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Customer relationship management tools

This article will give you an overview as to what a customer relationship management is, why it’s important for your business, and show you a few of the popular systems that other business owners are using.

You will learn

  • What to look for in a management tool
  • What a customer management actually is
  • Some popular tools you access

There are lots of great customer relationship management tools out there that you could use in your business. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose, especially if you’re going to invest money in the tool. Use the advice below to find the best customer relationship management tools for your business.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

It’s highly likely that you have seen the letters CRM somewhere in your business day-to-day. Customer relationship management, or CRM, are the tools you use to manage all your interactions with customers and potential customers. Used properly, a CRM system can help you stay connected with your customers, streamline your marketing and improve your profits.

Your CRM system will store all your customer data in one place, and will let you identify sales opportunities, manage your marketing campaigns and record any customer issues. That information will then be available to anyone in your business who needs to access it, to make sure no work gets dropped if someone goes on holiday or gets ill.

If you want to learn more about managing your sales, you might be interested in applying for fully funded training thanks to the Skills Support for the Workforce programme. Drop us an email at to find out more.

Why does a CRM matter?

You can operate your business quite successfully without having a CRM system in operation, but you could be losing out on lots of extra sales by not understanding your customers.

Your CRM system will give you a clear overview of your customers in a customisable dashboard so you can monitor the things that really matter to your business. You can see their previous history with you, who they’ve spoken to in your business, what purchases they’ve made, even their social media activity. As you can tell, you can really track their likes and dislikes and send targeted marketing campaigns to them. Knowing exactly what your customers are interested in and where they fit into your business can be invaluable for increasing the number of sales you can make.

Some of the most popular CRM systems

There are so many different CRM systems out there that you can use for your business. We’ve pulled together some of the most popular options for you to have a look through.


Salesforce offer the tools you need to manage your relationships and help you with marketing automation, turning potential customers into sales. They can even help you evaluate your effectiveness. It has customisable dashboards that you can use to monitor the key element you’re interested in and is linked through to social media so you can send out messages without leaving the site.

salesforce logo

However, it can be tricky to get your head around when you start using it, as there are so many features to get used to. You’ll have to spend a bit of time familiarising yourself with how it works and adopt a little trial and error with its reporting tools before you figure out what works best for you.


Zoho is quite popular with smaller businesses and its mobile app means you can access the site quickly and easily, no matter where you are, for real-time updates on your progress. You can match sales leads to specific team members to make sure the customers with the most potential are always being taken care of. They work on a monthly payment basis, so you can change your plan with them as you need to, and they offer different plans to suit your needs and budget.



Insightly was specifically developed for small business owners. They have a free version that will allow you and one other person to access information about customers and track the stage of different projects. You can easily integrate MailChimp, Quickbook, Hubspot and other popular content management systems if you choose their paid service. Insightly doesn’t offer as much integration with social media as some of the other CRM systems do, though, so if you have a big social presence, you might want to look elsewhere.

insightly logo


Freshworks offer a number of different services for your business, but their tailored CRM system, Freshsales, helps you to capture customer activity information, use built in phone and email messaging and find the best potential sales leads. Like Zoho, it works on a monthly payment plan that you can upgrade or downgrade at any time.



Hubspot make it really easy to organise, track and grow your contacts and manage your customer’s journey from subscriber to happy customer. Their basic CRM is free to use, but you can get lots of add-ons to give you more detailed information about what your customers want. You can use the tool to track your impact on social media, create landing pages for your offers and create progress reports.

hubspot logo


Pipedrive automatically tracks your emails, calls and other marketing actions. They keep things simple and don’t offer a lot of add-ons so you can focus on the actual pipeline of your customer’s sales journey. It can help you identify where you might be losing sales and pick the customers who are most likely to buy so you always know where to focus your attention.

Pipedrive Logo

These are by no means the only options available to you, they are simply some of the most popular customer relationship management tools that you can use to get more sales. Take the time to browse other options and look through their various prices and features to find the best system for you. Most offer free trials that you can use to test whether or not the system fits your needs which we’d really recommend you use before committing to a CRM system.


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Written by:

Beth Ellin

How's Business content writer

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