In this day and age where most businesses depend mostly on technology, building and maintaining strong customer relationships now lies at the core of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. After all, it is the bond between the company and its customers that leads many businesses to success.
In most cases, bigger and more profitable companies tend to require more advanced techniques in the implementation of their CRM tools. As such, huge companies are now using world-class software to ensure that their CRMs work smoothly and efficiently. Although there are numerous options to choose from, businesses are still in doubt whether to opt for a free CRM or invest in paid ones.
Free vs Paid CRM Solutions: Which is Best For Your Business
Before we look into some of the most essential features of a CRM solution, let’s first discuss the basic differences between a free CRM and a paid CRM.
In a nutshell, free CRMs are free to use. However, unlike paid CRMs that allow access to special addons and support, free CRMs software places restrictions on their users. While they let users access critical functionalities such as contact management, social media integration and monitoring, most free CRMs have storage base limits as well as limits on the number of users. With paid CRMs, the software can be easily modified and integrated into your current infrastructure.
When looking for the best CRM solution for your business, it is best to consider that most CRM systems are built differently. Thus, they usually offer unique features and provide unique advantages. Investing in a paid CRM solution, however, can surely benefit businesses in the long run especially those who run companies with a larger customer base.
Consider the size of your business
Before choosing between free and paid CRMs, you might need to take into account the size of your business first. For small businesses, it is best to try out free CRM software. Explore the basic functionalities of a CRM tool and find out if it meets the needs of your company. For enterprises with a wide customer base, a paid CRM solution is the most sensible choice.
Identify the focus of your marketing plan
Keep in mind that you’re not buying a CRM solution as yet another software to add to your list of work systems. You’re looking for one to help streamline your entire business operation. As such, you need to make sure that the CRM solution you’re about to choose can be integrated with your current applications.
Most businesses today spent most of their time and effort on building a strong email marketing plan. If you’re one of them, you might need to consider choosing a CRM solution that works well with your existing email marketing software.
Pay attention to user experience
One of the most essential factors you need to consider when looking for a CRM solution is the user experience. How do you feel about it? How effective is the user interface? Is it something that helps you or slows you down?
The right CRM software can help you track all customer interactions, maintain strong customer relationships and improve sales in the long run.
Free vs Paid CRM Solutions: 5 Factors You Need to Look For
Here, we’ll discuss 5 essential features of a reliable CRM solution.
Along with in-depth details such as interaction history, contact management allows businesses to store customers’ information including name, contact information, address, social media handle, in a searchable database. This essential functionality saves time, effort and resources for most sales representatives as they look for each client on multiple databases.
Moreover, contact management allows users to organise contacts into groups and cater to them more effectively. With this key feature, businesses can gather crucial customer data which they can use as they work on their marketing campaigns.
Analytics plays a crucial role across all major aspects of any business that CRM supports — sales, customer service, marketing, ecommerce and a lot more. With CRM analytics, users can easily track metrics allowing them to monitor their profitability, customer retention rate as well as performance of marketing campaigns.
Most reputable CRM solutions, if not all, feature lead management functionality. It allows users to manage the process involved in converting prospects into leads by identifying them and moving them into the sales pipeline. Like lead scoring, lead management helps improve sales team productivity by helping them identify the right leads.
One of the most essential features of excellent CRM software is workflow automation. This function allows users to streamline operations using logic or rules such as if-then-else. With workflow automation, businesses can keep their employees from doing repetitive tasks such as data collection, sending emails and following up on leads. Moreover, this feature helps avoid duplication of work, ensuring that necessary actions are completed.
In today’s world where most people are too dependent on technology, utilising a desktop CRM solution for your business will no longer be enough. With mobile phones being such a huge part of everyone’s life, it is essential that your company can access your business CRM using mobile. With mobile CRM, the company’s sales team will have access to data even while out in the field. Mobile CRM apps can also be used to schedule appointments and more.
Summary: Free vs Paid CRM Solutions
When deciding whether to choose a free CRM or a paid CRM for your company, you need to think of one thing: every business is unique. Thus, the needs of every business are likely to differ. The best thing you can do is to think about your sales team and your entire marketing plan. Lastly, take into account how the CRM software will integrate with all your existing infrastructure.