Last year I was listening to Nathan Chan of the Foundr Podcast, mentioning the difficulty of getting another certain business leader on his show. It was due to scheduling conflicts, and most recently the sought-after speaker had rescheduled because he had an opportunity to drive a Ferrari on the Artic Circle. That was the moment introducing me to Tony Robbins, and I was immediately intrigued.
What is a CRM?
It stands for Customer Relationship Management, but we like to call it the follow-up technology.
A CRM is typically an online software where companies can store customers information like email, phone numbers, etc. Think of it like a Rolodex on steroids. It also comes in handy for sales prospecting.
The real advantage of the system is to keep the customer database organized.
- Is your company still using an old desktop CRM?
- Is an Excel spreadsheet more your style?
Here are three web-based CRMs worth considering:
The three above options are very different regarding capabilities. Salesforce focuses on enterprise companies, also known as large organizations. We do see smaller companies utilize Salesforce (less than 50 employees) but in most cases it's overkill for small business needs. At times, Salesforce can be a bit clunky to novice users, but with proper onboarding and continued training this platform can be an implementation success. You can start with Salesforce for $25/month per user.
HubSpot CRM is a free CRM that allows for a smooth start, just upload your database and you are on your way. The catch: Hubspot hopes that FREE users will like their cloud software so much, that they will want to purchase their marketing (SaaS) platform that starts at $200 per month.
This platform is a great launch pad to get acclimated to the CRM world.
Make sure to download SideKick for business; it will supercharge Hubspot's CRM. The tool is free, with limited use, and plans start at $50/user per month. This tool easily allows you to add contacts directly from your email, amongst additional features. Sidekick is a must if you use this platform. We fell in love with HubSpot, so we are currently test driving the marketing platform (we will let you know how it goes). The one negative we took away from the platform was their lackluster mobile APP. This small detail will be a negative if you have sales representatives in the field.
We now know that there is a viable alternative to the big hitters in the industry. Pipedrive has developed an excellent product: in the last six months, we recommended this to three different clients, and all three implemented the platform. It's visually appealing for visual learners and easy to use for the organization as a whole. Pipedrive has a 30-day free trial, perfect for a test drive.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the implementation of any new CRM requires buy-in from key stakeholders, and will require scheduled training to ensure employee adoption.
Have more questions about CRMs? Send us a message!