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Buyer’s guide on how to choose a CRM system

CRM has taken a great leap over the last decade. Moving beyond being just a system to store customer data, it has become a way of constantly staying updated about customer’s needs and buying behavior.

With its capability to increase sales and foster customer relationships, CRM has played an important role in contributing to the growth of SMBs.

Whether you need to streamline your sales process, measure vital sales metrics, nurture deals, forecast opportunities or maintain long-term loyalty with your clients, a CRM can be of complete help.

Besides converting potential prospects into paying customers, it also helps in retaining existing clients by personalizing buying experience and providing utmost customer satisfaction.

Wondering how to choose the right CRM for your business?

There are many factors you need to consider while taking this critical decision for your business. This buyer’s guide will come to your aid in choosing the right CRM for your small business.

How much should you spend on a CRM system?

Price is a major concern for small businesses. You cannot afford to invest your dollars in the wrong software. In a recent report, Capterra found that 61% of businesses spend more than $50 per month per user. Before you decide to invest in a small business CRM, understand what level of support and features does the software offers.

Most of the vendors prefer subscription-based pricing model; they offer their product on a fixed monthly or annual price with different plans. The exact amount depends on the number of users and a variety of features available.

Most of the companies opt to pay on a per month basis which ranges from $50 and $100. So, you make your choice as per your unique business needs.

Not sure if you should invest such a large amount in a CRM? Well, fright not most of the CRM vendors offer a free trial, where you can use the CRM for 15 to 30 days (as per their trial period) and decide if it will be beneficial for your organization.

CRM requirements

The market is loaded with different kinds of CRM having a wide spectrum of features. However, some of these features might not be useful for your small business.

So, make a list of your business requirements. Understand what do you need and then while evaluating the software, check if the CRM has the necessary features to fulfill your requirements.

Below are some core features that you need to consider while choosing a CRM for your small business:

Contact management

Isn’t it difficult to connect with a high potential prospect when your contacts are scattered over places? With a contact management feature of a CRM, you can streamline your contacts and their activities in one centralized location.

View the contact history with a neat graphical timeline for planning the next steps. The information you need about any contact is easily accessible so that you can be ready for those surprise calls from your prospects.

Deal management

Most of the best CRMs have the deal management feature as it avoids confusion and aids in increasing sales velocity by keeping the deals organized. It helps you in keeping track of the deals at every stage of the sales pipeline.

Get the up-to-date status of the deal; know when you had last contacted a deal and when you need to follow-up next. By taking timely action you can nurture and convert the deals quickly.

Sales pipeline management

This is one of the critical features of a CRM that helps you in understanding where is your prospect in the buying cycle. With this visual representation of your sales pipeline, you can keep an eye on each stage of your sales process and spot the hot deals. Know when it’s time to follow up and analyze the problem areas without delay.


Reporting is one of the vital features you need to look in a CRM as it helps in collecting crucial sales insights. You can create sales reports in seconds using this feature.

The reporting feature of CRM aids is monitoring sales performance, spotting risks, measuring ROI, tracking progress and finding out the effectiveness of your outbound activities. With informative reports created in CRM, you can make smarter decisions and develop the best course of action to improve your sales results.

Workflow automation

Workflow automation is another crucial feature of a CRM that helps you in automating most of the redundant tasks. It is a wise way to do more in less time.

By setting simple workflow you can automatically send introductory/greeting emails, update records, follow-up with a potential prospect and assign tasks to your team. Use this smart feature of a CRM to minimize inefficiency and augment productivity.


You need to check if the CRM you choose is compatible with varied third-party apps. Most of the CRM gives you the flexibility to integrate with various applications you are already using like, Google Doc, Slack, and RingCentral. So, seamlessly chat, call and use the calendar without toggling between screens.


Ensure the CRM can be accessed through your mobile phones to work seamlessly without any limitations. With a mobile CRM, you can gain access to critical data at any time from anywhere. Update contact, respond to customer queries and manage your sales pipeline even when you are away from the computer environment.

Key questions to ask before choosing a CRM

Question the vendor to gain maximum information about the CRM. Before investing in a CRM clear all your doubts. Below are a few questions that you can ask the CRM vendor:

  • Is your CRM tailor-made for small businesses?
  • Is it mobile friendly?
  • Does it integrate with third-party applications?
  • Is it easy to adapt and use?
  • Do you provide a free trial?
  • What’s the pricing?
  • What security measure do you take to keep the data safe?

Final words

CRM can be a powerful asset for your business provided you make the right choice. Don’t make decisions in the dark; be patient and research about the CRM. Read the review and testimonials of the clients before choosing a CRM for your business.

Salesmate is a sales CRM specially designed to address the sales challenges of small businesses. We have received recognition from platforms like Capterra, G2, and many more. On top of that, our customers gave some excellent reviews.

Take our 15 days risk-free trial and check out every feature without any restrictions!


An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.

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