Sales teams have been using CRM software to manage communications since the 1980s. Unfortunately, the majority of sales people utilize just a small section of their CRM capabilities; in fact, many don’t use it at all. Also, affordability remains a big concern, especially for small businesses and startups where CRM benefits are largely untested. The scenario, however, underwent a major change with the introduction of Salesforce during the early 2000s. Since that time, numerous CRM alternatives have cropped up and their CRM offerings focus on two main features – a low cost and ease of use.
Having a low price point allows the CRM products to be accessible to startups, growing companies, and freelancers. Moreover, the simplicity of these software products allows account managers and salespeople to use them effectively. The problem is, there are so many Salesforce alternatives that it’s difficult to pick the best out of them. The following list of web-based CRMs has been compiled to help SMBs identify the perfect option.
UK-based Capsule was launched in 2009 by Zestia and is a great choice for small businesses. The standout feature of this program might be its capacity to integrate with over 30 other software programs like MailChimp, Xero, Zendesk, and more. This software boasts of every single feature as a standard CRM, but it is nothing special. In fact, Capsule can be used by companies as an entry-level CRM.
Overall, a company getting Capsule is akin to a consumer buying a base model vehicle – the features are basic, but it gets the job done. However, this also means that you might have to upgrade later on as employees become more familiar and comfortable with using CRM.
Now would be a great time to get Capsule as the company recently announced the release of API V2, capable of supporting deeper and simpler integrations. Capsule CRM is available in two versions – the free version and the professional version. The free version can be used by a maximum of two users, while the professional version offers more premium features for a monthly fee.
Initially released in 2007, Highrise was later spun off by 37signals, making it more simple and efficient in terms of software design. 37signals is also responsible for developing the widely used project management software app known as Basecamp. So, if you’ve used Basecamp in the past or are using it currently, then you should definitely get Highrise to handle all your contacts.
One of the reasons why Highrise is a good choice is the fact that small businesses that have no prior experience with CRM can use it without any kind of hassle. Highrise is light and does not comprise any fancy features that might confuse a regular CRM beginner. The software is also capable of integrating easily with Freshdesk, Hubspot, Constant Contact, Zendesk, and more. The pricing for this CRM software is quite flexible, making it accessible to small businesses.
The world was introduced to Insightly in the year 2009 and since then this software has proven invaluable to lots of small businesses. The reason why Insightly is so popular among businesses is the fact that the software consists of an integrated project management functionality which allows a company to easily stay on top of clients in relation to projects all-in-one. The best part is that Insightly can also be integrated with MailChimp.
However, if you are considering getting this CRM for your business, you should understand that Insightly was designed specifically for small businesses, which is quite evident from the lightweight style of this product as well as its pricing options.
2015 marked the year when InStream was founded in Poland as a CRM product for managing various relations, including the sales processes in a small business. InStream quickly captured the collective interest of the SMB CRM sector, and with good reason – it was highly inexpensive, and single users could be a minimal monthly fee and enjoy unlimited access.
This software is capable of automatically synchronizing your contacts with different social media accounts. InStream has been praised by users for its smooth and sleek interface, along with its detailed customer support features and its astounding array of capabilities. A free plan is available for a single user and 100 contacts. Other payment plans include the Freelancer package, the Basic package, the Business option, and the Premium option.
Less Annoying CRM
Don’t let the name of this CRM fool you – it’s quite powerful and capable of taking care of the requirements of small businesses. Founded in 2009, Less Annoying CRM has one goal – to drive small businesses towards success. In order to achieve this, the software tends to concentrate on removing any features that are not helpful to small businesses. This means that buzzwords are eliminated, keeping the whole thing quite simplistic in nature. The entire software is based on this kind of a mindset and it shows – for example, all the information on a particular lead – from contact notes to phone numbers – may be found on a single page for convenience.
The CRM can be used to note all tasks and events on a calendar automatically, allowing a company’s sales manager to easily view all the employees’ events and tasks. Aside from this helpful one view approach, there is a special view that allows salespeople to look at a lead list arranged according to priority with the most vital information on each lead visible in an abbreviated format. Less Annoying CRM also receives frequent updates with the latest version 3.6 with updated design as well as speed improvements.
Introduced as a social CRM software in 2009, Nimble is capable of not just connecting with your email but even your social network accounts. The developers of Nimble understood the rising importance of engaging with prospects on social media, and so they allowed for integration with forums like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. However, if there is one important feature that Nimble is known for, it is the inbox feature. This software consists of an in-CRM message inbox which collects not just your client emails, but also any interactions you’ve had with them on social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You’re also able to send messages to clients directly from the CRM.
Moreover, it is possible to launch an activity stream that enables you to see all that your prospect or client has been posting online. This sort of impressive integration has made Nimble a one-stop shop for sales teams, which is rather unique, even among CRMs. The software also supports integration with MailChimp, AWeber, HubSpot, Freshdesk, and others.
Nutshell is known for being one of the most customizable CRM solutions out there. Launched in 2010, this software is both elegant and intuitive, and enables small and midsized businesses to pare it down to just a contact manager. However, large businesses can even use it as an advanced and highly capable CRM, laden with features, some of which include real-time push notifications via the app or email to update people, easy configuration to allow specific users to view specific information, and a highly intuitive user interface.
In fact, the interface is one of the highlights of Nutshell, having enough simplicity to be used by most novice users, and enough complexity to appeal to veterans. There are different pricing options available, such as the Starter option, the Pro package, and the Pro+ package.
Ireland-based OnePageCRM was launched in 2010, and since then, the program has focused on providing small sales teams with an advanced user experience. This approach is clearly visible throughout the overall design of the CRM since all the standout features are visibly intended to support sales people instead of sales managers.
Some of the most unique features that OnePageCRM users can get their hands on, include a lead clipper that helps sales teams collect information on a lead from Gmail or LinkedIn with a single click, reminders of due projects or things that need to be done.
As soon as you finish up with one action in the CRM, the program sets up the next action immediately so that you do not forget to follow-up with your clients. While you need to pay a monthly fee for this CRM, you do have the option to pay annually. In fact, paying annually brings down the per-month cost by a great deal, making it a great bargain.
Meant to help small sales teams, Pipedrive was launched in 2010 and is known for its ease of use. This CRM features some great specifications – for starters, not only is it multilingual, but it even supports different currencies. Seamless integration with G Suite like Docs, Maps, Gmail, and others is also available. Where Pipedrive excels, however, is the pipeline feature, such as the amazing timeline views, which lets sales persons to view all of their future events along with estimated sales dates.
Any sales manager will be able to access the master timeline to see how all the sale peoples’ timelines are integrated into a single view. The purpose of this is to facilitate easy management of the team and conduct sales forecasts. Pipedrive is rather focused on closing deals, and provides various features so that the sales team can continue the relationship after closing the first deal. Thus, Pipedrive is ideally meant for businesses that focus mainly on sales efforts and conduct a limited number of customer follow-ups after the deal. The pricing is quite flexible, and comes in three different packages – Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
One of the most affordable and user-friendly CRMs in the market, ProsperWorks is based out of San Francisco and was founded in 2011. According to the creators, ProsperWorks integrates deeply with G Suite, making it “the only CRM recommended for Google”. You know you’re getting a great CRM product when the team behind the software includes leaders from Salesforce and Facebook Mobile. There are quite a few pricing options for businesses to choose from, including the Basic package, the Professional package, and the Business package.
Really Simple Systems
Founded in the year 2006, Really Simple Systems has gained a lot of popularity over the years thanks to its sheer simplicity of use. This software is extremely useful for small and midsized businesses, and boasts of quite a few large customers having more than 600 employees. One of its best features is the flexible pricing, which begins with a free offering but keeps pace with your business, growing with it and tacking on new, advanced features in exchange for a monthly fee. However, this is all based on your discretion and you can choose not to opt for them if you want.
Really Simple Systems also features a built-in, comprehensive marketing system that is capable of fulfilling all the requirements of your marketing team. There is a free version available, along with the Starter package, the Professional option, and the Enterprise package. Given there are so many different packages available, you are free to add on different features that might not be included in the standard package for the monthly fee.
Salesboom.com is based out of Halifax, and has been a key player in the CRM software market since the early 2000s. The software they put out has become a lot stronger and advanced over the years, enabling Salesboom.com to accrue over 4,000 clients spread out over 159 countries. Their portfolio includes names as big as Citigroup and Honeywell, but that does not mean that Salesboom.com overlooks small businesses. In fact, they have devised low-priced monthly team packages exactly with these target customers in mind. Salesboom.com has received a lot of praise in the industry thanks to its responsive customer support as well training. Moreover, a lot of users hold the opinion that this product is easier to use than Salesforce.
The twelve CRMs mentioned above all serve as great alternatives to Salesforce thanks to their low pricing and the features they provide to clients. Many of these companies started out small, but have grown in scope and success over the years, proving their popularity among CRM users.