4 years ago

Everyone wants to grow their small business. But getting more customers, scaling operations, and building your bottom line all require investment in just the right areas.

That’s why CRM is so important for small businesses. Having an all-in-one CRM system gives you visibility of the customer from every angle, so you can focus resources in the smartest way possible. When it comes to picking the right CRM for small businesses, the trick is to focus on a simplified platform with a low learning curve, no unnecessary features, and the capacity to scale with you. 

The right CRM for your small business will help you identify where to concentrate work—organizing and streamlining of all your business processes to make them better.

What Is A CRM System?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system helps manage customer data. It supports sales management, delivers actionable insights, integrates with social media and facilitates team communication. Cloud-based CRM systems offer complete mobility and access to an ecosystem of bespoke apps.

Why Do You Need A CRM For SME?

A CRM can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on the most important thing: your business. According to a survey conducted by The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), U.S. companies that report a significant investment in CRM now earn 20% higher profits than companies that don’t.

3 ways to maximize Return-on-investment

Close More Sales

A CRM will give you visibility of your customer demographics at all times. You can see how much money each customer has spent with you, and when they’ve placed orders in the past. You can also monitor your customer support tickets and when new customers land on your site, and monitor your customer loyalty and your order completion rates.

Keep Your Employees Organized

A CRM keeps every employee informed on the latest development and opportunities so they can better anticipate the needs of your customers. In addition, you will be able to monitor which of your employees are the most responsive to customers. Each time a customer sends a question or leaves a comment, your team will receive an automated alert to their device. That way, no customer question goes unanswered.

Go Social

The single best way to network with leads is still through a combination of social media and email. It’s impossible to track engagement this way, but with a CRM, you can measure how many people opened an email, how many people opened your website, and how many people signed up for the email newsletter. These simple metrics can show you how many people are interested in the latest content you created.

The Different Types Of CRM System

On Premise

An on-premise CRM solution runs on your network, so you have total control and security. It allows you to integrate with other company databases and have firsthand knowledge of each client’s history and business model. Both small businesses and large companies find the on-premise version very beneficial for their CRM needs, as they are always able to customize the system to their needs.

CRM As A Service

CRM as a Service (SaaS) allows you to easily manage your customer data from any location on any device. These systems are web-based and integrate with all third-party software and applications. This service is ideal for small businesses that don’t have a huge budget, as the monthly subscription fee is very affordable compared to on-premise version. SaaS CRM is very easy to collaborate with other departments within the company and customers, as well as is efficient for sales teams to access data at any time.

Another benefit of this CRM is that it requires no heavy IT infrastructure and installation process.


The majority of businesses that use CRM prioritize features that benefit everyone: employees and customers. A hybrid solution includes all the best features of SaaS and on-premise. Though there are a few drawbacks to this option–for instance, having to manage upgrades, patches and other maintenance tasks–companies require flexibility and convenience in this area, and a hybrid solution caters to both of those needs.

CRM SaaS is a very advantageous for small businesses, as it allows them to get only the most relevant information for their company–regardless of the size of their company’s budget.

Benefits Of A CRM For SME

There are many benefits to having a CRM for small businesses. A CRM is customizable and gives value to every employee within the company as they can allocate their most valuable time on the most important tasks. Thus, they can work smarter, not harder. Businesses with CRM:

Increase The Value Of Each Customer

CRM will help you know everything about your customer: where they live, what they do for a living, what they’re interested in, how they became aware of your brand, what pain point they’re facing, and more.

Create Better Lead Management

CRM will let you have better lead management. It is very important for companies who might have a repetitive customer with potential to convert in the future.

Increase Sales And Make More Money

With a good CRM, you’ll be able to manage your contacts in a clearer way–the more you know about your customers, the more accurate you’ll be able to promote your services.

Cut Out Waste

CRM is a way to streamline your organization. You can arm your team with the right information, thus enabling them to make better decisions. With a CRM, you can eliminate duplicate work across the business and make some profit.

Ramp Up Sales And Marketing Efforts

Every customers will have different needs, thus you need to work with different sales and marketing efforts for each one of your customer. With CRM, you’ll be able to track each customer’s interaction with your company as well as evaluate customer demographics and loyalty.

Increase Up-selling In The Future

In any business, the happier the customer is, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you as well as to recommend you to their peers. CRM allows you to track information about all past, present and future customers. By knowing the customer better, you’ll be able to not only increase up-selling in the future, but also your relationship building.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Having a satisfied customer is probably one of the most important things for any business. Which is why you want to track all customer information, interactions and preferences, in order to create a tailored and personalized customer experience so they become a repeat buyer.

Decrease Customer Churn

If you want to avoid losing clients, you have to work on preventing churn. Each time there is a sign someone wants to drop you, the CRM allows you to track what are the reasons why.

Decrease Customer Dissatisfaction

When a customer is always happy with your service, you can decrease customer dissatisfaction. Knowing how you can make them happy is your guarantee that they won’t be lost.

Improve Company Culture

CRM enables you to track how you’re doing, know where you can do better and who is doing a good job within the company. The pressure to perform won’t be on your shoulders, but on the employees.

Guide To Picking A CRM For SME


No one wants to use a complicated software. CRM is often used as an enterprise business solution, thus having a modified version of a CRM, which includes all the most important and relevant features, is highly recommended.

Ease Of Use

When you’re trying to get a CRM for your business needs, it’s crucial to have a solution with a clean and straightforward interface, which provides tools that are absolutely necessary, and are also intuitive for your staff to use.

Ease Of Integrations

If your business is using a lot of other software systems, it’s crucial to check if your CRM of choice can integrate with all the other third-party software you need. Also, make sure that the documentation and support are also up to the mark.

Seamless Migration

The software you choose should be capable of simple migration of data from a previous system. The platform you choose should be capable of handling the different data types you’re transferring. Your platform of choice should integrate with existing systems you’re using and allow you to choose which data to transfer.


If your business has a lot of growth potential, you want to choose a CRM that will be able to scale with it. For instance, if your business is planning to hire more employees, you want to be sure that you can have a little extra capacity for the team, rather than a rigid CRM solution that won’t give you the space you need.

Software Updates Are No Problem

You don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about your software platform–you just want to get to work. The CRM should handle itself the process of automatic updates and product upgrades should be possible without any problems.


Some of the most important integrations CRM software offers include Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office, thus allowing you to communicate with your contacts via all your channels. SEMrush is a software that can integrate with your CRM and help you with your marketing efforts.

Questions To Ask Before Getting A CRM For A SME

What Are Your Goals And Objectives?

This is one of the most important questions you have to ask before choosing the right CRM. There is no such thing as a best CRM software, since every company has different needs, thus check for the CRM that can match your specific business expectations. Make sure to clarify your goals before thinking about the software you need to better achieve these goals.

Do Your Employees Use Social Media?

As social media is crucial to have a good presence for your business, you have to think about creating an online community around your brand, as well as building your brand’s social media channels, you have to think about the CRM to use. It’s one of the most important aspects, which often goes unnoticed. This is why you want to be sure that you select a CRM that is capable of integrating with different types of social media channels your company is using.

How Many Users Do You Want To Support?

Zapier CRM enables you to track different comments through your channels, as well as integrate with other third-party software that can allow you to track leads that can give you the information you’re interested in. Your CRM should support a lot of users to allow them to all work and collaborate freely.

What Features Do Your Employees Need To Use?

Your CRM should enable your employees to have access to activity logs, calendars, reports, and information about your leads. If you have a lot of integrations, you’ll want to have a CRM that allows you to track all your data and provides you the tools to organize it into a good and intuitive way.

What’s Your Budget?

There are CRMs that are free and there are those that come with a price. If you have a big budget, then you have a big choice–all the best CRMs come with a big price tag.

What Software Do You Use?

If you have a lot of different software that’s chipped in for your business, you probably want your new CRM to be capable of integrating with the existing ones. You shouldn’t be in trouble to do any updates and always keep track of your software solutions. A CRM that’s not capable of integrating with say Gmail, might not be the one you want to use.

Do You Want To Have A Personal Or A Professional Profile?

You need to make sure you’re getting the right CRM for your needs. Do I need something that’s capable of serving me better at the office, or something for personal use? Picking the right CRM will definitely depend on how you’re using it, and you need to evaluate in advance which one can help you best. There are CRMs that offer both personal and professional profile, while others target a specific profile.

Are You Capable Of Hosting It On Your In-House Infrastructure?

Do you want to host it on your own server, or would you like to use a cloud-based solution? Cloud-based solutions used to be always the preferred choice in the past, but as the quality of cloud-based solutions has increased, in-house options have become more plausible.


After reading this article, you should be able to make a list of important CRM features that your business needs. It might seem overwhelming to process all the features offered, however it’s not about getting every single feature. What you want is a feature that will work well with your needs and business plan. After you’ve broken down these features, you should look for a software that will be able to offer them to you. Once you’ve finished it, it’s time to check the software you’ve chosen against your features list, and analyze whether it’s a match or not. Hopefully, this guide which has tried to analyze what’s important to consider when choosing the right CRM for SMB, will help you with your decision. Good luck!


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