Every small business owner knows that staying afloat means wearing multiple hats. In the sea of tools and technology, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be lifesavers for small businesses but are often overlooked as a big business tool.

In this article, we’ll look at how the right CRM solution can transform your small business and how to select the perfect one.

What is a CRM for small businesses?

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, can be a pivotal tool for small businesses aiming to optimise customer interactions, business processes, and sales activities.

At its core, a CRM system acts as a centralised hub where sales teams, marketing teams, and customer service can collectively manage their customer base and efficiently progress through the entire sales process.

If you’re a solopreneur doing all of your sales, marketing and customer service, they’re even more valuable as most CRMs come with automation tools that take care of some of the grunt work, so you don’t have to.

For small businesses, a CRM isn’t just about keeping track of customer details – it’s about structuring sales pipelines, improving customer experience, and gaining insights for sales forecasting. Whether logging sales calls, scheduling follow-ups, or initiating marketing campaigns, a CRM streamlines repetitive tasks to give business owners more time to focus on strategic business operations.

CRM software is built with basic and advanced features for beginners to scale with a business’s growth. Key features often include contact management, sales funnel (sometimes referred to as pipeline management) visibility, and marketing automation (such as email campaigns), enhancing the customer journey. Importantly, CRM platforms accommodate all facets of customer segmentation, ensuring personalised communication and fostering strong customer relationships. Whilst some CRMs have basic features for free, depending on your needs, you may wish to pay a subscription for more advanced features.

With a CRM in place, small businesses will see notable gains in efficiency and effectiveness, illustrated by better-managed sales processes and an enriched customer service experience.

CRM. Customer relationship management

How can a CRM tool help your small business?

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool can be transformative for small businesses aiming to stay competitive and grow. By enabling a seamless and systematic approach to managing customer relationships, CRMs help small businesses streamline workflows, enhance communication, and improve the overall efficiency of their sales teams. The comprehensive nature of a business CRM means you can save time on everyday tasks, focus on pursuing new leads, expand services, and roll out new products or promotions with greater agility.

Having a CRM also provides a single source of truth, integrating information across communication channels like Facebook, Website, WhatsApp and email. Robust features help you save time searching for customer data. This centralised data repository enhances accuracy and readily provides reporting features needed for informed decision-making. If you subscribe to a CRM plan, most come with advanced reporting capabilities built that offer real-time analytics and customisable dashboards that help business owners swiftly assess performance and make strategic moves.

Another crucial benefit is the seamless integration capacity of CRM systems. Small businesses can connect the CRM with platforms like Quickbooks, Facebook messenger, Instagram, email and WhatsApp for consistent and synchronised workflows across communication, marketing, sales, and customer support. The adaptability of connecting different tools streamlines operations and fosters a more holistic approach to customer management.

Additionally, cloud-based and mobile-accessible CRM tools address the digital needs of a modern small business, and some even come with apps so you can manage relationships and respond to messages on the go. This accessibility ensures that you or your team members can operate efficiently from anywhere, fostering the agility and responsiveness that today’s market demands. With CRM software, small businesses can significantly improve productivity, data management, and overall operational efficiency.

Get to know your customers better

CRMs are not just about managing your business; they’re about deeply understanding your customers.

They allow small businesses to view the customer journey holistically, providing valuable insights for decision-making. With features like automatic communication and pipeline management, businesses are alerted on when to reach out to prospects, ensuring no opportunity is missed.

CRMs excel in segmenting contact lists according to various criteria, enabling targeted communication that speaks directly to the needs and interests of different customer groups and helping you provide relevant content to each customer’s communication.

This personal touch that a CRM contributes to an overall boost in brand consideration, creating a customer base more inclined to repurchase. Through personalised customer interactions, a CRM empowers small businesses to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers and then into loyal advocates.

Cut down on human error

Even small errors can have big repercussions, particularly in the fast-paced world of small businesses. CRMs can drastically reduce the impact of human fallibility by automatically logging customer interactions, ensuring data integrity in one secure place. Automating processes like contact organisation and communications, CRMs ensure messages reach the right people at the right time, significantly speeding up daily tasks and reducing errors.

Moreover, sales reporting is often prone to human error, which can skew the perception of a business’s performance. CRM software can automate the sales cycle, leading to accurate sales reporting, giving small businesses a true reflection of their performance, and enabling strategic adjustments crucial for success.

Personalise your messaging

In today’s saturated markets, personalised messaging is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity. CRMs offer a goldmine of data-driven insights that enable businesses to craft messages that resonate with their customer base. By expanding reach through websites and social media, small businesses can use CRM tools to tailor their communications and ensure their messaging reaches the right audience.

Through CRM software, businesses can track, analyze, and improve their messaging tactics based on actual performance data. This iterative process ensures that marketing campaigns become more effective over time, increasing ROI and enhancing customer engagement.

Reduce costs

CRM platforms are an investment that can lead to significant cost reductions for small businesses. By implementing a CRM early and following best practices, businesses can keep their data neat and organized, avoiding costly data maintenance down the line. With varied pricing structures, CRM software can be cost-effective, offering per-user-per-month plans based on required features or functionality and, in some cases, free options with certain limitations.

Increased operational efficiency and productivity can result in fewer resources needed to close deals and more revenue generated. By improving the efficiency of sales, marketing, and customer service through a CRM, businesses not only enhance the customer experience but also foster loyalty, which can translate into cost savings in the long term.

Create room for growth

Growth is the goal of any small business, and a scalable CRM system is the tool that can help achieve this goal. Small businesses can start with a CRM tailored to their current needs and gradually add more complex features and functionalities as they expand. A CRM system that scales ensures that small businesses can grow without the pains of data migration or the need for replacing the CRM system altogether in a few years time.

Security and scalability go hand-in-hand as small businesses expand their operations and customer base. With a scalable CRM, there’s room to grow from basic features to a full suite of advanced tools designed to handle increasing volumes of data, customer interactions, and more complex business processes. This flexibility ensures that the CRM grows alongside the business, supporting it each step of the way. When looking at a CRM, it’s important to do your research at the early stage. Try not to think about what you need now; always think about what you might need in the future.

What features do you need in a small business CRM?

When choosing a CRM for your small business, it’s important to identify key features that streamline business processes and enhance customer relationships. Essential features include:

  • Contact Management: A core feature that allows you to track and manage customer interactions, ensuring personalised communication and fostering stronger relationships helping with customer rentention.
  • Lead Tracking: Enables you or your sales teams to capture leads, monitor their progress through the sales funnel, and nurture them effectively toward conversion.
  • Basic Reporting: Offers insights into sales activities and customer behaviour, aiding in strategic decision-making and sales forecasting.
  • Integration Capabilities: These are essential for synchronising with your existing tools, such as email clients, marketing automation platforms, and POS systems, for a seamless workflow.
  • Cloud-based Functionality: Grants access to customer data and business operations from any location, supporting remote work and ensuring data is up-to-date.
  • Standardised Sales Processes: Helps maintain consistency in handling leads and customers, which is crucial for managing sales pipelines and customer service quality.
  • Marketing Strategies: Stores marketing campaign data in one place to evaluate the success of marketing teams and plan future campaigns.
  • Calendar Functionality: If you book appointments, you may wish to have a calendar that customers can self-serve and book appointments with you themselves.

For small businesses, these basic features of CRM software are fundamental in managing sales processes, improving customer experience, and ultimately driving growth while keeping costs manageable.

Business owners talking

How To Choose The Best CRM For your needs

Choosing the best CRM for your small business can be a lengthy process and involve a lot of research. However, the time spent researching will pay off as we’ve already discussed a CRM can dramatically transform your sales processes and enhance your customer relationships. A good business CRM should offer a seamless blend of key features such as managing your customer base, sales pipelines, and marketing campaigns, all while being accessible and user-friendly for your sales and marketing teams.

When selecting a CRM software, focus on the specific problems your small business faces. Look for a CRM that offers marketing automation to simplify repetitive tasks, advanced features for sales forecasting, and tools to improve your entire sales process — from the sales funnel to the customer journey.

There are lots of different platforms out there, and all offer slightly different packages, some offer free trials and some can get quite expensive if you need more advanced features.

Start by making a list of your key priorities and needs of your small business, I would anlways recommend opting for an all-in-one solution that ticks all the boxes. It combines basic features that deal with customer segmentation and interactions with core features to streamline business processes and support your sales activities. While these can be more pricey it means you don’t have to spend money on supplementary tools.

The result is a comprehensive system that not only boosts business operations but also significantly improves the customer experience.

Key aspects to consider when opting for a CRM include:

  • Ease of use: Intuitive for both business owners and teams.
  • All-in-one capability: Covers sales, marketing automation, and customer service.
  • Cloud-based: Facilitates access to a growing customer database from any location.
  • Cost: Clearly defined pricing, typically per user per month, also pay attention to any price increases as your contact list grows.
  • Customer support: Prompt assistance for any CRM-related issues.

Remember, the right CRM can redefine how you interact with your customers and help you maintain efficient business operations and should be one of the first things you implement in your business.

How Much does a CRM cost for a small business

It’s notoriously hard to say how much a CRM costs due to the different pricing structures that are at play between the different CRM companies.

Generally speaking pricing increments by the number of seats or users (individual staff members) you need. At first some will offer package pricing that gives you a number of users for a set price and then per user when your allowance has been used up and some have extra prices per additional modules or ‘bolt ons’ that you might want to make use off.

Realistically you might want to look at anywhere in the region of the high tens to the hundreds depending on the number of individual users your want to give access to, that’s why its best to always do your research.

To get you started we’ve compiled a list off CRM providers along with details of our very own solution so that you can have a look yourself to see what’s best for you.


HubSpot is one biggest CRM providers, it offers limited free tools such as pipeline management, chat, email, contact management and forms. If you need more advanced features they start charging based on your requirements. Based on using a small subset of advanced features prices will start at $77 per month but can get expensive really quickly where you could end up paying up to $702 per month.


  • Easy to use interface
  • Some tools are free to use
  • Global company


  • It can get quite expensive very quickly
  • Pay for number of contacts and number of users (starts with three users)
  • When you upgrade you have to pay an onboarding fee of over 1k

Head over to Hubspots website to find out more.


Pipedrive is a fairly new CRM compared to hubspot but offers the same core features like contact management, reporting and emails. Pipedrive doesn’t offer any free tools but does of a 14 day free trial. Pipedrive is one of the cheaper options however the more advanced features such as automation, forms, chatbot and email campaigns are all modular upgrades that will ad to the base price of £49.


  • Theres a lot of functionality for the base price
  • Free 14 day trial to see if you like it
  • Unlimited pipelines and deal stages


  • More advanced features like automation and email campaigns are add on features
  • Extra users cost £14 per user per month

Pipedrives website has loads more information


Another Market leader sales force has been around for years. For small businesses Sales force has split their packages into two for small businesses the basic package is probably the cheapest option at a £20 per user per month but is extremely limited into what you can do while their pro package is £80 per month but has more clout with extras like automation and web chat.


  • Basic package is really cheap
  • Free trial
  • Pro package includes automation and things like a knowledge base.


  • Basic package is very basic
  • Pro package is really expensive if you have more then one user
  • Extra costs for setup and api calls.

You can find our more about Salesforce on their website


Our very own CRM to help you convert potential customers. Our CRM has loads of advanced features and were adding more often, and our customer support team is based in the UK. Our easy to use dashboard and lead management features enhance your user experience and helps you increase customer satisfaction.


  • Unlimted customers and seats
  • Active community
  • Silver packge and above includeds us creating everyhting you need.
  • All packages have all software features.
  • UK based support.


  • No Free Trial
  • transaction emails and texts messages cost extra (we give you a £30/month credit which is usally more then enough)

Find our more detail about TTOY CRM on our dedicated CRM Page


For any business a CRM is one of the main things that you should implement, it helps in so many ways. There are lots of CRM solutions out there though so you need to do your research. Moving from one crm to another can be a bit of a faff but it is possible, if you do thorough enough research and try a couple of free trials though you get to have a feel of how they work!

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