The CRM market represents a $40bn industry and there are notable players with new entrants coming into the market, not at a daily rate, but at a noticeable rate and they all perform slightly differently in an attempt to differentiate themselves. The fact is that it is going to come down to what business you run, what you need the tool to do for you and your budget. The following is not an exhaustive list but ones that I have used in the past with their pros and cons:
- Hubspot Free – it is very easy to use and is user friendly with very intuitive UX. The product team are often adding new features and using the Upvoting system in their community to prioritise product updates and improvements. There are developments happening all the time, some of which do take some time, but they get there.
- Salesforce – the behemoth of the CRM world. It is an all-in-one piece of software that can do most things, and more, from lead gen to account management. The reporting is very good on it, and it does come in as a cost-effective solution in their SMB unit. Just watch the add-ons though, they can soon total up.
- ActiveCampaign – a nice looking and easy to use CRM. Very good for marketing campaigns, automation and follow up but lacks in reporting functionality. The interface is quite simplistic but if you need it to simply house deals, then it comes in at a very nice price point
- Zoho – a very good all in one tool, with strong email marketing functionality and great access to a range of great tools. One of the problems however is that a number of automations are limited to the professional tier and ZIA voice assistant needs more work
- Pipedrive – Offers an intuitive interface and deal-driven workflow, solid mobile apps plus call and email synchronization and clearly helps SMBs keep on top of their CRM process. However, limited functionality for the price and no separation between lists of new leads and contacts
- Freshworks CRM (formerly Freshsales) – Good for all sizes of businesses and easy to use. It’s got a cool intuitive user interface but an expansive feature set, including built-in phone and email, artificial intelligence-based lead scoring, visual deal pipelines, intelligent workflow automation, and customizable visual reports and dashboards. No reports available in the free plan and determining which is the best plan can be time-consuming.
All things considered, I would first go for the HubSpot Free if you are a startup business. It is easy to upgrade and gives you everything that you need to get going. It’s reporting is good and with the new features like Sales Analytics, you will definitely improve your whole business.