In this article, we share our recommendations on the top 10 CRM software systems of 2014.
Customer relations is the backbone of every company. The more effectively your company interfaces with customers, the more likely they are to be satisfied with your service and continue to work with your company. This means that a strong Customer Relationship Management application is vital if companies seek long term success. As there are a wide variety of businesses, there are also a wide variety of CRM solutions. Cheap CRM solutions often skimp on features, while their more expensive counterparts, may have more features than you need. The good news is that the price variations are not extreme, meaning that if your company does need a full featured CRM solution, it likely won’t cost you more than you can afford, while if you don’t need every major feature, you can still save money. This list consists of the top CRM solutions available, and lists the pros and cons of each solution, along with the price. Many of the prices listed are prices for basic packages, so pricing may increase based on the needs of your individual company. This list is meant to be a strong starting point, and give every small business a wide range of options, to provide maximum insight and serve as a starting point for more extensive research.
Pros: Sales Force is a very strong program in its wheelhouse, sales. The Chatter program allows seamless communication among your sales team and management, helping keep everybody informed up to the minute on the most important developments throughout the day. Features of Sales Force include: dialing capabilities, map with travel instruction provides contact information and directions for contacting customers, and real time alerts that let you know when you receive an important email or have a deadline approaching.
Cons: Web-hosted solution only.
Price: $65.00 per month, per user.
Oracle CRM On Demand
Pros: Streamlined interface is easy to learn and navigate. Top of the line reporting capabilities. Powerful tools for sales process management. Streamlined integration with industry standard Microsoft applications. Extensive knowledge base and resources accessible online. Private forum community means a support infrastructure made up of other users and technical support staff with a maximum 24 hour wait for staff responses to your posts. Strong service level agreement.
Cons: No social networking support and no third party add on options.
Price: Annual subscription rate starts at $75.00 per month per user.
Pros: Elegant user interface that takes into account needs some others overlook such as a split screen feature that allows users to have multiple windows open simultaneously. Wide range of tools and features. Clear and efficient technical support. Features include an on premise, or web-based option, extensive tutorials, automated email campaigns, and mobile access.
Cons: While Oncontact features a full range of marketing tools, some of them are weaker than those offered in other programs.
Price: $59.95 per month, per user for web-hosted solution, $995.00 per user one time fee for on site solution plus maintenance fee.
Pros: Full integration with other Microsoft applications mean that this is a strong option if your company already uses Word, Excel, and other common Microsoft applications. The user interface is elegant and easy to use. Create interactive scripts that allow customers to easily go about contacting your company for a variety of reasons. Internal auditing features allow for detailed data tracking. Service level agreement guaranteeing 99.9% uptime. Affordable CRM solution for the quality of service.
Cons: No social media support. Poor support of third party add ons. Only uses Internet Explorer.
Price: $44.00 per month per user.
Pros: Sages integration features are some of the strongest offered. Email integration allows representatives to open and view emails from a contact from within the program, which is immensely convenient when needing to access messages on the fly while on the phone. Full calendar integration helps keep track of your phone calls, meetings, deadlines, goals, and other important information. Sage also features a real time to-do list that allows you to write things down on the fly without having to change programs or risk forgetting to save something you jotted down somewhere else. Sage ACT is one of the all around cheapest CRM applications on the market, but still boasts a great number of the most important features.
Cons: No dialing feature directly in the CRM software. On-site solution only, no web based hosting. No on-site maintenance support.
Price: The price of this affordable CRM solution is $199.99 for the first license, $139.95 for each subsequent license. This is a one time fee.
Pros: This full featured CRM solution from Avidian is powerful. The tools are designed not just to streamline customer relations, but to do so in such a way as to maximize the efficiency of each individual employee. The program works well with Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook users will feel immediately at home as the user experience is designed to be intuitive to those already familiar with that program. The sales and marketing tools available in Prophet are simple, and powerful. Avidian Prophet offers both subscription and one time fee options.
Cons: This program comes with a steep learning curve. Efficiency gains will come, but as with any transition, it will take time, and in some cases it will take longer to realize these gains with Prophet than some other options. There is no on-site maintenance option.
Price: The subscription cost is $45.00 per user per month, the one time fee is $500.00 per user.
Pros: This web hosted solution features powerful tools including: all incoming calls are tracked and routed to the appropriate department or individual, a top of the line integrated dialing tool that makes pursuing leads and calling current customers as easy as possible, and analysis tools that allow your company to track the progress of different sales programs and determine which are currently the most successful, and which need help.
Cons: Toll-free number only for technical support options. Web-hosted solution only, no on-site option.
Price: The monthly fee for the web-hosted service is $55.00 per user per month.
Pros: Clean, easy to learn, and efficient design make this a strong option for businesses seeking a streamline CRM integration process. Relenta offers free customer support through email. Provides many of the most important features and tools for CRM such as: to-do lists, account specific notes, contact history and remote synchronization.
Cons: Email is the only option for customer support unless you specifically arrange to contact a technician by phone. Missing email integration, calendar integration, dialing capabilities, and an on-site option.
Price: $75.00 per month per user.
Pros: This CRM program is particularly attractive for small businesses with an online store as it provides powerful features for such businesses. The program puts a heavy emphasis on streamlined filesharing and providing a unique tool for business owners looking to manage customer relations with online customers.
Cons: Lacking many features that are included in almost every other of the best CRM solutions on the market including: to-do list, mobile access, calendar integration, and dialing capabilities.
Price: webAsyst is one of the cheapest CRM options for monthly rate, and most expensive options for the one time fee. The monthly rate is just $29.95 per user per month, the one time fee is $799.00 per user.
Pros: Easy to use, easy to learn interface provides a smooth transition. Features include a native mobile application, deploys either through cloud or on-site depending on your company’s needs, seamless integration with both Microsoft and Google products, full integration with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Affordable CRM solution without sacrificing features.
Cons: Minimum commitment of five users. Support options vary greatly depending on the edition you select.
Price: The costs range between $45.00 per month to $100.00 per month.