social media management

7 things to look for in a CRM for small businesses

7 things to look for in a CRM for small businesses

What is CRM?

All business owners want to achieve growth, and to do so as efficiently as possible. In the digital age, this means leveraging technology to automate and streamline your marketing activities. It’s time to retire the Excel spreadsheet used to keep track of your customers and consider customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

As we mentioned earlier, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM platform is software designed to help you manage your relationships with your customers.

The right CRM platform can help you:

  • Grow your business – The first reason to start using a CRM is that it helps you grow your business by ensuring that you always have access to the data you need, when you need it.
  • Stay organized- Keep all your information in one place, from contacts and notes to projects and calendars.
  • Develop your prospects and customers – With easy-to-access customer and prospect data, you can stay in touch with your prospects and customers. Leverage timely, thoughtful campaigns to turn more leads into customers, and more customers into lifelong fans of your brand.
  • Get everyone on the same wavelength – When several people are helping a customer or working on a project, a CRM makes it easy to access notes and status updates.

These are just some of the many reasons why every small business needs a CRM platform. But it’s important to know that they’re not all created equal. To reap the benefits of a small business CRM, you need to choose the right platform.

Online store
Online store

7 things to look for in a CRM for small businesses

#1. Integrated forms
As I mentioned, a CRM will help you keep all your contact and business information stored and organized in one place. However, all this data doesn’t magically appear on its own. Someone has to enter them, and your website forms allow customers and prospects to enter data on their own.

Your CRM must be able to integrate with all the forms on your website, whether they’re simple contact forms, evaluation request forms or newsletter sign-up forms. This will save you hours of manual data entry.

What’s more, since your prospects and customers fill in their own information, you’re less likely to end up with transcription errors.

#2. The ability to customize
Every company has its own organizational needs, and there’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter CRM that meets every company’s needs. What works well for one company may not be ideal for another. That’s why the CRM you choose needs to be customizable to your needs.

Don’t settle for a CRM with predetermined fields. Make sure that your CRM allows you to create the fields you need to store the information that matters most to your business, and that it lets you organize your data as you wish.

As well as allowing you to create custom fields and organize your company’s information the way you want, your CRM should make it easy to visualize the data you need from a global perspective.

#3. Prospect and customer management
A CRM platform should help you manage your relationships with prospects and customers.

To properly manage lead flow and customer relationships, you need a CRM that lets you do things like record history notes, create tasks, manage deals and projects, store files and more.

#4. E-mail marketing lists and automation
While most of your digital marketing efforts are aimed at attracting new customers, the right CRM is powerful because it allows you to create meaningful campaigns that turn prospects into customers and keep them coming back.

Email marketing is an incredible marketing tool in terms of return on investment. Emails are often read quickly, and are the ideal way to ask for opinions, publicize upcoming events, promote sales and offers, provide customers with valuable information, recommend additional products or services and much more.

When you combine email marketing with a CRM that streamlines customer data, it becomes even more powerful. Your CRM and your email marketing platform shouldn’t be two separate things. It’s essential that you can integrate your CRM with your e-mail marketing software.

Maximize efficiency by looking for an automated email marketing solution. Automation takes your e-mail marketing to the next level, allowing you to reach a large audience – and guide them through the sales funnel – all at once.

#5. Contact management
Your prospects and customers are undeniably essential contacts to manage and monitor closely. The right CRM can help you keep track of them all.

Just as you can track purchase history, contact information and other key data for your prospects and customers, look for a CRM that offers the same kind of data management solution for your other contacts, including employees, partners and so on.

Imagine having all the information you need about your employees in one place – emergency information, availability, talents and skills, performance history, and so on. The right CRM can do this and much more.

#6. Mobile usability
Customer relationship management tools aren’t what they used to be. Like everything else, they have evolved over time. In the good old days, companies kept customer data on paper, with filing cabinets full of customer files and Rolodexes crammed with notes and business cards.

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way, at least as far as customer relationship management is concerned.

You want a CRM that can be accessed from anywhere. So whether you’re helping a customer in your store or office, at home or on site, or even at a trade show stand, you can always capture and access the data you need.

You won’t always be close to your computer, and you need to be able to use your CRM wherever you are and whatever device you have. This means you need a CRM that’s mobile-friendly and offers total usability on any device.

#7. Digital marketing integration
A good small business CRM is an excellent tool in itself for building relationships with customers and keeping track of business information. But you can get much more out of your CRM if it integrates with other digital marketing channels and strategies.

Your CRM doesn’t have to be an island. Look for a CRM that can be integrated with the rest of your marketing programs and campaigns.

Thanks for reading, see you at the next blog!

If you have any questions or would like a quote, please contact us by e-mail at or at 418-455-2259.