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Sales performance Dec. 12, 2014

Choosing the right CRM

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Since we started Plecto in 2012, I’ve helped to implement sales visualization dashboards in a number of companies including one of the largest companies in the world. I’ve always found that the biggest challenge in implementing performance or motivation dashboards is accessing the right data.

Chosing the right CRM system is essential when you want to grow your sales team – whether it’s in size or performance. I’ve created a list of the top-three CRM systems that I’ve experienced and worked along with descriptions of their strengths and weaknesses.

Salesforce

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution supporting just about any way of doing sales, Salesforce can definitely bring you there. It comes at a cost, though. It takes most companies much time and effort to set up Salesforce to their own needs.

Strengths:

  • Very few limitations
  • AppExchange (Similar to AppStore, just for Salesforce add-ons)
  • Extensive reporting suite

Weaknesses:

  • Difficult to use for end-users
  • Expensive compared to many other CRMs

Pipedrive

At its core, Pipedrive is a series of sales pipelines where you can define the different stages your customers need to go through for them to be either won or closed. It’s a great CRM for smaller businesses but I’ve also come across medium-large businesses (mostly rather young companies) using it. If you don’t want to spend time on setting up your CRM and want something that “just works”, Pipedrive might be what you’re looking for.

Strengths:

  • Easy to get started
  • Your sales reps will love it

Weaknesses:

  • Almost no possibilities for reporting
  • No “app support” built-in

Podio

Podio isn’t really a CRM system rather than a platform in which you could build a CRM or just about any other system. However, we’re getting quite a lot of signups from Podio so I thought I’d include it anyway. If you know exactly what a good CRM looks like and feel you could do a better job building one yourself, Podio is the platform that allows you to do it without writing a single line of code. Using simple drag’n’drop you can design “apps” that your employees can work in.

Strengths:

  • Very customizable
  • Cheap (even free in some cases)
  • You can also use it for other things than CRM

Weaknesses:

  • It’s not exclusively a CRM and lacks built-in methodology
  • Can get confusing with a high number of leads/accounts

KRISTIAN ØLLEGAARD

CEO

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