Small Business CRM Review: Is it the Best Investment for SMEs?

Ever feel like managing customer relationships is spiraling out of control? You are not alone. For small businesses striving to grow, maintaining information about your increasing number of leads, closing deals, and nurturing relationships can rapidly become a logistical nightmare. Spreadsheets, sticky notes, and word documents seem to crumble under the weight of the data. This problem becomes even more critical considering that small businesses account for 99% of all businesses and 54% of all U.S. sales. The solution you’ve been seeking could well be a small business CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

Research indicates that small businesses can increase conversion rates by 300% by implementing a CRM. Additionally, an exceptional ROI of 8.71 for every dollar is recorded when businesses invest in a CRM system. With such promises for growth and efficiency, the question ‘Is a CRM worth the investment for small businesses?’ becomes even more pressing.

Let’s briefly review what small business CRMs are and how they can boost your business:

  • CRM Software: A full-fledged software designed to organize your contacts, streamline processes, and provide valuable analytics. It’s not just for corporate giants; SMEs can equally (if not more) benefit from such a tool, owing to its ability to automate tasks, thus freeing up valuable time for strategy and customer interaction.
  • Cloud-Based CRM: These are maintained by the service provider on their servers, requiring no additional infrastructure besides a browser and internet connection.
  • Accounting CRMs: Goes a step further to organize and examine financial data. It’s like a dedicated team member keeping financial data well-organized and readily available.

By understanding your business needs, streamlining data, and managing customer interaction, a fitting CRM can prove to be a game-changing tool for your small business.

Understanding CRM: What is Small Business CRM?

When you hear the term “CRM,” it stands for Customer Relationship Management, a term that might sound complicated but fundamentally revolves around a simple concept. CRM is all about managing your business’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers. It’s a strategy for improving business relationships, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth. But what does this mean in the context of a small business CRM?

A small business CRM is a software tool designed to help small and medium businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data. It serves as a centralized system for storing all customer details and tracking interactions, making it easier for businesses to understand their customers, nurture relationships, and ultimately drive sales.

From logging calls, scheduling meetings, tracking emails, to managing issues and complaints, a CRM system offers a wide range of functionalities. It provides a 360-degree view of the customer, offering sales and marketing teams a unified view of customers and visibility into the entire sales funnel. This allows you to qualify leads quickly, track each part of your sales process with a visual deal pipeline for better forecasting, and automate routine tasks like sending emails and entering data in the CRM.

One of the key benefits of a small business CRM, as our expert Ryan McEachron at Anthem CRM points out, is that it is quick to set up and easy to use. This leaves more time to hire and train salespeople, and it can give your team a productivity boost. And since all your data is centered here, you can take a look at reports to find opportunities to improve.

While small business CRMs may not come with all the bells and whistles of enterprise CRM platforms, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a unified system for your salespeople. The best CRM for your small business should be able to grow with your business, offering more users, a larger contact base, the analytics you think you’ll need, as well as the digital marketing hooks you’ll eventually want to use.

A small business CRM is a comprehensive customer and prospect database that can significantly enhance a business’s efficiency. It is indeed a worthy investment for any small business aiming for growth.

The Cost of CRM for Small Businesses

Understanding the cost of CRM for small businesses is a crucial factor to consider when making your decision. It’s essential to remember that the cost can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the features you need, the number of users, and the level of customization required.

Pricing Overview

CRM software costs start around $7 per user, per month, with more advanced options costing between $15 and $150 per user, per month^[1^]. For enterprise-level solutions, you could end up spending as much as $300 per user, per month. These figures may seem daunting, but it’s worth considering the value that a CRM system brings to your business.

Additional Costs to Consider

When budgeting for a CRM system, it’s important to factor in additional costs beyond the initial software price. These can include:

  • Implementation Costs: This involves setting up the software, integrating it with existing systems, and customizing it to your unique business needs.
  • Data migration costs: If you’re transitioning from another system, there may be costs associated with transferring data to the new CRM.
  • Training costs: Your team may require training to effectively use the new system, which could be an additional expense.
  • Ongoing support costs: Most CRM vendors charge for ongoing customer support and software updates^[5^].

CRM Pricing at Anthem CRM

At Anthem CRM, we understand that each small business has unique needs. Therefore, we offer a range of pricing plans designed to cater to diverse budgets and needs. Our plans start from $95 per month, providing ample storage, contact management, and communication capabilities^[4^].


While the CRM software cost for small businesses can seem significant, the potential return on investment makes it worthwhile in most cases. By streamlining operations, providing valuable business insights, and improving customer relationships, CRM software can be a powerful tool in your business growth strategy. We believe that the best software solutions for small businesses are those that meet your specific needs while fitting within your budget^[1^].

Remember that most CRM platforms offer a free trial, usually for about 14 days. This provides a risk-free opportunity for you and your team to familiarize yourselves with the platform and determine if it meets your needs. We encourage you to take advantage of these trials before making a final decision.

In the next section, we’ll guide you through the steps of choosing the best CRM for your business.

How to Choose the Best CRM for Your Business

In the sea of CRM options, it can feel overwhelming to find the perfect fit for your business. However, with a little preparation and a systematic approach, you can find the best small business CRM that will serve your business needs and propel your growth. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.

Step 1: Identify Your Business Needs and Goals

Understanding why you need a CRM system is the first step in the selection process. Start by conducting a business audit or a gap analysis to identify areas of your business that need improvement. Whether it’s expanding product lines, enhancing customer service, or increasing revenue, outline clear goals with timeline markers. Then, consider how a CRM system can help you reach those goals.

Step 2: Understand the Needs of Your Team

The users of the CRM system should have input in the decision-making process. Consider who will be using the system and for what purposes. While sales and marketing departments are typically the main users, other departments may also benefit from the software. Gather insights from your team about their needs and how they think the CRM could enhance their work.

Step 3: Determine Essential CRM Features

With so many CRM features available, it’s important to identify what you need for your small business. Create a “must-have” features list to narrow down your options. This list should be based on the information gathered from your team and your business goals. Regardless of your focus, ensure that robust data security and customer support are a part of your must-have features.

Step 4: Consider Different Types of CRM Systems

There is no one-size-fits-all CRM system. CRM solutions can vary depending on the features they offer. The three major types of CRM are Collaborative, Operational, and Analytical. Determine which type best aligns with your business needs and goals.

Step 5: Set a Budget for CRM Software

Just as you allocate budget for other business investments, set a budget for your CRM software. Consider the available pricing plans and assess how each plan affects your budget in the short and long term. Keep in mind that some vendors may have hidden charges or extra fees, so ensure you have a clear understanding of all costs involved.

Step 6: Research and Compare Top CRM Platforms

Finally, conduct a thorough research of the top CRM platforms on the market. Compare their features, pricing, and customer reviews. Also, consider the quality of their customer support and their scalability as your business grows. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of free trials or money-back guarantees offered by some platforms to test out their systems.

Choosing the right CRM software for your small business is a significant investment. By following these steps, you can ensure that you’re making an informed decision that will have a positive impact on your business operations and growth. At Anthem CRM, we understand the unique needs of small businesses and offer a range of CRM software solutions to meet these needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your business reach its full potential.

Review of Top CRM Software for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, choosing the right CRM software can feel like navigating a labyrinth. But fear not, we’ve done the legwork for you. In this section, we’ll review some of the top CRM software options for small businesses, highlighting the key features and benefits of each.

Zoho CRM: Best for Scalability and Integration

Zoho CRM comes fully packed with a user-friendly interface and flexible pricing options, making it a go-to choice for startups and SMEs alike. What sets it apart is its robust integration capabilities with over 800 apps, including social media platforms, offering a holistic approach to customer relationship management. Zoho CRM is perfect for businesses that value scalability and integration.

Vtiger: Best All-in-One CRM Software

If you’re looking for an all-in-one CRM solution, Vtiger is worth considering. It offers a comprehensive set of features, including sales, marketing, and customer service capabilities. Despite its complex and idiosyncratic UI, Vtiger remains an affordable and well-equipped choice for small businesses, with 24/7 support and a proactive alert system to help generate sales activity.

Flowlu: Best Affordable All-in-One CRM Software

Flowlu is another all-in-one CRM solution that shines when it comes to affordability. This cloud-based software offers detailed income and cost tracking for multiple businesses along with robust automation rules. These features help eliminate the need for manual follow-ups, saving time, and enhancing efficiency.

Capsule: Best CRM for Project Management

For businesses that need to manage projects alongside their customer relationships, Capsule is a good fit. While it wasn’t mentioned in the research provided, our expertise at Anthem CRM confirms that Capsule’s project management features are quite robust and user-friendly.

Freshsales: Best Simple CRM for Small Businesses

Freshsales by Freshworks is a comprehensive yet affordable CRM solution. It offers robust contact management and engagement tracking features, along with an AI chatbot for customer communication. This makes it a top pick for businesses that value simplicity and customer interactions.

Folk: Best for Ultra-Personalized Emails

If you’re looking for a CRM solution that can help you send simple, ultra-personalized emails, Folk is worth checking out. Folk allows you to customize your emails to a remarkable degree, helping you build stronger relationships with your clients.

Salesmate: Best CRM for Phone and SMS Integration

Salesmate shines in the realm of phone and SMS outreach. It offers seamless integration with phone systems and SMS services, allowing you to reach out to your clients more effectively.

NetHunt: Best CRM for Managing Gmail Inbox

If your business primarily uses Gmail for communication, NetHunt CRM can make managing your inbox a breeze. This CRM software integrates directly into your Gmail inbox, helping you manage your emails and contacts more effectively.

At Anthem CRM, we understand that no two businesses are the same. What works for one may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to consider your unique needs when selecting a CRM software. If you need help deciding which CRM software is right for your small business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in making the best investment for your SME.

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The Impact of CRM on Small Businesses: Testimonials and Case Studies

Now that we’ve given you an overview of the top small business CRM options, let’s explore the real-world impact of CRM on small businesses. As experts in providing CRM solutions, we’ve seen firsthand the transformative effect a well-implemented CRM system can have on a business.

Empowering Businesses with Data

One of the key benefits of a CRM system is the ability to gather and analyze data across all customer interactions. As outlined in a review by PCMag, a good CRM system is like a sponge, soaking up data from multiple customer touchpoints, parsing it, and routing it to the right people in your team. This not only empowers your sales and marketing teams with a 360-degree view of the customer but also provides actionable insights that can drive better business decisions.

Streamlining Operations and Enhancing Customer Service

Beyond data management, CRM systems also help streamline operations by automating routine tasks. According to research by Freshworks, automation features such as sending emails and entering data can give your team a productivity boost. On top of that, they can also enhance customer service by providing a unified view of customers, making it easier to personalize interactions and respond to customer needs swiftly.

Boosting Sales and Revenue

The goal of implementing a CRM system is to boost sales and revenue. By managing customer interactions in a more personalized and timely manner, CRM can help small businesses improve customer satisfaction and, consequently, sales. In our experience at Anthem CRM, we’ve seen how our robust CRM system has helped businesses tailor their strategies and boost sales.

Testimonials from Our Customers

Don’t just take our word for it, though. The effectiveness of our software is reflected in the testimonials of our satisfied customers. Jack Thomas from exclaimed, “This is some POWERFUL Software!” and Ryan McEachron, CEO of ISU, echoed the sentiment stating, “No, Seriously. This REALLY is some POWERFUL Software!”. These testimonials highlight the transformational power of our CRM system in automating tasks and improving efficiency.


In conclusion, the impact of CRM on small businesses is profound. From data management and operational efficiency to customer service and revenue growth, CRM is a game-changing tool that can propel your small business to new heights. More than just a software solution, CRM is an investment in the future – a tool for growth and success.

In the next section, we’ll wrap up our discussion on CRM for small businesses. But if you have any questions or need further assistance in choosing the best small business CRM for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is always ready to help you make the best investment for your SME.

Conclusion: Is CRM the Best Investment for SMEs?

In an era where customer relationships take center stage, implementing a CRM system isn’t just an option—it’s a necessity. While the initial investment may seem significant, the returns are well worth it. A well-chosen CRM system streamlines operations, provides valuable business insights, and significantly improves customer relationships. It’s a tool that can propel your small business forward, helping it compete in today’s fast-paced, customer-centric business environment.

A CRM system like Anthem CRM offers a range of features designed to meet the unique needs of small businesses. It’s easy to use, customizable, integrates well with other tools, and offers quick onboarding. Plus, it’s secure and reliable with features such as encryption, IP restrictions, and two-factor authentication.

As an SME, your focus should be on growing your business and building strong relationships with your customers. A CRM system helps you do just that by automating time-consuming processes like data entry, allowing you and your team to concentrate on strategy and customer interaction.

Moreover, a CRM can increase conversion rates by up to 300% and offer 8.71 ROI for every dollar spent, according to Cloudswave and Nucleus Research. And, customer retention can be 47% higher when a CRM is implemented, according to Capterra. These numbers speak for themselves—CRM is indeed a wise investment for SMEs.

In closing, the decision to invest in a CRM system is one that can redefine your small business. It’s an investment in your future growth and success. If you’re ready to take this important step, explore our CRM solutions and request a free trial to experience firsthand how CRM can revolutionize your operations.