We use Pipedrive as our CRM. We are a talent agency, where our sales cycle is 45-60 days, and we are a team of eight people. Our pipeline is as follows: Customers and prospects fill a form in Typeform. Then, Zapier creates records in Airtable (candidates DB) and deals in Pipedrive (CRM).
We're really happy wit Pipedrive :)
Well, I review CRM solutions, for a long time now! I will share an important caveat, don't get too hooked up looking for the BEST CRM solution! There are many good (even great!) ones out there. The hard part is actually forcing yourself to use one! Pick one and use it!
Used Salesforce when I did sales, now as a Co-Founder I went with HubSpot because of the bang for the buck.
HubSpot is better in most situations, unless you need dozens of plug-ins and/or you need hundreds of thousands or millions of contacts.
With the caveat that I am not a dedicated CRM user, and tend to keep contact details either in Google Contacts or a spreadsheet ... the CRMs I've recommended the most for people in similar situations where you need to keep track of contacts but don't need something very advanced are either an Airtable database, or HubSpot CRM.
An Airtable database can go quite a way towards building a customized CRM for what you'd need to manage clients and contacts on a personal or small team basis, and it's easy to automate and make work more or less like your team needs. Much more advanced than just using a spreadsheet, since you can link records and such, but not much more complicated to use.
Or, HubSpot CRM is free, includes most core CRM features, and you can use it forever for free if you don't need the marketing automation features. And it has detailed Zapier integrations.
One new CRM I'm deeply interested in seeing how it turns out is Clay, which is in beta/early invite but just noticed that if you try to skip the line it has an option to subscribe in advance which is a very neat twist on the standard invite-only + beta workflow. I may have to try that now.
I used Highrise a while back and like everything else from 37signals, loved the attention to detail, but alas it's closed to new signups now. Monica looks interesting in a similar vein with a simple contact interaction focus.
Random tip about Zapier: Their app directory is sorted by popularity, so if you check their CRM and Marketing Automation app lists (products like HubSpot are in the latter, even though they have a standalone CRM) you'll see which ones are most used with Zapier. To a degree though that's simply reflective of the market; Salesforce is the top CRM there followed by Pipedrive and Zoho CRM. The fourth one, Streak, may be a bit more of a Zapier-specific popular CRM since it's a bit less full-featured than most CRMs on its own.
Another thing to look at there is the number of integrations each CRM has with Zapier. HubSpot has 17 triggers and actions each, and 6 searches, and Copper has 17 triggers, 19 actions, and 12 searches—while Salesforce only has 4 triggers, 5 actions, and 3 searches (so there are fewer specific things you can automate). If automation is one of the top criteria you have in picking a CRM, that's definitely a good thing to check first.
We use Infusionsoft. We dont use anything complicated but do use Zapier (Zaps) to add tasks to various checklists or texts through Twilio as a couple of examples. We've done this for years and haven't looked at changing lately because it works. I am looking at changing away from using them for email though.
I do agree that picking one is not so great, but getting it implemented against messy spreadsheets is the biggest challenge. Whatever CRM we want to use, the best is one which gives you ample flexibility to configure and re-configure quickly by yourself, not falling into the misery triangle of business to IT to IT service provider. Some quick drag and drop, you are agile enough to meet your new customer twists and turns. That should be the criteria to decide which CRM to buy and use
I used to be a Salesforce admin and hated that system with passion.
Today, for our company, I use Pipedrive. I've created a whole bunch of automations that let me simply move prospects from one stage of the pipeline to the next and it sends them the right email in the right language and creates a reminder for a few days later to send the next email.
I could probably set up timed sequences but I prefer to trigger them manually on a case-by-case basis.
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