ActiveCampaign CRM – Everything You Need to Know

ActiveCampaign started out as an email marketing platform, but it also has one of the better CRMs around for sales and marketing automation. If your company is primarily focused on sales activities, ActiveCampaign might not be the best CRM for you. That said, for the many organizations out there with dual sales and marketing initiatives, ActiveCampaign is worth considering.

ActiveCampaign CRM Features:

Quite honestly, there’s a lot to love about ActiveCampaign. While we’ll dig into the pros and cons a bit later, for now let’s look at some of the reasons that businesses choose ActiveCampaign as their sales CRM:

  • Sales automation – Save time and energy and complement your team’s sales skills by using sales process automation to create and update leads and assign tasks and leads to your sales team.
  • Lead scoring – Score leads based on specific criteria and use the lead score to trigger automated sales emails and internal tasks and reminders.
  • Chrome and Outlook extensions – Access and update CRM data without leaving your email inbox.
  • 1:1 sales emails – Create a personalized sales experience with more than 250 templates through automated one-to-one sales emails.
  • Sales engagement automation – Use customer data from sales and marketing touch points to send customized sales messages and follow-ups with a human touch.

Again, while ActiveCampaign CRM won’t be a great fit for every sales team structure, businesses focused on combined sales and marketing initiatives will appreciate the seamless integration of sales and marketing tools.

With integrations including Salesforce and Gmail, ActiveCampaign’s desktop and mobile apps offer tools and functionality that will support your team throughout the sales pipeline, from creating leads and segmentation to email campaigns and conversions.

ActiveCampaign CRM Strengths & Weaknesses

Every CRM software has strengths and weaknesses, and ActiveCampaign is no exception. Knowing the potential pros and cons of any sales solution you’re looking to purchase is an essential part of the research process.

Strengths of ActiveCampaign CRM:

Extremely scalable and efficient

A big reason for this is the vast array of ActiveCampaign automation options. Even the lower tiers offer robust sales and marketing automation tools, and the price to upgrade to Professional or Enterprise is quite reasonable compared to competitors.

Affordable for companies with lots of contacts

While this is more of a concern for marketing-heavy companies, contact management gets extremely expensive for many CRM platforms as you scale to 5k, 10k, 50k, or more contacts. With ActiveCampaign, the price remains reasonable even with higher contact counts.

Great for sales and marketing campaigns

ActiveCampaign CRM is a good all-around fit for companies with diverse needs across sales and marketing, and the seamless integration between the two makes it ideal for those following the HIRO pipeline model.

Weaknesses of ActiveCampaign CRM:

User interface (UI) is geared more toward marketing than sales

Because ActiveCampaign started as a simple email marketing tool and grew to include a CRM and sales tools, the UI is more marketing-centric. This won’t be a problem for everyone, but if you’re used to using traditional sales CRMs as part of your sales methodology, be aware that this will be a different user experience.

Limited sales features

If the majority of your CRM buying criteria revolves around sales, you won’t find much to get excited about. ActiveCampaign has limited features for sales calling, quotes, proposals, and more.

Bottom line:

While ActiveCampaign CRM’s won’t be a great fit for sales-heavy organizations, companies with combined sales and marketing efforts will appreciate the quantity and quality of sales and marketing tools and automations at an affordable price point.

Close CRM – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a CRM with a built-in power dialer, or are looking for a full-featured sales management tool that’s easy for team members to learn and use, you’ve probably heard of Close. While it won’t meet the needs of every sales team, it is a solid CRM with several useful features.

Every customer relationship management (CRM) platform has strengths and weaknesses, and knowing the potential pros and cons of the CRM software you’re looking to purchase is an essential part of the research process. Read on to learn more about Close CRM.

Close CRM Strengths:

Close has great calling features

Close is surprisingly well equipped for making calls. Power dialers are the first step toward consistently making a high volume of sales calls, and Close has this feature natively. This is great since adding an efficient dialer onto most other CRMs is either impossible, expensive, or integrates poorly. With Close you get this feature right out of the box.

Close is easy to learn and use

A major strength of Close is its ease of use, which is partially because its features and options are so limited. That said, Close sticks to its core activities (namely calling and deal tracking) and does those well in a simple, easy-to-navigate format.

Close CRM Weaknesses:

Reporting is extremely limited

If you’re looking for solid reporting capabilities, you may want to consider HubSpot Sales CRM or Pipedrive CRM, as Close’s reporting functionality is extremely limited. While there have been a few improvements in recent years, Close still offers only a few basic reports. Enterprise users have slightly better options with custom graphs, but these remain unimpressive when compared to other CRMs.

Customization is limited

Close will look pretty much the same for any salespeople using it. You’re not able to change the user interface much, and while you can create custom fields on the dashboard and properties to record data, you can’t do much with them.

Other Close CRM Features Worth Noting:

Multichannel inbox – Communicate and follow up with prospects by email, phone, and text from one central inbox.

Dynamic template tags – Add tags to email templates to easily create automatically personalized emails in a bulk email campaign.

Call recording – Access recorded calls directly from the contact page.

Power dialer – Automatically call through your lead list without delays between each call.

Predictive dialer – Native software that lets you dial multiple numbers at once and automatically connect once someone picks up.

WorkflowsSales process automation that enables you to assign leads, create tasks, and reach out via email and SMS.

Bottom Line:

Close CRM has great calling features and is easy for sales reps to learn and use. It has integrations with Zapier, ChatGPT, Segment, HubSpot, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more. It’s one of the only CRMs at this price point that offers a full-fledged predictive dialer.

Close pricing plans include Startup, Professional, and Enterprise tiers. Monthly rates are $49 (one user), $299 (three users), and $699 (five users), respectively. Users on the Professional tier – for example, small businesses – can add extra users for $99.

This may be the best CRM for teams with a sales strategy that requires making lots of outbound calls, as long as the reps’ sales skills won’t be hindered by minimal customization and a lack of in-depth reporting tools.

Copper CRM – Everything You Need to Know

Copper is a niche but powerful CRM that lives entirely inside your Google Workspace. If you’re a Gmail and Google Calendar super-user, Copper CRM is definitely one to consider.

That said, every customer relationship management (CRM) platform has strengths and weaknesses, and Copper is no exception. Knowing the potential pros and cons of the CRM you’re looking to purchase is an essential part of the research process. Read on to learn more about Copper CRM.

Copper CRM features worth noting:

Customizable sales pipelines – Create visual drag-and-drop sales pipelines with as many pipeline stages as you need to represent your sales process.

Workflow automations – Make your sales process more efficient by using workflow automations to change deal stages, schedule follow-up tasks, update contact profiles, and more.

Custom reports – Leverage custom sales reporting and build your own sales reports using Copper data.

Activity insights – Create visibility into your team’s activities across any sales methodology for better transparency and accountability.

Lead scoring – To make the most of your team’s sales skills and optimize lead management, use lead scoring to easily identify the leads that are most likely to convert (requires Business tier).

Email templates – Make your email responses more consistent and improve sales rep efficiency with custom sales email templates.

Merge fields – Help automate sales processes by automatically personalizing emails using merge fields that pull from Copper data.

Email sequence & drip campaigns – Put your follow-up emails on autopilot by enrolling contacts in an email sequence or drip campaign.

Website tracking – Get insight into what your prospects are looking at on your website (Business tier only).

Mobile app – Access all contact activity while on the app. Calls and texts are logged automatically so every interaction is tracked and information is always up to date.

Copper CRM Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths of Copper CRM:

Seamless Google Workspace integration

Copper was designed for Google Workspace which in addition to Gmail and Calendar includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other Google apps. It is unmatched in terms of its integration with Gmail and the rest of the Google ecosystem.

If this is what you value more than anything else, look no further. Copper is the only sales CRM recommended by Google, and they’re a Google-backed company. There’s really no competition when it comes to Google Workplace/G Suite integration.

Copper is a full-scale CRM

At first glance it’s tempting to write it off as a niche Chrome extension, but it has robust functionality and is capable of more than many other standard CRM platforms.

Copper CRM is easy to use and intuitive

CRM software is a critical sales tool for your team, and one of the most important things to look for is the combination of scalability and user experience. In other words, your sales CRM should be easy enough to use that your reps will like it and commit to using it.

Copper may be the easiest CRM solution to get employees to buy into using since it’s a familiar user interface and everything is a click away from their Gmail inbox. Plus, it eliminates manual data entry by automatically populating Google data into its records. Copper doesn’t score as high on scalability, but more on that later.

Weaknesses of Copper CRM:

Not everyone is a Google Workspace super-user

While this isn’t a weakness per se, it’s important to realize that if you’re not really into Google products, Copper CRM probably won’t be a good fit. Copper was created for a niche group of Google Workspace users, and there’s not a lot of value for people outside of that group.

Scalability is an issue for Copper

Copper lacks many of the advanced capabilities you’d find in an enterprise CRM. Unlike the HubSpot Sales CRM which will scale well with your sales team as it grows, if you’re using Copper CRM when it’s time to scale you’ll likely need to find a new CRM software.

While you can use integrations to add in other sales tools you need like calling, quotes and proposals, and in-depth automations, using multiple integrations to fill in for missing features is expensive and quite often a hassle.

Copper CRM pricing is expensive

Copper’s basic plan is extremely limited, so many users need to start with the Professional or Business tier plans. Subscriptions are per person (regardless of roles) so even a small team with just a couple of sales reps, a manager, and an operations rep can end up costing over $500/month when paid monthly. At this price it can be tough to justify Copper’s lack of scalability and enterprise-level tools.

Bottom line:

If you’re a diehard Google Workspace user searching for effective sales solutions and want a solid full-scale CRM inside of your Gmail inbox, Copper is worth considering. While it won’t be enough for those looking for advanced workflow automations or scalability, Copper’s seamless Google Workspace integration and familiar user interface make it a good option for teams that are fully committed to the Google ecosystem.