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Straight-Up CRM Comparison

Posted on 6.30.2013

Building true, quality relationships with customers doesn’t happen overnight. Businesses must nurture their leads to develop high-value interactions in the future. That can seem insurmountable for those with an existing customer base of hundreds, or in some cases, thousands, of people. 

Luckily, there are plenty of software solutions available for companies of all sizes to make customer relationship management more meaningful and manageable. Take a closer look at some of these solutions below:

Big-Market Movers


Oracle’s CRM offerings include everything from sales force automation to socially-enabled business intelligence. The company provides more than 20 industry tailored solutions for enterprises to choose from. Oracle’s CRM On Demand solutions, for example, are designed to support key business processes unique to specific industries, such as medical, life sciences, technology, insurance, automotive and wealth management. In addition to Oracle’s On Demand solutions, that company offers an E-Business Suite CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM and Siebel CRM, which provides organizations with a combination of transactional, analytical and engagement features.


SAP’s 360 Customer CRM solution, which is powered by SAP HANA, provides enterprises with access to real-time customer insights and interactions, including social sentiment data. In fact, this data allows users to proactively engage with customers in real-time. In addition, the platform enables users to combine transactional and external data for a complete look at their customers and to deliver personalized experiences through any channel and device, as well as to personalize offers based on customer profile, context, past interactions and current location.


The Sales Cloud platform is used by some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Facebook, Virgin America and NBC Universal. Not only does the platform help enterprises monitor their customer activity across all touchpoints, but it also makes it easy for teams to collaborate and allows IT teams to build custom applications that can be easily tied into business processes. In addition, it is important to note that small businesses can also reap the benefits of this CRM platform. In fact, Tricia Gellman, senior director of small business marketing at states that one of the key differences of Salesforce compared to other big players in the CRM industry is that the platform grows with businesses, as it has the ability to scale.

“With the cloud model that we have, you can basically pay as you go," said Gellman. "And you can start with a smaller version because we have a couple of different levels in terms of pricing, so it becomes really quite flexible for people as they are building their businesses.”

Mid-Range Mavens


Zoho’s CRM solution is used by more than 25,000 companies. The platform helps businesses attract and retain customers, as it includes automation services, sales cycle tracking and has the ability to integrate with a variety of applications. Plus, businesses can communicate with customers directly from the CRM as well as access customer data at all times with the ability to connect to the Zoho CRM platform from their mobile phone. The platform also features Sales Forecasting, which provides estimate revenue for each fiscal year and/or approaching quarters, helps businesses identify the sales personnel who meet their targets and offers customizable reports and dashboards.


SugarCRM helps businesses in a variety of industries manage their customer interactions. The solution can be used for marketing, sales, customer support and as a customizable platform that can be leveraged to deploy mobile solutions, social applications and business processes. SugarCRM can be used to target customers in order to deliver personalized messages to the best prospects, as well as features multi-channel marketing and allows users to build multi-touch campaigns. Moreover, SugarCRM offers customer activity history data, enables users to interact with contacts directly from the platform and is accessible via mobile devices.


Blackbaud CRM is specially designed for nonprofits, as it offers fundraising, prospect research, analytics and multichannel direct marketing features together in one platform to give organizations an integrated view of the constituent experience. The platform also uses the correct set of terms for the nonprofit industry. For example, users don’t have to change the word “sales” to “donations” or “pipeline management” to “program management.” It is also important to note that Blackbaud offers Luminate CRM, which is a cloud-based constituent engagement platform built on the Salesforce platform. In fact, Luminate is optimal for organizations, such as museums, that not only manage relationships with traditional customers, but also donors for nonprofit efforts. This is because Luminate CRM allows organizations to maintain the Salesforce backbone while also having a solution that is designed for the needs of nonprofits.

Small-Biz Wonders


With ContactMe, small businesses can manage their contacts, track tasks, capture leads and more. The platform enables users to import their existing contacts, categorize contacts into different groups, send targeted emails to groups, assign customers to a stage in the sales cycle and filter contacts. ContactMe also offers buttons and forms, so that businesses can collect contact information from visitors on their website. Plus, users have access to a variety of reports that contain valuable insights, can access the platform via an iOS app and can extend the platform with integrations from WordPress, MailChimp, Facebook, Constant Contact, Wibiya and Webs.


CampaignerCRM provides businesses with a CRM system that is integrated with email marketing and allows users to access leads, contacts, reports and more in real-time. The platform’s integration with Campaigner’s email marketing platform enables users to create, manage and track campaigns through the CRM. Furthermore, CampaignerCRM provides social media data so marketers can better understand their customers, as well as reports that can help businesses better manage their sales processes, pipelines and marketing efforts. Plus, CRM data can be accessed via mobile devices.


This social CRM makes it easy for small businesses to manage their relationships with customers over a variety of channels. Nimble allows businesses to keep an eye on customer activity in one location, as the platform can be used to find customers’ social profiles, view all business-to-customer interactions, send messages and manage tasks and events. Plus, the platform’s social listening screen enables users to monitor social conversations based on keywords, as well as observe a brand’s social accounts including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In addition, small businesses can extend Nimble’s functionality with the platform’s Apps Marketplace, which includes add-ons for email services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, as well as a variety of other extensions for categories including customer support, marketing, data syncing and forms, e-commerce, event and project management and accounting, billing and invoicing.

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