Wondering if you should be using small business CRM software? Taking care of customer relations is like having a full list of friends that you have to keep track of in some way or another. Struggling to keep track of all the leads in your business? Want to stop using those handwritten notes that nobody can read?
You surely have a thousand and one good reasons to find the best CRM (or GRC in French, customer relationship management) for your SME.
This sales management software will help you organize your communications with your customers as well as your prospects, but also to optimize your time while improving results.
There are many, many CRMs out there, so it’s important to ask yourself what you need before you get swayed by messages from their marketing teams. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Ease of use
You will be using your CRM a lot; probably every day. If it’s not easy to use, you probably just won’t use it. And it won’t help you achieve your goals.
Having a cloud-based CRM is important for your team. This will allow them to access customer details from anywhere, in real time, which will increase their productivity and of course your bottom line. Nucleus Research found that 65% of companies using smartphone-enabled CRMs exceeded their sales targets.
BONUS: a cloud-based SME CRM is safer, faster and easier to integrate with other applications you use… I say that, I say nothing.
Track your conversion funnel
You must be able to follow your contacts during the sales process. From meeting them with your brand to building loyalty.
This means that your CRM software should be able to automatically send emails based on your leads’ behavior, schedule follow-up phone calls for your team, and more.
Ease of integration
Much more than a simple contact list, your CRM must integrate perfectly with all your tools.
Without going into too much detail, you should be able to add a form to your site, automatically launch scenarios based on a visitor’s registration page…. etc.
The number of online resources
While it’s relatively easy to understand what automation marketing is online, every CRM is different. It is therefore important to check the quality of the resources available on the site to be effective as quickly as possible.
The best CRMs for SMEs in 2021
Have a better idea of what you’re looking for? Come on, let’s move on to the part that interests you, the top 5!
5. Drip – BtoC, but not only
Drip is one of the leading CRMs for e-commerce. It is powerful, has a beautiful interface, and is very easy to use for any business.
This management software makes it easy to create automated workflows and email campaigns. You have the option of building your emails through a relatively efficient Page Builder – perfect if the heart scares you.
Drip also offers easy list segmentation, conversion tracking, content personalization, intent-to-buy marketing. With tags, events, and custom fields, you can learn and track everything you need to know about your customer testimonials.
You can easily integrate Drip with all the best third party services like email services (like Gmail), lead generation software, WooCommerce, Shopify… There are even lead generation workflows on Facebook and Instagram.
- Efficient automation;
- Advanced contact management using tags, custom fields and events;
- Easy integrations with third-party services;
- Activity reports;
- Segmentation ;
- Personalization of content based on behavior;
- Monitoring of e-commerce users;
- Follow-up of the personalized conversion;
The price :
Plans start at $ 19 / month (around € 16) for 500 active contacts. There is no limit to sending emails and chat support is available (unfortunately only in English).
You can try Drip free for 14 days.
4. SendingBlue – Simple as Hello
Sendinblue is a powerful emailing service that has all the necessary features to also serve as a complete CRM.
If I had to sum up this CRM tool in 1 word, it would be “simplicity”. It’s not the most comprehensive or powerful, but it’s probably the easiest to use and the resources / training available to get started are excellent.
Unlike many other CRMs, they offer SMS sending and chat services to integrate into your site. This live chat solution allows you to get in touch with customers and prospects in real time (be careful though to be constantly connected to respond to them).
- Easy segmentation and customization;
- Powerful marketing automation tools;
- Transactional emails with reliable delivery;
- Landing page creation;
- Integration with Facebook Business Manager;
- Detailed reports;
- Automatic optimization of sending time;
- A / B test;
- SMS and chat marketing tools.
The pricing structure :
Start for free (up to 300 emails per day) then from € 19 for 10,000 emails sent per month.
3. Hubspot – the Rolls Royce of SME CRM
HubSpot is undoubtedly the market leader for SMBs looking for an efficient and inexpensive CRM solution when they start out.
HubSpot is easy to use and offers a wide range of CRM tools to manage the customer journey and build loyalty. It even offers free lifetime plans with limited (but effective) features.
The CRM interface is pleasant and allows you to centralize your entire sales process directly on your dashboard. If you want more customer data (and who doesn’t?), You can view all contacts and access their activities or your team’s performance.
HubSpot also has a mobile app for iPhone and Android, email templates that can be used in minutes, real-time notifications, tracking of sent messages, phone call schedules, and more.
You can also connect HubSpot to Gmail or Outlook to automatically record activity, capturing each email.
Be careful though, Hubspot is also one of the most expensive tools on the SME CRM market when you are not using the free version.
- Customization of email sequences for prospects and existing customers;
- Make phone calls directly from the CRM;
- Receive real-time notifications;
- Integration with popular tools like Salesforce, Shopify and Microsoft Dynamics;
- Store an unlimited number of users, customer data and up to one million contacts;
- Integrate with more than 300 applications;
- Create custom filters to sort contacts;
- Schedule emails, tasks and create tickets.
The pricing structure :
Basic CRM software is free, but for more powerful features you need to upgrade to a paid plan (starting at $ 50 / month). You can also upgrade to the Growth suite (CRM, Marketing, Sales…) starting at $ 113 / month for a single user.
2. PipeDrive – Simple and efficient
Pipedrive is surely the most user-friendly, designed to be quick and easy. Thanks to its funnel management function, you get a view of your entire sales process and can therefore easily stay in control.
The pipeline management has a clear visual interface. The tool is easily integrated with your online messaging service (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) and allows you to create simple reports, access sales forecasts (based on your previous results). PipeDrive also offers an iOS and Android app to access your CRM from anywhere.
Unfortunately, this CRM does not yet offer automatic segmentations. But it’s simple enough that you can identify your hot leads manually. Perfect for 90% of SMEs, but this is an aspect to take into account before selecting it.
- Mobile alerts and email reminders;
- Easy integration with Google Apps, Trello, Zapier;
- API for easy integration for developers;
- Integration with classic messaging services;
- Customizable email templates;
- IOS and Android mobile applications;
- Sales forecasting and trend analysis;
- Backups and encryption to ensure the security of your data;
- Great for prospecting.
The price :
Plans start at € 12.50 / month per user (billed annually).
1. ActiveCampaign – Editor’s Favorite
ActiveCampaign is an SME CRM used by more than 100,000 companies in more than 170 countries. A true leader in automation marketing, it will allow you to automate anything you can think of.
Newsletter creation? Automated scenarios? Monitoring your automated sales process? Integration of an automatic Chat on your site? Hyper-driven landing page creation? This is the promise of the American CRM.
Okay… It’s not all about the advantages. Although easy to use, the design of the tool is far from being the most user-friendly. But once you leave the very 2000 style aside, you quickly find your happiness there to launch your marketing campaigns.
- Mobile app ;
- Creation of automated scenarios;
- Landing page creation;
- Management of your sales process;
- Instant messaging service;
- SMS Marketing;
- Complex segmentation;
- Ultra complete learning base;
- Responsive customer service.
The price :
ActiveCampaign is not the cheapest tool on the market, but it does have the advantage of billing you per contact (and not emails sent).
Starting at $ 9 / month for the Lite version, $ 49 for the more complete version.