In recent years, it seems that even something that used to be as simple as managing your contacts has become difficult. When first starting a business, you’ll probably only have a couple of customers and suppliers, making memorizing email addresses simple enough.
But once you start to grow as a business, so too will you need to adapt to keep track of all your contacts and make sure that every aspect of your small business is running smoothly. That’s where a CRM comes in handy. These apps are a way of helping you keep track of everyone you’re in contact with at your business.
Which CRM is right for me?
CRMs come in all shapes and sizes. You can find them in proprietary programs and services like Outlook or Gmail, or even the devices in your pocket or on your person. These apps are capable of tracking the people you know, deals you may have secured, and every conversation you’ve had. CRMs are especially great for small businesses, startups, and nonprofits due to their relatively cheap cost and ease of use.
Before we get into which CRMs are best for you and your particular set of needs, let's talk about the one's you may not have considered that may be the best one's out there for when you're just, first getting started. We’re talking - it’s just you or just you and a partner stage.
While many people would think of Google Contacts as little more than an address book that’s been integrated with Gmail, this CRM app allows you to add contact info to your contacts, which will be automatically updated with Google+ information and synced for you. While it might not be marketed as a CRM, Google Contacts has serious ease of use and functionality, which warrants its inclusion on this list.
Highrise operates under the concept of having a single piece of paper that contains every detail about your contacts, including every bit of their contact info, any tasks you might have that are related to them, previous conversations, etc. Highrise is primarily focused on helping provide the most information about your contacts. To do this, it includes simple tools to track deals. This unique CRM app is priced at about $4 a month.
Operating with the intention of giving you a quick glance at contact info without going to their individual page, Clevertim shows a quick summary of each person’s contact info in the contact list, so that you can quickly and efficiently swipe through your contacts and have all the information you need readily available. You can also filter lists that you make by name and location, and this CRM app is also around $4 a month.
A CRM that can offer a bit more power while operating outside of Gmail, Insightly features deep Google integration, as well as a design that’s very similar to what Google is offering with its apps. The way Insightly works is that it automatically finds the social network profiles of your contacts and then shows them alongside emails, notes, and tasks that are associated with that contact. Priced at $9 a month, Insightly is a bit pricey compared to the other offerings, but its features justify the price.
If you’re looking for a CRM that can manage your contacts, find leads, and close sales, this support app might just be the one for you. Similar in function to a contact-focused CRM, Vtiger manages your contacts and includes a combine email inbox that you can use to collaborate with your entire team. If you pull the trigger and get the Ultimate plan, the app also includes a support system that allows you to answer customer emails, as well as build support documentation so that the customers can solve their problems. This one starts out at $10 a month, and its Ultimate plan will set you back by $25 a month.
An exceedingly simple CRM, OnePageCRM keeps all of the information you need on one page, allowing you to keep track of your customers at a glance. Your contacts will appear on the front page, in a list that will give you brief information. The app also dynamically loads your contacts in the order they need to be contacted. Once selected, you’ll be able to add notes, track emails, save tasks, and do just about anything else with the content. This affordable CRM app costs right around $10 a month.
7) Act! Cloud
Act! Cloud is one of the very first CRM apps, originally running on DOS. Its name stands for Activity Control Technology, and the new iteration of the app is a more advanced contact manager that allows you to pull contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, and email, as well as easily see when it is that you’ve contacted them last. While it doesn’t yet have Zapier support, integration is incoming for that, and priced at around $10 a month; it’s an exceedingly affordable CRM that offers plenty of bang for its buck.
So, it’s easy to see just how essential getting the right CRM for the job can be when you’re running your own small business. Just as your list of customers and suppliers, as well as expertise will grow, so too is it important that you stay on top of the latest advances in business technology and get the right app support for the job that needs doing for you. While this list isn't exhaustive, it will get you started.
Written by Tallwave