Managing the finances of a business can be difficult sometimes because there are a lot of things to spend money on. Quality products, infrastructure, wages and salary, maintenance, and customer satisfaction all battle for who gets the lion's share.

This tussle can leave businesses with a little amount of cash for customer satisfaction and CRM marketing. Nonetheless, CRM marketing has to be implemented for business growth. This article is expected to help you through making the best CRM marketing decisions with a very tight budget for optimal results. Talk about budget-friendly!

The business benefits of quality CRM tools are further discussed below.

Marketing and the Need for CRM Tool

Customer Relationship Management is undoubtedly invaluable to businesses in terms of boosting sales and overall business growth. According to the Harvard business review ”On average, sales and marketing costs average from 15%-35% of total corporate costs. So the effort to automate for more sales efficiency is absolutely essential. In cases reviewed, sales increases due to advanced CRM technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%.”

As a result, it is a natural phenomenon that nothing of value comes cheap; there is always a price, the same applies to crm marketing. However, in recent times, companies have begun to question just how much investments should be made in CRM marketing and what the expected ROI should be.

Bill gates said, “How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.” Further emphasizing the need for CRM.

Most companies invest so much in CRM marketing, yet, the amount of ROI doesn’t commensurate with the investments made thus affecting the business adversely.

To avoid this situation or move out of it, we have come up with some tips and tricks on how to have a fantastic CRM tool with minimal spending. Some free CRM tools which pretty much get the job done have also been introduced taking into consideration the opinions of experts in the field. Get set and let’s take a deep dive together.

Common Affordable CRM Tools

When the results and ROI which businesses have experienced as a result of a properly implemented CRM are properly evaluated from business to business, one might fully fall under the impression that implementing a decent CRM marketing will cost a fortune. Well, depending on the organizational goals and metrics of measurement in place, certain CRM might be quite expensive. Nevertheless, this doesn’t translate to the fact that all CRM systems, tools, and platforms need a lot of money for implementation. There are lots of tools that can produce excellent results on a decent budget. The following are some of the most common ones:

1. Hubspot

Hubspot’s free CRM marketing gives individuals and businesses a smooth ride by implementing CRM for their businesses. Beginners especially have benefited times over from this platform. It offers a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface. It boasts of instrumental features like Gmail, contact management, email tracking and many others.

Live chats, prospect tracking and a visual reporting dashboard all contribute to the functionality and efficiency of Hubspot's free CRM.

2. CRM

This is an emerging platform that also gives users a seamless and productive CRM by 500apps. The platform is yet to go live but It promises to help businesses better understand customer behaviors, and consequently make better business and marketing decisions all at little or no cost. Check crm software now.

3. Agile CRM

Agile CRM promises an all-in-one CRM marketing to help automate sales, marketing, and service all on the same platform. It also promises mobile-friendly cloud-based SaaS services all at affordable prices. In all, you can get an all-in-one CRM software at a very affordable price using Agile CRM. There is even an opportunity to test the platform at absolutely no cost for about 10 users and 1000 contacts.

4. Insightly

Automation is a major selling point of Insightly. Although unlimited access to all the goodies requires about $29 a month, it is still a decent amount and can help give the best services for any individual or organization with a fairly average budget. It is somewhat built solely for small businesses. Mass emailing, lead management, web to lead tiger amongst many others are the key features which unsightly brings to the table. It looks a fair deal to me!

5. Mailchimp

Businesses looking to work on a very tight budget have Mailchimp as a very viable option. With very moderate CRM features and heavy emphasis on email marketing, Mailchimp requires a very low cost of about 10$ per month at the most! Seems like a really good deal for individuals and businesses just starting out in CRM and have not so high indexes to match.

6. Capsule

Offering such major features as contact management, tracking users, sales pipeline, and tasks &calendar, Capsule really sets out to make CRM very easy for small businesses. It has a free version that accommodates about two users and 250 contacts and a paid version of about $18 per user and about 50,000 contacts.

7. Raynet

At absolutely no cost, Raynet accommodates 2 users with up to 150 users and customer support providing them with activity tracking, lead management email tracking, deals management, and analytics to name a few features. This CRM has built a stellar reputation for its outstanding, attentive, responsive customer support, and user-friendliness.

8. Really simple systems

Being specifically suited for small and medium scale businesses, Really simple systems help to manage and track sales and leads more efficiently. It also offers seamless integrations with accounting systems, as well as the permission system which helps to give exclusive access to teams within a business. RSS also allows users to have adequate records of client contacts for proper follow-up and communication. There are loads and loads of other features offered by this tool but once again the fascinating aspect of it is the rate at which one can get these features. It is definitely a steal!

9. Zoho CRM

Email marketing, customer feedback, social media features, and user tracking are all features obtainable for free or for a measly fee of 20$/month on Zoho CRM thus allowing any business or individual to get started with the basics of CRM at little or no cost. To further access features like unlimited automation, however, more levels of a subscription needs to be unlocked with a little bit more cash. Nevertheless, with a relatively tight budget, Zoho CRM ensures you can get a decent CRM.

10. Nimble

Tracking and nurturing contacts with present and prospective customers in a very efficient yet simple approach seems to be what Nimble CRM offers small and medium businesses that consult with them.

To further manage and monitor the contacts, the software also automatically picks up the contacts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and many others. Put simply, Nimble’s CRM tool places much emphasis on studying the customer. It boasts of features like call logging, contact management, email templates, and deal pipeline management.

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How To Choose The Best CRM Tool With Minimal Budget

A quality CRM tool is invaluable towards business growth. How quality a crm tool is however depends on how well the tool is able to keep track of customer interactions, maintain strong relationships with new and existing customers, boost sales and improve communication between sales and marketing teams.

crm tool

Considering the fact that these metrics of measuring quality are widely known to everyone in the CRM marketing space, most vendors have directed their effort towards ensuring this or at least pose to do so. The end result of this is that there’s a really large pool of vendors to pick from.

Choosing the best CRM tool is a tricky task; there are just too many things to think of; ranging from the earlier discussed metrics to other issues like deployment and scalability amongst others. To carry out this task successfully, however, priority should be given to the specific individual needs of the business in question.

Since there’s a lot of things to consider, the following tips should be followed before making any choice:

1. Prioritize user experience

“If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com.

User experience encompasses all features and structures that contribute towards how the user feels when making use of a particular application. User experience and user satisfaction are always in a continuous battle for which metric matters most in determining the quality of CRM marketing.

Before choosing any vendor, it is imperative for you to ask questions like “how enjoyable is the user interface?”, “how logical and understandable is the flow of actions?”, “how easy is it to use this system?” And many others. These questions and any other ones you can think of are to help you figure out if actually, the CRM tool gives an excellent user experience.

User experience is very important because the whole basis of CRM marketing is to ensure satisfaction. Of what purpose would a CRM tool that is a tough nut to crack then be?

2. Carefully outline the features and functionality you need

Although, business growth across different niches can be measured with some common features and growth metrics, nevertheless, each business is unique in its own right and has different characteristics. Since different customers occupy different business niches, then this is a fact.

Having known that, whatever business or marketing decision made by any business should be tailored specifically to suit that business and consequently scale it. This means, when choosing any CRM marketing vendor, the features and functionalities needed and peculiar to that business must be known. This helps to narrow down the search as only vendors whose features align with the required functionalities will be consulted.

3. Ensure your staffs understand the system or that there is a provision for training

This goes without saying. You can’t get the best results in terms of customer satisfaction, customer experience, and sales if your staff don’t even understand the CRM tool. Before you commit to a platform, be sure that staff who will be making use of it actually do understand it or that there is provision for training and retraining.

4. Know how much you are willing to pay

After looking up the features of a CRM tool, one might get enticed and convinced it is the right one. However, implementing a new CRM tool or strategy is a long haul rather than a sprint. Different issues come up along the line thus consuming cash. You need to know how much you can afford to choose and implement that CRM tool that you pick. Assumption can be very detrimental to the growth of the business as seen in the scary Halloween for Hershey.

Know how much you are willing to pay

5. Ensure the CRM Tool to be chosen has enough users you can learn from

This is to help you foresee the hiccups that might be encountered in the course of implementing and using the CRM system. Making use of a new CRM tool might be a tad bit too risky as there is little experience with the platform.

6. Choose CRM Tool platforms that fit your organizational scale

As earlier stated, the most important factor in choosing a CRM tool is a company’s organizational needs and wants. When choosing a CRM tool, you must be sure the tool fits the scale of operation of your organization and that it also fits the future scale of your organization.

7. Set realistic goals

In business and marketing, success should be viewed more in terms of the journey rather than the destination. After all, CRM is about building and maintaining strong relationships with customers to give them satisfaction and ultimately grow the business. Before you choose any CRM tool, setting realistic goals helps to stay more factual and thus allowing an informed decision or choice of CRM tool.

Set realistic goals

Expert opinions

Experts in the field of CRM marketing when quizzed about how to have a fantastic CRM tool with a minimal budget circled round about knowing more about the customer and how to better serve them as one of the major features which the CRM tool to be used must-have. Customer expectations had to be met by the tools to build trust.

Conclusion

A crm is undoubtedly a key determining factor of business growth. It helps in building a community around the products and services offered by a business and consequently building trust in the brand.

If it promises abundant rewards, then it comes at a price. However, this doesn’t imply that businesses should break the bank just to implement the best crm software or make use of the crm tool. There's a whole lot of tools available to help you get CRM in a company running on a relatively tight budget.

This then is a headache! Having to choose from loads and loads of free awesome CRM tools is quite tricky. But, to successfully carry out the task of picking the best tool, businesses should put what they want first. Understanding the goals you aim to achieve by making use of a CRM tool gives a clear direction on where to look for it.

The ability of the CRM tool to scale alongside your company’s scale together with how pleasant the experience of making use of the tool are factors that help you know if the tool is the right one.

At the end of the day, any business can implement the best CRM on a minimalist budget by merely understanding what they intend to achieve from the outset and knowing where to search for it. Good luck picking the best CRM tool for your business.

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