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Selecting the right CRM tool for your business can be an intimidating process. Let’s help you choose the right one so you can start to grow your leads, customers, and sales.

article by Marisa D. Aceves

Pleasing your customers is no simple task.

It’s a complicated affair given all of the factors you’ve got to consider.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could combine all your marketing efforts and manage your customer service information all in one place?

Luckily for you, there’s a handy solution; it’s called a CRM tool.

This thorough, easy-to-read article will help you understand:

  • What a CRM is and what it does;
  • Why you need CRM software;
  • How using a CRM tool speeds up and expands your business growth;
  • What are the top CRM tools to use in 2021;
  • What are the pros and cons of using each CRM tool;
  • Which type of business each CRM tool best serves;
  • And the cost of each software package

By the time we finish, you’ll have everything you need to choose and use the perfect CRM software to increase overall productivity and make your business soar.

Are you ready to get started?

I’ve decided to organize the content by sections, so reading it’s a breeze.

Let’s begin with some simple definitions:

What does CRM mean?

The term CRM stands for customer relationship management.

What is a CRM tool?

 CRM or customer relationship management tools are software that helps your business, organization, or agency better interact with leads and customers. 

What does a CRM tool do? 

It evaluates all of the dealings and knowledge you have obtained throughout your business relationship with each customer. For example, if an existing customer decides to upgrade to a more expensive plan, you’ll be able to track all the specific interactions that led up to their recent purchase.  

With a CRM, you can efficiently integrate the process of handling your business contacts in three different ways:

  1. Managing and scheduling meetings with leads and customers
  2. Organizing and identifying the sales strategies used to obtain each customer
  3. Optimizing business operations to increase profit

Why do you need CRM software?

When you’re running a business, you often resort to multitasking.

Based on a Harvard Business Review study, multitasking can result in a 40% loss of productivity. Jonathan B. Spira, the chief analyst at Basex, estimates that each year, the American economy loses almost $650 billion to multitasking. 

Using many different types of software to help you get the job done is inefficient.

 A CRM tool cuts the time you spend on clerical tasks in half, saving your sanity and money. It allows you to keep your detailed business records together. You don’t have to hunt for critical customer data.

CRMs store crucial information on each of your customers, such as what services or products they buy, the sales representative that helps them, and which platforms like email or social media where interactions occur.

Finally, it’s an effective tool for generating leads, creating new customers, and delighting seasoned ones.

How does using a CRM expand and grow your business?

Here are some of the ways that a CRM can help increase your profit:

  • Assists you in creating a rapport with your customers
  • Lessens the workload of your employees, which increases productivity
  • Allows you to focus your attention on finding customers that are searching for your products and services.
  • Promotes better customer service and retention

What are the top CRM tools to use in 2021

Are you confused about which software you should use?

No problem.

Here’s a list of some of the best tools on the market to help you make your decision. 

1. Agile

Agile says if you use its software, you can sell like the fortune 500 companies.

It combines your marketing, sales, and customer service in one platform that protects your data.

If you’re concerned about how you’re going to keep up with your clients during the sales process, Agile allows you to message them, so your contact is always consistent.

The best tools are almost always pricey for small businesses, but Agile is affordable.

Among its best features is its cloud-based Saas service, which is mobile-friendly and easy to use.

Closing deals can be tricky, but this software offers single-page contact management. You can even measure the progress of your business deals through the sales process to make sure you and your clients are on the same page.

Are you struggling with contacting customers to resolve issues?

Its voicemail automation and call scripts help you reach your customers anytime.

With Agile marketing, your business is simple, streamlined, and efficient.

In addition to its workflow drag-and-drop designer, it has a high-converting landing page builder, email marketing and tracking features, and so much more.

Face it, the reputation of your business rests on the quality of your customer service. This super CRM helps you provide a more personalized experience and analyze customer feedback to improve your customer relationships. When customers have a frequently asked question, you can supply them with a self-service portal to quickly find an answer.

Not all CRMs allow you to link to other software, but Agile connects you to Twitter, Facebook, Google Apps, Twilio, and several other platforms.

Pros and Cons 

Pros

Here’s a handy list of the features that help Agile excel:

  • Saves time on complex tasks
  • It is free for up to 10 users
  • Flexibility
  • Offers a wide variety of combined software
  • It’s affordable for small growing business and more established businesses
  • Excellent customer service
  • Easy sales and marketing automation

Cons

While Agile is the best-known for its affordability and flexibility, here are some reasons why it might not be for you:

  • Lacks updated tutorials
  • Needs optimizing for android
  • A hassle to import contacts

Whom Agile Best serves

Agile may be a great fit for your business if it exhibits these qualities:

  • Perfect for established and starting businesses 
  • People who crave a simple, easy-to-use platform 

Cost

Join with a free or paid plan.

2. monday.com

The companies’ pre-made templates and drag-and-drop displays make designing your business growth effortless.

Do you want to grow your business but are pressed for time?

As a business owner, your time is money.

If you don’t have an efficient system for monitoring your sales, you won’t know where they’re are coming from or how you need to make them.

The endless hours you spend takes away from the things you need to focus on the most.

Monday tracks sales team efforts and measures the progress of sales deals so you can concentrate on building your best campaigns yet.

It’s hard to get all your work done in one place.

With their flexible mobile app and offline mode, you can work anywhere from your home, office, and in-between.

If you’re concerned about software compatibility issues, Monday’s taken care of that.

To ensure your business runs smoothly, you can link the Monday tool to pre-existing tools and quickly order all new and ongoing contacts.

Pros and Cons

Pros 

Monday shines in these specific ways:

  • Easy to use 
  • Great for visual people
  • Free trial
  • Simple drag and drop feature
  • It works perfectly with the project management tool, saving your team time, effort, and money
  • Intuitive design makes it easy for you to see which stage leads are in the buying process
  • Allows you to customize your reports
  • You can easily integrate it with other types of software
  • Monday’s 24-hour help and support ensures you’ll
  • Phone support is available for all packages

Cons

While Monday’s intuitive design is a plus, it needs to improve these areas:

  • There are not a lot of in-house integrations
  • Expensive for small teams
  • Difficult to track project goals
  • The activity log is restricted
  • Doesn’t have the ability to send comments to your team

Whom Monday best serves

Consider using Monday software if your business fits these criteria:

  • You’ve got a large to moderate budget
  • You want a simple, easy-to-use CRM platform
  • You and your team perform best with visual examples
  • You don’t need to use several software integrations

Cost

Nurture your start-up with a Basic Plan or expand your established agency or organization with Standard, Pro, or Enterprise Plans

3. Pipedrive

When you have a small starter company or a more established online business, you know how complicated it can be to keep track of all your sales. Enter Pipedrive to help you organize your deals with ease. 

Trying to map the trajectory of your sales takes considerable effort.

This unique software creates a simple representation of your entire process. 

Complicated software that takes forever to learn how to use and might not be appropriate for your business can be intimidating.

Pipedrive knows each start-up or enterprise operates in its unique way, so it offers a simple, streamlined, drag-and-drop template to help you customize your chart to suit your needs.

 Added stress from trying to meet your sales goals keeps you from giving your leads and customers the attention they deserve.

Pipedrive will change all of that.

Instead of focusing solely on meeting your quotas, it allows you to concentrate on the activities that matter most, those that lead up to the sale.

Everyone knows the headache of trying to keep up with all the activities you’ve planned for the day, week, and month.

When you schedule multiple activities, their software will send you notifications so that you’re always prepared to make the next move.

Do you ever wonder if you’re making the right decisions to ensure your deals are successful?

You don’t have to linger in a state of confusion.

When you move along with deals, Pipedrive measures your conversion rate so you can make the necessary adjustments to reach your goals.

No one likes to spend endless hours completing tedious office work. 

Pipedrives’ detailed, user-friendly analytics will save you time by automating your administration tasks and connecting with tools you already use.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Pipedrive excels with these features:

  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Easily track communications
  • Great workflow automation
  • Conveniently provides a visual pipeline of each sales stage
  • Smart Contact Data feature makes it easy to access all of your customers’ information

Cons

Sales Pros like Pipedrive because it simplifies the sales process and makes it more efficient, but it fails to please in these areas:

  • There’s no A/B testing feature
  • Lacks the ability to track ROI and customer behavior
  • No capability to plan campaigns
  • Can’t use specific actions to trigger events
  • Could use better reporting tools
  • No tutorials or extra training

Whom Pipedrive best serves

Pipeline CRM software will be a good investment if:

  • You’re looking for software with a simple, painless setup
  • Have a small established business or a medium-sized business
  • You focus less on complex marketing campaigns and more on the individual customer

Cost

While Pipeline offers a free trial, you can take your business to the next level with their Essential, Advanced, Professional, and Enterprise Plans.

4. Keap

125,000+ users enjoy Keap’s software to achieve fast business growth. 

Besides being the easiest to use tool on the market, it has a series of valuable features that help you run your company more efficiently.

Many marketers have problems managing and organizing client interactions. 

Keaps’ software helps you do this efficiently. Now you can spend more time focusing on your customers’ needs and less on tedious clerical work. 

Coming up with effective sales funnels is a frustrating process most businesses hate to tackle.

Not with Keap’s Sales Pipeline feature.

It allows you to use a single view to keep track of and guide leads and clients effortlessly through the duration of the sales system. You can measure prospects at each phase depending on their interactions.

It’s challenging to convert new leads into paying clients. 

But with the Sales and Marketing Automation feature, you can send customized messages according to specific events or activities.

Do you have trouble setting up meetings with your clients?

Keaps’ Appointments feature makes scheduling appointments painless.

You can change your list anytime.

Many software companies try to upsell, charging you for additional features that add to the price of the software and your cost to acquire a customer.

Keap offers all-in-one capabilities for an affordable price.

New businesses struggle to figure out how to grow and expand.

Does this sound like you?

A 7-minute Lifecycle Marketing Assessment is available to provide you with a map to maximum profitability.

 It compares your business to other top performers within your niche to expose your strengths and weaknesses.

 An evaluation process takes place using the Lifecycle Marketing framework to help you recognize and act on promising possibilities for growth.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Keap surprisingly succeeds in these areas:

  • Includes analytics features for emails
  • Campaigns easy to customize
  • Dashboard feature gives you an overall view of the health of your business
  • Excellent support team
  • Plenty of tutorials and training

Cons

 Keaps’ advanced tool helps your business grow through expert marketing automation, but these areas need to be optimized:

  • There are periodic bugs in the system, such as duplicate contacts and inaccurate records
  • Affiliate programs complicated
  • Long loading times for large accounts
  • A systems check, so emails are not mistaken for spam

Whom Keap best serves

Keap may be the leading easy-to-use software on the market, but your business will benefit the most if you have these qualities:

  • Sell in bulk and need to automate the majority of your business processes
  • Have a moderate to sizable budget 
  • Employ advanced sales and e-commerce teams

Cost

Keap has three plans based on the size and need of your company: Lite, Pro, and Max.

5. Less-Annoying

One of the most affordable software platforms on the market, Less-Annoying, takes the frustration out of keeping up with leads, organizing contacts, and satisfying customers.

It’s easy to get confused with learning how to use new tools and technologies.

Put your fears to rest.

A helpful tutorial video shows you how to set up your account, use the software, and make the most of your purchase. 

Ever try to troubleshoot and ask for help only to find the software company you’re paying each month is difficult to reach or unavailable?

It’s maddening.

But with Less-Annoying, you get their email and phone support free of charge, even if you haven’t decided to make a purchase.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Besides being amazingly affordable and easy to use, Less-Annoying CRM does these things well:

  • Flexibility for organizing and prioritizing business contacts
  • Professional advice and support for troubleshooting and making the most of your software purchase
  • No unnecessary add-ons or integrations
  • It doesn’t require a contract
  • Effortless customization
  • Includes daily reminders to keep you and your team on task
  • Low price

Cons

Although Less-Annoying CRM has many enticing features that make it well, less-annoying, upgrade in these areas: 

  • More options for integration
  • Ability to remove pipelines for full customization
  • Addition of a form to keep track of payments
  • Better integration with social media

Whom Less-Annoying CRM best serves

Less-Annoying CRM is one of the most affordable software tools on the market, but to determine whether it’s right for you, check these points:

  • You’re a small or growing business that needs to save time and money
  • You value ease of use over a vast array of plug-ins and integrations
  • The majority of your customers’ make purchases on other platforms besides social media
  • You’re not as tech-savvy, and you want a painless way to conduct and organize your business with ease

Cost

The free trial lasts for 30 days!

And, at a mere 15.00 a month, most small businesses can take advantage of its time-saving services.

Pick Your CRM Tool

As a business owner, it’s up to you to figure out what your customers need and how to best serve them.

When it comes to your business, one size doesn’t fit all. Not everyone needs the most expensive plan to succeed.

You and your customers are unique.

The CRM software you choose should reflect that.

Now that you’ve read this helpful review, you can choose which one is perfect for your business.

Go ahead and get started!

Your perfect CRM tool and better future business are waiting!

About The Author

Marisa D. Aceves

Hello, my name is Marisa D. Aceves. I’m a forever curious B2B freelance writer, artist, and marketer. When not slaving away in the studio, I enjoy sharing marketing strategies, SEO tips, and tools and technologies. Follow my blog and receive my latest tips on art marketing, digital marketing, and business software reviews.

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