Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM’s for short) are systems that manage a firms interactions with current and future customers. CRM’s are used by many types of businesses, from big corporations to small concerns, to assist in their everyday running. A CRM will organise and automate your sales and marketing efforts. It will also run your customer service and technical support for your clients.
One of the biggest developments in CRM technology in recent years is the introduction of cloud-based systems. The benefits of this type of CRM as opposed to a traditional ‘premises only’ system are the increased accessibility through mobile technologies and greater data storage. With this in mind, we take a look at three of the most popular cloud-based systems currently available on the market today.
Starting off with a lower priced CRM, we’ll examine what’s available in the low, medium and higher price ranges:
A relative newcomer to the CRM arena, Nimble has been slowly growing in popularity over the last two years. This web-based CRM system includes many of the features commonly associated with their bigger market rivals. However, what sets Nimble apart is its ability to deeply integrate with social media networks such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. The system can also extend its functionality with a range of third party apps to choose from.
Nimble is also cheap to use. Businesses will be able to take advantage of its $15 (£9.37) a month deal. Combining its low price, with the CRM staples of contact and communication management tools, as well as its social media integration features, Nimble is a cost-effective CRM system for the small business.
This system is available in both ‘on-premise’ and cloud versions, depending on each companies needs. Boasting features such as sales force, marketing and customer service/call centre automation, along with online storage and customisable reporting, SugerCRM is a popular choice amongst many small to medium sized businesses.
You’ll also find that their packages offer useful extras such as scheduled data backups, social media integration and mobile accessibility. Monthly costs range from the £23 Sugar Professional package to the £65 a month Sugar Ultimate. For users new to SugarCRM, they offer a free community version with all the basics you’ll need to get started. Moving up to a subscription deal is possible when you require more functionality from the CRM.
A well-known brand in this market, Salesforce is one of the instigators of the cloud based CRM. Available to both large corporate firms and small businesses, it is only available in cloud form. With this fully integrated package, you can manage your sales, marketing and customer services centrally.
The most expensive of the three CRM’s featured in this article; Salesforce’s ‘Enterprise Edition’ costs £170 a month. However for this amount of money, you’ll receive a package that includes analytics, contract management, increased online storage, workflow automation and many other features. A cut-down, free edition is also available.