Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tricky subject for small businesses and start-ups. Software decisions often come down to economic pragmatism—price point determines purchasing ability, which can sometimes limit users to CRMs that under performance or lack crucial features.
That’s why add-ons are especially valuable for smaller companies. Add-ons that supplement CRM software allow companies to decide what features they need and pay for only those.
Here are four noteworthy CRM add-ons that perform key small business functions:
MailChimp is an email web service that helps generate and track marketing campaigns. It also provides multi-channel views of each email subscriber, including personal info, purchase history, social data, and more.
MailChimp’s marketing automation features are impressive for a widget with a free service option (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails), although a few features are only available with paid versions. It can:
- Generate automated emails based on customer behavior
- Define custom rules for targeting and segmentation
- Optimize send time based on click-through rate peaks
- Find new subscriber leads based on similar characteristics
MailChimp is already compatible with major platforms like Salesforce and WordPress, but the developers also provide API access in case a company needs to scale operations or integrate the program with a different CRM.
Hootsuite is a social media engagement platform that helps businesses manage their social presence and marketing. Social media management may not be on the radar for some small businesses, but many times, that’s only because they fear the cost. Others make small attempts at marketing on a few channels, but never experience breakthrough success (i.e. measurable return-on-investment, cultivating advocates, etc.).
Hootsuite is low cost and user-friendly enough to help any user gain a strategic advantage. Everything in the platform is accessible from one, unified dashboard – from scheduling posts to tracking conversations about your company to evaluating real time reports and “social intelligence.”
Hootsuite goes several steps further than typical social monitoring software by offering geolocation, multi-lingual listening, trending keyword reports, and the ability to create custom user lists.
Pricing for businesses starts at $9.99 per month.
Business Contact Tracker isn’t technically a CRM add-on . . . in fact, some might use the phrase “anti-CRM,” since it may divert users away from stand-alone CRMs. It’s still on the list, though, because it can give small businesses on a tight budget some basic CRM abilities at no cost, or help streamline CRM usage. It’s also free to download with an Office 365 for Business or a SharePoint 2013 subscription or installation.
Business Contact Tracker records business contacts, leads, and opportunities, and can also track project management and marketing activities. The app also has some pretty neat features for transposing raw data into reports and visuals. Using the sync feature, users can access Contact Tracker away from the office on their mobile device via Outlook Web Access or directly through the app.
This add-on is a good option for the small business or startup with basic CRM needs. It’s bested used by companies with relatively small client bases that don’t require intricate account manipulation or deep analytics.
QuoteRoller is proposal software designed to help businesses create intelligent, compelling proposals without spending hours inside of spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations. QuoteRoller is a wise choice for businesses that frequently make client sales pitches/proposals or for business-to-business operations.
- “In-proposal analytics” take the guesswork out of audience engagement by tracking which sections readers view and for how long.
- A built-in template library helps businesses get started quickly.
- The User-friendly dashboard provides a bird’s-eye view of pipeline, deals, follow-ups, comments, and overall progress.
QuoteRoller isn’t the only proposal software on the market, but it offers solid features at a considerably lower price than competitors, starting at $14.99 per user/mo. for basic features, or $24.99 per user/mo. for the enterprise version.
QuoteRoller integrates with Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Freshbooks, and a host of other programs.
The CRM game isn’t only for big-budget enterprises. Sure, small businesses and start-ups have less purchasing power, but that doesn’t make them helpless. With add-ons like these companies can piece together a custom approach to relationship management that’s right for their needs—no more no less. That’s what we call efficiency.