Small Business CRM Software – Should You Rush out and Buy or Is There Cause for Pause

Even small businesses get hundreds of customers every year. It can quickly get out of hand, any attempts at keeping track of all customer requests, questions, complaints and so on. Not only does good small business CRM software help a business stay on top of customer requests, it helps them find new customers. With its help desk, call center, marketing, customer service and everything else automated, a small business is truly able to concentrate on the business of doing business.

The newest small business CRM software packages have all kinds of great new features. Most happily for the small business, they are also trying  to take the whole deal on the cloud. When it’s on the cloud, a small business that doesn’t have the resources to staff a whole department to manage this whole thing, can just get everything handled for it. It’s like they’re outsourcing their CRM.

The latest software tries to reduce customer maintenance load on businesses by making customer self-service on the Internet an easy-to-implement thing. They also make it easier for businesses to integrate their Internet presence with their presence on Twitter, Facebook and all those other social networking services. They call it social CRM, and it’s the next big thing.

Kitted out with small business CRM software, small enterprises usually find that they can make their budgets go farther, that they can market more effectively, and that their customers really like them more.

Nevertheless, today’s small business CRM software tends to be quite expensive and the costs associated with implementing any kind of business management systems can be prohibitive for many small companies. Even if it does help businesses go forward and become more successful, the initial cost does give anyone cause for pause.

Let’s quickly review a couple of the best small business CRM software packages out there, one, SugarCRM, a cloud-based one, and the other, Sage ACT! a regular product that you install on a computer. And see what they are like.

The great thing about SugarCRM that is that it’s open source. That means that it’s very cheap – under $50 for the professional version. If you go with the Community Edition, it’s actually free. Well, it’s basically a cloud-based application, but they give you the ability to install it on a computer, too. And the best part – you get it in two dozen languages.

Sage ACT! is one of the most popular programs for the small business owner ever. Millions of businesses use it in areas as diverse as clothing retail, stockbroking and real estate.

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