The Top 3 CRMs for Small Manufacturers and Why

March 17, 2023
The Top 3 CRMs for Small Manufacturers and Why

It all comes down to price, complexity, and feature sets. These CRMs are the best in class for small manufacturers.

As a small manufacturer, you know that staying ahead in today's competitive market is all about working smarter, not harder. That's where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in. It's like having a super helpful assistant that takes care of customer interactions, sales processes, and marketing stuff for you. Here we have three awesome CRM solutions for small manufacturers and why they're worth checking out.

Before jumping in though, a couple notes on CRMs and using them for your business:

  • Having a specialist configure and train your team on the CRM is the best way to get value out of it
  • Making sure you have an external or internal person to support the CRM is critical to its long-term success
  • The more clearly defined your processes are, the easier it will be to implement a successful CRM
  • Understanding the landscape of your other software is critical to making sure you pick a CRM that plugs into your other tools

On that note, let's jump into the CRMs.

1. HubSpot: Free to start, and able to grow with you up until

HubSpot is perfect for small manufacturers who want a free and super user-friendly CRM solution. This platform has everything you need to manage contacts, keep track of deals, and automate sales tasks like a pro. Plus, HubSpot's simple interface makes it a breeze to use, even if you're not a tech whiz.

The best part? HubSpot has a suite of tools that you can mix and match with different capabilities. They have Sales Hub, Service Hub, Marketing Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub. You can mix and match these based off of what you need. And these Hubs are altogether much more effective at a lower cost compared to getting your team onto Salesforce when you're small.

And if your business takes off, HubSpot can grow with you. They offer paid plans with even more features like sales analytics, custom reporting, and team collaboration tools. Starting with the free version and upgrading as you need is a smart way to get a top-notch CRM solution without spending a fortune.

One last note, they integrate with hundreds of tools. Meaning you'll be able to connect and automate across all your software. And if they don't have an existing integration, we can build a custom one for you. Perfect for small ERPs and niche-specific tools.

2. Zoho CRM: Budget-Friendly, Super Customizable, and Jam-Packed with Features

Zoho CRM is another great option for small manufacturers who want a budget-friendly CRM with lots of features. This platform has tools for sales automation, lead management, analytics, and customer support—all the good stuff you need to run your business smoothly.

The coolest thing about Zoho CRM is how customizable it is. You can tweak the platform to fit your specific needs by adding custom fields, modules, and workflows. Plus, Zoho CRM's drag-and-drop interface makes it a cinch to create custom dashboards and reports, so you can keep an eye on the stuff that matters most.

Even better, Zoho CRM can be integrated with other Zoho apps (like Zoho Inventory, their lightweight ERP and Zoho Books) and third-party software (like QuickBooks and Google Workspace). This means you can create a seamless tech ecosystem that supports your unique business needs.

We think that Zoho CRM is a little more complicated to get setup and working the way you want. Compared to HubSpot, its learning curve is a little higher.

With all that in mind, the Zoho platform is much more expandable and can ultimately be your business operating system. This makes it much simpler when looking for additional functionality in software. No need to look outside of what you already are familiar with!

It's a great in-between of HubSpot and Salesforce.

3. Salesforce Essentials: The Big Name with Features Just for Small Manufacturers

Salesforce Essentials is a simpler version of the famous Salesforce CRM platform, made just for small businesses. It might be a bit pricier than the other options we've talked about, but Salesforce Essentials has some seriously powerful features that are perfect for small manufacturers.

Salesforce offers manufacturing-specific goodies like product tracking, order management, and inventory management. These features help you keep a close eye on your supply chain, track sales performance, and make sure your deliveries are always on time.

And if you're into apps, you'll love Salesforce's huge app marketplace, AppExchange. It lets you extend your CRM's functionality by integrating with tons of third-party applications. This flexibility makes Salesforce Essentials an awesome choice for manufacturers with more complex business needs.

The main downside to Salesforce is that you'll have to hire someone externally or internally to architect, develop, and maintain it. Otherwise you won't be getting value out of the investment. As long as you're prepared to make that investment, Salesforce can be a great option for manufacturers who are growing and will most likely need a more complex tool like Salesforce in the near future.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, folks! As a small manufacturer, you've got some sweet CRM options to choose from, depending on what you need and how much you want to spend. HubSpot is perfect for a an easy-to-use, and scalable solution. Zoho CRM is a budget-friendly, customizable, and feature-rich platform that can be tailored just for you. And Salesforce Essentials is a powerhouse CRM with industry-specific features for those with more complex business needs.

Whichever CRM solution you pick, your small manufacturing business will definitely benefit from the improved organization, better customer relationships, and smoother operations. So go ahead and give one of these CRMs a try. We're pretty sure it'll make your life a whole lot easier and help your business reach new heights.

We love to get CRMs up and running for our clients. If you're looking for help on:

  • selecting and implementing a CRM
  • getting it connected to your other software
  • making sure its setup perfectly for your unique operations

Book a strategy call with us to learn if we'd be able to help out.

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