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Online CRM Software


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Salesforce.com logo
 
The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
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The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
 
Infusionsoft logo
 
Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that brings Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Automation, and E-Commerce together in one centralized system, so small businesses can deliver personalized sales... Read More
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Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that brings Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Automation, and E-Commerce together in one centralized system, so small businesses can deliver personalized sales... Read More
 
HubSpot CRM logo
 
With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
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With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
 
ProsperWorks CRM logo
 
ProsperWorks is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The ProsperWorks... Read More
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ProsperWorks is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The ProsperWorks... Read More
 
Base logo
 
Base CRM is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. Base CRM features... Read More
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Base CRM is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. Base CRM features... Read More

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NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read More
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NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read More
 
Chime logo
 
Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
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Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
 
Less Annoying CRM logo
 
Less Annoying CRM is a customer relationship management solution that caters to the needs of small businesses. It offers cloud-based deployment, various configuration options and a dashboard that provides an overview of contact information,... Read More
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Less Annoying CRM is a customer relationship management solution that caters to the needs of small businesses. It offers cloud-based deployment, various configuration options and a dashboard that provides an overview of contact information,... Read More
 
bpm'online CRM logo
 
Bpm'online is a process-driven customer relationship management (CRM) solution for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead to sales and to ongoing customer service. The... Read More
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Bpm'online is a process-driven customer relationship management (CRM) solution for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead to sales and to ongoing customer service. The... Read More
 
amoCRM logo
 
amoCRM’s sales management service is a web based platform available anywhere with an Internet connection. Users of the system can manage their pipeline, sales team and receive analytic feedback and reports. In addition, users can... Read More
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amoCRM’s sales management service is a web based platform available anywhere with an Internet connection. Users of the system can manage their pipeline, sales team and receive analytic feedback and reports. In addition, users can... Read More

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Claritysoft logo
 
Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
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Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
 
BoomTown logo
 
Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
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Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
 
CallProof logo
 
CallProof is a sophisticated CRM system with a host of features that effectively organizes all facets of the sales process, from lead tracking to reporting. This system is fully web-based, and is optimized for companies that utilize... Read More
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CallProof is a sophisticated CRM system with a host of features that effectively organizes all facets of the sales process, from lead tracking to reporting. This system is fully web-based, and is optimized for companies that utilize... Read More
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM logo
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
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BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
 
LeadMaster logo
 
LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read More
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LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read More

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Freshdesk logo
 
Offering multi-channel customer support, Freshdesk brings together every customer conversation into a centralized interface, helping customer support agents address and resolve trouble tickets. Whether the interaction occurs over... Read More
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Offering multi-channel customer support, Freshdesk brings together every customer conversation into a centralized interface, helping customer support agents address and resolve trouble tickets. Whether the interaction occurs over... Read More
 
Hatchbuck logo
 
Hatchbuck is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. Hatchbuck is a good fit for a wide range... Read More
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Hatchbuck is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. Hatchbuck is a good fit for a wide range... Read More
 
SalesNOW logo
 
SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based CRM platform that can be used on laptops and desktops via web browser or any connected mobile device. The system offers applications designed specifically for Android, iPhone,... Read More
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SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based CRM platform that can be used on laptops and desktops via web browser or any connected mobile device. The system offers applications designed specifically for Android, iPhone,... Read More
 
PlanPlus Online logo
 
PlanPlus Online uses the Franklin Covey business planning methodology to help organizations and professionals in real estate, insurance and finance sectors manage both time and customers. The system provides an all-in-one solution... Read More
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PlanPlus Online uses the Franklin Covey business planning methodology to help organizations and professionals in real estate, insurance and finance sectors manage both time and customers. The system provides an all-in-one solution... Read More
 
Really Simple Systems logo
 
Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small and midsize organizations. The solution comes in both free and paid editions. The free edition offers only sales force automation... Read More
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Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small and midsize organizations. The solution comes in both free and paid editions. The free edition offers only sales force automation... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 23, 2017


Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) software is becoming a popular option for organizations looking to implement CRM software. This deployment model is gaining traction because the upfront investment can be lower than traditional on-premise software installations. Additionally, as the name implies, Web-based systems can be accessed over the Web, from virtually any browser, making it easy to use from any location with broadband Internet.

The industry has responded to this dynamic, with new vendors and products entering the market at a steady pace. With so many choices, it can be a daunting task to find the solution that best fits your needs. That is why we created this buyer’s guide to assist you in your understanding of the market and the products available.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Web-Based CRM Software?
Common Features of Web-based CRM Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues

What Is Web-Based CRM Software?

The primary difference between customer relationship management software, sometimes called contact management software, that is Web-based and other forms is the deployment model. With traditional offerings, companies had to purchase and host the server on premise. They required an IT team to manage, update and maintain the server. Web-based deployment removes this burden by having the server hosted remotely by the vendor. It also reduces upfront investment, with vendors offering a pay-as-you-go plan instead.

There are two types of Web-based systems available: application service providers (ASPs) and pure browser-based systems. ASPs function like a client/server system, with the organization downloading the “client” onto their computers, and the vendor hosting the data remotely on a server. Browser-based systems, on the other hand, can be accessed from any Internet browser, with no download required. The obvious benefit of a browser-based system is that it can be accessed from anywhere and is presented in a familiar format. Many ASPs are Web-enabled, meaning that users can also access information via a Web browser, but this method is often slower, and the user interface tends to be simplified, resulting in reduced functionality.

A Web-based CRM system offers increased flexibility across sales, customer service and marketing. For example:

  • Sales teams can create, process and invoice orders remotely;
  • Customer service reps can provide support via Web-based channels such as email and live Web chat;
  • Sales and marketing will experience increased transparency, which will decrease overlap and ensure that potential leads turn into loyal customers;
  • There is also increased security with data being stored online rather than on a server that could crash or malfunction.

Common Functionality of Web-Based CRM Software

While features vary from system to system, common capabilities include:

Marketing automation Tools to attract new customers, often through delivering promotional materials over social media and email marketing campaigns. Turning customers and visitors into leads (lead generation), and nurturing those leads through the sales funnel.
Sales force automation (SFE) Encompasses workflow automation, helps sales representatives manage customer interactions, leads and accounts. Tracks sales opportunities and provides management with insight into sales pipelines and forecasting.
Channel management Also called “partner relationship management,” helps automate marketing and sales processes through outside channels. For example, linking social profiles to CRM system and using those social channels for marketing activities such as outreach and promotion.
Data visualization Includes dashboards and reports for sales tracking, forecasting and pipeline analysis, as well as marketing analytics for campaign management.
Mobile apps Access CRM account data from mobile devices (click here for a description of iPad CRM features). Also includes additional mobile-specific capabilities, such as GPS-mapping and calendar-syncing.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before beginning your software evaluation, you will need to identify what type of buyer you are. Nearly all buyers fall into one of these categories:

Small business buyers. Many small businesses are looking to upgrade from a basic email marketing or content management system. They are likely growing, and therefore require more sophisticated functions, such as customer support tickets, lead generation and sales force automation (SFA). Many small businesses opt for Web-based systems because of the low upfront cost and ease of deployment.

Best-of-breed buyers. While customer relationship management software can be purchased as a suite, it is made up of several core applications that can be purchased as standalone items. Core applications include SFA, marketing automation, customer service, help desk, call center and knowledge management. Some companies will opt to go for a system with best-of-breed availability in one of these specific areas.

Enterprise buyers. Larger organizations are typically looking for a Web-based system with deep functionality that can integrate seamlessly with their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite. In most cases, these buyers will be more focused on integration than specific features. Fortunately, most Web-based CRM systems can easily integrate with today’s major ERP suites.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Web-based software has a number of benefits over installed on-premise systems.

Reduced IT burden. With Web-based, all of your data is kept in a remote location where it is monitored and managed by an experienced IT staff. They handle back-ups and regularly scheduled upgrades and maintenance. The level of data management provided by the vendor often far exceeds what any single operation could handle running the server in-house.

Ease of use. Because the software is accessed via a Web-browser, it is presented in a familiar format—a Web page. This helps reduce the costs associated with training and usually results in increased user adoption.

Remote access. Today’s business is rarely conducted 100 percent behind a desk. Many professionals, whether they be in sales, marketing or customer service, spend a significant portion of their work time outside of the office. They appreciate the increased accessibility provided by online systems. Many systems today also offer mobile access, making it even easier to do business while on the go.

Subscription pricing. Traditional on-premise CRM systems require a hefty up-front installation fee. Web-based systems, on the other hand, are offered on a subscription basis. Essentially, you pay as you go. Companies can avoid the large capital expenditure of installing on-premise software by opting for the low, ongoing operational expense of a Web-based system.

A potential issue associated with Web-based systems is the reliance on Internet connection. If the connection goes down, access to important client information and records is lost. This could be an issue if your organization has a history of Internet connectivity hiccups. Additionally, Web-based CRM systems are typically more difficult to customize to the specific needs of your company or industry, although systems are constantly improving in this area.

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