CRM stands for customer relationship management, and CRM software is pretty much a must for any company involved in sales activities, especially when it comes to high sales volumes.
In this article, we are looking into how CRM can improve a sales workflow and what CRM programs may be the best choice in 2021.
Why Use CRM Software?
So, what are the main benefits of CRM systems? CRM software is designed to make sales processes easier. Good CRM tools will help you organize sales relationships and business prospects, close deals and stay more productive overall. Most CRM programs will help you do the following:
- Store and organize all your sales contacts
- Track workflow, delegate tasks and manage follow-up correspondence
- Analyze and improve marketing activities by creating custom reports and predicting future performance
Surely, you can do all of the above manually. However, it will take quite a bit of manpower and time to organize and manage it all. CRM software is meant to take all of this work off your hands so that you have more time to spend on the bigger picture.
If you’ve already looked into the CRM software market, you may have noticed that there are quite a few tools in this niche — and with very different pricing options.
How Much Does CRM Software Cost?
This depends on a lot of factors. In most cases, CRM tools have different subscription levels available. The higher the level, the more features you get on board — and the more you will need to pay.
With most software, you will also get free trials that let you test out the features before committing to a subscription. Prices for CRM subscription plans range from $8 to $150 per month — depending on how much functionality you are looking for. A top-level CRM suite can cost upwards of several thousand dollars for the full package.
The Best CRM Software Programs in 2021
When you are ready to try out CRM software, you will find that there are lots of options to choose from. Here are our top picks.
Salesforce is a world leader when it comes to CRM software and is used by over 150,000 companies on a regular basis. The program is based around Salesforce Sales Cloud, which can work with Marketing Cloud to enable email automation and Einstein Analytics for AI-powered business intelligence.
Salesforce Sales Cloud is very intuitive in use and lets you customize a number of elements, including dashboards, reports, contact forms, and more, to make your experience as personal as possible.
For large companies, features like app development and sandbox are great productivity enhancers that can help customize permissions and workflows for teams spread across time zones and timelines.
- Extensive functionality
- Lots of customization features
- More expensive than similar products
- No free plans available
Pricing: starting from $25 per month
Freshworks CRM is a great fit for small to medium companies that value ease of use over customization options.
The app comes with desktop and mobile interfaces, both of which are highly intuitive. You can quickly access contact records, drag-and-drop Kanban-style boards and more. The app also comes with a smart assistant tool called Freddy AI, which makes suggestions on which deals to close based on your sales history.
You can integrate your email client into the app (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail), and there is also a built-in calling tool on board with a recording feature.
- Intuitive and friendly interface
- Sales- and result-focused
- Built-in calling tool
- Smart assistant on board
- No business card tool
- No internet lead generation feature
Pricing: $15 per user per month
Free trial: 21 days
Zoho CRM is yet another efficient sales management solution. It comes complete with all the basics like contact and pipeline management, communications tracking, automated workflow reports, and more.
The best thing about Zoho, however, is that it is great at integrating with other apps in the Zoho ecosystem, like Zoho Invoice and Zoho Campaigns. This substantially expands the app’s functionality and makes it a powerful productivity and lead generation tool.
Another thing of note about Zoho is that it is highly customizable. You can add more fields to the Contacts folder, create your own lead assignment rules, personalize how the CRM interface looks, and more.
Plus, with the Enterprise and Ultimate plans, you also get the Zia AI feature, which can give you suggestions about the leads you should focus on, what emails to write and how to manage your workflow.
- Zoho suite integration
- Lead generation tools
- Workflow automation and management
- Takes some time to master
- Customer support is limited
Price: starting from $14 per user per month
Free trial: 15 days
Hubspot CRM is best known for its great free plan offers. While a lot of CRM software providers do offer free plans, none of them are as feature-full as the free plan offered by Hubspot. You get all the basics on board, like contact management, call and email logs, a deal pipeline, and more. Plus, there are also easy integrations with apps like Slack and Gmail.
If you subscribe to a paid plan, you get access to more features, like HubSpot’s Marketing, Sales, and Service Hubs. With these, you will be able to create pop-up forms, work with chatbots, use ad retargeting, and more. Advanced sales features also include customizable reports, smart lead scoring, workflow automation, and more.
Note, however, that the number of contacts you can market to (via email or ads) is limited to 2,000 on most plans, with only the Enterprise plan allowing for 10,000 contacts. With that, you are allowed to store up to one million prospects.
- Powerful free plan
- Marketing integrations and ad management
- Contacts limited to 2,000 on most plans
- Limited reporting features
Pricing: starting from $45 per two users per month
Free trial: 14 days
Apptivo is the final tool on our list. It comes with all the CRM must-haves: pipeline management, email log, mass emails, reports, and more.
The app’s main selling point, however, is its post-deal functionality: you can create timesheets, track invoices and store all your account-related files.
If you go for the Ultimate plan, you can store up to 10GB of data on the app.
The app’s interface is similar to that of Google Workspace: you will have lots of native apps, each responsible for a different function. One of the downsides is that the Starter and Lite plans don’t come with two-factor authentication — and this can be quite risky if you plan to store sensitive data.
- Lots of client management tools
- Great value for money
- Native apps that may be hard to navigate
- Bugs and glitches reported by some users
- No two-factor authentication on two plans
Pricing: starting from $8 per user per month
Free trial: 30 days
We hope that the list above has been helpful and you now have a better idea of what CRM software might be the best fit for your business.
And there is one more thing we’d like to add. As you can see from above, some CRM software programs provide a limited amount of cloud storage. And if you are dealing with a lot of data, you will definitely need something more to transfer files and folders between team members. Here’s where FileWhopper comes in.
FileWhopper is an online solution for transferring files and folders with no limits — and there are several features that make it stand out from other solutions on the web:
FileWhopper lets you transfer files and folders without a subscription. You don’t have to sign up for anything or commit to recurring payments. The service works fully on a pay-as-you-go basis: you only pay for what you are transferring based on its size.
With FileWhopper, you can send files and folders of actually ANY size. While many cloud storage programs will set limits on how much you can store and share, FileWhopper lets you send truly sizable files and folders over the web (such as a 10TB video folder).
Everything you transfer is very well protected. The service uses zero-knowledge encryption, and this means that no one (including the FileWhopper team) except for you and your recipient will have access to your data. What’s more, your transfers are protected against issues like connection failures or blackouts. Should anything like this happen, your data transfer will be paused and then resume from where it left off.
FileWhopper only needs you to install its tiny app, which helps upload and download data, to perform a transfer. Once its job is done, the app will auto-delete, freeing up space on your PC.
The best thing about FileWhopper is that you can easily test it out — the service offers a free 5GB transfer to all new users.