Best Mobile CRM for Small Business

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Apr 17, 2013

 Best Mobile CRM for Small Business

#1 Base CRM

As of April 2013 Base CRM, by Future Sim­ple, still leads the way for the best mobile CRM for small busi­ness. They now have native apps” for the iPhone, Android, Win­dows Phone, iPad & Android Tablets. They also have devel­oped some key plu­g­ins, apps and exten­sions for those still using Microsoft Out­look, Gmail & Mac. The rea­son I give Base first place is how quick­ly they were able to devel­op a clean and use­ful appli­ca­tion for many of their users. In just a few short years, the major­i­ty of busi­ness­es own­ers and sales­peo­ple have ditched their Black­ber­ry and now use either and iPhone or an Android phone. These were the first two apps that Base CRM devel­oped. They were think­ing ahead! There are always lit­tle bugs to squash in every app I’ve tried, but Future Sim­ple has done a good job of releas­ing Apps where the main CRM fea­tures just work: con­tacts, deals & task. I am one of their testers, so I give them con­stant feed­back of things I want to change, update and/​or bugs to fix. But all in all, it is tru­ly an awe­some expe­ri­ence. Those who want to expe­ri­ence their first CRM or don’t want to spend a lot can try Base CRM for free. The mobile fea­tures don’t cost any­thing. It is only when you get above 50 sales (deals) or need more cool” fea­tures that you pay for the app. Com­pa­nies who run a sim­ple sales cycle and rely on Google or Out­look for their main tools, might get by with their basic paid ver­sion of $15 a month. I would rec­om­mend their main paid ver­sion for those who have a more com­plex sale and want to care­ful­ly track each stage of the cycle. This would cost $45 a user per month. This is still not bad for how much time you save, and it makes sure you don’t drop the ball with your sales process.

#2 & 3 Sales­force and Zoho

Zoho CRM is basi­cal­ly a copy­cat of Sales­force. The fea­tures are pret­ty sim­i­lar. Sales­force was one of the first cloud-based CRMs on the mar­ket and is still con­sid­ered the leader. Sales­force had one big prob­lem that has hurt their foothold into the small busi­ness world. This is only my opin­ion form observ­ing them over the years, by the way. First, I think their prices were too high ear­ly on for most small busi­ness­es to jus­ti­fy, and sec­ond, they had way too many fea­tures and apps. Almost all the com­pa­nies I spoke to about what CRM was best for them had already explored Sales­force. They all said basi­cal­ly the same thing: It is too expen­sive. It is com­pli­cat­ed and it has more fea­tures than I need.” Sales­force has since low­ered their fees and has begun to cater more to the small busi­ness mar­ket. They seem to have a lot of fund­ing, so I will assume they will main­tain a strong pres­ence. I have tried their iPhone App sev­er­al times the past cou­ple of years and con­sid­er it func­tion­al and good. Though it is not my favorite nor as easy to use as Base CRM. I have a num­ber of clients who use Sales­force and seem to like it. It does require a bit of train­ing, and their tech sup­port is fee-based. I will end with this, even though their tech sup­port is fee based, they are good. They will help you do what you want with your CRM as Sales­force is VERY cus­tomiz­able. Zoho CRM’s iPad and iPhone Apps are actu­al­ly pret­ty slick and easy to use. I like the design (UI) and user expe­ri­ence. My num­ber one prob­lem of why I don’t rec­om­mend Zoho CRM all that much is their pric­ing struc­ture is such a pain. Every­thing is an Add-on. i.e. You want more stor­age, add more per month. You want to use our mobile app, add more per month. You want to _______, add more per month. This is the stan­dard com­plaint I’ve heard from folks who have tried Zoho. Sor­ry Zoho, love your prod­uct but the small busi­ness own­ers out there need a sim­ple prod­uct with 1 price option (hint hint).

#4 Pipeline Deals for iPhone Only

This is sad that I have to put Pipeline Deals in 4th place. Why? Because they have one of the most sta­ble, reli­able and sim­ple CRM prod­ucts I’ve ever used (desk­top / cloud). I rarely ever find a bug using their prod­uct. Many of my cus­tomers actu­al­ly use CRM as well. This was because they were ear­ly adapters to inte­grat­ing their prod­uct with Google Apps for Busi­ness. They also has a mobile ver­sion that you could (still can) access from your mobile brows­er. The mobile ver­sion does work ok for quick access, but over­all it is very clunky. The good news is that Pipeline Deals is fin­ish­ing up their first native iPhone App. This will be released with­in the next cou­ple of weeks of writ­ing this post. I’ve been test­ing this App for a cou­ple of months, and it is very good. Their goal is to make an App that repli­cates what you can do with their online ver­sion. Ver­sion 1 is not quite there, but the basic func­tions that one needs in the field work quite well. I think Pipeline Deal cus­tomers who have an iPhone will be thrilled with the first release. Also their price point is real­ly the best on the mar­ket. You can’t go wrong. They recent­ly increased their prices, but I think that was a good move. One price: $25 per user/​per month: plain and sim­ple. My hats off to Pipeline Deals. They are slow­er in devel­op­ment, but I think it shows a lot of wis­dom. My guess is they oper­ate on very lit­tle debt and bor­rowed funds. They make sure they release qual­i­ty updates and prod­ucts. Their tech sup­port is the best I’ve seen as well! They post their phone num­ber on their home page! So there you have it. I only named the top four mobile CRMs I’ve test­ed and like. There are prob­a­bly anoth­er dozen that I did not list. Some of those are fine prod­ucts as well. For those who like test­ing and try­ing out CRMs for fun, give Nut­shell CRM a try. Let me know what you decide on and why. 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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