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6 Web-based CRM Applications Side-by-Side

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6 Web-based CRM Applications Side-by-Side

    Customer relationship management software is important for businesses that are both small and large. Freelancers and small businesses need such a system as much as large businesses and enterprises do. Well, maybe you need it a bit more if you have millions of customers, but that said: managing your customer relationships is not only tricky and often complicated, it’s essential to running a successful business.

    Software makes such a complicated and time-consuming aspect of your business easier to handle and more efficient. There are many web-based CRM applications available, so let’s take a look at a few of the options available to you.

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    Highrise

    Highrise is the popular CRM from 37signals, developers of many other popular productivity web apps. There’s no free option, and the prices are a bit marked up – you’re probably paying for the storage space more than anything. Perhaps they’re only targeting enterprise users, but for my uses I’d only want to plonk down for a plan if it had more power than the cheapest option while costing less than the $50/month option.

    Highrise’s main features are a shared company address book, built-in task management, contact histories and cases, which allows you to keep case notes on a contact, along with other files.

    PipelineDeals

    PipelineDeals delivers a sigh of relief with a monthly cost of $15 per user, and unlimited data storage is included in that price. PipelineDeals is very sales-oriented, as the name implies, focusing on tracking your sales, keeping a sales calendar, tracking your leads and organizing sales documents, so if you’re in a sales environment this may be one for you to look at. They talk about your sales pipeline a lot too. Who would’ve guessed?

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    Salesforce

    Salesforce is perhaps the most popular CRM in the field, and prices start at $9 a month and go up higher than you can count. There’s also a pretty restricted free account called Personal Edition, which infers that it’s useless for anything business-related. Salesforce tries to integrate the process of managing customer relations with the process of funneling new leads into the system, using Google AdWords integration.

    While it’s popular and quite powerful (and the fact you can manage AdWords campaigns from the app is enticing), it’s another CRM that is highly focused on making sales and not so much on customer relations management.

    Oracle CRM On Demand

    Oracle’s CRM On Demand starts at $70 a month per user. What you get for that $70 is not incredibly clear, with a convoluted website design that makes finding decent information difficult, and copy that’s just badly written. Oracle has some built-in analytics tools and call center integration features that will make it more useful to quite large businesses.

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    I couldn’t find any sign of whether data storage was limited or unlimited, and the website claims that the app requires “Microsoft Windows compatibility.” What kind of a hosted CRM requires you to be on Windows?

    Unfortunately, when a web application’s sales pages are poorly designed, it’s a good indicator that the web app itself is just as bad.

    SugarCRM

    SugarCRM has an on-premise product, but we’re looking at hosted CRMs, so I’m going to look solely at their hosted option, Sugar On-Demand. The cheapest option is $40 a month and will allow you 300 users, though it requires an annual commitment. It also demands that you have five users or more, which is a fairly odd and restrictive move (as if the requirement for an annual commitment was not enough).

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    That said, SugarCRM seems to have a better balance between sales and marketing than some of the other options that focused far too much on one or the other to be an effective CRM. Furthermore, part of customer relationship management is good customer support, and SugarCRM is one of the few hosted options that offers decent customer support features.

    Zoho CRM

    From a perspective of price, Zoho CRM offers one of the best deals. The first three users are free, and after that, the prices are $12 and $25 per user per month for the Professional and Enterprise Editions respectively. The free edition isn’t lacking all that much from the paid versions; it doesn’t let you send email marketing material and there’s no SSL. There are a few other disabled features, but aside from that it’s fairly intact.

    Zoho does a good job of balancing the marketing, sales and support triad, and includes an inventory management system that integrates with the sales process — this obviously prevents any embarassing sales of a product that is out of stock.

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    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    Misplaced Your Items? Get This Search Party

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    Misplaced Your Items? Get This Search Party

    We’ve all experienced that panicked moment, just as we leave the house, when we realise we can’t find our car keys, wallet, phone or house keys. Your mind starts racing to when you last had it and it’s a mad dash to try and locate where the item might be.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way of eliminating that feeling of misplacing your things?

    The Answer to Never Losing Your Items Again

    Tile is a clever and convenient way of locating your lost items using an app on your phone. Place your Tile on any item important to you or things you’re most likely to lose and your phone will use Bluetooth up to 100ft away from the lost item to locate it.

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      Lost your phone? All you need to do is double press one of your Tiles to make it ring – even when you’ve left it on silent.

      The ‘Last Place Seen’ Feature to Help Locate Your Left Item

        The phone app will always track where each of your Tile’s is within the 100 ft Bluetooth radius and logs it into a map. This helps you retrace your steps and makes it more likely to locate the item again limiting the worry and increasing peace of mind in your quest to get it back again.

        Includes a ‘Search Party’ Community Feature to Increase Your Chances of Finding Your Lost Item

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          Everyone who buys a Tile and installs the app, instantly becomes part of the search party community. When someone walks by your lost item with the app on their phone, it will immediately ping a message to your phone with the item’s location. This is particularly useful if you haven’t necessarily realised your item is even missing and allows you to reunite with it more quickly.

          What Do Tile Users Think of the Product?

          Read any review from a Tile user and you’ll find a happy-ending story in it. From finding their wallet to locating a stolen motorbike, Tile has managed to help thousands of people reunite with their lost items.

          Here’s one story from Paul who lost his wallet while about to board a plane on the way back from a business trip:

          “I travel for work quite a bit. Today was no different, as I traveled to San Francisco for a work meeting and was on my way back home. Upon arriving at SFO, I climbed out of a Lyft, grabbed my laptop bag and suitcase, and headed into the security checkpoint. Unbeknownst to me, my wallet had fallen out somewhere along the way.

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          I proceeded to security and it wasn’t until then that I realized what had happened. Right away I pulled up my Tile app. Nothing registered (it was a long walk to security), so I traced my steps backward. As I was doing this with my Tile app open, I passed the airline ticketing counters. Suddenly, the tile app showed I was in range.

          Hoping against hope, I approached counter after counter, asking if a wallet had been turned in. All answered with a resounding, ‘no.’ Feeling a bit defeated, I pressed the button to activate the chime. Airports are noisy places so I couldn’t hear it, but one of the individuals behind the ticketing counter did. Sure enough, two stations over from her was my wallet, dropped in a nondescript box behind the counter.

          Not only was it the app and bluetooth that helped me know it was close, it was the chime that helped us find it. Best of all, my wallet had $400 cash in it. Everything was in my wallet, untouched, including the cash.”

          Why You Should Purchase a Tile and Where Can You Find It?

          This product will:

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          • Ring the Tile attached to what you’re trying to find
          • Ring your phone even when it’s on silent
          • Locate the last place your lost item was seen
          • Allow other Tile users to automatically help locate your item and ping the location to your phone
          • Comes in a sleek and discrete design that can attach to any item easily

          But don’t restrict it to wallets and keys, if you have a pet that’s prone to wandering why not attach one to its collar or slip it in your child’s pocket for extra peace of mind?

          Whatever you use it for, you’re guaranteed to never worry about losing your items again!

          Purchase a Tile here.

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