How to Choose the Right CRM

The world is full of acronyms and every business has it's own initial-filled language. Some are more intuitive to figure out than others but some require more explanation. Additionally, some acronyms you've heard of and have a basic level of understanding, but may not know if/how it applies to you. For starters, let's take a look at "CRM" or, Customer Relationship Management.

A CRM, by definition, is a system for managing relationships with your customers — arguable your most valuable and important asset.

 

If you aren’t currently using a CRM, you’re not alone.

Oftentimes customer lists are isolated to a CEO's brain, a sales rep's inbox, or an accountant’s stack of invoices. A step up from these options would be an Excel spreadsheet. However none of these options will help streamline your business operations or help it grow. It's time to graduate from So-So to CRM. This will allow you to:

  • Have one central place where all of your customer information lives, enabling anyone in the organization to pick up with a customer where you left off, creating a consistent customer experience
  • Understand who your customers really are
  • Be able to get in touch with your customers in a timely, efficient manner
  • Know best how your customers interact with the content you send them
  • Have awareness concerning your sales pipeline
  • And then some!

The above is only stratching the surface of the power of a CRM. But don't rush out and get the first one that jumps out at you. You need to do your homework, know your budget, and find out what's going to be the best solution for you not only now, but as your needs grow and change.

Incite Creative - How to Choose a CRM
Incite Customer CRM

So how much does a CRM cost?

CRMs range in price; there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. A few important things to keep in mind:

  • Many CRMs charge per-user fees. In other words, one user would cost $50, two users $100, and so on.
  • Some CRMs charge for additional data. This could come in a few different forms. Some CRMs charge on a per-record basis: you pay for each additional set of 1,000 (or 10,000, etc.) people in your database. Others charge for data storage in size. For example, you could store up to 5 gigabytes of data for free, then pay for each additional gigabyte.
  • Still others charge for functionality. Pay $50/user/month for contact, company, and deal management; pay an additional $50 for the “Enterprise” product that includes lead scoring and reporting.
  • HubSpot CRM is free and includes the following, and is our preferred option and includes the following:
    • Contact management
    • Contact & company features
    • Company records
    • Gmail & Outlook integration
    • Documents
    • Forms
    • Contact activity
    • Facebook & Instagram lead ads
    • Canned snippets
    • Email scheduling
    • Email tracking notifications
    • Email templates
    • Conversations inbox
    • Team email
    • Live chat
    • Conversational bots
    • Calling
    • Meetings
    • Deals
    • Tasks
    • Ticketing
    • Reporting dashboard
    • Prospects