Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have proven critical to corporate growth in recent years. They act as repositories for companies to keep information on their customers, and for sales teams that need to keep track of prospects, they're invaluable tools for identifying information about customers.
But CRMs are even more important now that Covid-19 continues to spread and a countless number of people are forced to work from home.
With employees at home, small and medium-sized businesses should strongly consider adopting CRMs. Most of them are cloud-based, so they can be accessed anywhere, and they can store all of a company's relevant information, including contact details, contract information, and sales data, in one place for easy access. For companies that need to manage customer and employee relationships during the coronavirus crisis, CRMs are critical.
But the CRM market is flooded with solutions. And for companies both big and small, trying to determine which solution is best can be difficult.
So, to take some guesswork out of that and help you identify the right CRM for you, read on for my roundup of the best CRM solutions available now.
Salesforce is perhaps the best-known CRM in the world, and it's earned that recognition with a host of features that most companies want.
The app can be used for everything from sales to customer service, and allows you to track customers, deliver proposals and quotes, and even use artificial intelligence to get more insight into the customers that are ready to buy--and why.
Salesforce also features marketing automation features, and with an e-commerce feature built in, you can even keep track of your digital sales. Best of all, Salesforce can be integrated with a slew of third-party apps. Be aware, however, that Salesforce can be pricey, depending on what your company needs. It starts at $25 per user per month.
Best for: Companies that need more sophisticated solutions and have a budget to use it.
Freshsales is all about helping your team identify and keep track of leads to build your business.
Like other CRMs, Freshsales has tools for integrating customer information and accessing that data wherever you go. But it also comes with sophisticated artificial intelligence, so it can score your leads, tell you which leads are most likely to turn into customers, and more.
Freshsales features third-party integrations that allow it to work with the services and software you already use in the office, and it's priced to appeal to companies of all sizes. That said, that integration is a little lacking compared to bigger companies' offerings like Salesforce. You should also keep in mind that Freshsales is a newer and less sophisticated option than Salesforce. It starts at $12 per user per month.
Best for: Smaller to medium-sized companies that want a smart CRM.
Zoho CRM has established itself as one of the best options for companies that are new to CRMs.
For the price (it starts at $12 per user per month), Zoho CRM might be one of the best values on this list. It features a slew of tools, including sales force automation to automate redundant tasks and a process management tool to keep your sales team working more effectively. Add that to analytics support and the ability to predict which leads will turn into sales opportunities, and Zoho CRM is a winner.
Zoho CRM can be integrated with third-party services you already use. And with multichannel support, it'll work across phone, text, and e-mail. However, it's one of the least powerful in this roundup, so keep that in mind.
Best for: Companies new to CRMs that want to see what all the fuss is about.
If want a free CRM, HubSpot CRM is the way to go.
The service is designed for both sales and marketing teams and includes the ability to get real-time insight into your customers, what they're hoping to buy, and why. For marketing teams, HubSpot CRM is designed to help companies source new leads and convert those into opportunities for the sales team.
HubSpot CRM includes a slew of important features, like forms to capture customer data, ad management, and chatbot integration. Best of all, it does it all with no coding required. However, HubSpot CRM is one of the more underpowered options in this roundup.
Best for: Companies that want an affordable solution for managing customer relationships.
Zendesk has established itself as a useful tool for customer service management. Now, the company's Zendesk Sell offers a CRM solution for your sales team.
Zendesk Sell features a fully integrated customer repository tool, allowing you to get insight into what customers buy, and arm your sales team with information to actually sell them. It features a well-designed interface for quickly seeing the status of customer engagements and can be integrated with third-party services.
The service allows you to engage with customers in several ways, including via phone calls and text messages, and call analytics tell you how your sales team is performing.
At $19 per user per month, however, Zendesk Sell is a little pricey--especially considering its features are still more customer service focused than sales focused.
Best for: Companies that use Zendesk already and want a 360-degree view of customer relationships across sales and customer service.