Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are like having your own personal team organizing and managing all customer contacts. Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to do more in less time. While a clone might be nice, good CRM software is the next best thing. Use one of these tools and you’ll be amazed at how much time you save.
CRM may not have the glitz and glamour of social media marketing, but it can be exactly what you need for a fast-growing business. Your ultimate goal is to build a relationship with lifetime customers and referral partners.
Zoho is a suite of programs focusing on operating systems for businesses. It offers not just CRM, but a wide range of useful tools and integration with other services. The service is free for up to 10 users. After that, it’s just $12 per month, per user. The drag and drop customization feature lets you set up the tool the way you want for easier use.
Salesforce is a leader in CRM software. It’s designed for businesses of all sizes and many large companies rely upon it daily. It integrates well with many other platforms and apps, making a versatile program. Salesforce is best for those who need more powerful features. The downside is pricing starts at $25 per user, per month for up to five users. The highest plan is $250 per user, per month.
Highrise places the focus on managing conversations and tasks. Plans start at just $24 per month for up to six users and go as high as $149 per month for unlimited users. It’s not as powerful as Salesforce but offers valuable features such as managing all contacts, sharing projects with your team and integrating with third party apps, such as email. It’s simple, yet more than enough for entrepreneurs with smaller teams.
Streak is ideal if you’re a Gmail user. It integrates CRM software into your Gmail inbox. Think of it as having one less thing to open or log in to. It supports most major CRM features such as products, hiring, sales, deals and more. It also gives you more control than ever over your emails. You can even schedule emails to be sent later. Since it installs inside Gmail, it’s compatible with Google Apps.
Base focuses on sales and lead generation. You get an easy to use contact and task management system complete with email automation. It’s designed to be a strong Salesforce competitor and even has similar pricing. Their base plan starts at $25 per user, per month for up to five users. The highest plan is $125 per user, per month for any number of users. One good thing is Base offers a free 14 day trial with no credit card required to let you see if it’s right for you.
I use Live Inbox. At this time, I do not need a heavy duty CRM. It is more important to me that the information I need is immediately accessible within Outlook. This Outlook plug-in allows me to see immediately an abundance of information. Here is a list of a few items.
- First contact date
- Mail pattern
- List of emails sent
- Attachments sent
- My connections through the contact
- Links share
- Social media profiles available
There is a 15-day free trial and the cost is $39.95 for a forever license.
Whatever software you use, the end goal is create an relationship with awesome clients that return for repeat business and refer your services to others.