Google CRM: A SMB Business Owner’s Guide

Learn what customer relationship management (CRM) integrated with Google Workspace (G-suite) applications means for small and medium businesses without huge technology budgets. 

Does Google have a CRM?

The simple answer - No, Google does not have its own Customer relationship management (CRM) product or offer any natively as a part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) applications. It offers a very basic contact management tool called Google Contacts but this is not a full fledged CRM solution.

Google Contacts can be at best used for storing contact information of prospective customers and customers, but it does not have the capability to organize leads, set up and manage sales pipelines, run integrated marketing campaigns or obtain analytics and insights.

Can we use Google Workspace Applications as a CRM?

You could hack together a very primitive CRM tool of sorts using Google Workspace applications.

  • Google Contacts for tracking your Contacts. 
  • Google Forms for capturing contact information. 
  • Google Docs and Slides to create required documents for marketing and sales enablement and creating invoices using templates. 
  • Google Sheets can be configured to act as a primitive deal pipeline tracking system. 
  • Gmail and Chat for internal collaboration and emails. 
  • Google Meet for setting up calls.

For a freelancer or very small business with a limited set of clients this approach might work. But while there is some sort of interconnect between Google Workspace applications, they are not inherently designed to work together as modules or components of a larger integrated system.

Data is largely siloed and it is not easy for teams to collaborate around a single source of information. It is easy for data to be replicated, lost or even stolen when maintained in insecure sources like Google Sheets. Put simply, Google Workspace applications are not designed to work as a CRM.

What is a Google CRM?

CRM in Google is an overarching term used to describe CRM tools that integrate with applications in Google Workspace. 

These third party CRMs integrated with Workspace applications empower users to synchronize data between the CRM and popular applications like Gmail, Drive, Calendar. 

For small businesses that use Workspace applications for their day to day communications and collaboration, having a CRM that integrates well with these applications eliminates the need for manual entry and switching across applications. 

Teams can collaborate, share data, update CRM records, book and conduct meetings, organize their calendars all without having to switch between their application of choice. 

Five Core Capabilities to look for when choosing a CRM for Google Workspace

Whether you are a small or medium business or a solopreneur using Google Workspace applications extensively there is no “best CRM”. What you should look for is the right CRM that can adapt and support your unique requirements.

The right Google CRM for your business thus is the one that can automate, save time by letting you work from within the application of your choice - access CRM data from within workspace applications or access workspace application capabilities from within the CRM.

It really doesn’t matter which industry you cater to and what your sales or support process is. At a bare minimum, your CRM should have the following capabilities

1. Seamless Integrations with Google Workspace Applications

The right Google CRM is one that provides seamless integration with Google Workspace applications you already use in your business.

While this might seem obvious, a lot of CRMs who claim to be Google CRMs don’t integrate seamlessly with Workspace applications. They might require you to use third-party connectors to achieve a lot of what you want to do which defeats the purpose. You shouldn’t need to have deep technical expertise or write custom code to get basic data sync up and running.

2. The CRM should be simple to set up

The right Google CRM is one that is so simple to set up and configure that it just works “out of the box”.

CRM tools span various levels of complexity. There are the extremely simple single use applications that do just one or few things to the hugely complex enterprise grade ones which need deep technical expertise to set up and administer.

With hundreds of fields and advanced customization capabilities most of these CRMs can be overwhelming for small businesses to set up. You often need to hire expensive experienced specialists to get the tool up and running - and even then it can be a challenge to administer on a day to day basis.

The ideal Google CRM should get your Workspace application integrations active in a few clicks by just requiring you to sign in with your Google Workspace ID and have an intuitive administrator controls page which lets you decide how you want to manage data access by various applications and users.

3. Intuitive to use

The right Google CRM should be intuitive to use for every single team member in the organization.

Tools can only be effective when team members use them in the way they are supposed to. For busy sales professionals closing deals and chasing new prospects, using a CRM that doesn’t make their life easier or doesn’t save them time is just a nuisance.

Team members across functions, be it Sales, Marketing or Support should be able to intuitively understand the user interface and workflow in the CRM and in the integrations within applications.

4. Easy customization and effortless scaling up (or down)

The right Google CRM should be easy to customize to meet your business processes and workflows. The tool should not only adapt to your existing business situation, it should also be able to scale when you grow.

As businesses grow you add new processes, you refine their existing processes to be more efficient and expand your tool set to incorporate additional functionality. The CRM should be designed to adapt and scale easily with these changes.

It might even happen that as the organization grows, you choose to use another collaboration platform and another set of applications to manage their email, calendar, and documents. The CRM should be able to handle this migration easily as well instead of you having to rip everything up and rebuild from scratch.

5. Quality of Support

The right Google CRM should have a good technical and process support team that can guide you when you need help.

As with any tool, there will be times when you need help. And when you do, there should be an efficient and responsive team to solve your queries. Incorporating a CRM into your sales and marketing technology stack is a non-trivial decision and should be for the long term. Choose a CRM with an established track record and great customer feedback.

How can I build a collaborative CRM setup with Vtiger and Google Workspace?

Vtiger CRM provides Customer One View out of the box in all editions - even the Free Pilot edition. This makes it easy for all your teams to collaborate around a single source of truth of customer data from within Google Workspace Applications or to access applications from within the CRM.

The sales person preparing to talk to an existing customer for a new contract can see how many tickets are pending or the marketing team can see in real time if a high value potential customer has engaged with content and plan what to do next in their ABM campaign. The possibilities are endless.

Here is a brief overview of the applications Vtiger integrates with. To know more details about all integrations go here.

Gmail: Vtiger supports 2-way sync between Gmail and Vtiger CRM. The Gmail Add-on brings Vtiger CRM right into your inbox, intelligently furnishing customer insights based on messages you receive to help you get things done faster. More importantly, the add-on saves you time by letting you complete actions right from your inbox without toggling applications and interrupting your workflow.

Learn More about Gmail Integration >>

Calendar: Vtiger Google Calendar integration enables users to sync all events between the two apps in just a few clicks. Sales representatives can easily view and modify upcoming events to plan their day, even while on the move. Team members can share the calendar to increase visibility and keep everyone in the loop for customer appointments and meetings.

Learn More about Calendar Integration >>

Contacts: With Vtiger Google Contacts integration, you can seamlessly sync all your contacts to multiple devices and access them anytime, anywhere.

Learn More about Contacts Integration >>

Meet: Google Meet integration with Vtiger CRM makes your interactions with clients effortless and enriches your team collaborations. You can Share meeting links and details effortlessly and jump into a meeting directly from Vtiger Aide.

Learn More about Meet Integration >>

Drive: Google Drive is natively integrated with Vtiger Documents, using which you can add, manage and collaborate on all those documents within Vtiger. Share uploaded documents with sales, marketing, and people outside the organization.

Learn More about Drive Integration >>

Sheets: With Vtiger's Google Sheets integration, export data directly from the CRM to your sheets. You can also share your sheets with individuals or teams.

Learn More about Sheets Integration >>

Maps: Finding addresses and navigation on maps made easy with Google Maps and Vtiger CRM integration. You can Search for an address by typing the business name on the map, do route mapping, navigate and check-in.

Learn More about Maps Integration >>

My Business: Google My Business is a tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google platforms like Search and Maps. With this integration you can track customer insights within the CRM, create better engagement with your followers and boost online brand visibility.

Learn More about My Business Integration >>

Learn more about Customer One View with your Workspace Applications in Vtiger CRM

Save 15% on your first annual subscription when you upgrade to either One Professional or One Enterprise editions of Vtiger after signing up through Google Marketplace.