Customer relationship management software has helped manage customer interaction since the 1980s. Most sales teams, however, only use a portion of CRM’s capability. With costs ranging from $50 to $500 per user each month, you wonder if it’s affordable for startups and small businesses.

Choosing CRM software

Regardless of business size, when your library of customers has become burdensome, CRM software for retail might be a wise choice. It helps managing clients and sales, or even online marketing. Better customer service is an important aspect of getting more customers. Today’s CRMs offer many levels of service via different approaches.

When looking at retail software solutions, you have to weigh such factors as scalability, difficulty of implementation, and available support, Consider the vendor’s experience in your area of business, and itemize what specific goals you have and the tools you need. But the first issue is always your costs.

Free Software

Free CRM system software comes in two options – free, but limited, and open source. Limited versions are essentially trial packages that set limits on the amount of users, storage, features, or other capabilities. You can upgrade later, usually for a fee.

Open source software means fully functional CRM retail software . The drawback is that most of these open source companies don’t offer installation or support, so you may need someone to take a leadership role in installing, configuring, and training. Some of these companies do offer support – often for additional fees.

Either way, if you can find the right CRM system software to fit your resources, free is preferable to investing in one of the enterprise products out there.

Budget the Options

There are affordable versions available for under $25 per user per year, which is a huge savings. Find retail software that’s easy to use and implement. The last thing you want is to purchase something that’s going to require time to learn, or worse, that employees won’t use.

Gauge the investment relative to the value you’ll get from it. Look for CRM software for retail offering a small business version. But there should be room for future growth. What staff and hardware will you need to implement it? You may prefer something you install on your own servers, or something cloud-based you can access over the Internet.

CRM retail software has the reputation of being too technical for people who need to focus on customers. This may be true especially for owners of smaller businesses who don’t have the IT resources to install and customize programs properly. That doesn’t mean you should give up on benefits that it can bring. A little detective work will uncover cheaper and simpler alternatives that meet your needs.