To a lot of people, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is just a fancy and expensive way of managing clients. And, because people don’t hear much about CRM apps, they never actually make an effort to learn what these apps are truly capable of doing.
As a result, getting a CRM software for their business never really ends up among people’s priorities and they end up missing out on an extremely important tool. So, to help raise awareness regarding CRM apps and their usability, our team decided to play its role.
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Top Features to Look for in a CRM Software
Although most businesses don’t use a CRM app, the amount of businesses that do use them has been growing at a healthy rate. In fact, the competition for the best CRM software has been really heating up over the past few years.
Software houses are always on the lookout for some innovative or lesser-known features to add to their CRM app and thanks to this obsession, today’s CRM apps are filled to the brim with awesome features.
So, to give our curious but inexperienced readers a little taste of what they can expect a decent CRM software to offer, here are some great features to look out for:
1. Contact Management
The phrase “contact management” is every person’s go-to definition of CRM apps but, the funny thing is, they have no clue how advanced and helpful contact management has become.
Today’s best CRM apps don’t just save names, addresses and contact info; they also allow you to organize your client’s personal info according to demographics and datasets that are meaningful to your business.
Another feature that has become increasingly common among the best CRM software is the ability to go through data and build insightful reports and charts out of it. Of course, when it comes to growing your business, having market insight is extremely valuable.
And while CRM apps can go through each and every single figure and produce highly detailed charts, the reality is, these graphs and reports won’t be of much use to anyone who’s not an expert.
Hence, CRM apps also offer a dashboard feature with simplified facts and figures, so that everyone can understand what the core indicators are telling.
3. Lead Management
Converting a prospect into a client requires a very capable sales team. Or at least, that’s how things used to be. When it comes to tasks like following up, tracking and performing other repetitive tasks of a sales cycle, all the best CRM software for small businesses free up your sales team schedule by automating these tasks.
And, because lead management and contact management are closely linked, most decent CRM apps offer synchronization features between the two modules.
4. Campaign Management
If you want to find the feature that separates the best CRM software from the average ones, this is it. With the campaign management feature, users can design and optimize their entire marketing campaign.
And, what’s even more impressive is that once the campaign is over, users can also go through its stats to find out how successful it was, what parts worked and what didn’t.
5. Email Management
Another one of our favorite modules being offered by all the best CRM apps is email management. With this module, CRM apps can integrate with a user’s email accounts and save important notes and contact info in the app.
The app can also go through emails, links, and attachments and come up with potential clients which the user can then target with the lead management module.
Alright! Now, that we are clear on what CRM apps are and what kind of features they offer, let’s go through 10 of the best CRM software available right now.
Top 10 CRM Software and Apps of 2020
When you search for top CRM apps, Salesforce will probably pop up everywhere, and that’s because it really is one of the best CRM software for small businesses.
The thing that we absolutely love about this app is that it clearly understands every business is different and hence, has different needs. We say this because unlike most of its competitors, Salesforce offers each feature separately and it lets the users decide which features they’d like to buy. And of course, users can always add or remove any features they want.
- Compatible with an extremely wide range of businesses
- Allows easy import of data from third-party apps
- Supports integration with loads of development apps
- A huge online community (and step-by-step guides on nearly everything)
- Modular design for adding/removing features
Apart from the 14-day free trial, following are the price plans of the basic version of Salesforce without any plugins;
- Essentials: Supports up to 5 users. Costs £20/user per month.
- Professional: Built for any team size. Costs £60/user per month.
- Enterprise: Support deep customization. Costs £120/user per month.
- Unlimited: Offers the highest level of support. Costs £240/user per month.
Salesforce charges annually for all price plans.
When you use Pipedrive, it’s pretty obvious that the people behind this app have extensive experience in sales. We say this because the way that this app organizes your data and prioritizes sales is just really amazing to see.
Pipedrive is also extremely fast; from creating an account or analyzing data and generating a report, everything is as snappy as it can be. But, the reason we named Pipedrive one of the best CRM software is the role it plays in direct sales.
Pipedrive can crunch loads of data and help you identify great leads and priority deals which you can then easily target through the many lead management features that it offers.
- Superb sales pipeline view
- Allows setting business goals
- Supports multiple languages and currencies
- Can be integrated with Google apps
- Mobile optimized
Firstly, Pipedrive offers a cool 14-day free trial which easily makes it one of the best free CRM software you could avail. But, once the trial is over, users can choose one of the following plans;
- Essential: Offers control over sales and leads. Costs $12.50/user/month and yearly package and $15/user/month in the monthly package.
- Advanced: Automates sales tasks and allows assigning roles to users. Costs $24.90/user/month and yearly package and $29/user/month in the monthly package.
- Professional: Adds more features to contact management and lets users define data access levels. Costs $49.90/user/month and yearly package and $59/user/month in the monthly package.
- Enterprise: Adds more security and customization. Costs $99/user/month. Billed annually.
HubSpot is a name that needs no introductions. From native modules built for live chat, pipeline management, contact management, collaboration, and more, it is one of the best CRM software targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.
HubSpot understands SMEs don’t want big, siloed storage for different types of data and that’s why it offers a consolidated, highly customizable CRM dashboard where most of your data can be saved. It simplifies and organizes your sales so you can stay focused on them and keep things moving forward.
- Integrates with email accounts
- Can import leads from emails
- Offers deal and task dashboards
- Can sync social media info with contacts
- Offers templates and scheduling to make marketing easy
Along with a 14-day free trial, HubSpot offers the following price plans:
- Essential: Offers basic lead and sales management features. It starts at $87 per month.
- Pro: Automates a lot of sales tasks. It starts at $153 per month.
- Premium: It offers deeper data analysis plus bots for different tasks. You’ll have to chat with a rep through their website to decide what features you’ll need and how much the plan will cost you.
This app mainly focuses on team collaboration and project management. It does offer a CRM module as part of the whole app but, as CRM is not the main focus, the app does lack some of the CRM features you can find in other best CRM software.
Nevertheless, Bitrix24 more than makes up for its missing CRM features by offering a highly capable project and task dashboard, superb file sharing and management features, sales and HR management and lastly, scheduling and planning features.
Moreover, Bitrix24 also offers a free version of the app that can be used by up to 12 users and that is why it’s one of the best free CRM apps.
- Calendar sharing
- Live chat with other users
- Build groups for each project
- Provides file storing and sharing
- Task planning and reporting
Apart from the free plan, Bitrix24 offers 5 packages:
- Start: Supports up to 2 users, offers 10GB space and basic CRM features. Costs $19/month.
- CRM: Supports up to 6 users, offers 50GB space, advanced CRM and basic project management features. Costs $55.20/month.
- Project: Supports up to 24 users, offers 50GB space, basic CRM and advanced project management features. Costs $55.20/month.
- Standard: Supports up to 50 users, offers 100GB space, advanced CRM and project management features. Costs $79.20/month.
- Professional: Supports unlimited users, offers unlimited storage space and gives maximum CRM and project management features. Costs $159.20/month.
All plans are billed annually.
This is another one of our favorite CRM apps. The thing that makes Insightly different is that unlike a lot of their competitors, they offer much of the same features at economical rates.
Insightly is more focused on startups and medium-sized businesses and that’s why it also offers some tailor-made features and discounts to that segment. One example is their free version of the app that’s built for startups and allows up to two users.
The fact that people starting a new business can avail one of the best free CRM apps without any hidden charges or any strings attached is just amazing. Moreover, Insightly has Android and iOS apps too so, working from outside the office is just as easy.
- Integrates well with development and productivity tools
- Allows mass emailing by integrating with MailChimp
- Pipeline task and activity view
- AES-256 military-grade encryption
- Mobile apps
Apart from the free package, Insightly offers 3 price plans;
- Plus: Offers team collaboration features. Costs $29 per user per month.
- Professional: Adds leads and sales management. Costs $49 per user per month.
- Enterprise: Adds third-party app integrations and automates lots of processes. Costs $99 per user per month.
All plans billed annually.
6. Zoho CRM
This app packs all the great features of a CRM app into one, along with a user-friendly UI and rich customizability. What’s so great about Zoho is that they don’t leave any part of the business community out; from startups to multi-national organizations, this app can handle all sorts of workloads.
Talking about startups; Zoho offers a completely free version for startups that can be used by up to 3 users. The free version has essential features like sales and lead management. When our experts put the free version through tests, every single one of them ended up naming it one of the best free CRM software for small businesses.
- Real-time sales forecasting
- Sales automation
- Captures lead from website, emails, etc.
- Fast tracks the lead-to-deal process
- Allows sending of quotes, order, and invoices
Other than the free version, Zoho offers these price plans:
- Starter: Offers CRM and basic project management features. Costs $8/user/month on an annual payment basis and $10/user/month on a monthly payment basis.
- Standard: Adds advanced project management features. Costs $12/user/month on an annual payment basis and $18/user/month on a monthly payment basis.
- Professional: Adds Google Ads integration and offers unlimited records. Costs $20/user/month on an annual payment basis and $30/user/month on a monthly payment basis.
- Enterprise: Adds a virtual assistant, business intelligence tools and data encryption. Costs $35/user/month on an annual payment basis and $45/user/month on a monthly payment basis.
- Ultimate: Adds dedicated database clusters and advanced customization. Costs $100/user/month and is available on an annual payment basis only.
Nimble’s main focus is on making communications, scheduling, and collaborations easier for everyone. For this reason, they’ve added quite a few features to their CRM app that make contact management easy.
The feature we loved the most about their contact management module is that it can find Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts of your contact and then it automatically links those accounts with that particular contact profile. When it comes to contact management, Nimble earns its spot among the best CRM apps with ease.
- One of the best contact management modules
- Sharing data with employees or teams is as effortless as it gets
- Automatic contact import for easily importing everything related to your contacts
- “Today” page provides a roadmap of a daily task while “Signals” lets you know who’s talking about you
- Let’s users add, edit, assign and remove tasks
Unlike most of its competitors, Nimble offers its CRM app in just one price plan. The plan is called “Nimble Business” and it can be availed at $19/user per month on an annual basis or $25/user per month on a monthly basis.
In the rapidly growing product lineup of Freshdesk, Freshsales is the fourth edition. Freshsales is built to handle huge amounts of data and present its users with valuable insights and leads.
This app can easily handle thousands of contacts (each with a detailed profile), hundreds of tasks, lead and sales management, data analysis and last but not the least, business reports while providing users with a really clean and simple UI that never overburdens the user with any extra or unneeded information.
And although this app is filled with great features the best one has to be its Sprout package; it’s a startup-centric free version of the app that offers features like unlimited users, unlimited contacts, lead management, and unlimited support. Sprout easily lands a spot among our 3 best free CRM software.
- Efficient lead tracking and scoring features
- Allows phone and email integrations
- Email scheduling for easy contact management
- Click to call and voicemail features
- Offers deep analysis and custom reports
Apart from Sprout, the “free forever” version of Freshsales, the app is available in the following price plans:
- Blossom: Adds account and deal management, email sync, and SMS integration. Costs $12/user per month when billed annually and $19/user per month when billed monthly.
- Garden: Adds bulk emails, 10 workflow automation, and support for up to 10 teams. Costs $25/user per month when billed annually and $35/user per month when billed monthly.
- Estate: Adds advanced customizations, support for multiple currencies, 25 workflow automation and support for up to 25 teams. Costs $49/user per month when billed annually and $65/user per month when billed monthly.
- Forest: Adds audit logs, IP whitelisting and dedicated account manager. Costs $79/user per month and is only billed annually.
Focused on small and medium-sized enterprises, PipelineDeals offers one of the best sales management modules we’ve ever seen. Moreover, the high customizability, user-friendly UI and topnotch customer support make this app even better.
With its great sales management features, PipelineDeals can make tracking and closing deals easier than ever. And, thanks to this app, users don’t have to bother with the redundant and repetitive tasks involved in securing sales either because the app takes care of all that for you.
Apart from sales acceleration, this app also offers features like sales dashboard, goal-centric tools to help your team set and achieve short and long term goals, optimized access on mobile and lead nurturing.
- Sales acceleration
- Real-time status update
- Optimized mobile access
- Data access permissions
- Detailed sales reports
PipelineDeals is available in three price plans:
- Start: Built for small teams, this version offers strong leads and contact management. Costs $25/user per month when billed annually and $29/user per month when billed monthly.
- Develop: Adds project management features and expands on customer relationships to accelerate business growth. Costs $33/user per month when billed annually and $39/user per month when billed monthly.
- Grow: Automates repetitive tasks and adds advanced analytics. Costs $49/user per month when billed annually and $59/user per month when billed monthly.
Being used by more than 50,000 companies, SugarCRM is one of the most popular CRM apps available today. Moreover, due to the app’s availability in 9+ languages, the app has seen more than 7 million downloads.
SugarCRM can handle everything; from startups to organizations with more than 10,000 employees, and it does so while offering great control and customization options to the user.
SugarCRM is open-source which helps it adapt to different structures and hierarchies. And, because the app is highly-customizable, you’ll need a dedicated team to operate it and keep things moving smoothly.
- Sales automation and forecasting
- Call center automation
- Unlimited app customization
- Unlimited online customer support
- Role-based views
- Third-party app integrations
Currently, SugarCRM is being offered in 5 price plans:
- Sugar Professional: Built to meet the constantly evolving needs of small businesses. It starts at $40/user per month and requires at least 10 users.
- Sugar Enterprise: It offers deep customization to meet all sorts of requirements. It starts at $65/user per month and requires at least 10 users.
- Sugar Serve: Built to provide topnotch support services to customers. It starts at $80/user per month and requires at least 10 users.
- Sugar Sell: Adds advanced CRM features, 60GB storage, and phone support. It starts at $80/user per month and requires at least 10 users.
- Sugar Market: Supports unlimited users and provides 10,000 per month. It starts at $1,000 per month.
All plans are billed annually.
Considering how advanced and capable CRM apps have become, there’s no doubt that they can be the main difference between success and failure. What we love the most about CRM software is that they don’t just help accelerate growth they push it to the max.
Our main goal with this post was to tell people just how advanced and important CRM software is in this age and to help them find a suitable CRM app for their company. We mentioned 10 best CRM software in this post and, while each one is number one in its own right, you’ll have to take a look at all of them and choose the one that suits your business the best.
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