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Small Business CRM: How to Choose and Use

Small businesses in any market segment must sell their products and services. To do this, it is necessary to establish not only various marketing systems but also an algorithm for working with clients. This includes order processing, feedback, and service delivery. It becomes more and more difficult to do this when the number of orders and customers grows. Therefore, special software was developed, which should simplify the work, make it as automated as possible. This increases the speed of work and minimizes human error.

What is CRM

CRM is a business software that will put things in order in sales, automate business processes, increase customer loyalty and create a comfortable working environment for managers.

How CRM works

CRM services integrate with the website and phone systems. An order is received (at the stage of submitting an application), it is immediately registered in the database. This way, no deal will be missed. In addition, CRM can be used to monitor the work of several other departments, manage projects, create work charts, and communicate with both customers and employees online.

Why small business needs CRM

Small businesses need CRM to centrally manage customer relationships. Good quality software can perform all actions related to:

  • storage and processing of data;
  • forecasting;
  • analysis of marketing activity.

Why do companies constantly expand CPM and invest in it:

  • This helps retain customers. The computer stores all the information regarding the relationship with each individual person. Thus, it is possible to provide competent advice and offer only what is interesting to the client.
  • Collaboration and clear division of responsibilities. Each person clearly knows his place in the company and the range of responsibilities for which he is responsible. This helps to establish joint work on the same project, if necessary.
  • Database with different access levels.
  • You can make reports and manage finances on their basis.
  • Time tracking allows you to see how much time employees spend directly at work.
  • Increasing the number of sales.
  • Saving time.
  • Transactions are being completed.
  • Complete statistics.

An example of highly specialized tasks that can be performed using this software:

  • facilitates the process of full accounting of customer requests;
  • work with a large customer base;
  • a large amount of data is stored;
  • information about potential customers is stored;
  • keep business contacts;
  • income accounting.

What threatens the lack of CPM in small business

The main danger is the loss of funds due to customer churn, inappropriate use of marketing tools and loss of information.

What CRM lets you know

An entrepreneur will understand that his system is working properly if CRM provides information about:

  • the number of incoming calls and requests;
  • at what stage the client is in the purchase process;
  • how many active tasks each employee has in work;
  • at what stage clients leave;
  • how many potential customers become buyers.

What difficulties arise when choosing a crm for a small business

It seems that CRM will be a salvation for the sales department and a good investment in promoting the business. However, it is worth considering a number of difficulties that may be encountered:

  • cost-effectiveness ratio;
  • scope and size of CRM;
  • functional;
  • employee resistance;
  • business is not ready to implement CRM.

Value for money

It should be understood that large CRM systems are expensive. However, there may not be a need for a large base early on.

When CRM is not needed:

  • the firm works only with a narrow circle of permanent partners;
  • work under one contract;
  • there is no constant search and attraction of clients.

In addition, it is important to understand whether software is required to solve one problem or a whole chain of problems. Large programs that simultaneously perform many functions are designed for medium-sized businesses. This is worth considering when it comes to purchasing a CRM for a small business.


One of the main problems when choosing a base is that you do not have the necessary functions. There is no need to implement software if it cannot solve specific problems that are important specifically for your enterprise.

A good solution in a situation where one program cannot provide a complete set of tools for the quality work of a department is to choose several utilities. It may be inconvenient to switch between programs, but on the other hand, each task will be performed with maximum accuracy.

Employees don’t want to switch to CRM

It’s not just about resistance to innovation, but also when employee dissatisfaction is justified. The CPM should make their work easier, unload, and not vice versa – add new tasks. Therefore, one must think, first of all, about employees and clients when choosing a program. People should be comfortable.

Business is not ready to implement CRM

It is necessary to develop a business in a strict sequence. CRM can be attributed to an advanced innovation, so before implementing it, you need to understand the basic things:

  • establish business processes;
  • teach employees to use basic computer programs;
  • to work out the algorithm of interaction with the client;
  • make a unified sales technology, etc.

How to choose the right CRM

The CRM system can be chosen easily if you pay attention to the correct characteristics:

  • Functional. Decide if one system should cover all needs, or it is better to use several for different tasks. In any case, each program should, in its field of activity, provide the maximum of tools for the greatest efficiency. Nevertheless, for small businesses, it is recommended to choose one CRM so as not to overpay for several programs at once.
  • Implementation. If the installation, staff training and full launch of CRM require more than 2-3 days, then it should be abandoned. There is no time to waste, especially when the system may not fit, and the installation of the next one will again take many days and money. The same goes for updates. They should be regular, and, ideally, restarting takes a minimum of time.
  • Customization. Ideal CRM is a program that adapts to the needs of your specific business. The user interface should be changed as simply as possible, in the basic settings. It’s bad when you have to call programmers for this. Also, the settings and interface that employees will receive as a result should be intuitive.
  • Data import and mobile version. It’s good when CRM allows you to fill the database with information from other media, and not enter everything manually. Pairing with a smartphone is also important. The mobile version allows you to always stay connected to work.

Review of popular CRM


The program allows you to manage a small and medium-sized business via the Internet. It includes many useful functions for managing employees and tasks, and also has a CRM base directly:

  • Clients. In this section, you can create contacts and leave a large amount of data about the user.
  • Transactions. Records of orders and finished deals are kept, a wide range of functions is available: comments, tasks, invoices, mailings. All information about the client is saved.
  • Journal of notes. Here information about the client, calls, meetings and other important information is saved.

The service can be used free of charge for up to 14 days, after which you have to buy a paid version. Other benefits:

  • loading data from Excel;
  • user-friendly interface;
  • calendar and data warehouse;
  • mobile app;
  • integration with a large number of third-party deals and more.


This is a simple system in which the functionality is focused on maintaining a customer base and recording transactions. The program supports many integrations. You can conveniently automatically create a deal after a call or SMS. A complete history of customer interaction is saved.

There are no tools for collaborating on projects.

Zoho CRM

It has a lot of functionality for customization, however, it takes a lot of time. The flexible application allows you to work with sales, marketing, counterparty support and inventory management. You can import XLS and CSV data, set up telephony and integrate mail services. Also noteworthy is the automation of routine actions.

The disadvantages include the fact that you need to buy a more expensive plan to open good functions.

“Client base”

The maximum functionality for working with clients is collected here. You can also control working hours and track the balance of goods in the warehouse. Most of the work is done through tables, the service is focused on them. The service allows you to work with a large number of documents of different types: reports, invoices, contracts, etc. CPM even supports creating newsletters via HTML templates.

You can also select your industry for more precise settings. There is a completely free version.


Has great functionality and CRM is only one of the possibilities. Bitrix24 allows you to manage employees, tasks, documents. The convenient side menu adjusts to the needs of the client, so the interface is very clear. At the moment, Bitrix24 is the most demanded CRM of all existing ones.

There is a mobile application and a notification system. Despite the fact that this is a whole corporate portal, there is a free version. There is a built-in chat, you can make calls.

However, the large number of possibilities creates the main problem – congestion and complex settings.

CRM is a service that each company can use for its convenience and development. It is important to implement it when it is really necessary and not to overload workers. If everything is done correctly, then you can get many advantages, the main of which is convenient work and increased sales.

To choose the right CRM, you need to focus solely on your own needs. The new program must fully comply with them. Only in this case can you increase your income and save time.

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