Cloudswave Awards 2015: Introducing the 10 Best CRM Software

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Cloudswave Awards 2015: Introducing the 10 Best CRM Software

Positive customer experiences are the heart and soul of any company’s long-term success. It doesn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that modern businesses employ various and numerous customer acquisition and retention strategies to build a strong customer base.

Using CRM software to track customer interactions and share customer information across an organization increases customer satisfaction scores – and sales, ultimately. With CRM software, customer-facing personnel are fed the necessary data to personalize each client’s experience at the speed she expects, via the communication channel most convenient to her.

This infographic provides some CRM numbers to pay attention to:

  • CRM applications increase sales by up to 29%.
  • They boost productivity by up to 34%.
  • CRM software improves forecast accuracy by 42%.

But which CRM software should you use?

The Cloudswave Score, through its unbiased rating of all the expert software reviews found on the web, brings you the top 10 best CRM software.

1- Intercom  | Cloudswave Score: 85

Intercom

Description

Intercom ranks first in the list with a Cloudswave Score of 85. An application combining email marketing tool, customer support, and customer communication with user data and behavioral targeting, Intercom is used by over 4,000 web and mobile businesses such as InVision, Unbounce, Vend, Buffer, Piktochart, and Shopify.

Intercom offers four CRM packages, namely Observe, Learn, Engage, and Support and employs the following pricing scheme: Observe for all teams, free; Learn for product teams, $49 per month for 250 users, $0.70 per month per additional 50 users; Engage for marketing teams, $49 per month for 250 users, $1.10 per month per additional 50 users; and Support for support teams, $49 per month, $0.90 per month per additional 50 users.

Key features

Besides the fact it works across all apps on the web, iOS, and Android, Intercom.io has the following core features:

  • In-app messaging. Intercom’s in-app messenger supports three in-app messaging types – chat, small announcement, and big announcement – to suit your messaging needs. So you’re not bombarded with replies you may not have the time to individually address, several reply types are likewise available: text, thumbs, and emoticons.
  • Stripe integration. Intercom’s integration with Stripe lets you connect and communicate with your customers at a more personal level.
  • Real-time customer intelligence. Intercom shows who your customers are in real-time (i.e., Jennifer has over 25,000 Twitter followers, Marge just created her 16th project, or Shane hasn’t logged in to his account in 45 days), giving you the needed business intelligence to come up with appropriate actions and initiatives.
  • Customer feedback at scale. Because Intercom gives you comprehensive insight into the people using your product and how they’re using it, you know who to contact for feedback on a certain app feature, new releases, and so on.
  • Customer engagement. Intercom enables automatic sending of emails to (1) inactive customers to get them back on track, (2) new users to show them how the app works, and (3) all users to turn them into power users.
  • Customer support. Intercom allows your team to work better together, keeps messages from flooding your inbox, lets you know who you’re communicating with through live profiles, and enables replying to frequently asked questions with saved responses that you can easily personalize.

Other features include:

  • API integration
  • Push notifications
  • User-friendly interface
  • Account management

What makes it unique

Intercom’s targeted and behavior-driven in-app messages are designed to only “engage” the user when logged in to his/her Intercom account, and the app’s triggering capabilities automate in-app/email messaging once a specific action is performed by the user, e.g., after subscribing to your newsletter.

Bottom line

A feature-packed CRM tool that shows you the necessary information to effectively engage with customers, Intercom helps users craft and execute campaigns to build a base of loyal customers and win slipping clients back.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Intercom

Interview with Aaron Forman – Communications Manager at Intercom

Q1: What do you think makes your product stand out from the competition?

Intercom is the easiest way for web and mobile businesses to understand and communicate with their users. Anyone in a company can use Intercom to get a unified view of customer interactions and in-product behavior, and communicate with customers in a personal way via email or in-app messaging.

Q2: Can you mention any future developments / features for your product​?

We have lots of new developments coming soon but cannot discuss them publicly at this time.

2- Batchbook  | Cloudswave Score: 82

Description

Coming in at number two with a Cloudswave Score of 82 is small business CRM software Batchbook. Predominantly a social CRM for small businesses, Batchbook helps companies increase their sales through better customer relationships.

Batchbook pricing depends on the number of contacts you manage. All billed annually, for up to 10,000 contacts, subscription is at $46 per month; 15,000 contacts at $63 per month; 20,000 contacts at $80 per month; 25,000 contacts at $96 per month; and 30,000 contacts at $113 per month.

All packages support an unlimited number of users, deals, and integrations. Batchbook also comes with a 30-day free trial.

Key features

  • Pain-free initial setup. CSV spreadsheets or vCard files can be dragged and dropped into Batchbook for easy data importing.
  • Customer profiles. Batchbook uses rich contact profiles and social data to organize your contacts in one responsive user screen. Recorded emails and other custom data help keep track of your deals, workflows, and projects.
  • Task management. Batchbook enables users to build lists for groups of contacts based on certain criteria, assign to-dos, create contact-specific tasks, and set up calendar, text, or email reminders.
  • Increased sales. Batchbook allows you to monitor all of your pending sales and closed deals in one place.
  • Mobile CRM. Mobile-optimized views for various smartphone brands and native mobile apps for iOS and Android phones give entrepreneurs the freedom to grow their business anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
  • Team collaboration. Batchbook’s competitive monthly subscription rates afford businesses to onboard all of their team members. Also, free onboarding sessions are conducted to help get teams started with the app immediately.
  • Apps integration. Batchbook has ready-made integrations with apps such as MailChimp, QuickBooks, Disqus, Google Apps, Eventbrite, Twitter, Facebook, Xero, Freshdesk, Freshbooks, Hootsuite, Quote Roller, RightSignature, and Zapier. It also offers an API so businesses can integrate Batchbook data with their in-house apps and other business applications.

What makes it unique

Batchbook’s ready-made integrations with numerous business web apps makes way for faster transactions, more deals closed, and more cohesive teams.

Bottom line

Batchbook allows small businesses to build great client relationships through customer information tracking, conversation histories, social postings, and task management at a budget-friendly price.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of BatchBook

3- Salesforce Sales Cloud  | Cloudswave Score: 81

Description

Number three on the list is Salesforce Sales Cloud with a Cloudswave Score of 81. Used by a large pool of businesses from virtually any industry, Salesforce serves businesses of all sizes and geographic location.

Subscription options are varied: Group, Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, and Performance. Group is priced at $25 per user per month, if billed annually, and supports basic sales and marketing features for up to five users. Professional is for teams of any size and costs $65 per user per month.

The most popular, the Enterprise plan, is at $125 per user per month and contains all Professional features plus workflow and approval automation, custom app development, report history tracking, profiles, and more. Unlimited is at $250 per user per month, and the Performance package at $300 per user per month is a sales and service bundle. A free 30-day trial is also available where users get to experience all the features of the Professional edition.

Key features

  • Contact management. Salesforce gives sales professionals key information about their customers such as contact information, discussions, and activity history. A social CRM, it provides real-time insights into what customers are saying about your brand on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter without leaving the Salesforce app.
  • Opportunity management. Salesforce lets you manage and keep track of all your deals in one place, no matter the stage they’re at. By following the Chatter feed, you automatically receive relevant deal updates.
  • Lead management. Salesforce’s lead management feature shows you what you need to know to convert a lead into an actual sales opportunity, e.g., which marketing campaign a lead originated from.
  • Reports and dashboards. Reports and analytics enable sales people to make critical and timely decisions. Salesforce’s drag-and-drop reporting dashboard lets you create custom reports.
  • Mobile. Converting leads into sales opportunities, accessing your reporting dashboards, automatic dialing into conference calls, file search and access – all these can be done on the go via Salesforce Sales Cloud’s mobile app.

Other features include:

  • Sales forecasting and performance management
  • Inside sales console for inbound sales reps
  • Partner management
  • Email integration with the email applications you already know and use
  • Workflow and approvals automation with just a few clicks
  • Territory management
  • File syncing and sharing

What makes it unique

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a strong CRM contender with its many features and add-ons, but what makes it unique, at least in our view, is its Chatter feature where sales professionals brainstorm and collaborate, share knowledge and find experts, and receive vital updates and real-time alerts.

Bottom line

An all-in-one CRM solution for every business of any size, Salesforce is a feature-rich sales and marketing option for businesses and entrepreneurs who prefer the security of knowing that over two million users trust the service, a few of which are GE Aviation, Procter & Gamble, Canon, and CGU Insurance.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Salesforce Sales Clouds

4- Sellsy  | Cloudswave Score: 81

Description

Fourth on the list with a Cloudswave Score of 81 is Sellsy, an online sales management and time tracking software that’s both a web and mobile app. A full-featured, robust, and user-friendly solution that caters to the needs of small businesses to larger enterprises, Sellsy is a CRM and ERP platform that’s as intuitive as it’s robust.

Subscription to Sellsy starts at $44.90 monthly, with an additional $10 per user access. Add-ons range from $10 to $55 per month. External accountant access is free. A free 15-day, no-obligation trial is also being offered.

Key features

  • CRM. Sellsy keeps client records in one central location and provides a pipeline view of all your sales opportunities.
  • Invoicing. Send out accurate invoices that are professional-looking and reflecting your brand messaging. The subscriptions add-on enables automatic sending out of invoices for recurring charges.
  • Project management. With the app’s drag-and-drop interface, task and project organization and control is easier, even for users who aren’t tech-savvy. Sellsy’s instant notification system ensures all your tasks and projects are accounted for.
  • Team collaboration. Real-time teamwork is made possible through apps like chat and messaging, agendas, discussion walls, email, and file management.
  • Time tracking. Sellsy’s time tracking feature lets you do away with spreadsheets for good. The hours rebilling add-on keeps track of time spent on projects and allows you to directly rebill your clients.
  • Purchases and margins. A clever tool that manages your expenses and monitors your supplier’s deliveries, the purchases and margins add-on also delivers real-time live margins to more accurately control your purchasing activities.
  • Expense tracking. Sellsy’s expense management add-on gives you an instant visual of your expenses through graphs that are easy to understand.
  • Helpdesk. Sellsy’s helpdesk solution eliminates customer frustration stemming from support tracking numbers. Instead, emails to clients are sent from your personal email address.
  • Marketing. This feature lets you create, measure, and optimize your email marketing campaigns for more favorable results in terms of targeting and conversion. Sellsy also has partnered with EmailStrategie to ensure high deliverability rates.
  • Inventory management. Sellsy’s stock management add-on simplifies the complex process of managing inventory through stock alerts, automatic and realistic margin calculation, and stock unification across all your shops, brick-and-mortar or ecommerce.
  • Point of sale. Sellsy’s point-of-sale feature allows you to use the devices you already have as cash registers – Mac, PC, or tablet. The system monitors sales in real time and is directly tied to your inventory.

What makes it unique

Besides the Sellsy add-ons already offered to make the software more powerful, Sellsy has built-in integrations with third-party apps like Dropbox, Outlook and Gmail, Google Drive, MailChimp, Mailjet, Drupal, and WordPress.

Bottom line

If you need a CRM system that more than just manages your customers and helps increase your sales, Sellsy is a worthy multi-featured business tool to have in your arsenal.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Sellsy

5- WorkETC  | Cloudswave Score: 80

Description

Coming in at number five with a Cloudswave Score of 80 is WorkETC, a web-based CRM, collaboration, billing, helpdesk, and project management platform in one, enabling companies to do away with multiple, dissonant apps to manage their businesses.

WorkETC subscription packages vary: Starter at $78 per month for a maximum of two users, 2,000 contacts, and 3 GB of storage; Team at $195 per month for three users, 10,000 contacts, and 15 GB of storage; and Foundations at $395 per month for three users, 20,000 contacts, and 50 GB of storage. Each additional user for the Team and Foundations plans cost $49 and $59 per month, respectively. Customized solutions can also be requested.

WorkETC can be test driven for free for 14 days, enabling you to experience all of the app’s features without requiring your credit card information.

Key features

  • CRM and sales. WorkETC manages and keeps track of the entire customer lifecycle – from lead to sale, from billing to support.
  • Analytics. WorkETC employs enterprise-grade analytics tools for more accurate and comprehensive reporting across the company. Such tools include executive dashboards, customized reports, and filters to discover insights and trends.
  • Support tickets. WorkETC’s customer support functions enable users to capture support tickets via web forms, live support, and email. Templates enable helpdesk personnel to quickly respond to requests.
  • Billing and finance. This key feature includes capabilities such as timesheet capture, invoice creation, custom charge rates, overdue accounts monitoring, subscription billing, payment gateway and accounting software integration.
  • Project management. WorkETC’s project management feature ensures business continuity through project/task attachments, dependencies and triggers, multiple project views, templates, custom fields and project types, built-in budgeting, Gmail/Outlook integration, and on-the-go access through mobile apps.
  • Mobile apps. iPhone and Android apps allow users to work on the go, sync calendars and contacts, and more.
  • Software integrations. WorkETC readily integrates with apps like PayPal, Authorize.net, Google Apps, Xero, Evernote, and QuickBooks Online.

What makes it unique

WorkETC’s many features afford companies the ability to manage all of their processes in a single application. No need to purchase multiple standalone software for business processes that matter to you.

Bottom line

WorkETC’s competitive pricing packages and ability to bring together multiple solutions in one cloud platform makes it a versatile tool worth trying out.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of WorkETC

6- Kickserv  | Cloudswave Score: 78

Description

Sixth on the list with a Cloudswave Score of 78 is field service software Kickserv.

Kickserv offers three subscription options: Lite, Pro, and Enterprise. The Lite plan, which is priced at $29 per month, can accommodate a total of two employees and comes packed with a whole host of features that include international settings, dashboard, global search, reports, native mobile iOS app, phone and email support, training sessions, data import and export tools, activity feeds, custom fields, and more.

The Pro account priced at $59 per month has all the features of the Lite package plus API integration and custom templates. The Enterprise plan, pricing for which is available upon request, supports all the Pro features and can handle an unlimited number of employees/users. Kickserv also offers a free 14-day trial and requires no annual contracts.

Key features

  • Dashboard. Kickserv’s dashboard gives you a bird’s eye view of the activities that require your utmost attention. Job statuses, invoices, payments, estimates, and sales opportunities are some of the information the dashboard provides.
  • Job management. Features to help create a more pleasant work experience for field technicians are time tracking, advanced scheduling, notes and attachments, and job charges that synchronize with QuickBooks Online.
  • Calendar with filtering. Schedule monitoring is a vital process for field service companies to better serve their customers and distribute work among their field service personnel. Kickserv supports dragging and dropping of calendar appointments, which can then be filtered to gather certain data for reporting or analysis.
  • Invoicing. Invoices can be sent through email, which are subsequently tracked so you know when they’re opened and viewed by the recipient.
  • Customer and contact management. Kickserv functions as a central repository for all your contact information where at-a-glance snapshots of each customer are provided.
  • Mobile support. Mobile apps help teams get things done more effectively, as real-time status updates are fed to and from field technicians’ mobile devices.
  • QuickBooks integration. A two-way sync with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop keeps you on top of your company’s financial health.

What makes it unique

Highly customizable and equipped with a customer service team a lot of its clients are raving about, Kickserv covers a whole range of field service management processes – lead nurturing, time tracking, job scheduling, invoicing and cash collection, accounting software integration, mobile apps availability, and electronic signature capture.

Bottom line

If you need a field service management solution with CRM, work and contact management, invoicing, mobility, and calendaring capabilities, Kickserv is an app to check out.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Kickserv

7- Infusionsoft  | Cloudswave Score: 77

Description

At number seven is small business sales and marketing platform Infusionsoft with a 77 Cloudswave Score rating.

Infusionsoft subscription options include Essentials at $199 per month for 2,500 contacts, 12,500 emails per month, and up to three users; Deluxe Sales at $299 per month for 5,000 contacts and up to four users; Deluxe E-Commerce also at $299 per month with the same number of contacts and users as Deluxe Sales but with ecommerce as a built-in feature instead of sales automation; and Complete at $379 per month for up to 10,000 contacts and five users. Additional users can be added at a price range of $49 t0 $69 per user.

An interactive demo is available to familiarize yourself with the app.

Key features

An email marketing, ecommerce, and CRM platform in one, Infusionsoft is a powerful business solution, although it takes a little getting used to. The following are some of the app’s notable features:

  • Contact management through contact, appointment, and calendar and task monitoring
  • Comprehensive marketing and sales histories
  • Orders and account balance
  • List segmentation and management
  • Lead scoring and distribution
  • Opportunity management
  • Sales reports
  • Email integration
  • Automated campaigns
  • Web forms and landing pages
  • Web activity tracking
  • Infusionsoft Mobile
  • Social lead generation
  • Quotes and orders
  • Sales automation
  • Shopping carts, storefront, and order forms
  • Apps marketplace that includes various business apps like CustomerHub, Sync for Outlook, Sync for Gmail, and GroSocial

What makes it unique

Campaign manager, auto-responders, follow-up sequences, outstanding customer support, email clicks and opens tracking, sales pipeline automation, contact records merging – taken together, they make Infusionsoft stand out from the crowd.

Bottom line

Infusionsoft may come with a steep learning curve, particularly for users with limited tech know-how, but once you discover the ins and outs, it’s an app you’ll be glad to have come across.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Infusionsoft

8- BigContacts  | Cloudswave Score: 75

Description

Coming in at number eight with a Cloudswave Score of 75  is web-based CRM and marketing automation software BigContacts.

Essentially a one-stop-shop solution for contact management and organization, events and tasks tracking, sales monitoring, and email marketing, BigContacts offers three subscription plans that start at $5 per user per month for Big, $10 per user per month for Bigger, and $15 per user per month for Biggest.

Big supports up to 1,000 contacts and 2 GB of file storage. Bigger, which services up to 10,000 contacts, includes sales tracking and email management in its roster of features, and Biggest contains all Bigger features for up to 50,000 contacts plus add-ons like built-in third-party apps integration and API access. A 30-day free trial is available.

Key features

  • System dashboard to manage activities and schedules
  • Contact dashboard for easier prospect and customer management
  • Social Media Ticker functionality that’s always visible to users no matter where they are in their BigContacts account to keep them apprised of important updates and information
  • Mobile-optimized web app that works on any mobile device
  • Email syncing to allow sending of emails directly from a customer’s record and storing customer emails to their corresponding BigContacts record
  • Calendar synchronization with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook
  • Tasks and to-dos folder with assigned tasks, due dates, prioritizations, and completions
  • More efficient sales tracking through reports, alerts, pipeline customizations, and automation
  • Marketing automation that supports multiple conditional branches
  • Integration with ActiveCampaign for email marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for social media, and Skype for communications

What makes it unique

BigContacts sets itself apart through free trainings coupled with a straightforward pay-as-you-go pricing scheme. It also puts a premium on data security through encryption, identity authentication, and access control lists.

Bottom line

A CRM and marketing solution that’s reasonably priced, BigContacts is versatile, user-friendly, and ideal for small and growing businesses.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of BigContacts

9- OnePageCRM  | Cloudswave Score: 75

Description

At number nine on the list is sales-focused CRM software OnePageCRM with a Cloudswave Score of 75. Built with the GTD (getting things done) philosophy in mind, OnePage enables users to create workflows and focus on high-priority tasks via a clutter-free user interface.

OnePage offers a flat fee of $12 USD per user/month

Key features

  • Sales and pipeline management where OnePageCRM’s “next action” system helps sales reps close more deals and make more sales through recommended actions and sales decisions
  • Time efficiency through OnePageCRM’ home screen that provides all key information for better and faster decision-making
  • Contact information, which can be filtered using user-generated tags, that’s kept in a single, secure location
  • Task management and prioritization
  • Apps integration
  • Tagging
  • Sales actions and targets regularly forwarded to your email

What makes it unique

OnePageCRM is unique in that its “next action” recommendations force sales professionals to make upfront sales decisions and move prospects through the sales pipeline.

Bottom line

OnePageCRM is equipped with a simple, clutter-free interface to help businesses increase sales, manage contacts, and improve their focus.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of OnePageCRM

Interview with Brian McHale – Marketing Coordinator at OnePageCRM

Q1: What do you think makes your product stand out from the competition?

OnePageCRM stands out with an easy-to-use interface based on GTD principles (Getting Things Done) with our unique Action Stream, similar in layout to your Twitter feed. Where we see other CRM systems as just databases, OnePageCRM’s Action Stream actively focuses your attention on sales actions – keeping prospects in a perpetual loop until the sale is closed.

Q2: Can you mention any future developments / features for your product​?

In terms of features, customer feedback has focused our attention on redeveloping our mobile apps, improving the import and reporting functions and building a team configuration feature where you can specify segregated user groups. 2014 saw a focused expansion of our ecosystem through integration with other applications, this will also continue into 2015 to increase the versatility of OnePageCRM.

10- Pipedrive  | Cloudswave Score: 74

Description

Last but definitely not least is sales CRM and pipeline management software Pipedrive with a Cloudswave Score of 74.

Equipped with a visual sales pipeline, Pipedrive costs $12 per user per month for up to 50 users and includes features such as phone/email support, password protection, and API access. Pricing is available upon request for companies or teams with more than 50 users. A 30-day free trial is likewise offered.

Key features

  • Customizable timeline view of your sales pipeline
  • Sales reports that include team and individual results
  • From adding custom fields to disabling unnecessary features, Pipedrive is highly customizable
  • Has iOS and Android mobile apps, plus a mobile-optimized web version suitable for any tablet
  • Integration with Google Maps, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and Google Drive
  • Smart email BCC so your emails show up in Pipedrive
  • REST API for developers
  • Zapier integration for easier syncing with other web apps
  • Multi-language and multi-currency support
  • Data import options from spreadsheets or apps like Base CRM, Highrise, Batchbook, NetSuite CRM, Nimble, and Capsule CRM
  • Supports numerous other integrations with third-party business solutions such as MailChimp, Quote Roller, RightSignature, ActiveCampaign, Talkdesk, ProjectVision, and PandaDoc

What makes it unique

Pipedrive’s visual reporting features, estimate/proposal alerts and notifications, and goal-setting tools allow users to focus on achieving their targets. The app also automatically displays next scheduled activities every time a task is completed.

Bottom line

A visual sales CRM solution with an easy-to-use interface, Pipedrive can be set up in less than two minutes and supports multiple app integrations and add-ons.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews of Pipedrive

Final word

No matter the size of your business, if you value your customer relationships, CRM software, when properly leveraged, can do wonders for your bottom line. With the Cloudswave Score, we hope to have aided you in your search for the best possible CRM solution for your organization.

Claim your Cloudswave Badge by sending an email to yasmina@cloudswave.com

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About Mamoun Chaouni

Mamoun oversees the company's operations to ensure production efficiency, quality, service, and cost-effective management of resources. Mamoun graduated from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance & Economics. In his younger days, Mamoun played competitive soccer. He also likes surfing, wakeboarding and comic books.

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