There are plenty of CRM platforms out there claiming to offer everything a business could need, regardless of size – but few of them can really provide what enterprise brands need to make the most of their relationships with customers.
Aside from being able to handle the number of leads you’re generating on a daily basis, your enterprise CRM needs to provide enough user profiles for your expansive sales and marketing teams. You also want a single solution that you can customise to meet your business needs, rather than having to adapt your workflow to software limitations.
These sound like basic requirements but it’s surprisingly difficult to find “enterprise” CRM platforms that deliver on the essentials for big businesses. So here’s our list of customer relationship management platforms that genuinely offer the enterprise package.
We’re going to start with ActiveCampaign, as their platform is extremely user-friendly, while also having all of the features that, while dull, are essential to a large enterprise client.
Before we dive in, though, let’s take a look at ActiveCampaign’s platform.
ActiveCampaign is best known as a leader in marketing automation. They were the first to pioneer the visual marketing automation builder, which makes it easy for your marketing team to trigger emails, SMS messages and more when a contact is updated in your CRM.
Unlike the more rudimentary marketing automation tools out there, ActiveCampaign offer a range of powerful sales and marketing automation features, designed to save time – from predictive sending and predictive content to being able to A/B test your automations.
Then, of course, there’s the CRM. ActiveCampaign’s CRM is laid out in an intuitive pipeline, that prospects move through as they get closer to closing the deal.
When you click on a deal, you can see the full history of an individual or company on their individual profile page. What’s great about this is that, because ActiveCampaign is also a marketing automation platform, this includes all of their intereactions on your website and with email campaigns.
Now, let’s address the boring, yet important stuff.
As a relatively mature company, ActiveCampaign has had 17 years to nail the important stuff; from deliverability to security and compliance. From single-sign-on to SLAs, dedicated IPs and all of the security certifications you could imagine, ActiveCampaign is well-suited as a enterprise-level CRM.
And for a limited time, ActiveCampaign have agreed to give Venture Harbour readers up to $5,000 in free services, including free implementation and migration, your second month free of charge, and more (you’ll need to register on the link above to redeem this promo).
Salesforce is currently the market leader in CRM software and there’s a lot to like about the platform. As the most popular CRM, it’s easy to find reps who know the platform inside out and you find many more comprehensive CRM solutions on the market at this stage.
Unfortunately, you’re probably going to them because setting up and configuring Salesforce can be a bit of a pain. This is the price you pay for a highly customisable platform and you’ll need to decide how much of an issue this is for your team.
In terms of features, there’s nothing bad to say about Salesforce. The problem is you have to pay for add-ons to get the best of these features and this soon becomes frustrating as your total costs stack up.
Then you have the user interface, which is… well, let’s just say it’s not for us and this is one thing you can’t customise to suit your needs.
Speaking of user interfaces, Oracle’s on Demand CRM hasn’t aged well over the years. The good news is, if you can get past the somewhat vulgar and very dated visual design, Oracle’s CRM is still a great piece of software for enterprise brands.
It’s kind of a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it although they could have at least dressed it up a little prettier considering it isn’t 1992 anymore.
Superficial appearances aside, Oracle provides one of the most powerful CRMs on the market for enterprise brands and holds on to its reputation as an industry leader. You don’t have to worry about the complex setups many of its younger peers require and you get the confidence of dealing with one of the best tech firms for data security.
#4: Zoho CRM
Zoho is another CRM provider that aims to cater to businesses of all sizes and, for the most part, manages to pull it off. It’s a seriously easy platform to use – almost as intuitive as Hubspot – and it packs more than enough features and integrations for most brands.
That said, the feature list can be a bit thin for enterprise businesses. You don’t get anything in the shape of content personalisation, split testing, SMS marketing or bulk social media posting features.
Some of these are pretty basic features by today’s standards.
The other big gripe with Zoho’s CRM is it requires a lot of work to set it up. This is the price you pay for using a highly customisable CRM and this may or may not be a dealbreaker for you.
I was hesitant to Hubspot in this list because I don’t like its pricing policy one bit. That said, as a pure CRM and marketing suite, it’s got a lot going for it, as long as you don’t mind paying a hefty price for features you can get much cheaper elsewhere.
Paying the premium Hubspot price tag does get you the best user experience you’ll find in a CRM platform right now. It’s a real pleasure to use Hubspot and full credit goes to the team for building a powerful, easy-to-use system that looks and feels good.
The only real gripe I have with Hubspot is the way its prices skyrocket as soon as you upgrade to a higher version. Then you’ve got the rather steep setup costs to think about (about $5,000 last time I checked for enterprise and a whopping $20,000 for onsite onboarding).
Hubspot is a great CRM; only you can decide whether it’s worth the price(s).
Microsoft Dynamics 365 essentially combines Microsoft’s ERP and CRM into a single cloud-based platform. If you’re Outlook/Exchange for email, the sync features are great and then you have the seamless integration with Skype, which is really handy.
Something else I really like about Dynamics is the social listening tool, which tells you what your customers are Tweeting about. Sure, you can get this elsewhere but it’s great to have this integrated with your CRM.
In terms of CRM features, Dynamics shines when it comes to intelligent insights, audience targeting and predictive forecasts. As far as data-driven customer management, you won’t be left wanting and you can always expand into Microsoft’s other platforms, such as Azure for more complex machine learning and automation features.
SugarCRM was one of the first end-to-end customer relationship management platforms on the market and it remains one of the most popular with enterprise brands. This has given the company a lot of time to add new features and refine its platform – all to good effect.
Sadly, there’s still some functionality missing on the reporting side of things and creating custom reports is time-consuming as a result. SugarCRM has also fallen behind the likes of ActiveCampaign when it comes to email marketing and this ruled it out for us.
Aside from that, there’s a lot to like about SugarCRM, especially since they redesigned the interface.
#8: bpm’online CRM
Aside from the awful name, bpm’online CRM is a great platform that includes a stack of business process management (BPM) features to help you improve your business and marketing activities. This makes for a highly complex piece of software – far more than most businesses need, to be honest – but it’s a wonderful platform if you need all of its functionality.
The downside is you have to know exactly what you want from the platform and how to explain this accurately to bpmonline team. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with a system that doesn’t meet your needs or find yourself drowned in features and settings you’ll never use.
#9: SAP CRM
SAP CRM is designed with ecommerce brands in mind with its features tailored to meet the uniquely demanding needs of online retailers. It’s a pretty intimidating piece of software though and I can’t fancy many small online retailers clicking with this. For enterprise ecommerce brands with a dedicated tech and sales team, SAP CRM is far more suitable but you’re still going to be in for something of a learning curve.
SAP was late to enter the cloud-based CRM game so it’s a good deal behind the likes of Salesforce in this regard but it’s done a great job of catching up.
Now, it actually offers a more complete end-to-end solution between its CRM and ERP offering (as you would hope for ecommerce) and you can adapt the platform in almost anyway you need to, with the right development skills.
#10: Copper (formerly ProsperWorks)
Formerly known as ProsperWorks, Copper is a fully-featured CRM designed for G Suite users (Gmail, Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, etc.). This gives you direct integration with Google applications without the need to use any third-party tools and the UI will feel very familiar to users and fans of the Google experience.
More importantly, this integration means there’s next to no data integration needed for G Suite users.
Does Copper have anything to offer other than playing nicely with Google, though? To be honest, this is the only real standout feature compared to other CRMs but Copper offers a very familiar set of features. In fact, Copper is taking a significant chunk of market share away from Salesforce, which tells you it must be doing something right. However, most of this is coming from the small-to-medium size business section rather than enterprise brands.
You can get a sense of this from using Copper; it feels a little more geared towards SMEs but this is something the company is working to improve upon.
One to watch with interest.
Verdict: Which is the best CRM for enterprise businesses?
A lot of software providers claim to offer enterprise packages but many of them fall short when it comes to delivering the features, integrations and security enterprise businesses depend on. This can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to find a CRM that packs everything you need into a platform that also manages to keep things simple.
We chose ActiveCampaign because it packs 90% of the features other CRM and marketing automation platforms offer into a single system – for less than you pay elsewhere and with all the same (or better) quality.
That said, all of the CRMs we’ve looked at in this article are genuine contenders for enterprise brands and I’m confident you’ll find the customer relationship management platform your enterprise needs here.
If you decide another platform is better suited for your enterprise business, please get in touch to let me know why.