Best CRM Apps for Small Business
9 Killer CRM Apps For Your Small Business Needs
Mobile apps do a great deal to entertain and inform us. But they’re more than ready for professional use, too; today entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals of all sorts rely on the connectivity and productivity-boosting powers of business apps.
If you’ve got a small business of your own, the nine CRM tools I’m about to share with you are all worth your consideration. All CRM systems are built around a database for tracking customer information. It’s what a CRM platform is designed to do with that data that sets it apart from others, and so I’ve broken these CRM apps down by data approach.
CRM Apps Focused On E-Mail
It’s no accident that Infusionsoft is a leading name in a number of important customer service fields, including e-mail marketing and marketing automation as well as CRM. The greatest advantage the Infusionsoft platform has to offer is its flexible “follow-up sequence.” This system allows you to set up an extensive series of automated e-mail rules dictated by the behavior of the individual customer. A customer who phones up with a question in response to a particular campaign, for instance, can be automatically sent a specific reply. The Infusionsoft system combines a range of different communications options. It handles faxes, voicemail, and even snail mail in addition to e-mail. If your business depends on the ability to run an extraordinary e-mail marketing campaign, Infusionsoft is definitely a CRM system to consider.
InTouch is a CRM tool built to simplify your customer relationships whenever possible. InTouch is notable because it makes some of its tools (specifically, its contact information storage system) available free of charge. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the system without any financial risk. Subscribing to a service plan gives you the ability to start using InTouch’s formidable customer database system and use its integrated e-mail and SMS tools. The free features InTouch offers up did an excellent job of selling the service to me. I was especially impressed with the system’s informative dashboards and its highly efficient templates and campaign set-up tools. (These work for both e-mail and SMS, though of course, you can’t start sending messages until you subscribe.
CRM Apps Focused On Collaboration & Social Media
Most carefully-considered industry forecasts predict that spending on social CRM applications will outpace spending on more traditional platforms in years to come.
Looking for a tool that productively combines your contact database with Facebook and Google? Batchbook is the answer. This app makes it easy to look at social posts, tweets, and photos alongside your customers’ history. If you need the ability to survey what your customers do online, this is a formidable way to survey their activity. Batchbook has powerful reporting features and it’s built to seamlessly integrate with a lot of other favored small business apps, such as Mailchimp and Shoeboxed.
KickApps is a nicely-integrated platform built to let you manage customer relationships more easily through social media. The company calls its tool a “Social Graph Engine” – essentially, a one-glance dashboard collecting individuals’ activity and relationships across multiple media. With KickApps, you can take what you learn and turn it into useful marketing and sales data. It’s a superb tool for building a community. Check out the company’s customer example page to see how it works.
Rapportive is an essential tool for boosting Gmail’s productivity. If you rely on Gmail for your business’s communications, this is almost a must-have. Rapportive replaces the block of ads you usually see to the right of your inbox with an insightful digest of information on the people you’re exchanging emails with. Rapportive casts a wonderfully wide net, collecting activity from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other platforms. The app even picks up location data when available, zeroing in on your contacts’ real-world location as well as their online activity.
The Gist App
Gist is built around one simple principle: Your contacts should be reachable everywhere. The app assembles the tools you need to reach out to contacts via e-mail, social media, and virtually any mobile device. The Gist app delivers a centralized, easy-to-use interface for every aspect of your online communications network. Powerful integration with a range of key services – including Gmail, Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Salesforce.com – enables Gist to function as an efficient and productive listening post where you can orchestrate all of your online activity.
CRM Apps Focused On Sales
The Smartsheet Sales Pipeline is perfect for the professional who’s most comfortable with a spreadsheet interface. It gives you access to tons of powerful tools in an interface that spreadsheet users will find highly intuitive. Smartsheet is basically the ultimate online spreadsheet, with robust features encouraging collaboration. Say goodbye to the hassle of e-mailing spreadsheet files to your teammates. Smartsheet comes with an array of terrific reporting tools and it includes tons of ways (like automated Gantt charts) to help you organize and present your data.
SalesForce remains one of the most recognizable brands in online CRM. As its name suggests, the platform is built first and foremost with a heavy sales focus. SalesForce is also an industry leader in refining the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. SalesForce allows even the most widespread teams to access and work with customer data through web portals and mobile apps. One of the Salesforce platform’s strongest points is its widespread integration; there are hundreds of add-on applications available to customize SalesForce for your specific needs.
The Sugar platform includes a broad range of CRM tools, all of them built on the open source model. Sugar CRM is one of the most flexible and adaptable platforms in use today. You can easily create your own custom modules and adjust the platform to handle data the way you want. There’s even a Community Edition you can use free of charge.
These are just a few of the CRM apps small business owners rely on today. Got a favorite of your own? Stop by the comments section and let us know about it!