Comparison of best CRM solutions

CRM Solutions are being incorporated by all kinds of business whether large or small. This software has expanded beyond the conventional database record management for improving customer relationships. A CRM solution is a vast information portal with multiple tools and features which enable businesses to streamline operations, consolidate data, assists in sales and provides marketing solutions.

Among the vast multitudes of CRM software systems the three most popular and leading CRM solutions currently are Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and SugarCRM. There are many other CRM contenders in this arena but they are not in the same tier as these three.  Large businesses rely heavily on their CRM system to drive improved marketing strategies and achieve higher profitability.

What does CRM offer a business?

What are some of the features that we need in a CRM without even realising it? The CRM software should be intuitive. It should know what you are trying to do and make the task simpler with fewer clicks. User error is something we all do at some point or the other. Trying to fill in the data in the wrong field, the CRM should recognise that there is a user error and generate an alert with a helpful suggestion. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM is able to perform these tasks in a user friendly manner.

Automatically being able to link up the CRM with email allows business to directly email sales reports, purchase invoices, service reports, service reminders and other industry related specifics. Some CRM solutions perform predefined automated tasks such as sending automatic emails for services or as upgrade offers.

Linking the CRM to mobile apps allows real time information updates from customers. Compatibility with multiple platforms allowing access from various phone OSis an essential feature for some organisations. Mobile device support and integration with third party software enables business wider access.

Marketing automation is the one feature that has propelled CRM to the forefront from being just a database for storing customer data. It has enabled organisation to boost their sales figures multi fold. Each CRM offers different tools for marketing, creating strategies, analysing and generating leads.

Microsoft Dynamics is in a close competitive space as a leading CRM solution. It offers viable solutions to the shortcomings of Salesforce such as onsite hosting while also giving users a choice of cloud hosting. Microsoft Dynamics offers some excellent features which has made is extremely popular, such as numerous automated abilities, powerful reporting engine, built in analytics with business intelligence and more. When it comes to third party software integration MS Dynamics prefers to encourage user to leverage the beneficial features of the wide range of Microsoft products. It provides self-sufficiency which also comes at a lower cost. Microsoft Dynamics integrates Skype for communication and SharePoint for document storage. Existing Microsoft users of Office 365 can avail a price advantage for the Microsoft Dynamics. Businesses that are users of other Microsoft products such as MS Office, Skype etc. should not consider any other CRM solution.

Salesforce has held a prominent position in market for several years. It has established itself by offering features that go a step further than a simple tracking system. Integration of the Chatter social platform and compatibility with Android and iOS mobile OS adds value to the Salesforce CRM. It offers excellent third party software support and integration. It operates on a cloud platform with all the benefits on that sphere. Among the few drawbacks of Salesforce is the high pricing. It ranks among the most expensive to use despite its excellent features. The other drawback is the lack of the option for self-hosting. There is no alternative to the subscription service when you use Salesforce.

SugarCRMis a popular CRM solution that is web based. It has found its place among the top CRM solutions due to the fact that it offers extensive customisation options, can be self-hoisted and is relatively cheaper to run on the whole. It is however,a little complex and requires some technical expertise to get familiar with the user interface. The storage space offered by SugarCRM is not much. Even though SugarCRMis not very intuitive but has some good campaign delivery and sales tracking features. It can easily be integrated with third party software and has exceptional compatibility features.Low running cost, easy compatibility and interface customisation has kept SugarCRM among the top few CRM solutions.

There is much comparison and speculation about which CRM should be considered as a market leader with the great benefits offered by all of them. A market research reach was conducted. The areas that were taken into consideration were functionality which looked at the CRM’s development flexibility. Microsoft Dynamic uses common standards like Java, HTML and .NET while Salesforce is bound to its own programming language Apex, and limits users. When it comes to cost Microsoft Dynamics beat Salesforce hands down. Not only is it a cheaper subscription, but Salesforce is known to have many additional hidden costs. While Microsoft offers a choice of deployment, Salesforce is limited to SaaS (multi-tenant hosting).Globally Microsoft Dynamics is gaining popularity as a reliable brand name.