Many companies prefer to use proprietary Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products because of their high level of customisation and the vendor’s customised support quality. However, there is another option you should consider, and that’s open source CRM software. Open Source CRMs have become increasingly competitive, and thousands of companies are using them worldwide.
One of the reasons Open Source CRMs are rising in popularity is that more and more companies conclude that re-inventing the wheel is costly and should be avoided.
A quick web search for open source CRM will show you that there are tons of options. So this post is an effort to list some of them to help you find suitable candidates for your business. Therefore, the following list includes some of the best open source CRM solutions.
The versatility and ease of customisation make SugarCRM one of the most reliable open source CRM applications available today. It includes features like accounts creation and import, contacts, a personal and easy to customise homepage, campaigns, email marketing, project management, activity management, shared calendars, and opportunities.
SugarCRM‘s appeal is that it is easy to learn and use, which minimises the need for training (along with the costs that come with it). In addition, it is easy to install and provides users with the option to extend its core functionality by installing plugins. It is also very affordable (being open-source!) as there is no need for licensing. On the other hand, though, there is a fee involved for customisation and support (if you choose to). Bear in mind that SugarCRM requires a webserver to run, which means that you can either install it locally or on the cloud.
SugarCRM offers other features worth mentioning include advanced reporting, client service tracking, sales force automation, and invoice creation.
Vtiger is the ideal CRM solution for organisations that enjoy software that can do more than one thing. The software allows companies to manage their customer support, manage their inventory, formulate, develop and execute basic (and maybe advanced) marketing strategies, track sales, and a variety of other business functions that are essential for every company. This CRM option has several advantages, including ease of use and installation, robustness, and a helpful online community.
As noted above, choosing a software that does not take a couple of scientists to run can save you money but, above all, can allow your employees to focus on tasks that can generate sales and, therefore, cash. Users can organise, share and manage schedules and calendars, receive email notifications and log activities.
The software allows companies to automate lead management and conversion and even customise product catalogues, vendor lists, purchase orders, and price lists, which not many CRM software offer.
Another popular web-based open source CRM software option is CiviCRM. This software allows organisations to record and manage vital information about their clients and business partners. CiviCRM enables users to engage with their audience, track interactions, and accept payments using the software’s payment processor. Unlike other CRMs whose functions focus on managing commerce, CiviCRM emphasises community engagement, communicating with customers and managing memberships.
These features make CiviCRM the preferred CRM solution for event planning and management organisations. Another advantage is that users can customise the many functions of the software as per their needs. For instance, you can use CiviCRM to organise events or use it for advocacy during a fundraising or charity event.
Different CRMs have different target groups and focus on different parts of the market. Cream CRM is not an exception, and it’s a niche in media organisations. However, this does not mean other businesses and organisations cannot use it.
Cream CRM has many advantages, but I think we should also note that there are some disadvantages. There are reviews on various websites, including SourceForge – a popular website for open-source software. However, CreamCRM does not have an active community and does not have documentation in English or a demo version.
A relative newcomer to the market is Zurmo. This solution focuses on social media, gamification and interaction with the client to keep them engaged. Zurmo CRM system offers a high degree of flexibility, and companies across a diverse range of industries, are using it.
Zurmo is web-based, which means that you can set it up on a web server or the cloud. Apart from that, Zurmo offers all the features that other Client Relationship Magement software provide. Zurmo can help your company track leads, automate communication, promote products based on demographics, track interaction, understand opportunities and, in the end, help you turn your leads into customers and sales.
We trust this top 5 review helps you along the path of finding the right CRM solution for your business. We have a few other articles you may also find helpful, including CRM for the individual business owner, a review of the top three cloud-based CRM solutions and a look at some of the better free CRM options available.