For all small business owners who love their Excel work book and use it for everything from maintaining the customer information, contact details, accounts, inventories, quotes and follow-ups it probably sounds a little strange that Excel is actually not the right tool for it.
Imagine you need to run an advertising campaign and you want to send out a newsletter to all your customers. You can do it via your Outlook and use mail merge but what about if you want to know whether or not your customers opened your email? And clicked on a link provided in your newsletter? Also more importantly if someone wants to opt out from your email marketing campaign?
This is where a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system comes in handy, if configured correctly it will automate most of the tedious and time consuming tasks and better still it will give you insight into your marketing campaign.
In addition to that CRM manages your leads, contacts, activities, follow ups and acts as a single source of truth when it comes to customer management. Once you link your emails to your CRM it will automatically record all correspondence between you and your customer, this means you don’t need to make folders in Outlook to keep track of correspondence.
What about cost? Well, with the recent adoption of Cloud based solutions we have a great choice and the flexibility to find a solution that best meets our needs. Starting from just $12/month Zoho CRM and CapsuleCRM are the best options for any small business owner. If you want advanced functionality and automisation then Microsoft Dynamics for $65/month might be worth a look.