You probably know what data protection acts are, but you might not know how they impact your business or why you need to comply with them.

Recent changes to data regulations mean that companies, no matter how big or small, need to carefully tread when it comes to storing their customers' data and information.

Suppose you store any data about prospects or customers using a database. In that case, you must comply with data privacy regulations, which vary depending on where your business exists in the world.

This is why it is crucial to get it right from the get-go. Even if you use an email service provider, ensuring your provider is up to scratch on data privacy is a secure place to start.

Thus, choosing the best CRM software tools will make sure that you don't get caught out. 

But what exactly do you need to know and think about?

The regulations you must comply with are the best place to start. EU regulations (GDPR) will vary from those set in the US, and so you must find out which regulations you need to comply with, as they will affect how you handle data.

Once you fully understand the laws in place, you will need to consider which systems you will use to store data.

A lot of businesses have turned to CRM systems to assist them with data storage, and this can be really beneficial if you want to implement a system that can monitor your data privacy with the promise of high security. 

There are different ways that CRM software tools work to manage your data and will vary depending on the provider you choose. Here are some of the ways you can use CRM to store and manage your data.

To explain how these will work in lieu of regulations, we will explain this using GDPR regulations.

Management 

The management of your databases is key to getting them set up and regulation-compliant right from the start. There are two ways that CRM can do this: 

Consent Management 

Data Privacy laws require businesses to state-defined purposes for the collection of data and information.
Each purpose must be clearly stated and evidenced with a legal basis – the reason can be one or more of the following:

  • Consent
  • Performance of a contract
  • To comply with legal obligations
  • To protect the vital interests of the data subject or other people
  • To perform a task in the public interest
  • Legitimate Interest

Anytime data is stored, businesses must be able to prove the legal basis under which they obtained this information. 

CRM can assist in the management of this by recording the detailing of consent per person. This can be shown as the person's name, the reason for storing their data, how you captured their data, and finally, who has stored or updated (had access to) the information. 

Subscription Management 

As well as consent, GDPR privacy laws stipulate that contacts have the right to opt-out of receiving future marketing communications from your business and must be given the correct opportunities to do so.

Most CRM providers will offer a feature that allows customers to opt-in and out but also choose the type of information they wish to receive from your company; this could be blog updates or product discounts.

Not only does this give your subscribers control over what and how they want to hear from you, but it also automatically provides you with segmented lists for your email marketing.

Segmented lists can help you create efficiently targeted email campaigns based on your subscriber's interests, which is every marketer's dream. 

Right to Erasure 

GDPR laws states that any customer who might wish to have their personal data removed without delay has the right to.

Because of this, CRM tools support centralized databases that allow you to identify and remove any customer record without the worry of a duplicative record accidentally cropping up in the future. 

Security 

The best CRMs in the market are designed to handle complex safety features that are required to keep data safe. This includes features such as regular updates, multilevel security, data encryption, and anti-hacking tools.

These features are integral to keeping your business compliant with protection security standards and will support the prevention of data breaches. 

User Access Rights 

Just as consent is an important aspect of privacy laws, knowing who in your business has access to your customer's data is equally as vital.

A good CRM system will allow you to set roles and define access privileges for your team members, also allowing you to input different levels of user access so that sensitive data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

It might be also a great idea to use a tried-and-tested IAM (Identity and Access Management) tool such as Keycloak SSO.

Updates 

At this point, any databases you have will be compliant with the data privacy laws you are subject to. You will know what kind of personal information you store, the source of this data, and your purpose for storing it.

In order to keep up with this, you will need a system that is proficient enough to provide you with the tools to maintain this data. CRM systems can do this via bulk updates.

Bulk updates are an efficient way of organizing and tidying up your database compared to the alternative, time-consuming one by one update of each record. Best of all, you can organize and update using set selections such as source, date, and the legal basis.  

What if you already have a CRM system with data that isn't compliant with privacy data laws? 

The law isn't going to come crashing through your door as you're reading this guide, but now would be a good time to address the systems you have in place and update how your customers' data is handled. 

Some businesses have updated their systems by contacting their customers/subscribers and asking them to opt-in if they want to remain on said business' database.

Other businesses have taken the cutthroat approach of deleting their whole database and starting from scratch; however, this isn't an ideal move if you have hundreds or even thousands of contacts.

The final option is to update manually and then go from there. 

We recommend putting together a campaign that asks your customers to opt-in or opt-out of your database, that way you can easily update your lists per your customers'  interest.

What happens if you don't comply with data privacy laws? 

Businesses that don't comply with data privacy regulations can find themselves footing the cost of a hefty fine, which is why it is always essential to have a system in place that is competent enough to manage your databases effectively and under the guidelines of the law.

If at any point you are unsure whether the CRM tool you have invested in is operating correctly, we recommend that you get in touch with your provider. 

If you've set up a new business or looking to enhance your data security, CRM systems are an effective solution, offering better security, flexible management, and efficient organization.

Getting your data privacy right is not just a matter or organization but law and in keeping up with the latest regulations you can sleep easy knowing that your customers can be sure that you will keep their data safe.  

Hopefully, you understand the importance of CRM in terms of data privacy and security. So now, let's take a look at the best CRM software to choose from in 2021. 

5 Best CRM Software tools for 2021

Let's have a look at some of the best CRM tools.

HubSpot CRM

In this comprehensive world, it is one of the commonly used CRM in the market. It's a powerful mechanism, capabilities, and user-friendly interface that attracts the users and allows them to perform the task efficiently and securely.

It provides integration and automation features and helps the users manage the tasks from one centralized place. 

The best part about HubSpot CRM is that it's free and maintains the security of organizations. So, if you are looking for an all-in-one CRM, then prefer choosing HubSpot CRM. 

Salesforce CRM

It is another popular cloud-based CRM that companies use to customize the data and drive business sales. This platform is not only scalable and efficient but also supports integration and mobile.

The users of Salesforce CRM can understand customer requirements, which further helps them solve the issues quickly and deploy a new approach that converts visitors into potential customers. 

Zoho CRM 

Zoho is a cloud-based CRM software that goes beyond lead management and sales pipeline tools. No matter whether you just landed in the business world or into a big business, Zoho CRM can help you manage the data securely and efficiently. 

MailChimp CRM

If you are looking for a CRM that is easy to set up and use, Mailchimp can help you achieve your goals. It will help you get started with email marketing with zero hassle and without any security issues.

Moreover, its third-party integration and built-in templates will help you customize campaigns effortlessly. 

Nimble CRM

Nimble is another excellent and simple to use CRM tool that allows the users to update the content easily, and have clear-insight about the company and contacts. It's impressive features that help manage deals securely and smartly.

So, if you want to stay on top of every stage of the sales funnel, then Nimble CRM can fulfill your desires.

Wrapping Up 

We hope that by now you have gotten a clear picture of what are the best CRM tools. So, what are you waiting for? Start managing your customer relations and other organizational activities securely by choosing one of these powerful CRM tools. 

Planning to get your hands on the HubSpot CRM but don't know where to start from? Well, get in touch with us now.
We are HubSpot certified Diamond partner company, and we have helped many clients across the globe with HubSpot CRM integration. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The best tool for managing customer relationships, known as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), varies depending on a company's needs. Some popular CRM software platforms include HubSpot, Less Annoying, Sales Creatio, Apptivo, Insightly, Salesforce, Copper, and Zoho. These tools aid businesses to keep track of customer interactions, sales, and other important information to improve relationships and drive growth. The best choice depends on factors like company size, industry, and specific requirements. It's advisable to evaluate and choose the CRM software that aligns most closely with your business goals and processes.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools come in three main types: operational, analytical, and collaborative. Operational CRM tools help businesses by automating essential processes like managing contacts, generating leads, handling sales, and providing customer support. Analytical CRM tools help in data analysis to understand customer behavior and make better decisions. Collaborative CRM tools promote interaction and communication between teams to enhance customer service and relationships. These tools collectively aid businesses in managing and improving their relationships with customers for better growth and service quality.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes in four main types, each with its unique purpose. Operational CRM systems assist in executing tasks like sales, marketing, and customer service. Analytical CRM systems focus on analyzing customer data to improve decision-making. Collaborative CRM systems promote teamwork and sharing customer information among employees. Strategic CRM systems concentrate on long-term planning and managing customer relationships strategically. In summary, these four CRM types cover various aspects of managing interactions with customers and data analysis, ensuring a well-rounded approach to customer relationship management.

To use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) efficiently and effectively, it's crucial to start with an open mind, understanding that CRM systems vary. Prevent data clutter by avoiding duplicates and rely on default data where possible. Maintain clarity through consistent naming conventions. Automate email tracking with rules, making communication seamless. Don't just manage, but use the system personally to stay engaged. Leave comments and log calls to keep records updated, ensuring accurate information. Utilize reminders to never miss a follow-up. In essence, CRM is a flexible tool; by adopting these strategies, you can harness its potential to streamline and enhance your customer relationships.