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Top 5 CRM Systems to Help Your Business Grow

Top 5 CRM Systems to Help Your Business Grow

Being a small business is tough. It seems that there is always a new piece of software you need to keep the business going and growing. It’s tempting to put off Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software as long as possible and instead use things like Excel to “keep track.” But it is much easier to maintain a current customer than to constantly have to bring on new ones, and keeping in touch and keeping them happy is key to bringing them back. Being able to track those interactions with CRM is absolutely necessary, and with so many free and cheap options for startups and small businesses, there’s no reason not to use a CRM. So let’s take a moment to review the top five CRMs for small businesses.

5Insightly

Insightly has a solid 4.0/5 rating. We suspect that their cool basic plan that is free for 2 users has a lot to do with this.  The plan allows you and a partner to manage projects, sales, and contacts all in one place, making this ideal for startups testing new tools.  It also offers several tiers so it can grow with your business, but Mopinions states:

Pitfall: it does not provide custom reports or dashboards and is really only convenient for SMBs [Small Medium businesses.]

Other common complaints are that it does not have product statistics, therefore making it less practical for those who manage standard cost projects or mass retail sales. On the flip side, it would be quite ideal for those who have to bid on projects.

4. Salesforce

Salesforce is by far one of the most popular, but only has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. This is surprising with the multitude of customizations, plug-ins, and training available. It is on the pricier side of options as you customize down the line and is tricky for smaller businesses to implement out of the box. But it is a great system to grow with your organization. You can try it for free for 30 days.

With Salesforce, we can see what promotions worked best, and why. Being able to analyze everything from one database is so powerful. Salesforce is like a living, breathing, evolving organism, just like we are.”

– JO MOUSEELLI, CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CEO, XTREME LASHES
Another great benefit of Salesforce is that it can be used by all in the organization to provide content, training, and track interactions with the customer across all departments.
 
I love that he has 18 Salesforce certifications. I have earned 37 and I agree with him that Trailhead is amazing! 

3. Agile CRM

Agile ranks 4.3/5 and as the name implies, they offer a wide range of products to assist in sales, marketing, and customer service. Their startup feature offers 10 free users a wide range of handy tools. Then plans range from  $8.99 a month up for $47.99 a month. Most customers appreciate the ease of use and versatility to meet the needs of several departments.

2. HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot has been a leader in CRM for some time, and that is reflected in its 4.4/5 rating. It is easy and intuitive and offers a tutorial on how to create a Frankenspot, which is basically a free version HubSpot full suite by using free applications like Shopify, MailChimp and more. Fit Small Business said it best:

HubSpot’s best features are its price and its simplistic user interface that looks and behaves much like Gmail, making it easy to learn. For very small businesses, or for businesses that are using a CRM for the first time and aren’t sure exactly which features they need, HubSpot’s free plan is an ideal introduction to core CRM features such as contact management and lead or deal tracking.

The greatest struggle HubSpot has is that it could use more workflow automation and more reports. That and the paid plan starts at a hefty $50 a month and grow rapidly from there.

1. Pipedrive

Pipedrive has an excellent 4.5/5 ranking. Its user-friendly interface, integration with a lot of 3rd party apps, and intuitive system provide a short learning curve and a loyal fan base. The reporting systems make this much more friendly to product sales or large retailers, but as Fit Smal Business notes:

Pipedrive lacks lead assignment and lead-based routing functionality, which makes it a less viable alternative for account-based sales requiring multiple points of contacts. While leads can be prioritized based on time since last contact, the software’s lead scoring rules are also not as robust as found in other products.

Here are my top picks for the top 5 CRM management systems. Which system do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Keep Growing!

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Warning Signs That You’re on the Wrong Career Path

Warning Signs That You're On The Wrong Career Path

A career path is one of the most important choices you’ll ever have to take in your lifetime. As such, it contributes significantly to your overall life satisfaction. It is also important to note that you’ll spend the best days of your life on this career and that’s a lot of time to spend in the wrong place. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner, freelancer, or have a 9 to 5 job; if it’s not a good fit, you need to reconsider. A career is meant to be something passionate but also allows you to take care of your needs. These are some signs that you’re on the wrong career path and it’s time for a change: 

1. You’re Not Included In Company Projects

When managers give out projects, there is usually a team dedicated to handling the project and another team dedicated to providing resources for those working on it. What is your team? If you’re always asked to act as a resource rather than an actual member of the team that contributes project ideas, you might not be on the right career path. It means that you can be easily replaced by any other person in your office. You can help yourself from the situation by asking your superiors how you can contribute more as a team member. If you can’t contribute because you lack the educational background required to advance in your career. You are ABLE to get a solid online job training course at an affordable price. 

2. You Only Took the Job Because of the Benefits

It’s natural for you to consider the benefits attached to a certain career path before you decide to join. However, some things are more important than material benefits. Your career should fulfill your innermost need to succeed and be useful. If you’re not feeling useful and the only reason you work is that the job pays the bills, it might be a good idea to withdraw to something you’re more passionate about. If you have a family, you also need to put their emotional needs into consideration when you’re chasing a career. After all, partners and children need more than money to thrive. 

3. It’s Not What you Signed up for 

Not every company is straightforward in its job description. You might apply for a job and find yourself employed in a role that isn’t the same as the job description. In this case, you can either roll with it and see it as an opportunity to advance or you can quit and go for something more straightforward. Before you move to another job, make sure that you have a clear and candid conversation with the HR staff who recruits you. Find out if the job itself will match the advertised description so you’ll prepare your mind.

Career Dissatisfaction
this image is courtesy of Geralt from https://pixabay.com/illustrations/monotony-business-people-4565247/

4. You Know in Your Heart that It’s Not a Good Fit 

No matter how things might appear on the outside, you’ll always know in your heart that the job isn’t right for you. If you always have this feeling you need to evaluate and take a job assessment test. There are many web apps and mobile apps that will help you find out if your current career is the right fit for you or it’s time for a change. You can find different job assessment software on Google. 

If your mind always tells you that there is a better alternative than your current job, it might be a good idea to listen to your heart. It’s not going to be easy to make the hard choices but it will be worth it long term. 

Don’t be afraid to do this even if you’re in your 30s or 40s. In fact, many people over 30 are transitioning to other industries. A popular industry to transition to is tech. The tech industry can be very lucrative. There is a national shortage of people with specific tech skills, which means that professionals with the right skillset are being offered a lot of money. 

A lucrative job in tech is software engineering. Becoming a software engineer takes time and effort, but with the right mindset and enough dedication, anyone can accomplish it. Software engineers earn an impressive $110,140 per year on average. The job outlook for this profession is set to grow by 22% in the next decade, which is much faster than average.

Another tantalizing option if you’re thinking of a transition to the tech industry is web development. Compare to software engineers, becoming a web developer is relatively easier. Many web developers are self-taught or have acquired the skills needed to launch their careers after completing a course online. Yet this profession pays a very respectable salary. According to BLS, web developers make $77,200 per year on average. The number of web development positions is set to grow by 8% in the next decade.

5. You Shy Away From Speaking Up

Companies employ people because of their minds and experiences. You’re not employed to sit around and do nothing all day. When you don’t agree with a decision, you should feel free to speak up even if you’re talking to your superiors. This doesn’t mean that you should be disrespectful in any way. However, if you’re always too afraid to speak up to your superiors even when you don’t agree with them, you might not be in the right office. 

As a worker, you’ll be spending more time at your job than anything else. So, you must enjoy what you do for a living. The more joy and satisfaction you get from your job, the more you’ll look forward to waking up and going to work every day. If not for anything, consider changing careers for the sake of your mental health. Lack of job satisfaction has been linked to depression, stress, and other mental health problems. 

 

Ufuoma Nora Ogono is a full-time freelance writer with over 4 years of experience in the

industry. Over the years, she has produced high-quality content for Smartereum.com,

Hemecine.com, and many other reputable websites.