Congratulations. You have a captivating website, excellent SEO, extraordinary content and all search engines love you just as much as your targeted audience. You are the coolest kid on the block, and everyone wants to play with you, take a selfie, and invite you to their birthday. Your business is booming, your brand is becoming a household name, and your sales are skyrocketing. You've done it. You've conquered the Internet, and now you can relax and enjoy the profits.
But wait, something is missing. Shouldn't you keep track of all the sales? Wouldn't it be great to store all the customer's data and sort it for better targeting? An entrepreneur's work is never done. So take a piece of paper and a pen, and start writing. You can waste a decade of your life jotting away every single transaction in a piece of paper or stop being a dinosaur and just get a CRM system.
What Is A CRM System?
The Customer Relationship Management( CRM) software is a tool that tracks and manages all communication and interaction with your customers. The CRM system records everything - from the initial "Hello" to the joyous ring of the cash register as it opens. This makes the CRM your sales team's best friend. The software not only collects data but also sorts it out and allows you to target specific groups of your customers based on their preferences and other factors. In addition, it allows the sales team to interact with potential leads by personalizing marketing campaigns to address the specific needs of each group.
While there are thousands of tools for your website that claim to be the next best thing that will boost your website only to disappear just a few months later, CRMs are here to stay. In fact, they have a massive market on their own, estimated to reach 43.5 billion dollars in 2024. This shows how invaluable the CRM is and how it will become even more fused into sales operations in the upcoming years.
So, if you are interested in upscaling your business, improving your sales, making data-based marketing decisions, then purchasing a CRM is the best investment you will ever make (maybe right after the standing desks. These things are doing wonders for your back.)
Why Do You Need A CRM System?
If your business is small and you manage just fine without a CRM system, you might wonder why you would need a new tool integrated into your work? And you are right.
If you intend to be small and keep up to 10 customers a month, you will probably do just fine without a CRM. Hell, you can even call your customers by first name and invite them to have a beer.
However, if your dreams are a bit bigger and you want to make a living out of your business and not keep it just to show off in front of your classmates at the 10-years reunion, you would want to implement the CRM into your sales work.
This tool allows you to keep all relevant data in a centralized location so all stakeholders can access them and use them. So that the content team won't have to waste the marketing and sales teams' time asking questions. Anyone, who needs the the info will simply enter the CRM.
This has been shown to give a massive boost to many companies. The CRM will guarantee a productivity boost thanks to automatizing huge chunks of work like data entry, sorting, and creating reports, and a boost in sales because they can serve more customers better and faster. Brands using CRM see an increase in team productivity by 34%, and an increase their sales by 29%, the ROI per dollar is increased to $8.71.
A CRM ensures you will be accurate and efficient with your work because it is backed by realtime data. In addition, it helps all aspects of your work be dedicated to one goal - to serve your customers better.
How To Choose A CRM
As you might have guessed, a $43.5 billion market is quite lucrative, and there are tons of CRM systems out there. Sorting through all of them might be a bit tricky, but we are here to help.
We searched far and wide for the best CRM systems out there so we can narrow down your choice to 8 outstanding candidates that will satisfy almost everyone's needs.
Firstly there is HubSpot which is one of the most recognizable CRM systems. Chances are you've already heard of this one, and for a good reason. Salespeople and marketers made the system, and indeed they did something outstanding.
PipeDrive is our second contender. It was first designed as a tool for professionals but later went through some transformation to accommodate all users. Nonetheless, it remains one of the best CRM systems for professional salespeople.
Zendesk is the polar opposite of PipeDrive. It was initially created as a simple customer support tool. However, its potential, usefulness, and user-friendliness were so high that the developers decided to promote it to a genuine CRM. And what an outstanding job they did.
Zoho is the prime choice of many small and medium-sized businesses. With its web-based client-prioritized solutions, it shows why. You don't need genuine sales masters to work with it. Using it truly makes you feel like a puppeteer. You have control over everything.
Copper, although with a cheap-sounding name, is a treasure in disguise. It's a complete CRM system that allows many valuable integrations, which will enable you to run your whole organization with this simple tool. Its integrations with Google's products are probably one of its most significant benefits.
Monday has a bad rep among working people. We are talking, of course, of the weekday, not the CRM. The system is actually the polar opposite. People don't go to it with a little bit of disgust and a lot of frustration, but with delight and relief, they have such an excellent tool in their hands.
SalesForce is by far the most popular CRM in the world. It's truly a pleasure to work with, and any business line, work style, and habits can be transferred to the system. In addition, its customizability is simply unmatched.
Salesflare is probably the CRM system that's easiest to maintain. It rarely relies on any manual input, thus making the work with it a breeze. In addition, it has many great add-ons, making it a true hub for your marketing operations.
We've met the contenders, and now the rumble may begin. We will check out how they perform and how they compare in the most important disciplines for CRMs. We will make something like a CRM Olympics where the Gold medalist can be only one.
We will cover cover five events namely, ease of use, customization, growth handling, customer interaction tool, and automation. The first event is ease of use. So let's get to it.
Which One's The Easiest To Use?
All contenders are actually pretty close to perfection when we come to user-friendliness. Monday can grab the eye here with its colorful and well-contrasted looks. However, some of its default settings can be really tricky to change. Salesflare is widely known as the easiest CRM to work with. However, a huge downside of this CRM is the fact it supports only English. While English is one of the most widely known languages, people tend to love conversing with their service provider in their native language, so this handicap is genuinely a massive one.
HubSpot is pretty straightforward if you are a marketer or a salesperson. Keep in mind this CRM was designed by professionals in this field, and the tool is very user-friendly to them specifically. If you don't have this background, you will have to learn some new things. However, this tool is widely known as the go-to CRM for beginners since the learning process is fast and intuitive.
The same goes for SalesForce, except that even marketers and salespeople find it hard to start working with this CRM.
Zoho's interface is a bit dated and a bit troublesome to work with. Copper is pretty easy to work with, as long as you are well-aware of the capabilities of Google tools. PipeDrive and Zendesk are also pretty easy to work with, as long as you don't need something outside their scope. If you do, it becomes absolute hell.
The gold here goes to, without a doubt, Salesflare. Although it has language limitations, it truly is the most user-friendly of them all.
Silver goes to HubSpot. While it is a bit tricky for non-professionals at first, it's fairly easy for them to learn how to use it.
Bronze foes to Copper. It's an absolute pleasure working with the interface, and since Google is such an essential partner of almost every business, knowing Google tools is not such a colossal obstacle.
Now we move on to our next event, customization.
How Customizable Are They?
Once again, the battle here is pretty evenly matched. Salesflare, Zoho, Copper, and HubSpot are not excelling in this event. They have some degree of customizability, but it's definitely not their biggest strength.
On the other hand, Zendesk is pretty easy to customize. It even allows customization for different departments, which is a great feature when your company has more than one team looking at the same data.
However, the bronze medal in this discipline will go to Monday. It has a lot of options that make it ideal for almost any business, no matter its structure and needs.
The silver is for PipeDrive and its ultra customizable pipelines. They make sales as easy as getting angry at a DMV office. You can truly see the whole sales process in front of your eyes and optimize it in real-time. To top it all, PipeDrive offers fully customizable Landing pages, which need to be mentioned here, although a completely different feature.
The gold goes to SalesForce, which is simply the summit of customization for CRM. SalesForce can be customized for absolutely any business need. Its customizability allows for practical automation, effortless client management, and unmatched speed when it comes to processing and finding data.
Now that we know who's the most customizable, On to our third event which is growth handling. Who do you think can handle the most drastic of growths?
How Do They Handle Growth?
Before getting down to business with this comparison, we must be adamant that any business will handle growth better with a CRM system. It's like comparing which beer will make you happiest. No matter the beer, life will always be better with it than without it.
This being said, all of our eight competitors do a pretty good job at handling growth. However, if we had to give medals, and that's pretty much what we've been doing so far, we would provide the bronze medal to Salesflare. The CRM system is effortless to work with and configure, which offers every member of the team opportunity to work more productive and reach better audiences. In addition, the automation process is pretty good and thus frees resources that are crucial for your business growth.
The silver goes to Salesforce, with its enormous package of business products. The effortless integration between these different products allows your business to grow exponentially.
However, there's no doubt that the gold goes to HubSpot's with its state-of-the-art Customer Service Software. This innovative solution not only connects you with customers but subsequently turns them into your promoters. Thus the growth potential with HubSpot is truly limitless.
Three events down and two to go. The next event is customer interaction tool. How well can they act as a customer interaction tool?
How Do They Perform As A Customer Interaction Tool?
Seeing the praises we gave HubSpot for their Customer interaction tool, you probably already guessed who gets the gold at this event. And yes, it's not a secret we are huge fans of this outstanding Customer Service Software. It's truly a pleasure working with it, and while the other CRM systems do have pretty good tools that interact with customers, they simply are no match for HubSpot.
The silver goes to Zoho with its seamless social media integration. It's astounding how easy it is to this CRM to Google and Facebook.
The bronze goes to Salesflare, with their emailing system. It wouldn't surprise us if, at some point, it starts mixing cocktails alongside storing data, sending emails, tracking them, and linking them up with native website tracking.
Four events down and we're on to our final event which is automation. Which CRM is the easiest to automate?
How Good Is The Automation?
The automation of all these CRMs is absolutely a piece of genius. We can sincerely say that there isn't a single winner in this event. The Gold medal here is a four-way tie between HubSpot, Salesflare, Zoho, and PipeDrive. We just can't decide between these four so we decided to give it to all of them.
HubSpot is outstanding when it comes to the automation of frustrating, repetitive tasks. The whole system of tracking, storing data, emailing, and others. It is straightforward, easy to configure, and astonishingly bug-free.
Salesflare allows you to automate your follow-ups, which is pretty sweet. Or, if you want to have your hands on deck, you can just rely on the automated reminders. As a whole, the automation process makes it a piece of cake to keep the CRM data up to date.
Zoho has excelled in automating its business processes, but probably the most useful automation is the leads automation process.
PipeDrive also excels with its automated lead scoring and stands out with the state-of-the-art automated meeting booking system and chatbots.
Now that we've wrapped up all five of them, we're not ready to pick an overall gold medalist just yet. Let's discuss all of their own downsided so that we don't end up with a tie anymore.
What's Wrong With Them
Although every single one of our competitors has some outstanding qualities and the pros far outweigh the cons, it's good to know the downsides of each of the CRM systems.
HubSpot probably has the most negligible downsides, and they are pretty much inconsequential. The biggest problem is that for more complex corporate structures, it needs a professional to set it up. It also is a bit complicated for users to adjust the frequency of contact, which can lead to mistakes with the client contacts.
PipeDrive has just one problem, but it is pretty crucial. The CRM lacks a project management tracking user interface. It also has limited scope compared to other CRMs
Zendesk is an outstanding CRM, but it looks more like support than a genuine CRM with the lack of some features.
Zoho's interface looks as if it was born at the beginning of the Internet. Sometimes there is a bug with markers, and the calendar view leaves out some crucial information.
Copper has everything you might need, but its overdependence on Google tools makes it a bit frustrating at times.
Monday is pretty easy to configure and work with, as long as you don't come to a specific setting. Some of them are pretty stubborn and refuse to change no matter how hard you try. And although it can work as a stand-alone CRM, Monday is often much easier when working with add-ons, which makes it not an excellent choice for more complex businesses.
SalesForce is one of the most complicated systems to work with. It's made to work ideally with separate marketing and sales teams, making it difficult for small companies to use. Also, some updates may make such huge changes that you'd need to start learning how to use it from the top. Moreover, their customer support is not the best around, to say the least.
Finally, Salesflare is only in English, which might become pretty frustrating once it's time to break internationally. Also, the full transparency this CRM brings can be pretty stressful for the teams who use it.
And The Winner Is
It's evident that having any CRM is much better than not having one. A CRM will guarantee you fast-paced growth, easier data collection, effortless reporting, and the opportunity to automate and optimize huge chunks of work.
When choosing a CRM, you should have a good idea of what you need and a plan of what you would need in the near future. A good CRM must have an easy-to-use and highly customizable interface. In addition, its automation should free you or your team from a huge chunk of repetitive work. It should also be great with customer interactions and not slow the company's growth.
Based on this and all the medals we gave today, we are fairly certain that HubSpot is the way to go when it comes to CRM. It's the easiest to learn, and once you do, it's smooth and an absolute delight to use. It has state-of-the-art automatization and Customer Service Software and has almost no downsides. Going with HubSpot will ensure you a smooth growth process and an outstanding experience for everyone involved in your sales and marketing tasks.
If you are new to Hubspot, though, you might find it a bit tricky to set up your account. If you are not a professional salesman or a marketing expert, you might get confused at times and even make a mistake in the process.
Why waste time figuring out how to make Hubspot work for you when you can ask an official partner of Hubspot and renowned digital marketing experts like Locus Digital to do it for you.
If you want to maximize the potential of Hubspot and make your work there even more comfortable, don't hesitate to contact us.