Best CRM Software of 2018 for SMEs
When it comes to the best CRM software, you should not only focus on what to choose, but why to choose a software that’s heavy on your pockets. Let’s understand everything about CRM software, its need and its usage.
By the end of this article, you will surely understand which software can give you a upward graph in your overall income.
Let me take you one step ahead with a small story and a little about businesses today.
When monopoly was fading away, they used to promote with slogans like, “We’ll spoil you for choices” and they quite did that to our forefathers. Today, that statement has taken a whole new definition – You query for one product (or service) and are flooded with thousands of options.
The more educated you become on marketing the right choice by weighing and evaluating features, reviews, warranties, etc., the more you feel baffled than helped. No wonder, predicting customers’ buying behavior is so unpredictable for businesses. Top that with a cut-throat price competition and you can picture your customers leaving your sales funnel like sand drifting from a fist.
No business wants to go through that. No business should go through that.
Now, we know that it’s the relationship that sells – not the product, not the service, not any feature or price. So, for a thriving business it is crucial to develop a healthy and ever flourishing relationship with the customers. A relationship that not only keeps them loyal to you, but also turns them into your advocates fetching you organic leads. And who doesn’t want that?
Thus, investing time to understand the needs, wants, habits, likes and dislikes of your customers is primary. Not only that, you must also know what others are saying about you and your competition to identify your potential customers. This is where a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system comes into play.
Before we jump to naming the 10 best CRM software, let us focus on how they can benefit your bottom-line.
Purpose of CRM
CRM organizes and manages your acquired customers efficiently to increase sales and expand market share. A good CRM system facilitates social listening and analysis which highlights customer complaints and feedback to work on. Such follow up practices give your business a competitive edge and creates sustainable growth.
At every point of contact, such as the company’s website, live chat, telephone, direct mail, social media, marketing materials, etc., customers leave data. Learnings achieved through compilation and assessment of this data help the marketers design superior buyer personas & lifecycles which further help in tending to customer queries and pain-points better.
However, you must note, that although all the latest CRM systems offer automated support and artificial intelligence (AI) interface, not all are made equal. Different systems serve different businesses. Hence, the CRM software for your organization must be chosen carefully with no necessary feature spared. Below is a list of the top 10 CRM systems of 2016.
Top 10 CRM Software of 2018
Salesforce is an all-in-one cloud-based customer relationship management solution. This software has almost everything that an organization needs. Although it is built to cater the needs of large businesses and enterprises, there’s a ‘small business’ edition too offering all CRM tools at an affordable price.
Salesforce is user-friendly with features like, lead generation, opportunity & contact management, workflow automation, sales forecasting, etc. The company is one of the top-scoring CRM service providers and is expanding its third-party marketplace of apps and add-ons to stay on top.
Some key features of Salesforce:
- Active tracking and management of customer information,
- Bringing the entire team together from any device,
- Smart capturing of customer emails,
- Simplification of repetitive tasks so that the team can focus on leads,
- Delivering instant business insights and suggestions, and
- Flexible customization in sync with the growth of the business.
Zoho is another powerful CRM software which provides all the core functionalities free of cost. Moreover, it offers you the flexibility to access your data anytime anywhere through Zoho CRM mobile app. These two key factors make Zoho a popular choice.
Even if your business is doing great without CRM, you can still benefit from it. So, if you wish to understand what difference a CRM system would make, you can go for Zoho. It is free, easy, customizable and offers a 360-degree view of your sales funnel. You can identify trends, increase efficiency, spot opportunities and reduce costs.
Some key features of Zoho CRM:
- Multichannel tracking of customers – phone, live chat, email, social media, in person – and analytics for spotting engagement opportunities,
- Measurement and management of sales performance with pre-built as well as customizable KPIs,
- Automation of workflows, personalized dashboards, real-time collaboration and advanced reporting to increase sales productivity,
- Easy integration with 3rd party industry-specific apps and modules to adapt the CRM to forecast trends, and
- Enterprise ready with uptime guarantee, IP restrictions and audit logs.
Infusionsoft CRM software is the best pick for remote teams that seek to automate and streamline sales and marketing. This program works well with computers and smartphones making it a useful adjunct for working-on-the-go culture.
It streamlines all customer data by its unique lead scoring and evaluation system that informs sales teams if a lead is still “hot”. Considering customer information, such as demographic, purchase histories, buying patterns, product interactions, etc., it enables superior segmentation of customer database and tailored messages, while also taking care of the duplicity of the information.
Additionally, it has a calendar function that allows the sales personnel keep track of appointments and automates office tasks as per the schedule.
Detailed business intelligence clubbed with flexibility of remote working and a feature of staying on top of things makes this software so useful and sales-focused.
Some key features of Infusionsoft:
- Centralized contact management with lots of individual details including sales-specific information, such as lead score, account balance, etc.,
- Duplicate content management and working on-the-go,
- Powerful segmentation for targeted reach, and
- Streamlined task and calendar management from one single dashboard with easy access to individual contacts and appointments.
Sugar CRM is known for building extraordinary customer relationships with its powerful, affordable & adaptable products. It is designed to analyze a business’s current needs and overlapping with present opportunities to leverage information.
The CRM removes major complexities that businesses today face during customer relationship management. SugarCRM has industry-specific capabilities with deep integration and unparalleled flexibility which gives full control over the direction of your business relationships without compromising over anything.
Some key features of Sugar CRM:
- Designed with a team’s individual in mind, Sugar is intuitive and immersive dashboard with access from any device,
- Contextual insights from all data sources for innovative customer engagement actions,
- Automated end-to-end optimization, highest level of customization, extension through 3rd party apps and tools and personalization, and
- Unrivalled customer support and efficiency.
One thing that all Infor Epiphany users say is that that the software understands how crucial is maintaining effective customer relationship for an organization. It provides a holistic picture of the current situation with target metrics and information on how to hit those targets. The CRM software finds use across industries – hospitality, banking, media, telecommunications, etc. – by offering the best-of-breed marketing & sales automation and customer satisfaction.
Using its smart customer interaction intelligence technology, Infor Epiphany develops a customer interaction hub which bridges information and comes up with correlations to understand the individual customer needs and identifies opportunities to win over them. This software helps marketers stay in touch with all teams (sales, support & customer service) all the time, thus enabling maximization of impact of every interaction across the entire customer lifecycle.
Some key features of Infor Epiphany:
- Highly customizable as per the industry – Distribution-focused, financial services, Technology, and Retail,
- For Distribution business, it has inventory control, targeted reach and integrated quote system,
- For Financial services, Infor provides real-time personalization, consolidated financial information and powerful analytics,
- For High Tech and Electronics, it offers customer-centric angle to marketing campaigns, analytics, and lead management, and
- For Retail industry, it gives customers a personalized experience on all channels with social listening, personalized offers and meeting customer demands and preferences effectively.
Rest of the Best CRM Software
As the name suggests, Intercom is built for quick communication, decision making and meeting customer expectations, then and there. It is an advanced cloud-based CRM software that gives necessary information to the staff (customers’ feedback & suggestions) and is more focused towards increasing the overall productivity of the sales and marketing teams.
Intercom is a simple, prompt & personal CRM software with multi-channel, live customer support resolving customer queries at a blazing fast speed on any platform possible, be it mobile app, email, live chat or via. social media. It facilitates faster collaboration behind-the-scenes avoiding surprises with a shared team inbox.
Some key features of Intercom:
- Live chat for customer acquisition, lead capturing and real-time conversion,
- Easy and automated customer onboarding and targeted engagement, and
- Seamless customer support on various platforms (app, email, social profile).
Pipedrive is designed on a proven sales methodology that focuses primarily on activities that drive deals. The dashboard provides a clear visual interface with required actions, organized data and a set of features to stay in control during the complex sales process. Hence, it gives you clarity with facts and stats at all levels. Due to this, it is the favorite of the sales pros.
While being sales-focused, it is easy and intuitive CRM software which categorizes deals by their sales stage. This not only brings clarity, but develops sales momentum, assorts priorities and refocuses efforts accordingly. Along with efficient workflow management, Pipeline can be used for complicated projects and loyalty rewards programs too.
Some key features of Pipedrive:
- Recommended for small teams and startups to pinpoint the weak and strong areas of their sales pipeline with clarity,
- Full customization options with seamless integration of 3rd party apps and tools via API, and
- Multiple level filters for easy sorting and statistical analysis.
8. Highrise CRM
Apart from doing its regular job of organizing customer database better, Highrise CRM software assists in keeping an eye on the recently contacted customers and the results of those communications. The best part is that all this information is centrally stored which makes Highrise a well-planned system that adds more lifelines to the business.
It is straightforward and uncomplicated with a limited, but most important, set of contact management features. Even if you had stored the details previously in Gmail, Outlook, Excel, MailChimp or any other 3rd party app, then import is just one-click away. The app is known for its simplicity as it avoids unnecessary advanced features and is great if you are a small team looking for automation and better management of sales cycle.
Some key features of Highrise:
- Best suited for small businesses which want a one-stop solution to all their customer relationship management woes,
- Easy sharing and updating of all customer information within team with personalized and shared notes,
- Task scheduling and reminders sorted by company, project or contact, and
- Integration with 3rd party communication apps and tools, like MailChimp, Billomat, Freshdesk, Groove, PodBox, JotForm, Wishpond, iPhone app, etc.
TeamSupport is one of the leading software for CRM and can be customized to fit any needs of an organization. Living up to its name, TeamSupport assists in maintaining ‘help desk support’ effectively. Additionally, it maintains a private cloud to render client support services cohesively decreasing the instances of miscommunication.
Using its ticket automation service, it allows the support staff to flag messages helping in prioritizing the queued customer requests. To make query redressal even faster, it comes equipped with a knowledge base tool that suggests clients possible solutions to their issues. Likewise, it has several other tools that facilitate self-service and customer community forums.
Some key features of TeamSupport:
- More suitable for customer support tasks, such as ticket generation, management and query redressal,
- Designed specially with B2B customers in mind, and
- Customer-centric features with advanced reporting system.
What differentiates Punchh CRM software from the rest is its ability to connect your business with your customers and keep them engaged with a world-class suite of loyalty tools. With Punchh, you can create amazing surprise & delight loyalty programs.
It has a user-friendly, web-based interface which supports customer-friendly mobile apps with which comprehensive, targeted loyalty strategy through gift cards and online ordering can be implemented. While it provides a great room for creativity, it comes built with traditional programs like point-based, visit-based and tiered membership gaming and much more.
With 360-degree insights and automated 1-on-1 communication, you not only retain the existing customers, you also create new ones along the way.
Some key features of Punchh:
- Best suited for restaurants with guests who want real-time dashboard and analytics,
- Rich customer (guest) data profiles with transaction behaviour, push notifications, SMS, POS, etc. for targeted campaigns,
- Loyalty and customer engagement programs based on visits, touch point, membership type, gift cards, in-app purchases, online ordering, etc. along with gamification, and
- Automated as well as interactive customer feedback system with social referrals to increase brand ambassadors and trust-driven sales.
The variety and flexibility of use has made all these 10 CRM software the top and most favored in the industry. Each one offers astonishing features and tools for improving your business relationship with your customers to maximize your sales and market share. While all of them help collate and organize all customer data at a single place, different customization features allow them to be used as per the organization’s unique needs.
Now, unless your business offers a proprietary product or service, it needs a CRM system. And even if it does, are you sure that in the coming years it cannot be replicated? Or that somebody wouldn’t come up with a better offering? If the answer brings even the slightest of doubts in your head, you must give your business a smart CRM strategy today!
Try one or try all, but don’t forget to drop in your comments how your tried CRM system turned out for you.