CRM Selection – The Guide You Need Today (2022)

CRM OptionsThe CRM selection process can be a nightmare. Too many choices, challenging to differentiate, and confusing costs.

Our goal is to help you determine which is right for you based on a simple decision tree as the choice is more straightforward than you might gather from some site.

Please use the table of contents to jump to any part of the article you are interested in diving into to learn more.

We hope to educate you on the decision process along the way.

With this in mind, here are our recommendations.

CRM Selection Quick Take

Salesflare
Salesflare

Salesflare is the intelligent CRM that small businesses selling B2B love to use. It’s a zero-input sales pipeline tool that thinks and works for its user, not the other way around.

monday.com logo
monday.com

The monday.com CRM can manage the sales funnel from lead to prospect and to customer success for managing new customers.  

Comes with robust CRM, and countless integrations.

Pipedrive logo
Pipedrive

Easy to use Contact and Deal Flow.

A pure CRM for Small businesses looking for pipeline and lead management.

Hubspot
Hubspot

An acceptable level of CRM functionality for most small to mid-sized businesses.

However, the major differentiator for Hubspot is world-class marketing automation.  Great for B2C.

Salesforce

Customizable and Scalable to meet the needs of the largest businesses

This is the top-of-the-line CRM choice for large scaled businesses needing the most flexibility.

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    Use our decision tree solution or…

    Read through the article below for more specific guidance.

     

    Okay, before diving into our CRM software selection process and logic, let’s start at the beginning.

     

    What is a CRM?

    A simple CRM software definition would note that CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. Therefore, CRM is simply a software solution that helps you manage your relationship with prospects and customers.

    A better CRM software definition would be, however:

    CRM systems manage all data related to your potential and existing customers, tracking every communication of all opportunities discussed or sold.

    In B2B (business-to-business) sales situations, your CRM will store information about the businesses you sell to and the employees you work with to prospect, sell, and later support within those businesses.

     

    Why do I need a CRM?

    Even if you are a one-person business, managing your relationships with spreadsheets, documents, email, or elsewhere does not work.

    At least not well.

    Your Customer Relationship Management solution will help you keep track of prospects to call, clients to invoice, and so much more — all in one place.

    And better yet, most CRM systems will integrate into your email client and other systems to reduce the perceived administrative cost of a CRM.

     

    What are the key components of CRM?

    Your business may require additional components, but the following are the key components of CRM systems from our perspective.

    • Manage prospects, customers, and partners, the data about them, and your communications with them.
    • Allows you to manage, track, and move deals/opportunities from the beginning to the end of your sales process.
    • Enables you to manage and track the deal pipeline.

    A good CRM will integrate with your critical systems (e.g., your email) so that you can work from any system, and rest assured that the data is making its way back to the CRM.

     

    The steps in CRM implementation

    The Customer Relationship Management implementation process takes time, but the high-level steps are straightforward to define.

    You should begin with a CRM Implementation Plan that covers measurements of success and other key goals, stakeholders, a rough timeline and:

    • Clearly defines your WHY
    • Identifies all people involved in the project and their roles
    • Configuration requirements (e.g., a custom sales process, configuration for MEDDIC or other frameworks, etc.).
    • Data migration plans.
    • Testing of the migration and use of sandbox environments.
    • Training requirements to ensure adoption, data integrity, and so forth.
    • Review, iterate and adjust after going live based on what you learn.

    A General CRM Software Selection Process

    If our recommendations don’t meet your needs, consider using a CRM software selection process like this one to help you make your buying decision.

    Let’s review our simple process for how to choose a CRM system.

     

    Get clear on your WHY

    Why are you deciding that you need a CRM now?

    Choosing a CRM without being clear on your WHY is a considerable risk.

     

    How customized are your processes?

    At the enterprise level, businesses customize everything.

    At smaller sizes, most businesses can work with the out-of-the-box configuration and naming conventions the CRM vendor provides.

    Which end of the spectrum are you on?

     

    How many employees will need to use the CRM?

    You want to ensure your go-to-market teams all have access.

    How many people do you have in sales, support, customer success, marketing, enablement, and operations?

     

    Create your CRM RFI

    If you are a large business, you will want to shop around, creating a CRM RFI.

     

    Review Vendor Options

    You can use this article to narrow down the best vendors to consider sending the CRM RFI to as part of your selection process.

     

    Evaluate RFI Responses

    Which best meets your needs?

    Which will support your business processes, sales and marketing efforts, and which CRM vendors will be easiest to work with as a customer.

     

    Walking Through Our CRM Software Selection Process

    We’ve done a lot of the upfront CRM software selection process on our own to narrow the list down to five great CRM alternatives:

    • monday.com
    • Salesflare
    • Pipedrive
    • Hubspot
    • Salesforce

    There are dozens of solutions beyond this list, but we have selected these as a best-of-breed options for specific needs.

    This article breaks down the Pipedrive vs Hubspot vs Salesforce vs monday.com vs Salesflare CRM options so you don’t have to do it yourself.

     

    What is Salesflare

    Salesflare is the intelligent CRM that small businesses selling B2B love to use. It’s a zero-input sales pipeline tool that thinks and works for its user, not the other way around.

    Salesflare comes with a limited set of integrations but integrates extremely well with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

    If you use this toolset and are looking for a very easy-to-use solution that you do not need to further customize, Salesflare is a great option.

     

    What is Pipedrive?

    Pipedrive is a CRM solution that helps businesses manage and track their sales. The user interface is straightforward, easy to learn, and lead/deal management works well.

    Like the other solutions, it comes with many integrations and will fit into your business tech stack.

    Pipedrive is ideal for small businesses looking for a CRM system.

     

    What is monday.com?

    monday.com is a multi-purpose platform that began life focused on project management and has now grown into a truly robust platform that offers CRM and many other capabilities.

    monday.com is ideal for a small-to-mid-sized business that needs a flexible platform with project management capabilities.

    See what monday sales CRM has to offer.

     

    What is Hubspot?

    Hubspot is a CRM solution and also a robust marketing automation platform.

    Like the other solutions, it comes with many integrations and will fit into your business tech stack.

    Hubspot is perfect for businesses wanting a single marketing and sales solution.

     

    What is Salesforce?

    Salesforce is the complete CRM solution for businesses looking for every imaginable bell and whistle and complete customization into their business workflows.

    Like the other solutions, it comes with many integrations and will fit into your business tech stack.

    Salesforce is the right solution for any large business looking for a robust CRM system.

     

    Pipedrive vs Hubspot vs Salesforce vs monday.com vs Salesflare: How do you choose which is best for you?

    The choice for most businesses is quite simple; let’s go through our decision matrix. 

     

    If you are a very small business (under $5M in annual revenue)

    Buy Salesflare.

     

    If you are a small business (under $20M in annual revenue)

    Do you require an all-in-one solution that will integrate into your website and handle CRM duties?

    If yes, you should choose Hubspot.

    If not, do you want a CRM that can also manage projects and act as a file repository, choose monday.com.

    If you only need a CRM, choose Pipedrive. While Hubspot has a free plan, if you want a CRM, we do recommend Pipedrive as the entry cost is relatively low (less than $20/user/month).

    Note also that Pipedrive has a free trial when you sign up for one of their paid plans.

     

    If you are a mid-sized business (under $500M in annual revenue)

    Do you require an all-in-one solution that will integrate into your website and handle CRM duties?

    If yes, you should choose Hubspot.

    If not, do you want a CRM that can also manage projects and act as a file repository, choose monday.com.

    If you only need a CRM, choose Salesforce.

     

    If you are a large business (over $500M in annual revenue)

    Buy Salesforce.

     

    What about the integrations?

    All provide a large number of integrations to support your needs.

    Salesflare comes with many integrations.

    monday.com integrates with a vast number of applications, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and Asana, to name a few. You can see their full list of integrations here.

    The Salesforce Sales Cloud comes with hundreds of integrations.

    The Hubspot CRM comes with more than 1000 integrations.

    Pipedrive, which comes with the smallest number of integrations, still has more than 250 integrations.

     

    Visual Decision Tree

     

    CRM Decision Tree

    Note: We created this with Lucidchart and we are happy to share the project with you directly, just reach out to us and we will share the project with you if that is of value.  

     

    Pipedrive vs Hubspot vs Salesforce vs monday.com vs Salesflare Summary

    Salesflaremonday.comPipedriveHubspotSalesforce
    Very Small Business (less than $2M in annual revenue)Small to Mid-Sized BusinessSmall BusinessSmall to Mid-Sized BusinessMid-Sized to Large Business
    Very easy to use the system and works well with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and LinkedInIncredible Project Management, Content Storage, Plus CRMEasy to use Contact and Deal FlowTop of the line Marketing Automation Plus CRMCustomizable and Scalable to meet the needs of the largest businesses
    Only lightly customizable and with limited integrations. Weakest CRM in the group but acceptable functionality and incredible in other areas.Fewest Integrations — Use solutions like Zapier to close the gap.Free CRM is solid but the least robust of the three. Adding in paid features becomes expensive.Most complex solution to learn.
    Try NowTry NowTry NowTry NowTry Now

    The Best CRM Software Overall

    People do ask us this question and we often point to our decision tree

    However, we have taken the time to identify the best CRM software for additional use cases, including:

    • If you need a CRM platform and are a real estate agent, read our recommendations.
    • Our recommendation for the right CRM software as an individual user,solopreneur, or small business user can be read here.

    Decision Criteria Summary

    When should I buy Salesflare

    If I run a small business making less than $2M annually.

    When should I buy Pipedrive?

    If you are a small business making less than $20M annually and in need of a CRM, choose Pipedrive.

    When should I buy monday.com?

    If you need a basic CRM to manage pipeline and lead flow and a world-class project management system that can also store your marketing and sales assets, choose monday.com.

    When should I buy Hubspot?

    If you are a small or mid-sized business in need of an all-in-one marketing automation and CRM solution, buy Hubspot.

    When should I buy Salesforce?

    If you are a mid-sized business in need of a CRM, or a large company (more than $500M in annual revenue), buy Salesforce.

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