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How to Choose the Right CRM for Your Business

Top10.com Staff
A business team using a CRM software
According to Destination CRM magazine, 91% of US businesses (with 10+ employees) already have customer relationship management software in place. In fact, the CRM software market is expected to climb to a height of 80 billion dollars in revenue by 2025.

Its popularity stems from the fact that CRM software bridges the gap between a business and its customers with information. CRM collects and stores this information in a central place. Through automation, a business uses the information for a host of things.

For example, businesses are increasingly realizing an increase in revenue after they purchase and deploy CRM. A survey conducted by Nucleus Research indicates that a business with CRM in place saw an average return of investment of $8.71 for every dollar they spent.

Because different departments, teams, and scenarios have unique requirements, when choosing CRM, your motivation is what key features you need in order to achieve your goals.

Specific CRM Features for Sales Teams

Sales team members should look for key features in CRM that will benefit the department as a whole, which will ultimately allow you to devote more time to selling.

The concept behind CRM for sales is to enable team members to be able to better understand the customer. Additionally, CRM alleviates the manual tasks of inputting lead information and processing them to conversion.

Features to Look For

  • Lead generator
  • Lead metrics
  • Integrational analytics
  • Sales pipeline
  • Customizable reports
  • Contact syncing
  • Mobile access (for when you are in the field)
  • Ability to communicate with team members
  • Sales forecasting

How CRM Grows and Benefits a Sales Team

Sales teams can identify what the buying pattern of a customer is. This information allows them to plan future sales opportunities to increase revenue. An excellent example of this is being able to launch new products that customers want. Information on buying patterns provides the basis for predicting new product sales.

  • Time is money! CRM will give you instant access to your data in one place, and you will no longer have to look for it among stacks of papers or filing cabinets.
  • Sales productivity increases by providing team members with real-time access to customer data while in the field. Mobile access to CRM increases the productivity of sales team members by 14.6%. If the sales team can be productive, the sales pipeline thrives!
  • Mobile CRM enables the sales team to achieve quotas and reach their target goals. An increase in productivity is an increase in revenue.
  • CRM lead generator is a valuable tool which targets leads. Sales teams will be up-to-date on leads with the information at their fingertips.
  • You can measure your business’ growth through forecasting. Forecasting has numerous benefits for sales teams.
  • You will be able to anticipate the needs of the customers.
  • Enables the marketing team to plan future marketing campaigns strategically.
  • Gives you real-time statistics and performance.

What Customer Service/Support Teams Should Look For

Customer service and support team members deal directly with the customer. Therefore, it’s vital that the customer experience is positive and streamlined. CRM gives team members the ability to quickly and efficiently handle any customer issues.

  • 73% of customers in the US are loyal to a brand because of friendly customer service.
  • 89% of unhappy customers in the US that had lousy customer service went elsewhere to shop.
  • Customers will pay more to shop at a business where they have a pleasant experience. 86% of customers are willing to spend up to 17% more for good service.

Features to Look For

  • Email automation
  • Email templates
  • Customer communication reports
  • Contact management
  • Call center automation
  • Service tracking
  • Live chat
  • Messaging
  • Escalation and prioritization

How CRM Grows and Benefits Customer Service/Support

A business with good customer service will have loyal customers that return to buy. Through ‘live chat’ and customer support with CRM, your customers will have a positive experience.

Your CRM Needs If You Are In Marketing

CRM provides marketing team members tools for a collaborative strategy in reaching leads. The customer journey is positive from start to conversion because of the valuable tools CRM adds to the overall effort.

Features to Look For

  • Email automation
  • Campaign management and automation
  • Lead scoring
  • Event management
  • Web tracking
  • Lead generator
  • Email templates
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer reports
  • Workflow automation

How CRM Grows and Benefits Marketing Efforts

  • Conversion rates are higher when CRM provides access to information about leads. Through web tracking and lead scoring, teams have the advantage to keep track of those leads and to have the information that leads to conversion.
  • Email marketing campaigns are done through automation. Not only does this free up the time of employees that typically handle these tasks, but it also pushes offers and products effortlessly to the customer.

What Business Management Teams Need From CRM

CRM streamlines the overall business operation. Less time is spent on manual tasks, giving you more time on the floor, interacting with customers and departments.

Features to Look For

  • Email automation
  • Phone call automation
  • Workflow automation
  • Secure data storage
  • Project management
  • Workflow automation
  • Sales management
  • Integration with existing software
  • Easy learning curve for employees
  • Product inventory management

How CRM Grows and Benefits a Business

  • By having data in a central location, team members won’t miss deadlines, projects, events, or meetings. Through automation, these critical tasks don’t fall through the cracks causing loss of revenue.
  • Through sales management, you will have a snapshot of your sales team’s progress. Improvements can be made, thus increasing sales.
  • CRM streamlines the output and productivity among team members. This promotes collaboration at all levels within a business. Automation replaces manual tasks, which can lead to mistakes. Teams in various departments work faster to address customer service issues.
  • CRM reduces mistakes of repetitive task assignments. Automation removes the element of human error.
  • The central data location provides valuable information and insight into how the business is performing. Analytical data helps to build strategic plans to maximize customer conversion rates.
  • Tasks such as inventory tracking, invoicing, processing purchase orders, and payment reminders are just a few more things CRM will streamline.
  • CRM is a comprehensive system that will handle employee-related management.
    • Customer-employee interactions
    • Employee progress
    • Employee performance
  • You can streamline your business reports. Because CRM processes the information, your reports will be accurate. These reports will help you to make any necessary changes for a better return on your investments.
  • Through CRM, your business’ brand credibility improves. The customer service you provide along with good service builds your reputation. As a result, your customer base grows along with revenue.

The Best CRM Software of 2024

Starting price
From $9/month per month
From $14/user/month per month
$19 per month
Lead capturing
Free trial
14-day trial
14-day trial
21-day trial
14 days with no card


6 Things to Consider When Choosing CRM

1. Functionality

  • Each business has unique needs. Anticipate that your business will grow as well as your CRM requirements. When choosing CRM, make sure you can upgrade it.
  • Don’t pay for features that you are not going to need or use.
  • Will you be assigning user roles to your employees? If so, make sure to choose CRM that has the feature to do so.
  • It’s recommended to choose CRM that is mobile-friendly with app integration.

2. Ease of Use

  • What is the learning curve on the CRM? Employees who have a hard time learning CRM tend to refrain from using it. This can have a significant impact on your business.
  • How difficult is it to install and use?

3. Price

  • Cheaper is not always better.
  • Make sure you study each pricing tier’s offering carefully, because not all features are included across the board.

4. Support & Training

  • Be careful of tier plans because some do not include free support.
  • There are cloud-based CRMs on the market that have inclusive and outstanding customer support.
  • Does the CRM have free tutorials, guidebooks, forums, etc. in the event you need help?

5. Reviews

  • This is perhaps the most valuable tool for choosing CRM. Read the reviews and see what others have to say about the product and service.
  • Thoroughly study the websites of CRM vendors to gain insight on the product.

6. Integration

  • Will the CRM integrate with apps you currently have?
    • Programs such as MS Office, G-Suite, etc.
    • Accounting software
    • HR software
    • Website
    • Web forms
    • Ecommerce platform

The CRM Takeaway

CRM is a powerful tool that will prove to be valuable for your business. Your day-to-day operations and processes greatly benefit from the streamlining that CRM offers. Your relationship with your customers will improve, resulting in an increase in revenue.

The advantages of CRM are too great to pass up. For a business to survive today, CRM is crucial.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.