6 Top CRM for Small Businesses in 2019

CRM for Small Businesses

Growing your small business in a cost-effective way that increases your brand awareness and attracts more customers is no easy feat.

According to a Statistic Brain study, the failure rate for all companies across the US after 5 years is over 50%.

So how do you make sure you don’t fail? By ensuring your customers are happy, of course. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems allow you to collect data about your customer’s interactions with your business.

Read on to learn about the top CRM for small businesses.

Why Use a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management systems are a great way to analyze data from various channels. Channels include your business’s website, social media channels, customer support logs, and feedback reviews.

CRM let you see what your customers like about your business’s products and/or services. CRM also allows you to address any customer concerns and better your products/services.

The success of a business, particularly a small business, relies on its customers. That’s why CRM systems are one of the most essential business tools you need in order to grow your business.

Top CRM for Small Businesses:

Find out everything you need to know about CRMs by learning more about the pros and cons of CRM for small businesses.

We’ve compiled a list of 6 of the best CRM solutions for small businesses, check it out now:

1. Salesforce:


Salesforce offers an affordable package whilst still including all of the essential product’s great features.

Salesforce is easy to use and includes key features such as:

  • Lead generation
  • Contact and opportunity management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Workflow automation

Salesforce is ideal for small businesses who want an affordable CRM.

2. HubSpot:


Be sure to add HubSpot to your list of must-have small business tools. The free version of HubSpot offers CRM solutions for small businesses and includes:

  • Learning guides
  • Invoice template generators
  • Email signature generators
  • Marketing plan template generators

HubSpot offers a great package for independent contractors and/or small businesses.

3. Agile CRM:

Agile CRM

Up next in our top CRM software solution that your business needs are Agile CRM. Agile CRM allows you to:

  • Store details about 10,000 companies or contacts
  • Receive support for tracking emails
  • Set lead scoring and custom deal milestones
  • Access builder tools for forms, email templates, and website landing pages
  • Monitor social media

Agile CRM is great for small and big-sized businesses that want a whole range of customer relationship management tools.

4. Zoho CRM:

Zoho CRM

The multi-channel online CRM, Zoho CRM can collect data from your emails, calls, live chats, and social media channels. It is popular amongst small businesses because of it:

  • Is easy to use
  • Offers real-time analytics and notifications for every customer
  • Allows you to assign individual targets for your team
  • Features the option to build and automate your sales processes

Zoho Marketplace also ensures that you can increase your business functionality by offering various extensions that can be added to your CRM dashboard.

5. Streak:


If you are looking to implement a CRM system that is easy to use, you need to get a Streak. Streak can be installed and added as an extension on your Gmail. Streak CRM for Gmail features:

  • Easy collaboration options (with the ability to easily share contacts and files)
  • Webhook API access
  • Mail merge
  • Ability to manage deals

The streak is ideal for small business owners who are new to the world of CRM and need an easy to use platform to help grow their business.

6. Insightly:


Insightly is great for small businesses because it is an affordable CRM that offers a range of features, such as:

  • Storage space of 10gb
  • send up to 2,500 mass emails a day
  • detailed reports and analysis options
  • API access
  • and the ability to import 25,000 records per session.

Insightly can be used by big, medium, and small-sized businesses who are looking for a tool that offers a range of features to better understand their customers.

7. Freshsales:

Freshsales is a full-fledged sales CRM software for businesses that range from startups to enterprises. With Freshsales you don’t need multiple tools to drive sales anymore.

The major advantages of choosing Freshsales are below

  • Simple UI with powerful features
  • Detailed overview of leads & customers
  • Configurable dashboards and reports
  • Great integrations
  • It also offers a free forever plan for unlimited users with basic contact management and a built-in phone system.

The Right CRM Software for You:

When choosing from our list of the top CRM for small businesses list, make sure you know what you want from your CRM.

If you want a more basic, low-cost CRM then opt for one that is free or cheaper. Or if you want one that has all the trimmings and helps you understand and analyze all parts of your business, then opt for one that has more features.

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Customer Relationships

The Best Methods To Build Strong Customer Relationships

Despite the plethora of advertising resources available in the digital marketplace, one key issue still has not been resolved - how do you build strong customer relationships?  As a direct link between you and your customers, an email address will allow publishers to build a personal connection with an audience.  Below are further marketing tips that can be used to develop a stronger client relationship using email marketing. The Best Methods To Build Strong Customer Relationships 1. Move The Social Media Audience To A Direct Channel By Gaining Their Email Address: To strengthen your target audience relationship, you should reconsider how you view Facebook.  You cannot connect with a target audience on a platform where all algorithm tweaks reduce its reach and take you further from your potential customers.  Instead of playing "cat and mouse" using Facebook's algorithms, it is recommended that you utilize the social platform as a channel for acquisition.  Making use of social media platforms CTA features will help you support your email newsletters to the target audience and lead the social audience to your company's email list.  From this point, you will be able to engage with them without any interference from the social platform. 2. Using Email Capture Apps To Connect With The Site Visitors In An Inbox: When visitors arrive on your website via an organic search or from social media, they are likely to leave the site as soon as they arrive.  By utilizing onsite capture resources to collect their email addresses before they leave, you will be able to set up a direct and long-term form of communication with the audience.  Not only will email subscribers build up more lifetime website visits than visitors from Facebook, but they also tend to view more site pages during their session. To maximize the email conversions, it is recommended that you utilize active capture widgets with a contextual newsletter offer.  This is likely to convert passing visitors to the website into lifetime subscribers.  In this way, you will be increasing the likelihood of engaging users in the long-term and nurturing these subscribers with new content. 3. Building Strong Reading Habits With The Audience Via Newsletters: In the traditional text publishing world, the typical delivery of publications builds reading styles with their target customers.  The newsletter via email is the option most similar to that traditional form of publication and habit-forming print media.  By sending a constant street of relevant content to the audience's inbox, you will engage the audience continuously; thereby, demonstrating the value of paying for your website's content. You can deepen this engagement through cross-promotion and encouragement of the audience to subscribe to additional newsletters.  The quality of newsletters is why the New York Times found that people are more likely to pay for a subscription if they first subscribed to their newsletter; therefore, the email newsletter is the ideal resource for building relationships necessary in the digital publishing environment. Before online transactions and exchanges became the norm, brands were responsible for fostering physical and in some cases emotional connections with their clientele.  This resulted in a strong and loyal brand audience, repeat purchases, and other immeasurable value for the business.  In today's society, the majority of brands will opt for social media and social marketing to engage with consumers and substitute human interaction.  Understanding that humans require relationships in their personal lives and when purchasing items, businesses acknowledge the need to build relationships with consumers, form user engagement, and drive more beneficial sales. While some companies engage with their consumers well using online measures, not all brands are as fortunate.  So, how can we stand above our rivals when trying to engage with a target audience?  There are several ways in which a smaller company can drive more sales by building strong online consumer relationships. 4. Surveying The Consumers And Gain Their Opinions: Providing your consumer with exactly what they want is potentially the best method to make sales, increase trust in the company, and gain repeat customers.  It is the ideal situation and is a building strategy that can help a company get its way with almost any customer.  The question remains, however, how do you discover what a consumer's needs are and how do you meet them?  Simple, find out what they want by sending them surveys. Before marketing became digital, practical market research was performed via traditional questionnaires or surveys.  The original question of how much you agree with a statement would find out if the person strongly agrees, strongly disagreed, or was somewhere in the middle.  Regardless of the standard of error metrics that tend to bore the average person, this technique can provide companies with good insight into their consumer market. Customer feedback and surveys can now be conducted using email, via social media platforms, or on different websites.  One of the survey platforms available allowing companies to send targeted surveys to consumers through social media and emails is SurveyMonkey.  Companies can also gain insight from consumers using Qualaroo as they provide information as soon as the consumer visits the website. 5. Using Email To Communicate: Forming an email list is potentially one of the most significant methods a business can remain in contact with its consumers, build trust, and make sales - unless you are a spammer.  If all emails you send are "sale-sy", then you are engaging incorrectly and will more than likely be considered spam.  Emails should provide valuable information for the customer to share and once you have provided content to address their needs, you can build rapport and foster the digital relationship to be successful! They can also act as promotions later with the help of a Houston search engine marketing firm. By creating an aesthetically pleasing and informing sales copy to go along with your email, it can make a great impact! Real-Time Video Chat For Consumer Support   Real-time video chat is considered one of the hotter topics with businesses that are looking to build relationships with online customers.  In late 2017, Amazon implemented the "Mayday Button" - a new feature on the Kindle Fire to allow a user to receive video communication with a client support agent.  Never before had this type of online support been available and the user is now able to speak with a representative in an innovative manner.  Today, Amazon notes that consumers can use video chat in under 15 seconds and this is much better than waiting on the telephone for a new customer agent to take your call. Read Also: Not All Customers Are Always Right How To Write And Design An Article That Attracts New Customers To Your Business 5 Steps On How To Market Your Business Using Social Media


The Need to Settle End of Tenancy Issues Before Leaving

Small businesses usually rent a small office space given the number of employees who need to work in the same place. If you decided to rent a small office in a popular commercial establishment, you could sign a lease for about a year. Once the contract is over, you can decide to continue it or not. After a year, if your business has already grown drastically, and you intend to hire more employees to join you, it does not make sense to stay in the same place. You need to find a bigger office where you can successfully conduct all your operations. Before you leave the current office, you need to deal with the end of tenancy issues. You don't want to have problems with the owner of the space and not get your deposit back. Read the contract: You need to go through the agreement again to determine what you need to do as your tenancy is about to end. You might have to inform the landlord a month or so in advance that you don't intend to continue your lease. There might also be other stipulations you need to be familiar with before you decide to pursue the next steps. Deal with repair issues: A part of the contract is to keep the place in good condition. Some contracts might have clauses about damage due to wear and tear, which is perfectly fine. However, there might be other severe damage that you need to repair before you leave. Otherwise, the landlord could charge the amount to your deposit, and you won’t get it back in full. Clean the office: If you intend to leave soon, you need to start looking for a new place at least three months in advance. You will then have enough time to ask your employees to pack their stuff and move to the new office. If they will be busy packing their things, you can’t expect them to deal with general cleaning too. Besides, they are also doing their regular job while moving. You need professional cleaners like the ones at www.twinkleclean.co to do the job. They will make sure that the place will look as good as new. When the landlord checks the site, it will feel like no one rented and used it. If you feel satisfied with the services provided by the cleaning company you choose, you can partner with them again when you move to your new office. Pay any outstanding bills: you won't leave, you need to settle all your bills. You might still have packing them to pay. Tell your employees to do the same if they borrowed something from nearby establishments. You don’t want to start in a new office elsewhere with issues still unresolved in your old office. Once you finish doing all these things, you will be ready for a fresh start. Keep in mind everything that you do when you leave the old office since you might go through the same process again in the future when your new lease expires. Read Also: Necessary Spaces To Include In Building Your Office Choosing Open Office Space Vs Cubicle Office Space


Here’s How Staff Augmentation Can Accelerate Your Projects In 2024

Are you struggling to keep pace with the ever-evolving demands of your Agile projects? In today's fast-paced development environment, scaling your team efficiently is not just an option; it's a necessity. Therefore, you must use staff augmentation, a strategic solution that can rapidly accelerate your Agile project delivery. Discover how integrating skilled professionals into your team can bring unparalleled flexibility and expertise, significantly boosting your project's efficiency. We'll explore the tangible benefits, practical strategies, and insightful best practices to help you effectively scale your Agile team through staff augmentation. Get ready to transform the way you manage your projects and achieve remarkable results. Understanding Staff Augmentation: A Quick Primer Staff augmentation is a flexible strategy for outsourcing the right talent for the right job. This strategy is followed by big firms globally for managing augmented teams. Unlike conventional hiring, which often involves a lengthy recruitment process and long-term commitments, staff augmentation offers a nimble approach to scaling teams. This strategy is particularly beneficial for businesses needing specialized skills for short-term projects or to fill temporary skill gaps. Here’s a breakdown of how staff augmentation differs from traditional hiring: Time Efficiency: Staff augmentation services enable quick onboarding of skilled professionals, reducing the time-to-hire significantly compared to the traditional recruitment process. Cost-Effectiveness: It eliminates many overhead costs associated with full-time employees, such as benefits, office space, and long-term contracts. Flexibility and Scalability: Companies can scale their teams up or down based on project requirements without the long-term commitment of a full-time hire. Types Of Staff Augmentation There are three main types of staff augmentation, which are: Short-term: Typically used for specific projects with tight deadlines or to cover temporary absences. Long-term: Ideal for extended projects where ongoing support is required. Specialized: Focuses on providing experts in niche areas or new technologies that are not present in-house. Understanding these distinctions and the types of staff augmentation available helps businesses make informed decisions about how to effectively scale their teams and meet project demands. This approach is increasingly popular in Agile environments, where adaptability and speed are key. The Role Of Staff Augmentation In Agile Project Management Integrating augmented staff into Agile teams can significantly enhance project management efficiency. In Agile environments, where adaptability and rapid iteration are paramount, augmented staff provides the necessary skills and manpower to meet fluctuating project demands. Impact on Agile Processes and Workflows: Enhanced Skill Set: Augmented staff bring specialized skills that might be lacking in the current team, facilitating more diverse and innovative approaches to problem-solving. Increased Flexibility: They allow Agile teams to quickly adapt to changing project requirements, ensuring that deadlines are met without compromising on quality. Improved Productivity: With more hands on deck, teams can manage larger workloads more efficiently, accelerating project timelines. A practical example of successful integration can be seen in a tech startup that leveraged professional IT staff augmentation to speed up the development of a new software product. Facing a tight deadline, the startup augmented its existing team with skilled developers who specialized in the required technology stack. This integration allowed the team to maintain Agile methodologies, like daily stand-ups and sprint planning, while effectively managing the increased workload. As a result, the product was developed and launched within the desired timeframe, demonstrating the effectiveness of staff augmentation in Agile project management. The key to success in such integration lies in ensuring that the augmented staff are not only skilled but also align with the company's Agile culture and practices. This alignment ensures seamless collaboration and optimal results. Benefits Of Staff Augmentation For Agile Teams Staff augmentation offers a myriad of benefits to Agile teams, enabling them to tackle projects more effectively and efficiently. Here are some of the key advantages: 1. Access To Specialized Skills And Expertise Staff augmentation allows Agile teams to bring in professionals with specific skill sets that may be lacking internally. This is especially valuable for projects requiring niche expertise or for navigating emerging technologies. 2. Flexibility And Scalability Agile projects often fluctuate in scope and scale, necessitating a flexible workforce. Staff augmentation provides the ability to scale the team size up or down based on the current needs of the project, ensuring that resources are optimally utilized. 3. Cost-Effectiveness And Efficiency By augmenting staff, companies can avoid the long-term costs associated with permanent hires, such as benefits, training, and other overheads. This approach is also efficient in reducing recruitment time, enabling teams to focus more on project delivery rather than on lengthy hiring processes. 4. Enhanced Productivity With additional skilled resources, Agile teams can manage workloads more effectively, leading to increased productivity. This also allows for faster turnaround times on projects, as tasks can be distributed more evenly and handled more competently. 5. Focus On Core Business Augmentation frees up internal resources, allowing teams to focus on core business activities. This is particularly beneficial for smaller teams or startups, where internal resources are often stretched thin. Overcoming Common Challenges In Staff Augmentation While staff augmentation offers significant benefits to Agile teams, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Addressing these effectively is key to leveraging the full potential of this strategy. 1. Addressing Skill Gaps And Training Needs One of the primary challenges is ensuring that augmented staff possess the right skill sets and are up to date with the latest technologies. Regular training and professional development opportunities are essential to bridge any skill gaps. 2. Navigating Administrative And Legal Considerations Augmenting staff often involves dealing with contracts, legal compliance, and administrative tasks, especially when hiring internationally. It's important to have a clear understanding of these aspects or work with a partner who can manage them. 3. Ensuring Quality And Performance Maintaining the quality of work and ensuring the performance of augmented staff can be challenging. Setting up key performance indicators (KPIs), regular performance reviews, and continuous feedback mechanisms can help in monitoring and maintaining work standards. 4. Cultural And Communication Barriers Augmented teams might face challenges due to cultural differences and communication barriers, especially in a remote working environment. Encouraging open communication, cultural sensitivity training, and team-building activities can mitigate these issues. 5. Integration With Existing Teams Ensuring seamless integration of augmented staff with existing teams is critical. This requires clear communication of roles, responsibilities, and project goals, along with fostering a collaborative team culture. The Best Staff Augmentation Practices In 2024 If you want to make the most of staff augmentation for agile project management, here are some necessary practices that you must inculcate: 1. Maintaining Clear Communication If you wish to have a strong team that gets theory work done on time with zero errors, having clear and open communication channels is a necessity. Having proper communication between all the members of the team is necessary for development. This is because it facilitates everyone in the team to work together and solve any issues that may crop up. Moreover, open communication improves team bonding, which is crucial for all team members to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This helps the team leaders to make better decisions regarding the allocation of work according to everyone's strengths and expertise. Therefore, use team communication tools like Slack, Asana, Trello, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. 2. Clearly Define Job Roles To get the most out of staff augmentation, you must define everyone’s job roles. If all members of your team know what they must do - and what they shouldn’t do - to get the job done, it prevents chaos and conflicts between your team members. Moreover, having clear job roles will make everyone's daily tasks clear. In addition, having a job role comes with various expectations. Therefore, it will help team leaders better measure the performance and efficacy of team members. 3. Learn How To Use Project Management Tools If you want to lead a project from initiation to its completion, you and your staff must use the best project management tools in 2024. Project management tools provide better documentation and storage of all work done by your team. Moreover, this helps in staff augmentation since many outsourced employees might be from other countries. Therefore, giving them limited access to to your sheets will help you better track and manage their work. The best project management tools in 2024 are Trello, Jira, and Microsoft Office 365. 4. Encourage Documentation-Driven Development How do you know that an outsourced staff member has done their work? No word of mouth will be tolerated here. The only permissible proof is proper documentation of your work. Therefore, team leaders and managers should encourage a work culture where all staff members (especially augmented staff members) must have proper and updated documentation of their daily work. This will help you keep track of everyone’s work and help you asses future actions and strategies. Conclusion: Scale Your Agile Team with Staff Augmentation In conclusion, staff augmentation emerges as a powerful strategy for scaling Agile teams, addressing skill gaps, and enhancing project delivery efficiency. This approach provides a pragmatic solution to the dynamic challenges of modern project management, offering flexibility, specialized expertise, and cost-effectiveness. To recap the key benefits: Access to a global talent pool for specialized skills. Scalability to meet fluctuating project demands. Cost savings compared to traditional hiring. Increased productivity and efficiency. However, it's important to approach staff augmentation with a strategic mindset. Choosing the right partner, ensuring cultural and process alignment, and effectively managing augmented staff are crucial steps towards success. Additionally, overcoming challenges like administrative hurdles, quality assurance, and team integration is essential for a seamless experience. Moreover, following the best staff augmentation practices will help you manage and track everyone’s work. In addition, it also facilitates clearer communication with outsourced staff members as well. Read Also: Top Ways Contract Management Software Helps to Mitigate Contract Risk Why Should I Get Started With Event Management Software? 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