How do you maintain interactions with your customers? The simplest answer to that question is “By recording and keeping their contacts.” There are various ways of recording customer contacts. A simple spreadsheet can achieve that. However, a spreadsheet or a word document can only do that much. You need CRM software to record all customers’ contact and their interactions with your business.

In simpler language, CRM software is an address book with some cognitive ability. CRM software will go beyond saving contacts and their addresses; it will record every interaction between your business and the individual customer. Such information is vital to the improvement of goods and services your business offers. It will also help improve customer service, convert potential customers into permanent clients, contribute to improving your marketing strategy and aid in invoice tracking. Ultimately, CRM software improves your customers’ satisfaction.

Best CRM Software
The benefits of CRM software.
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There are many providers of CRM software. Before we get into the best CRM software, it is important you know the two different types of CRM software there is; On-Premise CRM software and Cloud-based CRM software.

On-Premise CRM software needs to be purchased and installed on the system of anyone in your business premises who needs access. Cloud-based CRM software is web hosted and requires internet access. The recent advancements in cloud technology are the reason why most companies now prefer cloud-based CRM software. But what you should really be on the lookout for is CRM software that best suits your business needs.

5 of the best CRM software

The following is a list of the best CRM software in the market, as of 2017. The list is based on customer feedback on the provider’s websites and online reviews.

1. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is one of the best free CRM software. The main advantage of Zoho CRM is the fact that it does not compromise on features just because it is free. It has very nice automation features that result in an easy-to-read chart. It focuses on sales and marketing through tracking customer’s online activities. From your Zoho account, you can easily communicate with customers via social media phone and email. You can access your account anytime on the mobile app.

2. SalesForce CRM

Salesforce is a well-established brand in the tech world. Sales Cloud is CRM software with essential features including marketing, analytics. Sales Cloud is CRM software as it allows tracking of customer interactions. On top of that, the analytics features offer real-time data on customer activity. Sales Cloud has an important feature called Feed First, which allows you to set the specific data you need to be displayed on your dashboard. You can integrate the software with more tools and apps in the AppExchange. Sales Cloud has both Android and iOS apps.

SalesForce CRM

3. Microsoft Dynamics

The business software market leaders, Microsoft, offer CRM software too. Microsoft Dynamics is an analytics tool that is best suited for large firms, over 500 employees. Microsoft Dynamics features focus on customer service, sales and marketing and social media. The main advantage of Microsoft Dynamics is integration with other Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Office. Microsoft Dynamics dashboard provides data on sales activities, marketing activities and lets you see the progress on company goals. Microsoft Dynamics is “Socially intelligent”- you can communicate with customers via social media within the software.

4. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is one of the best CRM software due to its ease of set up. You will have the software running in a very short time. Its layout and organization are one of a kind. You will have a very simple, yet detailed chart indicating leads and sales. Pipedrive allows integration of third party apps. It has a mobile app, which will allow you to monitor important deals wherever you are.

5. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is one of the best CRM software for a small business, of up to 25 employees. Its key features include contact management, lead management, email integration and task management. The lead management feature of this software prioritizes leads based on interactions and engagement. You can follow up on your business on the Infusionsoft mobile app.

When choosing CRM software to boost your business, the cost is the main thing you should consider. But it should not be the only factor. Look out for ease-of-use, third party integration (is the software compatible with other tools such as WordPress), automation features, contact management features, sales and marketing tools, and lead generation features.

The main purpose of CRM software is contact management. The extra features are up to you and they come at, an additional charge. The more the software offers, in terms of lead generation and marketing features, the better, as long as you can afford it.

What CRM software do you use? Let us know in the comments section.