Spreadsheets are often the first love of many companies. What's not to love about them? Many spreadsheet applications are free. They're familiar and simple enough to work with.
For micro and small businesses that are just starting, or are perpetually in the start-up phase, spreadsheets can be a no-brainer choice. Need to store contact information? Open a sheet. Need to track a deal? Open another sheet. Most fundamental business operations can be done on spreadsheets. That is until it starts becoming too much. In the US, about 50 percent of small business ventures fail in the first four years, because the owners are faced with many challenges that make it difficult to continue operations.
Look, spreadsheets are great for simple bookkeeping, for storing tabular data, and performing statistical operations. But, you don't peel a carrot with a pair of pliers or paint the walls with a toothbrush, for the same reason you don't run your entire business on spreadsheets. It's inefficient and needlessly complicated. More importantly, there are specific tools available in the market that get the job done.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that serves to help businesses manage their sales pipelines, store contact info, engage with prospects, track deals, and streamline activities. It is indisputably an upgrade from spreadsheet sales and customer management. On paper, CRMs are supposed to help businesses of all sizes, but vendors have infamously ignored small businesses for a long time now.
Small business CRM–a fallacy?
There are over 600 CRM software solutions in the market, yet about 18% to 69% of CRM projects fail. For a market that's so crowded, a failure rate like that raises a few questions. Every vendor is in a race to bring out new features, add integrations, and publish more content to show off how powerful and advanced their software is. But what is the point, when the software doesn't meet a customer's basic needs?
Small businesses end up getting the worst treatment in all of this. Imagine if a pizza kitchen took their 18-inch pizza, made a six-inch hole in the middle, and sold it as a small pizza. That's the current state of choices that small businesses have when it comes to CRM software. Because what vendors do is strip a bunch of features from their flagship edition, slap a label like "Starter" or "Essentials" on top of it, and list it for sale as a small business edition. No thought put into the customers' requirements, no science behind the features added.
And the result? Small businesses end up having to settle for the scraps. They find the user interface hard to understand, and the features to either be very limited or useless, due to lack of forethought from the vendor. They're turned away by the complexity of the software since it's been made without consideration for their needs. They eventually realize that they're paying a lot for something that's more of a burden and less of a help in the long run.
Eventually, small businesses move back to spreadsheets once the contract is over because at least it doesn't bleed them dry. Some are still stuck with their CRMs because there's just no better alternative. Once you recognize the potential of CRM, it's hard to give up and go back. But now, you're trapped with a solution that's both cumbersome and indispensable—sort of a love-hate relationship. That's what happens when a vendor's goal is to compete in the low-end market with no sincere interest or clear planning.
What makes Bigin special?
We at Zoho CRM understood the dire situation that small businesses are forced into, and the lack of a definitive CRM that meets the standards of the market. We've launched a brand-new CRM exclusively for micro and small businesses, with features and interfaces that expressly address their requirements and pain points. That's how Bigin came to be our new standalone product.
Bigin is not a downsized version of Zoho CRM. It's not cut from the same cloth per se, but it's made by the same tailor. Our decades of experience in the customer relationship management solutions market were put to use to create the ultimate small business CRM that delivers on three critical promises: ease of use, the right feature set, and affordable pricing.
1) Bigin is a breeze to use. A simple, no-nonsense experience.
One of the biggest pain points for small businesses with CRM is the user experience. Not just the software interface, but the experience. And they both go hand in hand.
User interface (UI) is the leather seat, the dashboard, and the steering wheel of a car. User experience (UX) is the resulting feeling you get when you drive the car. As you can tell, a bad user interface leads to a bad experience. So, maybe the software is robust, has unique features, and provides a lot of value. But, it amounts to nothing if customers have a hard time using it. And business software is infamous for that. Small businesses find CRM software to be complex, hard to navigate, and rigid. There's a lot going on to understand, and it often requires extensive training for salespeople to get on board.
However, Bigin is a beautiful product, period. That's not an overstatement. Bigin was built from scratch with the idea of providing the best in class user experience in mind. It's not just about having the right fields and boxes, it's also about how it's arranged and showcased. Bigin's clean, intuitive interface feels great to use. It has smooth navigation, it's easy to locate features and information, and it does not require a week-long training to get used to! You can set up and bigin in under thirty minutes. It's that simple.
2) Bigin has all the best small business features.
Part of what makes Bigin's user experience so great is the lack of complexity. Here's the situation–about 80% of features in a typical cloud software product are rarely or never used. Low usage doesn't mean that it has a low value. There are plenty of critical features that are not used often. Just because the fire alarm in your house is barely used, doesn't mean it should be removed. But not all features are fire alarms, some can just take up space in your workflow.
This becomes a problem when vendors don't understand that catering to micro and small businesses is a whole other ballpark. This is why small businesses often find CRMs to be bloated with features that don't serve them. Let's face it, most big vendors are not going to stop adding new features to their CRM. There's a race to create the most advanced, cutting edge CRM in the market, and Zoho CRM is one of the front-runners.
We believe it'd be unfair to leave our small business users in the dark the way that other vendors have. After our meticulous research to understand what small businesses need, what their day to day operations and problems look like, we came to understand what their ideal CRM might look like. That's why we created Bigin, a CRM that has the right set features that small businesses will greatly benefit from.
There are no bogus feature limitations, no complex features that are unnecessary, and no bloatware that takes up space. Nothing but the essentials—clean and compact. Here's the full feature list for reference.
While Zoho CRM may be your destination, Bigin is a great place to start your journey.
3) Affordable pricing, no hidden costs.
Bigin is the most affordable CRM solution for small businesses, starting at $7 USD per user. That's right! Bigin offers the best value for money among any CRM in this price tier. Your sales operations can move out of spreadsheets and continue on a robust small business CRM that's rich in features, integrates with several applications including the Zoho ecosystem, and provides a refreshingly simple and smooth user experience.
Zoho's pricing policies are etched in stone, and Bigin follows suit. There are no contracts here—you can cancel your subscription anytime, or upgrade at a moment's notice. Budgeting can make or break small businesses, and we're wary of that. You'll get a refund for your remaining months, and there's no complicated process.
There are no hidden costs. Once you're on board, you'll have unrestricted access to all the features promised on the pricing page. Nothing is locked behind a secret paywall, no separate payments for specific features or integrations. For $7 USD, you get all of Bigin.
This one's for all the micro and small businesses, self-employed professionals, and freelancers—you deserve a better CRM. It doesn't matter how you began, whether it's bound books, spreadsheets, or a clunky mess of a CRM. It's never too late to begin again.
Sign up now for a 14-day free trial of Bigin, with no credit card needed! We've made it incredibly easy to migrate data from the dozens of spreadsheets you're currently using. As promised, your business can begin your sales operations and get on board in under thirty minutes! Bigin also has a smartphone app to help make your job easier.
Join the #BiginnersClub today and experience the difference in sales productivity, and the quality of work done. We're excited to watch your business grow with Bigin, and we know it will. With luck, the day will come when your business outgrows a "small business" CRM. When you're ready to upgrade, you can seamlessly move your operations and data to Zoho CRM, the world's favorite CRM!
Bigin, built for small businesses with big dreams. Try now!
“Many SMBs rely heavily on spreadsheets to run their business. And, while spreadsheets are great for managing numbers, they aren’t great at managing relationships with customers. Which is why using a service like Bigin—built specifically to help very small businesses find, catch and keep customers—can improve the likelihood of creating great customer relationships.”
Brent Leary – CRM industry analyst & Partner, CRM Essentials