If you are looking for the best CRM, run away, it doesn’t exist. Thanks to a detailed and independent analysis, you have come to the right place if you are looking for a CRM that matches your profile and needs. At Tool Advisor, we analyzed 9 CRM software using the same process.
Analysis of functionalities, a test of online tools or full demo, exchanges with satisfied and dissatisfied users, analysis of e-reputation, price studies, analysis of strengths and weaknesses and definition of the ideal customer profile for each CRM. At Tool Advisor, with no ranking or bidding to go up in our comparison or advertisements, we give you our independent opinion on CRM software to help you make the right choice.
Detailed Comparison Of CRM Software In 2023
Our objective is simple: to help you make the right choice thanks to our advice and a detailed and independent analysis of the different CRMs. We have tested and analyzed very different CRMs: specialized, marketing-oriented, ERP-oriented, premium, or accessible; there is something for everyone. The part of this article where we compare CRM solutions is divided into five parts:
- Comparison of customer profiles ;
- Feature comparison ;
- Price comparison ;
- Our recommendations ;
- The summary.
What Is The CRM Software Analyzed In Our Comparison?
We favor the quality of the analysis over the quantity. The most used, well-known CRMs and those that meet the needs of our visitors are studied first, and we regularly complete our comparative analysis with new CRMs. The CRM software studied in our comparison is Pipedrive, Sellsy, Salesforce, HubSpot, no CRM, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics, Freshsales, and Folk.
Other CRMs are not yet present in our comparison but deserve to be mentioned. In particular, the project management software with a CRM Monday part, the open source software Odoo, the French CRM Teamleader, the French ERP Axonaut, the management and customer loyalty tool Zendesk, Incwo, or Oracle.
What Is CRM Software? What’s The Point?
CRM software for Customer Relationship Management or CRM software for Customer Relationship Management is software that helps you better manage your interactions with your prospects and customers. CRMs help you increase efficiency and productivity, centralize your data on your prospects and customers, improve your sales force, and sign more contracts.
CRM is often the central tool in companies. That is the basic definition of a CRM. The solutions that we have tested and analyzed are very different from each other. We cannot recommend “the best CRM” or “the cheapest CRM” because everything will depend on your profile and needs, as we will see later. To help you see more clearly, CRMs can be classified into several categories:
- Specialized CRMs that only do CRM (management of leads, contacts, and business opportunities) without offering functionalities for your marketing or management. We can cite the CRMs noCRM, Pipedrive, and Folk present in our comparison.
- For the CRM-ERPs, which are quite numerous in our comparison, we can mention Salesforce, Zoho, Freshsales, or Microsoft Dynamics. The first 4 are “big ERPs,” while Sellsy is more of an “accessible mini-ERP” for small and medium-sized businesses.
- CRM -Marketing includes marketing software ( marketing automation software, emailing software ), often offering a reasonably simple CRM. We think of Sendinblue or Mailchimp, which does not appear in the comparison, or the much more complete HubSpot CRM.
- The other-CRMs (ok, it’s not a category) include all the other software that offers a CRM part. This is often the case with software that owns part of your customer data. The project management software Monday, the ticketing tool Zendesk and some invoicing software offer a CRM part.
The Benefits Of A CRM
The benefits of a CRM are numerous. Saving time, increasing turnover, better visibility of your data, better organization of your teams, integrations with your other tools… Choosing a CRM is often synonymous with a new step for your business. Making the right choice is, therefore, essential. A CRM can be kept for many years, and choosing a CRM that does not correspond to your needs and your profile can have consequences for your business: lower performance, time, and money lost. But don’t worry, and it’s pretty simple to make the right choice.
What Are The Customer Profiles Of Each CRM Software?
This is the first question before looking for a CRM system: which CRM corresponds to my profile? The answer to this first will allow you to perform a first filter. We would not recommend Salesforce to an independent or Folk to a CAC 40 group. You have other solutions to check that the CRMs you are interested in corresponding to your company:
- You can look at CRM communication and landing pages to see if they are targeting businesses similar to yours;
- You can look at customer references and customer reviews.
This second point is essential. A CRM can have a high customer satisfaction rating with some companies and a poor customer satisfaction rating with others. This is, for example, the case of Salesforce, which is very strong on SMEs and ETIs but relatively weak on the self-employed.
You have probably eliminated several CRMs from your benchmark following this first part. To refine our analysis and your study of CRM software, let’s move on to the second step: the analysis of CRM functionalities.
What Are The Features Of CRM Software?
Before diving into the functionalities of the CRMs studied, we offer you a game. Finally… By “game,” we mean “activity that will help you choose the best CRM for your company.” It’s simple. Before discovering the features of CRM software, list your ideal CRM platform’s essential and secondary features.
Is it done? Now compare your answers with the CRM features. The features of CRM software are very numerous. Before comparing them to the different CRMs, we summarize them in a table that will allow us to clarify our analysis later. CRM software features can be separated into broad categories:
- Management of leads, contacts, and accounts;
- Commercial prospecting, negotiation, and sales;
- Marketing ;
- Administrative management;
- The customer relationship ;
- Project management;
- Data analysis;
The Organization Of Your Teams
And we are only talking about the most classic features. If you want to know the features that make the difference for each CRM tool, we invite you to consult our detailed analyzes for each CRM. To keep our analysis clear, we tell you for each CRM if it offers the main categories of features presented above. We removed the project management, data analysis, and organization of your business categories of functionalities since all CRMs offer them.
The difference is between ERPs (which allow you to do everything) and more limited specialized CRMs. Please note that this table does not indicate the quality of the features: some dashboards are complete and easy to use, while others are less visually attractive. We will tell you later about the strengths and weaknesses of each software which will help you make your choice.
What Are The Prices Of CRM Software?
The sinews of war for every entrepreneur and sales manager who has to choose a CRM. One of our top tips at Tool Advisor is encouraging entrepreneurs to go beyond price when choosing their CRM. If you’re looking for a free CRM, this is it. Better than your Excel table or Google Sheets, some CRMs like HubSpot or Freshsales offer relatively complete free versions.
If you are looking for “a cheap CRM,” that also exists, but it is sometimes (often) more judicious to put 50 or 100 euros more per month for better software and support. CRM prices are not always available online; sometimes, you must make an online quote and talk to salespeople. CRM prices are sometimes opaque, and that’s where we come in to help you. To compare the prices of CRM software, we used several scenarios:
- Price for a single user (from);
- Price for ten users (from);
- Price for ten users with the most exciting subscription (some call prices are very far from the actual price of the subscription most used by customers;
- Price for 50 users;
Compulsory support for implementation or not (CRMs hardly communicate on these prices). Sellsy and HubSpot are not accessible to a single user. You must pay for two minimum licenses. The price for 50 users is rarely as low as those shown in the table, which is the lowest subscription multiplied by 50. We know from experience that you rarely take the cheapest plan once you have 50 sales reps on your team.
We don’t see companies with 50 salespeople using the accessible version of Freshsales or Folk for their entire team. The prices correspond to a monthly payment, and paying less (often 20%) is possible annually. In addition, some CRMs require a 1.2 or 3-year commitment, while others are without commitment.
The prices are challenging to decipher. If a trend emerges and you can be told that one software is “rather” cheaper than another, it often depends on your needs. At the prices indicated in this table, you can add additional modules (present at Salesforce, HubSpot, Sellsy, Freshsales, and Zoho), the price of paid support, and any sometimes hidden limits (number of emails sent, phone credits ). To be sure of the price of the CRM, ask for a detailed quote.
CRM Software: Our Recommendations
We do not recommend any particular CRM software. The best CRM does not exist. You must choose the one that suits your profile, needs, and budget. To help you, we get a little wet by giving you some recommendations based on your profile and the results of our analyses. Let’s be clear: the most used CRM by experienced salespeople and the market leader in CRM is Salesforce.
But… Salesforce is expensive, complicated to set up, and will only suit teams with at least 5-10 salespeople. The majority of our readers will therefore have to go to another solution. We recommend Pipedrive (if you need a specialized CRM). It has an excellent quality-price ratio, the software offer is complete, the software interface is self-explanatory, and the software focuses on CRM, so you do not pay for functionalities around marketing and management that do not serve you.
If you are looking for a CRM that is just as easy to use but more complete (with management functionalities), we recommend the French Sellsy, which is closer to an ERP than a CRM. The software has evolved very quickly in recent years and is regularly recommended. There are two other software that we highly recommend: HubSpot for its free version and for companies looking for CRM-Marketing or who want a CRM that is cheaper than Salesforce and more complete than Pipedrive.
Finally, the last on our list is another French software, noCRM, the most accessible software. The company removed everything used for anything other than signing new software contracts to focus on business opportunities and the “next move.” This CRM deserves to be better known!
Zoho and Freshsales are pretty similar in the “software suite” vision, and our heart swings slightly on Zoho’s side if you are looking for an ERP that is more developed than Sellsy and cheaper than Salesforce. We recommend less Microsoft Dynamics, which will only be suitable for SMEs that already use the Microsoft suite because it is very complex and Folk because we do not yet have enough perspective on the new software from eFounders.
Comparison Of CRM 2023: the Recap.
To make it even easier, we have summarized the most relevant information to make your choice in a single table. This follows specific rules:
- The advertised prices correspond to the prices displayed on the CRM sites ;
- This table changes regularly based on new features, our analyzes, and feedback from our users;
- Our scoring methodology is transparent; you can know it in detail on our dedicated page.
How To Choose The Best CRM According To Your Profile?
We advise asking yourself eight questions to choose the CRM that suits you.
Does Anyone Already Have Experience With CRM Within Your Company?
A CRM takes time to set up and maintain. If you or a member of your sales team already have experience with a CRM, this may weigh in the balance when making your decision. This shouldn’t tip the balance too much, but it can be advantageous. Remember, the best sales work on Salesforce, and the best marketers work on HubSpot. We are hardly exaggerating in saying this.
Choosing Salesforce or HubSpot, if you have the budget, is the assurance of having an advantage over your less well-equipped competitors. This advice only concerns companies that think they will recruit many salespeople. However, to take a concrete example, startups will have difficulty doing without Salesforce, HubSpot, or Pipedrive as their CRM because they will allow you to attract the best talent.
What Are The Essential Features Of Your CRM (And Secondary Features)?
We do not recommend the same CRM to a company with many field salespeople as a tech company that relies heavily on marketing. As we advised you earlier, list essential and secondary features to make a more informed choice. Do you need a specialized CRM, a CRM-ERP, or a marketing CRM?
Do you need a dose of marketing automation? Which is more important to you, a clear dashboard, a customizable sales process or sales pipeline, or a tool that allows you to manage marketing actions directly from your CRM? Some CRMs offer unique features that we have not necessarily mentioned at the heart of our analysis but which can make a difference:
- Automatic attribution based on the profile of the prospect;
- AI-based lead scoring;
- Mobile app ;
- AI-based sales forecasting;
- Integrated billing;
- Automated lead and contact enrichment;
- Advanced customization of the CRM;
- 24/7 support.
Be careful not to focus on a secondary feature to make your choice. We often take the example of enriching your leads for this scenario. While some CRMs offer it, French tools like DropContact are much more efficient than native CRM tools and can be easily integrated.
How Many Salespeople Will Use The CRM?
The price of your CRM varies according to the number of users. The number of sales reps, managers, or marketers who use it daily can significantly impact your price. Also, some users need a simple subscription, while others need one more expensive one. We cannot analyze all the scenarios in our comparison of CRMs, but we know that the prices are difficult to read for this scenario. The solution is simple:
- Count the number of salespeople who will use the CRM with a “simple” subscription;
- Count the number of sales reps who will use the CRM with a premium subscription;
- Estimate how many sales reps your team will have in 2-5 years.
- Compare the CRMs on your shortlist based on your results; your benchmark should get easier.
What Is Your Budget?
Please ask yourself this question quite late in your search for software. Software like Salesforce or HubSpot may be out of budget, but it’s always a shame to cut yourself off from the best CRMs when the return on investment may be optimistic. A CRM can combine several software that you would have paid for separately.
Additionally, a more expensive CRM may allow you to spend less time processing your business opportunities and convert more leads into customers. Defining a budget for your CRM allows you to have a point of reference, and it is up to you to arbitrate according to the various elements mentioned above to make the right decision.
Do You Need Support In India?
We know from experience that this criterion is essential for many Tool Advisor readers. Not all CRMs offer customer support in French. If your salespeople are uncomfortable with documentation in English, this could be a problem for you. India CRM software has customer support in French, but this is not true for all the CRMs studied. Check this point carefully if it is essential to you.
Where Will Your Business Be In 5 Years?
We do not change CRM every year. A CRM takes time to set up and maintain; for some CRMs, support, and onboarding cost more than an arm’s length (understand that it’s costly). You can’t afford to change CRMs every year. It would help if you defined the tool that will suit you in a few years. We always advise you to take a complete CRM that you need rather than a limited one that will have to be changed quickly. This is partly why many ERPs appear in our comparison of CRMs: the more your company grows, the more it will need a CRM close to an ERP.
Do You Need Integrations With Other Software?
In the CRM market, two visions clash:
- Specialized CRMs that integrate easily with all tools;
- CRM-ERP or software suite develops many features but is more challenging to integrate with other tools.
There is also the case of the market leader Salesforce which is so widely used that all the software wants to integrate with the company despite the many modules it already offers. At Tool Advisor, we believe in choosing the best software in each area and then integrating them. For some less digitized companies, it is advisable to use all-in-one tools, even if this prevents you from choosing excellent software.
It all depends on your profile and your integration capabilities. Don’t forget that there are connectors like Zapier or Make to do this type of integration. You now have all the cards to choose the CRM that suits you. At Tool Advisor, we test, analyze, and compare software and answer our visitors’ questions.
How Much Does A CRM Cost In 2023?
There are CRMs at all prices. Some limited free CRMs and CRM-ERPs cost several thousand euros per month. The average price is around 600 euros per month (but it covers very different realities).
What Is The Best CRM 2023?
The best CRM does not exist! The one that meets your needs and your profile, yes. We regularly recommend Pipedrive, Sellsy, Salesforce, HubSpot, and noCRM, but none are “the best,” in our opinion. We remind you that each CRM has its specificities. This comparison is not a ranking; we aim to group the most relevant elements to help you choose.