The 6 best CRMs for SMEs (and how to get the most out of them)

Benefits of using a CRM as an SME

As you well know, in the world of sales you have to be aware of many activities at the same time (calls, meetings, emails, up-selling, cross-selling, follow-up, customer prioritization and negotiation evolution, etc.) and, sometimes, it can be quite complex to carry out all these actions without losing sight of quality.

There are many benefits to be gained by implementing a CRM platform in a sales strategy. Here are the most important ones.

1. Organize your database

When a company starts to grow considerably, one of the first changes it identifies is the increase of its database. This growth makes it increasingly complex to clearly determine sales processes and follow up on leads. On many occasions, companies lose contacts because they do not do the right follow-up and do not offer the necessary information at the right time.

With a CRM platform you will be able to have a broader control of your databases, since you will be able to organize them and get a clearer picture of the process of each contact.

2. Personalize your contact list

A CRM platform not only allows you to organize your database according to the status of each contact, but you can also customize each of your lists in detail. You can apply some filters according to different criteria such as: the company each contact works for, their position, the description of the organization, etc.

You can create all the necessary labels for the filters and thus facilitate the whole process of follow-up and contact with your leads. In this way you will be able to manage in a simpler way all the sales and customer relationship processes.

3. Contact your prospects on time

One of the most frequent and damaging mistakes in the whole process of customer relationship management is the loss of qualified contacts. Just because you have a name, phone number and email address doesn't mean you've completed the task. In fact, that's not even half the job.

To get the most out of your leads, a CRM platform, in addition to keeping records such as recording phone calls or emails sent, includes phone and email services integrated within the same tool. This way you will have all the information in the right place to interact with your leads at the right time.

4. Optimize your mailing strategies

A good CRM will allow you to get in touch with your leads immediately, within the same platform. It will also provide you with the necessary information so that you can understand when your leads want to hear from you and thus optimize your email campaigns and strategies.

5. Analyze your leads' behaviors

Another of the benefits of a CRM for SMEs is that it helps you to constantly analyze the behavior of your leads, because as they progress through their buying journey they begin to link more closely with your company and slightly modify their behavior.

In this sense, having the ability to identify these changes is possible thanks to a CRM that helps you to know your users in greater depth and thus be able to better adapt your strategy to their new behaviors.

6. Review other databases to obtain more leads

If your conversion rate has not been as expected, or if you are interested in generating more leads (in addition to the ones you get through your conversion processes), some of the CRM platforms (such as HubSpot's) will allow you to view some databases from different companies so you can get more information about qualified leads that fit your industry and the services your company offers.

Before purchasing a system of this type, you have to think that not all CRMs have the same functionalities and, therefore, not all of them can offer the same possibilities of growth for your company. For this reason, below we will mention some of the best CRMs for SMEs, their costs and main features so that you can choose the one that best suits you to make the most of these platforms within your sales strategy.

1. HubSpot

Price: HubSpot offers a completely free CRM platform that you can start using right now.

HubSpot's CRM is aimed at SMBs. It has the tools for your entire team and is very easy to use. It contains live chat, meeting scheduling, email templates and helps you track emails and notifications. It is also very useful when it comes to creating reports.

Its free version allows you to manage up to one million contacts, as well as count unlimited users and data and up to one million contacts regardless of the size of your team.

HubSpot CRM includes tools to help you organize, monitor and track lead relationships in any channel. It's a no-brainer for sales management and Inbound Marketing.

2. Onpipeline

Price: it has basic, standard and advanced plans ranging from 12 to 49 USD per month.

This CRM helps you manage contacts easily and manage leads effectively. Its interface is easy to use and users can belong to one or more teams. This will allow you to have a more complete visibility of all stages of your strategy and better recognize opportunities for your company.

3. Salesforce

Price: from $25 to $300 per month.

Salesforce Customer 360 is a CRM platform that provides all departments in your organization with a unified view of your customers in one place. It includes an application for each phase of the customer journey (from first contact to loyalty).

4. Salesup

Price: from 15 to 39 USD per month.

Salesup is a CRM that allows you to organize and track leads thanks to tools such as: agenda and reminders, reports, email templates, quotes and electronic invoices, among others. You can integrate your Facebook account and receive contacts directly in your CRM; you can also send personalized messages to your WhatsApp clients and register the follow-up thanks to its integration.

5. Zoho

Price: between 10 and 20 USD per month

With Zoho you can automate your sales force and create optimized workflows that will help you streamline all your processes. Perform lead management and workflow automation, thanks to the addition of extensions and integrations through Zoho Marketplace (where you can search categories such as finance, sales, productivity, among others).

6. Insightly

Price: between 29 and 99 USD per month

Insightly is a CRM platform that can help you manage customer information. It offers a large number of integrations with applications and platforms. In addition, you will have all the advantages that this type of platform offers to its customers. For example, mass emailing and workflow automation.

How to boost your SME with a CRM?

Having a CRM platform helps you to properly manage your customers and prospects; however, any system acquires greater value when you manage all the information you need, in a timely manner. Here are 5 tips that will help you boost your SME with a CRM.

1. Make it as simple as possible

The biggest mistake most SMBs make is trying to implement CRMs that are too complicated for their employees. Choosing based on the number of features will force your agents to research and learn a lot of information that will divert them from their routines. Any efficient CRM system only needs to have the basic information of leads, follow-up, reminders, dates and actions to assign. This should be enough to know what the value of each lead is. Prioritize these elements and the simplicity of the interface and you will see that you will have good results.

2. Ensure that it integrates with other business systems

If a CRM is not complementary to what is already in use, it won't work. If data cannot be easily imported to and from the CRM, then no one will want to use it and it will have very little impact. Choose systems that have good integrations and you will see that the effect of your tools will be boosted quickly.

3. Offer constant training

The priority of any technological tool must be to enable employees to perform their work with greater productivity and profitability. This is why it is vital to identify the people considered "super users" (due to their easy adaptation and speed in the use of new technologies) and turn them into internal trainers of the system in your company. Don't forget to reward the salespeople who use the CRM platform most effectively.

4. Make CRM the standard

Every company needs to treat its CRM as a historical archive of information on activities, since no one will be able to measure anything or take credit for a new customer if it is not recorded. That's why every executive should lead by example and always use it; otherwise, you will lose valuable information about your business activity.

5. Improve the decision-making process

A CRM will provide you with as many reports in real time as possible. In just two minutes you should get crucial information about the salespeople's achievements during the past week, the leads most likely to convert this month, the possibility of reaching the sales target for the quarter, etc.

6. Get customized reports

Once you have integrated a CRM in your organization you will be able to enjoy the advantages that this platform has for you. Most of them offer the ability to monitor your results and even generate automated reports, as is the case of HubSpot CRM.

Thanks to this functionality you will be able to know the impact of the actions in your marketing campaigns and the follow-up of each lead, so you will be able to decide what changes to apply to your campaign based on measurable and verifiable results.