Best Web Based CRM & Contact Management Solutions for Small Businesses

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Don't read any further if you access the internet via a slow dial-up connection, but if you are permanently online with a decent bandwidth, web based CRM software is an exciting option, and is the fastest growing area of CRM Software.

Web based CRM, sometimes referred to as Hosted CRM, OnDemand CRM, Online CRM, Browser Based CRM and now SaaS (Software as a Service) software solutions, is where the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is hosted by an Application Service Provider (ASP), typically the vendor of the software.

These web based CRM applications are delivered as services over the Internet, rather than on your local network like conventional CRM software. From Google Calendar to HotMail to Twitter, hosted applications are fast becoming the order of the day.

Why Choose An Online CRM Solution?

  • Often a lower cost of entry and lower total cost of ownership.
  • Rapid implementation, although this can vary, depending on the vendor.
  • Rapid transmission of information across organizational lines and locations.
  • Accessibility - you can access web based CRM from anywhere provided you have Internet access.
  • Hosted CRM systems don’t require the deployment of backend systems.
  • No costly hardware server infrastructure necessary.
  • Automatic upgrades to your CRM solution.

Organizations that use web based CRM systems don't own the CRM software. Instead you subscribe to the CRM services by paying a monthly or annual subscription "service based" or "pay-as-you-go" fee that varies from vendor to vendor.

Are Web Based CRM solutions suitable for your small business?

This of course depends on the specific CRM needs of your particular organization. Like its more conventional cousins, hosted CRM products are now starting to cater for different requirements in varying degrees. Rather than trying to be one size fits all, some second generation hosted CRM systems are offer customized solutions for different industries.

Online small business CRM solutions are worthwhile considering, particularly if you are on-the-move and have a remote CRM requirement, with a widely dispersed or work-from-home workforce with access to adequate bandwidth.

The steady rise in popularity of web based CRM is also indicative of increased acceptance of having your data entrusted to some other company off-site.

The Best Web based CRM/hosted CRM solutions you can consider are:

InfusionSoft CRM

InfusionSoftCRM. Highly Recommended. Excellent solution for small to medium companies seeking a comprehensive, reliable CRM tool. InfusionCRM is a sophisticated, all-in-one CRM solution, so you can finally avoid exchanging data across different systems and provides support for shopping cart and sales transactions, auto-responders, product information, customer details, order history, payment plans, marketing sequences and responses, lead tracking and progression, and more. All your information is tracked in one consolidated CRM system. InfusionSoft is also a top-rated CRM company that provides an excellent level of support. InfusionCRM was voted a SmallBizCRM Top 10 CRM product. If you do a thorough apples-with-apples comparison with other web CRM's, you'll find this comprehensive solution does it all for you really affordably. Their new tiered Entry Level versions, dubbed InfusionSoft Basic, DeLuxe & Pro, offer you even more with less expensive options to suit your needs. Infusion dropped their installation charges, so all you now pay is a monthly fee.

Capsule CRM

CapsuleCRM. Highly Recommended. If you use Google Apps, Gmail, Android, BB or iPhone Smartphones, CapsuleCRM warrants your closer inspection. Fast, stable, a functional list of CRM features, a disciplined, easy-to-use and customisable User Interface (UI) and an on-the-ball development team prolifically bringing out new features and integration to other apps like Twitter, LinkedIn, Wufoo website forms, Xero, MailChimp and top small biz accounting system, KashFlow, it's no surprise CapsuleCRM has a steadily growing base of very happy users.
CapsuleCRM is probably NOT for you if you are after stronger project management, but workflow and pipeline management is well addressed. Their pricing is really great, too. They offer a free version with limitations (try this first), or their Professional version competitively priced at $12 per month.

Relenta CRM

Relenta. Highly Recommended. Relenta successfully strikes the right balance between CRM and email marketing and is fast attracting a cult-like following. Affordably priced at $25 per user per month, Relenta is worth a serious look if you are after a CRM with the right mix of features for a small internet marketing operation. With a dedicated development and support team, Relenta happily combines SalesForce, Aweber, Outlook and Constant Contact apps into one lean yet powerful CRM based on David Allen's famous Getting Things Done (GTD) principle. Relenta's 1Click design philosophy is what sets it apart from, and is the envy of the competition.


SalesNexus. Highly Recommended. If you are an ACT! user but are tired of the buggy, resource hungry, newer version and would like an affordable, web based equivalent, SalesNexus is your answer. SalesNexus Pro is also an inexpensive option to more well known web CRM's like SalesForce. Great company, too - we have only heard good reports regarding their service.

Really Simple Systems (RSS). Recommended. Winner of the Small Business Customer Satisfaction Award, UK-based RSS is a web CRM to consider. While having all the features one would expect of a CRM, their claim is to deliver them fast and easily. Pricing is UKP35 pm (+-$57) or less, depending on the number of users.

Aplicor CRM. Highly recommended. Excellent CRM software solution for high-growth and middle market (SMB) companies. By combining ease of use with distinctive functionality such as workflow rules and business intelligence, Aplicor is carving out a unique niche for companies looking to advance in the areas of business process automation and information analysis. We also enjoyed the Forms Designer which permitted us to modify any of the browser screens in a visual drag and drop environment. This tool empowers users to modify their CRM system in order to accommodate their unusual, varying or changing business processes.

Aplicor Logo

WORKetc - CRM with project management and billing

WORKetc. Recommended. If your business requirements have a strong emphasis on Project Management and Billing (typically high-ticket, long & complex sales cycles), WORKetc is a top contender. WORKetc is more a comprehensive business management solution, with strong CRM features. The interface is very intuitive, which is great for user acceptance, and there is tremendous flexibility for customization, enabling WORKetc to be tailored to suit virtually any work environment.

BrowserCRM. Offered in two editions, BrowserCRM Small Business Edition is the entry level version of BrowserCRM retaining much of the powerful functionality of BrowserCRM Professional, but without email and accounting functionality. At $299 for 5 users for the in-house deployment product and $9.99 per user per month for their web based/on demand solution, BrowserCRM provides good value for the price.

IntelliContact - #1 For The Serious eMail Marketer

iContact Pro . Highly Recommended. Brainchild of renowned entrepreneur Ryan Allis, iContact PRO is a web-based contact manager and email marketing software combined. If your business involves the regular sending out of eMail newsletters, this polished, value-for-money software will form an essential part of your marketing arsenal. You can manage your email marketing campaigns and any sales lead follow-up's that result. Priced from an affordable $9.95 per month, depending on the size of your mail list. iContact Pro is a SmallBizCRM Top 10 CRM Contact Manager

Integrated CRM Solutions.

InterpriseSuite. Even though InterpriseSuite is only recently out of Beta phase, it is already attracting a lot of attention. Interprise Suite can be run as both a web based CRM application or locally on your own server. This integrated CRM and accounting/ERP application is very reasonably priced, and they offer a free Single User CRM license for Interprise Suite. Ideal CRM application for small businesses.

Apprehensive about Web Based CRM solutions? Read this article on Online CRM solutions to help you decide if this is the right route to go.

  • See FREE CRM software applications if you are after a more lightweight CRM freebie or Try-Before-You-Buy.

  • Are you already familiar with any of these CRM applications? We want additional independent CRM Reviews of these and other CRM products!
  • Note To Vendors: If you would like your product/s considered for inclusion, please email us.

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