What is a CRM?
CRM stands for Content Relationship Management. CRM platforms allows a business to keep track of customer contact details, customer interactions and manage customer accounts. By not using a CRM it can be easy to let customers fall between the cracks which in turn would result to missed opportunities for your business. A CRM allows you to automate many business processes which will save you time and money.
CRMs are not anything new however with the increase of powerful web technologies there are now many options available. Most of these offer highly effective sales and marketing tools.
What happens when you don’t use a CRM?
A lot of businesses do not use a CRM and I can understand why. The acronym itself can be intimidating let alone the tools and lingo that goes with it. Many business owners feel they are not tech/internet savvy enough to make use of them. The truth is, by not using a CRM you may be limiting your business reach and potential.
CRMs are not just places where you store customer information, an Excel spreadsheet you suffice for that purpose. They are amazing communication tools that will help you qualify leads and engage those leads using effective sale funnels. This process is can be all automated and once set up, requires little effort on your behalf.
Features of a CRM
Every platform is different but generally CRMs contain the following features:
- Contact Management
- Lead Scoring and Management
- Appointment Scheduling
- Project Management
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
- Email Tracking
- Landing Page Builder
Just like people, CRMs come in all shapes, sizes and value. Some are very expensive and support some of the biggest global businesses, while others are targeted towards small business who are on a budget. Some of the best include:
Most CRMs offer similar functionality so we won’t highlight every platform from the above list, but we will touch on the ones we think are worth your time.
ActiveCampaign is a very well thought out and intuitive platform with a huge focus on user experience. It packs incredibly powerful email marketing functionality (probably the best on this list) but still comes with everything else you would expect from a CRM. It’s email automation and segmentation is absolutely fantastic and will not disappoint.
Pricing begins at $15 a month for 500 contacts but expect to pay substantially more as your contact list grows.
You can learn more about ActiveCampaign here: https://www.activecampaign.com/au/
Salesforce promotes they are the #1 best CRM and it might well be true. They are the platform of choice for some of Australia’s and the world’s largest businesses including:
- Volkswagen Group Australia
- Japan Airlines
- The Ellen Degeneres Show
- Starlight Children’s Foundation
- And the list goes on and on…
Salesforce has many products available that ultimately makes up its CRM. These include the usual sales, marketing and service components; however, they also have a powerful e-commerce solution. Pricing isn’t cheap but sale business plans do begin at $35 per month.
You can learn move about Salesforce here: https://www.salesforce.com/au/
At SevenDev we personally use Agile CRM. This is because it is an all-in-one platform at an incredible price. FREE. It offers features in sales, marketing and services, and if you have less than 1000 contacts the platform incurs no cost. If you need additional functionality and up to 10,000 contacts, packages start at $8.99 USD.
Agile CRM isn’t the most intuitive but it does come with powerful features that work well. If you have ever received a marketing email from SevenDev, it was generated from Agile.
You can learn more about Agile CRM here: https://www.agilecrm.com/
These three platforms are great choices when looking at all budgets. Of course, you can expect the tools to be more refined when paying top dollar, but the cheaper options are great for business who want to test out the CRM waters.
CRMs often come with their own API and can be integrated into any site. This means every enquiry that comes from your website can be automatically pushed to your CRM and placed into the appropriate sales funnel without you lifting a finger. The sales funnel will then automatically send emails to your prospective clients based on the templates and conditions you have set up. The whole process is automated so you can focus on your on converting leads and not trying to remember if you have sent an email or not.
The initial setup of a CRM can be confusing and time consuming with the process including importing contacts, email template design and campaign creation. The small investment of your time at the beginning will pay itself off soon once your funnels start converting sales.
Every business can benefit from a CRM, but the longer you put it off the further you may fall behind your competitors. If you haven’t considered implementing one in your business, it should be high on your to-do list for this month. If you need help rolling out a CRM and integrating it with your website, contact SevenDev and we can help you out.