If your business sells any type of product or service, customers are a must-have to generate sales and profit for your company. In the past, before technology, businesses were small and localized. Customers walked into the store and exchanged goods and services with money. Eventually businesses were able to branch out, sending their goods and services to customers outside their service area via mail. The phone allowed customers and businesses to immediately communicate with each other regardless of the distance that separated them. Today, businesses have access to a wide variety of sophisticated sales and marketing software, tools and apps that promise to shorten their sales cycles, reach and attract more customers, filter out highly-qualified leads and close more sales deals all with the goal of increasing profits and sales in the most effective and efficient way possible.
When it comes to CRM, or customer relationship management, platforms, it can be stressful and overwhelming when trying to decide which one is best for your organization. While one may think they are all the same, they aren’t. While each one offers a variety of handy sales tools, some have more than others and some require a small yearly, monthly, weekly or daily fee to use their system while others are free. It is highly recommended that you look at not just the price, but the individual features each CRM program offers. Avoid automatically weeding out those that have all-encompassing tools and apps unless your company is brand new and you don’t what your sales pain points are. For many established companies, it’s best to go with a CRM system that specifically targets the most under-performing area of your sales process.
Whether you’ve just opened up a business and looking for your first CRM system to invest in or are a member of the executive team charged with finding a replacement CRM platform for the current one, here are some of the best customer relationship management software out there worth looking into:
Hubspot’s free CRM program is one of the easier to use customer relationship management platforms and while it isn’t as powerful as some of the others, it has many tools that show just as detailed analytics as other CRM platforms. It is a great CRM system for newbie sales managers and entrepreneurs. Hubspot also has a paid version of their CRM program which grants users access to additional sales tools.
The free Hubspot CRM system does a good job at handling the basics such as logging emails, managing sales data and recording sales calls.
Some of the perks that Hubspot offers users include:
- Working with CRM software that regularly ranks among the best for small businesses
- Better management of the sales pipeline, lessening the risk of missed sales
- A pipeline management tool that tracks possible and current sales deals with team performance and pipeline health analysis
- Identify the warmest leads
- Find the warmest leads through filtering your contacts in real time based on their engagement levels and their site visiting habits
- Access to Hubspot’s large library of proven email templates designed for every step of the customer’s journey. There is also the option to make one’s own, personalized email templates.
The Pipeline Deals CRM software takes pride in its unparalleled visibility its users get at each stage of their sales pipeline. If you’re looking to see where your sales pipeline breaks down and yielding less than expected leads and sales, Pipeline Deals CRM is definitely worth checking out.
With Pipeline Deals, you can expect the following:
- Map, record and see every stage of the sale in real time as it goes through your pipeline
- See the progress and status of deals in your pipeline with deal tracking metrics
- Monitor the volume, wins and losses, and sales velocity of your pipeline so your sales reps can be equipped with the right information to prioritize sales
- Get daily sales pipeline numbers and a report of the prior day’s progress every morning
- Each sales deal has its own dedicated page with as little or as much detail as you want with 12 standard data field and optional additional custom fields
- View company-wide, deal status updates on your Pipeline Deals homepage in real-time
- Access your Pipeline Deals dashboard from anywhere by downloading the corresponding iPhone or Android app
Salesforce is one of the most common CRM software and has become the trusty go-to for both novice and experienced sales managers and directors. Salesforce offers a wide variety of tools including a sales cloud, service cloud, data cloud, community cloud, marketing cloud and app cloud.
Some of the benefits of working with Salesforce’s CRM platform include:
- The support from one of the world’s top CRM companies
- Features a pay-as-you-go pay structure, being a cost-effective choice for small businesses
- Completely cloud-based meaning no costly and time-consuming hardware installations, the ability to work remotely and have extra assurance that your valuable important sales files and documents are safe and accessible
- Complete customer management featuring fully mobile software that covers every point of the customer lifecycle
- Remotely close deals and log calls
- Real-time, sales-activity tracking
Odoo is a free, open-source CRM platform that offers a suite of apps developed by business experts and developers. The apps are easy to use and any upgrades and improvements will be automatically integrated so users don’t have to re-download the apps. Odoo’s apps include those for CRM, ecommerce, accounting, project management, inventory and point of sale.
Some of the highlights of Odoo’s CRM app include:
- Design custom dashboards to get a picture of your business at a glance
- Schedule calls, meetings, mailings and quotations based on your sales scripts
- Know exactly how you perform compared to your targets
- Organize individual workflows
- Real-time messaging to enhance collaboration
- One-click to turn purchase orders into invoices
- eSignature-Automate the signing process of your contracts
- Turn quotes into professional-looking invoices in one click
- Send the right message to your leads and customers
Zoho is another CRM system specifically designed to improve the quality of leads and deals. This CRM platform offers users a wide range of tools from word processing and spreadsheet and accounting apps to video conferencing to mail merge to email services and social media marketing apps.
Some of the benefits that Zoho has to offers users include:
- Create distinct portals for your customers, vendors and partners
- Generate leads and automate lead scoring
- Get in-depth analytics through charts analyzing your funnels, KPIs, anomalies and targets
- Use analytics and context to prioritize your emails and sales pipeline
- Conduct live chats with website visitors and be able to segment them
- Make efficient, single click dialing calls, view call analytics, and receive prompt reminders
- Manage your company’s social media interactions
- Utilize an artificial intelligence sale assistant for prospect information in the CRM program
While Aktify isn’t technically a CRM system, but rather a third party research company that engages or revives stalled leads gathered from your CRM platform. This platform is currently compatible to sync data and leads from nearly 40 CRM platforms, including Salesforce. This platform is a great complement to your current CRM software as it takes the leads from your CRM program and makes them warm leads through continuous engagement and increasing response rates. If the leads in your CRM platform are consistently going cold and not converting, Aktify can help.
Some of the benefits of using Aktify include:
- The ability to make more contact attempts without needing to add additional salespeople
- Turn stalled leads into conversations and give your sales team more chances to succeed
- Increase your contact and appointment rates
- Contact leads up to 8 times via phone, text and email
- Have marketing automation, chatbots, machine learning and profile matching
- Enjoy a 50-70% response rate
- Receive alerts from interested leads
- Prove ROI from campaigns to upper management and the executive team
- Encourage more responses with each prospect receiving a personalized gift worth
- Create a positive touchpoint for your brand
CRM or customer relationship management platforms aim to improve the quality of leads for sales as well as offer automation to give salespeople more time to talk to prospects and customers rather than spend hours imputing data. These systems, in essence make sales more efficient and effective.
There are many customer relationship management systems out there to choose from, each being different and addressing a specific sales pain point. Salesforce, Hubspot, Odoo, Pipeline Deals and Zoho are five of the best CRM platforms out there and are worth checking out. When comparing which CRM platform to choose for your business, consider the costs and the included tools and programs.
To further improve your response rate and take more leads through the sales funnel, Aktify offers a platform that works with your CRM to bring engagement and revive cold or stalled leads. If the leads in your current CRM program are getting stalled and growing cold, it may not be your CRM system, but rather your process. Aktify can help revive those cold leads to help your business succeed. Contact us to learn more about how Aktify can help your sales and marketing teams.