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The Best CRM Programs and Practices

Knowledge is power, and for business owners, customer relationship management systems provide a wealth of information about your client base. What could be more powerful than that? Today’s consumers want highly personalized interactions with your brand, and the right CRM software can help you achieve that. The technology has evolved from a simple database to a dynamic sales, marketing, and customer service tool. Your CRM can help you set up workflows, track customer interactions, manage campaigns, and build a better connection between you and your clients.

No matter how big or small your business is or the industry you’re in, you can benefit from

a CRM. It’s shifted from being a “nice-to-have” into a “must-have” – and the data proves it. CRM technology has become one of the fastest-growing industries, with an estimated global market size of 61.57 billion dollars. Precedence Research projects that it will grow 13.3% from this year to 2030. Being a competitive business owner means you must have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry. It’s safe to assume some of your competitors are part of that $61.57 billion, or at the very least, they will be soon. Investing in the right CRM program will help you stay competitive and scale your company efficiently. We’re covering some of the leading CRM programs and sharing some best practices to help you choose the right software and learn how to use it to its fullest potential.

But first, let’s kick off with some of the most appealing benefits of a CRM.

Organizing information

CRM software simplifies your life (and the lives of your sales team members) by giving you a centralized customer/lead database. Information about your clients and leads is easily accessible to whoever needs it. Keeping track of a contact’s purchase history, interactions, interests, and sales stage have never been easier.

Improved customer service

This point piggybacks off of the previous. When you can quickly access a customer or lead’s information, it enables you to provide them with better service. You can give them meaningful and relevant product/service recommendations, personalize your communication, and have thoughtful and proactive customer outreach. All of this boosts customer satisfaction, builds better relationships with existing clients, and will wow prospects.

Streamlined communication with leads

The buyer’s journey can be long and take unexpected pauses and turns along the way. A CRM gives you an overview of a lead’s journey so you can understand where they are in the process. The technology’s automation simplifies lead nurturing by tracking

interactions, deploying automated emails and messages, and alerting sales reps on critical times to make contact. You’ll be able to close more deals and do it faster than before.

Highly detailed data and reporting

CRMs give you insights that can help you grow your business. Learn where customers and leads are coming from, track marketing campaign performances, forecast sales, and so much more with your CRM. You’ll have all the data you need to inform your business strategy right at your fingertips.

Higher revenue

What’s the common denominator between the previous four points? It’s that they all help boost sales. Saving time and energy with a centralized database, delivering excellent customer service, enhancing communication with leads, and utilizing reporting to make data-driven decisions will help drive sales. A CRM can be a game-changer if you’re struggling to bring in more revenue or are aiming to achieve ambitious sales goals.

Now that we’ve highlighted how a CRM can enhance your business, here are three of the most popular programs. Each company has an excellent reputation and a solid track record of helping other businesses.


For many people in sales and marketing, Salesforce is the company that first comes to mind when thinking about CRMs. The company launched the first Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM in the late nineties and has been dominant in that space ever since. Some of the biggest companies in the world (T Mobile, PayPal, and IBM) use Salesforce Customer 360 as their CRM service. Customer 360 is the first real-time CRM and is powered by AI. It’s equipped with apps to support customers at each touchpoint and has Slack integrated to streamline internal communications.

Key benefits

  • Integrations with other apps under the Salesforce umbrella – Tableau, Salesforce, Einstein Intelligence, and many others

  • Ability to integrate with over 8,700 partner apps and services

  • Salesforce provides on-demand training and offers expert services to help you get the most out of your account

  • Free 30-day trial to see if Customer 360 is right for you


HubSpot is a trailblazer in the digital technology world and created a shift in marketing strategy by coining the term “inbound marketing.” The brand has become a highly trusted thought leader on sales, marketing, and professional development topics. It offers a variety of free resources that anyone can access, including blog posts, reports, training, guides, and podcasts. For these reasons, HubSpot has garnered a loyal following – and its free CRM is a customer favorite. You can get the basic HubSpot CRM at no cost or opt for a paid account to unlock more features. In addition, Hubspot was named the #1 CRM software in G2's Grid, a testimony to its well-crafted CRM platform.

Key benefits

  • Supports sales team with features such as call tracking, pipeline and contact management, and deal tracking

  • Offers a robust reporting dashboard

  • It has marketing-friendly features, including a form builder, lead generation, landing page builder, and email marketing

  • Very useful for customer service and operations teams


Zoho is another popular CRM with a great reputation. In fact, it won the 19th annual CRM Watchlist award for 2022, beating out 59 other companies. Additionally, Gartner recognized Zoho as a Visionary in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Sales Force Automation Platforms. Zoho services over 250,000 businesses worldwide with some household-name clients like Bose and Suzuki. For people newer to using a CRM, it can be a more affordable option compared to other providers. The Standard Plan is its entry-level package and only costs $14 per month.

Key benefits

  • Cost transparency with price protection and flexible contracts

  • Simple and intuitive user interface

  • Free 15-day trial to see if Zoho is right for you

  • Has Zia, a built-in AI program that can make predictions and recommendations and automates macros

  • Access to 24/7 customer support

  • It comes with 40+ integrated web and mobile apps that all your team members can use

Best practices for managing your CRM

  • Start small: It might be tempting to dive into every app your CRM can integrate with, but it’s better to take a slower approach. Start with apps you already use or the ones you think will be most beneficial, and add more as you go.

  • Be consistent, not incessant: Consistent communication is key to building customer loyalty and solid client relationships. However, there’s a fine line between being communicative and annoying. Don’t spam people with too many emails. Instead, try to find a regular schedule for reaching out that isn’t overwhelming.

  • Customize your dashboards: Don’t fail to utilize all the customizations CRM technologies offer. Set up your reporting and dashboards so that you’re getting data that’s meaningful to you and your team.

  • Prioritize staff training: Make sure everyone using the CRM regularly receives thorough training. It saves you time and money to do training upfront. Your staff will work more productively and efficiently if they feel confident in what they’re doing.

CRM technology isn’t only for larger enterprises. Businesses of all sizes and in all stages can benefit from using a CRM. It’s one of the biggest time savers and boosts productivity for sales, marketing, and customer service teams. If you’re working on bringing in new customers, retaining existing clients, understanding your audience, and driving sales, it’s the tool you need to add to your company’s toolbox.


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