CRMs for Small Businesses

Published: February 1, 2020

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Although CRM systems (Customer Relationship Management) are a hot topic that has traditionally been limited to the large corporate end of town, but with the increase of less costly and complex platforms it has never been a better time for small businesses to join the CRM band wagon and enjoy the same benefits that the multi-nationals enjoy.

In large businesses where established, complex processes are hard (or sometimes impossible) to change the money spent on implementing a new CRM system is predominantly spent on the initial customisation, making the system work with other existing business systems and ongoing maintenance of the selected platform - whereas the cost of licencing (which no one can avoid) is a small proportion of the cost.

Luckily, small businesses are more agile and can generally bend to fit into an off the shelf CRM platform with little or not customisation (and if there is customisation needed - you probably won't need to engage an agency that uses more acronyms than a fourteen year old on Snapchat and charges you for printing that never happens).

The CRM system you choose will be based on your specific business model and requirements, however also unlike the bigger end of town - where there are a limited number of enterprise ready solutions available - the number of platforms that small businesses have to choose from is extensive, each offering a varying selection of features and functions.

Sales

  • Lead management

  • Visual sales pipelines

  • 360 degree customer views

Service

  • Live chat

  • Task and project management

  • Ticket or issue management

Marketing

  • Bulk emailing

  • Marketing automation

  • Social Media tools

  • Landing page builder

Accounts

  • Quoting

  • Ordering

  • Invoicing

Operations

  • Forecasting

  • Product and service management

  • Reporting

Some of these platforms offer integration with Google Suite, Slack, Xero, Dropbox, Mailchimp etc etc which allows for those platforms to be used for what they are designed for, while leveraging data and processes from your CRM - win win! The better platforms also have iOS and Android apps so taht you can access all the critical info that you've taken time to input, when you need it most.