Customer Management Articles

Do You Really Need a CRM?

by Luke Moreland
Published on 24 July 2014

Online crm software for lead managementWe all have to start somewhere even if it's just an Excel spreadsheet. The jump to more complex customer relationship management software at first may seem to make life more complicated rather than simpler. You may not have many customer relationships and rely on the power of memory and good old data entry to organize yourself and your business. Do you really need a CRM loaded with special features that your small business may not even use? Or should you just stick to those boring cells?

There are many advantages to using CRM software to make your team communicate better internally, organize itself and strategize about your relationship with your target over the long-term so that when the customers start rolling in you will have a refined system for delivering consistent satisfaction.

A CRM must scale with your small business

So one way of looking at it is that even though you may not have many customers yet, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be preparing yourself for the inevitable probability that you will!

But the time to make your small business happen is now. You want something that works immediately and that is easy to use and well-suited for the scale of your business. Productivity, money and efficiency is lost if the learning curve to get to know that new CRM is too high. Or worse, if it doesn't work for your team and you are forced to abandon the whole system it can be a real waste of time.

Keep it simple.

Simplicity for small business is a value that an increasing number of CRM software are addressing and resolving.

Now CRMs loaded with sophisticated features are losing out to straightforward software that delivers a practical and efficient package of tools to help you do whatever it is you do better and with more ease.

Below are a few exemplary CRM software that take you away from your Excel spreadsheet without missing a beat to a more professional, uncomplicated way of managing your customer relationships. You will not be bogged down in complex features you don't need or don't have the time to learn.

These are CRMs made simple that you probably do need, now and eventually. Better to take a little time to get started early.

Casengo for you SMBs

Refreshingly built with small, busy businesses in mind, Casengo is so subtle and easy that it doesn't bear any resemblance to the other clunky CRMs that lurk in the cloud. They even call out those of you who give excuses for not being technical. The set-up is designed to be fool-proof and getting started is trouble-free. The ease of getting going reflects the powerful simplicity of their features.

  • Even the best customer service rep has lost a customer…not only on a sale, but really just not knowing whatever happened to them! No customers will be lost with Casengo's all-in-one inbox that integrates Email, chat, Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls. And what a view it is! Everything there in one single place.
  • Go team! Collaboration tools mean that everyone is on board with the customer relationships being built. Your team will experience more productivity and less personal tension with truly team-based software that irons out the inefficiencies.
  • You need a center to teach customers all the accumulated knowledge of how your business works. Stop writing endless responses and show your clients how to help themselves with your own knowledge base.
  • What CRM software would be complete without Macros? Macros save your most important customer service responses and then allows you to deliver them quickly and efficiently to customers without having to waste time writing up an answer you've already written ten times before. Casengo has a useful system for assigning macros that is straightforward and effortless. If you find yourself answering the same questions again and again, it will save you a lot of time.

Efficient, easy-to-use, powerful and simple are the qualities that make Casengo an excellent CRM to implement without the learning curve or technical know-how.

Insightly small business CRM

This is one CRM software that is designed specifically with small businesses in mind that promises an easy user experience and actually delivers it. Everything is designed to automate and systematize the different customer relationships that a small business has to manage on a daily basis. A few interesting features are mentioned below.

  • Project management is something that can be rather simple or something extremely complex. Whatever the level of complexity of managing projects in your business, Insightly's system helps you focus on achieving milestones in an efficient and organized way.
  • Like Casengo, this CRM wants you to do things the way you already know how to and allows you to integrate with email, Evernote, Google Apps, MailChimp, Quote Roller, Torpio, Zapier and more.
  • Another very practical feature is that all of your contacts will be associated with their social media profiles giving you additional options for contacting or following your clients.
  • It's easy but this is a very powerful CRM that allows you to manage what is important to you: your partners, your vendors, your suppliers and of course your customers. See everything that has made those relationships what they are and identify opportunities for growth.

Insightly is a piece of software that doesn't try to be everything for everyone. It is not trying to provide a service to complex, bureaucratic companies and organizations. It is here to offer a package of tools with small businesses in mind to make your job easier, not more difficult.

RelateIQ for your small business relationship intelligence

Salesforce's newest and perhaps most expensive acquisition really gets to the point of sales. RelateIQ helps automate your all of your data entry, contact management, and other *yawn* administrative work, so you can focus on your customers and closing soon. "I'm at my best when I'm not in my inbox. I'm in RelateIQ," said one satisfied customer, which we can understand, since we all know how distracting email really is.

  • RelateIQ acts as a liaison between your inbox and calendar, automatically letting you know how long its been since you last KIT (kept in touch.)
  • From a team-based sales standpoint, RelateIQ makes it easier for managers to keep an eye on exactly what their teams are doing. Then, this automated collaboration allows you to offer better, more integrated customer service.
  • While it's name is very centered around the touchy-feely, don't be fooled. RelateIQ is all about driving decisions with real-time data.
  • And with RelateIQ's native iPad and Android apps, as well as the Google Chrome plug-in, you can offer your sales reps freedom to choose how and where they work.

RelateIQ cuts down ten hours of admin time per week per employee, which could translate to a 25 percent increase in time to offer great customer service.

You Don't Need a CRM!

The name of this software reveals their business model and their philosophy. This is one piece of software that deliberately tries to avoid the pitfalls of over-complicated customer management systems. It is self-consciously simple and makes no bold claims to have the most extravagant features on the market. It simply wants to help you sell and gives you a few easy-to-use tools to accomplish just that.

  • Copy and paste that Excel you've been working on directly into their more complete online spreadsheet with no time lost.
  • Sometimes business card exchanges get out of hand and it becomes this crazy contest to see who can win the most. If that's you, there's no need to manually enter in all that information. Take a picture of the business cards that matter on your phone and that lead will automatically be updated on your spreadsheet.
  • Something as simple as setting up reminders for following up on your leads can be synced with your calendar.
  • Go ahead and sync your calendar then all your other Google apps. Instead of trying to figure out a whole different system unique to a CRM, this one just lets you work the way you are most comfortable with.
  • Share comments, messages and contacts with everyone on the team. Your leads and relationships will be seamlessly built together and converted into sales.

You Don't Need A CRM makes a grand statement that may not be true. If you have a complex set of customer relationships, managing your business will certainly be made easier with a customer relationship management system. But their philosophy and their business model is sound in avoiding complicated, closed software by moving toward a service that delivers simple, easy-to-use tools for selling better.

Do you need a CRM?

Consider these three great options or browse other customer management software to find one that maximizes the potential of your business and doesn't slow you down.


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Apps mentioned in this article