In today’s business world, communications have never been more important for rising entrepreneurs and their teams, who often struggle to balance sales and marketing efforts with customer service and resolution. But, these tasks can be easy to complete — with the best small business Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in place.
A CRM is an invaluable tool that is imperative for every business, especially when it comes to effective client management. The best CRM for small business can help organize your enterprise, enable you to better interact with your customers, and optimize your sales.
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What is CRM for small businesses?
For small businesses, CRM tools help to manage and streamline your operations, increasing productivity within the three main areas of any business: sales, lead generation, and customer support. With a CRM for small businesses, you can plan more effectively as well as improve your revenue.
CRM is a customer relationship management system that will help you keep track of all your leads, communication, and relationships with clients.
If you are looking for a simple way to organize your sales pipeline, create and manage leads, and track all of your lead and customer interactions, then the best small business CRM will help you get more out of every touchpoint.
As a business owner, you have a number of different responsibilities. With how quickly things can happen in today’s market, chances are you will not be able to stay on top of all that you need to be doing. Customer relationship management takes away the hassle of keeping track of every little detail about your clients and leads, freeing up your brain power so that it can focus on bigger picture items.
What can CRM do for small businesses?
Starting and running your own business can be a daunting, exciting, and rewarding experience. Thankfully, there are many tools available to help get the most out of it. A CRM is one of those tools — it makes communication with customers more efficient.
If you are an established small business, it can be difficult to run your operations and ensure that your sales, marketing, and billing tasks work well. You need something that will help you streamline the most important processes, which is why a CRM tool is critical.
When you are trying to grow your business beyond what you can do with a spreadsheet and email, a good CRM can help you organize customers, manage sales pipelines, and improve communication within your growing organization.
What to look for in a CRM
There are three things you should consider when searching for the best small business CRM:
- The size of your company. How big is it right now? Are you just starting out, or do you have a few people working with you? Are you a growing business, with many new employees joining consistently?
- Your budget for purchasing the best small business CRM. Is the CRM affordable and aligned with your company’s specific needs and goals? How much time and money will it save you in the future? For example, a tool that helps you retain customers through personalized communications like birthday discounts and cross-sells can have a huge, positive effect on your bottom line.
- The benefits and features the CRM software offers. Which specific CRM benefits and features can help you meet your business goals? Are you focusing on the long-term benefits of the CRM that will help you scale your business?
The best CRM for small business will depend on your budget, your specific needs, and your goals.
Best CRM for rising small businesses
We often associate Customer Relationship Management with large companies, but small businesses can reap huge benefits from CRM programs as well. So how do you know which one to choose?
When evaluating CRM software best suited to help small businesses grow, we took into consideration features, pricing, and strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at eight of the best CRMs for rising small businesses.
Starting Monthly Price: $79
Key Features: Keap is the cost-effective solution for service-based businesses. Keap’s number one priority is to help you grow your business through powerful automated personalization features, 1:1 coaching, and strategic guidance. No matter which plan you choose (Lite, Pro, or Max), Keap makes it easy to do everything in one place without complex integrations.
Keap offers 1:1 communications, appointment scheduling, automated follow-up, task management for dedicated sales teams, and a pipeline management system. Phone and chat support are included with Keap plans and Keap provides a business phone line so you can keep your personal and business communications separate. Keap’s landing page builder allows you to create custom landing pages to capture more leads into your sales funnel.
Try Keap’s CRM with no strings attached.
Starting Monthly Price: $199
Key Features: Using Thryv, you can communicate with your customers via text message, email, and social media without switching between apps. Thryv is designed as an end-to-end business management software solution for service-based small businesses, particularly small retail stores and repair shops that are just getting started. Thryv’s premium plan includes a website made and maintained by Thryv, as well as 12 social media posts per month.
Starting Monthly Price: $50
Key Features: If you are in the market for a mobile responsive website builder and lead management application, we suggest giving Hubspot a look. This platform allows you to build a website, manage leads, and market to specific groups. However, pricing can increase quickly as you customize a sales, marketing, and service bundle to meet your needs.
Starting Monthly Price: $59
Key Features: Pipedrive is a cloud-based sales CRM designed for sales teams. Built from the ground up with mobile use in mind, Pipedrive offers an intuitive interface designed to help you close more deals and manage your sales pipeline easily. However, Pipedrive doesn’t offer email or text marketing, marketing automation, landing pages, or payments features, often requiring stitching together multiple solutions to meet small business’ needs.
Starting Monthly Price: $49
Key Features: Active Campaign was designed as a marketing automation platform for small- to medium-sized businesses. While Active Campaign offers email and text marketing, landing pages, and task management, the software does not include appointment scheduling or payments features, requiring integrations with other software tools to create a complete solution.
Starting Monthly Price: $147
Key Features: Ontraport was designed to be an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform for internet marketers, speakers, and experts. Unlike most other CRMs, Ontraport focuses on affiliate marketers and ecommerce. Ontraport offers marketing automation, pipeline management, landing pages, and task management, but it doesn’t include features like appointment scheduling or quotes.
Starting Monthly Price: $149
Key Features: Kajabi is a one-stop-shop for marketing, membership and ecommerce for small service-based businesses that do most of their business online and/or offer a virtual service (i.e., coaches, consultants, one-person agencies). Within its robust content management system, Kajabi allows you to create and maintain your customer list and create personalized products and services. Kajabi offers email marketing, marketing automation, event management, membership sites, quizzes and more, but lacks text marketing and phone support.
Starting Monthly Price: $25
Key Features: As the market leader for CRM systems, Salesforce stands out. However, Salesforce is best suited for enterprise-level B2B businesses that need robust tools to manage sales teams and automate tasks. Salesforce has a low starting price, but many growth-minded small businesses add on additional features like text marketing, appointment scheduling, landing pages, and payment features through third-party integrations.
Conclusion: Keap is the powerhouse, all-in-one solution
To sum it up, though there are many great CRM options, Keap works better than the average solution, and, thanks to its intuitive and user-friendly design, it makes staying on top of business and client details a breeze.
Keap also comes with some notable features that most small businesses will find simple (and essential) to use. The price is right too. Keap is a smart choice for growing businesses, offering one of the best CRMs on the market.
See for yourself with a 14-day Keap free trial (no credit card required).