Considering CRM for small business to keep and analyze customer data? If you’re building a customer centric business then implementing customer relationship management software is not a choice, it’s a must. CRM software is a powerful tool that can help you win more customers, compete with bigger businesses and increase your profits.

Today CRM solutions are becoming more affordable for small businesses and are easy to implement as well. Before choosing any contact management software you just have to assess your overall needs and budget.

Here are three steps to help you compare different applications available in the market and find the solution that is best suited to your needs.

Develop a Small Business CRM Strategy

For a customer centric small business developing a CRM strategy is just a logical consequence. In a competitive business world looking after customers has become one of the more important things about running a business.

You treat customers as a long-term investment and getting return customers is your main goals. Finding their needs and satisfying them are your key activities. In fact, you’ll want to look after them so they keep coming back and give you more business.

For that purpose, you’re building a business system to help you win new customers and keep existing customers. With such a foundation a CRM system simplifies and automates this complicated task, especially when your customer base spans into the hundreds or even thousands.

Do you know that the cost of making a sale to an existing customer is only 1/5th the cost of making the same sale to a new customer? Under such conditions your goal is to make sure that every single customer is a return customer.

A good CRM strategy can help reduce non-returning or disappearing customers because you can’t afford to lose them.

A good CRM strategy means doing everything you can to make sure that all customers feel special. You’ll need to focus on their needs with a highly personalized touch that makes them come back to you for more business. You can even put some extra effort to build not a customer base but more like a fan base for your business.

Basic Features of CRM for Small Business

  1. Contact management – This is the basic feature that allows you to organize contact information and associate communications with specific customers.
  2. Sales management – This one integrates sales activities with contact database. If you have a dedicated sales team with high volume of leads you will need this application.
  3. Marketing automation – This module lets you implement lead generation strategies. This includes, but nor limited to, setting up web forms for getting potential customers on your website and creating email templates for sending personalized messages.
  4. Customer service management – Help desk, call center and ticket management are some forms of tools to help you manage customer issues. This feature is suitable for companies with a dedicated customer service team that has to deal with high volume of inquiries or complaints.


Free CRM for Small Business

To benefit from a CRM solution you will need to completely understand your business needs. A few people small business working from a single location will have different needs from a company that has several telecommuting employees. Make sure a CRM system that you choose have all features for your specified tasks.

One way to learn about an application is using free CRM software. You can get access to free edition or free trial versions of web-based CRM software. The free solutions are not powerful as the paid editions but you’re given some time to play around with all features that you need before you upgrade to the more advanced versions.

Pick the Best CRM for Small Business

Now that you have tried two solutions or three you may know what is required of the CRM software. You may also want to complement the information that you have found with different reviews of CRM for small business on the internet.

Having clear specifications of what is desired from the software and a detailed inventory of your existing programs are essential for picking the right software. This will help you decide on whether you can integrate the CRM with other programs you now use.

With a detailed list of what is needed from the software, your next task is to start reviewing the options. You can start looking for a match by visiting reputable software companies for small businesses. By comparing your first requirements and budget with what different companies offer and do not offer, you can make the best CRM for small business choice.