UK businesses of all sizes need to be flexible enough to move with the changing developments in technology in order to grow in the increasingly tech-driven industries of the twenty-first century. The emerging technologies of recent years are no longer optional for startups trying to make their way through competitive markets, and a readiness to scale at any time is essential. CRM is one of these indispensable solutions that have the capability to apply an extra layer of efficiency and productivity to business operations.
Choosing the right CRM platform can be intimidating for any London business, small or large. Fortunately, consultancy or support in CRM selection, implementation and management can be provided by local IT companies like Computers In The City.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the approach organisations take towards managing interaction with their customers. This usually refers to the tools and techniques used to gather and analyse all data relating to existing and potential customers. This is encapsulated in a CRM software solution that gathers data from various communication channels, such as email, live chat and social media platforms.
The objectives of CRM are to improve relationships with customers, retain existing customers and help to find new ones. CRM does this by organising and managing customer information, providing support and winning business. It also helps businesses streamline processes, service users, colleagues and suppliers, and generally increase productivity.
CRM is relevant to different types of organisations and across industries. As well as providing services in customer and sales management, CRM solutions are often part of a larger package including services such as content or project management. Individual CRM solutions offer a different range of features and functionality, integrations with third-party platforms, and choice in payment plans.
The best in CRM
This CRM tool comes from the Salesforce suite that offers additional solutions for marketing, analytics and community cloud. The CRM package helps to track and store customer interaction and information in one place and follow up on leads. It has an excellent range of features, such as marketing automation and partner management, as well as impressive workflows and social collaboration options. It’s not the cheapest and can initially be difficult to learn, but Salesforce has one of the best platforms in CRM.
Another leading CRM platform, HubSpot has a high level of main features and customer support, as well as a wide range of software integrations. It easily links to the places where sales processes occur, such as email and social media, and it’s easy to use and get started with. It’s aimed at small businesses and has one of the best available free plans of all CRM solutions.
This is a web-based platform that helps businesses to attract, retain and manage customer accounts, connect with them via social media, then send invitations and share comments. Zoho CRM has a mobile edition, and it integrates smoothly with Google Apps and other products from Zoho. The platform is free for up to 10 users, and the premium plan with advanced features comes at a reasonable price.
Keap was previously known as Infusionsoft, and it has a sufficient range of features to serve businesses of all sizes. It’s a contact management software that concentrates on marketing, sales and e-commerce. It integrates with other popular sites, but this isn’t easy to set up. As Keap requires onboard training, it’s quite expensive and not very intuitive for the user, it’s better suited to larger organisations with more time and money to invest.
Insightly is aimed at small businesses and features an intuitive and dynamic user interface. It has an excellent range of functionality in an easy-to-use presentation. These include a lead management tool and project management capabilities to help with sales and marketing campaigns. Insightly has three payment plans catering to different business needs, but it doesn’t quite offer the powerful functionality required by large businesses.
The CRM system from Pipedrive helps businesses with leads and gives a clear overview of sales, which can enable them to focus on their highest priority agreements. It’s mobile friendly, easy to set up and can be integrated with popular software apps such as Google suite. It has an intuitive interface and is especially effective for managing an organisation’s sales pipeline. However, for the price it does have slightly limited functionality.
Zendesk is a mobile and web-based CRM solution that enables sales professionals to track and manage sales, plus engage with customers and clients. Features include a sales automation module, powerful analytics and an excellent user interface and layout. Users can easily funnel leads from various sources such as spreadsheets, websites or different marketing platforms. Zendesk has a wide range of features, but this could be an excessive amount to deal with for small businesses with simple needs.
Freshsales is aimed at helping sales teams respond to individual leads with extensive information on customers, and an informed call to action. The platform allows users to streamline lead management, use lead scoring and prioritise certain leads. Leads are also automatically assorted and assigned to the appropriate individual. Freshsales is a lightweight solution that allows a range of integrations, but reports are only possible with the paid plans.
There are many CRM solutions to choose from in a competitive and expanding market. Of course, the premium solutions have the most to offer in terms of features and functionality, but with such a wide selection of solutions, there’s a suitable CRM for every business.