CRMs, or contact relationship managers, are an essential part of many businesses’ day-to-day communications. They are essentially the databases that contain all of the known contacts of a business that the business communicates with on a regular basis.
It doesn’t matter the size of your business, a CRM is becoming a necessity for anyone storing and managing contacts in an organized and logical manner. Small businesses can benefit just as much from the utilization of a CRM as a large conglomerate.
If you are a small business just starting out and building your Rolodex (so to speak) and are thinking about acquiring a CRM tool, you should definitely think about the features and functionality that your business needs before committing to a specific CRM service.
Here are a few considerations that should help you with finding the best CRM for businesses like yours.
Capacity and Ability to Scale
The first thing to consider when trying to find the best CRM for your small business is the number of contacts the CRM tool can hold. You want to be sure that the CRM can hold all the contacts you need now as well as in the future.
You may just be starting out and think that you don’t need a contact database with tonnes of storage, however, what happens when your small business sees exponential growth in five years? If your chosen CRM cannot scale to match your growing storage capacity needs, then it is definitely the wrong CRM for you. You should be able to scale up and down the number of contacts needed in your subscription so you aren’t starving for storage – or paying for more than you need.
Easy Data Entry
Often in a small business, the last thing you have is spare time. Which means that when you are inputting new contacts into your CRM, you need to be sure that there is a quick and easy method for doing so rather than having to manually enter the details of each contact. A CRM that allows you to upload details for many contacts at once will go much farther to increase your business’s efficiency.
Bulk data upload should be able to be done easily through the use of spreadsheets. The right CRM should allow you to collect all your contact data in a spreadsheet file separated into columns of information you would like to store for your contacts and have the CRM system automatically map this information into the appropriate locations once the file is uploaded.
Once your contact data is in the system there should be an easy way to make modifications to the data as well. The best CRM should allow you to quickly and easily view the information stored on each contact and update it as needed to ensure its continued accuracy.
Another aspect of contact data management is the ability to sort and group your contacts into meaningful subsets that you can use when sending messages and communications. This practice can be aided through the use of lists as well as filtering functionality. Lists allow for easy and convenient contact segmentation. As well, contact should be able to belong to more than one list without creating duplicates of the contact record. Filtering can also help with contact grouping and segmentation by way of enabling you to sort your contacts based on pre-specified conditions and allowing you to choose to either add these filtered contacts to a list or perform a number of other actions.
Any CRM system worth its salt should be able to provide its users with information regarding those contacts who have unsubscribed from your communications and prevent you from continuing to send to them. This is a vital piece of technology that serves to ensure you are in compliance with the various anti-spam legislation that exists.
Especially for small businesses who may not be able to afford the monetary penalties that come from failing to comply with this legislation, it is extremely important that your contact manager has that failsafe in place to only allow you to send to contacts who have a) consented to receive communications from you and b) have not explicitly removed that consent since. Just because a contact once consented to have you send to them doesn’t mean that they cannot revoke it further down the line.
Looking for the best CRM for small businesses?
Look no further! SimplyCast’s CRM tool has all you need to store and manage your business’s contacts and has suppression measures in place to prevent communications with those who do not wish to be communicated with.
The SimplyCast CRM also comes as part of an entire engagement automation platform complete with all the communication tools you need to engage with your business contacts. From email to fax, and from online forms to marketing automation, the SimplyCast platform allows you to connect with your contacts like no one else.
If you would like to try out the best small business CRM, sign up for a free 14-day trial of the platform (including the CRM) by clicking the button below!