Everyone in Sales knows it: CRM. And if you want to start using a new package, you must choose between more than 800 vendors. Which one is best for your team(s)? This page provides answers to that.
I will tell you about the most important features to include in your equation and which type of CRM in which situations suits you best in 5 steps. We’ll start with the essential features.
1. The basic CRM functionalities
Three components are traditionally found in a CRM package: the Rolodex, project management, and reports.
2. The great CRM Differentiators
So if those essential functions don’t make the difference, what does? That’s three, far from all CRMs have. Automating tasks, customizing what fields you have and what you see or don’t see, and marketplaces for innovative additional tools and connections to others.
3. Notable names in the CRM equation
Salesforce is a hit functionally, with HubSpot being the runner-up. But both are costly. Mind you, Salesforce is, on average, 3 to 4 times more expensive than HubSpot, and of those, the prices are already firm. In my view, the difference between the two is only noticeable at the Enterprise level.
Zoho One stands out because it offers exceptional functionality and low prices. A lot of value for quite a little money. You then have to put up with a somewhat outdated user interface.
We are very fond of Membrain because of its intelligent functionalities and good user interface. Unfortunately, a bit on the pricey side (similar to HubSpot). Nutshell also caught my eye, and it is a lot cheaper but unsuitable for large sales teams (+ 50 people).
A few companies are unhappy because they don’t appear very strong on this list. Does that make them a poor CRM? Nope. No way. Only very basic in our eyes. And since we are now big fans of integrations and demand a lot of customization, they score less on my list.
Are there poor CRMs? I don’t think that’s too bad. We do find a lot of CRMs somewhat outdated. Many user interfaces remind us of 20 years ago. And that while UI as a profession is much more advanced, most of them look fine, and you can see how it works.
4. Choices, choices and again choices
You’ll naturally start with a shortlist if you buy a new CRM package. You can then choose from more than 800 CRMs. Go figure out. I hope you don’t just make a list of familiar names but look a little further. There is an incredible amount to buy. To get you started, here’s the list of 25 CRM packages we researched and a few tips.
5. The CRM Top 25 list
|HubSpot||√||√||∗∗∗∗∗||∗∗∗∗||∗∗∗∗∗||M, L, XL||€€€€|
|Microsoft Dynamics||√||√||∗∗∗∗||∗∗∗||∗∗||M, L||€€€|
|Membrain||√||√||∗∗∗∗∗||∗∗∗∗||∗∗∗||M, L, XL||€€€€|
|Archie CRM||√||√||∗∗||∗∗||∗||S, M||€€€|
|My desk||√||√||X||∗||∗∗||S, M||€€|
|SugarCRM||√||√||∗∗∗||∗∗∗||∗∗∗∗||M, L, XL||€€€|
Explanation of the items in the list
The comparison was made on the three differentiators. Here I explain how.
- Automate -> The more different types of triggers and tasks I can automate, the more stars. Five stars is maximum
- Customize -> As Admin, can I control what my users see, and how easy is that?
- Marketplace -> the more apps in the marketplace, the more stars. Zapier and/or Make in it always results in an extra star.
Based on the functionalities and focus indicated by the vendor itself, I distinguished between the size of sales departments:
- S = Small: less than five employees in Sales
- M =Medium: 5 to 10 employees in sales
- L = Large: 10 to 50 (because then multiple teams) employees
- XL = X-Large: more than 50 sales associates
I determined the suitability by size based on functionalities. The larger the company, the more need for integration, customization, and automation.
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