Are you looking for the best CRM software to help organise your sales, marketing and support efforts? There is an ever growing and ever improving range of CRM (customer relationship management) systems on the market, increasingly available via the cloud to make access on the go more convenient.
Below are some of the great CRM solutions that can help improve and align your customer service, sales and marketing lead management, and ongoing technical support:
Undoubtedly the most popular CRM solution with around 14% of the market using its cloud-based platform, Salesforce is suitable for any size of company, from SMBs up to the largest corporate giants. Pricing is based on a sliding scale with a monthly charge per user of between $5 and $300 depending on the size of the organisation and the desired features.
Run entirely in the cloud, with free updates and access from smartphones, tablets and desktops, Salesforce has set the bar high for ease of implementation, usability and simplicity of pricing, prompting many other developers to adapt their offerings accordingly.
With separate modules for sales, marketing, customer support, community engagement, business analytics and app development, Salesforce is a comprehensive solution. For anything extra, a range of custom add-ons and third party integrations add even more functionality to the CRM.
Oracle Sales Cloud
Challenging Salesforce with a market share of just above 11%, Oracle’s Sales Cloud is favoured by many larger organisations and costs between $100 and $200 per user per month, depending on the choice of edition (Standard, Enterprise or Premium).
Sales Cloud is the company’s second bite at the cherry following the poorly received On Demand CRM, and sports a much more user friendly interface along with mobile apps for Android and iOS.
The platform is built around four key modules, covering sales automation, sales performance management, partner relationship management and social collaboration, and offers extended functionality via tight integration with the other business software in the Oracle suite.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Covering all the bases with modules for sales, customer service, marketing, social and enterprise resource planning, Microsoft’s key market for Dynamics is the corporate sector – while their website offers a range of small business case studies, the price point and complexity of the software lends itself better to larger organisations.
Mobile support is in place with apps for Android, iOS and, unsurprisingly, Windows 8 and 10, and pricing begins at around $65 per user per month for the cloud version, or $1,100 per user on site.
The open-source SugarCRM presents an affordable option for smaller businesses with pricing starting at $40 per user per month for the basic version, and topping out at $150 per user per month for the “Ultimate” edition.
Deployable either on site or via the cloud, SugarCRM may not have the depth of functionality of some of its big name competitors, but the open source nature of the platform does allow for custom development of the software to precisely match the needs of each business. The SugarExchange hosts a wide range of 3rd party custom extensions and themes for the platform, so you don’t always have to build your own.
Integrating salesforce and marketing automation, customer service management and partner relationship management, NetSuite’s CRM+ is a mid priced solution, coming in at around $130 per user per month.
The feature set includes a range of tools not seen on many of the smaller platforms in this list, as well as the sales, marketing and reporting tools you would expect, Netsuite also offers forecasting, sales compensation management and call center management. The company also provides a range of training materials, courses and a certification program.
Where Netsuite CRM+ shines is in the level of customisation and extensibility it allows. SuiteApps provides a marketplace of third party apps to extend the functionality of the platform while SuiteCloud Developer Tools allows companies to create their own custom apps.
A relative newcomer, having been launched in 2009, Insightly’s cloud based CRM is aimed squarely at the small business market, counting 400,000 users globally as of the date of this article.
It’s not clear however what proportion of these users are taking advantage of the free plan, which supports up to three users per instance – ideal for startups. Paid plans range between $12 and $129 per user per month, depending on database size, users, features and payment method.
While not suitable for corporate scale installations, Insightly boasts an attractive range of features for startups and SMBs, including contact, project and lead management alongside tasks and events and a relatively powerful reporting tool.
The platform integrates seamlessly with the Google Apps suites, as well as Office365, Outlook and now Evernote and Mailchimp, and a fully featured mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
Another youngster, launching alongside Insightly back in 2009, Nimble’s USP is its social network integration, automatically pulling data from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter et al to add rich and relevant information to each contact.
Nimble’s focus is on the conversations between your business and your customers, which allows for a simple, intuitive and uncluttered interface, albeit at the expense of the deeper functionality and customisation which you would find in some of the market leading products.
Aimed squarely at small businesses, the price plan consists of a single option – $15 per user per month, with incremental add ons for increased cloud storage. There’s also a 14 day free trial available with no strings attached.
Zoho positions itself at the lower end of the market, catering to startups and small business, without any of the higher end features associated with corporate systems, but a solid core of sales automation, tracking and reporting tools alongside marketing automation and social integration.
This is reflected in the three tier model ranging from $12 to $35 per user per month, with the higher tiers offering more integrations, functionality and customisation options. A 15 day free trial is available, and indeed a totally free plan is on offer for up to 10 users.
Integrations include Google Apps, Office / Outlook and a range of CMS and campaign management systems including WordPress, Joomla!, MailChimp and Constant Contact, with an API available for developers, as well as iOS and Android apps for CRM access, lead capture and card scanning.