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The 5 Most Popular Customer Relationship Management Software Platforms Compared

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The customer relationship management (CRM) industry is now worth more than $10 billion, and hundreds of vendors compete in the CRM space. Our customer relationship management software directory alone contains more than 500 options.

Sales is essential to your business, and CRM software is essential for your sales team. That’s why it’s one of our most active categories.

Between the sheer number of options and what’s on the line, comparing CRM software can quickly become overwhelming.

Contact management, communication tracking and scheduling, and sales forecasting all need to be done quickly and accurately. You need software that’s easy to set up, easy to use, has all the features you need, and has great support.

That’s why it’s helpful to know which vendors are leading in the space. While you might not end up with a market leader, it’s helpful to know what others are using as you start your search.

Below, we’re comparing in detail the top five from Capterra’s Top 20 Most Popular CRM Software as measured by a combination of their total number of customers, users, and social presence.

1. dapulse

Because dapulse is a combination project management app and CRM software, it allows users to track projects and upload documents and pictures. (Check out its project management feature list and reviews here.)

Capterra reviewers praise dapulse mostly for its ease of use. Its appealing design uses visual cues to make navigation clear and intuitive.

When they need support, users love how helpful the developers are. Users also appreciate the integrations with tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Gmail, Dropbox, and Zapier.

The few negative comments that users have left cover small inconveniences including notifications going to both email and desktop, difficulty of subtasks (with one user saying they are impossible), limited column categories with drop-down menus, and not having bundled licensing for short-term contractors.

CRM features list

Notable integrations

Google Drive, Calendar, G+, Gmail, Dropbox, Zapier

Notable clients

Uber, Adidas, Discovery Channel, Fiverr, Wix, Samsung

How much does Dapulse cost?

Starts at $25/month/user

2. Freshsales

Inside sales teams might want to consider Freshsales for its built-in phone. One Capterra reviewer writes that its “phone integration is the best I [have] experienced in my 20-year career (but most of the other also were pretty bad).”

Click-to-call saves your reps time, and the software records a call log for each prospect and each sales rep. Reporting shows at a glance how many outgoing calls each rep has made.

Customer profiles are automatically populated with information including social accounts, website visits, appointments, and other interactions with sales.

Freshsales is a clean and simple CRM with great customer support, according to reviewers. Its integrations with Gmail and Google Calendar are “seamless” according to one Capterra user (keep in mind, though, that integrations require a tier-2 subscription).

Users like that it has many features “tightly knit into one tool rather than being spread apart, for a very attractive price.”

Freshsales enables you to A/B test your email templates, and then it will show you which template option has the higher open and click-through rate. Many users mention the email tracking specifically as an extremely useful feature.

Although this CRM has plenty of features, some users complain that you can’t have multiple deal pipelines, there is no funnel view for leads, you can’t attach documents to deals, and it’s not as visually appealing as some others.

CRM features list

Notable integrations

Freshdesk, Segment, Google Calendar, MailChimp

Notable clients

Ace Mystery Shopping, Carat Lane, INTUO, Open Office

How much does Freshsales cost?

Starts out free for up to ten users

3. Pipedrive

Pipedrive’s claim to fame is that it’s a CRM built for salespeople by salespeople. It seems to have helped, as hundreds of Capterra reviewers say that this is one of the easiest CRMs to use.

It’s got a straightforward and intuitive design, with a simplified view of the sales pipeline. It requires very little setup and integrates well with other software.

Some users complain about bugs in the system that can mess with email integration or other integrations. Additionally it’s missing some core functionality, including lead scoring and email marketing capabilities.

CRM features list

Notable integrations

Google Apps, MailChimp, Trello, Yesware, and Zapier

Notable clients

Amazon, Skyscanner, Remax, Festo, Teamwork.com

How much does Pipedrive cost?

Starts at $10/user/month.

4. HubSpot CRM

The HubSpot CRM is feature packed, even at the free level. And it integrates seamlessly with HubSpot’s marketing automation software, a combination that made No. 3 on our “What’s Trending in CRM” list.

It offers unlimited users and accounts, five documents to track per account, and 15 minutes of calling per user, per month. You also get five email templates per account, unlimited email scheduling, and real-time email open notifications—if you combine HubSpot Sales with Google Apps—up to 200 email tracking notifications per month, and it offers full support.

Like Freshsales, HubSpot’s CRM scrapes the web and measures email engagement to get you more information on your prospects with less manual input, and it offers data-based lead scoring.

Capterra reviewers enjoy the social media scheduling, templates, iPhone app, great support, and real-time pipeline monitoring.

Even with all this functionality, HubSpot CRM is still easy to use. It’s No. 8 on our top 20 most user-friendly CRM list. Users say HubSpot CRM offers a clean, easy-to-use interface with customizable pipelines for any services you want.

Complaints include not being able to respond to an email directly from HubSpot, problems with Outlook/Exchange integration instructions, a lack of some features due to the free price point, and some limited functionalities (call recording, templates).

A few reviewers complain about the reporting, saying the dashboard is hard to understand and the reports aren’t very useful.

CRM features list

Notable integrations

HubSpot marketing automation software, Gmail

Notable clients

Unclear

How much does Hubspot CRM cost?

Free

5. Salesforce

Capterra reviewers love how you can make Salesforce do just about anything. Track anything you can imagine, with an almost infinitely flexible interface that works for many types of businesses.

There are also multiple options available. SalesforceIQ CRM is designed for growing businesses. It sets up in minutes without the need for outside help. Like Freshsales and Hubspot CRM, it limits the time reps spend manually entering data by automatically pulling customer data from the web. It also provides recommendations based on data.

Another option is Sales Cloud, a more customizable CRM which offers real-time customer activity data, plus insights with dashboards and reports.

With the amount of flexibility it comes with, it generally takes some time to learn Salesforce and set it up properly for your business. GetApp reviewers say SalesforceIQ CRM is easier to set up than other versions of Salesforce, but is also more expensive than similar products. Some users have also had problems with storage, either with not enough of it or limited backup.

CRM features list

Notable integrations

FinancialForce, Intacct, QuickBooks, MailChimp

Notable clients

Schneider Electric, Amazon Web Services, T-Mobile, American Express, Toyota, the City of San Francisco

How much does Salesforce cost?

Starts at $25/month/user.

Key takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of the top five most popular CRMs we just covered:

  • dapulse is a great option if you think you’ll be able to make use of combination project management app and CRM software that’s super easy to use and offers great support.
  • Inside sales teams should consider Freshsales for its click-to-call functionality, automatically populated customer profiles, great customer support, and seamless integrations with Gmail and Google Calendar with A/B testing for emails and robust reporting.
  • Pipedrive is a great CRM for teams that need an easy-to-use, easy-to-set up system.
  • If you don’t need integrated email, or you’re willing to use the rest of HubSpot’s software, HubSpot CRM is a feature-packed, low-cost, robust option.
  • Salesforce is a formidable CRM with lots of flexibility and functionality, which comes with a complicated setup and a higher price than other CRMs.

For a full list, check out our customer relationship management software directory, where you can compare feature sets, and read reviews for more than 500 CRM options.

Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

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About the Author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz helps B2B software companies with their sales and marketing at Capterra. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications. She has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and has been a columnist at Bitcoin Magazine. Her media appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. If you're a B2B software company looking for more exposure, email Cathy at cathy@capterra.com . To read more of her thoughts, follow her on Twitter.

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Very informative blog about customer relationship management softwares

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