In marketing, customer outreach and working communication happening inside teams are the core of the business process. Sometimes they overlap; sometimes they occur on different levels and with different goals. Yet one thing is true: to operate successfully, a marketing team needs to run communication with customers and own teammates smoothly and efficiently, making data-sharing and decision making fast and optimal.
Fortunately, today this problem is efficiently solved with help of CRM – Customer Relationship Management platforms and add-in tools. A well-built and sophisticated platform provides valuable insights into the whole process of purchase, from a customer’s first visit to a site to checkout, and supplies the retrieved data in an accessible form to marketers and sales who then devise better ways to engage customers and make them regular ones.
Top 10 CRM Tools That Will Make Your Marketing More Efficient
The CRM instrument is actually a multitude of integrated convenient tools that perform different but interconnected functions. The best CRM for a small marketing team can assist in:
- setting up SEO for web and social media,
- rolling out complex emailing campaigns,
- categorizing customers according to steps they take (and do not take) and finding ways to retain them,
- analyzing data and streamlining routine tasks, thus leaving more time for actual marketing efforts,
- targeting ads at the most promising categories of customers,
- setting faster and more efficient communication routes within the team,
- and many more tasks.
You can use CRM as SaaS, purchasing various service plans, and getting technical support along the way. Or you can get a proprietary CRM that will live on your hardware and will offer a higher degree of confidentiality.
Now the key question is: how to choose the right CRM and get the most of it for your particular marketing needs? To facilitate your task, we’ve compiled a list of trusted and efficient CRM platforms that will solve the problems of your team and let you see new opportunities in the data you can collect:
These CRMs are specifically honed to help you create the most fruitful and sustainable relationships with your customers without driving your team mad. These platforms work in two directions, making the clients’ experience with your company positive and reducing the workload the team has to do (while remaining efficient).
Read on about each platform and decide which one offers the best combo of services that match your needs.
1) Nimble is a Jack of all trades in terms of functions and their integration and ease of use. This CRM combines options of task managing and planning, calendar synching, sophisticated contact management, streamlining of sales and marketing processes, tools of data gathering on customers (both individuals and companies), smart social search, email management, and more. In addition, Nimble offers integration with the most popular third-party workspace solutions and suites like Office 365 or Google Workspace. Probably the best CRM for marketing team looking for growth, Nimble keeps you covered in all marketing aspects, and it all is wrapped up in a very smart and convenient interface.
- Offers task management, marketing, and client outreach tools
- Email tools (templates, track, message synching, alerts, and more)
- Tools for contact and calendar management
- Unified inbox for messages
- Smart work on the socials
- Fine-tuned contact filtering and segmentation
Pricing is easy to understand. Nimble offers a single plan: $19/month per user if paid as a bulk annually, and $25/user if billed every month.
2) Hubspot CRM is one of the founding fathers that stood at the foundation of CRM as a full-fledged automation solution. For this reason, it is free to use and offers a solid basic package of functions and options, but it is also rather limited in terms of customization and modern marketing tricks. With Hubspot, you get an excellent take-off strip that will serve you well at the initial stages of your business. It offers extensive email management tools, automation of marketing processes, analytical tools, social media manager, and an option to build customized landing pages. Hubspot features a strong focus on content through blog management. If you aim to attract people through native advertising, Hubspot is fine for you.
- A great tool for professional blogging with tips on SEO
- Dashboard for reporting
- Deal and prospect tracking
- Scheduling of teamwork and meetings
- Capacious email tool
Pricing options: Hubspot CRM is free to use, but add-ons are paid. Marketing add-on costs $50 per user/monthly, professional CMS of Hubspot costs $300 per month, and the comprehensive Suite is offered for $113 per user/monthly.
3) Insightly is a capacious tool that can help your team streamline their work and implement G Suite and Office 365 integration. The platform offers the usual set of features including management of data on customers, leads, and even suppliers. In addition, Insightly includes a Business Intelligence tool delivered by Microsoft that collects historical and current data and presents it into meaning and easy-to-read metrics. One more great option is the visualization of the ROI of the marketing budget, which allows you to deploy only the most efficient tools.
- Business Intelligence
- Email management
- Task management
- Work planning
- Compatibility with cloud storage
Pricing is average: the Plus plan costs $29 per user/monthly, Professional costs $49, and Enterprise costs $99 on the same billing conditions.
4) Nutshell is all about integration and data exchange, so expect flawless blending with Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Add the tool Reply and you have a powerful message exchange system. Nutshell is great at integrating information about new leads into reporting and sales tools and generating a clear picture of the whole purchasing process a customer goes through. Classic customer integration is enhanced with an interactive map option, so you get all information about regional customers in one click. In 2021, Nutshell Marketing, a powerful emailing tool, was introduced (it is sold and billed separately). Definitely, all these pros go with a couple of cons. The service can create lead duplicates, so while importing data you need to control the process. Workflow automation features also leave much to be desired.
- Integration with Mailchimp, Constant contact and Reply
- Customer segmentation after multiple attributes including geographical location, industry, and value
- Tags and custom fields for segmentation
- Full integration with front-end data collection
Pricing: the fees are average across the field. The Starter package costs $19 per user per month, and the Pro offer costs $35 per user per month.
5) Engagebay Suite attracts our attention because it is simple, powerful, and offers free plans for users who need less than 1,000 contacts and 1,000 emails with brand tags. So a small marketing team can use it for free and still get the full package of services necessary for running campaigns and analyzing the outcomes. With business expansion, getting a subscription will be a better choice. Engagebay stands up to its name, conveniently harboring under one roof all processes for acquisition and engagement of clients and for making them, regular customers. It also offers a set of marketing automation solutions, Helpdesk, and CRM for the sales dept.
- Tools for email marketing
- Creation and customization of landing pages
- 360 Degree Customer View tool
- Scheduling tool for appointments, etc.
Pricing: as said, companies that cater to less than 1,000 contacts and send fewer than 1,000 emails can use it for free. The paid plans include Basic ($8.99 per user per month), Growth ($29.99 per user per month), and Pro ($47.99 per user per month) options, depending on the company’s needs.
6) Keap is deliberately oriented towards small businesses and even solo freelancers, so all its operations and tools can be conveniently used by a single worker or an eCommerce owner, as well as by a small team of marketers. It’s a complete CRM with options like automation of marketing activities, contact management, basic digital marketing, and email marketing tools. Build lead databases and accumulate all contacts data under one roof, retrieving it from various cards, spreadsheets, and even from other CRMs. The only drawback is its relatively high pricing, especially a big gap between neighboring Grow and Pro plans.
- Creation of trigger-based email chains
- Integrative aggregation of contact data
- Sales pipeline
- Contact management
- Automation of marketing processes
Pricing: the basic Grow plan costs $49 per user/monthly, the Pro plan costs already $149 per user/monthly.
7) Zendesk Connect is a rightful offspring of Zendesk and Outbound that came into existence after Zendesk had purchased the Outbound marketing platform and converted it into its own marketing tool. Since Zendesk was created as an instrument for promoting customer satisfaction and long-term customer relations, the primary advantage of Zendesk Connect is excellent technical support for its services. The marketing package includes tools for tracking customer behavior and preferences, good customer segmentation, tools for launching campaigns, and an elaborate messaging system. If you do not need an extended toolkit of marketing features but want the service to work smoothly like a clock, opt for Zendesk.
- Top-class support and troubleshooting
- Targeted marketing
- Personalized notifications
- Simple dashboard
- Intricate system of customers’ segmentation
Pricing: unlike in other services, fees are based on the number of users who receive messages sent by the system. Small-scale businesses can use the plan for 2,000 users/clients that will cost $153 per month per company. 50,000 messaged users will cost $918 per month, and half a million messaged users will cost $3,094 per month.
8) Zoho can be justly marketed as CRM software for a small marketing team since it is developed for small and medium-sized companies. It provides tools for aggregating and sorting data from every form available on your site and acting on that data. Namely, you can analyze users’ behavior and generate promotions and offers based on their activities. Integrate Zoho with Google Ads and you get a powerful gear for evaluating the efficiency of your campaigns. To put even more value in the offer, Zoho includes a Campaign Manager that lets you organize campaigns on the go from a single dashboard.
- Google Ads integration
- Automatic tracking of customers’ activities
- Management of targeted email lists
- Creation of targeted and unique offers matching the customer’s steps on your site
Pricing: their pricing policy is truly liberal. The standard plan costs $12 monthly per user, Professional costs $20, and Enterprise costs $35. Unlimited access fee is $100 per user monthly.
9) Copper also presents itself as an assistant for small working teams and lives up to that image. It is a tool that provides automation for most repeating marketing tasks and integrates well with Google Apps including Gmail and Calendar. Copper also allows you to do everything for building sustainable contacts with customers using email threads. Add reminders about taking actions and proceeding with deals, and you get the picture of Copper’s potential.
- Google Apps integration
- Email management and data extraction
- Email templates
- Workflow automation
- Report generation
Pricing: plans depend on the number of contacts and people who will use the tool. The Basic plan means three users and 2,500 contacts for $25 per month; the Professional plan includes an unlimited number of users and up to 15,000 contacts. Business plan costs $119 and it implies an unlimited count of contacts to add and manage.
10) Creatio can be described in terms of its cons and pros (yes, in this very order). Its downsides include orientation towards bigger corporate customers in services and pricing, a somewhat cluttered interface, and the necessity to learn how to use the platform. The basic subscription plan for small teams differs depending on the service delivery form. Standalone software installed on your equipment has a limited set of features, while the SaaS version does not differentiate between the team, commerce, and enterprise plans. These include business processes management, collaboration instruments, vast analytics options, integration and synchronization with third-party planning tools, and full lead preparation for further passing them to the sales. The key advantage of this CRM is the extensive toolkit that shows you opportunities you didn’t know about. With Creatio, you can really accomplish more in terms of marketing.
- WYSIWYG visual interface for mail management (templates included)
- A/B split testing and email efficiency gauging
- Project management
- Forecast of sales.
Pricing: the per-user fees are $30 per month for the Team plan, $35 per month in Commerce plan, and $60 per month for Enterprise. The customized all-in-one Bundle is negotiated individually.
As you see, the choice of CRM is immense, so we listed only the top CRM tools for the marketing team currently available on the market. Whether you decide to pick a cheaper tool or select it by the specific features you need, every CRM on the list will be worth its price and will serve you well. And, surely, start from the top and try Nimble first. With it, you won’t need to bother about choice and will focus on important marketing tasks instead.