Solid customer relationships are fundamental to your business success. That’s why choosing the best customer relationship management (CRM) solution is necessary.
CRM platforms give your business customer-centric tools to harness healthy relationships and drive profit growth. The goal of using a CRM is to offer a unified face to customers and provide them a great experience every time they interact with you.
CRM software helps you find new leads, organize contacts, track and analyze customer interactions, and give you the tools you need to effectively engage with your client base. In 2018, CRM systems are table stakes for a smooth marketing, sales, and customer service operation. But you don’t want to pay for a complex CRM if you don’t have the resources to use it to its full potential. You also don’t want an overly simple CRM to hold you back from getting smarter about customer engagement. If you don’t have a CRM solution yet, or you’re looking to simplify (or upgrade) your current system, it’s time to investigate which options will best suit your business.
Salesforce is one of the most well-known CRM solutions. We will take a look at what this software features and why it is popular. Though Salesforce is undoubtedly a leader in its industry, there are other options available as well. Take time to consider all top-rated options to see what best fits your company needs.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce Sales Cloud offers CRM solutions for businesses of all sizes. This platform features contact, opportunity and lead management, sales forecasting, workflow and approvals, files sync and share, territory management, and more.
Customer reviews say that this integrated platform is great across departments to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. According to reviews, it creates a single source of truth and enables easier reporting. Reviews also highlight how customizable Salesforce is to accommodate various business processes, and how many integrations are available through the App Exchange.
“Salesforce is extremely customizable. No matter how unique your business processes are, they can be created in Salesforce. […] Salesforce has a huge app exchange with 3rd party solutions that seamlessly integrate with your instance of Salesforce..”
~ Verified User | Team Lead in Professional Services | Computer Software Company with 51-200 employees
The Salesforce Essentials plan has a price point of $25 per user per month. This includes many management features for up to 5 users.
Of course, Salesforce is not without its potential drawbacks for some customers. Users report that the CRM can be overly complicated for smaller operations, and requires quite a bit of training to be able to reach full functionality.
“Salesforce is complicated and can take time to learn, meaning you’ll need to spend resources to have someone in your organization trained on the product to get it’s full value.”
The CRM solution is also on the more expensive side for SMBs, meaning sales directors and business owners may want to consider a simpler, less expensive option for their operations.
Here are a handful of the Top Rated CRM alternatives to consider for your business:
Nimble is a simple CRM system focused on social media interactions. This solution features a smart prospector, social relationship management, intelligent email tracking, pipeline management, automated analytics and more.
In their reviews, customers say they enjoy using Nimble to find new contacts, keep up with current customers, and keep data all in one place. Many report that Nimble works great with social media and other integrations.
“It is powerful for me to keep in touch with clients and prospects either by emails, group messages, and/or social media engagement.”
~ David Lisauskas | Professional Voice Over Talent | David Lisauskas Voice Over
Nimble’s basic pricing starts at $9 per user per month, which covers contact management, activity and task management, social profile match and more.
2. Base CRM
Base CRM is a platform designed to drive sales. This software features pipeline visibility, leads ranking, a mobile sales app, integrations, reporting with predictive analytics and more.
User reviews show positive feedback towards Base CRM as a centralized platform for leads, contacts, orders, emails, tasks, and visual reporting. Overall, the easy to use UI is one of Base CRM’s biggest strengths. Customers say the mobile app, in particular, is very user-friendly..
“Base CRM has a fantastic mobile app. I have yet to encounter a more feature-rich and user-friendly CRM app. You can have the app alert you to leads and customer that are nearby, and easily log sales calls right from your cell phone. Brilliant.”
~Jon Butler | Sales Team Leader | CERO Cooperative Inc.
This all-in-one platform ranges from $45 per seat per month to $145 per seat per month. The starting package covers basic sales tracking and customer management.
Workbooks is an all-in-one CRM platform serving your marketing, sales and customer service teams. This system features lead tracking, ROI, opportunity tracking, pipeline management, workflows and automation, support tickets, service metrics and more.
Users say that Workbooks is great for lead management, order tracking and invoicing, project management, visibility into support tickets, and reporting.
“Very well suited for lead management, the sales team can review and manage leads and opportunities through Workbooks. It is also suitable for customer management, including support and linking support cases to customers. it also allows us to manage if customers have paid for support and then suspend or activate their accounts accordingly.”
~ David Carter | Quality Assurance Manager | Taopix Ltd
Workbooks pricing varies from $30 – $80 per user per month. The most basic plan includes account, sales, marketing, and customer management.
4. Sage CRM
Sage CRM is an integrated revenue-focused solution. This platform features customer management, targeted campaigns, automated workflows, and real-time data to give business insight.
Customer reviews say that Sage is a high-value product, especially for those who already use other Sage solutions. Reviewers value how extensive Sage features are and how this solution can be used across all departments.
“We have been able to integrate CRM to our marketing and support apps to create a 360 view of information about our customers in one place.”
~ Glen Mund | Executive Account Manager | BAASS Business Solutions
To learn about pricing, request a personalized quote from Sage directly.
Pega Customer Engagement Suite offers an AI-based CRM platform designed to improve customer engagement. This system features real-time 1:1 personalized marketing, sales automation, customer service, and a customer hub to enhance the value your customers get from their relationship with you.
Clients use this suite across different departments for a range of business purposes and enjoy the customizability of workflows, integrated campaigns, application development capabilities, and UI design. Several reviews note that it drives customer engagement across multiple channels.
“The integrated experience helped us drive intelligent campaigns and meaningful conversations throughout the customer journey.”
~ Dishank Vishnoi | Software Engineer | DXC Technology
Talk to a Pega expert to learn more about pricing options.
Pipedrive is a light-touch platform designed for small teams. This system features automated administrative tools, single view of sales, clear pipeline visibility and hundreds of app integrations.
Users love the simple interface, easily allowing them to see all of their necessary information by logging in to one place, whether on the computer or mobile app.
“I like the clean, minimal layout of the Pipedrive interface.I find it easy to navigate and very user-friendly. The concept itself is one that is strong and it’s made my job of keeping track of hundreds of wholesale accounts and potential accounts much easier.”
~ Victoria Daphne | SEO Specialist | NetSuite
Pipedrive’s starting Silver plan costs $12.50 per user per month. This includes calendar, contact timeline, smart email BCC, customizable dashboard, and support services.
Insightly works with small to mid-sized businesses of all industries for one main purpose: to steward customer relationships. This platform features built-in relationship intelligence, smart pipeline management, project delivery, post-sale customer satisfaction tools, and over 40 app integrations.
Many customers like the ease and customizability of Insightly. According to their reviews, Insightly makes everything from lead and contact management, email tags and tracking, sales management, project pipelines and workflows simple and efficient. Many cite the integrations with other business apps as a strong point as well as the project management additions.
“I like the project management aspects of this program. I’m able to coordinate employee activities through the task and event management features. Being able to schedule calendar appointments with my contacts or make a recurring task has made my job much easier. Another gem of a feature is being able to send a link to projects..”
~ Verified User | Corporate Project Manager | Insurance Company
Insightly plans range from $29-$99 per user per month, but the most popular option is the Professional plan at $49 per user per month. This Professional plan includes 250,000 records, 5,000 emails, 100 custom fields, many customizable management tools and more.
8. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM is targeted towards small businesses. Features include pipeline management, customer interaction tracking, contact data, chat, and bot tools, and sales productivity tools, including email tracking.
In their reviews, customers consistently praise HubSpot’s support team and easy-to-use interface. They have found the free plan is great for small to mid-sized organizations, and like that they can use it with or without the HubSpot marketing automation platform.
“HubSpot CRM is used by the whole business to manage opportunities from the point of creation throughout the entire pipeline. It helps us to stay organised and process-driven around sales.”
~ Phil Vallender | Director | Blend Marketing Ltd
HubSpot CRM is free for everyone to use. Other HubSpot software designed specifically for marketing, sales, and service do come at a price, but core CRM features are free no matter your size or time commitment.
WORKetc is a total business management tool for SMBs, with a focus on CRM. This all-in-one system features custom sales processes, complete customer history, email management, custom fields, lead management, and analytics.
Customer reviews highlight how customizable WORKetc is and how it can be used for almost everything in an organization. Integrations are another strength.
“WORK [etc’s] CRM has been implemented across the organization. We have customized it to work exactly how we need it to..”
~ Regan Barrett | Technical Specialist | Eco communications
The Starter plan, limited to 2 people, is $78 per user per month. This includes up to 2,000 contacts and 3 GB of storage.
Oracle Sales Cloud is a broad, feature-rich platform designed to give your customer a unified experience across their conversations with your team. Oracle Sales Cloud features pipeline management, real-time sales insight, performance management, analytics and forecasting, social collaboration, and many integrations with other Oracle Cloud solutions (including marketing, social media management, and customer service).
Users appreciate the ability to create custom dashboards, reports and campaigns. Many highlight the mobile accessibility and territory management capabilities.
“If you have a growing or large sales team that you want to manage and lead more effectively, Oracle Sales Cloud provides the tools and resources for your team to spend more time focusing on the client and closing deals.”
~ Verified User | Consultant in Professional Services | Automotive Company
Quotes are available upon request. Contact Oracle directly.
Creating great relationships with your customers is the foundation of good business. Businesses of all sizes and industries can find a great CRM for their unique needs. You can check out customer reviews to get an honest look at what will work best for your team.