How good are your salespeople at closing deals? Are their win-rates through the roof? Or are they struggling to reach their monthly quotas?
If the latter, then you know how difficult it can be to turn things around.
Especially if you’ve already tried coaching and rewards and things still haven’t improved.
What if it’s not your sales teams, but the tools they’re using (or not using)?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software continues to be the go-to solution for improving marketing and growing sales. But not all platforms are equal.
This is why you’ll often find small business owners trashing their CRMs.
Let’s take a look at why it’s time for less annoying CRM tools, and how you can find the best solution for your team.
Why is it time to find a less annoying CRM?
The purpose of customer relationship management software is to monitor your brand’s interactions with prospects and customers. This way, you can focus on building lasting connections with customers instead of chasing down and analyzing data.
But what if the platform you choose doesn’t deliver on these promises? Maybe it’s too difficult to figure out or lacks the integrations you need to be successful.
Surely, you’d find the CRM more than annoying.
And this is what we’re seeing across the board — everyone from sales teams to project managers are getting frustrated with their CRM tools.
CRM users report their software is too hard to set up (52%), too hard to use (38%) and takes way too much time to keep updated (40%).
Is it because all the options on the market suck?
We don’t think so. Which is why we’ve come up with 5 less annoying CRM options for your team.
5 simple CRMs to use for SMBs
The key to finding a less annoying CRM is to search for one that’s simple enough to be user friendly, while still offering everything you and your team need.
Roughly 25% of CRM buyers are looking for advanced functionality, like sales funnel and pipeline monitoring. Another 20% is looking for sales automation, email marketing, a central database, reporting/analytics, and customization.
Let’s dive into the easiest CRMs we can find on the market today that still offer important features your team needs to get the job done.
Here’s an option if you want a simple CRM with all the bells and whistles (without the hefty price tag).
monday.com is a work management platform that offers many of the features needed for startups and fast-growing SMBs. This includes team organization and project planning, alongside a centralized customer database.
The CRM features it provides include:
- Enhanced communication across teams (who share clients)
- Custom automation to schedule notifications and reminders (no coding needed)
- Integrations with leading sales, communication, and project management tools
- Access lead info anywhere (mobile app and cloud-based)
- Fast and easy setup
- User-friendly platform
- Pre-made templates
The pricing is also friendly to SMB wallets. Plans for teams with up to five users starts at $39/mo for Basic, $49/mo for Standard, and $79/mo for Pro. Enterprises will have to call for special pricing.
There’s also a 14-day free trial.
Keap is a CRM platform with simple functionality. It comes with the typical features you’d expect from customer management software, such as:
- Sales activity tracking
- Sales automation (customers can create and share custom quotes)
- Messaging with customers using SMS
- Invoicing and payments (using PayPal, WePay, and Stripe)
- Contact management
- Marketing, sales, and e-commerce tools
- Business phone line
It starts at $79/mo per user for Grow, $149/mo per user for Pro, and $199/mo per user for Infusionsoft.
If you’re a small business owner with a small budget and are wary of using a CRM, then you can give HubSpot a try. It’s a free CRM platform that offers paid plans for more advanced features.
With the free version, you can have as many users as you want, and up to 1 million contacts in your database.
The features it boasts include:
- Fast and easy setup
- Intuitive interface
- Reporting dashboard
- Ad management
- Email marketing tools
- Click-to-call and call recording
- Pre-made templates
- Knowledge hub and academy (tutorials and courses)
Once you’re ready to scale up, you can invest in one of its paid plans starting at $40/mo for Starter, $800/mo for Professional, and $3,200/mo for Enterprise.
#4: Zoho CRM
If you’re looking for a CRM to automate your business tasks, then Zoho CRM is worth a look. It’s a simple CRM thanks to its intuitive design.
Although it’s a lightweight platform, it comes with a marketplace of free and paid extensions to add to your CRM system. The features it comes with include:
- AI predictions for trends, conversions, closings, and anomalies.
- Insights for when to contact a client
- AI analytics for customer emails (to detect tone and best response)
- One-click calls via contact cards (w/ call logs showing conversation history)
- Vendor portal so customers can browse and buy from your catalog (without talking to sales)
- Team collaboration tools (documents, videos, photos, music)
Zoho CRM is designed and priced with SMBs in mind. The downside is its customer service, which some users report consists of long waiting times.
There’s a free plan available if you have three or fewer users. The paid plans start at $12/mo per user for Standard, $20/mo per user for Professional, and $35/mo per user for Enterprise.
#5: Less Annoying CRM
Unlike the prior CRMs, the aptly-named Less Annoying CRM focuses mainly on smaller businesses. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect with a CRM tool. However, it may appeal to folks with a smaller budget and customer base.
Some of the features it comes with include:
- Mailchimp integration for email marketing
- Mobile access for on-the-go teams
- Google calendar syncing and tasks
- Simple admin tools (no IT team needed)
- One-click export (CSV and XLS files)
- Daily lead reports and agenda emails
This CRM solution is ideal for businesses with limited resources (i.e., unfunded startups) and little experience with a CRM. However, it’s not ideal for fast-growing SMBs looking to scale up over time.
It also lacks many features you may need, like telephony, e-commerce tools, and forecasting.
There’s a 30-day free trial, and then it’s at $10/mon per user (only plan available).
3 CRM templates to improve your sales pipeline
Adding the least annoying CRM to your sales workflow is just the start. Now, you need a plan to use it to enhance your sales pipeline.
Having the right templates can simplify your pipeline, so your sales (and marketing) teams can work together and stay on track.
Here are three we recommend.
#1: Sales process template
Use this sales template to organize your process flow. It tracks when leads or clients were last contacted, what stage they’re at in the sales process, deal size, forecast value, and closing probability.
Plus, you can easily customize the columns to showcase the insights you need.
Get it here: Sales process template
#2: Sales pipeline template
This sales template follows your leads throughout the pipeline. It tracks the progress for intro calls, presentations, and negotiations.
The template also allows you to record the point of contact, deal size, and estimated closing date.
Get it here: Sales pipeline template
#3: Post-sales management template
Your sales pipeline shouldn’t end with the closing. Use your CRM to continue building relationships with a post-sales management template.
You can use this free template to track tasks like follow-up emails/calls, user training, and future email marketing campaigns.
Get it here: Post-sales management template
Your sales team shouldn’t rather get their teeth pulled than use your CRM software. There’s a better way.
‘Simple’ doesn’t mean sacrificing functionality. By opting for a less annoying CRM your team can get up to speed faster, and close more sales than ever.
With the monday.com CRM template it’s easy to set-up and use your next CRM platform — Erasing 2 of the biggest headaches most CRM users are currently tackling.