Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM, includes many types of applications that help businesses form and maintain bonds with their customers, increase their retention rate, and use customer data to improve sales and profitability. It’s one of the most widely used categories of software for businesses of all shapes and sizes; essentially, any business with a sales component uses (or ought to use) CRM software. And yet the vast majority of salespeople aren’t taking advantage of all of the features of the software they have. Many users report dissatisfaction with its functionality and effectiveness.
Salesforce, a CRM product first launched in 1999, is the industry standard. But with so many salespeople frustrated by it, there are alternatives springing up all the time.
Here are seven CRM products currently competing with Salesforce, and the benefits of each.
The biggest threat to Salesforce’s hold on the market comes from tech giant Microsoft, whose CRM software Dynamics has the second largest user base (and growing). Dynamics CRM is better equipped than Salesforce for large companies with huge troves of customer data, which are often too much for Salesforce to handle. One downside: it doesn’t have Salesforce’s handy call center management features.
While Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM beats Salesforce for larger companies, Capsule does the same for smaller operations. The very affordable Capsule is perfect for startups, it can integrate with programs including MailChimp, Zendesk, and FreshBooks right out of the box; something more complex CRM products can’t say for themselves. It’s a great product for beginners, or companies looking to simplify their customer relations process.
Like Capsule, Infusionsoft offers a product that’s perfectly suited for smaller businesses, which Salesforce isn’t really targeted toward. It’s priced per month based on how many users, contacts, and emails you need to use, so you won’t be paying as much for functions you don’t need. Infusionsoft is a lean, cheap option that’s still feature rich and comes equipped with lead generation and marketing automation features.
Insightly’s “easy to use, all-in-one CRM software” lives up to that claim with a bevy of features that let you do just about anything you could want to do, customer-relations wise. There’s social media integration, sales pipeline management, and workflow automation. And one nifty feature you won’t find in Salesforce’s stable: a project management tool that lets you set milestones and track your progress and performance, allowing you and your team to work toward customer relations goals together.
A Salesforce alternative with a nifty dashboard interface and guts designed by longtime web app developers and sales professionals, Pipedrive is an efficient and well-oiled bit of sales machinery. It sorts through leads to help you allocate your time wisely with minimal waste, and organizes customer data in an attractive display that’s easy on the eyes and loaded with actionable information.
The name says it all: Velocify is built for speed. It works both independently and as an add-on for Salesforce. Velocify is particularly well-suited for companies that do a high volume of sales over the phone and via email. The sales flow functionality is practically unmatched, including a click-to-dial function that lets you incorporate your phone system and online customer database, freeing up precious time for salespeople.
If your business fits into the B2B niche, you might already be using Salesforce’s Pardot marketing system. But upgrading to Salesfusion could take your marketing to the next level. The system automates many of the most essential tasks involved in B2B sales, and integrates well with other CRM products. If B2B isn’t your thing, Salesfusion likely won’t do much for you. But if it is, check out Salesfusion today – their pricing is reasonable.