In a world that’s centered on communication, we need more features out of the solutions that we implement. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms definitely take a hit when you look at most of them. They’re very elementary pieces of software that don’t really allow for much customization and some of them have a high learning curve for people who are new to the scene. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had CRM solutions that were more straightforward?
One suspicion of mine is that businesses don’t readily adopt CRMs because they don’t know what it can do for them, or they don’t completely understand the software. After all, it’s tough for some small business owners to understand the benefits of such a platform, let alone how to use it, when they have so many other things to do.
The best thing that can happen to anyone in such a situation is to use a CRM that does what the abbreviation implies; in other words, one that manages customer relationships more easily. Without further ado, I present to you two solutions that allow for unified messaging and collaboration, as well as facilitated communication with customers and employees:
- Nimble – This particular CRM has just recently revamped its software to include social aspects, as well as a unified inbox for multiple email accounts. It now calls itself a “Pandora of social contracts” for a good reason. Nimble’s new update makes it capable of learning which contacts are most important to you so that you can “filter the noise” in all of your messages. Much like how a nervous system works, the most important signals are sent first, allowing you to build more meaningful relationships with those that matter to you. If you sign up now, you get a 14-day free trial. Their business plan costs $15 a month per user and includes a multi-user account, an unlimited number of deals, unlimited connections, and 5 GB of storage. Their personal account is free, but you only get 1 GB of storage and severe limitations on how many deals you can track. Communication history is only kept for 90 days, you can only add one email account, and you don’t get the advanced customization options you would otherwise get with a business account.
- Bitrix24 – Why even pay a penny when you can get Bitrix24? With internal instant messaging and email integration, you get an interface with up to 12 users, 5 GB of storage, and you get to track as many deals as your heart desires, for free. Their standard package is pricey ($99 per month), but allows for an unlimited amount of users. You also get an extranet where you can add partners, important clients, and contractors who aren’t necessarily employed in your company. Bitrix24 is a truly holistic customer relationship management suite that gives you all the bells and whistles you need within a transparent and socially-centered environment. Added to this, it can also be run on-premise for those with the hardware to do so.
The good news is that the market for CRMs has become so competitive that many other providers are starting to implement social platforms within them. For now, these two solutions remain your best choices until another one appears and mystifies us!