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Thryv

Thryv is an all-in-one business management solution designed to help small businesses with essential business functions. With Thryv, business owners can expand their online presence, improve any customer relationship, and streamli...Read more about Thryv

4.2 (495 reviews)

107 recommendations

FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM is a fully-featured CRM that helps your team get organized, gain visibility into day-to-day work, and get more done with a powerful, easy-to-use sales platform your sales team will actually love. Work smarter and f...Read more about FreeAgent CRM

4.7 (72 reviews)

53 recommendations

Less Annoying CRM

Less Annoying CRM is a customer relationship management solution built for small businesses. It offers cloud-based deployment, various configuration options and a dashboard that provides an overview of contact information, project...Read more about Less Annoying CRM

4.8 (577 reviews)

47 recommendations

Claritysoft CRM

Claritysoft is a cloud-based 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 withi...Read more about Claritysoft CRM

4.5 (167 reviews)

46 recommendations

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Shape

Shape's cloud-based solution offers tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers and automate everyday tasks. Shape is suitable for b...Read more about Shape

4.8 (41 reviews)

34 recommendations

TOP PRODUCER

Top Producer is an all-in-one business management platform designed specifically for real estate agents and teams. Grow your database and convert more leads with cutting-edge lead generation and marketing automation. Smart follow-...Read more about TOP PRODUCER

3.8 (247 reviews)

26 recommendations

Maximizer CRM

Maximizer CRM is a powerful solution specifically designed for sales. We understand the unique challenges faced by sales managers and sales teams. That's why we provide a game-changing alternative to complex CRM solutions and cumb...Read more about Maximizer CRM

4.0 (350 reviews)

24 recommendations

Salesforce Sales Cloud

Grow your revenue and profits with intelligent sales automation with Sales Cloud. Help every rep be more efficient. Close more deals. Collect cash faster. Boost growth and profit with intelligent automation and integrated tools fr...Read more about Salesforce Sales Cloud

4.4 (18242 reviews)

20 recommendations

SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, expertly crafted to enhance interactions with prospects and customers while accelerating sales success. Renowned for its cost-effectiveness, this potent solution enabl...Read more about SugarCRM

3.8 (406 reviews)

16 recommendations

monday sales CRM

Built on top of monday.com Work OS, monday sales CRM is a no-code, customizable solution that empowers managers and sales teams to take control of their entire sales cycle - from lead capturing and sales pipeline management to pos...Read more about monday sales CRM

4.7 (382 reviews)

14 recommendations

Rolldog

Rolldog is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, with the perks of Sales Enablement all rolled into one. Rolldog helps companies manage their business relationships, increase revenue, and boost sales & marketing effec...Read more about Rolldog

4.9 (26 reviews)

11 recommendations

Workbooks

Workbooks offers growing companies a SaaS platform to run their business and engage with their customers – at an affordable price. Workbooks designs, develops and implements its own software, which is targeted specifically at mid-...Read more about Workbooks

4.3 (109 reviews)

10 recommendations

SalesNOW

SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation solution that allows sales teams, management and executives to manage aspects of sales cycle including conta...Read more about SalesNOW

4.6 (83 reviews)

10 recommendations

LeadSquared

LeadSquared is a cloud-based marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) solution for businesses of all sizes. It serves clients in industries such as finance, e-commerce, education, health and wellness, market...Read more about LeadSquared

4.3 (157 reviews)

8 recommendations

Creatio CRM

Creatio is a global vendor of a no-code platform to automate workflows and CRM with a maximum degree of freedom. Creatio offering includes a no-code platform (Studio Creatio), CRM applications (Marketing, Sales and Service), indus...Read more about Creatio CRM

4.7 (117 reviews)

6 recommendations

Pipeliner CRM

Pipeliner has revolutionized CRM with our unique visual interface, no-code workflow automation engine, and instant, dynamic insights and reporting.

 This CRM provides both salespeople and sales management with many ways of displ...Read more about Pipeliner CRM

4.6 (214 reviews)

3 recommendations

Zendesk Suite

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features an...Read more about Zendesk Suite

4.4 (3848 reviews)

1 recommendations

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers sales and marketing automation tools with helpdesk, analytics and customer support functions. Zoho CRM helps users respo...Read more about Zoho CRM

HubSpot CRM

With its cloud-based, customer relationship management (CRM) platform, HubSpot CRM 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 ...Read more about HubSpot CRM

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol...Read more about Pipedrive

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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.