When considering tools and systems to support your business goals of increased revenue and positive business relationships, using the best CRM system for your business is strongly recommended. The building and maintenance of positive customer relationships and feedback are at the forefront of any successful business model. A CRM system provides customer support and retention assistance with customer relationships as the focus for business success. In this article, we’ll discuss what a CRM system is, what CRM systems benefit which types of businesses, and what tools and features are available with some of the best CRM systems.
What Is a CRM System?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM encompasses the strategy of managing a business’s relationship with its customers as well as prospective customers. The term is most often used to refer to the technology systems utilized to increase positive business relationships and achieve business success and growth. There are various CRM systems out there to manage customer contact and continued connection to a business as well as to increase profitability, productivity, and sales.
Certain tools also help manage individual customers through the entirety of the customer lifecycle before, during, and after a sale. The customer lifecycle consists of a customer becoming aware of a product for sale, making a purchase of that product from a particular brand, and ideally becoming a long-term devoted customer to the brand’s company. There are 5 stages to the customer lifecycle; reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty. Other relationships involved in a CRM system include service users, suppliers, and colleagues.
Types of CRM Software
The best CRM system software helps a business better understand its customers, their needs, and perspective to help deliver ideal customer experiences. The best CRM systems help navigate and manage the ever-complex buyer’s journey of movement and brand communication through social media, email, messaging, and phone. As businesses grow and develop an increasing number of products, services, and audiences, CRM software becomes increasingly relevant. There are 3 main types of CRM software to choose from: analytical, collaborative, and operational.
An analytical CRM system focuses on analytics to improve customer relations, assisting in the analysis of customer data. Useful analysis for improved company operations can be complex as is yielding only the most useful data with minimal wasted resources. As with an analytical CRM, analytical features help a business see customer behavior trends to better understand actions for increasing sales success, customer retention, and establishing common problems customers have.
A collaborative CRM system focuses on collaboration to improve customer relations by breaking down silos (independently-operating business divisions that avoid information sharing). A more seamless customer experience occurs by connecting the sales representatives, marketing team, and customer support agents and sharing information. A collaborative CRM ensures team members have access to the same current data, including that gained while working with individual prospective customers, saving customers from repeating information to different departments, expediting and improving service.
An operational CRM system focuses on operations to improve customer relations, providing tools to increase visualization and handling of the full customer lifecycle. This begins with a customer’s initial interactions with a business’s website, through the full process of lead management, sale, and post-sale customer behaviors. Operational CRMs typically include automatic features. Automation such as marketing, sales, and service automation allows for more consistent high quality and service and eases employee work, enabling employees to more strongly focus on creative and branding aspects.
The Best CRM Platforms
Choosing the best CRM system platform for your business involves analyzing the current state of your business. How old and established is it and what is its current level of brand establishment, customer base, and revenue? The best CRM platform for you is one that caters to your business’s specific size and corresponding needs. This allows you to focus on quicker, optimized success. A few of the top current CRM platforms include monday CRM, Pipedrive, Apptivo, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho. Each platform has unique benefits to consider when personally deciding which is right for you.
Monday.com’s CRM platform, monday CRM, provides seamless integration of its interface and provides upwards of 30 tools including tools for the entire customer lifecycle, pre-sale to post-sale. It is best for integrated project management. The platform’s system is easily customizable with various ready templates for organizing it to desired specifications of what works best for you and your unique business processes. You can also create a working sales pipeline of customer leads. This helps you effectively keep pace with customer needs to grow accounts. The CRM system of this platform is ideal for larger businesses.
Pipedrive’s CRM platform is easy to use with 4 steps for optimal use. Set up the stages of your sales pipeline, focus on sales acts, track goals progress, optimize and grow. It is best for sales pipeline tools. Pipelines provide for consistent leads, contact, and valuable reengagement. Pipedrive’s pipelines are completely customizable with stage naming and template choices. Scheduling tools also help focus on individual sales actions for quality and closing. Pipedrive helps track progress, calculate average conversion, and provides active reports for early tracking and adjustments. This system is reportedly the easiest to use and is for businesses that are rapidly growing.
Apptivo’s CRM platform automates sales processes and has a cloud suite integrated with over 65 applications. You can create an interactive ecosystem for increased productivity. There are over 13 solutions that make it suitable for all business types. The focuses are infrastructure, compatibility, and security. The 24/7 infrastructure provides constant offsite backups with encryption suitable for all communication. The online CRM allows for work from any device and optimization with all web browsers. It also has ensured security with complete control in the online CRM and secure access to the customer database and apps even during multi-channel communication.
The Best CRMs for Small Businesses
Certain best CRM systems currently available are also more specific CRMs for a small business or startup. Startups and small businesses should seek CRMs with tools and services specific to their size and unique needs. Tools and services that focus on startup and small business priorities of building a brand, reputation, and initial customer base will better help those businesses grow from where they are now and maximize outreach. Some of the current best CRMs for a small business or startup include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho.
Salesforce’s CRM platform focuses on increased integration of all company parts that involve customer interaction onto one platform, including sales, marketing, and service. Salesforce’s CRM works for any size of business, is a current top choice for startups and small businesses, and is the current most commonly used. It is suitable for anything from small businesses and startups up to large enterprises. It has the highest brand recognition and is also a top choice for growing businesses. Teams can share customer views and workflows are automatable. Existing systems and data are easily integrated. High security helps keep business data safe. There are also tools for increased customization and scaling.
HubSpot’s CRM platform includes a marketing hub, sales hub, service hub, and CMS (content management system) hub. It’s a top choice for multiple application integration. The marketing hub provides all-in-one marketing software to help ROI, convert leads, and run inbound marketing campaigns. The sales hub has tools for improving the productivity of all team members, shorter sales cycles, and close rate increases. The service hub helps customer connection and satisfaction with tools for an organized, efficient customer service system. The CMS hub helps create, edit, update and maintain an optimized, secure website. HubSpot is a CRM for small businesses and growing businesses.
Zoho’s CRM platform features a range of software for growing and larger businesses. Available applications include Mail, Desk, Analytics, Creator, Workplace, Assist, Sprints, Meeting, and Cliq. Mail allows for secure business mail. Desk provides a multi-channel solution for customer service. Analytics organizes and analyzes business data. Creator helps build custom apps quickly. Workplace provides a space for unified communication, collaboration, and file storage. Assist provides remote support. Sprints helps planning and tracking. Meeting is the webinar and meeting solution. Cliq is the work messaging application. Zoho’s CRM is an all-in-one system designed for greater small business organization and optimization.
The Best CRM System for You
Choosing the best CRM system for your business involves identification and preparation to understand needs and what to look for. Identify your goals and current business state. Understand your products, their mobility, and layout sales processes. Prepare for user adoption. What systems implementation, compatibility, and reporting tools are available? Review product demos for a fuller idea of a system’s features and operation. What are the tools for organization, customization, and optimization? Above all, what are the customer lifecycle focuses? SEO Design Chicago is here to give continued guidance on what to look for when choosing and using the best CRM system for your unique business needs.
- What is a CRM system?
- What is the most commonly used CRM system right now?
- How do I choose a CRM for my business?
- What is the best CRM for startups?
- What does CRM stand for?