11 min read
Jun 09, 2020
CRM

5 Best Online CRM Tools

Check out the five best online CRM tools to retain existing customers and acquire new ones.

A.S.
Ankita SinghContent Writer

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. For a business to thrive, it must know its customers’ needs and create a personalized communication strategy to engage with them regularly. It’s only then that the business can retain its existing customers as well as attract new ones.

But all of this can’t be done manually! A customer relationship management (CRM) solution can help automate CRM processes to ensure a positive customer experience.

In this article, we’ve curated a list of the five best online CRM tools that are featured on GetApp’s CRM Category Leaders report. These solutions have 4+ ratings and 2,100+ reviews on GetApp. The detailed selection methodology can be found at the bottom of the article.

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HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that features outbound and inbound marketing, sales automation, sales pipeline management, customer relationship management, email tracking, lead management, contact management, and more. 

The tool’s customer support options include email, chat, and phone support depending on the user’s subscription plan. Users also get access to the HubSpot Community, an online forum where they can post queries and connect with other users.

HubSpot CRM’s capabilities:

  • Stores customer details at a centralized location so that all users have access to up-to-date information.

  • Allows users to track the complete sales lifecycle, from leads prospecting to after-sales follow-ups. 

  • Helps create personalized marketing emails using a drag-and-drop editor. Users can also automate these emails to ensure regular communication with customers.

  • Tracks outreach emails to notify users whenever a lead opens an email. 

  • Offers the live chat function to let users connect with prospects in real time. 

We analyzed user reviews of HubSpot CRM to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found. 

What they like

  • Customer contacts can be easily segmented using the lists tool.

  • Outlook add-in helps track the open rate of emails sent via Outlook. 

What they would like to see

  • Easier permission levels and approval processes.

  • Advanced reporting with the free plan.

Who should consider HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot CRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers a forever free plan that’s ideal for businesses using CRM software for the first time. They can try out features and create customized modules using the marketing, sales, service, and content management hubs offered by the tool.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an integrated CRM solution featuring capabilities to manage and track marketing, sales, and customer service, among others. It can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise or can also be hosted privately.   

The tool’s customer support options include email, phone, and an online forum where users can post software-related queries. It also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s capabilities:

  • Offers a complete overview of a customer’s journey to help track engagement across touchpoints.

  • Lets users connect with customers via various communication channels, including live chat, text messages, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and LINE.

  • Uses real-time data to provide sales representatives details about customers’ needs and existing relationships.

  • Uses conversation intelligence, an AI-powered capability, to help users coach their sales staff on how to sell smartly.

We analyzed user reviews of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found. 

What they like

  • The software dashboard is interactive and intuitive. 

  • Details of previous customer interactions can be tracked easily.

What they would like to see 

  • An easier setup process. A few users say that the setup process is complicated and can only be done by a professional.

  • A shorter learning curve. Some users think that the software is difficult to use and requires extensive training.

Who should consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes. Companies looking to improve customer relationships in a specific line of service can especially benefit from the tool. They can use stand-alone applications for field service, finance, supply chain management, etc., or integrate these with the marketing, customer service, and sales modules offered by the software.

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Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM and sales pipeline management solution that helps streamline sales processes. It lets businesses track calls, emails, and contact histories to deliver a personalized experience to customers. 

Users of all plans can access Pipedrive’s sales community, academy, and knowledge base. They can use these channels to get answers to their queries and access training videos and other resources. They can also avail customer support via email and chat. Moreover, the software offers Android and iOS applications.

Pipedrive’s capabilities:

  • Lets users organize deals by sales stage to get a complete overview of the sales momentum and priorities.

  • Syncs with various third-party contact providers, including Google Contacts, Outlook, Microsoft Office 365, and iCloud.

  • Allows users to personalize email templates and set up email automation to improve the chances of deal conversion.

  • Integrates with Google Maps to help users filter contacts by location. 

We analyzed user reviews of Pipedrive to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found. 

What they like

  • The software is easy to use and helps visualize the complete sales pipeline.

  • Reports are intuitive as well as useful in assessing the overall sales performance.

What they would like to see

  • The ability to separate new leads from existing contacts.

  • An option to integrate the tool with meeting software solutions, such as RingCentral and Zoom

Who should consider Pipedrive?

Pipedrive is suitable for businesses of all sizes. Its features are specifically designed to help sales teams nurture and manage leads. It also offers sales forecasting and sales reporting, which are features specific to sales processes.

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Salesforce Sales Cloud

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a cloud-based CRM application featuring contact management, opportunity management, lead management, sales forecasting, territory management, partner management, and sales data and intelligence, among others.

Users of all plans get access to a customer support community, interactive webinars, and self-help resources. Users of the Premier, Premier Plus, and Priority plans get administrative assistance and 24/7 support. The tool also has Android and iOS applications.

Salesforce Sales Cloud’s capabilities:

  • Tracks customers’ social media interactions to help users communicate better with their target audience.

  • Offers interactive dashboards to monitor the progress of marketing campaigns. 

  • Tracks engagement metrics, such as click-through and email open rates. 

  • Integrates with all existing systems to pull data for creating customer profiles.

We analyzed user reviews of Salesforce Sales Cloud to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found. 

What they like

  • The software dashboard is easy to navigate.

  • Current and past customer interactions can be tracked and saved to close deals faster.

What they would like to see

  • A shorter learning curve for new users and more comprehensive tutorials for less tech-savvy users.

  • A better user interface (UI). A few users say that whenever there’s an update, they have to reconfigure the UI to restore the previous view.

Who should consider Salesforce Sales Cloud?

Salesforce Sales Cloud is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It can be used by sales teams to stay updated about critical projects and topics. 

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5. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that helps businesses connect with customers via various channels, including email, social media, chat, and call. The tool offers advanced CRM analytics, sales forecasts, and sales and marketing automation, among other features.

Zoho CRM’s capabilities:

  • Lets users schedule and send mass emails to their contacts. 

  • Uses email parsers to automatically extract information, such as lead name, company name, and address, from incoming emails. 

  • Helps users create events, send invites via email, and communicate with attendees. 

  • Scores leads based on brand interaction (social media comments, email open rate, click-through rate, etc.) to help create targeted communication strategies.

We analyzed user reviews of Zoho CRM to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found. 

What they like

  • Users can easily track their sales funnel and contacts. 

  • They can also set reminders about important events, such as a lead’s follow-up date.

What they would like to see

  • An easier installation process. Currently, software installation requires trained IT staff.

  • An option to filter out unwanted inbound emails to avoid spam and to ensure that important customer emails don’t get missed out.

Who should consider Zoho CRM?

Zoho CRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes. Its free plan can be especially useful for small firms that want to try out a CRM tool before purchasing one. They can check out the features and choose to upgrade if they like the software functionality.  

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Next steps

Now that you’re ready to choose an online CRM tool for your business, follow these steps to shortlist a suitable option from our recommendations:

  • Map your business requirements and shortlist products that fulfill them.

  • Set a budget, and ensure that the products you’ve shortlisted don’t exceed it.

  • Choose a deployment method that will best serve your needs: cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.

  • Take into account hidden costs, such as training expenses and onboarding and integration fees.

  • Attend vendor demos or check out software trials to assess the user friendliness of each tool.

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Additional resources to select an online CRM tool

Methodology and Disclaimer

Here’s an overview of our methodology for choosing this list of best online CRM tools:

  • We referred to GetApp’s CRM Category Leaders report.

  • We shortlisted products that had 2,100+ reviews and overall user ratings of 4+ on GetApp (as on May 20, 2020).

  • The solutions were then evaluated to ascertain that they offer three core CRM features: contact management, lead management, and interaction tracking. 

For the “user reviews” section, we performed sentiment analysis of reviews left for each product in the 18 months previous to the creation of this report. Reviews data may have changed since publication and may not reflect current conditions.

Note: The content in this piece provides the opinions and points of view expressed by users and doesn’t represent the views of GetApp.

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