How to keep track of sales? An overview of a small business sales software.
Sales tools help small businesses manage sales processes and their effectiveness. They provide sales professionals with a clear understanding of which steps should be taken to increase profits in the future. Powered by AI, machine learning and smart CRM systems integrations, these solutions incorporate all the key features that today’s sales and marketing teams need to improve customer relationships, track sales and user reviews, incorporate marketing automation and communication platforms. Sales professionals are striving to use single-platform sales tools to meet the requirements of business operations, so we aimed to make a round up of top-notch CRM systems and telecom software capabilities and their integrations that would fit the needs of a small business.
What is a CRM solution?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a dedicated tool that helps sales teams manage their sales process and customer relationships. In just a few years, CRM systems have significantly evolved to full-fledged solutions allowing workflow automation, team management, customer journey tracking, sales pipeline management, contact management, and much more.
CRM functionality allows sales and marketing teams to record customer interactions and collect customer data across all channels (website, phone calls, social media channels, user reviews, etc.) and centralize all data in one place. Proper management and analysis of customer data enable business to not only enhance the work of sales teams and customer service teams, but also improve customer relationships, improve sales process, analyze sales data, foster lead generation, conduct sales forecasting, and drive client retention.
Customer relationship management software has all these functions in-built, but not limited to just sales pipeline management tools only. Modern CRM solutions are powered with marketing automation, help sales teams monitor task management, lead management, handle data entry, email marketing, phone calls management and are available in desktop and mobile apps.
Customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small business
You may think that modern CRM solutions like HubSpot CRM are a good fit for companies that can pay $800 per month, while those with tight budgets can’t afford expensive CRM tools. For some reason, there has been a popular misbelief that CRM solutions are designed for large enterprises or midsize businesses only, while small businesses can do it all with a few Spreadsheets. Well, this statement is false. Modern CRM platforms can match anyone’s business needs, including startups and small businesses. It is possible to use the free HubSpot CRM platform and tailor all necessary email marketing, data entry, sales and contact management tools to specific small business processes.
Small businesses should not ignore this opportunity, as they can significantly benefit from sales software and customer relationship management (CRM) by helping the sales team drive profits and gain customer loyalty.
How sales and marketing teams can benefit from phone systems?
A business phone system is a telecom software solution designed for managing company communications and is aimed to help sales teams centralize sales process, contact management, sales data, and can be customized according to small business needs. Along with CRM software, i.e., free HubSpot CRM, telecom systems are vital for sales teams and customer service of a small business.
These solutions have revolutionized from being simple on-premise phone call tools to cloud-based smart and integrated platforms that serve as effective collaboration tools for sales reps and can be easily used together with small business software, such as free HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM and others.
Small businesses today incorporate all types of communications trends, such as online chatting, post, messenger calls, social media, in-app calls, texting, emailing, online faxing, etc. Today’s phone systems enable businesses to connect with customers via any channel they prefer.
Tips on choosing the right CRM software for small business
Today, CRM system goes far beyond customer management software by uniting sales and marketing automation tools with CRM software. The modern market offers a wide range of sales tools, including CRM platforms for small business, phone management systems at an affordable price and with a variety of integration possibilities, i.e. with Zoho CRM, Zendesk, Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot CRM, etc. We’ll go through the most important aspects that small businesses should consider when deciding which sales and marketing tools to use for business growth.
Essential features for a small business to look for in telecom CRM software
Modern solutions incorporate technologies that unite many key marketing features and options under one roof. Here are some of the basic functionality that a small business can benefit from in the phone and CRM software.
Voice over Internet Protocol
VoIP is an office voice call service using an internet connection for call management and offers advanced communication functionality for a small business. Besides, VoIP enables small business owners to be mobile and flexible by using the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach, so users can manage communication on any device, including tablets, smartphones, etc. VoIP solutions also enable small businesses to set up virtual offices and from anywhere with an internet connection. Moreover, they are cheaper than traditional phone systems, since all calls are made via the internet and require no additional hardware.
Voice Message Automation
Voice messages help sales and customer relationship teams stay in touch with the clients or leads even if they are not reachable by phone. Business phone systems with voicemail drop will enable your efforts to be more time-effective. Record different versions of voice messages and upload them into the system, if the person does not answer the phone, he or she will automatically get one of the voice messages you pick. Some phone systems for a small business support the tracking of voicemail effectiveness by registering callbacks and conversion.
Business Instant Messaging
Some phone systems ensure instant messaging – SMS messages that can be sent instantly without a cellular connection right from your computer. Business instant messages power up productivity and encourage customer engagement.
You should look for phone systems that support IM, it will enable a small business to communicate using the same platform, instead of messing up with several collaboration tools, mobile app, and other marketing tools.
Integration with CRM Software
Telecom calling solutions work best in conjunction with CRM capabilities. Along with free HubSpot CRM with email templates, analytics and other features, modern phone management software will significantly ease your life, enabling synchronization, tracking, recording, messaging via multiple platforms. It will work like a clock making it the best sales software for a small business: match it all up with your sales efforts, nurture customer relationships, control contact management, and ensure better productivity and time-saving. The integration enables you to create a central hub with all necessary functionality and options that will fit your small business needs.
Payments by Phone
Small businesses that make sales via phone, require a quick, safe and automated method to accept card payments. Sales reps can monitor the progress of credit card entry in the IVR and simultaneously stay on the line with the customer. It is essential that the system works with the various payment gateways, operates as a fully automated IVR line, stores the payment data in CRM software, and is fully PCI/DSS compliant.
Best CRM software for efficient sales process: phone and CRM systems
The modern CRM software market focuses basically on large companies and enterprises, however, recently, software companies offer small businesses a range of customizable solutions at affordable prices. Here is a short overview of the best CRM software for a small business.
Microsoft Teams Phone is a cloud-based phone service with a free option. Users can make calls not only from any Windows, but from iOS and Android devices and use features such as call queues and transfers, multi-level auto attendants, etc. Microsoft Teams Phone has a limit of participants depending on the subscription (100 for the free option, 300 for other plans). Small businesses that already use Microsoft 365 in their operations will benefit from this phone system the most, the price for them starts at £9.00 a user per month without VAT.
Nextiva is a cloud-based solution that offers phone software tailored for small businesses with a set of specific functions like text messaging, free calling, voicemails, call queuing, automatic attendant, and a flexible pricing model with limited functionality capabilities. It also can be integrated with HubSpot CRM and others. The price is defined per user and depends on the set of features you choose. The cheapest fee starts at $19 a user per month, offers only four features including 24/7 customer support, and is eligible only if you purchase an annual subscription.
Ring.io is a solution for small businesses with top-notch integration options. It offers an extensive number of features, including phone card payments, sales process analytics and metrics, automatic call distribution, and many others. Small business owners can integrate Ring.io with any of the most essential CRM solutions, such as free HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Zendesk Support, Pipedrive and Salesforce. All these core features of the small business phone system are available at $69 per month and per user already with integrated CRMs.
Zoom Phone is a customizable solution with integration options and a wide range of features. It can be easily joined with Zoom video conferencing. The cheapest plan starts with $10 per user for U.S. and Canada, but you will have to pay for add-ons to make your phone number toll-free or to get local numbers, international calling, recording and analytics options.
8×8 telecom software is a unified communication system with a wide range of calling and collaboration tools. Small businesses can simply set up and use it, the only requirement is the subscription and fast internet connection that, as the company states, has a 99.999% uptime. 8×8 offers a special plan for small businesses for $12 per month with rather limited functionality (auto attendant, instant messaging, meeting recording, conferencing and file sharing).
Finding a dream solution for your sales team can be quite challenging, as you need to decide not only on the budget and integrations you need (HubSpot CRM, or any other), but carefully decide which basic features you need your CRM system to have.