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Small Business CRM Buying Guide: Page 2

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Posted July 20, 2011 By Drew Robb     Feedback
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NetSuite CRM

NetSuite is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business software that supports accounting, ERP and CRM.

The CRM portion known as NetSuite CRM can be deployed on its own if desired. If all aspects of the suite are deployed, they each share the same database for every interaction. As it is cloud based, there are no maintenance or upgrade hassles involved. It also comes with a 99.5 percent uptime guarantee. NetSuite CRM integrates order management, partner management, incentive management, project tracking, website hosting and analytics. Pricing including maintenance and support is $129 per user per month.

NetSuite is also integrated with Google Apps and the Google Apps Marketplace. This includes contextual integration between the main components of NetSuite, Gmail and Google Calendar.

"Seamless access to the power of NetSuite and Google Apps together means more real-time collaboration and visibility for every stakeholder working on an opportunity, transaction, or project," said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. "By strengthening our ties with Google's cloud and integrating with Google Apps, NetSuite has made it easier to do business at Internet speed."

Aplicor CRM

Aplicor's hosted CRM approach includes sales force automation, marketing, project office and customer support modules. It can also integrate with the Aplicor business intelligence and ERP modules.

A pay-as-you-go subscription model is used for this hosted, wireless and Web-based CRM software suite. The company has a 10 license minimum at a rate of $89 per user per month. Most recently, the company released Aplicor Cloud Suite 7 as the latest platform for CRM, which includes a business process designer to configure and model workflows.

Infusionsoft CRM

Infusionsoft launched in 2004 as a custom software company — until one frustrated client demanded a software tool for small businesses that needed more than simple email marketing, CRM and autoresponder tools, but that weren't ready for expensive enterprise systems.

Infusionsoft automates CRM and email marketing in a single application. Pricing ranges from $199 for two users up to $999 a month for up to 20 users. The company now is used in over 6500 companies with 21,000 users.

"Small businesses can't afford the inefficiency of different systems for different tasks," said David Raab, principal at Raab Associates. "Infusionsoft provides a tightly integrated system with a broad range of marketing and sales functions, plus the extensive support that small businesses need to set up and run advanced marketing programs."

Zoho CRM

Dale Vile, an analyst at research firm Freeform Dynamics, points out that plenty of smaller Web based SaaS players have popped up, Zoho among them.

"The SMB space is massively underserved at the moment despite a clear need," said Vile. "The vast majority of smaller companies have no structured CRM solutions in place at all right now."

Zoho has a very aggressive pricing model aimed squarely at the low end of the SMB marketplace. It has a free version for up to three users that covers sales force automation, marketing and customer support. Two other paid versions provide additional features such as workflow management and inventory management. Even then, the pricing ranges from $12 to $25 a month per user. The free edition is characterized as an easy-to-use hosted CRM for entrepreneurs and startups. The Pro edition is a more complete sales automation solution for small businesses and the Enterprise version is described as CRM for managing a multi-level organizational hierarchy.

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