According to ISM, one of the world’s leading CRM consulting firms, CRM solutions are enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to customers’ interest in SaaS (software as a service). Unlike traditional distribution models, SaaS uses cloud storage to distribute applications that you can access anytime on the Internet. In other words, if you choose a cloud-based CRM program, you don’t have to download or install anything. Apart from that, other benefits of cloud-based platforms include:
- easier administration
- automatic updates
- compatible with any device
- can be accessed anywhere.
To use the CRM software’s features, you have to create an account and log in. You can liken it to creating an email – easy, convenient, and hassle-free.
Here’s a closer look at three of the most popular yet inexpensive cloud-based CRM applications on the market today.
Batchbook is a social CRM platform designed especially for small businesses to build better relationships with their target market. Using data from social media, a business owner can:
- Keep track of the company’s marketing campaigns;
- Create a social advertising campaign;
- Keep and organize profiles of customers;
- Maintain a secure customer database;
- Track leads;
- Predict future sales, and;
- Integrate other social media tools
Pros for Using Batchbook
Batchbook offers excellent social media monitoring, making it a must-have for businesses involved in social media marketing. Batchbook helps businesses set up automated searches for sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Comparing Batchbook with other established companies with a similar platform, Batchbook is inexpensive at $20 per month. Aside from its low pricing, Batchbook has a simple and easy-to-use interface.
Cons Against Using Batchbook
There are some minor issues related to organising your contacts. For instance, Batchbook does not have a built-in system to handle your customers’ email addresses efficiently. If you want to track these emails, you must manually BCC them in Gmail, Outlook, or other third-party services.
If you are focusing heavily on social media, Batchbook is a must-have cloud CRM platform.
About the Company
Founded in 2006, Batchbook operates out of Rhode Island. Known as a company that puts people first, Batchbook focuses its energies on helping small businesses succeed. Batchbook founded The Small Business Web, described as an association of cloud software for small businesses. The company, through its CEO, is also active in mentoring start-ups.
Maximizer has several versions, and one of the most popular is the Maximizer CRM Live. Some of the core features of this service are the following:
- sales automation feature (helps sales professionals efficiently manage their contacts and leads);
- marketing automation( which is helpful for lead scoring and marketing campaigns);
- knowledge management, and;
Pros for Using Maximizer
Maximizer has an easy-to-navigate interface. Tabs, buttons, and navigation panels are well-organized that even those unfamiliar with Microsoft Outlook can easily use. Separate tabs organise documents and notes, and custom fields are available when needed.
Aside from that, this CRM platform has seamless integration with Microsoft products. So if you are familiar with MS products such as Word and Outlook, you’ll feel right at home with Maximizer.
Cons Against Using Maximizer
If you are looking for a social CRM, Maximizer is not the platform for you. Though you can view LinkedIn profiles, it’s not integrated with Facebook or other social media platforms.
Also, Maximizer has a limited support system. For instance, it lacks a forum.
Maximizer has a user-friendly design yet offers sufficient capabilities. This is ideal for businesses looking for a cloud CRM platform that integrates easily with Microsoft products.
About the Company
Maximizer has been in the business for 20 years. At this time, it has amassed big-time customers that use its service, including Hallmark Cards, HSBC, and Cathay Pacific. The company boasts of having helped 120,000 customers. Aside from that, it has one million users.
NetSuite gives users precisely what they promise to offer – quality and excellent performance. This is evident in the dashboard, which provides screen layouts that you can easily customise.
Some of the key features of this excellent cloud solution service include:
- sales force automation
- customer service management
- marketing automation
- CRM analytics and reporting.
Pros for Using NetSuite
NetSuite is a superb all-in-one business solution. Because of its seamless front- and back-office integration, NetSuite is a favourite in the wholesale distribution and e-commerce industries.
Cons Against Using Netsuite
One of the criticisms about NetSuite is that it is not very user-friendly. Some of the key issues include too many steps, too many screens, and an awkward interface. However, NetSuite changes and is being improved version by version.
With its ability to integrate with the back office, NetSuite is an essential tool for any business. In particular for those businesses wanting to manage finances and build lasting relationships with customers.
About the Company
NetSuite has its headquarters in Silicon Valley, starting back in 1998. It maintains offices across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It has won several awards, including two CODiE Awards from the Software and Information Industry Association.
We have some additional material you may also find helpful in your search for the right CRM solution. If you are interested in products specifically for small businesses, you may like this helpful article. However, this article is a good review if you are after what is available in the CRM open sources market. And finally, if you are looking for free CRM products, this review may be of help.