Sales CRM Salesforce
Salesforce is an all-encompassing CRM solution that helps businesses manage virtually anything. On the plus side, it can integrate all your business requirements into one solution and has numerous plug-ins. Salesforce is a household name, especially in the USA, but that does not necessarily mean it is right for every business.
Studies show that Salesforce has a high full or partial implementation failure rate (Somewhere between 40-55% depending on which report you read), the main reasons are that it is perceived to be complex and usually requires expensive
customization to get right for most businesses.
You need an in-house expert to manage it or at least an IT savvy person to set it up. And your company should be a good size, with its own Sales Team to make this viable.
We, at MEANit, believe every business should have a CRM, so why not see for yourself and go to www.salesforce.com/eu/?ir=1 and request an overview demo. Or, if yours is a small business like our agency, have a look at some of the lighter weight options, mentioned below.
This is an excellent alternative to Salesforce, a powerful, but easy to use Sales Management CRM that helps businesses manage their customers, sales leads and sales opportunities. It is fully integrated with the powerful MailChimp and Mailchimp Forms, so you can use your customer database for targeted marketing campaigns. Use Zapier to integrate other 3rd party apps.
It also has some useful differences from the market leader, Salesforce, our favourite:
1. One Page has some useful integration apis, such as Xero, Skype, Evernote and Outlook.
We found OnePage CRM to be an excellent low cost alternative to Salesforce for our business. If you are interested in seeing more just visit www.onepagecrm.com and request an overview demo.
Zoho CRM + other lightweight options
If Another popular opion is Zoho which is a lot lighter than Salesforce and the pricing is just as light at about $20 a month. It should do everything you need. And if you want to go even lighter they offer a starter CRM called Begin – see https://www.bigin.com/pricing.html?source_from=bigin-home .
Note: There are lots more options for CRM from Microsoft Dynamics 365 to Sugar CRM and even Hubspot which seems low cost, but can suck you in and you end up stuck in its claws as the optional addons and integrations start to add up. Two other options are Monday or Pipedrive. The single most important thing to consider, is which CRM will integrate with all the platforms that you already currently use. You want the CRM to work with whatever you use at present for sending out your Newsletter, and with your payment gateway, plus your invoicing etc. The last thing you need to do is invest time and money in a CRM only to find it works separately to everything else that you use.
Which CRM platform are we using at MEANit Web Design Agency?
We use Active Campaign for our Newsletter as we have thousands of people on this list and we use it for our email sequences or automations, where we would have less than 100 on any automation at any given time, so as a CRM we would probably go with this.
However, to be totally transparent, ours is a small Marketing agency, so we use a customised Airtable to track our prequalified Sales Leads, which would be less than 25 a month. The Airtable is just a colourful glorified version of an Excel sheet, but with 25 new leads a month, we find it works well enough. It would be nice to have it connect with our Newsletter list and our accounts package Quickbooks, but it is not critical at present. We onboard no more than 4 new clients a month and we keep it all pretty personal, which means we use less automation than we could be using. For Quickbooks integration we could use Method CRM, but this will likely not work well with our Newsletter automation platform. It is hard to get a good balance.
Bottom line, there is so much available in terms of automation, however once you choose one platform, you will want it to integrate with all your other platforms. This could include Finance and Project Management, email Automation and Customer Support. Truth be told, we are too small to make good use of a full blown CRM. We would like to have Active Campaign integrate with Quickbooks and TeamWork, but as a small business who has the time to set this all up. And then pay the extra $100 or even $200 in subscriptions a month. There has to be an obvious payback or return on any investment of time and/or money in any CRM. Or any software for that matter.