CRM for small business

Updated: December 12, 2018

2018. Zendesk acquired Base CRM


Zendesk has acquired Base, a startup that provides CRM for small business. While Base might not be as well known as Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle in the CRM game, it has created a sophisticated sales force automation platform, complete with its own artificial intelligence underpinnings. If the core of customer data includes customer service, CRM and marketing, Base gives Zendesk one more of those missing components. Base was founded in 2009 and boasts more than 5,000 customers. It’s worth pointing out that Base was already available for sale in the company app marketplace, so there was some overlap here, but the company intends to try to move existing customers to Base, of course. Zendesk has indicated it will continue to support all Base customers.


2018. Salesforce launched CRM for small business - Essentials


Salesforce hasn’t had much of a presence in the very small business market to date. Neither has many of its CRM competitors. This is a market where many companies use Microsoft products—Outlook and Excel—rather than a purpose-built CRM offering. Cost has been an important consideration for this. So, however, has been familiarity and ease of use. Priced at $25 per user, per month, the new product Salesforce Essentials contains core CRM components like Einstein Artificial AI to help customers work smarter, and includes the Salesforce Trailhead online learning environment to make their experience easier. Essentials customers also qualify for the promotion announced Monday stemming from Salesforce’s new relationship with Google. This would give them three months of G Suite by Google Cloud at no cost.


2017. Zoho CRM Plus gets fresh new design


Zoho rolled out update to its Zoho CRM Plus, the all-in-one customer engagement suite. The developers refreshed the whole interface and cleared out the clutter. The app selector is now replaced with an all-new navigation bar to the left side instead of the top. When you know exactly which part of the product you want to access, you can use the new Quick Links feature to go straight there. Besides, Zoho CRM Plus automatically adapts to your usage patterns by putting the records you last accessed to the front under Recent Items. Also now you can configure the settings of all your Zoho CRM Plus apps in one place and search across all apps with advanced filters to get relevant data from different teams in your organisation.


2017. G Suite-centric CRM service ProsperWorks raised $53M


ProsperWorks, a service that offers a set of Google-centric CRM tools has raised a $53 million Series C round. ProsperWorks has long seen it as its mission to make CRM systems easy to use and to help the companies that adopt its system to get value out of its service. Unlike alternatives, the general idea here is to integrate deeply with Google’s G Suite and to make the service look and feel like a Google product. This also means that its users don’t feel like they are constantly switching context as they move between their different productivity applications. ProsperWorks plans to use the new funding to double its engineering team to accelerate its product development and to enhance its service with new solutions for specific verticals. In addition, the team is also looking at expanding internationally. What’s maybe most important for current users, though, is that the company plans a full redesign.


2017. Pipedrive CRM gets $17M


Pipedrive, a CRM platform designed to help SMBs sell more, has closed $17 million in Series B funding. Pipedrive says will use the new capital to develop its product and tech, grow its partner ecosystem, and for global marketing. Pipedrive says it now has more than 30,000 paying small business customers from more than 140 countries, making it a genuine contender against more established players in the CRM space for SMB. Its calling card has always been that it is sales software designed to serve first and foremost the needs of sales people not their managers but has since matured into a more comprehensive CRM platform play. This has seen Pipedrive integrate with 50-plus online software solutions, adding more each month. These include various business tools such as Google Apps, Trello, Zapier, Mailchimp, Yesware, and Pandadoc.


2016. Office 365 gets its own built-in lightweight CRM


Microsoft rolled out a new tool for business owners using Office 365 and Outlook called Outlook Customer Manager, a lightweight CRM for companies that need to track their customer interactions and history, but aren’t yet ready for a more robust platform like Dynamics 365. The new tool lets businesses track tasks and deals in progress directly in Outlook, and will pop-up reminders aimed at helping them stay on top of their customer relationships. Once enabled, Outlook Customer Manager will automatically organize customer information, including emails, meetings, calls, notes, files, tasks, deals and deadlines. This information – which is collected from email, calendar and call log data – is presented in a timeline format next to the inbox. Users can associate certain tasks with a contact, company or deal, so they can interact with their customers in a more timely fashion. It’s also able to present lists of deals by stage, close dates, priority and amount.


2016. Highrise CRM improves reporting and activity feed


One of the biggest dings against Highrise has been our lack of reporting. Sometimes you don’t need content out of Highrise, you need to know numeric activity. So the developers decided to implement this feature. Now you can just click the new activity filter Statistics from Latest Activity, and you’ll find reports like, notes created, emails received and sent, tasks assigned and completed, deals won... Besides, Highrise added the ability to filter Activity Feeds by Email, Notes, Comments, or Files and by User. You can still filter by Latest Activity and see everything at once, or you can pick Notes to limit the view to only Notes or go even further and limit to Notes created by you or another User. These filters are also on any of your contact, deal, or case activity feeds.


2011. Evernote Hello - pesonal CRM in your notebook


Recently we told about CardCloud, the service that offers electronic business cards instead of boring and outdated traditional cards. But now the note-taking service Evernote invented even better solution. The free iPhone app Evernote Hello will not only allow you to remember the people that you met at business meeting or conference, but also link them to the notes you have taken during these meetings. It works like this: after talking with someone you take your iPhone, launch Evernote Hello and ask this person to enter his contacts (or you can enter them yourself from his words). Then you can take a picture of this person (or he can do it himself). If he enters the email, the app will automatically send him your electronic card. Once you said goodbye, you can add a meeting to the contact card (so that you remember where you met this person) and meeting-related notes. The next time you meet him, you can add a new meeting and new notes to the card. Thus you'll have the relations history, just like in the CRM system. Moreover, this information will also be available in your Evernote online account and Evernote desktop app, if you use it.