A small business thrives and survives in a competition for three reasons:
(1) it is a wonderful and tested brand,
(2) it has a network of skilled professionals, and (3) it has an impressive marketing strategy.
(3) it has an impressive marketing strategy.
Your start-up business may need a hand from the best marketing channels available, and pair it with a systematized and successful customer relationship management (CRM).
While the former can help you reach a wider audience, the latter can strengthen this network and earn loyal customers. However, installing CRM software could mean expenses for you.
Fortunately, there are free CRM tools that you can use to help you manage your clients and build your own customer loyalty program.
Sara Angeles of the Business News Daily strongly recommends Zoho CRM as the best software for a small enterprise. Zoho is a cost-effective solution for all the functions required of a business—you can easily contact your clients and gather a lead.
Further, this CRM tool allows you to manage your 10-member team for free and displays all the essential information concerning your business. You can easily identify the trends in sales and marketing opportunities.
Aside from team management, Zoho helps you divide and manage tasks among your members. In fact, the tool already handles some of these mundane tasks (i.e. reminders and call logs), so you can focus on the most important aspects of your business.
Because social media platforms are effective marketing channels, Zoho functions as a social media platform in itself, including the sharing and downloading of files for the convenience of your team. The software includes a newsfeed where everybody can see what your other team members have accomplished. The best part is Zoho’s integration with Facebook and Twitter to easily connect your business with your contacts.
Zoho is easily accessible—thanks to its mobile app. Now, you can check your dashboard right from your smartphone or tablet.
Since this tool is free, you can allot the rest of your budget on other expenditures concerning your business. It is certainly a good investment for start-up companies.
Rivaling Zoho is Insightly, which is affordable and easily customizable. It is user-friendly because the interface does not have technical terms and mechanics.
Insightly offers an online training program for first-time users of the software. For the free version, you already get basic features for managing your team:
- A maximum of 10 advanced reports, sans scheduling and smart alerts.
- Five email templates.
- Mass email sending (maximum of 10 emails a day).
- Ten custom fields.
- 500 rows file import.
- 2,500 records available.
- Online knowledge base and community boards.
Salesforce is a powerful CRM tool, which is perfect for any small business. While it has core functions that Zoho and Insightly already have, it offers advanced features should your business grow.
You can easily navigate Salesforce’s dashboard, and custom-fit the widgets to your preference.
HubSpot is definitely a tool to watch out for. You can use this to be updated about your sales – and to manage them – anytime, anywhere.
You can access the tool on the website, in the email, on social media, and even on the phone. HubSpot knows how important the sales process is to you, and it caters to all your needs.
Your team will have an easy and fun time learning how to operate HubSpot. That way, your team starts quickly, and you can stay focused on selling instead of training your team.
In just one glance at the dashboard, you can already control your content, marketing channels, and sales performance while monitoring the team on board. HubSpot allows you to add custom fields, select and organize your columns, as well as customize your records.
HubSpot makes CRM easy. You can quickly send emails – in bulk – and connect with your clients. You can easily find new customers and companies through the HubSpot database, where you can check information such as the size and location of the enterprise who checks out your website. However, this advanced feature comes with the premium membership.
HubSpot makes sure that you still enjoy CRM with its free features. Thus, you can invite your entire team to use the tool for free.
Unlike other CRM tools, HubSpot lets you enjoy unlimited usage and encode unlimited data without you spending a single cent.
Should you want to get the updated version, you will have to shell out $16.40 every month.
Wood also listed CapsuleCRM as one of the best CRM tools. Two users can utilize the tool for their business, and manage 250 contacts. Its 10 MB storage allows you to encode as much information as you need to keep track of your sales and your prospects.
Capsule can be integrated with Gmail, MailChimp, and Freshbooks. The only downside would be the lack of customer support.
Unlike Insightly, which has a 24/7 customer hotline, Capsule only has a FAQs section to address your concerns.
Really Simple Systems
This is a great tool for small businesses, though the company does not claim to be the top CRM system around. However, you may like what it has to offer: 100 accounts, unlimited contacts, and 100 MB worth of storage.
Really Simple Systems is backed by excellent customer support service to guide new users.
You can invite over 100 users for FreeCRM’s free version and store 100,000 contacts. It offers basic features for CRM, and you can give the free version a try for a year. This means you will have to pay for the succeeding years, and pay more to enjoy the advanced features.
On the other hand, you do not have to spend a lot for the upgrade, as it is one of the most affordable fees around. FreeCRM is a web-based solution, which your team will be able to learn their way around it in minutes.
There are other tools to try, but they may not offer you hassle-free features. For your business, you need a user-friendly interface and the basic features of CRM to manage repetitive tasks. Taking advantage of these tools will make you more productive and efficient.
Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.