A closer look at five relatively-inexpensive cloud-based CRM apps aimed at small businesses expecting to grow.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps are one of the biggest genres of software applications on the market today. These apps range from a free to thousands of dollars, from simple Windows apps to gigantic server-based or cloud-based application suites and everything in between. Nearly everyone in business uses CRM in some way or another, including specialized CRM-type apps such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).
In this edition of Five Apps, we explore five relatively-inexpensive cloud-based CRM apps that are aimed at small businesses expecting to grow. These apps all have key features that make them stand out while still including most of the basic features everyone expects from a CRM app. So, because of this, I've chosen to highlight those standout features below. Take a look at these five apps and then share your favorites in the comments section below.
AddressTwo's first standout feature is the setup wizard. Stepping through the wizard allows you to enter specific terms for different types of contacts, such as referring to possible future customers as "Prospective" or another name. Next, it contains an advanced query builder that will allow you to filter on basically every field in the contact to find the exact list of customers for a particular marketing campaign. Or, if you aren't able to find the correct collection of customers for your campaign, you can set up custom lists to statically link those customers together.
AddressTwo has three versions: Basic, Professional, and Campaign Manager Edition. Prices range from $9.95 to $49.95 per month.
AllClients also has a couple of strong standout features. First are the referral trees. When you enter a contact you are able to choose another contact that referred them. Then, by clicking on the "tree" icon, you can view who your contacts referred in case you want to use this info for promotions, rewards, or other perks.
AllClients also has a nice graphical reporting feature that allows you to show your contacts grouped by their various demographics and other fields which is always useful data when interested in finding new prospects.
AllClients has two versions, Silver and Gold, that are priced at $24 and $39 per month, respectively.
Next up is Maximizer. It contains an opportunities tracker to assist with sales by capturing leads and various other information, including information such as expected revenue. It also contains a knowledgebase, which is unique on this list. Having a way to keep track of various sets of instruction would be a great feature for certain segments of business.
Maximizer has several versions, some of which use a traditional licensing model instead of the per-month model like the others on this list. The "CRM Live" version is $49 per month.
4. SalesCloud from SalesForce
SalesForce is, of course, the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room, but their SalesCloud product has several smaller versions that are extremely affordable. They range in price from $5 per month for a basic CRM to $250 per month for the "Unlimited" version. Its first standout feature is the forecasting which helps you project your revenue for the next six months. It also has a really nice Dashboard that displays things like growth, most and least active salespeople, and closed sales. Finally, SalesCloud has by far the largest number of features of the products on this list - 22 different tabs in total.
SalesNexus is our final selection. Like SalesCloud, it contains a Dashboard but its dashboard is geared more toward historical statistics than a blend of history and projections. It has a more basic look and feel but I don't find that to inherently be a bad thing. SalesNexus also contains a nice calendar feature that displays as a single- or 7-day week grid with 30-minute time slots or a month grid, like a table-based version of Outlook or other Calendaring apps. It allows you to capture several pieces of information about the event, mark it as complete, and set up follow-ups.
SalesNexus has three versions priced between $45 and $75 per month depending on the version and whether you pay monthly or annually.