Get control of your clients & prospects with using a CRM system. Never forget to follow up again and become able to start forecasting your growth.

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What is a CRM system? 

Let us explain first the CRM meaning; it is short for "Customer Relationship Management". As you probably have seen already there many different CRM providers, and they all offer various features. In core, they all do the same; you can manage all your (potential) clients and the relationships you have with them. To give an example, ideally, you will have all the client communications like phone call logs, emails, service questions all in your CRM system. Some systems will offer all of the options automatically; others will have you to log things manually. This is the exact reason why there are no one-size-fits-all systems, so you have to determine what the best CRM is for your business. Some providers offer a free CRM to 'lure' you into their other services; Hubspot CRM is an excellent example of this land and expand strategy. 

Why should you use a CRM system?

When your business is doing any sales or account management, this shouldn't even be a question. The question should rather be, which CRM system is best for your organization, and what do you want it to do.

To answer the question, you want to start using a CRM to: 

  • Manage all your prospects & clients from one place
  • Automate sales processes 
  • Get better insights in conversion, anywhere in the funnel
  • Being able to predict upcoming revenue
  • Track performance of sales 

You might not need everything above, this is why choosing a CRM is crucial as you won't be switching it quickly after you started working with one. 

A CRM will help you to define the different steps in your sales cycle and show the conversion from one stage to another. When you log everything in your CRM, you can identify which activities will help to increase the conversion. Getting these insights can help marketing to adjust their efforts accordingly. 

Never forget about a prospect ever again with the use of a CRM. As you log everything in one system, your opportunities don't get lost anymore in your email inbox. 

How to find the best CRM system?

Easy question, hard answer. Not every organization has the same business case, sales process; hence they don't need the same features. Before looking into the different solutions, it is good to determine what you want, you would like the system to do for you and get out of it. We also wrote a full blog post about this, see it here

To answer the question here, determine for yourself the following; 

  • What do you want to log in the system
  • How much do you want to automate
  • Do you want to push or pull information 
  • How much support do you need 
  • How do you want to get charged 

As you can see, these are general questions and don't relate yet to any features. Getting a 'big overview' of your use case would help you in the long run to avoid any issues with integrating your current platforms or adding a lot of new salespeople in the system. 

Choosing a free CRM can still be an expensive decision if you need change to another system or have to buy the other solutions from the vendor to get things working. Looking for a long term is our biggest recommendation we can give you. 

What are the top 5 CRM systems? 

We explained above already a CRM is very related to what you want it to do; this is why this answer is not applicable for everyone. However, this question will work SEO technical wise very good so that we will answer it anyway. The way we determined is based on the SMB as most of your readers are; 

  1. Pipedrive
  2. ActiveCampaign
  3. Hubspot CRM
  5. EngageBay

From the above Hubspot CRM is the only free CRM system, the others are all paid. ActiveCampaign, Hubspot & EngageBay offer also marketing automation solutions. 

Increase your sales conversion

Getting insights into all your data in your CRM system is essential to increase your sales conversion in any stage of the buying cycle. We have also wrote some blogs on how you can improve your sales skills to make sure you will get the most out of your efforts. See here some links: 


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