Customer relationship management (CRM) can be defined as all the actions and strategies devised to retain customers and build their loyalty. In this era of cut-throat competition when competitors are always on a lookout for snatching your business, customer loyalty is an important asset for a company. The only way to ensure customers’ loyalty is to satisfy them each time they interact with your company. Research conducted by Google and CEB revealed that customers with an emotional connection to a brand are twice as likely to purchase it than those who don’t.
A company can only build that emotional connection when it knows what its customers want. Here is where data comes in. However, collecting data and getting insights from it is a full-time job, which has made it imperative for companies to invest in CRM management tool. Investing in CRM has become the top priority for many businesses. This can be seen from the rise in CRM sales. CRM sales are expected to hit $26.6 billion by 2021.
Implementing CRM is not only about collecting data; a CRM has multiple benefits. First, it allows you to provide an enhanced experience to your customers, and since every employee has access to the same information, it increases the consistency of customer experience. Also, it automates all the tasks and frees up your workforce to focus on more important things such as devising strategies.
Companies that have realized the importance of CRM implementation are reaping its benefits. The power of CRM can be seen from the infamous incident when Target figured out that a 23-year-old was pregnant even before her father knew it. After the girl bought some items from the store, Target started sending her coupons for baby items. The incident got famous after the angry father stormed into the store asking why they were sending such coupons to his daughter. It was only later that he found out that his daughter was pregnant.
Mercedez Benz is another brand that benefitted from the implementation of CRM. Although the product was of top-notch quality, customers often complained about the service. The communication was inadequate and inconsistent, which resulted in lower satisfaction. So, Mercedez eventually decided to change its retail structure and implement a CRM system. CRM processes such as prospect, contact and customer management were mapped out. Each communication channel was integrated to improve consistency and make sure that customers receive relevant messages at each stage of the ownership cycle.
CRM is not only meant for large organizations; it is just as useful for startups because it allows them to benefit from features such as email marketing and web forms along with building a customer database. Real estate CRM are also gaining rapid popularity.
The selection of CRM is an important process and should be done after analyzing the needs and objectives of the company since you are investing your limited resources. There is a plethora of CRM software in the market, which makes selection process difficult. There are multiple factors that you should consider before opting for the right CRM for your business.
These days, cloud-based CRMs are on the rise because of the need to access a CRM system from anywhere and any device. In 2008, only 12% of companies used cloud-based CRM. Today, this figure has reached 87%. Another trend in the CRM market is the use of mobile CRM. Studies show that mobile CRM has better adoption rates and increases productivity. Research by Innopl technologies shows that 65% of employees who have access to mobile CRM manage to achieve their sales quota as compared to 22% of those who don’t.
Pipedrive and Salesmate are two famous CRM systems that are used by many companies. Pipedrive is used by around 70,000 sales teams around the world including some famous names such as Amazon and Vimeo, while Salesmate is mostly famous with small businesses such as hold my ticket and rka ventures. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages that make them appealing to some companies.
Here are some factors that you can see to evaluate both CRMs.
No matter how good a product may be, it all comes down to affordability and hence pricing because companies have limited resources. Many CRMs now offer flexible pricing plans that companies can choose according to their needs.
Pipedrive offers three plans: silver, gold, and platinum. Silver plans cost $12 and come with limited features such as calendar, contact timeline, smart email and chat support. It offers 2GB storage per user. The Gold plan costs $24 and has more features such as email sync, email monitoring, templates, scheduler, and smart contact data. Also, it has 5GB storage.
The Platinum plan costs $63 and comes with an additional feature of revenue forecast reports. The platinum plan comes with 100 GB storage per user. All the plans have options for monthly and annual payments. You can switch between the plans any time of the billing cycle. You can try their trial version before making the actual payment.
As far as Salesmate is concerned, it does not come with multiple payment plans. Salesmate has only one plan that costs $12. The good thing about it is that it has all the features including email automation, reports, integration, call, and text. It also supports unlimited users, and each user gets 1GB of storage space. You can run a free trial for 15 days.
Sometimes there are hidden costs associated with CRMs as well. The hidden costs include the process of migration, support, training, and integration. So, you need to consider them as well before making your decision.
Your CRM is your most valuable asset since it contains all information about your existing and potential customers. Any security breach by a competitor or a hacker would hence not only cost you regarding money but also risk your reputation. Therefore, security of a CRM is crucial and should be considered during the selection process.
There are some security protocols that both companies follow. Pipedrive has a separate database for all clients so that there are no leaks into other databases. Also, it only uses secure HTTPs connections, and all information is encrypted. The other most important feature is back up.
Pipedrive not only backs up data within the hosting infrastructure, but it also does regular encrypted backups on Amazon server. Backups are done every night. Also, Pipedrive’s data is hosted with Rackspace. This reliable hosting provider follows SAS 70 type II compliance.
Salesmate’s security is somewhat similar to Pipedrive’s. Any data that is stored and computed is the property of the client, and it is stored and transmitted with enterprise-grade security. The data is stored in separate databases to prevent leakages. Also, any interaction between the client and Salesmate is encrypted with SSL, 256-bit AES encryption.
As for its data back up policy, Salesmate backs up data in real time to a secondary database. Real-time back up allows for quick switching in case of a failure. Salesmate also gives dedicated deployment option, whereby it builds the software entirely for your needs, and it will be isolated from everything else. For that, you need to sign up with their enterprise plan with more than 25 seats.
3. Ease of use
Ease of use determines the adoption rate of CRM in an organization. If a CRM is not user-friendly, then there are high chances that your employees will resist using it, and you will have to invest a lot of money in training the staff.
Salesmate has a user-friendly interface. It shows you the entire sales pipeline in one place. To track and filter your deal all you need to do is drag and drop. Also, all the information about your clients is available on a click. Apart from that, Salesforce allows you to sync your emails with the CRM so that you don’t have to switch between apps. Also, it sends notifications whenever a prospect opens and reads your emails.
Email designing is also easy with ready-made templates. The best feature is perhaps the automation of the process, whereby Salesmate saves your time by automatically creating follow-ups and tasks. It also has a built-in calling system that allows you to send and receive calls through a central number and you can automatically record calls and logs in data.
Pipedrive also has similar features. It also gives you a visual outlook of your pipeline that allows you to stay organized. The deals are categorized by sales stages, which allows team members to prioritize and understand the sales momentum. Adding contacts and deals is also a simple process through the CRM’s intuitive drag and drop system.
The CRM comes with a sales box that has cutting-edge features that save time. It allows you to sync your email with the primary email provider, has templates and email tracking option. Data importing and exporting is also quite easy. The CRM checks for any duplicate and missing entries and allows you to correct them immediately.
Customization is an important aspect while selecting a CRM. Customization allows companies to tailor the software according to their needs, which makes adoption and implementation a smoother process. Pipedrive understands that sales processes differ from company to company. Hence it allows you to customize Pipedrive as much as you want.
You can fully customize the pipeline according to the procedures and norms of your organization. You can add as many stages, activities, and people as you like. Also, if you feel you don’t need some features, you can turn them off. For example, if you are not selling any pre-defined products, you can remove the products field from the process.
Same is the case with Salesmate; it is quite flexible and allows you to design the module as per your requirements. You can also build your own sales forecasting model with just few clicks. Moreover, you can create around 200 custom fields and capture as much information as you want about your contacts.
If you have multiple sales offices around the world, Salesmate allows users to work in their time zone and takes responsibility for keeping all the teams in sync. The best part about Salesmate is that it is building an app store just like Google Play Store so that you can add more capabilities in your sales process. Also, it is working on a software development kit (SDK) so you can write your own app if you cannot find a suitable one in the store.
Integrations enhance the capability of your CRM. Also, it makes the transition process easier because your team can still work on the apps it is used to. Pipedrive has a partnership with Google, and hence it works seamlessly with all Google Apps and online documents management. There is two-way sync with contacts and calendar so any changes you make will be synched to Pipedrive and the apps.
As far as Salesmate is concerned, it works with multiple apps that give you additional functionalities. SendinBlue, for example, automates all your marketing activities. Formstack allows you to build customizable forms. It’s CRM plugin WordPress is also quite useful as it integrates your website with Salesmate.
Salesmate also has a Google Chrome extension through which it easily finds contacts inside emails and extracts all relevant information. Most of these apps are free, so you would get extra value in just $12. Some of them are paid, so select them wisely.
Both CRMs have their pros and cons, and you should make your selection based on your company’s goals, objectives, and size. In case you are a small business, then you can opt for Salesmate since it is less expensive and gives more features.
If you have a large team and a complicated sales process, then you can choose Pipedrive. There are other CRMs in the market as well that you can explore such as Insightly. Insightly pricing starts at $29 and goes up to $99.
When you select a CRM, you not only pick a product but also the vendor. So, remember to take into account the vendor’s reputation and customer service.
ABOUT Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1
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