Top 5 CRMs in 2023

CRM systems are the future of business. They are becoming more popular than ever before, and if your business is also looking to hop onto the CRM bandwagon, then you need to make sure that you choose the right CRM for your business.

There are a ton of different factors to consider when it comes to finding the perfect CRM, but often it’s far too time-consuming to do thorough research on each CRM system out there before making a final decision on which one you will be going with.

Ultimately, you need the CRM to work with your business, not against it. It’s a big decision to make, which is why we’ve taken a closer look at some of the world’s leading CRM providers. Below we’ll go into detail on each of the top CRMs in 2023, and what makes them stand out from the rest.

1. HubSpot

Our favourite CRM is Hubspot. This platform has everything you need and more. From automation to third-party integrations, you can expect a full house of features that your business can use to drive your business forward.

But, what makes HubSpot stand out from the rest of the CRMs on the market is the fact that you can use their CRM for free. While there will be some limitations to using the free version of HubSpot, it’s still a fully functional CRM that can be used by both small and medium-sized businesses.

HubSpot also allows you to upgrade any of the CRM’s three branches (Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, and Service Hub) to a paid package that unlocks more features for your business to use. This allows HubSpot to grow with your business, and it ultimately helps you to save more money while still having a fully functional CRM system without hidden costs and limited time trials.

2. SalesForce

Salesforce has quickly become one of the most famous CRMs in the world. Many large businesses such as Spotify, Amazon, and even brands like Adidas use Salesforce.  This CRM is more focused on driving sales through its CRM, just like Pipedrive, however, it does have some different features on offer.

But, it should be noted that Salesforce is one of the most expensive CRMs to adopt and run. You will need a dedicated team to customise the software and keep it running, which adds even more expenses to the software’s running costs.

3. is a newcomer and was only released in 2010. Despite its short lifespan though, has quickly risen through the ranks and has become one of the world’s leading CRMs thanks to its great usability and cost-effective packages.

Monday is an excellent tool for managing projects between departments and automating simple processes. You can use Monday to set automatic reminders, and due date notifications and assign new tasks to teammates automatically while tracking time. Monday’s tools work well for small and medium-sized businesses that need to collaborate on projects.

4. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a popular CRM that maybe big businesses have been integrating into their systems. Pipedrive’s main focus is on sales, if your main goal is to generate new leads and convert those leads, then Pipedrive might be the answer for you.

Pipedrive’s speciality is customisation. The CRM can be fully customised to your needs and it also offers several different options for sales pipelines, app integration, and email connectivity. With an easy-to-use interface and some excellent features, it’s definitely a CRM worth considering.

5. Really Simple Systems CRM

Really Simple Systems CRM is another great option for businesses. This system is great thanks to its easy-to-use interface. Your team members can easily learn how the system works, and everything is relatively straightforward.

RSS CRM comes with a 14-day free trial, but it’s still an affordable CRM once the trial expires. This CRM has sales tools that allow you to track leads, marketing management that allows you to capture leads, and a customer support tool that allows you to keep your customers happy at all times.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect CRM for your business is an incredibly difficult task. Even if you’re presented with some of the top-rated CRMs in the world, it can still be a tough choice to make. But, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right CRM. If you’re feeling stuck, make sure to get in touch with a GoCRM expert for some advice.


CRM Implementation: 7 Steps to Success

CRM (customer relationship management) implementation involves installing CRM software to manage existing and potential customer relationships. A successful CRM implementation can facilitate customer interaction analysis, lead tracking, and process streamlining for businesses.

There are 7 crucial steps that you need to take to ensure that your CRM is installed correctly:

  1. Choose the Right CRM Platform
  2. Set Realistic and Actionable Goals
  3. Put Together a CRM Team
  4. Plan Regular Meetings and Check-Ins
  5. Migrate and Integrate Your Data
  6. Train Your Team and Test the System
  7. Rollout the CRM System Across Your Business

CRM systems are extremely complex, and you need to make sure that you have an agency or an expert assisting you in the process. As long as you keep the seven important steps in mind and avoid the fatal CRM implementation mistakes, your CRM implementation will be a success.

Important Steps to Follow When Implementing a CRM

The CRM implementation process is one of the most crucial elements to adopting a CRM. If you want to ensure that your CMR is being used properly and you’re getting the most out of this powerful system, then correctly implementing it is critical. The majority of CRM implementations fail, which often puts business executives off trying to adopt these systems again in the future.

1. Choose the Right CRM Platform

For many businesses, the first mistake in CRM implementation comes before the process even starts. Choosing the right CRM system based on your business needs and goals is incredibly important.

Every CRM system is unique, which means that some are easier (and more affordable) to implement than others. This is one of the factors that you should consider before you commit to a specific CRM. Oftentimes it’s best to consult with someone who has knowledge and experience in CRMs before you land on a final decision on which CRM to choose — this can prevent a whole host of headaches in the future.

It’s also a good idea to do thorough research on your shortlist of CRM systems to ensure that they meet your standards. The deeper you dig into the details of each system, the more you will learn about how they work and which features appeal most to you.

2. Set Realistic and Actionable Goals

Once you’ve landed on the perfect CRM for your business, the next step is to set realistic goals that you can take action on. We all know about SMART goals — this is the time when you should be using them! CRM implementation projects need time, but you need to make sure that you are setting achievable timeframes for each stage of the project.

The goals that you are setting for the implementation process need to be actionable. This means that you need to be able to achieve the goals that you set out for your team. Make sure that you have the expertise and knowledge on-hand to action the tasks that you have set out.

3. Put Together a CRM Team

Installing a CRM and getting it up and running is no easy task. You’re going to need to have a specialised team put together to get the job done. It should consist of the following team members:

  • Project manager (implementation leader)
  • Systems developer (installation processes)
  • Data analyst (data migration specialist)
  • QA engineer (CRM testing)
  • Champions (department representatives)

It’s crucial that you find the right people to put in place. You need to have team members who are skilled and have the knowledge required to get the tasks completed in the best and more efficient way. With the goals that you have set in the previous step, your team’s job is simply to meet their deadlines and execute each phase of the project properly.

The department champions are representatives from each department in your business. These champions will act as the leverage point between upper management and the rest of the team that will be using the CRM. It’s essential that your department champions are involved in the process because they will give you insights into what each department needs, and it will help you to address any questions or concerns that they might have.

4. Plan Regular Meetings and Check-Ins

Throughout the CRM implementation project you need to make sure that things are always on track. Your team needs to meet deadlines, and everything needs to run smoothly. A small delay in one phase of the project could result in a compound effect that would delay your implementation process even more further down the line.

If you’re constantly checking in with your implementation team, or at least with the project manager, you can be assured that your CRM implementation is still on track. If there are any hiccups then you’ll know about it, rather than checking in on the project later on only to find that it’s not where you expect it to be.

No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that something goes wrong and a project can be delayed. It’s normal for obstacles to arise and things to go wrong. However, if you have consistent meetings to regroup and adjust your goals, then you can keep your implementation project on track.

5. Migrate and Integrate Your Data

The data migration process is like an entire project on its own. This is also one of the most important elements of the implementation process because data is vital to the success of your business. Whether it’s customer data, contact details, or financial data, you need to make sure that all of your data is carried over to the new CRM system extremely carefully.

If the data migration process is not done correctly, you will be stuck with corrupted or lost data, which will affect your business in the future. Overall, this is a process that you should never underestimate, and even if you’re feeling just slightly unconfident, make sure to get in touch with someone who has the experience and knowledge that ensures a successful data migration process.

6. Train Your Team and Test the System

Many CRM systems are complex and difficult. Some of them have an incredibly steep learning curve, so it’s vital that you get your team trained and up to speed with the system before you implement it. 

The key to training your team in using the system is to make it easier for them to understand. Make sure the CRM system you choose has learning resources available for your team to use. You also need your upper management to have a full understanding of how the system works, which will instil confidence in the rest of your team. It will also give your team a chance to ask any questions about the system and how it needs to be used, which will give them more confidence and peace of mind going forward.

7. Rollout the CRM System Across Your Business

Finally, it’s time to roll out the CRM system across your entire business. This process involves getting your entire team signed up to the CRM system and up to speed with their own profile and workspace on the CRM.

You also need to ensure that your whole team is comfortable with using the system. It’s the perfect time to check up on each of your team members to see if they have any additional questions or concerns that need to be addressed.

You should also use this step to do a thorough investigation of the CRM system to see whether everything has been installed correctly. If there are any issues, you can get them fixed early on before they cause disruptions to your daily business operations.


It might sound simple to successfully implement a CRM, but if it’s not done correctly the system becomes unusable, leading to money, time and effort being wasted. If you need a CRM implemented, it’s always best to work with an expert team that has experience in getting CRM systems up and running.


CRM Implementation Failure: What are the 8 Main Causes?

Did you know that nearly 70% of CRM implementation projects fail? CRM systems are incredibly powerful, and they can propel your business miles ahead of the competition — as long as they are implemented and used correctly!

Once business executives make the decision that they are going to implement and use a CRM in their business, they’re often keen to get it up and running as soon as possible. After all, the quicker it gets implemented, the quicker you can start benefiting from it right?

That’s not always the case. There are eight significant mistakes that businesses often make when it comes to implementing their CRM systems, and if you fall victim to just one of these mistakes, it could derail the entire process and send you five steps backwards. 

The 8 Most Common Mistakes Made When Implementing a CRM

If your CRM is not implemented properly, your business would have wasted precious time, money, and resources failing at the process. Below are the most common mistakes that businesses make when implementing a CRM, make sure you don’t fall victim to the same errors.

Poor Planning and Execution

The first mistake that businesses make is poor planning and execution. Properly implementing a CRM system is a complex and time consuming process, and many businesses don’t keep this in mind when they start the process.

Setting out clear goals and plans is crucial when it comes to a successful CRM implementation project. You need to establish clear deadlines and break up the process into smaller tasks. This will allow you to clearly keep track of how your implementation project is coming along, and whether or not it’s still on track.

You also need to set out clear goals as to what your CRM will accomplish. This will ensure that your CRM is fully integrated with your business and that you have all the necessary features available to you. Your team needs to have a clear vision of what the CRM will be used for, and how it will be used.

Without straightforward, actionable, and measurable goals in place, your team will be left confused and stuck halfway through the project. It’s also a good idea to get a project manager on board to ensure that everything runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Oftentimes, breaking up your CRM implementation project into different phases is the best way to go about the process and ensure a successful project. Breaking up your project into phases such as data migration, app integration, and others can help your team work on actionable tasks that ensures nothing is overlooked

Lack of User Adoption

At the end of the day, your team will be using the CRM the most, and they are the main factor that will determine whether your CRM has been a success or not. If there is a low adoption rate among your team, your CRM project will be a failure. What’s the point of spending all of your time, effort, and money on implementing a CRM if it’s never going to be used?

You need to make sure that your team is completely comfortable with the CRM and understands why it’s being implemented. The truth is that most people are not excited about new systems being implemented into a business, especially if they already have their own way of doing things.

However, if the management and leadership team are on board with the idea, and they have an understanding of how the CRM will benefit their team, then it’s likely to lead to an increase in user adoption rates. As long as people’s questions and concerns can be addressed, they are often more open to giving a new system a try.

Insufficient Training

One of the most important elements of increasing user adoption across your team is training. Training your team members is easier said than done, but you need them to be as equipped and prepared as they possibly can be to make the most out of the CRM system that you’re using.

It’s never easy to train people, especially when it comes to systems as complex as CRMs. Some CRMs are easier to use than others, which makes a key difference in adoption rates, and ultimately the success of your CRM implementation. However, sufficient training is still critical, and the leadership team is partly responsible for ensuring that the training of their staff members is executed effectively. Leadership figures need to be at the forefront of the CRM — understanding every process, feature, and aspect of the system. The more your management team knows about the CRM system, the more equipped they will be to deal with any questions or concerns that your team members have.

Many CRMs are equipped with training resources and online academies that your team can use to familiarise themselves with the CRM. This will also help them to get the most out of the features that the CRM system has to offer, which will result in more efficiency and productivity when using the CRM.

Lack of Support

One of the main benefits that you can get from using a CRM is unrivalled customer support. Unfortunately, though, that’s often something that CRM vendors fail at. If the CRM of your choice does not have a good support system that you can use when you need it, then it’s more likely that your CRM implementation process can fail.

Having sufficient support from the CRM vendor is essential, and you should expect nothing less than a 24/7 support team that can help you at any time. Anything can go wrong with your CRM system at any point, so if something were to happen, you need to be sure that the support team can jump in to help you out.

You also want to make sure that you have great support in your local area. It could be within a few kilometres of your business, or even in another province, as long as you have experts within South Africa that can help you to troubleshoot any issues during the implementation process.

Choosing the Wrong CRM Vendor

One of the most important steps that you need to take is choosing the right CRM vendor. There are some specific requirements that you should keep in mind when choosing a CRM for a South African business. Due to the unique business landscape in South Africa, some elements of a CRM simply won’t work with some businesses.

There are hundreds of CRMs to choose from, and you can’t just go with the one that is the highest rated or has the best reviews. You need to dig deeper into each CRM on your shortlist and analyse whether they meet the needs of your business. If you have set out goals that you want to achieve using the CRM, how will its features help you to achieve these goals?

When choosing a CRM you also need to look into the implementation process and how complex the CRM is. Some CRM systems are more difficult and require more investment to implement, which is why many CRM implementations fail before they have even started. As mentioned earlier, choosing the right CRM vendor also plays an important role in the support that you will get during the implementation process.

Improper Data Migration

Data is the lifeblood of any business, and it’s crucial to migrate your data into your new CRM system correctly. If you want a CRM to be at the centre of your business (as it should be), you’re going to need all of your most important data to be transferred across safely and securely.

If the data migration process is done incorrectly, you run the risk of having missing pieces of data or information in your CRM’s database. There’s also the risk of corrupting data and losing it entirely. This process is extremely delicate and time consuming, and there’s far too much risk involved to rush through it.

There are a few important steps you need to follow when migrating your data to a new CRM system. Skipping over just one of these steps could result in your data migration process failing, which would mean failure to properly implement the CRM system and integrate it with your business.

The CRM is Not at the Center of Your Business

CRM systems are best when they are at the centre of a business. The system is used to unify the entire business by making collaboration on projects easier for your team, powering your inbound marketing strategies, or creating a streamlined working space through third-party integrations.

Your CRM system is not just another software or piece of technology that is being added to your business. It should become the entire foundation of your business if you want to make the most of the system’s benefits.

CRM implementations fail when businesses overlook this aspect because it means that they’re not harnessing everything that this powerful system has to offer. Proper CRM implementation means that the system is linked to everything in your business, giving oversight of your finances and sales, an in-depth look into your marketing metrics, and details on the overall progress of your business projects. 

Attempting the CRM Implementation Process Alone

One of the biggest mistakes that business executives often make is that they go about the CRM implementation process alone. The reality is that these systems are extremely complex and difficult to implement, which makes it impossible to complete the process alone.

Even if you have a highly skilled IT team on hand, you’re going to need a CRM expert to help you get through the process correctly. Partnering with a CRM system expert is always a good idea if you’re looking at implementing one. 

At the end of the day you want to get the most out of your investment, so this is not an area that you can take shortcuts. Whether you’re using a free CRM, or the most expensive one on the market, you need to make sure that you’re not taking on the task of implementing the system on your own.

Final Thoughts

The majority of CRM implementations fail, which leaves business executives frustrated as they wasted precious time, effort and money. There are several critical mistakes that businesses make when implementing CRM systems, and these should always be avoided. If you want a smooth and successful CRM implementation, make sure to get in touch with CRM experts for the best results.


The Importance of Proper CRM Implementation

CRM systems are incredibly powerful and they can take your business to new heights — as long as they are implemented properly

The reality is that nearly 70% of CRM implementations fail, and that’s mainly because business executives don’t execute them properly, or they don’t want to spend the additional time and money to hire an expert that would help them out.

Even if you understand how these systems work and what they need to do, integrating them with your other business systems is an entirely different challenge. If you get the implementation wrong, you won’t only be left disappointed and frustrated, but you’ll also have wasted precious time and money during the process. 

So, what happens when you implement a CRM incorrectly? Let’s find out.

Going Over Budget

Staying within your budget is always important, but when it comes to implementing a CRM system it’s even more important. Unfortunately, though, it’s never easy to plan ahead when it comes to CRM implementation projects.

While there are clear costs on the month-to-month prices of a CRM, there’s no clear indication as to how much it would cost to get the system up and running

One of the best ways to get an idea of how much you need to spend is to work with an agency that is experienced in CRM implementation projects. Their knowledge and experience will give you an idea of how much you need to budget.

If your CRM is not implemented incorrectly, you will have to spend additional time and money to get the issues fixed, and perhaps even start the implementation process over again.

Extended Timelines

If your CRM implementation fails, you will need more time to fix the problems that it has caused, or you will need to start the process all over again. If you had a timeframe in mind for when your CRM system was meant to go online, then you’re going to need to adjust your plans.

Delaying the implementation of the CRM will only cause frustration for you and your team members. Your team will likely need to work between two systems while juggling new data and information coming in as your CRM implementation continues.

Missing Data

The process of migrating data from your business systems to a CRM system is crucial. It’s not an easy process to complete, even if you have done it before. It’s important to understand that data migration to a new CRM system is extremely complex and time-consuming, and if you’re not feeling confident you should consult with an expert.

There is a methodical process that needs to be followed if you’re migrating data to your new CRM. If it’s not done properly, you’ll have data missing from your system, and as all know, data is key to any modern business.

Whether it’s customer data or information about your products, you want to ensure that all of your data and information is carefully carried across to your new system. Your CRM is meant to be the unified, central system that carries all of your data in one place, so this is one stage of the implementation process that needs to be done properly.

Technical Glitches and Issues

If your CRM is not implemented properly you’ll likely run into frequent problems while using it. You might experience some features not working as they should or data not being pulled from the places you need it to. All of these will impact how you use the system, and its ability to benefit your business.

This will also impact your system’s ability to update with new features in the future. One of the most essential elements of a CRM is to always have unique features that help you to market better and sell more — but if your CRM was never implemented correctly in the first place, you may never get those new features.

Unusable System

If your CRM system is not implemented correctly you will be making it more difficult for your team to learn how to use the system. Even the most user-friendly CRM systems can be a challenge for your team to get to grips with. But, you’ll only make it more difficult if the system is not working as it should be.

This would only cause widespread frustration amongst your team which leads to lower adoption rates within your business. If your team is not benefiting from the CRM system and ends up not using it, then the entire process has been a waste of precious resources.

Final Thoughts

The only thing that’s more important than choosing the right CRM is implementing it correctly. The process of implementing a CRM is tricky and if it goes wrong it can cost you time, effort, and money. If you need guidance on implementing a CRM, get in touch with a GoCRM expert.


What is the Easiest CRM to Use?

When it comes to choosing a CRM for a business, ease of use is one element that is far too often overlooked by business executives. It’s a crucial factor to consider too, especially when it’s one of the most important elements that will decide whether the CRM you choose for your business is a success or not.

Within the South African business landscape, having a CRM that is easy to use and easy to learn is critical. If your team members are struggling to understand how the system works, they’re going to be left frustrated with it. The last thing you want is for your business to put in all the time, money and effort into finding the perfect CRM and implementing it, only for it to be unusable by your team.

So, how do you find a CRM that is easy to use? There are several factors that you can consider when looking at different CRMs. At the end of the day, you need to look beyond just the everyday reviews and user comments. That’s because every business is unique, and what might be working for one business, might not work for another. Keep reading to see what you need to look out for if you want to find a CRM that’s easy to use.

How CRM Features Affect Ease of Use

CRM systems are often divided into two different categories. The first is the “Enterprise” division, which is for larger businesses that have bigger budgets. These are CRMs that are usually rich in features, but that also makes them more complex and difficult to use. Enterprise CRMs are designed to be more powerful, so they come with tons of benefits, but for the average small to medium business (SMB), it’s not worth taking on one of these CRMs.

The second CRM category is SMB CRM. These are ideal for smaller businesses that might not need as many features, and they need a CRM that is not as complex as an Enterprise CRM. SMB CRMs have a significantly easier learning curve compared to their Enterprise counterparts, so it’s a better CRM to adopt if you have a team that needs to get to grips with the system quickly.

In reality, you don’t need a CRM with all the bells and whistles in order for it to be successful. You need to make sure that the CRM is implemented correctly, and that your team is using it effectively if you want it to be a success.

The Best SMB CRMs

There are hundreds of CRMs on the market, and choosing one for your business can be tough. Here are three of the best CRMs for small to medium sized businesses:

There are other CRMs for SMBs on the market, but these are the most popular systems that are widely adopted in South Africa. If you’re looking for Enterprise level CRMs, you can look further into Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. However, these are not only more complex CRM systems but also more expensive.

How User Experience Affects the Ease of Use

When you think about the systems that you use on a daily basis, you always feel more inclined to use the one that makes you feel comfortable and that you understand. Take Apple and Android for example. Apple has a far more streamlined and simplistic system when it comes to the user’s experience, and that is what makes them an incredibly popular choice compared to Android devices. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, but what we’re referring to here is the sheer simplicity and ease of use of the system.

The same goes for a CRM system. The system will be more widely accepted by your team if it’s easy to use. The simpler and easier the system is to use, the more it will enhance your team’s productivity. Ultimately, this will ensure that your team continues to use the system because at the end of the day, it needs to add value to their daily lives.

Ensure There is Support From the CRM

Another factor to keep in mind is that you need to have support from the CRM vendor. Whether it’s local or international support, you want to be sure that if you and your team get stuck with the CRM, you can get in touch with an expert that can help you at any time.

Some CRMs such as Hubspot, have academies and online learning resources that take you through all the basics of using their CRM. Having these resources available is excellent for onboarding team members and even learning how to utilise the CRM to its maximum potential.


One of the most often overlooked aspects of a CRM is its ease of use. Many CRM systems are complex and have a steep learning curve, which makes it more difficult for your team to adopt the system. Ultimately, your team needs to be comfortable using the CRM, and they need to be able to get to grips with it quickly. If you’re struggling to find a CRM that is easy to use, make sure to get in touch with a GoCRM expert for more detail.


Free CRM Software in South Africa

CRM systems have become an essential element of the modern business environment. These powerful systems can be used to unify your business and streamline your workforce, allowing for increased productivity, connectivity, and efficiency.

CRM systems have been attracting the attention of many business executives over the past few years, but they are expensive. Some of the best CRMs on the market can cost your business thousands of dollars each month.

You might be wondering if there are any free CRM systems worth considering in South Africa. Options are slim because there are a few essential factors to keep in mind. However, you may be pleasantly surprised by our top recommended free CRM in South Africa.

What’s the value of free CRMs?

Cutting costs wherever possible is always a good idea. However, when it comes to CRM systems, it’s difficult to take shortcuts. These are the systems that you need to trust with your data and business operations. So, is it worth using free CRM systems?

The majority of free CRMs could be better. You will have several limitations that make them impossible for your business to use. The main goal of a free CRM is to lure you into buying a paid package. In other words, their goal is to frustrate you into giving them money — that’s why it’s often not worth considering free CRMs.

There are a few common limitations that you would find with a free CRM. The first is that they would restrict the number of users. Oftentimes free CRMs will limit the number of users to 20 or fewer. While this is fine for most businesses that have smaller teams, there are some CRMs that limit the number of users to just two. This is something to be mindful of when choosing your CRM system.

Another limitation that you may find with free CRMs is that you will be given a time trial offer. Many CRMs will let you use their system for free just for 14 days or 30 days. This is great if you want to give it a try and get a better idea of how the system works, but that’s not a truly free CRM.

Why Hubspot is Your Best Free CRM Option 

If you’re looking for a free CRM, your best bet is HubSpot. Unlike other “free” CRMs, HubSpot offers unlimited users without time limits. This means that your business can use this fully functional CRM without worrying about the size of your team or the amount of time you have with the system in place.

HubSpot is also incredibly flexible when it comes to your budget. The CRM is split into three different branches: Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, and Service Hub. Each of these branches can be upgraded without having to take on the additional features of the other Hubs. For example, if you need to unlock additional premium sales features, you can upgrade your Sales Hub while keeping your other Hubs on their free versions. HubSpot has been praised for this feature as it allows you to grow the CRM alongside your business.

Oftentimes CRMs are offered as complete packages, which means that you will be given all of the features, whether you use them or not. If you’re not using features, or you’re not using the CRM to its full potential, then you’re wasting money.

In addition, HubSpot has an easier learning curve than most other CRMs, which is especially helpful to many businesses. Hubspot even has an online academy that will give your team video tutorials and lessons on how to get the most out of their system.

Choosing Your Perfect CRM Software

With hundreds of different CRMs on the market, you will need to make a decision on which one your business is going to use. It’s a tough decision, made even more difficult by the fact that it’s difficult to move from one CRM system to another due to the complex implementation process.

The first, and most important factor to keep in mind is the budget that your business has. You need to make sure that you can comfortably afford the monthly costs of the CRM. Keep in mind that many CRMs have additional costs when it comes to implementation and maintenance, so it’s always a good idea to over-budget for your CRM system.

You also need to make sure that the features offered by the CRM match your business’ needs and goals. Every CRM is unique and some may have more features than others. Make sure that the features you need are offered by the CRM of your choice.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you have support for the CRM system when you need it. Whether that’s in the form of an agency or the CRM’s support team. Even the most user-friendly systems can sometimes be complex and you may run into problems every now and then, so make sure you have a reliable support system you can contact.


Choosing a free CRM software is not an easy task. There are several different CRMs on the market that claim to be free, but there’s always a catch. The closest you will get to a truly free CRM is HubSpot. As always though, make sure that the system aligns with your business requirements. Feel free to get in touch with a GoCRM expert if you need any assistance with CRM systems in South Africa.


How to migrate your data to a new CRM

When implementing a CRM, one of the most vital tasks that your team will face is data migration. By migrating your business’ historical data into your new CRM, you’ll ensure that your teams can report on effective sales strategies, benefit from improved productivity, and improve your overall sales performance.

Shifting to a brand-new system can be a difficult task, especially considering all the risks involved in getting the process right. Data migration specifically carries a ton of risks as the process of moving your critical data and information from one system to another could go drastically wrong. So, here’s the best way to approach the data migration process.

Start with a plan

Migrating your data is one of the most important parts of implementing a new CRM into your business. In order to get this process right, you need to start with a clear plan of what you need to do, and how you need to do it. You will need to thoroughly audit your work, even after the CRM implementation project is finished to ensure success.

  • Auditing will highlight any potential roadblocks to your CRM projects’ success.
  • Building a clear migration plan can save your team members months of effort.

Having a clear data migration plan increases the likelihood of a successful implementation. Your team will run into fewer obstacles, and if you do run into any problems, your entire project won’t be thrown off course. Having a plan in place will help your team to measure your progress and visualise your project, keeping them on course for success.

There are three steps to a CRM data migration plan:

  • Double-check objects (both standard and custom), records, associations, and properties to ensure that no data will be missed in the migration. 
  • Analyse key reports and lists from your previous system to make sure they can be recreated (or improved) in the new CRM.
  • Perform a “delta migration” to transfer any newly modified data that may have been left out of your initial migration.

Determine which data needs to be migrated

Your next step in migrating data to your new CRM is to identify which data you want to migrate. It might sound simple enough, but it’s incredibly easy to miss out on crucial pieces of data if you don’t have clear guidelines established beforehand.

Here are a few examples of identifying migration data:

  • Contact information.
  • Demographic information.
  • Customer interaction logs.
  • Customer preferences
  • Customer purchase history

While these are general guidelines, the specific data that you migrate into your CRM will differ from one business to another.

After identifying the data that needs to be migrated, it’s also important to take care of your data structures. Data structures are the methods used to store, organise, monitor, and change data elements.

Assessment of data quality

Analysing your data is just as important when it comes to the data migration process. Oftentimes the data being migrated is not up to date or needs to be altered in some way to ensure that it remains accurate and relevant.

During the quality assessment, your goal is to ensure that the most important data is transferred over to the CRM. This means deleting outdated or duplicated data as well as any data that is no longer relevant to your business. 

Data mapping

The data mapping process involves drawing up a “map” of where your data will be stored once it’s been implemented into the CRM.

Using data mapping will ensure that your data is migrated to the correct location in the CRM. The success of your CRM implementation project will be determined by how accurately your data is migrated.

There are six main factors to consider when creating a data map:

  1. Identify the data groups that need to be migrated.
  2. Analyse the data entries that fall under respective groups.
  3. Double check the format of the data after migration.
  4. Determine whether the migration process will be manual or automated.
  5. The frequency of data transfers.
  6. Customisations in the CRM tool that may affect the data migration.

Make sure your data is backed up

Losing any of your data during the migration process can be devastating. You need to ensure that your data is backed up securely before starting your migration process.

Backing up your data to secure cloud storage is more reliable than physical media devices. Ideally though, you need to make sure to back up your data on both formats, especially if your data is critically important.

Before migrating, test it out

If you want to ensure that your data migration will be a success, you need to make sure to test it first. Data migration is a dangerous process — data could be lost, transferred to the wrong place, or there might be an error with your entire migration process. Sometimes there are external factors outside of our control (loadshedding) that could derail the entire process.

Ideally, you want to make sure that your process is running smoothly to ensure that everything goes to plan. The best way to test your migration is to first transfer a smaller portion of your data to see if it works as intended. 

Should you run into any problems while migrating the smaller portion of your data, it will be much quicker and easier to fix the issues. You can also ensure that your entire data migration process will run smoothly because you would have learnt from the failed data transfer.

Migrate your CRM data

Once you’ve gone through all of your pre-flight checks, it’s time to start the process of migrating your data into the CRM. If you’ve followed all the proper steps and avoided taking any shortcuts, then your data migration process should be seamless!

You need to make sure to migrate the following:

  • Standard and custom objects, if you’ve determined their need for custom objects in the new CRM
  • Properties (for all standard and custom objects)
  • Parent/child relationships in relevant objects
  • Object and data associations

Analyse the migration of your data

When everything is done, it’s time to take a look at your data migration and determine whether it was successful or not. The evaluation process is just as important, so make sure you don’t skip over this!

You should evaluate the following elements:

  • All objects (as far as possible) have been migrated (or integrated appropriately).
  • All properties/fields/tags related to the objects have been migrated (or integrated appropriately).
  • All associations between objects and properties have been migrated (or integrated).
  • All physical data has been imported, such as data stored in physical files or folders.


Data is one of the most important assets that any business has. When implementing a new CRM into your business, it’s crucial that you pay close attention to the data migration process. It might just be one step in the entire implementation project, but this can be classified as an entire task on its own. Make sure to get in touch with a GoCRM expert for a seamless CRM data migration process.


Is it worth using a free CRM?

As essential as CRM systems have become, they can also be pricey. The expense of implementing and running CRMs is what can throw many business executives off using a CRM, which causes them to lose out on the incredible CRM benefits that their business could take advantage of.

CRMs can be used in a variety of different ways, but overall, they bring so much to a business that it’s hard to overlook them. If you find most premium CRMs to be too far out of your budget, you might be looking for a free CRM to use.

The thing is, there’s always a catch when you choose something that’s free. So, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth choosing a free CRM over a premium one. Keep reading to find out. 

What’s the catch with free CRMs?

CRM systems play a vital role in businesses all around the world. From building a vault of contacts to tracking projects and marketing your business, there are tons of invaluable tools and features on a CRM that will help you to streamline and grow your business. There’s no doubt that CRM systems are vital, but they can be expensive when you need to pay for each user on a monthly basis — that’s why many small businesses seek out free CRM systems.

There are a few important limitations that you can expect to run into when looking for a free CRM. It’s important to keep these restrictions in mind when you make your final decision as it will affect your business. But, it’s even more important to consider the premium features of the CRM too. When you inevitably need to upgrade to a premium package, you’ll want to ensure that the CRM you chose is good enough and has all the features that allow your business to thrive.

CRMs will always limit the free version of their system because need businesses to subscribe to the paid version in order to make money. Each CRM will use one or more of the following restrictions for the free version of their CRMs.

Limited users

The idea behind a CRM system is to connect the different teams in your business and streamline work between departments and geographic locations. Most CRM systems will limit the number of users that can use the free version of their system. This tactic to used to encourage businesses to upgrade their plan as their business needs grow.

Limited time

Many “free” CRMs will limit the usage of their systems. The majority of CRMs will use a 14-day trial, but it’s not uncommon to find free trials that could last up to a month. Free trials can be frustrating for many people because it means that the CRM is technically not free. Nevertheless, this a restriction that is still used in some cases.

Limited features

The most obvious restriction that CRM vendors have with their free plans is limited features. Almost every free CRM will limit their features. You can expect limitations on the number of contacts in your database, app integrations, marketing limitations, watermarked emails, and much more. These are just a few ways in which CRM systems can be limited in their free plans.

Most popular free CRMs

There are a couple of different CRMs that offer free plans. Each CRM is unique, and you need to take a few factors into account when choosing the right CRM for your business. Keep in mind that no single CRM will suit every business, so you need to make sure to do thorough research on each free CRM before you make your final decision.

That means you might not even find the perfect CRM for your business on the list below. We’ll try our best to refine your search by describing what each of the CRMs below specialises in. Later on, we’ll also be discussing our top choice for free CRMs.

The CRMs on the list below are some of the most popular choices among small to medium-sized businesses according to Forbes is a great, easy-to-use CRM that will help your business stay organized between tasks. Their platform is highly customisable, so you can tailor it to any business. The free plan offers you a basic pipeline that is incredibly simplistic and straightforward with drag and drop capabilities.

You can organize your team members by assigning them tasks and notifying them of their deadlines. The free version of Monday is great, but when it comes to bigger businesses, it might fall short of your needs and expectations. If you need to have more than two users on Monday, you need to move over to the paid plan, which starts at $8 per user per month.

Who should use Monday: is a great fit for small teams that need some organisation in their business. What’s great about Monday is that you can customise it to your liking, whether you want to track sales, plan your marketing campaign, or just oversee the progress of a project.


EngageBay is one of the smaller and lesser-known CRMs out there. It’s likely that you haven’t heard of them before, but they offer a comprehensive free package that is an all-purpose solution ideal for small businesses.

From email marketing to live chat functions and sales tracking, EngageBay will give you a whole host of features without charging you a cent. It’s rare to find a CRM that allows users to streamline their business with so many essential features on a free plan. There are some limitations to the free plan, and some features are locked behind the paywall. But, EngageBay will allow up to 15 of your team members to use their CRM features for free. EngageBay’s paid packages start at $14.99 per user, per month.

Who should use EngageBay: EngageBay is one of the few comprehensive CRMs on the market, even though it’s not well renowned. This CRM is perfect for teams with 15 members or less who need to use a CRM to stay connected and streamlined.


Insightly offers a free CRM, but it’s difficult to grasp exactly what they offer. In order to get an idea of their free features, you need to sign up and install the CRM first. From there, you will be prompted to unlock additional features in the paid version of the CRM.

Despite the unknown free features on Insightly, it remains one of the most popular CRM options on the free market. One of the highlights of Insightly’s CRM is that it comes with an intuitive mobile app, so you can manage your contacts while you’re on the move. Insightly is only free for up to two users, and if your team is bigger than that, you will need to move onto the paid package. The paid version of Insightly starts at $29 per user per month.

Who should use Insightly: With Insightly’s free features (purposefully) hidden away, it’s difficult to determine whether it would be a good fit for you or not. From our testing, we can tell you that the free plan for Insightly is good for a team or two, which is not enough for most businesses. Nevertheless, the CRM has a comprehensive set of features 

Zoho CRM

Zoho is one of the biggest players in the business application market. With several useful tools and apps available from this Indian tech company, it’s no surprise that a CRM is also available from them. Zoho CRM is a great platform that offers a ton of useful features, but it’s especially powerful when you combine it with other Zoho business apps

As for the free version, you can have up to three users using the system at no charge. But, in addition to that restriction, you’ll also be limited when it comes to features. There are no third-party integrations or AI features. The best free features are the best suited to businesses that only need to track leads and contacts. The paid version of Zoho CRM starts at $14 per user per month.

Who should use Zoho CRM: Zoho CRM is best suited for small new businesses that don’t need a comprehensive CRM solution. Zoho is also better suited to businesses that already use other Zoho applications as they are the only applications you can integrate with Zoho.

Why HubSpot is our favourite free CRM

That brings us to our top pick for free CRMs — HubSpot. HubSpot allows you to use their CRM for free with an unlimited number of users. There are limitations on some of the CRM features that you might need, but the features offered on the free version of HubSpot are comprehensive enough to support small and medium sized businesses.

What’s especially great about HubSpot’s CRM is that it is divided into three branches: the Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, and Service Hub. Each of these three branches can be upgraded to a paid version as and when needed. This means you don’t have to pay for features that you’re not going to use by moving up to an entirely new plan.

Who should use HubSpot: HubSpot is suited to any business looking for a free CRM that they can establish a long relationship with a CRM that will grow along with their business. 


Free CRMs can be tricky to choose from because they often have some extreme limitations. Finding the perfect CRM system is not impossible though, and it’s entirely possible to find a great system to integrate into your business. Get in touch with a GoCRM expert if you want more information on the best free CRMs on the market.


How a CRM can power your inbound marketing strategy

Marketing is one of the most important elements that a business needs to get right. But getting marketing right is difficult, especially since people are bombarded with messages all of the time. Studies have shown that people are exposed to between 4000 and 10,000 advertisements in a single day.

So, how do you get your business to stand out from the crowd? The key is not to get your marketing in front of as many people as possible, it’s more about getting it in front of the right people. This is a concept known as inbound marketing, and it’s been gaining more and more traction over the past few years.

How many times have you thought back to the advertisement you saw for a product or service and gone back to that specific business? It’s likely that you completely forgot about which business it was, and did a quick Google search instead. People often go through a couple of the top results on a Google search and choose the one that appeals to them the most — we know you never venture into the second page of a Google search. 

Inbound marketing ensures that you get leads that are looking specifically for your service, rather than showing thousands of people ads that aren’t relevant to them. Keep reading to find out more about inbound marketing, and how a CRM can help you to supercharge your marketing efforts.

What is inbound marketing?

So, what is inbound marketing all about? Inbound marketing focuses on providing value to potential leads before they become your customers. This might sound counterintuitive, but it really works when you’re solving a problem with your product or service.

Your goal should be to solve a problem by providing helpful insight or value to your leads. By doing so, your brand will be more valued, and this is more likely to convert leads into customers rather than putting some marketing material out there and hoping that someone sees it.

Inbound marketing works because you’re positioning your brand as an expert in your field. This allows you to become the point of contact for customers who need advice on solving a problem. At the same time, you can offer your product or service as the solution. In other words, you’re not forcing people to look at your products, but instead gently nudging them towards it.

Why inbound marketing is better than traditional marketing

As we’ve seen, there’s a big difference between inbound marketing and traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is about getting your brand in front of as many eyes as possible — like a billboard on the side of the road. But, the problem with that is that maybe one out of every hundred people who see your ad will take an interest in your brand.

To get started with inbound marketing, you will need to use the following tools to provide value for your leads and convert them into paying customers:

  • Blog articles
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Interviews
  • Social media posting
  • Videos
  • Website copy
  • Email
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars

How inbound marketing can thrive with a CRM

Customer Relationship Management systems are ideal for getting the most out of your inbound marketing strategy. That’s because a CRM will allow your marketing and your sales team to align and get the right content in front of the right people.

CRMs can track which of your leads are interacting best with specific types of content. For example, you might have a CEO in the automotive industry who reads your blog every Monday, or you might have a restaurant owner who interacts with your social media posts on a regular basis. 

You can use these metrics to identify which areas of your business are attracting different types of people. Then you can start to pinpoint the type of content that they are looking for and tailor your inbound marketing strategy to them. Your CRM will help you to present people with content that is relevant to them, making them more likely to convert into paying customers.

You can also use a CRM for marketing automation, which is another important piece of the inbound marketing puzzle. One of example is email marketing, where you can trigger your CRM to send a series of relevant emails to a customer as soon as they register their interest in your business.

Final Thoughts

Inbound marketing could be the key element that your business is missing when it comes to finding leads and converting them. If you want to make the most of your inbound marketing strategy, make sure to invest in a CRM that will help you in getting the best out of it. If you’re unsure of how to get started with an inbound marketing CRM, get in touch with a GoCRM expert for more details.


How to provide excellent customer service using a CRM

Customer service is one of the most vital elements of your business. No matter how good your product or service is if your customer service is poor, your business’ reputation will take a knock. Slow replies to customer queries, incorrect responses, or even lengthy conversations with customers can cause them to become irate, which is bound to lead to poor reviews.

Having a CRM system implemented into your business is one of the best ways to improve your customer service. The answer is in the name: Customer Relationship Management systems. There are a lot more benefits to CRM systems, but they allow your team to focus on connecting with customers to ensure that they have the best possible experience when communicating with your business.

In this article, we’ll be diving further into how you can provide your customers with quick, informative, and friendly customer service to ensure that they leave you an excellent review, and come back in the future.

6 Ways a CRM improves your customer service

There are 6 main ways that a CRM will increase the reliability and performance of your customer service. Beyond these 6 ways, there are many smaller elements and moving parts that will also benefit your business’ customer service team, but you’ll get to see those in action once you’ve got your CRM up and running!

Organising customer information

Collecting customer information is one thing, but organising it into useful data is another. CRMs have centralised databases that collect tons of information about your customers and arrange it in such a way that it can be used by customer service staff to create more personalised interactions. The more you interact with your customers across various different channels, the more connected they will feel, and the more they will trust your business.

Scheduling meetings

Scheduling meetings has always been a challenge over the years. In the past, it would take time and effort to find a meeting slot that works for all parties. But, with a CRM you can seamlessly manage your time and slot in meetings where it suits everyone. Your calendar is available for your clients to see, and they can pick a time slot that suits them best. Face-to-face meetings or even video conferencing is one of the best ways to connect your customers to a human rather than words on a screen, and a CRM can help your team to stay on top of all their meetings!

Preventing repeat complaints

Sometimes even when an issue has been addressed and a support ticket has been resolved quickly, it hasn’t been done properly. This can lead to repeat complaints where customers would address the same issue again. A CRM will help you to identify these repeat complaints so that you can prioritise them to get the issue sorted. The longer a customer needs to deal with a problem or chat with customer support, the more agitated they will become.

Closing tickets faster

CRMs will notify the customer support team of messages that need their attention in the form of tickets, allowing your team to become more productive. The ticketing system on most CRMs is incredibly simple, fast, and can trigger automations. This allows your team to get to work on clearing these tickets as quickly as possible. Moreover, your CRM can provide you with detailed analytics on the tickets, such as the average time it takes for them to be closed for example. You can use this information to determine where you need to improve, and what you need to do to keep your customers happy at all times.

Meaningful and personalised responses

Many businesses use generic solutions to problems or even a FAQ approach. This shows that the business doesn’t care and doesn’t have time to deal with its customers. It’s kind of like saying “I’m busy, just have a read through these questions to find the answer you’re looking for”. People want to feel connected to a business, and they want to be able to have a discussion with someone to resolve their problem as quickly as possible. Reading through a FAQ section is not an easier way to deal with a problem.

Connecting customers to the right representatives

Have you ever tried to get help from customer service only to be sent from one department to another? As South Africans, we’re all too familiar with the frustration that this causes. But, what if your customers were directed to a representative in the correct department from the very first moment they contact your business? CRMs can help your business with this by automatically tagging a relevant representative in a ticket based on the query that has been sent in by the customer. This prevents customers from waiting longer than necessary for a reply and leads to more efficient customer service.

Final Thoughts

In a modern world where everything happens instantly, having slower customer service can set you back and give your business a bad reputation. You need to be able to respond to customer queries quickly. The best way to strengthen your customer service department is to integrate a CRM into your business. Make sure to get in touch with a GoCRM expert to streamline your customer service team.