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Online CRM Software


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Anthill CRM logo
 
Anthill is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include customer support, marketing automation, channel management and reporting.  Anthill... Read More
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Anthill is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include customer support, marketing automation, channel management and reporting.  Anthill... 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
 
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
 
FreeAgent CRM logo
 
FreeAgent CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for sales and marketing teams in small and midsize businesses. The solution enables users to manage leads, contacts, emails and calls, accounts and deals,... Read More
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FreeAgent CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for sales and marketing teams in small and midsize businesses. The solution enables users to manage leads, contacts, emails and calls, accounts and deals,... Read More
 
Help Scout logo
 
Help Scout is a cloud-based help desk solution that helps small businesses and small teams manage their customer relationships. Help Scout is designed to look like a personal email. There are no ticket numbers, case numbers or impersonal... Read More
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Help Scout is a cloud-based help desk solution that helps small businesses and small teams manage their customer relationships. Help Scout is designed to look like a personal email. There are no ticket numbers, case numbers or impersonal... Read More

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ICE logo
 

ICE

ICE, also known as Integrated Customer Engagement, is a customer engagement platform created by Enterprise Technology Solutions. It is primarily a live chat application featuring browser-based chat and email communication platform,... Read More
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ICE, also known as Integrated Customer Engagement, is a customer engagement platform created by Enterprise Technology Solutions. It is primarily a live chat application featuring browser-based chat and email communication platform,... Read More
 
Knowledge Center logo
 
Knowledge Center is a cloud-based knowledge management solution that allows call center businesses to create a central knowledge repository for their agents. The solution caters to multiple industries such as automobiles, FMCG, sports... Read More
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Knowledge Center is a cloud-based knowledge management solution that allows call center businesses to create a central knowledge repository for their agents. The solution caters to multiple industries such as automobiles, FMCG, sports... 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
 
Membrain logo
 
Membrain by Upstream is a cloud-based sales automation platform with CRM functionality. The solution provides pipeline management, prospecting, lead scoring, sales analytics and content management functionality. Membrain users can... Read More
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Membrain by Upstream is a cloud-based sales automation platform with CRM functionality. The solution provides pipeline management, prospecting, lead scoring, sales analytics and content management functionality. Membrain users can... Read More
 
Mothernode CRM logo
 
Mothernode CRM is a SaaS-based CRM solution designed to help small and midsized businesses manage customer relationships and create effective sales process. With Mothernode CRM, individuals and sales teams alike have a system that... Read More
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Mothernode CRM is a SaaS-based CRM solution designed to help small and midsized businesses manage customer relationships and create effective sales process. With Mothernode CRM, individuals and sales teams alike have a system that... Read More

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Pipeliner CRM logo
 
Pipeliner CRM is an end-to-end customer management system that provides better visibility and transparency into the entire sales process. It is a web-based system that is both Mac and Windows compatible, as well as offering an app... Read More
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Pipeliner CRM is an end-to-end customer management system that provides better visibility and transparency into the entire sales process. It is a web-based system that is both Mac and Windows compatible, as well as offering an app... Read More
 
Spark logo
 
Spark is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform for small and midsize home construction companies. It offers contact and inventory management, sales automation tools, company branding options, reporting and more. Spark’s... Read More
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Spark is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform for small and midsize home construction companies. It offers contact and inventory management, sales automation tools, company branding options, reporting and more. Spark’s... Read More
 
Surefyre logo
 
Surefyre is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for the needs of insurance agents. It is suitable for multiple types of carriers, including property, casualty, life and health care insurance providers. Key... Read More
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Surefyre is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for the needs of insurance agents. It is suitable for multiple types of carriers, including property, casualty, life and health care insurance providers. Key... Read More
 
TeamGram logo
 
TeamGram is a cloud-based integrated customer relationship management (CRM), quotation, proposal and sales management solution that helps businesses manage their workflows and sales cycle. TeamGram offers CRM capabilities that enable... Read More
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TeamGram is a cloud-based integrated customer relationship management (CRM), quotation, proposal and sales management solution that helps businesses manage their workflows and sales cycle. TeamGram offers CRM capabilities that enable... Read More
 
Web+Center logo
 
Web+Center is a suite of open source, customizable help desk solutions for IT organizations in almost any industry. The web-based help desk application can be run on-site or in the cloud. With access to 100% of the source code, organizations... Read More
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Web+Center is a suite of open source, customizable help desk solutions for IT organizations in almost any industry. The web-based help desk application can be run on-site or in the cloud. With access to 100% of the source code, organizations... Read More

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amoCRM logo
 
AmoCRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps users manage the sales pipeline. Users can receive feedback and reports about the performance of salespersons. The solution offers lead scoring and nurturing,... Read More
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AmoCRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps users manage the sales pipeline. Users can receive feedback and reports about the performance of salespersons. The solution offers lead scoring and nurturing,... 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
 
Canary AMS logo
 
Canary AMS by TechCanary is a cloud-based Agency Management System that delivers solutions for insurance agencies and agents. Insurance policy workflows help users improve the internal process of sending tasks, emails and reports.... Read More
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Canary AMS by TechCanary is a cloud-based Agency Management System that delivers solutions for insurance agencies and agents. Insurance policy workflows help users improve the internal process of sending tasks, emails and reports.... Read More
 
Claritysoft logo
 
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 within... Read More
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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 within... Read More
 
Contractor's Cloud logo
 
Contractor's Cloud is a cloud-based sales and lead management solution for contractors. Key features include lead management, estimating, work order scheduling, material order scheduling, commission tracking, invoicing, expense tracking,... Read More
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Contractor's Cloud is a cloud-based sales and lead management solution for contractors. Key features include lead management, estimating, work order scheduling, material order scheduling, commission tracking, invoicing, expense tracking,... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Andrew Friedenthal,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 21, 2018


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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