6 Of The Best CRM Software of 2020 (Reviewed)
Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by Smarty Whiz
Quality customer relationship is the secret behind every successful business. As competition in the market continues to increase with time, so do customer expectations. To ensure customer loyalty, meeting their requirements is essential. If your company is ignorant of its customer’s needs, competitors will lure them away. This is where CRM software comes into action.
Not long ago, Customer Relationship Management was considered a means to know about a company’s sales process only. With time, CRM tools have morphed into information management systems that keep track of your leads.
What Is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management is a method that utilizes technology to manage business interactions with existing customers and potential clients. CRM services work by extracting and compiling data from different sources like the official business website, online forms, e-mails, search engines, and social media platforms. This method helps to analyze the efficiency of your marketing strategies and customer response.
Additionally, this software contains multiple tools to assist with automation processes, predicting consumer trends, and closing deals. In short, Customer Relationship Managers are essential for a business to flourish.
A good CRM software will make the process of acquiring leads a hassle-free one, bearing in mind that there is a stiff competition among businesses. This is especially important as lead generation is a prerequisite to getting sales.
There is a wide variety of CRM tools to choose from. This can make the process of deciding which CRM tool to choose a bit daunting and perhaps confusing. Having used a couple of these tools myself and appreciating the ease they bring to workflow processes, I have put together a review in this post.
While I know that there are a lot of very popular brands out there, the Big brands. In this review, I will focus more on those brands that are equally and perhaps much better but aren’t quite as known. Let’s dive in!
6 of the Best Affordable CRM Software For 2020
What makes Pipedrive unique is its simplicity and amazing user experience. This software can easily be operated by anyone. It does not require being IT savvy. This is especially important as the ease of use ensures that employees are more efficient and productive. Pipedrive was designed around achieving sales as a result of going through an activity-based approach. It is a cloud-hosted CRM software that integrates a pipeline approach to guaranteeing sales.
Despite its simplicity, Pipedrive is robust enough to adequately cater to marketing processes as well as all of the pipelines to sales. It also has an account management feature. The fact that there are laid down activities to be done, means that there is a plan to achieving sales. Planning is important as it prevents veering off course. This is a typical issue with teams that have no direction.
Pipedrive offers a free 14-day trial on their website. However, if you sign up here, you get an extended trial of 30 days! A month-long to fully try out all of the many features Pipedrive has to offer.
- Manage Leads and Deals – Easily manage all leads and deals generated through customized chatbots and webforms.
- Track Communications – Stay ahead of communication by keeping track of all calls, emails, and contact history. This ensures you have clear visibility of what your pipeline management process should follow
- Automate and Grow – Artificial intelligence exists for process automation. This can easily be set in place should you find you are busy. Additionally, as a result of this, there will be no missing gaps in tracking all leads due to workload.
- Insights and Reports – Pipedrive is easily customizable to fit your particular type of business. With Pipedrive, insight, and reports of metrics unique to your business can be generated.
- Privacy and Security – The software comes with enhanced privacy and security of your business information. Be rest assured that there is no hidden use of your business data.
- Mobile Apps and Integrations – There is a mobile app that allows quick access from anywhere. Additionally, Pipedrive can be integrated with a lot of sales-driving applications.
- Synchronization can be done for all business activities with google calendar.
- Pipedrive gives you reminders about activities to be done as well as prompting you to set up your next activity once you have completed a current task.
- Pipelines are fully customizable
- Ease of collating all data information regarding a pipeline in one location. There is a drag-and-drop option to customize the different stages of deal-making. You can easily edit and enter new deals in one view. This can be done either on the desktop or mobile app.
- Easily connect your Email and other tools. You are able to send and write Emails directly from Pipedrive. It integrates with Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook
- Access information easily on the go with the mobile app on Android and iOS
- Pipedrive gives the option to take notes for instance during a meeting or call
- For a later peruse, you can take a picture relating to a potential sale and save it under a deal or contact
- Pipedrive can easily be integrated with a large number of tools. This allows you to bring all data in one location.
- With Pipedrive’s insights and reporting feature, you can keep abreast of team performance. This ensures you have all the information regarding completed activities, conversion rates, deals that have been lost and won.
- Available in English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese
- 24/7 support in English and Portuguese. Support available for other languages categories too
- Availability of a well-detailed Knowledgebase and Academy with training tools to drive sales as well as coaching on how to use the software.
- Safe, secure, password-protected and backed up daily
- The lead booster comes as an add on
- No differentiation between new leads and old contacts
- Limit of 1000 names on an email, this can easily be overcome by integrating with MailChimp.
It starts at $15 per month for a single user. For the features you get at this price, it is quite affordable when compared to a large number of other CRM software. See a snippet of their pricing below
Freshsales is another incredible platform for company owners. It is a cloud-based Saas Customer Relationship Manager that tracks calls, e-mails, and customer behavior. One amazing feature of Freshsales is that it accurately pinpoints leads with high conversion potential. It is a one-stop sales platform, adequately equipped with features needed for sales teams. This reduces the need to juggle several third-party applications. For instance, it comes integrated with freshcaller- This is a built-in phone and email tool. Talk about convenience!
- Leads Management – One unique feature of freshsales is the fact that it offers a 360° view. This means you get to know every detail about your lead from one screen. Freshsales offers lead scoring. This lets you rank the level of commitment shown by leads. Additionally, freshsales automatically generate your leads publicly available information saving you the hassle of trying to find out.
- Built-in Phone call option – Comes with an integrated one-click phone call option powered by freshcaller
- Email tracking & Synchronization – You can easily track the performance of your email with freshsales. This includes identifying who opened your email and when. There is also a 2-way synchronization of emails. This enables you to link 2 emails together
- Sales report – Use their simple set up process to customize your reports. You can use graphs and charts to easily understand your sales report
- Mobile App – Easily access your information on sales and leads on the go. You can also assign leads to sales team members which they can easily view from the mobile app
- Integrations – One unique thing that sets freshsales apart from others, is its integration with their other native applications such as freshdesk, freshmarketer, freshconnect, and freshchat. Additionally, integrations exist for a host of third-party applications as well.
- Multi-currency & multi-language, you can set up freshsales in over 150 currencies. This ensures it caters to businesses around the globe. You can also set up freshsales to speak in your native language
- You can easily import your data from other CRMs into freshsales
- Notifications exist for newly assigned leads
- Free 21-day trial
- One-click phone call right from the app
- Unified team inbox, where all team members can see the email in the inbox. This ensures a quick response time to potential leads
- Lead scores allow one to know the stage of conversion a potential lead is. This allows sales team members to know leads that still need to be worked on and those at the point of making a sale.
- Huge range of integrations including MailChimp, Quickbooks, zapier, Trello, etc
- Automation of recurring workflow processes as well as assigning of leads to team members no matter their territory
- Get all needed info about a particular lead from one screen
- To meet the requirement of the GDPR, as a freshsales user, you can choose an EU data center to host your account information
- Easily customize reports for visualization of pipeline, pull information on deals in progress, those completed, etc
- User interface can pose a challenge to beginners
- No provision for landing page builders
- The free plan comes with no report
- 24/5 customer support, there is no support on the weekends
It starts at $12 per user per month if billed annually. However, it is billed at $19 for a monthly payment option. See snippet below for price details
3. Agile CRM
Agile CRM struck me in 2 ways. Firstly, the fact that their free version adequately caters to basic business requirements for up to 10 users and the affordability of their packages. Seriously, this is one of the cheapest cloud hosted Saas CRM currently available. Similar to freshsales, it also provides a 360° view. They did not compromise on quality despite the affordability of the packages. It is designed for small medium businesses,
- Lead Management – Similar to freshsales, you can view all contact details on a single page rather than multiple screens
- Contact Management – Accessibility of all contacts in a single location by all team members
- Deal Management – Ability to create milestones and track all deals, activate automatic follow up, and get insights into metrics.
- Integrations – An extensive array of one-click integrations with third-party applications
- Gamification – A unique feature that sets up the competitive spirit amongst your sales team. This can assist as a boost to increasing sales
- Project Management Software – To reiterate the simplicity of using Agile, there is a drag-and-drop task list that further enhances workflow
- Easily build your landing pages, web pop-ups and web forms with Agile’s drag-and-drop landing page builder
- Free software for up to 10 users
- Easy to set up and suitable for beginners
- Integrates with a large number of third-party applications
- Ability to embed videos in your emails to increase brand awareness
- Cloud-hosted SaaS, with android and iOS mobile apps
- One-click telephony system call recording, call drops, call scripts and post-call automation
- Lead scoring which gives insights based on metrics regarding lead conversion stage
- Gives an option of full-fledged customer support with helpdesk, and ticketing for your business
- Email and mobile marketing options to create campaigns to send to potential leads
- Support is not 24/7. It is Mon – Fri and not round the clock
- No multi-language options. Available only in English
It is one of the lowest in the market. It starts as low as $8.99. See the snippet below for more details
EngageBay markets itself as the best affordable alternative to HubSpot for small and medium businesses. It is a cloud-hosted all-in-one sales and marketing CRM software. It is an award-winning software that helps to acquire leads and ultimately leads to their conversion.
- Lead Scoring – Efficient scoring of leads as a means of understanding the level of engagement of potential customers
- Email Marketing & Landing Page builder – A wide array of email templates suitable for all categories of business. Create landing pages that are attractive and powerful enough to increase the likelihood of conversion
- Sales Tools – Get a 360° view of all lead interactions and track the different stages in lead conversion. An understanding of the insights generated will lead to better customer relationship, thereby leading to customer satisfaction
- Appointment Scheduling – Leads get to schedule appointment directly themselves which can be synchronized into google calendar
- Free software for up to 15 users
- Free onboarding worth $1199
- Integration with a large number of third-party software such as Xero, Salesforce, HubSpot, etc
- Free live chat
- Variety of fully customizable, attractive Email templates and landing pages
- A simple user interface that guarantees employee engagement
- Automated task and appointment scheduling
- Create leaderboards, challenges as a means to recognizing high performing employees and promoting healthy competition
- Available only in English
- The prices seem a bit confusing
The prices are divided into 4 groups;
- CRM & Sales bay
- Service bay
Each of the groups has the free option. See snippet below;
5. Funnel CRM
Funnel CRM prides itself on being the ideal perfect solution for small businesses and freelancers. This is because by nature the size of these businesses doesn’t require complicated systems. Funnel addresses the exact needs of small businesses by ensuring accurate lead capture and follow up processes to generate sales.
- Contact forms – Easily integrate an attractive customizable and scalable contact form into your website with their unique form builder
- Deals – Unique email set apart to capture all lead generated emails. This is different from your regular email, hence no mix up of work emails and personal emails
- Contact – Automated storing of customer details based on form inputs by customer
- Proposals – Customizable proposals that care attractive and allows for professional-looking quotes and estimates for services
- Task & Activities – Funnel CRM has a to-do functionality that lets you generate automated activities to be done, prioritize them and see what has been done and what should be done
- 14-day free trial
- Easy user interface
- Post notes to deals and customers for quick pull up
- Integrates with Gmail
- Easy identification of deals by their stage, they are appropriately labeled as new, negotiation, won, or lost.
- Keeps a record of previous and related deals for all customers for future reference
- Design beautiful professional proposals
- Easily add team members at an affordable price
- Available only in English
There are 2 plans, on a monthly payment option, the Standard plan goes for $10 and the Pro plan for $39. The yearly payment plan comes with a 5% discount. Adding team members cost an additional $2 per team member and is available only with the Pro plan.
PipelineDeals is an intuitive cloud-hosted software that is ideal for small to medium businesses. It prides itself on being manufactured by salespeople for salespeople. It is easy to set up to and can be integrated with a couple of third-party applications. Their customer care team comprises of actual team members who are themselves users of PipelineDeals.
- Leads management – PipelineDeals was designed as an upgrade from working with spreadsheets. This allows for better tracking and visualization of leads, which will lead to higher conversion rates
- Deals Profile – Easily keep track of all deals and track team progress
- List View – All leads are organized in an easy to view list, showing all needed details. This can also be hidden when such information is not needed. Tabs are arranged similarly to a spreadsheet
- People – Easily manage your contact with proper tracking and follow ups
- Integrates with MailChimp, Quickbooks online plus, Zapier, and a couple of other third-party applications
- Ability to use its API to generate leads
- Friendly user interface
- Support team are users of the software itself, hence they can guide appropriately
- 14 day free trial
- Easily migrate data from excel and other CRM
- Mobile compatible, easily send SMS marketing
- Easily set up automated marketing campaign
- Not available in multiple languages
- No 24/7 customer support
It starts at $25
Why Does Your Business Need CRM?
Many software apps claim to benefit your business and sales. Yet, one specific type of technology stays a class apart – the Customer Relationship Management system. If utilized well, this management system works wonders for you. Your business needs CRM for many reasons. I have mentioned some of them below:
· Maintains Database
There’s no need to dig into files to check records anymore because CRMs act as information management systems that allow you to store sales information for extended periods in the form of a shared database. Accessing information through the database is much easier than sifting through files and saves time.
· Regulates Customer Interaction
CRM provides quality communication with both pre-existing and potential customers making it ideal for any business. It helps you determine if you need to reach back to a client or if the requested service has been delivered by keeping track of the complete interaction with them.
· Provides Data Automation
The information from e-mails, meetings, and calls is automatically stored in the system, making administrative tasks super easy. It also provides deal updates while managing processes like summation and concession.
· Sets Reminders
By tracking the customers’ activity, CRM gives your team reminders to stay in touch with potential consumers. This feature enables your business to enhance their sales and gain long-term clients.
· Keeps Contact Data Records
Easily accessible contact data storage is one of the primary features of CRM. This data is essential for companies to keep their clients’ records and contact them with ease. By maintaining contact records, you can monitor any client activity on your website and business platforms.
· Classifies Customers
Classification of potential customers into categories of most to least priority allows business owners to pitch their products and services effectively. The criterion for this grouping can be different depending on the company’s requirements. For example, people from a specific location may be prioritized.
· Generates Sales Reports
Another notable feature of the CRM is that it generates sales reports allowing reps to manage their deals more effectively. An analysis of these reports creates opportunities for self-evaluation and helps to set future goals. Business owners and managers can monitor their team’s performance as well.
· Forecasts Performance
For any business to flourish, sound strategies are substantial. Customer relationship managers keep records of the revenue generated and annual growth rates. This feature allows them to forecast future sales and growth. Additionally, companies can distinguish between more profitable and less valuable products.
· Facilitates Team Communication
Efficient team communication plays a massive role in determining the success of a business. Communication helps reps to learn from one another and is the key to building a brand. CRM has made teamwork much more manageable. It allows members to work effectively and assign leads to each other.
· Grows With Your Business
This software grows with your booming business. As the revenue generation increases, the data organization and tracking process also gains pace. The CRM provides more strategies and analytical reports making CRM ideal and a must-have.
Types of CRM
Numerous functions often make Customer Relationship Manager applications appear somewhat complicated. However, understanding them gets easier once you’re aware of some basic ideas. Each CRM software is designed to meet the needs of the companies in different ways. While some want active engagement with clients, other companies seek ways to document their interaction. Customer Relationship Managers are usually divided into the following types based on the services they provide:
1. Operational CRM
Operational CRMs assist companies with marketing and customer services, consequently strengthening their relationship with current and future customers. You can follow simple procedures and automate marketing, sales, and services information. This software brings different departments together and helps the business to boom.
For example, CRMs automatically upload information from potential customers from different sources through integration tools. The team members can then re-assign these leads to the sales department by using tags. These customer relationship managers run a company’s operations efficiently and reduce the risk of losing deals due to miscommunication between the team.
2. Analytical CRM
These CRMs help you to use customer information wisely to make informed decisions. This information is crucial to understand the preferences and interests of the people. Also, it helps in determining if the customer interests are likely to shift. In this way, your business or company can take effective measures and gain benefits.
3. Collaborative CRM
Quality customer service is the top priority of every efficient company. Unlike Operational Customer Relationship Managers that focus on sales and marketing, Collaborative CRMs share customer information with the team members to improve their service. Besides sharing information, team support is a critical feature in these systems.
4. Campaign management CRM
Campaign management CRMs are often confused with operational and analytical systems because of some standard features. However, they are not entirely the same as Campaign management CRMs focus on conducting and analyzing better campaigns. The tools in this system help companies to run fantastic campaigns by integrating e-mail services from different providers.
5. Strategic CRM
These CRMs help businesses and companies to formulate unique strategies to gain more customers. The information stored in the systems shows what interests the public. As a result, the CRMs re-adjust the way a company communicates and wins long-term customer bonds.
What To Look For In A CRM Software?
CRMs are essential for your business to thrive. You need to keep a record of every customer interaction and manage data organization. Every business has unique needs while selecting software. The market has a wide variety of CRM platforms, so how can you choose the most suitable one? Luckily, each CRM has distinct features to narrow down your options. The things you need to look for in a CRM software include:
When selecting a CRM software, its user-friendliness matters the most. If the design is simple and understandable, employees will be able to use it without any difficulty. This quality ensures quicker services by the team, consequently optimizing work delivery.
Integration is of great significance. A good CRM software must be able to integrate into your working platform and accounts.
3. Revenue tracking
Choose a CRM that offers quality revenue tracking. If you’re not able to calculate and assess the revenue generated, the CRM software is not worth your time.
4. Security and encryption
A good CRM software is safe and keeps customer information confidential. Losing the client’s trust can cause considerable damage to the business. Therefore, make sure the CRM you use has all the protective features.
Different companies have different roles. While some manage real estate investors, others deal with finances. A CRM system must be task-specific to be able to help each one.
6. Data collection and analytical features
CRMs should be able to collect data and analyze changing trends. If a CRM does not keep up with your growth, it is time to switch software.
7. Elimination of unwanted features
The CRM industry has a variety of incredible features. Often, a company needs only a few, and others are of no use. It is crucial to select a customizable software that meets your needs.
Although CRMs are information management systems, they can get messy with excess data. Choosing a CRM with distinct features and simple interface can prevent this issue.
Automation is a form of artificial intelligence that helps to store data and records automatically. Manually entering information is not possible for large-scale businesses. CRMs with automation features make storing and accessing information effortlessly.
10. Multi-user feature
The multi-user feature in CRM is the most important for companies with multiple teams and employees.
How To Make The Most Out Of CRM
Dealing with customers has never been easier – CRM has made consumer interaction fun and straightforward. If you’re wondering how to make the most out of your information management systems, you need not worry. Here are some ways that will help:
· Update customer information constantly
For a CRM to function appropriately, the customer information should always be correct. If any of the data like the customer-preferred method or address has changed, make sure to update it immediately. Doing so makes sure your team doesn’t face any difficulty with responding to clients.
· Use purchase history
Selling products and services to existing clients is easier than new ones because their interests are known. CRM helps to boost sales by analyzing clients’ preferences from purchase history. For example, if a customer bought a beauty product, you can utilize it and program your manager to show relevant items.
· Take advantage of automation features
CRM comes with automation features to save time. Make sure you use these features to speed work up, generate automated e-mails, and offer discounts. Doing this will help you gain more customers and improve public engagement.
Customer relationship managers help to identify changing trends. Use this information to learn about public interests and devise strategies accordingly. An effective plan will help your business make more deals.
· Incorporate CRM with other software
Integrating CRM with other software makes it more efficient by providing a deeper insight into consumer demands and data from different sources.
· Utilize CRM support
Most CRM providers offer support at all times. The providers guide you about data security, features, and software updates.
For any company, effective communication with its customers is the key to success. As the markets continue to saturate, the need to keep up with customer demands is rising. CRM software allows companies and business owners to have an ideal relationship with their clients. They manage all the information and make client relationship management hassle-free.
If you run a business and struggle with day-to-day interactions, keeping up with customer demands is no longer difficult! Choose a CRM software from the best source and rocket your sales up in no time!