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CRM

CRM reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best CRM Software for Medium-Sized Businesses

    Products classified in the overall CRM category are similar in many regards and help companies of all sizes solve their business problems. However, medium-sized business features, pricing, setup, and installation differ from businesses of other sizes, which is why we match buyers to the right Medium-Sized Business CRM to fit their needs. Compare product ratings based on reviews from enterprise users or connect with one of G2's buying advisors to find the right solutions within the Medium-Sized Business CRM category.

    In addition to qualifying for inclusion in the CRM Software category, to qualify for inclusion in the Medium-Sized Business CRM Software category, a product must have at least 10 reviews left by a reviewer from a medium-sized business.

    Top 10 CRM Software for Medium-Sized Businesses

    • Salesforce
    • HubSpot Sales Hub
    • Zoho
    • Freshworks CRM
    • Pipedrive
    • ActiveCampaign
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
    • Zendesk Sell
    • Nimble
    • Pipeliner

    Compare Medium-Sized Business CRM Software

    G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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    (11,033)4.2 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$25 /user/month*

    Salesforce helps businesses of all sizes accelerate sales, automate tasks and make smarter decisions so you can grow your business faster. Salesforce CRM offers: - Lead & Contact Management - Sales Opportunity Management - Workflow Rules & Automation - Customizable Reports & Dashboards - Mobile Application

    (6,764)4.3 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$0

    Supercharge your sales process with Sales Hub, a powerful and easy-to-use sales CRM that includes sales engagement tools, configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, and robust sales analytics for growing teams. Sales Hub is built on the HubSpot CRM platform where customer data, tools, and teams come together to create a single source-of-truth for unprecedented sales rep efficiency. When using the full CRM platform, reps can get richer insights, warmer leads, and aligned enablement materials to

    (1,837)4.0 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    Zoho CRM is a cloud-based, integrated customer relationship management platform that caters to the needs of businesses and industries of all sizes and types. Over 150,000 businesses across the world use Zoho CRM to build lasting customer relationships and maximize team productivity. Our expanded omnichannel support for phone, email, live chat, social media, and in-person meetings make Zoho CRM the most tightly integrated system in the market. Zoho's AI-powered sales assistant, Zia, provides adva

    (884)4.6 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$0 per user per month

    Built on the next-generation customer engagement platform, Freshworks CRM helps break internal silos and deliver personalized experiences across marketing and sales. The AI-powered CRM enables sales and marketing professionals to better understand customers with the right customer insights at the right time across each touchpoint. The CRM includes salesforce automation, marketing automation, chat, and telephony all in one solution. Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud is a complete end-to-end solution f

    (1,327)4.3 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$ 15 / 15 €

    Pipedrive is a sales management tool for small teams with big ambitions. It visualises your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. Salespeople really like it because it’s easy to use and intuitive. And managers like it because they don’t need to nag their team to use their CRM. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and a powerful API for those that like to “roll thei

    (7,006)4.6 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$9 Per Month - Paid Yearly

    ActiveCampaign's category-defining Customer Experience Automation (CXA) Platform helps over 130,000 businesses in 170 countries meaningfully engage with their customers. The platform gives businesses of all sizes access to hundreds of pre-built automations that combine email marketing, marketing automation, CRM, and machine learning for powerful segmentation and personalization across social, email, messaging, chat, and text. Over 70% of ActiveCampaign's customers use its 300+ integrations inclu

    (1,477)3.7 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$115 /month per user

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM is our customer relationship management (CRM) business solution that drives sales productivity and marketing effectiveness through social insights, business intelligence, and campaign management in the cloud, on-premises, or with a hybrid combination. Customer relationship management (CRM) can help reduce costs and increase profitability by organizing and automating business processes that nurture customer satisfaction and loyalty in the sales, marketing, and customer ser

    (402)4.3 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$19 / month per user

    Zendesk Sell (formerly Base) is sales force automation software to enhance productivity, processes, and pipeline visibility for sales teams. Legacy sales management tools are often clunky and difficult to use, but Zendesk Sell is simple and designed to keep reps selling. Sell eliminates the friction from deal updates so reps and management are always able to access, analyze, and collaborate on relevant deal data.

    Nimble is the industry-leading CRM for Office 365 and G Suite that builds award-winning contact management solutions for teams and individuals. It does all the work by integrating with productivity apps such as inboxes and calendars, delivers a streamlined user experience, and was built to help business teams close more deals, faster. Nimble unites thousands of small to mid-sized business teams successfully nurture their personal and business relationships across email, social networks and m

    (383)4.7 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$65 user/month

    Pipeliner CRM drives exceptional user engagement through its sales-friendly interface. With its uniform navigation and visual approach, users can learn the system quickly which drives high adoption rates and faster ROI. Plus users can easily customize what they see to make the system their own. Pipeliner’s administration backend is also visual and easy to use with drag ‘n drop, in-line editing and other non-technical tools. A key differentiator is that Pipeliner does not require a fulltime admi

    (599)4.6 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$25 / month

    Copper is the easy-to-use CRM for small businesses that need to manage more sales leads & grow customer relationships—but don't have time for data entry, repetitive admin tasks, or complicated tools. Don't waste hours on typing things out—Copper integrates with Gmail and other Google Apps, so it logs all your emails and other interactions to the right contact for you. You can also see your sales and relationship essentials from email threads, to past interactions, to tasks... all in one pla

    (584)3.7 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$80 user/month

    Sugar Sell is SugarCRM's flagship customer relationship management solution that helps you achieve a high-definition view to transform your customer experience. Create extraordinary customer relationships with the world’s most intuitive and collaborative CRM — a four-time winner in the prestigious PCMag Readers’ Choice awards and first place champion in SoftwareReviews' 2021 Emotional Footprint Report. Track and monitor activities, map each customer’s journey and automate as many workflows as y

    (275)4.4 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$18.95 as low as

    Nextiva is a platform that brings communications together with business applications, intelligence, and automation. This helps businesses communicate and build deeper connections with their customers. The platform brings all communication channels — voice, video, collaboration, SMS, chat, and surveys — together in one place. This helps businesses access the information they need to provide amazing customer experiences and drive business results. Intelligence and automation are built in, so you

    (845)4.3 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$25.00 user/month

    PipelineDeals is the most adopted CRM for small and midsize businesses, empowering sales teams across a breadth of industries to build game changing relationships. PipelineDeals is built around an easy-to-use and customizable user experience, sales focused features, and leading customer support and service. Today more than 18,000 users in 60 countries use PipelineDeals to gain visibility into their sales pipeline to accelerate opportunities and close more deals. Sign up for a 14-day free trial.

    (643)4.5 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    SharpSpring is a comprehensive revenue growth platform with robust sales and marketing automation features, functionality and performance. SharpSpring is one of the most flexible platforms on the market, offering powerful, behavior-based email marketing, native or 3rd party CRM integration, dynamic forms, landing page and blog builders, social media management, universal CMS compatibility, and integration with hundreds of applications. SharpSpring is usually less than 1/3 the cost of the comp

    (345)4.3 out of 5

    Vtiger’s mission is to help businesses thrive at work. We have built an AI-powered software that gives your customer-facing teams the ability to implement a robust customer experience strategy with the power of One View. Vtiger Cloud CRM is intuitive and powered with AI, designed to help you work better. With a brand new mobile app and integrations to over 500 business applications, Vtiger works where you are. Vtiger CRM helps teams create delightful experiences across the entire customer life

    (182)4.6 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$30 user / month

    Creatio is a global software company providing a leading low-code platform for process management and CRM. The company has been highly recognized as a market leader by key industry analysts. Its intelligent products accelerate sales, marketing, service and operations for mid-size and large enterprises. Together with hundreds of partners Creatio operates in 110 countries worldwide. The mission of Creatio is to help companies ACCELERATE! Creatio provides its customers with comprehensive full-f

    (242)4.4 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$39 user / month

    Accelo is built for Service Businesses. Our all-in-one professional services business system makes it easy to manage all your client work, from prospect to payment, and everything in between. Easy-to-use, automated and intelligent - Accelo lets you finally run your entire business in the cloud. Experience the most streamlined, integrated, and powerful Service Operations Automation software that easily allows you to connect all the moving parts of your business in one cloud-based platform. Wit

    (429)4.9 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$15 Per Month, Per User

    Less Annoying CRM is a simple CRM built from the ground up for small businesses. Manage your contacts, leads, notes, calendar, to-do’s and more, all from one simple web app. Our product is founded on three core principles: simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service. Simplicity means eliminating the learning curve. You'll start using the CRM in minutes, and you won't need time-consuming, frustrating training to find your way around. Add your contacts or import them from another

    (121)4.7 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$24 user/month

    NetHunt is a powerful CRM platform, especially useful for sales and marketing teams who rely on Gmail and other Google Workspace apps. With the recent launch of its Workflows feature, NetHunt took the leap from powerful CRM system to dedicated sales-growth hub. Now, it automates webform capture, drip campaigns, and contact-email linking. Algorithms and notifications make life easier… because sometimes working hard is too much hard work. You’re better than those itty-bitty tasks that you’ve go

    (32)4.7 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$37 User/Month

    Clear C2 is a 25yr CRM software development company, based in Dallas, TX. Our CRM solution, C2CRM, is robust yet easy to use. Built for companies of all industries and sizes (10 user minimum). Customizable CRM that will drive sales, manage customer relationships, and automate internal processes. Affordable, flexible pricing.

    (563)4.1 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    Insightly is a unified customer relationship management (CRM) platform for growing businesses across all industries, including manufacturing, professional services, health & wellness, media, education, retail, construction, and others. With more than 1.5 million users worldwide, Insightly is the world’s most popular CRM software for Google and Office 365 users.  Centralize and manage all your customer, sales, and business data—leads, contacts, emails, events, quotes, projects, tasks, opport

    (32)4.5 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$12,000 annually

    Spiro is a proactive relationship management platform that automatically creates contacts, organizes and prioritizes opportunities, and proactively recommends next steps to move all your team's deals forward. Spiro takes the work out of sales and provides managers with intelligent sales reports that help turn their sales team into a sales machine.

    (460)4.1 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$25 per user / month

    Salesforce Essentials makes it possible to tap into the power of Salesforce to build stronger customer relationships with a combined sales and support CRM for small business that is easy to use, setup, and maintain — for just $25 per user per month. Since Essentials is built on the world's #1 CRM platform complete with a mobile app, small businesses can start working from anywhere, knowing they have the tools they need to collaborate and stay connected to customers. With Essentials, you can se

    (479)4.3 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:Free

    Headquartered in Reading, United Kingdom, Workbooks offers growing companies a SaaS platform to run their business and engage effectively with their customers – at an affordable price. Its core CRM services are aimed specifically at mid-market organisations and extend beyond sales, marketing and customer services to include a full suite of marketing automation tools, as well as event management, order management and fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management functionalities, CPQ functionality

    (224)4.5 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$26 user/month

    Scoro is an award-winning end-to-end work management software loved by agencies and consultancies around the world. With Scoro, you can manage your entire workflow all in one place, from the first hello to the final invoice. By combining a robust suite of project management, CRM, billing and reporting tools all in one place, Scoro enables you to streamline work, automate routine tasks and ensure a business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Powerful API integrations connect Scoro to

    (115)4.5 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$0 /user/month

    Streak is the only CRM built entirely inside of Gmail. Stop switching back and forth between your inbox and other tools. Set up for you and your team a perfect process for numerous use-cases, including Sales, Partnerships, Support, Hiring, and more.

    (184)3.8 out of 5

    Most comprehensive suite of integrated, global business applications that enable organizations to make better decisions, reduce costs, and increase performance.

    (1,065)4.1 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$79 /month

    Step up to the all-in-one CRM, sales & marketing software designed to grow your business. Greater client organization, fewer repetitive tasks, easily implemented automations, and integrated apps. Keap's goal is your growth, whether you choose Max, Max Classic (formerly known as Infusionsoft), Pro, or Lite from our powerful prodcut options.

    (50)4.8 out of 5

    Scratchpad is the fastest experience to update your Salesforce pipeline, take sales notes, and work your daily todos.

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    Check out the G2 Grid® for the top CRM Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
    Leaders
    High Performers
    Contenders
    Niche
    Pivotal
    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
    NetSuite
    Oracle On Demand
    Oracle Sales (Formerly Engagement Cloud)
    Siebel
    Sage CRM
    ACT!
    Infor CRM
    Salesforce
    SAP CRM
    Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM)
    Zoho
    Zendesk Sell
    GoldMine
    Maximizer
    Oracle EBS
    Nimble
    Wrike
    Apptivo
    Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)
    Vtiger All-In-One CRM
    Nutshell
    Workbooks
    C2CRM
    OnContact CRM
    PipelineDeals
    Salesnet
    Pipedrive
    Insightly CRM
    Creatio
    Membrain
    OnePageCRM
    Pipeliner
    ActiveCampaign
    Claritysoft
    Really Simple Systems
    Mothernode
    Prophet CRM
    LeadMaster
    Less Annoying CRM
    SAP Cloud
    Odoo CRM
    Agile CRM
    GreenRope
    Salesforce Essentials
    BenchmarkONE (formerly Hatchbuck)
    Close
    Streak
    SharpSpring
    BigContacts
    sales-i
    Copper
    Scoro
    HubSpot Sales Hub
    Tour de Force
    Accelo
    SuiteCRM
    monday.com
    InStream
    Freshworks CRM
    NetHunt CRM
    Salesflare
    Spiro
    LeadSquared Sales + Mobile CRM
    Upsales
    Nextiva
    Scratchpad
    Solid Performers CRM
    Market Presence
    Satisfaction

    Learn More About CRM Software

    What is CRM Software? 

    CRM software unites all customer and prospect data in a single tool, bringing added visibility into customer interactions. A CRM is the center of any successful sales organization, the database in which all data, interactions, and notes are stored. Organizations use CRM systems to ensure that contact and interaction data can be easily located, sorted, and amended as necessary throughout the customer lifecycle. Contacts can be stored hierarchically under a single company or organization, giving sales teams a holistic view of interactions with all relevant employees of a prospect or customer.

    What Does CRM Stand For?

    CRM stands for customer relationship management, which refers to how a business manages its relationships with clients or prospects. 

    What Types of CRM Software Exist?

    Industry-specific CRM software

    CRMs can be catered to a variety of different industries. For example, there are CRMs catered for public relations or PR CRM software, financial services CRM software, mortgage CRM software, etc. In this sense, if a buyer is looking for a CRM that is catered to their particular industry, then it is possible to find a CRM that can address their individual needs. 

    All-in-one CRM solutions

    The majority of CRM solutions fall into an industry-agnostic offering that is simply meant to help businesses manage their client relationships, client contact information, and client interactions, however, all-in-one CRM solutions emerged in the market due in part to an increase in demand for CRM applications among smaller businesses. These all-in-one solutions offer a series of integrated customer-related features attractive to small and mid-market companies.

    CRM software provides exclusively sales-related features, such as contact, account, and pipeline management. These features are typically robust enough for use by large sales teams, with advanced reporting capabilities and user dashboards. These products are commonly marketed to and used by mid-market and enterprise sales organizations.

    All-in-one CRM products offer a collection of integrated functions that vary in complexity but are designed to help small businesses manage customer interactions across their websites. These include traditional CRM features, such as lead management or simple email marketing, in addition to other features such as website management and digital commerce tools.

    CRM software products are delivered as either a standalone platform or as a series of sales-centric modules. These modules encompass sales force automation functions and integrate with each other to form a unified solution. Other functions, such as marketing automation and customer support, are often implemented separately from the standalone CRM system.

    All-in-one CRM products are packaged and sold as an integrated system with built-in tools designed to address a wide range of business issues. These products typically are implemented in place of traditional CRM products, and can also supplant the need for disparate systems such as ERP, HCM, and accounting software.

    What are the Common Features of CRM Software?

    The following are some core features within CRM software that can help users in a few ways:

    Account and contact management: One of the core features of a CRM is extensive account and contact management. Contact management features allow users to sort contacts by the accounts they are associated with. This allows users to have key contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses of various roles at any given company. This way if someone wants to contact a product marketing manager or even the CRO at a company they can quickly reference the contacts associated with the account. 

    Opportunity management: Another core feature of CRM software is opportunity management. This allows users to track a sales opportunity through its various stages, forecast the likelihood of closing an opportunity, take notes on customer pain points and needs, and track opportunity quotes. As an opportunity moves through the various stages, users can assign a percentage chance to the deal closing as well as mark if an account renewal is at risk of being lost. This will highlight a call to action for salespeople and will alert them that they might need to address any customer concerns to increase the likelihood that they will sign a deal. Additionally, within the opportunity section, salespeople can assign quotes for the deal based on how the deal is progressing. This helps salespeople give an accurate quote to a potential customer and forecast revenue for the fiscal year. 

    Lastly, it’s crucial for users to take diligent notes on customer needs as the deal progresses. For example, if a call was conducted and the potential customer indicated their pain points and what’s most important to them, users can record that within the opportunity page on the CRM. This allows salespeople to come back with their needs addressed and increases the likelihood of closing a deal.

    Lead management: Lead management features are another core feature of a CRM that can help drive more revenue for businesses. When a lead filters into the company, whether that be from an event, an online form, or tracking online visitors, the CRM can automatically store a lead’s contact information as well as provide additional features to help pursue the lead. For example, CRMs generally provide lead scoring features that automatically determine the best leads to chase based on various factors including how that lead has already interacted with the business website. If a lead has visited certain pages or downloaded certain resources, it may be a good indicator of what product or solution they are looking for. 

    Additionally, CRMs can filter in important demographics and make it easy to visualize lead information such as job titles, company size, company revenue, and more. This further makes it easier to filter out leads that businesses shouldn’t waste time pursuing.

    Sales analytics dashboards: CRM software helps to display a variety of analytics for sales departments. These sales analytics display historical sales data that can help showcase which sales activities have led to winning deals. This can include customer segmentation, profitability analysis, team performance, and more. 

    What are the Benefits of CRM Software?

    Keeping track of customer interactions: The core benefit of a CRM revolves around keeping track of customer interactions. This includes interactions such as phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings. Salespeople can track where customers and prospects are in the buying cycle to determine appropriate levels of contact and opportunities for upsells or engagement. This full picture view of the company’s interactions with a customer ensures that anyone throughout the company can know where a customer relationship stands at any given time.

    Improved organization: CRMs provide users with a 360-degree view of customer interactions across all departments within the organization, increasing collaboration and ensuring a single, informed customer experience. Having all customer contact information and interactions in one space makes it easy to access all information about a customer, thus improving customer relationships.

    In addition to housing more customer information, CRMs can also hold a list of all leads that have expressed interest in the business. Customers that fill out forms on websites can automatically get uploaded into the CRM that will organize the contact details, company, company size, and more information about the lead. 

    Increased revenue: The ultimate goal of implementing a CRM is to increase sales revenue. By having more detailed information on customer pain points, businesses will have a better understanding of what needs must be addressed with potential customers. This allows businesses to close more deals and secure more revenue.

    Who Uses CRM Software?

    The majority of workers at a B2B company will frequently access a CRM. This is because it houses customer information such as email addresses, job titles, social media accounts, and other key revenue data. However, below are the teams that will likely use CRM software more often: 

    Sales and business development teams: A CRM is traditionally a sales tool, providing sales representatives and management teams with the information and insights they need throughout the sales process. A 360-degree view of the customer or prospect helps sales teams drive smarter selling decisions. These tools increase organization and streamline tracking client information, letting salespeople focus on selling.

    Business development representatives can start their interactions with prospects and record all notes and conversations in the CRM. From there, it’s easy to hand the prospect over to a new sales account owner when they are ready to engage or buy. Sales representatives immediately gain access to the client's history up to that point, catching them up to speed with minimal impact on employee time or resources.

    Sales managers and leaders can also benefit from the reporting and recordkeeping functionality of a CRM, gaining visibility into which team members are hitting goals, at-risk accounts, and more.

    Marketing teams: Successful sales and marketing teams work in alignment, and being immersed in the company’s CRM will help marketing better support their sales counterparts. Viewing every lead and opportunity helps to inform marketing campaigns, giving marketers a strong understanding of the sales pipeline and opportunity.

    Within a CRM, contacts can be organized by their progress in the pipeline. This view of customers lets marketers segment targets for different communications. Additionally, as marketing works to qualify leads, they can pass those leads and their scores directly to the CRM tool.

    Customer service teams: Customer service and success teams can track their interactions with customers and prospects in the CRM, creating a full picture of how the customer is interacting with all departments within the company, not just sales. This gives any employee visibility into issues or questions their customers may have and enables communication between teams to determine who should potentially follow up with the contact. Some CRM tools even integrate with help desk software, automatically pulling customer interactions into the CRM and avoiding the need for manual updates.

    Software Related to CRM Software

    There are many types of software that can be used in conjunction with a CRM. This can include ERP systems, marketing automation tools, business intelligence tools, or any software that houses company data. If the business already has valuable information stored in a software, it can be useful to integrate or migrate that data over to a CRM. Aside from this, below is a list of tools that can be used in conjunction with CRMs to enhance the effectiveness of the CRM:

    Sales analytics software: Sales analytics systems are usually implemented on top of sales force automation and other CRM systems and use existing data to reveal insights, though some serve as both the CRM system of record as well as the analytics tool. 

    Lead-to-account matching and routing software: Lead-to-account matching and routing software automatically matches new leads to the correct account record in a CRM and then routes those leads to the correct salesperson according to the organization’s territory mapping. While some CRMs have native capabilities to do this, most perform lead to account matching at a minimal capacity, which is why it can be very useful to implement a standalone lead-to-account matching and routing solution.

    Proposal software: Proposal software is designed to streamline and automate the proposal and request for proposal (RFP) process for sales operations. Proposal software works nicely with CRMs as a way to easily pull product and customer data from the CRM and streamline the proposal process. 

    CPQ software: CPQ software is used in sales departments to accelerate the sales process while improving quote accuracy and customer relations. At some point in the sales cycle, the customer is going to ask for a rough estimate on how much some product is going to cost them. CPQ software can automate the process of generating a quote which makes it easier to give prospects quick answers, and as a result, accelerate the time it takes to close a deal. Having CPQ software integrated within a CRM can have all this information in one place, making it easier for salespeople to close deals.

    Challenges with CRM software

    Overwhelming amount of features: CRMs can be packed with useful features such as lead management automation, analytics, email management, and more. However, businesses often ignore these extra features and focus strictly on the opportunity management and contact management aspect of a CRM. While these should be the main focus of a CRM, the software does function as a one-stop solution for many other business processes such as marketing, customer service, sales forecasting, etc. 

    Odds are that a business is paying a hefty sum for all of these additional features as well, so it’s essential to take advantage of them. To become more informed on the many features a CRM may offer, it can be helpful to access online knowledge bases for the particular CRM of choice. This can include videos and tutorials on how to access helpful features. 

    Dated information: CRMs are meant to function as a repository of contact information. However, it can be challenging to keep this information constantly up to date especially when contacts change companies or emails. To combat this common issue and remove outdated or duplicate contacts, users should perform periodic cleanings of the CRM.

    Change management: It is challenging for employees to change their work habits to adapt to a CRM. CRMs can be substantial in size and have countless features and peculiarities to figure out. Some employees may choose to keep doing things the old way with contact management, using excel sheets and notes. Hence, companies should have several resource managers who can help answer questions and guide new employees to having a successful relationship with a new CRM. This all starts with solid onboarding and consistent training.

    Which Companies Should Buy CRM Software?

    Every company that has a long list of customers and a need to better organize customer contact information can benefit from a CRM. Whether the industry is automotive or food and beverage, every business can utilize a CRM to manage the sales pipeline and log accounts of customer interactions. While most businesses in most industries can take advantage of a CRM, different business sizes may have different needs. Here are the main three business-size buckets and their CRM needs.

    Small business CRM: Typically, smaller companies desire a CRM software that is easy to learn and offers a wide variety of high-level features. Small businesses may also want to consider implementing a CRM all-in-one solution, rather than a standalone CRM. These tools are often geared toward smaller organizations that want to have more lightweight CRM and marketing automation functionality incorporated into a single tool.

    Mid-market CRM: Mid-market businesses are often in transition when it comes to CRM—they have outgrown their starter solution, but aren't ready to commit to an enterprise-level tool that may come with more features or higher cost than they deem necessary. Many mid-market growth businesses find themselves pushing a lightweight tool to its limits, and beyond, not wanting to commit to a heavier solution. But this hinders their potential to grow their CRM strategy. Scalability is one of the most important features of a CRM for mid-market businesses.

    Enterprise CRM: There are plenty of CRM tools to suit enterprise businesses. Larger companies often have more customer-facing departments, leading them to seek out a tool that handles more complex use cases and can scale to thousands of users. A trade-off with some of these systems is that they can take longer to implement and require more training. These tools are often highly customizable, but those customizations take time and developer resources. Enterprise companies typically employ at least one CRM administrator to support questions and needs across teams. 

    How to Buy CRM Software

    Requirements Gathering (RFI/RFP) for CRM Software

    Requirements gathering for CRM software is critical to ensure that the business is implementing a product that meets all of their needs. To do so, businesses must evaluate the critical needs below:

    Compare CRM Software Products

    Create a long list

    Long lists are created by eliminating software options that do not provide critical functionality. To make a long list for a CRM, a buyer should look at the following functionalities and deem which products provide the necessary functionality:

    • Contact management
    • Sales performance management
    • Sales collaboration 
    • Sales forecasting
    • Lead management
    • Lead assignment rules or lead routing
    • Custom pipelines
    • Product level quotes
    • Marketing lead management
    • Email list management
    • Email list segmentation
    • Campaign management
    • Social media management
    • Event marketing and webinars
    • Lead generation tracking
    • Lead scoring
    • Integration with marketing automation software

    Create a short list

    Once a buyer has narrowed down their list from the following functionality above, it’s then important to get even more specific requirements. For example, if a company is looking for features catered to specific industries such as manufacturing or nonprofit, then there might be an industry-specific CRM that’s out there for them. When looking for an industry-specific CRM, buyers can evaluate many of the specialty CRMs on G2 including PR CRM software, nonprofit CRM software, construction CRM software, financial services CRM software, mortgage CRM software, and real estate CRM software.

    Conduct demos

    Demos are one of the most important stages in the buying journey. This allows a buyer to sit through an actual product demo and see if the product matches all of the requirements. To make sure the demo runs smoothly, users must ensure that the vendor has all of the requirements beforehand so they can showcase their features properly. Some of the use cases that a business should ask the vendor to showcase are the following:

    Workflow improvements: How does the CRM improve on the already existing contact management workflow. Will this CRM make processes faster and more efficient?

    Adaptability: How difficult is it for users to adapt to this new software? Can they showcase how easy it would be for an unfamiliar user to get acquainted with the software?

    Lead information gathering: How easy is it to quickly find information within the software. If a user is looking for a contact or a lead, how intuitive is the software so it will lead them to what they’re looking for quickly?

    Selection of CRM Software

    Choose a selection team

    CRMs are the backbone of most sales and marketing processes within a business. So, choosing the right CRM software is a big decision and can be costly, so businesses need to ensure they have the right stakeholders involved that can help make the best decision. The selection team for CRM software should include at least the CRO, as well as managers from the enterprise sales team, customer success team, and marketing team. These are plausibly the teams that will use the CRM most often, and they should have the most input on desired features of the CRM software.

    Negotiation

    When negotiating during the purchasing stage, it is advisable to always start small in terms of licenses and functionality. As stated previously, a lot of users end up paying for additional licenses or features in a CRM that they don’t need. During this negotiation, vendors will try to convince buyers that they can offer discounts on more functionality or licenses if they buy in bulk, but most businesses don’t need this. If businesses end up needing a few more licenses down the road, they can always add as need be. 

    In addition to this, the selection team should always strive to have implementation and ongoing support fees included in the cost. This way if any ongoing support is needed then businesses can always contact their customer success or support representative.

    Final decision

    After the negotiation stage is conducted, the final decision requires buy-in from everyone on the selection team. It’s important to ensure that all requirements are met and the final decision is supported by everyone involved.

    What Does CRM Software Cost?

    There are a variety of factors that will play into both the upfront and ongoing cost of a CRM. For upfront costs, a business will pay for setup, any custom integrations, and training. The ongoing cost is the subscription cost to actually use the CRM. CRMs are usually run on a subscription model which means users will pay a monthly or yearly rate to use the CRM. The subscription model for CRMs are generally set up as either a per-user or a per-contact model.

    Per-user model: The average price per user on a subscription CRM generally ranges anywhere from $30 to $80. While there are more premium or bare-bones CRMs that are either cheaper or more expensive than this, this will generally be the average price. 

    Per-contact model: Some CRMs charge on a per contact structure. These are often CRM all in ones that also include marketing tools. These are not on a per-user basis and instead, businesses are paying on the number of contacts they want to have in the CRM. This may be more cost effective depending on the number of people in the company.

    Return on Investment (ROI)

    Below is the breakdown of the estimated time to ROI according to the review data on G2 as of January 26, 2021:

    • 50% of buyers see an ROI in 6 months or less
    • 24.5% of buyers see an ROI in 7-12 months
    • 11% of buyers see an ROI in 13-24 months
    • 5% of buyers see an ROI from 24-36 months
    • 7.5 %of buyers haven’t realized a full payback yet

    Implementation of CRM Software

    How is CRM Software Implemented?  

    According to G2 review data as of January 26, 2021, 66% of users were able to implement and go live with CRM software in under a month. While this data is promising, implementing CRM software can be a challenging process since it is such a major investment and highly utilized tool within a company. For this reason, businesses should establish a team of stakeholders that will be responsible for implementing the software and can go through the process. 

    Generally, this process is broken down into a few key stages: software installation, process review and needs analysis, design, configuration, and integrations, training, and post-implementation support.

    Who is Responsible for CRM Software Implementation?

    Since CRM is such an integral part of every business’s sales strategy, it’s important to have a handful of experts who can help with implementation. These experts should include a project manager, an application analyst, an applications developer, a QA test engineer, and at least two members from the sales leadership team. 

    The project manager will help establish deadlines so implementation times are met in a timely manner. An application analyst can help with migrating data from any previous software over to the CRM, and an application developer can help with any customization for the CRM. The QA testing engineer can help head any testing efforts and offer timely, relevant, and meaningful feedback. Lastly, leadership from sales teams can speak to any features that they feel are important or missing from the solution that might help the sales teams that they manage.

    What Does the Implementation Process Look Like for CRM Software?

    The implementation process starts by writing out a detailed plan on when certain steps in the implementation process will be completed. This is generally completed by the project manager and broken down into key four stages. These four stages include user training and engagement, data migration, testing, and then finally go live. Before launching the implementation process, relevant staff must be notified that the business is launching a new CRM to give them an opportunity to ask any questions on how this will impact their day-to-day operations. 

    When Should You Implement CRM Software?

    A CRM should only be implemented when it has gone through the above-mentioned steps. With this in mind, businesses should expect this process to take at least a couple of months before they finally go live with the CRM. Even following the implementation, there should be resources readily available so users can receive additional training or mitigate any challenges they are having with using the CRM.

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