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INSIDER: A Marketer's Guide to Different Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Platforms

5/28/20, 9:29 AM

Most Popular CRMs in the Marketplace

There is no doubt that the Customer Relationship Management industry has exploded in recent years. In fact, the global research and advisory firm,  Gartner described CRM as the largest of all software markets with global revenue of nearly $48.2 billion in 2018 and expects the growth to be consistently above 10 percent by 2022.

The need to stand out in a dynamic, technologically advanced world has led to the explosive surge the industry has seen. While helpful, this has led to plenty of CRM platforms entering the market - each claiming to offer everything a business could need. However, few of them can actually provide what enterprise brands need to strengthen their relationships with customers.

Apart from managing leads, your enterprise CRM should provide enough user profiles for your sales and marketing teams. It’s also important to look for a solution that you can customize to meet your business needs.

While these may sound like basic requirements, surprisingly, it's difficult to find enterprise CRM solutions that deliver all the essentials for all businesses. That said, here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular CRM platforms that openly offer an enterprise-based package.


Salesforce is currently the leading CRM software with nearly 20 percent of the market share under its name. The software offers applications for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and customer relationships.

Salesforce offers a range of business products that seamlessly integrate with each other. It combines marketing automation, lead management, sales data, and partner management features for a systematic lead-to-conversion approach. It has cool built-in project management features that make it easy for managers to manage and build out workflows, assign, and follow tasks. Additionally, Salesforce offers a variety of modules including Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Sales Collaboration, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, and Salesforce Platform (for high-level development and customization).

Salesforce for Outlook feature allows users to synchronize contacts, emails, calendars, and tasks without interfering with any business process. Another great thing that stands out on Salesforce is its widespread use, which allows for easy integrations through AppExchange. Salesforce is only available for software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment.


  • Easy to use custom dashboard
  • It’s cloud-based and provides business automation
  • Simple and easy software navigation
  • Lots of easy integrations


  • Slightly expensive customization as it needs a dedicated team to handle it
  • So many steps to have a complete file

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a modular, cloud-based CRM tool that essentially combines Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions into a single cloud-based platform. Since it’s made up of solutions, enterprises can automate field service, track leads, increase sales, and enhance overall operations that utilize mobile and cloud-based business applications.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also features apps that support electronic devices running on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. These applications are available online, so you can complete tasks even without an internet connection, and data will automatically sync upon connection reestablishment. The system apps can be deployed independently or as a group as the company grows and expands. The solutions integrate seamlessly with other applications such as Outlook, SharePoint, Lync, Word, OneNote, and other applications related to Microsoft applications to avoid double entry and save time. Companies can integrate the solution with the Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow).

The solution likewise nurtures collaboration as Yammer enables communication among users and allows them to add colleagues to projects and meetings.


  • Data unification
  • Simple to use interface
  • Seamless integration with other Microsoft 365 services
  • Provides sophisticated customization options for users


  • Customization is easy but may take several steps
  • Relatively expensive versus most providers


Hubspot CRM, which is completely free, is a pretty cool and popular CRM software thanks to its wide-ranging capabilities and applications. Beginners and mid-market enterprises will appreciate the fact that HubSpot is currently a certified, premier Google partner, and is a cloud-based solution that is built for all niches and industries.

The software includes all the basic features found in a CRM software, so users can keep track of their company’s activities, including contact and company profiles, managing all data in a unified dashboard, and assigning and tracking deals.

At the same time, HubSpot has got a decently designed user interface and integrates seamlessly with other popular apps including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Shopify, Zapier, and many other tools.

Users can also take advantage of the HubSpot Marketing Platform, an advanced system from the HubSpot suite that aligns their CRM and marketing efforts to increase traffic and conversion rates altogether. Deployment options include cloud, web, SaaS, and mobile (iOS and Android).


  • An intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate
  • All records are in one place
  • Outstanding integration features and capabilities
  • 7-day free trial


  • Pricing can increase when premium functions are added
  • Limited ability to to customize templates


Zoho CRM is an all-in-one solution designed for customer management and lead generation. It’s also responsible for purchase control and sales pipeline management. You now have an idea of what these unique features can do when combined, especially when they appear on an intuitive interface. The dashboard includes a range of features such as contacts, sales deals, leads and account management, tasks, notes, and assignments along with analyzed reports. Nevertheless, the user is always free to customize the dashboard depending on the business-specific needs.

Zoho designed for businesses of all sizes and types. The software can be used to automate critical sales operations, convert visitors to leads, and interact with customers on different social platforms. Most of the sales operations on Zoho are single-click, and they are easily customizable to meet the specific needs of the business.

Zoho CRM also uses a built-in Al called Zia to help take your lead generation process to the next level. Zia can identify priority leads, suggest the best time for follow up, monitor existing workflows, and automatically send marketing emails to new clients in your campaign.

Another interesting feature worth noting is that it’s easier to add extensions and integrations to the primary system through the Zoho marketplace. Users can search and select hundreds of broadly used products such as GoToMeeting, Docusign, Twilio, and more, and use them on Zoho CRM. The solution can be integrated with other applications including Microsoft Outlook, QuickBooks, Google Apps, MailChimp, and Constant Connect.


  • Quick and easy onboarding
  • Robust functionality
  • Tons of integrations on Zoho marketplace
  • Automatic lead creation and customer management


  • Tiered plans can be expensive
  • The free edition is limited to three users


Zendesk is a cloud-based ticketing support solution that offers customizable tools that help you build a customer service portal, your knowledge base, and customer base. The solution offers a customizable dashboard, live chat features, and a call center that you can upgrade separately. The channels supported by default include mobile, web, email, Facebook, and Twitter. It also provides flexible plans, which is why it’s an ideal option for businesses of all sizes.

Zendesk online customer service allows agents to track tickets raised and know their status. The main module on this platform can be customized to fit your user’s workflows or any applications you may be using. It is also possible to rate individuals based on satisfaction. The analysis tool on the dashboard allows users to measure and improve customer service.

Zendesk can integrate seamlessly with other applications such as Salesforce and Google Analytics. Like most help desk management solutions, Zendesk support allows users to create service level agreements (SLAs), automation, business rules, and customer satisfaction.


  • Easy to use interface
  • Solid tick management options
  • Customizable dashboards and reports as well as flexible queries
  • Excellent integration options


  • Advanced features are available at the high pricing plan
  • Encryption costs extra

Final Thoughts

Getting the value for investment is crucial when it comes to choosing the right CRM software. While there are many factors to consider before making the final decision, you should focus more on whether the price fits the budget and whether you get the right ROI.

The perfect choice for a CRM solution would be one that combines several aspects such as lead capture, client acquisition, workflow, list management, customer service, project management, and so much more in the customer lifecycle.  Our team is skillfully trained in helping you choose the right CRM for your business model. We will assist in all on-boarding, setup and implementation. If you’re interested in getting started with a CRM, contact our team today

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