A CRM tool is software businesses use to manage and track customer interactions. The goal of using a CRM is to improve the relationships between a company and its customers.
There are many different CRM tools available on the market, all with unique features and benefits. As such, knowing which CRM tool is right for your business can be a challenge.
In this article, I'll look at the most popular CRM tools to help you make the best decision for your business, regardless of size or industry.
What Does CRM Stand For?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. This type of tool comprises software solutions that help businesses manage their customer relationships in an organized and efficient way.
What Is CRM As It Applies To Specific Businesses?
While the general meaning of a CRM is as above, the specific CRM tool meaning for each organization will differ based on their needs. That said, some of the best CRMs allow companies to collect and track customer data, automate various tasks related to customer interactions, and generate reports that can help improve business operations.
With businesses dealing with various types of customer interactions - sales, marketing, customer service, or even general inquiries - having a sound CRM system in place can make a big difference.
Best CRM Tools List
Here is a list of CRM tools considered to be the most popular right now.
Best Overall CRM Tool.
Monday is the best CRM tool for those who want a better overview of their customer relationships. It's also an excellent choice for small businesses or teams just getting started with this type of software, as it's relatively simple to use and doesn't require a lot of training to get up and running.
The ability to tailor the interface to your needs is also a big plus - you can add or remove various features and modules as needed, so you're only paying for the ones you'll use.
You can easily communicate with your team and customers through Monday, as it offers a variety of communication channels, including email, chat, and even video conferencing.
The ability to assign leads to the right reps that can close them means that your sales team is always working on the most promising opportunities.
Monday offers these pricing plans:
Best For Increasing Business Revenue.
Pipedrive is one of the best CRM tools examples for those who want to increase their business revenue.
Designed by salespeople who want to help other sales teams close more deals, Pipedrive is easy to use and has many features that are geared toward making the sales process more efficient.
As one of the top online CRM tools in the current business landscape, the focus is on aligning every customer touchpoint into one interface so you can quickly see the whole sales pipeline at a glance.
This makes it easy to identify where deals are stuck and take action accordingly.
Moreover, with easy analytics and reporting, you can keep track of your sales team's performance and ensure they're on track to meet their quotas.
Pipedrive offers these pricing plans:
These are on a per user per month basis.
Best For Free CRM.
Hubspot is one of the best free CRM tools that provides sales, marketing, and customer service software all in one place.
The focus is on helping businesses grow by attracting more visitors, converting more leads, and delighting more customers.
With integrated tools, you can attract visitors to your website with targeted content, convert them into leads with forms and calls-to-actions, and then close more deals with personalized emails.
Using Hubspot, you will also get notifications that tell you when the time is right to contact a lead, so you can jump on opportunities as they arise.
This platform also offers a suite of free tools, including live chat, help desk, and CRM, so you can save time and money by having everything you need in one place.
While CRM is free to use, various tools can be added to it to make it more powerful.
In this regard, Hubspot offers these pricing plans:
Best For B2B Sales.
Oracle Netsuite is great for businesses that deal in B2B sales as it provides a complete picture of the corporate customer.
With this information, you can provide a more personalized experience that leads to more sales in an industry that is traditionally considered more challenging.
The software is also great for businesses with multiple locations, allowing you to manage all your sites from one central dashboard.
Combining traditional CRM features with ERP capabilities, you can get a complete view of your customers, inventory, finances, and more.
With a seamless flow of information, you can make better decisions, improve operational efficiency, and drive growth.
You’ll have to speak to their sales team to get pricing information.
Best For Quick CRM Setup.
Zoho is easy to set up and works great for small businesses.
The CRM software includes all the essential features needed to get started, such as contact management, sales automation, and lead tracking.
As your business grows, you can add more advanced features, such as marketing automation and customer support.
Comprehensive analytics ensure you have the data you need to make informed decisions about your business.
With Zoho, you can start small and then scale up as your business grows.
The ability to harness the power of omnichannel presence helps you reach your customers wherever they are, whether on the phone, online, or in person.
You can also segment your customers to provide them with the most relevant information.
Moreover, as you scale, there are also more than 500 third-party integrations and apps that you can use to extend the functionality of Zoho.
Zoho offers these pricing plans:
These are on a per user per month basis, billed annually.
Best For Automation.
Keap is a comprehensive solution for those looking for CRM software with features such as sales automation, marketing automation, and lead management.
Being a sales and marketing automation tool, Keap can automate many of your menial tasks and processes.
Collect leads consistently and turn them into customers with Keap's help, personalizing various touch points along the buyer's journey.
The platform also uses templates that you can repeatedly use to speed up your processes.
Additionally, segmentation is possible with Keap so that you can deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time.
Keap offers these pricing plans:
Best For Cloud CRM.
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM tool that's best for small businesses and enterprises with complex sales processes. Amongst other features, it offers contact management, opportunity management, pipeline management, quote management, and product and price books.
Its 'Customer 360' solution gives you a complete view of your customers to deliver a personalized experience at every touchpoint.
Salesforce also has a robust mobile app that allows you to access your CRM data anywhere. It also integrates with many business applications, making it easy to manage your sales processes without adjusting your workflows.
Using a single dashboard built with scalability in mind, Salesforce gives you the power to track, analyze, and report on your sales data in real-time.
There is also the concept of artificial intelligence integrated with this platform, with Salesforce's proprietary 'Einstein AI' used to build customer service operations that are more predictive and responsive than ever before.
Salesforce offers these pricing plans:
Similar to other solutions, the above prices are on a per user per month basis.
Best For Affordability.
SugarCRM has been awarded the rank of Champion CRM for two years in a row.
It is a high-quality product known for its affordability, great features, and extensibility.
Turning complex data into simple-to-understand metrics allows for easy (and right) decisions, and this platform is excellent in this regard.
SugarCRM also provides detailed tracking and reporting so you can monitor the progress of your deals and act quickly on opportunities.
The platform's intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create custom workflows without any coding required.
SugarCRM also offers a wide range of integrations, so you can connect it to the business applications you already use.
Whether you want to enhance your marketing to close more deals or build better customer relationships, SugarCRM can help you achieve your business goals.
SugarCRM offers various solutions and pricing plans:
Types Of Online CRM Tools
The examples above are just a few of the most popular CRM tools available today. That said, there are many different types of CRM tools, each with its features and benefits.
Let's review the various types of CRM that businesses can use when it comes to multiple functions and requirements.
Analytical CRM Tools
A CRM analytics tool gathers and analyzes customer data so you can better understand your customer base. This information can improve customer service, target marketing campaigns, and increase sales.
Some analytical CRM tools include predictive analytics features, which can help identify trends and patterns in customer behavior.
Operational CRM Tools
Operational CRM tools are designed to automate and streamline your sales and customer service processes. These tools can help you manage your contact lists, track customer interactions, and automate repetitive tasks.
Operational CRM tools can also be used to create custom reports, so you can track your team's performance and identify areas for improvement. As part of an operational CRM, business management tools can automate project management, time tracking, and invoicing tasks.
Sometimes related to CRM management tools, operational CRM tools are used to automate and optimize business processes. By automating tasks, you can improve efficiency and free up time for your team to focus on more strategic tasks.
Collaborative CRM Tools
Collaborative CRM tools allow multiple users to access and share customer data in real-time. This type of CRM tool is ideal for businesses with sales teams or customer service departments that must work together to provide clients with the best possible service.
With customer service constantly shifting from in-person to digital channels as time goes by, collaborative CRM tools can help you provide a more seamless customer experience.
Social Media CRM Tool
A social media CRM tool helps you manage your customer interactions on social media networks. These tools can track mentions of your brand, monitor customer sentiment, and engage with customers in real-time.While some social media tools offer basic CRM features, others are designed specifically for social media customer relationship management, offering more robust features in this respect.
Mobile CRM Tools
A mobile CRM tool helps you manage your customer relationships on the go. These tools are designed to work well on mobile devices so that you can access them anywhere.
Mobile CRM tools typically include contact management, sales tracking, and task management. Some mobile CRM tools also have push notifications and GPS tracking, which can be extremely useful for sales teams constantly on the go.
CRM Marketing Automation Tools
A CRM marketing tool that focuses on automation can help you streamline your marketing processes. These tools can create and send emails, track customer interactions, and generate leads.With CRM marketing tools for small businesses, you can also automate repetitive tasks such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling social media posts.
Key Features Of CRM Tools
Now that I've looked at the various types of CRMs that one can use for their business, let's look at some critical features a tool should have.
Contact management is one of the essential features that CRMs offer. This allows businesses to keep track of their customers and prospects and manage their interactions with them. Companies can also use contact management to segment their customer base and target them with specific marketing campaigns.
Lead management is another critical feature of CRMs. With qualified leads being at the heart of a successful sales process, businesses need to have a good way of managing them. CRMs offer lead capture forms, lead assignment rules, and lead nurturing workflows that help businesses close more deals.
Opportunity management refers to tracking and managing sales opportunities from start to finish. The best CRMs offer a variety of features that help businesses with this, such as pipeline management, forecasting, and quoting tools.
Marketing automation is a must-have for any business that wants to scale its marketing efforts. Ranging from simple email drip campaigns to more complex multi-channel marketing programs, CRMs offer a variety of features that help businesses automate their marketing.
Analytics And Reporting
Analytics and reporting help businesses track their operations and ensure they are moving in the right direction. With CRMs offering a wealth of data that companies can use to improve their marketing and sales strategies, reporting and analytics tools are essential for any business that wants to scale.
Customer support allows teams to help their customers with any issues they may be having. CRMs offer a variety of features that customer support teams can use, such as ticketing systems, knowledge bases, and live chat.
Integrations are great for getting the most out of any business CRM. They allow businesses to connect such a CRM with other business tools, such as accounting software, marketing platforms, and live chat. This gives companies a 360-degree view of their customers and helps them automate their processes.
CRM Tools Pricing
CRMs come in multiple shapes and sizes, with various price points. The price you pay for a CRM will depend on the features you need, the size of your business, and your budget. There are free CRMs, as well as enterprise-level CRMs, that can cost hundreds of dollars per month.
What Is CRM? FAQ
CRM tools for small businesses are used to manage customer relationships. They help companies track customer contact information, sales data, and other essential customer details. CRM tools can also automate marketing and sales processes, making it easier for small businesses to manage customer relationships.
Many different CRM tools are available on the market, but some of the most popular include Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, and SugarCRM.
Pricing for CRM tools can vary depending on the features and functionality you need. Some tools also feature various add-ons based on the specific needs of your business. CRM tools can cost anywhere from $10 to $200+ per month.
Hubspot is one of the best free CRMs available. While several free CRM tools are available, they typically offer limited features and functionality.
If you need a more robust CRM solution, you'll likely need to pay for a premium tool. The good news is that many CRM providers offer free trials, so you can try out the software before committing to a paid plan.
An online business is a machine that needs the right tools to run smoothly. Customer Relationship Management software is one of those tools.
Understanding the essential features that can make or break a CRM tool and its uses in your business will help you narrow down your options.
All in all, grasping how to make money online through the help of a CRM might be one of the best things you can do for your business. After all, nothing is more important than keeping your customers happy and engaged when meeting your business' financial goals.