Overview Reaching out to customers and building on relationships with them is the biggest asset to boost revenue for any business. No business wants to lose out on a prospective buyer or have a loyal customer drop them like a hot potato due to lack of adequate interaction or communication with them. Nor does a business wish to see a downward spiral in revenue due to mismanaged inventory (horrors!.) This is where nifty software called Customer Relationship Management (CRM for short) comes in.
As its name implies, CRM software operates on its inbuilt applications to help a business start, develop and maintain robust, long-term relationships with its customers, keep track of leads which can generate superb opportunities, maintain a record of inventory and other extremely useful stuff.
If you're looking for some great CRM software, the best thing to do would be to first compare the diverse range available out there on the tech shelf, considering each one's features, costs for add-ons and, of course, the pricing.
Let's check out three such reputed CRM software & the package plans offered -
Hubspot CRM software Behind this most popular CRM software are graduate students at MIT, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of Hubspot, the former being its Chief Executive Officer and the latter the Chief Technology Officer.
Free package Unlike most companies which offer a free trial of their software only for a limited period, Hubspot is offering CRM software for free permanently. That is, your access to the software comes with no expiry date. How cool is that?!
What you get: All team members can be free users, with nobody having to pay a dime. You can store a million contacts too. In addition to core features of contact management, company insights, Gmail & Outlook integration, deals and tasks, there are specific features for marketers, such as a lead analytics dashboard, lead flows, contact activity, etc. Software features for salespeople include email focused aspects, such as templates, scheduling & tracking, as well as meetings, calling tools and documents.
Starter package If you are one of those testing the waters for the first time, then you could begin with this package. What it does is help you to instantly be alert to leads from your website and track their activity. For this purpose, the CRM software includes the features designed for marketers which come with the free software mentioned above. Additionally, you get custom form fields and phone & email support. The HubSpot branding is also removed.
Cost to you: $50 per month, billed annually.
Marketing Basic packageIdeal for a single, independent marketer & also for a small team of users, this CRM software package enables you to develop inbound marketing campaigns.
What you get: Features of the starter package + useful tools to blog and create content,
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media, email marketing, sub-domain availability, etc.
Cost to you: $200 per month, with an additional one-time fee of $600 for onboarding. You can customize & enhance your plan with additional features at an extra cost for each of these - building a mobile-friendly website, creating marketing & sales reports and tying paid ad spend to lead & customers. As for contacts, you can incorporate 100 contacts free + $100 per month per 1,000 additional contacts.
Marketing Professional package Those already savvy about marketing can utilize this package, with the CRM software providing the facility of inbound marketing campaigns at scale with automation.
What you get: The features of the marketing basic package + tools for marketing automation, goal-based nurturing, custom workflows, sales force integration, etc.
Cost to you: $800 per month and a one-time fee of $3,000 for onboarding. You can customize this plan with additional features and have 1,000 contacts included + $50/moth per 1,000 additional contacts.
Marketing Enterprise package This package is for advanced marketing teams with the tools for scalable inbound marketing campaigns also incorporating sophisticated analytics and revenue reporting.
What you get: In addition to the tools of the Marketing Professional package, the CRM software of this package includes customized reporting of events and revenue, predictive lead scoring, contacts & company reporting and event-based segmentation.
Cost to you: $2,400 per month, with a one-time fee of $5,000 for onboarding. Additionally, 10,000 contacts included + $10/month per 1,000 additional contacts.
Plus point of Hubspot: Plenty of 'how to' resources with great tips, video guides and free courses available at their portal. There is also a vibrant forum where Hubspot users ask & answer queries about Hubspot tools and discuss the software's features.
Where to buy: https://www.hubspot.com/
For more information contact: +855-900-7675
Pipedrive CRM software The company behind this CRM software is based in New York, USA. They offer three plans, with the option to try any for free initially. The free trial is easy to set up for all the plans.
Silver plan This includes sales management features, smart email BCC, 2GB storage per user, Live chat & email support.
Price tag: $12 per user per month, billed monthly, or $10 per user if billed annually.
Gold plan It includes all features of the silver plan with full email sync and extra 5GB storage per user and customizable email templates.
Price tag: $ 29 per user per month, billed monthly, or $24 per user if billed annually.
Platinum plan It includes all features of the Gold plan + advanced speed & reliability and advanced user management, with 100GB storage per user.
Price tag: $ 75 per user per month, billed monthly, or $63 per user if billed annually.
Features which are common to all the above plans are: Pipeline management, reminders & notifications, sales reporting, 80+ integrations, API access, sales forecasting, reliability & safety, powerful import & export of data, Google Apps integration, iPhone and Android apps.
Plus point: Integration of Google apps, Google maps, Slack, Mail Chimp, PandaDoc and other useful apps.
Where to buy: https://www.pipedrive.com/en-gb
Helpdesk: Pipedrive support center is available via the 'Contact Us' page at their portal, from Monday to Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m. across EU and US time zones (English & Portuguese)
Freshsales CRM Software Who's behind it: Freshworks Inc. (formerly Freshdesk), of which Girish Mathrubootham is founder and CEO and Shan Krishnasamy is the co-founder and CTO.
Freshsales CRM software has not only got rave reviews, but financial support through funding from top global organizations. It has even won $40,000 at the 2011 Microsoft BizSpark Startup challenge. Wow!
Price Plans What strikes you straight away are the unique names to each plan, appropriate to the size of the team using the CRM software. Have a look -
Sprout Designed as a beginner's starting point, the software which comes with the sprout plan is free. It includes tools for contacts & leads, managing accounts & deals, a built-in phone, email receipt & sending features, basic reporting, integration with Zapier and Google Apps, iOS and Android apps and the company's (Freshdesk) integration.
Blossom Suitable for small teams, this plan has a price tag of $15 per user, per month. Features include those of the Sprout plan + sales pipeline management, workflows, 2-way email sync with open tracking, Bulk email and templates, Team sales inbox, Files, reminders and notifications, MailChimp integration and Freshchat integration.
Annual plan: $12 per user per month.
Garden The team is expanding? Go for the Garden plan, which comes at the price of $29 per user per month. It incorporates all tools offered under the Blossom plan + these: configurable reports, sales activities and forecasting reports, advanced reporting features, auto enrich lead and company profiles, auto lead assignment, territories, manual call log and account hierarchy.
Annual plan: $25 per user per month.
Estate As the name implies, this is for a large team, the monthly price tag being $59 per user. In addition to the features of the Garden plan you get: reports dashboards, multiple sales pipeline, advanced customizations, smartforms for web-to-lead capture, Website events' tracking, In-app events tracking, Rules-based lead scoring and Segment integration.
Annual plan: $49 per user per month.
Where to buy: https://www.freshworks.com/freshsales-crm/
Contacts: (i) Chennai, India - Sales/Support: +91 44 6667 8040 (Mon - Fri); (ii) San Francisco, USA - Sales/Support: +1 866 832 3090 (Mon - Fri); (iii) London, UK - Sales/Support: +44 800 808 5790 (Mon - Fri); (iv) Sydney, Australia - Tollfree Sales/Support: +61 1800 861302 (Mon - Fri): (v) Berlin, Germany - Support: +49 305 683 7121 (Mon - Fri).
The bottom line in CRM software comparisonsComparisons of CRM software helps you to make sure that you do not compromise on quality or overlook your actual requirements vis-à-vis your business when deciding on which one to opt for. Simply because a particular company's CRM software is packed with more features than another or is having a lower monthly/annual price tag is not what should rule your decision. Dig deep into the aspects of the features offered – do you really need all those apps offered in the integration feature? Does the software help you in building a mobile-friendly website, this being your prime requirement? What about after sales support? Only when you have all the requisite boxes checked, then go in for a purchase. Of course, don't be penny wise, pound foolish either! If the CRM software you have zeroed in on does not compromise on any of your requirements, go for it, no matter that $ tag.
So go on - compare CRM software, purchase the right one and get your business off the ground & running!
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.
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