How to Choose the Best CRM for Small Business – (Buyer’s Guide)

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Salesforce or Zoho – Which is the Best CRM for Small Business in 2018?
April 12, 2017
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Choosing the Best CRM Software for Small Business - A Buyer's Guide

While the main aim of a CRM system is to help you automate customer-related operations, a good CRM software offers you this and much more. A CRM system is one tool that all small businesses should invest in as it can significantly improve your business processes. Plus, it can also help pave the way to building a successful foundation for your business enterprise.

Be it CRM implementation, CRM development or CRM training, the best CRM system makes all these tasks easier and as such, in this CRM buyers guide, we’ll take a look at why you need a CRM for small business, how to choose the best CRM software and which is the Best CRM – Salesforce and Zoho.

However, before we proceed forward, lets first quickly understand what is CRM and what it stands for.


A] What Is A CRM System?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In the simplest term, it helps you to manage and improve your relationships with your customers by helping you to cleverly organize all customer data into one centralized database.

The advantages of CRM for small businesses are many and by providing easy access to valuable customer information it makes it simpler for the team/staff within the organization to better collaborate and respond quickly to all queries, resulting in a higher customer satisfaction.

For a more in-depth information about what CRM is, you can click here to read more.


B] Why Use CRM For Small Business?

If you are a small business trying to create a niche for yourself in this competitive market then making use of the Customer relationship management (CRM) system is a must. Those that run a small business are aware of the fact of how taxing it is to maintain and track customer information on different spreadsheets. Thus, by investing in a robust CRM system, you would be able to effectively deal with the challenges of the evolving market and provide your team/staff with a much-needed technological tool that will help them accomplish their task with ease.


A CRM software will help to not only collect and organize customer data but it would also aid in measuring & tracking customer communication & behaviour, thus enabling your team to provide better services to the customers, leading to a higher conversion.

From helping you store customer information in a secure environment to helping you schedule activities, monitor marketing campaigns, automate essential day-to-day tasks, generate targeted lead and much much more, the ways in which CRM can help you grow your business are endless.

As such, now that you know why a CRM is needed for small business, let’s take a look a how to choose the best CRM for small business.


C] How To Choose The Best CRM For Small Business?

Picking a CRM system becomes easier once you know what your business requirements are. By knowing what you need, you will be able to choose the best CRM software for your small business. As such, here are a few questions that you need to answer that will help you make the right decision.

1. Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a CRM Software

  • Is the CRM software mobile-friendly?
  • Does it offer easy CRM implementation process?
  • Does the CRM System offer easy accessibility for sharing information within the team and across the organization?
  • Would it easily integrate with third-party applications?
  • Is the system user-friendly so that it can be easily adopted by your team/staff members?
  • Is it an On-premise or a Cloud-based CRM software?
  • Does it provide a Free trial or an assisted demo?
  • Apart from Lead management and sales, does it offer built-in CRM tools for marketing?
  • What’s the pricing? Does it fit your budget?

By answering these questions, you would be able to select an online CRM software that is easy to use, implement and integrate and will help your team manage their task effectively, which in turn, will help you achieve a better return on your investment.

After you have found answers to these questions then next step is to check whether or not the CRM system you want to purchase offers these essential features.

2.Essential CRM Software Features

Ease of Use: Investing in a CRM system that is difficult to use and learn is counter-productive. In order to motivate your team/staff to adopt a new system, you need to ensure that the CRM software you choose is simple to understand and use on a daily basis. Plus, the more user-friendly a software is, the more hassle-free the CRM training would be, leading to a faster CRM integration.

Flexibility and Customization:
The best CRM systems are one that allows you the flexibility to customize the software to align with your business structure and processes. Be it on-premise or on-demand deployment, marketing and sales automation, customization of dashboards and reports, easy accessibility or seamless third-party integration, the best CRM software gives you the freedom to mould the system to suit your business needs. Thus, this is one of the most important CRM features that you need to look into.

Remote/Mobile Access: In this competitive environment, having a CRM system that doesn’t offer remote or mobile access can be detrimental to your business growth.

Remote/Mobile Access

Choosing a system that is compatible with iOS & Android devices enables team members to track & schedule activities as well as contact and share documents with the team on-the-go and this helps to not only boost productivity but it can also help increase sales and conversion.

Third-Party Integrations: Checking whether or not the CRM software can be easily integrated with important applications like Outlook, Gmail, Dropbox, MailChimp, Google Drive etc is important. Easy Social Media integration is another feature that is extremely vital in today’s digital age. As such, seamless integration with popular third-party apps is another essential feature that you need to look into when choosing a CRM software for small business.

Core and Standard Functionality: Core functionalities are the basic/common features that all modern CRM systems offer such as lead management, task management, mobile access, reports and dashboards, contact management, project management etc. Standard functionalities, on the other hand, are additional valuable features that you get on the purchase of a CRM software and this includes important elements like customized reporting, email and social media integration, quote or proposal management, referral tracking, call-center management, marketing automation integration among others. Thus, to ensure that you get your money’s worth, checking what CRM features a particular software offers is important.

Integrated Analytics: One of the best benefits of CRM is integrated Analytics. Apart from allowing you to capture and collect customer data, a CRM system also allows you to measure, track and evaluate customer data, thereby helping you make favourable business choices that will help boost your ROI.

Integrated Analytics

Also, through Analytics you are able to come up with actionable and customized marketing and sales campaigns that convert better. Therefore, this is an another CRM feature that you need to look into.

Multichannel Support Integration: In order to provide quality services, you need to give your customers the option of connecting with you through multiple channels. Thus, when choosing a CRM system pick one that makes it easier for you to offer multichannel support to customers via email, telephone, live chat, social media and others.


D] Which Is The Best CRM Software – Salesforce or Zoho?

Salesforce and Zoho are two of the best CRM software there is. The Salesforce CRM is the most popular CRM system used by many, whereas, Zoho is a budget-friendly CRM. Both this CRM software offers you tonnes of features. They are easy-to-use, offer a free trial and incorporates the latest technology. Plus, implementing, learning and managing these CRMs is easier too.

Both also offer you strong customer support, a wide range of add-ons via 3rd party integrations and are a safe and a secure platform providing you with an array of customizations. However, these two also have their share of pros and cons and as such, to know what these are, read this Salesforce or Zoho guide to make a well-informed decision.



Choosing the best CRM software for small business is not a big challenge once you figure out what your business needs and requirements are. By answering the above key questions you will be able to pick a CRM system that will help simplify your employees’ work and improve your organization’s productivity two-fold.

Also, make sure the CRM Software that you pick has the required CRM features which the basic essential as mentioned above. Lastly, two of the best CRM systems in the market today are Salesforce and Zoho and as such, if you are looking for Salesforce Consulting services or Zoho consultants then get in touch with us and we’ll help you out!

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