Update: November 2018: Base has joined with Zendesk Support. Their new name is Zendesk Sell. Their pricing structure has changed as well. It spans from $19, $49, $99 and $199 per user. I use the words Base CRM in the article below, written in 2012.
Base CRM (affiliate link) is still one of my favorite small business CRMs on the market. The features, user interface and design are high quality and simple to operate. Base CRM is a lightweight Customer Relationship Management program hosted in the “cloud.” It does what most small business sales people need it to do. The main reason I like Base CRM is its integration with mobile devices and Google Apps for Business. If you have an Android or iPhone, Base CRM has native applications built for each platform. A salesperson can truly be on the go entering sales information and/or looking up contact information from anywhere.
Base has always had a paid version but the plan was recently updated with some added features. They introduced sales forecasting and a new automation feature which is really slick. I’ve not played around too much with the forecasting, but from what I’ve seen so far, it looks powerful. The automation allows a sales staff to have a complete sales and follow up process: pre and post sale. I can create as many action items as I’d like in the deals section now. So for example, if after the deal is “WON” it will auto populate a set of task to the right person or persons at my company. This allows me to make sure I never forget and follow a complete sales/service system. The fully featured (paid) version went up a bit in price. It is now $45 a month per user to receive the automation and sales forecasting features. The cost is a little steep for some small businesses I work with only because most contractors only have a couple of sales people. The rest only need to use Base CRM as a contact manager. Unfortunately, at this time, Base CRM cannot provide different pricing structures depending on how people use the CRM. So you cannot have one person using the Free Version and only the sales people using the Paid Version. When you upgrade to the full version, you pay the same price per user. I believe it is a smart decision for any sales organization to have a good sales tracking CRM, and Base CRM does the job well, even for $45 a month per user. If you are worried about the cost for your non sales staff, one way around this is to just make sure all your contacts are in your Outlook or Google Contacts and just have your sales staff use Base CRM. The rest can use their Google/Outlook contacts.
To learn more about Base CRM and what it can do, check out the powerpoint slides they sent me. Also, stay tuned soon! Base CRM will be releasing a native iPad App this summer.