Positive customer interactions are essential for any business to thrive, and many companies use CRM software to ensure that they are maintaining beneficial client relationships.
CRM stands for customer relationship management, a term used to encompass all of the service-related aspects between its company and its customers or potential customers. CRM software describes a kind of software tool that a company can use to manage its customer relationships and interactions. Additionally, marketing, service and sales teams can benefit from this software as it can allow them to gain and share meaningful insights about their customer interactions. The information offered from these platforms can enable them to determine optimal plans for attracting new customers and meet and exceed their existing clients’ expectations.
The market for CRM software and related products and services is experiencing popularity and is expected to continue to progress. According to the ‘Global CRM Market 2021-2025′ report by Reportlinker, it is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.16% during 2021-2025. This growth is driven by SMEs’ increasing adoption of cloud-based offerings and CRM. Based on these trends, the rise of CRM popularity within the UK is unlikely to slow down any time soon, and many enterprise software companies have been working on creating and refining their CRM platforms to compete in this flourishing market.
Best for Automation
Sage’s cloud-based CRM tool has plenty of features to help UK businesses manage customer relationships, interactions and outreach. Its product helps small and midsize companies to manage and automate their customer-related processes, including automated sales tasks, targeted marketing campaigns, real-time insights, contact management capabilities, and more, all on a single platform.
The software can integrate with other products to help business teams efficiently manage their tasks, including external products and other Sage products. For example, MailChimp can send mail campaigns and track through the Sage CRM system. Customers seem to enjoy Sage CRM and its features, but reviews imply that the system may be complicated for non-tech-wizzes to master.
SugarCRM software is designed to support businesses with customer service, marketing and sales processes. It is advertised as an optimal resource for startups to enterprise organisations and can be cloud-based or not, depending on the needs of the user organisation.
In addition to many of the standard features included by most CRM services, SugarCRM provides several product features supported by automation, such as its marketing automation platform and next-generation sales automation. Additionally, customer experience applications can help your teams improve customer experiences and maximise customer data.
Sugar Integrate allows users to integrate their system data and processes with other applications, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and more. SugarCRM offers potential customers a seven-day free trial and then charges users pricing plans that scale along with the businesses that purchase them. Plans start at £41.60 per user per month for smaller-sized companies. From there, the plans increase in price based on features and the number of users supported. Based on its reviews, customers seemed to enjoy the product’s features and capabilities. However, some implied that the tool was better suited to users with a higher understanding of tech tools.
Best for Personalisation
CRM-UK’s software – called theCRM – is advertised as a powerful tool that can be personalised to its user’s needs. The product has various capabilities that facilitate business growth through customer relationship management features like contact mapping, pipeline management, sales forecasting and analytics. In addition, it has many automated workflow capabilities, business intelligence features like reports and dashboards, and features for prospect nurturing.
The personalising options are great as well, and businesses can customise many aspects of the software, including company data and encrypted fields and custom workflow processes.
The system is excellent for integrations. Its modern APIs mean that users have many options for connecting their systems and technology and centralising it all on their system dashboards. All of their features are offered at one easy pricing model of £35 per user per month for unlimited contacts and companies. The tool has impressive customisation options and businesses that value personalisation will likely benefit from this software.
Best for User Convenience
OpenCRM markets its tool as a credible independent UK alternative to other CRM services like Salesforce. According to its website, its clients range from small startup businesses to large enterprises. The software provides users with capabilities and features for actions pertaining to sales management, helpdesk processes, activity management, project management, inventory management, contact management, email marketing, and event management.
Users can access the tool’s components through a single system and can do so easily and conveniently through its mobile app. The software is able to integrate with Microsoft 365, Google and Outlook tools. Additionally, its API allows for the integration with other tools as well, including Stripo, Zapier, Webhooks, MailChimp, Dashly and more.
It offers a free trial and then charges £33 per month per user, not including VAT. Customer reviewers seem to enjoy the software’s tracking and process management features and say that any issues are usually resolved quickly by contacting the support team. Overall it looks like an easy and convenient option for business teams of various levels.
Best for Free Features and Capabilities
Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM) is a digital solution supporting businesses and organisations within the UK. The cloud-based service is advertised as being a free option for CRM business capabilities. The product provides users with sales campaigns, workflow automation, lead management, visual sales pipelines, and more aspects typical of a CRM tool.
An exciting perk to the system would be its advanced customer service tech features, like website chatbots and web forms, to quickly address inbound inquiries. In addition, integrations help with customer relationships, as the system’s phone and email integrations automatically log calls and emails from customers for future reference. As for other integrations, the tool can connect to over 75 different applications and build custom solutions for users to improve productivity and collaboration.
Of course, the tool is advertised as a free and secure product, which it is – to an extent. While the free solution can support unlimited users, it is best for smaller businesses, as utilising more advanced CRM features would require an upgrade to a paid plan. Still, customer reviews seem to reflect decent satisfaction with the software, and it looks to be a solid option for users looking to start with a free CRM product.
Hubspot CRM Software
Hubspot CRM Software assists business teams with viewing, understanding and facilitating their business processes. The software has different features that are attuned to support various business team members’ needs, including the sales staff, marketers, customer service teams, business owners and operations managers.
Some free features of this product include a reporting dashboard, company insights to share and view, deal tracking to help teams stay on top of related tasks, and pipeline management to help staff members carry out their processes. In addition, the system can be integrated with the Hubspot API and can sync data from existing apps.
Hubspot offers its basic CRM tool functionality for free. However, you would need to purchase a premium product for advanced functions. Nevertheless, this system can be nice as you can get a feel for the free platform tools before committing to a purchase. Reviewers of the product seem to enjoy the system’s user-friendliness, as well as its integration options. However, some reviewers seem to wish that the system had more free functionality options, as the paid functions can add up.
Best for Workforce Management
Teamgate’s web-based CRM software is advertised as being more than just a database. The platform is designed to manage each aspect of a company’s B2B and B2C transactions.
Its CRM product has features for managing users’ leads, contacts, and sales pipelines and provides intuitive analysis, forecasting and reporting. It also contains some staff management features to set up meetings, tasks, team targets and goals. Other workforce management capabilities include team calendars and activities and to-do lists for your staff to ensure that your team remains on track. Additional unique features would be smart filtering data, autofill data, and map integration. This CRM tool has a wide range of integrations to coordinate and simplify your work processes. These integrations include Zendesk, Slack, Outlook tools, Google tools, Quickbooks, Twilio and more.
Pricing starts at around £10 per user per month for its “Starter” plan, including contact and communication management features. Prices then increase with its “Professional” plan and the most expensive “Enterprise” plan, and more capabilities and features are offered with each level. Customers seem to appreciate the software for its integrations and ease of use. However, an undoubtedly impressive aspect of this tool would be its dedication to providing workforce management capabilities.
Best for Ease of Use
Zendesk Sell (formerly Base CRM) is a CRM tool that is supposed to help users accelerate their revenue. Some of the helpful features of this tool would be real-time sales pipeline management and forecasting, data reporting and automated data capture. All aspects of email and calls between staff and customers are tracked and analysed within its system. Its reporting and analytics make it easy for users to stay on top of their sales pipeline and performance. A unique aspect of this tool would be its easy-to-use features, like “Smart Lists,” allowing users to segment and filter their leads and deal data in real-time.
In addition, users can customise their dashboards and chart formatting options so that their data is more efficiently organised. Also, users can even access offline and away from their computers by using the mobile app.
Zendesk CRM has many integrated tools so that users can view each of their business and sales processes easily within their system. The tool’s open APIs let users access data and info from other external products, like MailChimp and Pandadoc. Users can even create their own apps within the Zendesk Apps framework. Pricing is based on the plan, with more advanced plans having more features. The most basic plan starts at £19 per user per month for up to three paid users. Online reviewers imply that the tool is easy to use and configure. However, some believe that the price is a bit high for what users get out of the product.
Best for Industry-Specific Features
BrightOffice Cloud CRM
BrightOffice Cloud CRM software lets users manage their marketing and customer relationships securely, with tools specific to the user’s industry. The software supports basic features of most CRM tools, such as marketing campaigns, sales and customer insights, and reporting. In addition, it also provides process management and financial control tools within the system.
As for the industry-specific aspects of the software, it has features for industries including Green-Deal ECO organisations, traders, broker-lender, pension transfer, solar, Welfare Rights, alternative investment, collections, debt management, cases and training. So these features can be helpful – if your organisation needs CRM support in any of these areas.
The product can be accessed through mobile devices and provides sales account integrations with Sage 50 and Sage 200. The vendor website did not provide pricing details, and reviews online for this product were scarce, likely because of how specific its industry features were. However, this product may still be a considerable choice for users doing business in the industries for which these features are tailored.
Prospect Soft CRM
Prospect Soft is a stock-aware CRM. This means that, unlike other CRM tools, its platform works to manage products, inventory and customer sales data for B2B businesses selling physical products. The product was designed for businesses in this industry such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers, to streamline their B2B sales processes.
Of course, being a CRM tool, the product contains sales pipeline, marketing and customer service management features. The system also has an intuitive user interface and can be accessed across devices, mobile included. Another cool feature is the CRM quote-building capabilities, allowing users to build quotes using ERP Product File, Stock Levels and Special Pricing.
This CRM has integrations with several other products and firms, including Quickbooks, Sage50, Office 365, Gmail and Intercom, to name a few. Prospect offers users a free trial before charging them through its tier-based pricing system. Its three pricing levels increase based on the number of users and provided features, and its Start-Up CRM level starts at £90 total per month for up to four users. Reviewers did not seem to have many complaints about this product, citing it as an excellent platform for staying on top of their inventory and B2B sales processes.
How to Choose a CRM Tool for Your Business
When deciding upon a CRM tool for your business, some critical factors to consider would be the size of your team, your necessary features and integrations, and your budget. It is essential to find a product that has the right capabilities for your team’s needs and the ability to integrate with the tools that your business already utilises.
The size of your team can influence the price of your product and which software would be ideal for your business as well. By educating yourself on the features of the CRM software available to you, you can apply this information to the needs and aspects of your team to find the right product for you.