Things to consider and the top CRMs in the market

One thing many business owners wonder is, ‘Do I need to have a CRM?’. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) refers to software that will help you interact with your prospects and clients.

CRMs allow you to store information (name, email, phone number, company) and can also keep records of your points of contact with them.

If you’re still thinking, ‘yeah, I’m not sure about getting a CRM – it’s just another expense’, take a moment to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have regular contact with multiple people?
  • Would you like to keep track of conversations with your customers (this helps you know exactly what they’re after and make more sales)?
  • Would you like to keep your existing customers, learn more about them and upsell to them?
  • Do you have staff that you’d like checklists for (that include key actions of processes) to ensure all your staff are working the same way?
  • Are you running a virtual office and need to be able to work on the go?

If you’ve answered YES to any of the above, then you NEED a CRM for your business.

What you need to consider before choosing a CRM

How to choose a crm

Price: This is always the first thing business owners consider, ‘Can I afford this?’. I encourage you to consider all the benefits of using a CRM before you look at the cost. Think of a decent CRM as a member of your sales team. They help you stay in contact with your customers, reveal their habits and make future sales. You’ll also save loads of time which in turn saves you money.

Purpose: Why are you looking for a CRM? Are you curious because it’s all the rage? Have you been told you need one? Or have you seen how well businesses run with one? Whatever you intend to use it for, be clear on your end goals to make sure you find a CRM with the features you need.

Priorities: Once you know the purpose of your CRM, consider the functions you think are crucial for your business. Make a list and tick them off as you’re looking at CRMs. For example, you may want an inbuilt email campaign function if you want to start email marketing.

Pleasure: Read reviews and ask others about the CRM you’re considering. Is it easy to use? Is it easy to learn or is it too hard? Does it do everything you want or is it glitchy? The last thing you want is to be a serial CRM swapper who loses track of their clients. And seriously – no one wants to purchase flipping annoying software.

A quick rundown of the top CRMs in the market

Insightly

 

how to choose a crm

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Free to use for up to 2 users
  • Connects to your Google calendar, Gmail, Dropbox, QuickBooks, Xero and more
  • Offers integrated project management functions (you can run a team, and all be on the same page)
  • Stores all your client info in one place

Cons:

  • The advanced features will cost you money (MailChimp integration, calendar and contact sync, custom branding etc.)

Pricing:

Starts at $29 per user/month, billed annually (for premium users)

Find out more about Insightly.

Ontraport

how to choose a crm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Stores all your client info in one place
  • Integrated contact database that allows you to create targeted lists for more targeted sales

Cons:

  • The reporting dashboard isn’t very appealing (it’s quite ugly)
  • The campaign builder works by adding text-based rules one under another which is a tad clunky and time-consuming

Pricing:

Starts at $79 per month for one user

Find out more about Ontraport.

HubSpot

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Pros:

  • It’s FREE – for all functions (that’s pretty cool)
  • It’s easy to navigate, so you don’t need to be a tech expert to get it
  • Holds a wealth of knowledge for you to learn about online marketing
  • You’ll get templates and be able to schedule things (great for organising teams)

Cons:

  • If you want advanced features (meetings, messages, marketing analytics ), it will cost you money
  • If you don’t like commitment, you’ll hate the 12-month contract
  • If you’re not great with techy things, you’ll have to pay for tech support

Pricing: Free unless you want to use advanced features.

Find out more about HubSpot.

ActiveCampaign

how to choose a crm

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • It’s very user-friendly
  • There are no setup fees
  • You’ll get helpful pointers to create workflows

Cons:

  • You’re limited to dashboard customisation
  • There is no landing page builder

Pricing: Starts at $9 per month.

Find out more about ActiveCampaign.

What’s your favourite CRM?

I’d love to hear about your favourite CRM. What do you use it for? Is it easy to use? Would you recommend it to your online buddies? Let’s help each other out with our experiences – good, bad or otherwise.

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