What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is essentially a piece of software that centralises your database and contact details in one place. For any modern business that deals with contact, deal or company records, this is crucial for business growth and success. 

Why is a CRM useful?

A CRM centralises all your database information in one place. It is designed to save time and allow you to see, in a snapshot, your community, your prospects, your numbers and your overall brand reach. It is ideal for any business that deals with people - which is all of them! If you’re a marketer, a quality CRM will allow you to introduce segmentation-based content, like loyalty programmes or members-only areas. For sales teams, your process management and newsletter communications are all made possible with CRMs. For the finance directors amongst you, a comprehensive CRM system can also allow for accurate forecasting and revenue tracking, making this piece of software the cornerstone of any modern business growth strategy.

An occurrence like COVID-19 gives businesses a mandated reevaluation of their strategies, processes and plans for the future. There is no better time to get your database in order and put in streamlined processes to allow for both remote digital accessibility and the avoidance of any issues in the future; a well-kept database allows for more intelligent insights and a more informed sales/marketing/service team.

Some of the CRMs we are more commonly asked to manage for our clients are:

Most Popular CRMs


The CRM of choice at SmartPA HQ, this has to be top of our list. While it can be expensive when adding on the extensive additional functionalities, the free CRM does everything a start-up/small business will need. It can automate data capture and give first rate insight into team performance, user experience and web analytics. We’re particularly fond of the attribution reports for our marketing department to track the value of every piece of activity they undertake.

Find out more about Hubspot.


Pipedrive isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing but has all the tricks required to offer you an accurate view of your pipeline. It is the best choice for sales teams, as the colour coding system allows for a clear picture of how long leads have been in your sales process and who needs speaking to most urgently. 

Pipedrive CRM System

Find out more about Pipedrive.


Salesforce tends to be associated with larger businesses but has excellent features for SME users. Carries all the functionality required to streamline your processes and is user-friendly, so a good choice if this is your first foray into the world of data management.

Salesforce CRM System

Find out more about Salesforce.

Microsoft Dynamics:

This is a great option if you’re looking for a more customisable option for a business that is flexing and growing with every passing month. You might need a bit of IT knowledge to get this running to its full extent but it has a long list of integrating apps, plus it’s Microsoft so will fit in with the 99% of us using Microsoft Office on a daily basis.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM System

Find out more about Microsoft Dynamics.

*There are many fantastic CRMs on the market, whilst this is a small selection of the products available, we always recommend you do extensive research before settling on the right CRM for your business (or get your SmartPA to research for you!)

What our CRM management allows our clients to do:

Once your CRM is implemented and hooked up to the relevant platforms and team members, the question remains; how do you make the most of this investment? Our CRM managers have years of experience in taking the database before them and utilising all possible information to help with business growth, including tailored email marketing, appointment booking, data analysis, outbound sales engagement, website improvements and growth strategies. All our SmartPAs are trained in GDPR compliance and can advise you on best practice to protect your customer data and ensure your growth strategy remains as well-informed as possible. 

A customer recently engaged SmartPA to collate, create and streamline a database previously held in secure spreadsheets. We were able to recommend an appropriate CRM system (after hearing and researching a clear brief), oversee the implementation, train existing team members on usage and supervise early activities to ensure the system was being used to its full capabilities. The right CRM can save time, streamline processes and most importantly, hugely reduce the chance of human error, ensuring your data is both accurate and useful to you.

If you are interested in having SmartPA digitise and streamline your data management processes, get in touch below today.

Get in touch

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