Web based CRM software exemplifies and embodies the SaaS revolution like few other niches really can. Before SaaS was practical, CRM software wasn’t terribly practical either, resulting in it not being the nerve center of the business it has since become. It was relegated to tool chains of office applications used in special orders, and it didn’t work that well. What few dedicated solutions there were sucked, to be frank.
So, SaaS making web based CRM software possible, thus letting CRM become the hub of business for marketing, sales, management and customer service/support is the quintessence of why SaaS is so fantastic for business in this new millennium.
Of course, given it was one of the first business applications of SaaS, you can expect there to be a metric ton of CRM suites out there. What are the best ones? Well, I can honestly give you succinct answers here, and so I shall. Here are the four best ones.
#1 – Salesforce
You didn’t honestly expect this one to not be here, or if you did, for it to not be the number one entry, did you? Come on! Salesforce is like, considered pretty unanimously the best of CRM, because of its intuitive API, massive customization, and unbeatable App Exchange lifting all limits on features for those adventurous types.
But, out of the box, its features are still awesome. It offers communities for sales, marketing and sales leads, email integrations, opportunities and quotes, forecasting, engagement models, approvals and workflows, social accounts, chatter, analytics and mobile compatibility.
The one downside is, it’s very expensive and so not for small businesses.
#2 – Zoho CRM
Zoho is similar to Salesforce, though it lacks as much customization and extendibility. However, it’s still pretty darn solid, and it’s made for small businesses.
It offers sales force automation, marketing automation, customer support and service, inventory management, analytics, workflow management, role-based security, developer API (but it’s not Apex …), email support and integration with Office and Outlook.
So, it’s a good teething CRM suite, and converting to Salesforce when you outgrow it is facilitated gracefully by Zoho and Salesforce – cordiality like this is rare.
#3 – Insightly
The big seller with this one is their integration with Google services, though it does offer a good open API as well.
It offers powerful Gmail integration, automatic address books, fast search, opportunity and pipeline tracking, project management, Google Calendar integration, mobile apps, creation of custom fields, notification and following systems, linking to provide influence views for sales and services, built in Gmail gadgets, an Android native app, and of course, an open API.
Insightly’s affinity for Google integration alone warrants this spot. But it’s got a way to go to build the steam and momentum that Salesforce and Zoho have.
#4 – NetSuite CRM+
NetSuite is a huge name in SaaS, so it’s no surprise that their CRM solution is pretty competent. I think Salesforce is better, and this one is somehow more expensive, but it does have a big set of features.
It offers, among other things, automation, support and service, quote to order auto conversion, renewal/upsell/cross sell management, quoting, customer self service, mobile and wireless support, multi-currency support and a ton more.
So, in the deluge of web based CRM software out there, you can take solace that it’s pretty widely known by most what the best of the best are. The ones above are just that.
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.