Management of customer relationship information directly impacts a team's ability to grow. The tool that you choose to handle this information can be an asset if you do research and choose thoughtfully.
Which Types of CRMs are There?
The tool you choose needs to provide the right amount of functionality for your team at the right price point. There are several subscription, cloud-based tools that your team might consider. Two popular tools include:
- Salesforce: A household name in SaaS tools. It has extremely robust functionality and as a big-name company, the user can count on a reliable product and good support. However, the product can be complex and take time to learn, which makes it less appealing for smaller teams. Learn more here.
- Close.io: A CRM more suited to small teams. Close.io has many features, including VoIP calling. Users say the interface is very intuitive. It also integrates with tools like Zapier, Zendesk, and Clearbit. However, Close.io's prices may be steep for the smaller companies that are drawn to their user-friendly interface. Learn more here.
See a complete list of commercial CRMs on this wiki site. However, companies that are just getting started with a CRM can opt for open source or free tools:
- Open source CRMs provide their source code to users and are highly customizable, but require knowledge to configure.
- Free CRMs are usually offered on a freemium plan and are limited in functionality or seats. The two are not mutually exclusive.
A team should research and read reviews of several different tools when deciding which one to choose. Learning about many different tools allows you to compare and contrast to determine which one best suits the team's needs.
Main Considerations for Selecting Your CRM Tool
To determine their CRM needs that will dictate choice of tool, the team should consider:
- The size of the team
- The number of current customers
- How quickly the team plans to scale / projected rate of customer acquisition
- The steps involved in your team's specific sales, marketing, support, and feedback cycles
- If you need any specific integration capabilities
- How much you'll need to customize the tool
A team should begin to outline their CRM needs by first highlighting their big-picture business goals to understand what their CRM will help them achieve. Then a team can gradually get more granular to determine the steps needed to reach these goals and the functionality needed from the CRM.
Understanding Types of CRMs
CRM Software Comparisons
How to Choose a CRM System
Benefits of CRM Software
CRM for eCommerce Businesses
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