment.

5. Analyze Various CRM Features

If you're looking for CRM software and tools, you probably want to address specific business needs or solve existing operational problems. To determine which CRM is best for your business, you have to set your goals and think about the issues you need to resolve.

There are some essential features that you should consider when looking for the best CRM software. Vendors may offer similar features in their products, but be sure the CRM software has the following tools and capabilities:

You won't have to spend all your time scouring the internet for the best solutions because we have already done this task for you. These are some high-scoring solutions based on our criteria when reviewing any software. Include -

Functions and Features

Features of CRM

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  1. Lead Management - Manage the entire lifecycle of leads, starting with prospecting and ending with conversions.
  2. Contact management - Organize, store, and manage contact information.
  3. Automation - Automate lead and sales processes.
  4. Managing Campaigns - Create, deliver and measure campaigns.
  5. Social media management - Get insights into social media audience interaction.
  6. Reports and Dashboards - Real-time updates on market and customer trends and behavior.
  7. Mobile applications: Access data by using CRM software on mobile devices.

6. Consider the Cost

CRM software prices vary depending on subscription plans and deployment options, but SaaS CRMs are pretty affordable thanks to cloud-based technology. However, software costs are a significant concern for small businesses, so many depend on free CRM software to start and upgrade when the business grows.

It is essential to have a budget in mind while negotiating with CRM vendors to ensure you get a winning deal.

7. Research the Vendor

Choosing the right software vendor is as essential as the software itself. Why? Purchasing CRM software will result in your relying on the vendor for support and assistance throughout its lifetime. Hence, the vendor must be trustworthy.

As well as technical, product, or any other related training, the software company should also offer in-house seminars, webinars, or online courses.

8. Put the Software to the Test

In the end, it is time to try the software and features yourself after reading up on the CRM vendor and narrowing down your choices. Most major CRM vendors offer free full-featured trial versions of their software. The best way to know if the software meets your expectations and business needs is to take a free demo or trial to get a feel of the software and check the functionality.

Top CRM Software for Small Businesses

CRM Software for Businesses

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CRMs are necessary for every business today, but small businesses should not be intimidated by enterprise features. You can find a list of the top CRM software for small businesses here to make the right choice:

  1. Zoho - With Zoho CRM, you can manage leads and opportunities, build Kanban-style pipelines, and create powerful analytics.

Features -

  • Lead Management
  • Deal Management
  • Contact Management
  • Workflow Automation

Pricing -

  • Standard - ₹800/user/month billed annually
  • Professional - ₹1,400/user/month billed annually
  • Enterprise - ₹2,400/user/month billed annually
  • Ultimate - ₹2,600/user/month billed annually
  1. Freshworks - Freshsales is the leading CRM that offers a robust in-app telephony system, visual sales pipelines, time-based workflows, and lead management capabilities.

Features -

  • Automate sales activities
  • Identify revenue segments and target prospects
  • Personalized engagement.
  • Engage prospects by gaining insights

Pricing -

  • Free - ₹0/user/month, billed annually (₹0/user/month, billed monthly)
  • Growth - ₹999/user/month, billed annually (₹1,199/user/month, billed monthly)
  • Pro - ₹2,799/user/month, billed annually (₹3,399/user/month, billed monthly)
  • Enterprise - ₹4,999/user/month, billed annually (₹5,999/user/month, billed monthly)
  1. Hubspot - Its CRM is free forever, allowing you to add unlimited users; its Starter Sales plan starts at $45 per month for two users. HubSpot CRM includes essential email marketing, deal and pipeline management, and sales reporting.

Features -

  • CRM & Sales Dashboards
  • CRM Analytics
  • Document Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics & Automation
  • Performance & Project Management
  • Supplier and Purchase Order Management
  • Social CRM & Solution Management
  • Sales Tracking
  • Lead Management


  • Starter - Starts at $45/mo. billed at $540/yr
  • Professional - Starts at $800/mo. billed at $9,600/yr
  • Enterprise - Starts at $3,200/mo. billed at $38,400/yr
  1. - CRM system Salesmate is for salespeople who would rather spend their time selling rather than learning how to use new software. It is a great solution for startups and small businesses, but it is also applicable to the real estate and construction industries.

Features -

  • Sales Pipeline
  • Contact management
  • Smart Emails
  • Smart Queue
  • Customizations & Sequence

Pricing -

  • Starter version is $12 per user/per month ($144, billed annually Or $15 per user if billed monthly)
  • Growth version is $24 per user/per month ($288, billed annually Or $30 per user if billed monthly)
  • Boost version is $40 per user/per month ($480, billed annually Or $50 per user if billed monthly)
  • Enterprise - Custom
  1. Salesflare - It integrates your favorite marketing tools. Social profiles, email signatures, and other public sources help you collect your leads' contact information. Furthermore, all meetings and phone calls are automatically logged, so you don't need to worry about forgetting to key in data.

Features -

  • Auto generated information
  • Recorded meetings and calls
  • Real-time notifications
  • Auto generated To-do lists.

Pricing -

  • Starter - $29/month per user / month billed annually & $35 billed monthly
  • Pro plan - $49/month per user / month billed annually & $55 billed monthly
  • Enterprise plan - $99/month per user / month billed annually

Bottom Line

To come to a buying decision, one must go through different stages - the recognition of a problem or need, the search for information, the evaluation of choices or alternatives, and the purchasing decision.

You can assess a CRM solution before purchasing it by following the steps we've outlined. This way, you can find out if it is the best one for you. In addition, because it is functional and fits well into your requirements, you are sure to make the right purchase decision when it comes to CRM software and tools.