A business will fail without customers.
That’s how important the customers are to any business. You need to have a steady stream of money coming in to keep your business afloat. And improving the customer experience can help people choose you over your competitors and buy your products or services.
Understanding your customers is the key to learning their expectations about your business. Regardless if you make money through your blog or running an eCommerce store or digital marketing agency, you have to make sure that your customers are happy.
Even affiliate marketers, freelancers, course instructors, and consultants need to nurture their leads across different channels to guide them down their sales funnels. And they need the best CRM software to streamline and simplify business processes for an excellent customer experience.
What is CRM software?
A CRM or customer relationship management tool is software that helps you initiate contact with your potential leads. Through it, you can nurture leads and build loyalty while keeping contact information and client history.
When you have CRM software, you and your team members can access collected leads or customer data quickly and more efficiently. You can then use this information to target new marketing, upselling, cross-selling, or track invoices through integrations with other business tools.
Why do we need CRM software?
By using CRM software rather than a spreadsheet, you can avoid confusion and redundancy in contacting prospects and customers. Your team will not be chasing the same person and can reach out to more people to sell your products or services to. When your team is on the same page, collaboration and productivity will improve. You will sell smarter and use time more effectively with a CRM tool.
Best CRM tools for 2021
CRM systems nowadays are user-friendly and more affordable to small businesses. They offer advanced features regardless of business sizes. The availability of Android and iOS mobile app makes things easier for salespeople wherever they may be. They can access contact information, track prospects, and close deals without rushing back to their computers.
However, the biggest challenge for you as the business owner is in selecting the best CRM software for your business. Countless options exist and every one of them claiming to be the best CRM tool for sales. To help you out, I put together this guide of the best CRM systems for any business.
Let’s get started.
Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM that’s easy to use by anyone. It simplifies your sales process by automating routine tasks and management of leads and sales. With this software, you can remove unproductive administrative tasks and drive more sales with less effort on your end.
Pipedrive offers the following features:
- Lead management that lets you track prospects and sales anytime
- Communication tracking that monitors phone calls, chats, and emails
- Visual sales pipelines for creating custom stages
- Deal management
- Privacy and security for business data
- Deep insights and reports
- Mobile app access
- 150+ third-party integrations
- Chrome extension for turning Gmail into full-pledged CRM
Pipedrive pricing starts at $12.50 per user per month with add-on options for Lead Booster and Web Visitors. Like any other business tool that you have no experience with, familiarize yourself with the usability of Pipedrive before making a purchase. Pipedrive offers a 14-day free trial so test it out.
The best CRM software is not necessarily a paid one. HubSpot offers robust marketing features for free. You can streamline your customer relationship management process and gain insight into your audience’s behavior with this tool.
For medium-to-large businesses with several employees, HubSpot offers solutions that are specific to a person’s role in a company. Such as solutions for owners, marketing, sales, and customer service.
One of the best CRM tools out there, HubSpot has some great features that are ideal for marketers and sales professionals. The free version offers the following robust features:
- Email and lead nurturing with free, customized emails
- Contact organization and management
- Email scheduling
- Live chat and chatbots
- Meeting scheduler
- Sales pipeline data
- Task tracking and management
- VoIP calling
- Document sharing
- Integrations with over 300 tools
To get access to the whole set of HubSpot marketing tools, you need to upgrade to a paid plan that starts at $45/month. The best free CRM you can use forever, get started with HubSpot by signing up on their website.
3. Freshworks CRM (formerly Freshsales)
Freshworks CRM is a newer entry in the industry. But it is already trusted by more than 40,000 businesses such as Dyson and FabHotels. Boasting the smartest sales features for a CRM, it is designed specifically for lead management and getting sales. You can save time with automation, find the best leads, and make better relationships.
By subscribing to Freshworks CRM, you will have access to the following powerful features:
- Built-in email and phone system
- Account, contact, deal, and lead management
- Tracking and lead scoring
- Appointment and tasks management
- Clone or merge records
- Sales pipelines
- Advanced conversion views
- Website visitor tracking
- Email scheduling
- Time-based workflows
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Smart forms
- Extensive range of integrations
Freshworks CRM is GDPR-compliant and has excellent customer support via phone and email. For as low as $29 per user per month, you can enjoy all the sales-based features of this all-in-one CRM. Freshworks CRM is one of the best CRM tools for 2021 that you should check out. Avail of the 21-day free trial to see for yourself.
4. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is one of the most popular CRM systems today. With over 150,000 customers worldwide that included Amazon and Netflix, this all-in-one solution already established its reputation as one of the best CRM systems for businesses.
If you are already a Zoho user, you can easily integrate Zoho CRM to start using it. The lowest-paid plan per user is only $12/month – the cheapest CRM software you can find right now. They also have a free edition that can be used by a maximum of three users with all the essential features like leads, documents, and mobile apps.
- Some advanced CRM features of the paid plans include:
- Advanced CRM analytics
- Inventory management
- AI-Powered sales assistant
- Real-time sales signals and customer notifications
- Performance management
- Prospect scoring capabilities
- Sales enablement
- Unique sales pipelines
- Process management
- Mass emails
Zoho recently introduced Bigin, a pipeline-centric CRM for small businesses. The paid plan costs $7 per month for one user. But it has a robust free version that you can try first before buying the pro plan.
You can also opt for a 15-day free trial for any of the editions to access all their features. With the free version and free trial to choose from, take the best CRM for small businesses for a spin to find out if it’s the right fit for you.
A CRM platform designed for both first-time CRM users and sales experts, Insightly is a powerful tool for growing your business faster.
It helps you build lasting relationships with your customers using the following project and business features:
- Relationship management
- Lead routing
- Workflow automation
- Pipeline management
- Automated email reminders and tracking Extensive third-party integrations
- Flexible calendaring and events
- Mobile app compatible with both Android and iOS
- All-day customer support via phone, tickets, and email
Insightly is GDPR-compliant and has military-grade AES-256 encryption to ensure data integrity. It is highly customizable and scalable to support a growing business.
The cheapest plan is $29/month per user. Try it out by signing up for a 14-day free trial to any of their plan tiers.
The best CRM software should be ideal for the size of your business and provides all the features that you need. I have given you the list of the best CRM tools in terms of affordability, features, and ease of use.
As they all offer free trials, I highly recommend that you try them out before committing to a paid plan. If you’re at the early stage of your business, Hubspot and Zoho CRM have free forever plans that might suit your needs.
Yet, if you’re a growing business with a team of salespeople, you should get a paid plan to enjoy the advanced CRM features that any of the tools in this list offer. Take note that PipeDrive and Zoho CRM have the cheapest plan per user. These make them the best CRM tools for startups and small businesses with a limited budget.
Don’t spend too much time choosing the best CRM software for your business. Instead, take the quick route and use this guide to find the right CRM tool for your business. Don’t forget to browse our blog for other tools you can use to grow your business.
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