The software you use shouldn’t make your life more difficult. It shouldn’t add more layers to your routine. Instead, finding the right solution for managing your relationships with your customers should allow you to substitute more robust solutions in favor of a lightweight, easy-to-use program that keeps you in touch with all of your customers.

For many, that means turning to Simple CRM. But what exactly is a CRM, and how might you go about using a lighter solution that naturally manages your contacts? Here’s what you’ll need to know:

What is CRM?

Customer management relationship software is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a program you use to handle your contacts, emails, and ongoing projects in one streamlined way. Properly set up, you’ll be able to follow up with leads and customers without letting anyone fall through the cracks. At least that’s the idea.

But knowing which CRM system to choose for your particular sales pipeline is a bit tricky. Should you focus on something that’s oriented to email marketing and Gmail? Your sales process? Customer support? Google leads? LinkedIn? Marketing automation? Project management?

That depends on your usual M.O. But allow us to introduce an alternative: if you have simple needs, you might go for something a little less robust.

What is simple CRM?

Simple customer relationship management, or simple CRM, is contact management built more for small businesses.

Solutions like Zoho CRM and Hubspot offer light versions of their CRM that are more sensible for small businesses without a lot of contacts to manage. You still may be able to access other common CRM tools like data entry, customer support, social media, and data entry—but one of the chief functions of a Simple CRM is keeping tabs on those customers you recently talked with and understanding their current place in your sales funnel.

CRM solutions and key differences

With that in mind, which CRM solution should inspire you to bring out the credit card? Here are some of the key differences that set the major CRM solutions apart:

Is there a right or wrong answer here? Not really. No matter what your marketing to-do list might look like, you’ll find options here. Modern CRMs will all give you plenty to work with—the trick is in finding the best CRM software for your specific needs without going vastly over budget. Whether you browse feature lists or watch webinars, try to find the free version of CRM if you can to give them a try. Or, alternatively, we have another suggestion.

What is Grasshopper Connect—and how does it compare as an alternative to simple CRM?

If your company only needs simple contact and sales management, you may not have to opt for something as expansive as some of the options above.

Grasshopper Connect could make a valid alternative. Think of Connect as a unified messaging and contact management solution. It incorporates the features of Grasshopper (having a full-service business phone system in your pocket) with a simple contact management system, giving you a unified, all-in-one messaging system you can use to keep tabs on your entire business.

Features include:

Choosing the best customer relationship solution for you

The size of your business and the types of customers you have will help determine which CRM tool is best for you. More robust CRMs tends to focus on gathering large swaths of data into presentable packages—and their pricing plans are designed for companies with big sales budgets. Simpler CRMs are easier to handle for those with smaller business needs. Their ease of use is much more appropriate for smaller sales teams and even solo entrepreneurs.

But whether you have small teams with limited lead management needs or simply want to explore a new lead management tool for your latest marketing campaigns, Grasshopper Connect can serve as an ideal solution for bringing the best of both worlds—CRM and contact management—into your phone.