Steady and consistent business. Clients with whom you enjoy working and ones with whom you want to constantly stay in touch while you hit all your deadlines. That’s the ideal you’re striving for, and regardless of which industry you are in, as you expand, you will have to grow and develop an account team, which will, in turn, grow and develop new business.
Now, I will not be the one to tell you when to take that step because there are hundreds of articles that dive into the exact science of when is the best time to develop your account team. However, I will say that once you decide to take the plunge, you’ve reached only the very first step.
Due to the nature of sales, it is possibly the hardest part of your business to qualify and truly understand. That is why we have helpful Customer Relationship Management systems, or CRMs, to help with the process.
As helpful as finding the right CRM can be, choosing the right fit for you can be as difficult as building the right sales team. Fortunately, there is a variety of CRMs choices to pick from. Whether you are a new growing business or an established one looking to migrate to a new system, it’s crucial to find the right CRM for your business.
It’s safe to say that Salesforce is one of the, if not the, leading CRM system on the market right now. It has a variety of tiered plans that can apply to any type of business, from startups to Fortune 500s; however, smaller businesses pay more per user.
- Salesforce is a truly robust and comprehensive CRM.
- It is extremely customizable in the sense that there are a variety of features that can be added as well as removed.
- Because of its wide reach and popularity, you are more likely to find an account rep who has used Salesforce, compared to lesser-known systems.
- Initial configuration can be time consuming.
- Customization can be difficult without prior coding experience. This has become such a need that there are actually companies that solely focus on creating these integrations with their Salesforce tech representatives.
Another big player right now is HubSpot. Originally started as a marketing tool, HubSpot has built up a robust software platform allowing businesses to use it as both a CRM and as a means to build websites. One major selling point of HubSpot is that its basic features are free; however, if you want to upgrade from the free, basic version, there are a variety of features that can be added to improve performance. Add-on features include an integrated calling system and adding additional users (the first five are free).
Because of its flexibility and customization, HubSpot has really grown to be beneficial for all types of businesses; however, it has been most used by small business owners at this point.
- HubSpot has an extremely easy and aesthetically pleasing interface—it is intuitive and more user-friendly than many other CRMs.
- The HubSpot blog offers a wealth of knowledge for business owners to learn about online marketing.
- The integration with Google allows you to import contacts from email.
- Costs for additional features are not included.
- A twelve-month contract is required.
- Initial reporting can be limited.
These are only two of the many CRM systems that are currently available on the market. One thing to consider, aside from looking at star ratings and reviews , is what experience your account team has with CRMs. There are many highly rated systems available that might not be the right fit for your business.
Personally, I have used both Salesforce and HubSpot, and also ProsperWorks and Pipedrive. While both ProsperWorks and Pipedrive have their pros (ProsperWorks is the only CRM fully integrated with Google, and Pipedrive has a great visual component for tracking leads), I felt they were lacking in other areas I considered vital such as robust Key Performance indicator tracking.
Above all else, it is important to find a CRM system that best matches your business’s needs instead of simply listening to a great review because a great CRM makes for a happy account team, which ultimately affects your bottom line.