No matter what type of business you’re running, building and maintaining a good relationship with your customers is the key to lasting results. When you employ one of the best CRM examples in your business, you can keep your customers happy while converting more leads faster.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is best defined as a strategy for managing your customer interactions with the goal of increasing profits and customer loyalty. In most cases, CRM strategies can be used across all customer-facing teams—from marketing to sales—to help you get better results for your entire organization. As your company grows, you may find that investing in a digital CRM solution is the best way to save time and money and enhance your long-term growth.

Keep reading below to learn more about CRM software and find the right CRM solution for you.

Benefits of CRM software

While customer relationship management itself isn’t a technology, most business owners use the term “CRM” in reference to software that helps you manage your customers and leads. This software is now a core part of many companies’ daily operations due to all the benefits it provides.

Better Data Management

The reason most business owners choose to employ a CRM system is to create a central space for all customer data. Within this system, your teams can quickly get valuable insight into each member of your growing audience in the same space—all before they reach out or respond. This is an easy way to streamline and even automate your marketing, customer support, and sales processes while keeping all data in a secure place.

Improved Customer Retention

CRM software doesn’t just help you behind the scenes. It’s also proven to improve customer retention by as much as 27%. This is because the software helps you cater all of your communications to each stakeholder—based on demographics, purchase history, and more—for a better customer experience.

Increased Efficiency

This software can even help you set up marketing automation to follow up with inactive and potential customers, so you never let a lead slip by. For your current customers, this technology balances personalization and automation. You can save time while reaching out on important dates (like birthdays and membership anniversaries) and sending thank-you messages or surveys after purchases. In the end, this leads to greater customer satisfaction and a more personable brand.

Increased Sales

We’ve already mentioned that a CRM can help you get a better handle on your data. This data can then be used to analyze customer behavior and create more effective marketing campaigns. Additionally, a CRM system allows businesses to track leads and customer interactions, ensuring that they are following up with leads in a timely manner and nurturing customer relationships. Overall, a CRM system helps you retain loyal customers and attract new ones, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a CRM

There are a lot of CRMs on the market, so before you choose one, there are several factors you should consider to ensure it meets the needs of your business. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones. 

1. Business Needs

You can’t choose the right CRM if you don’t know what problems you want it to solve. You need to know what you want to achieve with the CRM and what features are essential to your business’s success. For example, do you need a CRM to manage your sales pipeline, customer support, or marketing campaigns? It might be helpful to make a list of the different pain points your business faces before you start looking for the right CRM tool to solve them.

2. Ease of Use

You want to choose a system that is easy to use and user-friendly, especially if you and your team members are not tech-savvy. Investing in a CRM system that will take weeks—or even months—to learn how to use is a waste of time and resources. Look for something that is intuitive and straightforward, with a simple interface that makes it easy to navigate and find relevant information.

3. Customizability

Customizability is also a crucial factor when choosing a CRM. You want a CRM that can be tailored to your business needs, processes, and workflows. The ability to customize your CRM allows you to add or remove fields, change layouts, and automate tasks to match your business processes, making it easier to work with.

4. Integration

Always keep the big picture in mind. You want a CRM that integrates well with other business tools you use daily, such as email marketing software, social media platforms, accounting software, and project management tools. Integrating all your business tools will streamline your workflow and enable your team to work as efficiently as possible. 

5. Scalability

We’re willing to bet that growth is one of your business’s top priorities, so the CRM system you choose should be able to scale with you. Your CRM should accommodate more customers, team members, and data without crashing or slowing down. You want a tool that can handle your increasing business needs without requiring you to switch to another system—otherwise, you’ll only be signing up for unnecessary inconvenience. 

6. Pricing

Lastly, keep your budget in mind. There is a wide range of CRM solutions, from free to expensive and everything in between. The pricing usually depends on the features included, the number of users, and the complexity of the software. While you don’t want to sign up for something just because it’s cheap, you also don’t want to break the bank. Try to find a solution that fits comfortably within your budget without sacrificing any of the features that are most important to you. 

10 Best CRM Software Examples

In order to select the best CRM platform for your business needs, you’ll want to consider some of the top picks for companies around the world—which may include some of your competitors. Below, we’ll run through three great CRM examples and how they work.

As you’re shopping for CRMs, don’t be taken aback by the cost. Your system may be a big investment at first, but the average return on investment (ROI) is as much as $8.71 for every dollar spent.

1. HubSpot

Hubspot CRM

HubSpot provides one of the most trusted CRM tools in the industry. Many businesses start out and continue to stay on HubSpot CRM because it’s a robust, easy-to-learn tool fit for any department that remains 100% free forever—no catch. Free HubSpot CRM features include:

  • Unlimited users and data: You can store unlimited amounts of valuable data for up to a million contacts and give access to as many team members as you’d like. HubSpot’s CRM software even automatically populates data in each data listing, based on information they have in their massive database.
  • Helpful integrations: You can connect to over 300 third-party business tools, including Zapier, Gmail, Outlook, Google Calendar, and many productivity tools. You can also place calls directly within the CRM system. You can also export data from Hubspot to google sheets, with such tools as
  • Email campaign management: You can create bulk emails on HubSpot, personalized with stored data about your customer base and leads. You can also review analytics, including open rates and click-through rates.

2. Salesforce

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce is a software as a service (SaaS) platform that offers one of the first and most comprehensive modern CRM solutions today. The company is best known for its essential CRM system, which is integrated into its Sales Cloud product and offers:

  • Contact management: Any approved user in your organization can quickly store and retrieve customer information, which helps ensure that every department can contribute to your company’s top-notch service. Team members can even integrate customer data with Gmail or Outlook.
  • Automation: When your sales team notices that they’re constantly repeating a certain step, they can save time by setting up a Salesforce automation for it.
  • Lead management: Salesforce’s CRM helps you capture leads from your website and automatically scores them to help you spend time on the right leads.
  • Sales tracking: You can get a real-time look at where your customers are in the sales cycle and how your sales team is performing.

3. Zoho

Zoho CRM

Next on the list is Zoho, another top-rated customer relationship management software that thousands of businesses are choosing. Zoho CRM offers some of the most affordable paid plans on our list, which include the following features at the most basic level:

  • Diverse integrations: Zoho is notable for providing a large number of integrations with communication channels at its most affordable tier. While the options above may offer phone, email, and live chat integrations, Zoho CRM also helps you chat with leads and contacts on leading social media channels.
  • Flexible layouts: Not every business needs the same information from each customer, so a big draw of Zoho is its highly customizable layouts, which can be cloned in seconds.
  • Automated workflows: You can build workflows that trigger emails, notifications, and task assignments when the conditions you set are met. You can also set conditions that your sales reps need to meet before closing a deal with a new customer.
  • KPI tracking: Zoho CRM helps you track a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) so you’ll know what changes are needed early on.

4. Insightly

Insightly CRM

Insightly is a CRM that can help you with customer management, project management, and more. This solution is perfect for businesses that want to streamline their workflow and optimize productivity. Some key features of Insightly include: 

  • Contact management: Insightly allows businesses to easily manage their contacts and track their interactions with them.
  • Task management: Users can create, assign, and manage tasks, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Sales pipeline management: Insightly offers visual pipeline management that helps businesses visualize their sales funnel and track deals.

5. Agile CRM 

Agile CRM

If you’re looking for an all-in-one CRM solution that offers marketing, sales, and service automation features, consider Agile CRM. Here are some key features to consider: 

  • Marketing automation: Agile offers marketing automation features like lead nurturing, email campaigns, and social media management, so you can get more done in less time. 
  • Sales automation: Streamline the sales process by automating tasks such as lead scoring, appointment scheduling, and deal tracking.
  • Service automation: Agile makes it easy to manage customer service requests and track customer satisfaction.

6. Freshsales 

Freshsales CRM

Freshsales is a CRM solution that allows you to manage your sales and marketing efforts more efficiently. The platform offers advanced analytics features that provide insights into customer behavior and sales performance.

  • Lead management: Freshsales can help you manage leads and track their progress through the sales pipeline. Visibility is money, so this is a big deal. 
  • Sales management: Freshsales makes it simple to track deals, create quotes, and manage your sales team more effectively. 
  • Marketing automation: The platform allows users to create and launch marketing campaigns across multiple channels—remember your customers don’t just hang out in one place. You want to show up everywhere they spend time. 

7. Copper 

Copper CRM

Copper is a CRM solution that integrates seamlessly with G Suite—it’s simple but powerful. This platform offers users a complete view of their customer interactions and helps businesses to stay organized and efficient. Here’s what we like about it: 

  • Activity tracking: Copper allows users to view all of their interactions with customers in a single timeline.
  • Lead management: Copper makes it easy to manage leads and track their progress, giving you more control over your sales pipeline. 
  • Workflow automation: Users can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry and lead assignment, freeing up time for other important tasks. 

8. Microsoft Dynamics 365: 

Microsoft dynamics 365 CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers tools for sales, marketing, and customer service. Here are some features that stand out: 

  • Customer insights: Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers analytics features that provide insights into customer behavior and sales performance. These kinds of insights can be a game changer when it comes to customer relationships. 
  • Sales automation: The platform features tools for automating lead scoring, appointment scheduling, and deal tracking. 

9. SugarCRM



Next, let’s talk about SugarCRM, which offers a range of tools and features designed to help small businesses better manage their customer relationships. Here’s what makes it stand out:

  • Sales automation: AI-powered predictive insights help your sales reps identify new opportunities and potential roadblocks.
  • Customer service: Sugar’s self-service portals enable customers to find answers to common questions and submit requests directly, which saves both you and your customers precious time. 
  • Data and analytics: No CRM would be complete without good analytics. Sugar’s comprehensive analytics and reporting tools help users understand the ROI of their marketing efforts.

10. Podium 

Podium small business CRM

We saved our favorite for last. Podium is a CRM solution that was built with small businesses in mind. Podium helps businesses manage their online reputation, improve customer interactions, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons Podium is the obvious CRM choice for local businesses. 

  • Better customer communication: With contact profiles, you can see all of your customer interactions and full conversation history from every channel in a single view—no more switching between dozens of tabs. 
  • Better organization: Organize your customers based on important attributes, and manage conversations or initiate payments all from one convenient tool.
  • Feedback management: Users can collect feedback from customers via surveys and track their Net Promoter Score (NPS) over time.
  • Customer tags: With customer tags, you can send the right message to the right person every time. Tags allow you to personalize your campaigns more effectively and see better returns because of it. 

Grow With Podium—Try It for Free

Investing in and strategically using one of the CRM examples above will help you streamline your business processes and keep your customers loyal to your brand. You’ve got enough on your to-do list—it’s time to organize, automate, and get more done without draining your resources. 

We’ve seen firsthand how Podium helps local businesses like yours improve customer communication, make more money, and grow more efficiently, but we don’t want you to take our word for it. 

Try Podium for free for two weeks and see what Podium can do for your business.

Logan Wooden
Logan Wooden Product Marketing Manager, Retail

Logan Wooden is a Product Marketing professional at Podium, the premiere marketing and communications platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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