Nowadays there are the following three major tendencies in the development of CRM software solutions offered on the market:
- Close work with social networks services;
- Orientation to mobile platforms;
- Predominance of the demand for cloud-based deployment.
Cloud CRM systems became popular among businesses of various industries not purely due to marketing policy of the software vendors. Such tendency is explained by several advantages which these systems can bring to business workflows, namely:
- Easy and fast access to the system for eligible users regardless of their current dislocation and a device they use.
- Instant synchronization of data input by users, so that the system database is always up-to-date.
- Greater integration capabilities with other cloud-based platforms and online services compared to on-site systems.
- No need to maintain own server for the system.
- The opportunity to get real-time system updates and patches for the software from its vendor.
In the review below we will familiarize you with the best cloud CRM software. The ranking from 1 to 5 is made on the base of feedback of the solutions’ users and the software functionality.
The first place in our list of the best cloud-based CRM software belongs to bpm’online, which offers a robust software suite comprising sales, marketing and service automation features on one platform.
With the sales module, users can manage a customer database, leads, workflows and opportunities. The module also delivers tools for social networks integration, mobile sales management, field force automation, data analytics and sales forecasting.
Using the marketing automation module, marketing professionals can apply segmentation techniques to the customer database, automate marketing campaigns, generate and distribute leads, manage events, fulfill group projects, execute email marketing campaigns and create a knowledge database.
The service management module enables client service specialists to form a full portrait of each customer, automate the work of the contact center, keep track of interactions with customers through all communication channels and manage service catalogs, cases, incidents and other service processes.
Bpm’online’s users find the built-in functionality of the solution more than enough to cover all the processes of their businesses regardless of the industry of operation. Many users also highly appreciated an intuitive interface of the software. However, some of bpm’online’s buyers complained that the system’s deployment stage had taken a considerable time when it was necessary to customize the application to company-specific needs.
Close.io is cloud CRM software that will suit small and medium businesses regardless of their industry. The key features of the solution include call management, lead management, bilateral email synchronization, reporting and analytics.
First of all, being a sales workflow management utility, Close.io provides sales specialists with a whole picture of the existing sales processes.
Additional functionality of the software includes a task management toolkit, built-in text messenger, sales pipeline snapshot feature and automatic reminders. The application integrates with multiple other systems via API, including Zendesk, HipChat, Quickmail, Clearbit, Zapier, SalesOptimize, Tenfold, Wufoo and Bedrock Data.
According to the reviews of Close.io’s users, the solution’s shortcomings are as follows:
- lack of mobile application;
- low customization flexibility;
- high price compared to the competitors’ solutions with the similar functionality.
InStream offers cloud-based CRM software for small and mid-size companies to assist them in establishing long-term contacts with their target audience and improving customer loyalty. With those aims, the software provides multiple tools for contact management and client interaction monitoring.
Using InStream’s notification system, service specialists can set notifications and alerts for various activities to be sure that customer queries are executed in timely manner. A built-in communication tracker allows users to track phone calls and email correspondence to ensure proper processing of every action.
To take advantage of sharing contacts, InStream can be integrated with various email services, such as Hotmail, Gmail and Outlook. The solution’s functionality also allows posting marketing appeals in multiple social networks to get in touch with potential customers. Thanks to tracking customer interaction history, InStream can provide valuable implications about customer behavior, main trends of marketing campaigns and preferred means of communication.
InStream’s users mainly distinguish the following drawbacks of the solution:
- lack of automatic email import;
- inability of exporting data into CSV-files;
- absence of backup functionality.
Pepperi represents mobile sales cloud CRM software that best suits such businesses as home accessories, sporting goods, fashion & beauty, food & beverage. The key features of the solution include order management, retail merchandising, sales automation and route accounting.
Within a single platform, Pepperi’s users can manage customer information, sales processes, order workflows and e-commerce. Users can customize view of catalogs, sales dashboards, business procedures, etc. There are also other useful and value-adding features, such as task management, retail auditing, sales team management, debt management, stock control and prices and discounts management.
The application supports all Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices, works in offline mode and easily integrates with other CRM/ERP and accounting systems. Pepperi’s cloud can be accessed via PC as well.
Among cons of the solution, its users primarily name an unintuitive interface and high subscription fee for the software.
ReachEdge delivers cloud CRM software for small businesses and provides tools for marketing automation, lead tracking and marketing analytics.
The solution offers the following functionality:
- built-in call center which allows to record calls, fix call time and length to assess the work of call operators;
- mobile alerts that inform users about calls and emails from prospects in real time;
- marketing performance reports that help identify which campaigns bring desired leads;
- automated marketing email system which allows sending customized emails to prospects based on predefined parameters.
The main disadvantages listed by ReachEdge’s users include:
- not enough customization capabilities (e.g. impossibility of categorizing leads);
- duplication of email notifications.