Over the last decade, the landscape of sales has been changing, and companies have shifted to become more customer-focused. In fact, according to Salesforce, “46% of sales leaders say that deeper customer relationships are a key objective for sustaining success.”
In this age of client-focused sales, a CRM is a critical tool to have. It enables sales teams to create deeper relationships with their potential clients, sets them up for maximized productivity, and helps drive increases in revenue.
That's why CRM technology has enabled businesses and their sales reps to scale successfully. Consider these stats:
- 52% of high-performing sales reps classified themselves as power users that take full advantage of their CRM
- 47% of CRM users in a poll stated that the technology improved both their customer satisfaction and customer retention significantly
- 24% more sales pros meet their annual quotas when they have mobile access to a CRM
- The average return on a CRM is $8.71 for every dollar invested
As you can see, when it comes to getting ahead and expanding as a company, a CRM is vital for both inside sales and outside sales. However, there are also a lot of CRMs to choose from, and determining the best CRM for outside sales reps can feel like a tough feat to accomplish.
That is why we’ve created this handy guide to help you find the CRM that is right for you and your business.
This list summarizes some of the top CRMs on the market today to give you all the information that you need to know. Read on to find out who the popular CRMs are, broken up by category, plus their pros and cons.
CRMs for Small Teams
If you are a small business or new start-up with a small sales team, you need an affordable CRM that can help organize and automate sales processes. Not one that will overwhelm you and your team further with advanced features built for large enterprise teams. A few of the most popular options include:
One of the most popular options available in the CRM world, Salesforce Small Business Solutions is a cloud-based CRM with a suite of tools available, built with small businesses in mind, to help you organize your business and sales processes and allow you to sell more efficiently.
Salesforce offers a wide range of features and is highly customizable, depending on your business's needs. Their essential plan is an ideal way for small businesses to get an extensive amount of services on a small business budget. Some of their services include streamlined customer and prospect management, a 360-degree view of your sales data with robust reporting, AI-powered sales tools, and an impressive support team. Salesforce offers powerful solutions for companies on a budget.
Growing businesses might outpace this CRM quickly. The Essential’s plan, which costs $25 a user per month, only goes up to 25 users. The Sales Professional plan is the next step up and does cost significantly more at $75 a user per month.
Another popular CRM option for the small business world, Hubspot is a powerful sales CRM with an easy-to-use platform that will help your team deepen customer relationships, close more deals, more effectively manage your sales pipeline, and more.
HubSpot's vast array of features help support the full needs of a small business. They offer a free plan that is ideal for companies that have not used a CRM before and aren't sure of what they need. Their free contact management application offers functionality like smart form lead capture, chat widget, and customer support ticketing. Email tracking and deal management features can help businesses land better sales. Hubspot also has extensive integrations for many additional features that may fit your business’ needs.
In addition, Hubspot’s simplistic user interface is easy to learn and an excellent option for those who are new to CRMs.
While the free version has some functionalities, certain features are only available by purchasing a subscription to one of their paid packages. The packages start at $50 a user per month. Other CRMs offer a better price point for their starting package.
HubSpot does lack some of the reports and workflow automation that other CRMs offer. Their mobile app lacks some of the functionality of the desktop version, which can be a significant problem for sales reps out on the road.
Bitrix is a low-cost, all-in-one CRM option for small businesses. This platform creates a contact base for your business where the history of contacts and interactions are managed and stored.
Bitrix 24 excels at multi-channel communication. Video, chat, email, SMS, social, and intranet all integrate with not only the CRM, but can connect with a help desk, project management tools, a website builder, and marketing automation.
Connecting with a customer is simple once all the various channels are connected. Simply click an option, add a recipient, and start a conversation. Bitrix 24 records everything in the contact’s timeline for consistent communication.
Internal communication is simple, as well. It works similar to Slack for fast and convenient conversations between team members. Management can set tasks, record and send videos, create employee polls, and generate workflows.
Some users have voiced that this software is not user-friendly, and the user interface can feel busy. Some users may find that it is difficult to navigate. It is also missing email marketing functions that other CRMs provide.
CRMs for Large Teams
With a large sales team, you need a CRM that can easily keep your team connected to each other and to your customers, keep sales data organized in one place, and streamline processes. Here are a few of the top options:
Trusted by dozens of global businesses, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful mobile-friendly CRM that is great for users who don’t want to reinvent the wheel and would rather stick with a brand they know.
If you’re familiar with Microsoft Office products (who isn’t familiar with these office computer staples?) or Sharepoint, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a simple continuation. This CRM gives a 360-degree view of the customers and prospects, allowing your reps to engage customers more effectively than ever before.
This CRM keeps your team connected with built-in collaboration, empowers your reps to boost their productivity, and arms sales leadership with AI-powered sales insights.
Dynamics is a hybrid data management system, which means that you can choose to save the information either on-premise or in the cloud. Information-sensitive businesses might prefer the option of saving their data at a secure location, making Dynamics a great choice for them.
Dynamics 365 comes in at the higher end of the price range for CRMs on our list. For the full, powerful sales force automation capabilities and customization ability that most large sales teams need, you’ll be looking at the Enterprise level of pricing at $95 per month per user.
Dynamics is best used with other Microsoft products, so it might not fit as well if you don’t usually purchase Microsoft. Users also reported that it lacks customization in some aspects.
Insightly is a great CRM for project management and aligning your sales, marketing, and project teams on one unified platform. Thus enabling your sales team to take advantage of centralized customer data and close more deals.
Insightly offers leadership the tools they need to manage their teams effectively. It allows automation and customization options for special setup needs, repetitive tasks, and business processes, such as managing sales activities.
Insightly also offers great security precautions with the use of permission settings, keeping one person’s mistake from weighing down the whole team. The platform’s workflow allows management to lead effectively and helps encourage collaboration between departments.
The CRM doesn’t offer as great of a visual experience compared to other CRMs that make projects easier to navigate. It also doesn’t provide quotes or order management without upgrading to its enterprise level.
Zoho is a powerful multi-channel CRM that pulls valuable customer data from multiple sources at the click of a button. It effectively keeps your team connected and organized, even on the go.
Users can utilize the built-in AI-powered assistant Zia which will provide valuable sales intelligence. Also, in this day and age, many sales prospects are met, and contacts maintained through social media. Zoho allows users to incorporate social media into their client relationships.
Zoho CRM can also be a good option for small sales teams and businesses since the lower-level plans do still offer valuable features. It is also one of the most reasonably priced CRMs on this list. Their packages range from free (for up to 3 users) to $52 a user per month for the Ultimate level. The standard package is $14 a user per month.
Zoho implementation seems to be tough in the beginning and the platform can be overwhelming for new users. In addition, Zoho seems to have limited usability without an internet connection.
CRMs for Sales-Focused Teams
Some teams need more niche capabilities built for today’s sales efforts, optimizing sales processes and communication to make them as effective as possible. In these instances, there are CRMs built with the sales-focused teams in mind. These include:
Freshworks (formerly Freshsales) is a customizable sales CRM that acts as a single data source for all of the most important sales data. The platform provides a 360-degree view of your team’s customers and prospects by capturing and combining customer experiences in one place.
The fully-featured AI-powered CRM allows users to boost customer engagement, contact leads directly through the platform and displays the entire sales process for more valuable insights. Users also report that they have superior customer support.
Freshworks does offer a 21-day free trial. Their priced plans include a range of additional features, such as the Lead Gen Bot, and range from $29-$125 per user per month.
Freshworks lacks the functionality for managing inventory or catalog-style pricing. It might not be ideal for retail or distribution who need to be connected to their inventory. Users also report that the internet connection can be slow.
A simple and customizable CRM that works for outside sales reps on the go, allowing your reps to win over more customers and close more deals.
ZenDesk Sell is a great mobile app for sales reps that are often out of the office and still allows them to keep an eye on the sales pipeline. The platform offers mobile calling, call recording, and activity tracking directly through the app. This CRM makes up part of the ZenDesk suite, which also includes IT management, analytics, and help desk.
ZenDesk Sell misses certain features, such as marketing automation, mapping, and some productivity functions, that are found on other outside sales CRMs. Its third-party integrations are also limited compared to other CRM options.
CRMs with Mapping
In most cases, your outside sales reps are working geographical sales territories. If you are looking to maximize your sales reps’ efforts, discover new opportunities within the area, and optimize their time on the road, your team needs a CRM with mapping capabilities. Here are some great options:
Map My Customers is the leading sales CRM with mapping, purpose-built for outside sales reps. This powerful platform can stand alone as an all-in-one CRM on its own, or it can provide an easy way to add valuable mapping, routing, and sales territory management features to popular CRMs. Map My Customers offers mobile-friendly native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho, and Microsoft Dynamics.
The CRM through Map My Customers was built for sales reps out in the field and their managers. It provides a comprehensive visual dashboard that gives a birds-eye-view of sales activity, offers cadence management so that hot leads do not fall through the cracks, and includes robust reporting capabilities that provide simplified views of crucial sales data for better insights.
In addition to the CRM features, you also get the routing features that set Map My Customers apart from the competition. Sales reps can automate route planning for faster routes and less time on the road, enabling them to spend more time selling instead of driving.
Also, unlike some other CRM integrations that can be tough to set up or require assistance to integrate, the Map My Customers integration is an entirely self-service one-way sync, making it easy to share your data from your CRM to Map My Customers. You can have your companies, people, deals, and activities sync daily, weekly, or monthly.
Map My Customers is ideal for outside sales and sales teams that are often on the road. So, inside sales may not be able to get as much use from the features our CRM offers.
Nutshell Maps is a CRM mapping feature that is built into both the desktop version and mobile version of Nutshell CRM. This allows your reps to visualize their prospects and customers geographically and schedule activities in an area in one click. This CRM is an all-in-one solution that prioritizes sales team management to get your team on the same page and selling more efficiently.
Nutshell is great for managing sales teams. It offers customization, automation capabilities, and reporting options. The user-friendly software allows leaders to create pipelines for a streamlined sales process that keeps deals from going stale. They even offer customizable sales pipeline templates for users that need help creating effective sales pipelines.
Nutshell is ideal for small teams, which means that growth is limited. Organizations may quickly outgrow some of their features and find that they need a new CRM. Also, the mapping feature does not offer routing capabilities like other sales mapping platforms. The CRM also offers limited social media access, which is not ideal as more businesses use social media to find and contact prospects.
Find the Right CRM for You and Your Team
In today’s business environments, a CRM is an essential sales tool for business growth. Thankfully, there is no lack of options when it comes to choosing the right one for you and your outside sales pros. No one CRM is perfect for everyone, so taking the time to understand what each one offers is critical.Finding a good fit for your team will enable them to optimize sales efforts and improve your business’ bottom line. Take one of these CRMs on a test drive today!