Developing a relationship with your customers or clients is imperative to the health of your business. But that can be a challenge when you have products to develop, services to execute, your internal team to manage, and vendors to keep track of. Especially now, when so many of us are working from home or away from our usual office atmosphere, having the tools to streamline the process of managing your customers and ensuring that they’re happy and supported is crucial. We’ve outlined some of the top CRM business tools for the coming year to help you get 2021 started on the right foot.
CRM, or customer relationship management, refers to the ways in which you and your business engage with your customers (or potential customers), illustrate how your product or service can help solve their problems or relieve their pain points, provide follow-up support or services to those customers, and maintain a strong relationship with your customers so that you can continue to work with them and provide the products and services they need.
Considering and strategizing around the efficiency of your CRM is more than just an afterthought – it’s key to your business! After all, retaining customers or clients is the foundation of a successful business. In fact, according to one 2019 study, 84% of customers say that “the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.”
CRM tools provide a simple and time-efficient means of ensuring that the relationship with your customers is reinforced and maintained. Using these tools means that you can streamline the work of organizing and communicating with your customers – which means that you’ll become more efficient and ultimately more helpful to your customers because you can focus efforts on the actual products and services that they’ve come to you for!
Some examples of helpful CRM tools include marketing automation tools – such as automated thank-you emails to customers after they’ve purchased a product from you or automated reminder emails to customers who’ve abandoned their cart, offering them a discount code to encourage a purchase. Other examples include tracking customer behaviour in the ways in which they interact with your social media posts, for example, and how they move from liking a social media post to browsing your website to purchasing a product.
There are a host of CRM tools available, so it can be challenging to know which are the best fit for your business and which are worth more investigation. Below we outline what we think are the best CRM tools for 2021.
With the same features as those CRM tools built for massive organizations, Zoho is designed with small businesses in mind. They offer a monthly subscription service and flexible plans so that you can update and evolve your CRM as your business grows. The beauty of Zoho is that you can build the tools you need, specific to your business. Choose from – or create your own – modules that allow you to track every step of your customer’s sales journey, follow-up with customers, and even identify opportunities for upselling. Customer segmentation, analytics, team collaboration, and lead management are just some of the features available. You can integrate Zoho with other popular apps and platforms — like PayPal, MailChimp, Slack, Office 365, Shopify, and Zoom — to seamlessly build it into your existing workflow and systems.
This trusted web-based CRM allows you to track sales and leads, forecast revenues, increase productivity, and increase sales from greater visibility. Salesforce is well-known in the industry as one of the leading CRM tools – according to Forbes, Salesforce grew faster than the CRM market itself from 2017 to 2018 and by 2018 had a 19.5% market share. It continues to dominate the global CRM market for good reason. Easily integrated with a number of software platforms and specifically email platforms – like Gmail or Outlook – Salesforce allows you to automate customer interactions and email marketing seamlessly. One of the great features of Salesforce is that makes it easy to keep a close eye on analytics, customer tracking, and customer profile mapping, so that you can better funnel customers to the right products and services or find new sales opportunities. Like Zoho, you can customize Salesforce to suit your business’s needs and goals, which means it works just as well for small businesses as it does for large corporations.
As the name suggests, this CRM tool is built for small businesses with the goal of not only being user friendly but designed so that you’re not paying for features you don’t need. According to them, “it’s affordable, easy to understand, and, well, less annoying.” Store all of your contact information in one place, manage your team’s tasks, generate lead reports, collaborate with other members of your team, access your information from any device, and customize your CRM to suit your specific needs. As your business evolves, you can add or remove modules and fields so that you’re always working as efficiently as possible. Sync to other platforms like Mailchimp or Google Calendar, and make sure you don’t miss a thing. Best of all, it’s designed for those of us who don’t have an extensive background in tech, so it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Pricing starts at $15 per month per user, so it’s not going to break the bank to give it a try.
There are plenty of CRM tools available on the market, but these are three of the best options to try, specifically if you’re just testing the waters when it comes to CRM. And CRM is not just for massive retailers or sales firms – even freelancers can benefit from better tracking of their clients and leads (if you’re a freelancer, check out Bonsai). Whether you’re a well-established organization or small start-up, there are CRM tools designed for you to help make your life a little easier.