Sunday, October 28, 2007

What CRM to use if I am a small business?

Many business startup daily and have no idea on the best way to manage their contacts, customers, or products. The best way to do this is with a CRM or Customer Relationship Manager. The most popular one is SalesForce. The downside to SalesForce is that it has a high cost to entry...close to $1,000 for basic startup. This causes Small businesses to resort to using Outlook as event reminder for following up with contacts along with relying on their email client to keep a record of conversations and status of possible deals. This is something that is doable but takes a lot of time and things can fall through the cracks.

A great alternative to SalesForce that has just as many basic features is Zoho CRM. It is free to use and if you want the advanced functionality like bulk emailing and an outlook connector then it only costs $15/month. This means for $180/year you can have 4 people maintaining and utilizing a CRM. Tools like web form to lead capture allows a business to log a lead straight from their website so they don't have to waste time trying to copy and paste. I'd recommend that businesses look at using a CRM from the beginning because it is better to struggle in the beginning learning about CRM then trying to make the migration in the future from Outlook.

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