Why CRM small business and what to look for when choosing

Do you often have the idea that the sales department is not working at full capacity? This is most likely the case if you do not know:

  • how many incoming calls and requests are received every day, week or month;
  • what stage of the sales funnel is each customer;
  • how many leads are in each manager's job;
  • at what stage do you most often lose customers;
  • how many potential buyers do not become real and why.

Without clear control over the work of the sales department, it is impossible to objectively evaluate the effectiveness. The need for customer accounting and transaction management over time, every company realizes. This task is solved by CRM - business software, designed to bring order to sales, automate business processes, increase customer loyalty and create a comfortable working environment for managers. Choosing the right system is not as easy as it sounds. Drowning in gigabytes of conflicting information, you start to wonder if your business really needs CRM? Let's first answer this question.

Why CRM small business

There are situations when the introduction of a customer management system will not bring the company tangible benefits. If the firm works with a narrow circle of regular partners or under one large contract and does not engage in regular search and attraction, there is nothing to consider. But when the company is actively looking for new sales channels and allocates funds for advertising, every lead in the account. To lose them due to the fact that you paid little attention to the sales funnel and the organization of the work of managers, it means to merge part of the advertising budget for nothing. The reason for the low return on advertising may lie in the inefficient processing of applications. It does not depend on the size of the business.

Loss of potential customers - One of the main problems that with proper configuration will help solve CRM. Some services are integrated with the site and telephony. Information about the client comes from the order form in CRM, a new deal is created automatically. All applications and calls immediately get into the system, and no lead will be lost.

Practicing all possible contacts is only one of many tasks. In addition, CRM helps:

1. Retain customers. When all the information and the history of the relationship with the buyer is in front of the responsible manager, he offers exactly what he needs. When you dismiss the manager, CRM will save the data and another employee will be able to continue the communication.

2. Organize collaboration. In small companies, there is often no clear division of responsibilities - everyone does everything. Such "universal soldiers" have a big minus - it is impossible to understand who is responsible for what. In most modern CRM there is a functional for collaboration.

3. Create a convenient customer base. Sometimes it is necessary that not only the manager who works with him has access to information about the partner. CRM has data access settings.

4. Manage finances. CRM functionality allows you to create reports and, based on them, identify key customers and the most profitable products and services.

5. Track employee performance. Using the time tracking tool, you can track how many hours employees spend on solving problems, find idlers and effectively distribute the load.

6. Increase sales. Managers handle all incoming leads, do not forget about important meetings, calls and letters. They know more about the client and offer what they need. Satisfied partners come back, and sales are growing.

7. Save time and more time. In CRM, you can automate many routine operations - billing, reporting, organizing calls and mailings. When all data is stored in one place, you do not have to spend a lot of time searching in different sources - mail, excel, diary, dozens of folders in the closet and on the computer.

8. Analyze the results and keep statistics. In CRM, you can sort the data according to different characteristics and create reports. You will see how many clients are at each stage of the funnel, how much time passes from the first contact to the closing of the transaction, at what point the most leads are eliminated and why, what is the budget for the projects that are currently in operation.

9. To complete the transaction. Knowing at what stage of the sales funnel is every lead, and what actions should be taken to push it further, your managers will close more deals without losing customers halfway.

CRM solves problems that are important not only for large corporations. On the contrary, the smaller the business, the more important it is to reduce costs and squeeze the most out of advertising budgets. Now that we have decided why to introduce CRM in the work of small enterprises, let's see how to make the right choice.

What difficulties arise when choosing a CRM for small businesses

Products in the business software market every year becomes more. Developers offer different functionality and terms of use. It takes months to find the optimal solution for time and material costs. Even to understand what set of tools should be in your ideal CRM is not always possible the first time. Let's look at the most common problems that small businesses face when choosing a customer management system.

Large CRM: expensive, long and inefficient

In our country there is no clear understanding of what CRM is. In the West, where businessmen prefer to implement their own tools for each task and integrate them with each other, this system manages only customers. Our entrepreneurs prefer integrated solutions - CRM should be able to receive calls and requests, set tasks and reminders, analyze cash flows, distribute the load among employees and much more. It is advisable to use one software to manage all business processes:

  • no need to constantly switch between different systems and services;
  • data exchange and electronic document flow between departments are simplified;
  • to implement one system is easier and cheaper.

However, most popular integrated systems are designed for large and medium businesses. They are bulky and cumbersome. To begin to fully work, you need to read the volumes of instructions, spend a few months on setting up and training employees. Yes, and there are many such solutions.

After reviewing information about top CRM, the owner of the microbusiness usually refuses this idea. Recently, however, more and more services targeted at small companies have appeared on the market. Many of them also have additional functionality for integrated business management, but it is much easier to start working with them. You just need to register and invite the team. The setup will take no more than 2 days for anyone who is at least a little versed in technology.

No features needed

Each system contains a different set of tools. In one, it is convenient to build a sales funnel, in the other, reminders and tasks are well implemented, the third integrates with the site, in the fourth one can keep accounts and manage finances. Sometimes it seems that the ideal CRM has finally been found, but upon closer inspection it turns out that some functions do not work well, there are not enough important tools. In search of a suitable system, you can try a dozen. Each time it takes a lot of time to transfer data, some information may be completely lost.

Some businessmen give up trying to find one good software and follow the western path - they are overgrown with a dozen services for various tasks. In our reality, this means that 20-50% of working time is spent on switching between systems, recording and copying data. It is better to spend time on developing your own business processes, determine the set of tasks and study the proposals of various developers. Most likely you will be able to find a CRM that best meets the needs of the company.

Employees do not want to switch to CRM

If work in the system requires additional labor, managers will be reluctant to rebuild in a new way, and implementation will not bring the desired effect - the lead will still be lost, sales will remain at the same level, and time costs will even increase. To avoid this, choosing a CRM you need to think not only about customers and companies, but also about employees. The system should relieve managers from routine operations, not add new ones. For this, services have automatic creation of transactions and customer cards, reminders, sending letters and SMS sending, fast formation of a package of documents using ready-made templates and much more.

Business is not ready for the introduction of CRM

In our country, many do business in the old manner. Business processes are not debugged, the stages of the sales funnel are not worked out, there are no algorithms for working with clients in specific situations and a single sales technology. In this situation, you first need to deal with business processes and create sales technology, and only after that run CRM.

As you can see, you can cope with any of these problems if you choose a system based on business needs and the state of affairs in the company.

What to look for when choosing a CRM

There is no universal solution. What tools should be implemented in the system, only you know. However, there are several important parameters that any entrepreneur should take into account in order to avoid implementation difficulties and frustration.

Functional. For small businesses it is important that in one service there should be a maxim of tools for managing the enterprise. This CRM does not need to be integrated or used in parallel with a huge amount of external resources, for which you also have to pay.

Implementation and configuration. The launch of CRM should not take more than 2-3 days. Spending more time on this is inappropriate - the system may not be suitable, and everything will start on a new one.

Customization The service must adapt to the needs of a particular business. It is important to change and customize the functionality was possible at the user level, without the participation of programmers. Small businesses usually do not need to register complex scenarios, and this can and should be saved.

Updates. Make sure that new functions appear regularly in CRM, the old ones are improved and the productivity is increased. This means that the developers have not forgotten about their product and are actively developing it. When your business grows, so will the possibilities of service.

Intuitive interface. Comfortable usability is half the success. The better the functionality and internal logic of CRM is thought out, the easier it will be for the employees to understand it.

Mobile version. It should be comfortable and functional, especially if your employees often work "in the field". It is important that you can immediately make information, get messages and reminders, see changes on the project.

Primary data filling. The service must support the import of data in different formats and transfer from other services. This will save time, not scoring everything manually, and eliminate the risk of loss.

Now that we know what to look for when choosing a client management system, let's look at popular CRM for small businesses.


Program for business management over the Internet, designed for small and medium-sized companies. So position the service developers. Indeed, besides CRM in the system itself there are many other functions - payroll and vacation schedule (1), projects and tasks for collaboration (2), billing (3) and file storage (4).

For sales management in "Megaplan" there are sections "Customers" (5) and "Transactions" (6). The first one creates contacts where the company name, telephone, e-mail and other data are written. Cards display deals and deals, you can leave a comment, add a task, an invoice or a newsletter. It is convenient to view the journal of notes during a telephone conversation with a client so as not to forget anything. Calls, meetings, arrangements and other important events are also stored there. On the "Transactions" page there are all orders. In the table, you can display not only the funnel stage, the name of the client, the essence of the order and the amount, but also the latest comments, details, contact person and other parameters. Transactions and customers are sorted using the filter list to the left of the table (7). To switch between sections, use the upper horizontal menu. When you hover on any item, a submenu (8) appears.


  • There is a free trial period - 14 days.
  • Supports data loading from Excel.
  • Intuitive interface.
  • You can connect IP-telephony and make calls directly from the client’s card or from the transaction page.
  • Convenient calendar where things, tasks, meetings and calls are automatically recorded.
  • Document repository with access settings.
  • Visual reports on tasks, projects, customers and sales.
  • Internal chat, messages and mass mailing for employees.
  • Mobile app.
  • Setting up different transaction schemes for the sale of goods, services, complex projects, etc.
  • Setting up automatic scripts.
  • Integration with the site - after filling out the form the transaction is created automatically.
  • Integration with Yandex.Mail, MoiSklad, CallbackKILLER, Google Drive, Modulebank, MailChimp, and 30 more programs.


  • CRM functionality is not on all rates.
  • There are no special tools for working with leads.
  • Not very responsive technical support.
  • Integration with 1C is possible only at the maximum rate.


The total cost of the system for a company depends on the number of employees and a set of functions. The first two bundles do not support CRM (330 and 380 rubles per user per month). To manage customers and sales, you need to connect CRM tariffs (550 rubles per license per month) or CRM + (640 rubles). You can manage finances, integrate the system with 1C and Oktell only at the maximum tariff.


A simple system for maintaining a customer base and accounting transactions. All functionality is aimed at increasing sales, so that for integrated business management will have to use third-party services. Fortunately, the program supports many integrations and has a flexible API for creating new ones. The system is focused on the B2B segment and complex sales with a long cycle.

The whole logic of AmoCRM is built around sales and higher conversion. Each time a transaction is created, the service recommends setting a task - a call, a meeting, or any other. It does not take much time - you just need to press the "Put" button (1), and thanks to the reminder, the manager will not forget about the client. All navigation fits into 8 side menu icons - Desktop (2), Transactions (3), Tasks (4), Lists (5), Mail (6), Analytics (7 ), "Settings" (8) and the built-in instant messenger (9). The latter displays alerts about new tasks and other important events. The transaction card can be customized - add new fields (10). Below is a column for comments and notes (11). Performance is monitored using a sales funnel, which is based on the amount and status of transactions.


  • Automatic creation of transactions by request through mail, phone, forms on the site, chat rooms and instant messengers.
  • Simple intuitive interface.
  • Adaptive version for tablets.
  • Mobile application with business card scanner.
  • Integration with postal services, telephony, Yandex.Disk, My Business, MailChimp, websites on different platforms, Google Analytics, 1C: Enterprise and a few dozen other programs.
  • Setting permissions.
  • The history of interaction and communication with the client, call recording.
  • Automatic digital sales funnel.
  • Test free period - 14 days.
  • Automation of business processes.
  • Visual reports for performance analysis.
  • Import customer base from Excel.


  • There is no functionality for creating documents - billing and forming contracts.
  • No tools to collaborate on projects.
  • For calls from the system, you need to install additional functionality.


When the test period is over, you can switch to one of two packages or four tariffs - Micro-Business (4990 rubles per year for 2 users), Start-Up (14 990 rubles per year for 5 users), Basic (499 rubles per month for 1 user), Advanced (799 rubles per month for 1 user) and Professional (1499 rubles per month for 1 user). They differ in the available number of contacts (from 2500), open transactions (from 500), additional fields (from 100) and disk space (from 100 MB). Also, on some tariffs, business process automation, digital sales funnel, employee reports, KPI, sales plans and other useful functions are not available.

Zoho CRM

Flexible and functional customer relationship management system for small and medium businesses. Allows you to automate sales, marketing, support for contractors and inventory management. The developers have created ample opportunities for customization, but it will take time to customize the service for a specific business. Главная сущность Zoho CRM - модули. Часть из них есть в системе по умолчанию - "Предварительные контакты", "Контрагенты", "Потенциальные сделки", "Задачи" и другие. Пользователи могут создавать новые модули, а в существующих - настраивать и добавлять поля. Все взаимодействие с клиентами происходит в модуле "Контакты", оттуда можно позвонить или отправить письмо. Для реализации маркетинговой стратегии в Zoho CRM есть возможность планировать рекламные кампании и анализировать действия посетителей на сайте.

Для переключения между модулями используется горизонтальное меню. In the settings (1) you can change the names of the tabs, for example, from "Preliminary contacts" to "Lida" (2). Cards in the modules "Counterparties", "Contacts", "Transactions" and "Preliminary Contacts" are conveniently filtered according to various criteria - the creation date, operations, manager in charge, and others (3). When you add a new client, a form opens with many different fields, unnecessary ones can be deleted in the settings. The contact cards store data on recent orders and active transactions, tasks, to-do lists, comments, documents, and more. You can create tasks, schedule appointments and calls either from the page of the Operations module (4), or from any contact card, lead or transaction. For planning marketing campaigns used module "Campaign" (5).


  • The test period is 15 days.
  • Free for 10 users.
  • Integration with the site and other channels of communication with customers, leads are created automatically.
  • Supports data import in XLS and SCV formats.
  • Integrates with telephony, SMS aggregators, MailChimp, Gmail, Evernote, 1C and other programs and services.
  • The ability to create your own reports and analyze data for different sections.
  • Convenient web form designer for sites.
  • Automation of routine actions (section "Workflow rules" in the settings).
  • Responsive tech support.
  • Clear interface and flexible settings.
  • There is a Russian version.
  • File storage
  • Mobile app.


  • Technical support in English only.
  • Automate workflows can only starting with the tariff Professional.
  • Creating your own modules is available starting with the Enterprise build.
  • For access to the mobile application will have to pay extra.
  • To collaborate on projects, you need to integrate CRM with another Zoho service.
  • There is no way to record conversations.


If the system will work more than 10 people or the functionality of the free version is not enough, you need to choose one of 4 tariffs - Standard ($ 12 per user per month), Professional ($ 20), Enterprise ($ 35) or CRM Plus ( $ 50). Each next tariff includes all the functionality of the previous and additional functions - sales forecasting (Standard), workflow automation (Professional), custom modules (Enterprise), social media marketing (CRM Plus) and others.

"Customer base"

Multifunctional service for automating customer relationships, monitoring working hours, generating documents and tracking stock balances. In addition to the standard configuration, when registering, CRM offers to choose one of the specialized industry versions - “Flower Salon”, “Food Delivery”, “Real Estate Agency” and others. The main essence of the system is the tables. All work with clients, employees, documents, goods and services is built on them. It is possible to create your own tables with the desired fields. Conveniently implemented the functionality of working with documents - billing, creating acts and the formation of contracts. Accounting of commodity balances can be maintained directly in the system. To do this, you need to create a list of products through the table "Arrival at the warehouse" in the category "Warehouse" (1). You can download data from a CSV, TSV, XLS or SLSX file. In addition to sales and profits, the system allows for cost accounting. For this there is a special category "Expenses" (2), and in reference books (3) - a table of the basis of expenses.

To navigate using the horizontal menu. When you go to the category tab (4), a submenu (5) appears under the main menu - tables that fall into this category. In each table there is an "Add" button (6) and a block of buttons with the help of which the rows of the table can be deleted, copied, edited, distributed and other actions (7). When a new line is entered into any table, a form opens in which you need to fill in the names, categories and other parameters. Some fields can not be filled if the desired item is not in the directories. For example, you will not be able to issue an invoice for the sale of 1000 business cards, if before that you do not put this product in the "Price list" table.


  • There is a completely free version.
  • Custom configurations for popular niches.
  • Create HTML email templates and bulk email directly from CRM.
  • Simple and intuitive interface.
  • Table Designer.
  • Creating web forms for the site, information from which immediately falls into the "Base."
  • The ability to integrate with IP telephony and SMS distribution.
  • Configure access.
  • Accounts for customers.
  • It is convenient to work with documents - there are ready-made templates, you can create your own.
  • Internal chat.
  • Backups
  • Integration with 1C.
  • Mobile app.


  • Weak technical support.
  • Telephony needs to be configured additionally.
  • No tools to collaborate on projects.
  • To refine the missing functionality, you need to attract programmers and pay extra.


The free version has limited functionality and speed. There are 3 paid tariffs - for 1, 3 and 7 users - 450 rubles., 1250 rubles. and 2000 rubles. per month, respectively. They differ in the amount of memory (1-4 GB), the number of letters to be sent per day (100-700) and some other parameters. Basic tables are available on all rates, including free. But to connect ip-telephony, to use the table designer in full, SMS-sending, backup and external forms you will have to choose one of the paid versions.


Service for the organization of work in the company and integrated business management. CRM is just one of a whole set of tools. The system has everything you need to work on projects, personnel management, creating documents, invoicing and solving other business problems. All elements of the corporate portal are closely interrelated. For sales management has a separate workspace. When registering, the system offers to choose the functionality with which the user plans to work more, and the side menu is displayed based on this choice. If you configure "Bitrix24" for sale, the first item will be CRM (1), then - "Tasks" (2), "Calendar" (3), "Buzz" (4), "Chat and Calls" (5), " Disk "(6)," Company "(7)," Time and Reports "(8)," Applications "(9) and" Open Lines "(10). Of all this, only the last item is directly related to customer interaction. By means of it, integration with chat rooms and social networks is configured to support customers and conveniently add leads.

For navigation in the CRM block, the horizontal menu is used. The "Start" tab (11) displays the statistics of the sales department. In the "Leads" (12), "Transactions" (13), "Accounts" (14), "Offers" (15), "Contacts" (16), Companies (17) and "My Affairs" (18) are added related items. The forms are simple and intuitive. You can edit and add new fields right at the time of filling. On each page, information can be displayed in a list or as a report, and "Leads", "Transactions", "Accounts" and "Reports" - also in kanban board format. When you click on the "More" button (19) in the horizontal menu additional items open. There is hidden the most important analytical tool of any CRM - sales funnel (20). In the client's card in the "Companies" section displays the name, contact and other information about the company, details, event tape, scheduled calls and meetings, active deals, offers and accounts. The elements of the "Contacts" list are employees and representatives of counterparties from the "Companies" section, they are interrelated. The system informs about transactions in which not a single case has been scheduled (21).


  • Multifunctional. "Bitrix24" - a full-fledged corporate portal.
  • There is a completely free version.
  • Integration with 1C, MailChimp, virtual PBX, Megaplan, MoiSklad, SendPulse, Yandex.Metrica, social networks, postal services and other programs.
  • Mobile and desktop applications.
  • Catalog of goods for the formation of transactions, accounts and proposals.
  • Import leads from the site, from social. networking, excel and mailers.
  • Setting up sales funnel stages for specific company processes.
  • Tools for creating and sending CP.
  • Work with invoices and other documents.
  • Internal chat and video calls.
  • Many applications to enhance the system.
  • Call recording, at a free rate - up to 100 per month, for unlimited tolls.


  • The system is cumbersome and cumbersome.
  • The interface is overloaded with a variety of functions that are not needed to work in CRM.
  • To master and customize the system for the needs of a particular business will take time and programmer assistance.
  • The irrational organization of the working space.
  • Sophisticated business process designer.
  • Some applications and extensions, as well as SMS mailing and telephony will have to be paid at separate rates.


If the system will work up to 12 users, you can use the free version. It differs in disk space (5 GB), does not support "Business processes", hr-tools, external users and advanced functionality in some other areas. There are three paid tariffs - “Project +” (990 rubles per month), “Team” (5490 rubles per month) and “Company” (10 990 rubles per month). They provide a different amount of cloud storage, business users, open lines and advanced standard options. Tools for personnel management are available only at the maximum rate.


CRM is a modern efficient tool that helps to reach a new level and beat competitors. In order for the system to take root in a small company, it is better to choose simple services with a maximum set of tools. It will save time and money. Choosing CRM, you need to proceed from the needs and objectives of a particular business. The implementation process should be approached responsibly, and first prepare employees for it. To improve work efficiency and outperform competitors, it is worth starting with the optimization of business processes. Otherwise, no CRM will help.

Watch the video: CRM for Small Business - 7 Tips on Choosing the Right Platform (April 2020).


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