What CRM Are You Using?

CRM has become the core of most businesses today. What has emerged from a way to store, search and serve information has become an almost essential part of everyday operations for customer services, support and sales professionals the world over.

salsforceWhile Salesforce is the perceived market leader, other services, based on cloud technology are rapidly emerging as worthy competitors and economical alternatives. These options include:

hubspotHubSpot is more than just CRM, offering a full stack approach that works with marketing, sales, and customer relationship management with a rich social media component. What makes HubSpot so engaging is the FREE CRM solution, backed by pay per month marketing tools that serve as your lead generation platform that then integrates directly into the sales engine pipeline all based on providing their customers future customers with a helpful, not interruptive approach to online marketing.

pipedrivePipeDrive takes a  task-based approach to the sales process, but actually offers extensive customer contact management and prospect communications.  Thought of as a sales lead management tool first, PipeDrive customers use the pipeline approach to managing all types of relationships in a very easy to use way.

highrise-logoHighrise is the sister product from the makers of Basecamp. It’s a very team-oriented platform that makes it easy to share contacts, track tasks, set reminders and manage communications. The teamwork approach is ideal for distributed teams, and round the clock operations, that need to view and manage tasks by company, contact, or project, and add reminders to tasks and never forget to send an email again.

Base focuses on the sales team and is all about making sales happen by providing a set of tools that drive the sale to close. Base works in the web browser and with top-rated iOS and Android apps using a dynamic and visual approach, built for the mobile salesperson.  Its core strength revolves around the report generation features and how it presents insights about the customer.

Picking a CRM solution is like choosing a business partner or a life partner. Not all are right for your business. By looking at and considering the alternatives, deciding on what’s best for your business and your team, seeing how it works, and how it will improve your work process flow are all key deciding factors on which one to choose. And, just like no one will get fired ever for selecting Cisco or IBM, picking Salesforce will always be the safe, and most expensive bet. But with newer, more flexible solutions available, as a customer and buyer, you now have more options than ever before.


andyAndy Abramson is Xceptional's Marketing Consultant, long time VoIP industry watcher, and author of VoIPWatch.