Your customers are the single most valuable asset of your digital marketing company. In order to keep a solid relationship, you have to exert your utmost effort to understand what they want and need. This way, you can foresee potential challenges that they may have to face and immediately offer them the most effective solutions. To help you better, you have to start looking for the best CRM for digital marketing agencies.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management, better known as CRM, is a type of technology that helps you manage your interaction and relationship with your existing and potential clients. It is a central location that can help you keep your customers’ information, record previous service issues, identify sales opportunities based on your buying customers’ behavior, and manage your marketing strategies.
CRM is not just for large-scale organizations and corporations that have a huge customer database. In fact, small and medium-sized companies should start using one to ensure that they can effectively manage their daily functions ahead, even when they haven’t strengthened their brands yet in the industry.
Things to Consider before Choosing a CRM for your Agency
Before you start choosing what CRM is perfect for your agency, ask yourself these questions. This will ensure that your chosen CRM will deliver the results you are looking forward to receiving and avoid additional expenses from features that you do not exactly need.
- What is my current business process’ bottleneck and how can CRM help me alleviate the issue? How much time does my team spend on managing their leads?
- How are the impacts of data inaccuracies on my business?
- What operational processes and workflows we lack and need to add?
- Who will be using the CRM? Who are the people who need access? — to identify the number of users that
- What other software do we want to integrate with a CRM system?
- What essential reports or data can’t we generate or deliver?
CRM Features and Why You Need Them
There are several features that you need to check before choosing what CRM system you should use to manage your agency’s customer relationships.
CRM Deployment: Cloud vs. On-Premise
Scalability and System Integration
Choose a CRM that allows you to integrate other software and websites that you use for your business, which includes your social media accounts, email provider, project management tools, collaboration tools, and more. As your business grows, you also need to make sure that your CRM can support or integrate other systems your business may require in the future.
Check Out Free Trials
According to Software Advice, first-time CRM buyers often overestimate the features that they actually need. With a free trial, you can get to try the CRM first before you commit to its monthly charges. This also verifies whether it is user-friendly or if it has all the information and features that you need to streamline your business procedures.
Availability of customization and training. No matter how good the features are, if your team couldn’t understand how it completely works, your business will fail to maximize your chosen CRM’s full potential.
Your CRM houses sensitive data about your customers. Therefore, you have to make sure that your chosen platform is GDPR-compliant. In case your customer sends a request to delete his/her data from your backend, you must be able to do that immediately within a few clicks, accompanied by a confirmation email sent to your customer.
Choose a CRM that will allow you to gather all the necessary data to help you create the reports your business needs. Verify if it lets you create comprehensive reports with minimal time and effort.
24/7 Customer Support
If something fails, make sure that your CRM has an available agent to help you sort things out immediately. Remember, an hour of downtime caused by a problem can drastically affect your business, and you might lose thousands of revenues.
Best CRMs for Your Digital Marketing Agency
- Free trial: 15 days
- Starter: $8/user/month
- Standard: $12/user/month
- Professional: $20/user/month
- Enterprise: $35/user/month
Zoho is one of the most sought-after CRMs that can effectively streamline your sales pipeline. Finding information can be done in a jiffy with the help of ZIA Voice, an AI companion that can fetch information based on any module, take notes while you are dictating during a meeting, predict the outcome of sales activities based on the accumulated data, detect campaign anomalies so you can immediately fix them, automate mundane tasks, and many more!
If you have just started using Zoho, their team offers a one-hour free demo so you can understand its processes, and take advantage of their customized CRM training for different key positions of your company, such as the admin, sales manager, sales representative and developer.
Another notable feature is its integration capabilities that allow you to connect 300+ third-party providers such as GSuites, Office 365, RingCentral, Whatsapp, Eventbrite, Quickbooks, Slack, Dropbox and more. If you have been using their products such as Zoho Projects and Zoho Books, then surely, this is the best CRM for your digital marketing agency.
- Free up to 10 users
- Starter: $8.99/user/month
- Regular: $29.99/user/month
- Enterprise: $47.99/user/month
Agile CRM is a great tool that you can use even when you have just started your digital marketing agency. The free version is packed with numerous features that can encourage your team to exert maximum effort when closing deals.
One of the best features of Agile CRM is their gamification, a new trend that is not available on all platforms, that encourages competition and collaboration by showing your sales team their overall performance based on a customizable leaderboard set within a specific timeframe. By seeing how your team performs, you can offer incentives to improve their productivity and performance when it comes to their generated revenue, closed deals, completed tasks, and more.
When building your contact list, Agile CRM is surely a great option. It allows you to build detailed profiles that include information such as communication history, social media profiles, interests, points of engagement, lead scores, and related tasks and notes. You’re guaranteed that even if you have already served a specific customer months ago, you can still see all the previous messages so you can make sound judgments when responding to his/her concerns.
Once your marketing agency is ready to scale, the paid version provides more features such as unlimited campaign workflows and automation triggers, marketing automation, social monitoring, 2-way email integration, call recording, post-call automation, among others.
- Cloud Pricing:
- Free up to 12 users
- $55/month for 6 users
- On-Premise Pricing
- $1490 for 12 users
- $2990 for 50 users
- $24990 for 1000 users
Bitrix24 is a powerful CRM perfect for small- and medium-scale agencies. It has everything you’ll ever need so you can seamlessly collaborate and communicate with your team. You can customize and filter messages and dashboard results according to who you are giving access to. These features can help you secure your backend, especially if you have numerous employees onboard, without the need to send everything individually.
Bitrix24 also allows you to track your team’s progress. You can set different teams that will be responsible for numerous projects, and designate tasks so they can keep up with the deadlines. You can also monitor each project’s milestone as they have to mark their completed tasks so that the next person can work on it as soon as possible. Because of the systematic project management, your team members can improve their efficiency and productivity.
This CRM also allows users to create personalized invoices for clients. They have partnered with different payment systems which include PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.Net, among others. Therefore, you don’t have to use another invoicing app.
- Essential: $25/user/month
- Professional: $75/user/month
- Enterprise: $150/user/month
- Unlimited: $300/user/month
Salesforce CRM is what established marketing agencies need. If you are already earning at least $25,000 a month, and you have a large client base, surely, this CRM can help you manage projects and handle customer relationships easily. They have been one of the first CRMs in the industry so you are guaranteed that they have everything that you need. They also update their platform thrice a year to fix previous bugs or add features based on their users’ requests and feedback.
Salesforce does not have a free plan but you can try each tier for free before you commit to their platform. The Essentials is perfect for agencies that have five or fewer team members. As you get to higher tiers, you get more access to customizing the interface and receive higher levels of support.
One reason why I have considered it as one of the best CRMs for digital marketing agencies is that you can customize your sales path so you see the progress of your backend processes and make adjustments when necessary.
The platform also has impressive advanced features. Unfortunately, these are separately priced. First is the Task-Queue Assignment that allows you to list down the most important tasks and assign it to “Queue” so that the next available user can work on it. This will help you increase your business productivity as you don’t have to wait for a specific person to do the task when others are available. Additionally, you can also get the High-Velocity Sales Enhancements to set your outreach steps so that your team will know how to manage their leads. You can also add scripts your sales representatives can follow to ensure that they can turn prospects to buying customers.
- Starter: $50/user/month
- Basic: Starts at $200/month
- Professional: Starts at $800/month
- Enterprise: Starts at $2400/month
Hubspot CRM is FREE and it never expires. You can access their core functionalities, including contact management, Gmail and Outlook integration, reporting dashboard, canned snippets, email tracking and notification, meeting scheduling, and a whole lot more.
However, once you have gained customers and you need to add more features such as blog and content creation tools, SEO and content strategy, Google Search Console integration, standard SSL certificate, social media management and competitor tracking, you will need to scale up your membership. The paid tiers are a bit expensive, but the aforementioned features are super worth the price tag.
Well, if you have just started your digital marketing company, Hubspot is certainly a great choice. But if you are looking for a replacement that is both intuitive and affordable, check out the next CRM that I am about to recommend.
- Single Location Account: $97/month
- Agency Unlimited Account: $297/month
Based on my experience, Go High Level is by far the best CRM for digital marketing agencies. It’s affordable and has all the features that you need to help you monitor your own and your clients’ campaigns and messages. The dashboard has a clean and intuitive UI design. It immediately shows you opportunities, pipeline value, conversion rate, funnel overview, and your existing tasks.
Creating campaigns like voicemail drops, webhook, automated calls and manual SMS, and Facebook messages can be set-up immediately, and schedule as to when you’d like to release them. Also, instead of visiting individual platforms, you can immediately reply to your email, Facebook messenger and text through the Conversations menu. You can also organize your opportunities (lost, abandoned, won) so you can plan and execute individual strategies based on how the potential client responded to your marketing efforts.
It is also ideal to use the same platform for your clients. You can give them access to their accounts, and maybe charge a portion of the actual cost, so you don’t have to sign-up for a new account again.
Key Benefits of Using a CRM
Improved Customer Satisfaction – Your customers will feel more valued as you can immediately provide them the details that they need based on their previous buying decisions and unique preferences and needs. You can also mitigate issues immediately, granting that you have all their data that you will need to provide the best solutions. With all the available information, personalizing your message across all channels can be done with a breeze.
Enhanced Sales Productivity – using a CRM allows you to get an immediate assessment of the different facets of your business. You can immediately see what offer needs to be expedited and what marketing strategy works for your business.
Increased Customer Retention – All your gathered information can equip you with enough knowledge about your customers’ potential future problems, so you can better plan your business actions to deliver them solutions before they even start encountering them. In fact, did you know that a 5% improvement on your customer retention can result in as much as 25-95% increase in your profit according to a survey conducted by Act!?
Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting – Well-presented and insightful reports — these are very important to help you execute a complete assessment of your marketing strategies and visualize your overall business performance. This will also help you evaluate each team member’s performance, and make sound adjustments to solve bottlenecks or any action that hinders your business from reaching its goals.
Better Segmentation – if you are targeting several customers based on different criteria and categories, a good CRM allows you to do segmentation seamlessly so you can create focused marketing strategies. Modern CRMs offer a feature that will let you filter their location, deal stage, company size, age, or number of transactions that they have made with your business.
Improved Informational Organization – since everything that your customer has done with your business is documented, identified and recorded, you have several future references that your team can use. It also bridges the gap between multiple departments, such as your sales and marketing team. Let go of the post-its and filing cabinets — having a centralized program where you can keep your customers’ data can take your relationship with them to the “next level.”
Marketing Automation – you don’t have to pay someone to spend time logging customer information in a spreadsheet. A CRM will automatically collect and aggregate data within its system. You’ll want a CRM that can automate as many manual processes as possible.
Find the Best CRM that Matches Your Agency’s Needs
Not all CRMs are created equal; one might have email and social media integration while others don’t. Although I have exerted my effort to provide a comprehensive review to help you find the best CRM for digital marketing agency, you must also thoroughly assess your operational requirements to help you find what will work best for you. One may be packed with a lot of features… but do you actually need them? Remember, complicated and advanced features come with higher prices.
As CRMs have improved, they have become extremely useful and valuable for businesses. Choose one that can act as a central platform for all marketing and customer management efforts.