10 Solutions for Small Businesses and the Self-Employed
Customer acquisition and care are among the most important tasks of self-employed and companies. In order to simplify and professionalise these, there is a wide range of CRM software available on the market (CRM = Customer Relationship Management).
Many solutions have been designed primarily for large companies, but many CRM systems tailored to the needs of the self-employed and small business can now be found.
In the CRM solutions presented in this article, I paid special attention to the price, more than 50 euros per month, such a system for the targeted audience should not book. In addition, the price-performance ratio should be right and the solution should be intuitive – easy to understand and easy to use.
What are the advantages of CRM software?
In the best case, CRM software offers a lot of work facilitation like:
- a professional contact management, in which not only contact data but also sales-relevant information is recorded.
- Depending on the sales phase, to qualify contacts as lead, prospective customer or customer.
- the acquisition of closing probabilities etc.
- Automated sending of digital campaigns or newsletters to special target groups.
- On-the-go access when the CRM is web-based and / or mobile apps for smartphones and tablets exist.
- Online collaboration with other partners.
Most of the CRM software is offered by the manufacturers as cloud-based software, in addition, there are also purely mobile solutions as an app and CRM software, which is installed in the classic way on the computer.
Below I present ten different CRM systems with their essential functions in alphabetical order:
CRM software Central Station CRM
This German web-based CRM solution is aimed specifically at small businesses and the self-employed. The CRM is easy to use and focuses on the creation and management of customer and company data.
In addition to the classic customer and company contacts you can also enter social media profiles. Task management, calendars, creating quotes and projects as well as uploading files of various kinds also makes it a useful CRM for small project groups.
To use the CRM mobile from your smartphone or tablet, you do not need a special app, it’s enough if you enter the address of your CentralStationCRM account in the browser and log in with his access data.
For small startups with no more than three users, 200 contacts and 20 MB files, Central Station CRM remains permanently free.
CRM software highrise
Highrise is a web-based CRM from the company basecamp, which also distributes a well-known project management software.
Key features of Highrise include capturing e-mail, storing notes, creating and documenting invoices and offers, and filtering.
With the integration possibility of numerous third-party apps such as Billomat, Zapier, LiveAgent and many more, you can significantly upgrade the CRM to your individual requirements.
Anyone who uses Mailchimp as their e-mail marketing software will also find an interface for doing so. For Android and iOS, there is an app for mobile CRM use.
Price: In the basic version for small groups up to six users, 5000 contacts and 5 GB of storage Highrise costs $ 24 per month, for up to 15 users, 20 000 contacts and 15 GB of storage costs $ 49 per month.
CRM software insightly
insightly from California is a blend of CRM and project management software for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses. Here, too, one can save his customer data, the automatic address book, comprehensive calendar, appointment and mail functions facilitate the handling of customer contacts. Social media profiles can also be captured.
In addition to customer acquisition and management, projects and orders can be created and monitored (using various tracking functions).
insightly is also offered as an app for Android and iOS.
Price: There is a permanent free access for up to two users, up to 2500 contacts and not more than 10 emails per day, for 15 dollars per month and users the feature offer increases significantly: 25 000 contacts and 500 emails per day are likely more than enough for small businesses.
CRM software Lexware customer manager
A CRM software as installable software offers Lexware with its customer manager. Classic address and contact management, creation of personalized single and serial letters as well as newsletters for planned marketing campaigns, appointment and task managers are the main functions of the Lexware customer manager in the basic version. In addition, the contact history allows you to see all the latest information about each customer, an important feature for the sales department.
In the Pro version, one interface to Lexware goods management pro, three local network licenses, address links and a detailed user and rights management are available.
Price: In the basic version, Lexware Kundenmanager costs 10.90 Euro per month or once 169.90 Euro, in the Pro version 27.90 Euro per month or once 439.90 Euro.
CRM software Nimble
The CRM software of the American provider Nimble (means in German: nimble) places its emphasis on the integration of contact data from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.
In addition to comprehensive contact and task management, Nimble has sales automation and marketing. You can use the CRM to send personalized e-mails to a selected customer group, for which an e-mail template builder and message templates are available.
Price: For $ 25 a month, that’s a lot of features, and there’s more in CRM, which can not be fully explained in this overview. The price includes: Up to 100 emails per user per day, 25,000 contacts and up to 2 GB of storage per user.
CRM software Podio
The CRM Podio from Citrix focuses not only on customer administration, but also on other application options. Project management, product planning and development, e-mail and team management, process and event management.
Key marketing and customer support tools and file-sharing services (Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, GoToMeeting or Zendesk) integrate with Podio.
With Podio apps, users can create custom apps for specific workflows or processes without the need for programming skills.
Price: In the basic package, Podio costs $ 9 a month and employee, the key features are available, and in the $ 14 per month plus package, employees can use the automated workflows that are not included in the base package.
CRM software Scopevisio
The German cloud CRM Scopevisio relies on a complete solution for SMEs, marketing and sales. In addition to CRM, you can still use the modules Projects, Billing, Finance and Teamwork Document Management.
But start-ups and sole proprietors are also the potential users of Scopevisio, which can also be used on the move.
Price: The price scale looks like this: Who wants to put the emphasis on the CRM, monthly paid per user license in the SmartLine package 29.95 euros, it includes the individual applications billing, finance and teamwork DMS.
CRM software Sellf
Sellf sees itself as a mobile CRM that provides apps for the major mobile operating systems Android and iOS. You can merge task lists and calendars, import and edit customer data from different application sources such as Dropbox, iCal or Evernote.
Price: Sellf costs in the starter package 15 euros per month and users, more than 10 users may not be in the team. The performance package costs 30 euros per month and user, but increases the available storage capacity from 2 to 5 GB, the team may be unlimited.
CRM software Vtiger
Vtiger consists of a cloud-based CRM, a merchandise management system that maps the entire workflow from lead to payment, and a help desk.
The CRM includes not only customer management capabilities, but also e-mail marketing and a customer portal where customers can upload and share data, find a knowledge base (FAQ), and create and submit support tickets.
Price: The cheapest package costs $ 10 a month and users who want the all-in-one package pay $ 30 a month and users.
CRM software ZOHO CRM
The web-based CRM system from ZOHO is used by about 10 million users and it impresses with its many functions. In addition to contact management, it provides task scheduling, email delivery, social media integration, sales signals, workflow automation, lead management, and more.
ZOHO apps can be used to connect Google, MS Office and Facebook accounts to the CRM account. And of course there is also a mobile version of ZOHO.
The prices are very appealing for small businesses and the self-employed: $ 15 per user per month costs the smallest package for up to 100,000 customer entries.
Price: For small teams up to 10 people ZOHO costs nothing and offers its essential functions such as contacts, leads, filtering options and integration of social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+).
The ten CRM software solutions presented here are only a part of all CRM offers on the Internet. There are many more, most of the time they are not too different in basic functions, they often have different special features.
I have limited myself to cheap CRM in my short presentation, which are especially for one-man business or smaller business teams eligible, also in terms of affordability.
Which CRM software one ultimately chooses depends sometimes on the type of customer service: If you work on the big networks like Facebook and Twitter, you should select a CRM with the appropriate interfaces. Scaling is also important, meaning that as your business grows, CRM should grow along as well.
And the decisive factor for the right choice of CRM software is the business itself. Anyone who distributes goods should look for a different CRM than a pure service provider, because some ERP systems can be linked to an enterprise resource planning system, but not to others.