Whether you are using LeadLoft for sales, investor acquisition, or recruiting, you'll need a way to manage, contact, and connect with prospects. LeadLoft integrates with over 1,500+ services through our Zapier integration, so connecting to your CRM will take less than 10 minutes of you time. This is incredibly helpful because you can automate the process of adding new leads to a CRM. You can even automate outreach by adding new leads to outbound email sequences. But in order to do this, your CRM needs to be a dynamic feature rich piece of software. Fortunately, there are tons of CRMs that fall under this category but to keep things simple we'll highlight 3 of our favorites and least favorites.
Every single one of the "Best" CRMs will fulfill our teams requirements. These CRMs have all been used, vetted, and reviewed by our team to ensure they meet all of the requirements we have set.
LeadLoft is a game changer when it comes to generating prospect lists and verified emails. But if your CRM lacks an email integration, you'll find yourself and your team manually copying lead emails, email templates, and pasting them into your email provider. Having done this before it's about as annoying as it is inefficient. So when you're searching for that perfect CRM, be sure the email integration offered is top of the line!
Having an email integration is only as good as the supporting features. This is why the ability to automate email campaigns is so important for successful sales teams. Email sequences or drips save your team time and increases efficiency. If you can contact 5x more leads per day by automating this process, imagine the impact this increased efficiency will have on your bottom line.
1. Close (Formerly Close.io)
Built for high velocity sales team Close does exactly what it should, enables sales teams to maximize their productivity. In fact, we use Close for the LeadLoft sales team and chose it after testing almost all of the competitive CRMs in the market. The biggest reason Close caught our eye, was the value their unique feature set offered.
Why we love it
Close's team follows the methodology that more features is not always better. They have carefully crafted their CRM to a streamlined machine that packs a powerful punch. After all, what's the point of 1,000 features when you only use 5 of them.
Reason #1: Smart Views
Tasks are one of the most valuable aspects of a CRMs toolset. Close is unique in that you can organize leads into different lists based on custom criteria. These lists are called "Smart Views" and you just think of them as "Task Lists" because that's essentially what they are. From here you can track, organize, and quickly call or email leads that fall under a Smart View. An example would be a smart view of new leads whose company's headcount is greater than 50 and has had 0 communication, meaning it's a new lead and also a medium sized company. Your sales team could then access this list of leads from a single list and begin emailing or calling any lead that falls under this criteria.
Reason #2: Bulk Sending
Once leads are in Smart Views you can execute outreach in Bulk: Email, Add to Sequence, and Manage Sequences. This saves your team a priceless amount of time. Some companies require manual follow up for each leads, while Close can execute all of your follow ups with the push of a single button.
Reason #3: Bug Free Email Sequencing
When sending personalized emails, like the LeadLoft team does daily, adding prospects to email sequences for automated followup is a great way to increase team productivity and save your team from spending all their time manually sending templated emails to prospects.
At the end of the day, LeadLoft was built for ABM and Close is an absolutely amazing compliment to our service which is why we use it, love it, and highly recommend it.
Keep in mind:
For many companies, Close alone will not be enough. When you're managing a large customer base or have a more complex product, it's a good idea to add a more advanced CRM to the backend to manage your customer lifecycle. We follow and recommend the HubSpot approach to the customer lifecycle known as the FlyWheel. With that said, Close integrated with HubSpot or another renowned CRM will do just fine.
Why we recommend it
Reason #1: Pricing
The price of CRMs range from $8/user/month to $100+/user/month and at $12, FreshSales offers the most valuable features sets at the lowest price of any CRM I have tested.
Reason #2: Email Sequences
FreshSales has built out a great email sequencing feature set, even better than Close in some respects because they offer task creation along the sequence. Meaning more advanced followups are possible. A great example of tasks you can add into your sequence is a linkedIn message or a personalized video email.
Why we recommend it
Reason #1: Advanced Features
If your company is more complicated, then you'll need a tool that does more than selling and on-boarding customers. HubSpot is a great place to start. With advanced features like workflows, multiple pipelines, and an integrated marketing suite, HubSpot will grow with your team while adjusting to fit your companies complex needs.
Reason #2: Email Sequences
By now you're probably tired of hearing about the importance of email sequences, but I'll reiterate, this may be the single most important feature when optimizing your sales team. HubSpot is on our list because they have spent a lot of time building out their email sequence feature. With tools to easily build, integrate, and test, HubSpot checks off all the boxes we require.
CRMs to Stay Away From
As the most popular CRM in the market, it may come as a surprise that Salesforce is at the bottom of our list. But there is a very simple reason why: Salesforce does not have a powerful email integration, not to mention email sequencing. In order to manage communication, you must turn to an outbound email platform or a 3rd party Salesforce integration like Outreach.io. If you are an unlucky sole that chose Salesforce, no need to worry, we will soon be releasing an entire blog post dedicated to companies that use Salesforce and it covers the solutions and best practices to ensure your team can take full advantage of their sales potential.
2. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is a relatively new, unimpressive, yet affordable CRM. But do not let the small price tag of $12/ month sell you. The CRM lacks intuitiveness and will lead you down a rabbit hole of frustration, confusion, and overwhelming navigation menus. If you're looking for an affordable CRM, we recommend ditching zoho for FreshSales.
3. Microsoft Dynamics
Occasionally I'll be speaking with a friend who works at some large outdated enterprise software company that has, shockingly, managed to stay a float and I'll ask the question "So what's your software stack look like?" The amount of times I've heard the words "Microsoft Dynamics" still gives me nightmares. If your company is currently using Microsoft's CRM, I recommend the first thing you do is begin shopping for a new piece of software for your team. Although Microsofts CRM boasts a massive list of features, it's unlikely your company is taking full advantage of the service due to the complicated nature of the product.
If you're in need of more leads or even just looking for a team to get you started on your sales pipeline, connect with our team here for a demo to learn how LeadLoft can help jumpstart your sales team.