Look up! Our messages are in the cloud; our photo gallery is in the cloud; our contacts are in the cloud…

Wait, did I just say our contacts?! Oh no, another intro spoiled. Whether you can — and should — store your contact database in the cloud was about to be the hot debate for today’s article. Welp!

Well, I guess it’s even more manageable this way.

Straightaway, you know that cloud-based CRMs are a big yes. That’s one question out of the way already.

Now we need to find out what cloud-based CRM software is, why it’s cool, and which exact cloud-based CRM systems are a go-go so that you don’t fall for an overly-advertised no-no


What is cloud-based CRM software?

Cloud-based CRM software (also known as SaaS CRM) refers to customer relationship management software hosted in the cloud on the CRM vendor’s servers and accessible to users from any location via the Internet.

To better understand what cloud-based CRM software is, let’s juxtapose it with its alternative: On-premise CRM software.

Unlike on-premise CRM systems that companies build themselves with cloud-based CRMs, the infrastructure for running the software is owned and maintained by the CRM vendor. Businesses can operate the software on their devices - computers, tablets, and smartphones - through the World Wide Web. While they own all the data they import into the CRM system, it’s the CRM provider that maintains and secures its security at its location.

On top of that, while traditional CRM systems tend to be standalone software, modern cloud-based CRM systems offer a lot of integration capabilities. This makes it easier to connect all your tool stack into one network of business-growing technology.

Most modern cloud-based CRM systems offer their users the following features and functionality…

  • Contact management functionality
  • Reporting functionality
  • Sales dashboards
  • Sales pipeline visualisation
  • Sales and marketing automation
  • Email marketing functionality
  • Mobile access
  • Collaborative functionality
  • An added layer of data security and protection

Benefits of cloud-based CRM software

Cloud-based CRM systems boast numerous features and functionality that on-premise CRMs rarely have. Hence, there are many benefits explicitly associated with cloud-based CRM software. Just to name a few…

✔️ Cloud-based CRM software is easy to install and deploy
One of the most common fears regarding CRM software is that installation is a long, complex process. This isn’t the case with cloud-based software.

Most great cloud-based CRMs don’t require any long-term training or preparation. You can get up and running in almost no time; simply purchase the product, download it, install it on your computer, and - boom! - you’re all set to start using it.

Cloud-based CRM systems spare their users from the anxiety associated with complex installations, data migrations, and even upgrades – all of this is taken care of by the service provider. Besides, service providers often conduct onboarding sessions to get you better acquainted with the product, its features, and its capabilities.

Customer Support and Customer Success teams are always there to help you solve any problems and customise the solution to fit your business needs.

✔️ Cloud-based CRM software works anywhere in the world
Access to data from anywhere in the world, at all times, lays the basis of successful business in the modern world. Cloud-based CRM solutions help your teams stay connected and up-to-date with new, relevant information no matter where they are. Work from home, work remotely, work on the go, or upload from the office.

✔️ Cloud-based CRM software is scalable and flexible
Thanks to the rapid growth of the CRM software market, you can now find the solution that fits your business needs best. Or, you can pick any solution you like and customise it to match your specific business processes and requests.

Flexibility is one of the best features of cloud-based CRM software. The best SaaS CRMs are designed to scale your business. As your business grows, the range of features you use expands too. Cloud-based CRM tools allow your business to add new features to deal with a growing volume of customers.

On top of that, the majority of SaaS CRMs offer per-user pricing. You only pay for the people that are using your system. Start small and add more users when your team expands.

✔️ Cloud-based CRM software offers cutting edge technology
The problem with traditional CRMs is that they’re either very basic or not too innovative. They aren’t the primary area of concern for the enterprises that build them, which means their features don’t get updated as regularly as cloud-based systems.

Cloud-based CRM software is more advanced than on-premise solutions because there’s a team of developers behind every product, considering user requests, analysing technology trends, and working tirelessly to improve the product they offer.

✔️ Cloud-based CRM software better protects your data.
CRM vendors are responsible for the security of the data you upload into the CRM system. To minimise the chance of a data leak or a hacker attack, CRM vendors continuously improve their security measures and conduct regular data backups.

All the best CRM software service providers come with certifications and regularly pass third-party assessments.

However, not every cloud-based CRM solution can bring you all the benefits above. If you want to get the most out of your SaaS CRM system, you must choose the best software that lives up to the highest industry standards and meets your exact business needs.

The top 7 best cloud-based CRM systems

We’ve put together a list of the seven best cloud-based CRM systems for you to choose from.

NetHunt CRM

NetHunt CRM for Gmail
NetHunt CRM for Gmail

NetHunt CRM is a cloud-based CRM system that lives inside your Gmail inbox.

It offers a fully-fledged CRM system without inducing complex-interface anxiety. It's built into an interface you're already familiar with - Gmail. This means you can organise, automate, and grow your business straight after checking your morning emails, all without switching tabs regularly.

Started as a Ukrainian startup, NetHunt CRM has been around for a while now and has managed to become a user-favourite based on several characteristics. In Winter 2022 alone, NetHunt CRM received 13 G2 badges, including the Our Users Love Us Badge, which means NetHunt CRM has an average review score of higher than four.

In fact, way higher than four; a 4.7 rating on G2 and a 4.8 rating on Capterra, to be specific.

On top of that, NetHunt CRM is an internationally recognised secure CRM system. Since 2019, this solution has successfully passed every Google security assessment.

Despite being an affordable solution that comes at as little as $24 per month per user, billed annually, NetHunt CRM offers an impressive stack of features and functionalities. It’s also a fully-customisable tool, so you can bend it around your business to fit your needs. You don’t have to deal with advanced features if you don’t need them; just grow at your own pace, and NetHunt CRM will keep up with you.

Key features of NetHunt CRM

  • Contact management functionality to store and segment contacts; duplicate prevention feature to keep the database clean
  • Multiple sales pipeline management and visualisation
  • Email marketing functionality like bulk emailing, email tracking, custom SMTP, email templates, and reporting
  • Integrations with LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger and Intercom for lead generation
  • Zapier integration to connect NetHunt CRM with all the tools you already have in your tech stack
  • Integration with other Google services like Google Contacts, Data studio, Calendar, Google Drive, and Chat
  • Sales automation functionality such as automated lead capture, automated task assignment and distribution, and notifications
  • Drip campaigns to nurture leads automatically
  • Reporting functionality to create different types of reports

The cherry on top of the NetHunt CRM cake is its Customer Success Team. They are always there to support you, guide you through the world of customer relationship management, help you get the most out of NetHunt CRM, and lead your business to success.

You can see that for yourself — book a demo with our lovely Customer Success Team today to see how your business benefits from NetHunt CRM ❤️

NetHunt CRM pricing

🆓 There’s a 14-day free trial of the system; no credit card required
🌱 Early-stage startups can check if they’re eligible for the Early-Stage Plan
💰Basic: $24 per user per month, billed annually
💰Business: $48 per user per month, billed annually
💰Advanced: $96 per user per month, billed annually

Pipedrive CRM

Pipedrive CRM
Source: Pipedrive's website

Founded back in 2012, Pipedrive CRM has been grinding hard to become one of the best-known names on the market. There's a good reason for Pipedrive’s popularity among businesses of all calibres - it offers a fair share of features for an affordable price.

The tagline of this cloud-based CRM system is “built by salespeople, for salespeople”. The solution lives up to it; it’s sales-oriented software. Thanks to its user-friendly, intuitive interface, it’s easy to deploy and operate.

Pipedrive is a powerful tool for generating and capturing leads, managing sales pipelines, automating sales processes, and increasing sales collaboratively. It also has outstanding reporting functionality and many integrations with third-party apps, all of which enable a truly omnichannel approach to lead generation and lead nurturing.

Still, because it is so sales team-oriented, Pipedrive isn’t that well-suited for other teams in the company. Many reviews on the Internet state that email marketing functionality is limited, and the Gmail integration Pipedrive offers is fundamental. Furthermore, Customer Support responses have been somewhat slower than the industry average.

Key features of Pipedrive CRM

  • Sales automation
  • AI-powered sales mentor with on-the-spot insights
  • Customisable sales pipeline
  • Collaborative functionality
  • Over 300 integrations with third-party apps
  • Essential email marketing features: email tracking, scheduling, and reporting
  • Phonecall app and automatic call logging
  • Insights, forecasting, and reporting
  • Web forms
  • Smart Docs: Accounting and invoicing

Pipedrive CRM pricing

🆓 There’s a 14-day free trial period for Pipedrive; no credit card required
💰Essential: $12.50 per user per month, billed annually
💰Advanced: $24.90 per user per month, billed annually
💰Professional: $49.90 per user per month, billed annually
💰Enterprise: $99 per user per month, billed annually

Hubspot CRM

HubSpot CRM
Source: HubSpot's website

You’re not going to be surprised about this one… Of course, it’s HubSpot CRM, one of the most common names among the best cloud-based CRMs lists.

HubSpot CRM is a free solution, and it stays so forever for an unlimited number of users and up to one million contacts. It sounds like a sweet deal, doesn’t it?

It does, but only if you’re a startup business without ambitions to blow up.

If you’re in the fast growers' cohort, you might quickly find the free million contacts quota too small for your processes and need to upgrade to a paid version of the tool.

Spoiler alert: It’s pretty expensive, but it does come with the added benefit of Sales, Marketing, and Service Hubs.

Anyway, since the free version of HubSpot CRM is designed primarily for small businesses, the functionality it offers is relatively basic.

Key features of HubSpot CRM

  • Reporting dashboard
  • Automatic sales CRM notifications
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Deal tracking
  • Pipeline management
  • Live chat
  • Email tracking, templates, sequences, scheduling

HubSpot CRM pricing

🆓 HubSpot is free forever for unlimited users
💰 The Sales Hub is $45 per month for two users, billed annually

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce CRM
Source: Salesforce's website

Salesforce CRM is a software market veteran, dominating over 20% of it. Being a market pioneer, Salesforce has had plenty of time to innovate its product and equip it with cutting-edge features and technology. As a result, Salesforce CRM lives up to its hype and serves good to hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe.

Salesforce CRM’s market success isn’t only reflected in the number of years it’s been operational and the number of awards and badges it has racked up throughout these years. Salesforce CRM has been awarded numerous prizes by CRM Magazine, ZDNet, and Destination CRM.

On top of that, Salesforce is also the CRM vendor behind 99 out of the 100 companies on the Fortune 100 list.

But don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Just because Salesforce CRM serves large enterprises doesn’t mean that this SaaS CRM solution is an extensive boy-only CRM system. On the contrary, it has various packages to satisfy a wide range of business needs, appealing to businesses of different sizes and those operating in multiple industries.

It's a truly customisable solution.

Salesforce CRM is a cloud-based platform that focuses on helping sales teams achieve their goals faster and more efficiently. It provides capabilities to close more deals, get more leads, accelerate productivity, and make data-driven decisions.

Thanks to a well-developed Salesforce CRM app, your sales team can do their job and update the database on the go, wherever they are.

One of the most notable and popular features of this cloud-based CRM system is its Einstein Voice Assistant, which allows Salesforce users to capture notes from conversations automatically. It also gives personalised daily briefings.

Key features of Salesforce CRM

  • Contact management functionality, including customisable data validation rules
  • Stellar sales forecasting functionality
  • Sales reporting
  • Built-in quoting capabilities
  • Great marketing functionality
  • A wide range of integrations
  • File sync and share

One of the apparent downsides of Salesforce CRM is that it’s a massive player in the market, with many clients using the product. Despite all the customisation capabilities, it’s primarily a one-size-fits-all solution. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, you should look for an alternative.

The other disadvantage of the solution is that it’s on the pricier side of the spectrum.

Anything above the Small Business plan is probably out of reach for an SMB company.

Salesforce CRM pricing

🆓 There’s a free trial of Salesforce CRM
💰Small Business: $20 per user, per month billed annually
💰Complete: $60 per user, per month billed annually
💰Deeply Customisable: $120 per user, per month billed annually
💰Unlimited: $240 per user, per month billed annually

Less Annoying CRM

LACRM
Source: Less Annoying CRM's website

Initially, cloud-based CRM software was created to allow startups and low-budget companies to stay afloat in the market, where every well-established company had a complex CRM system.

Small companies don’t need complex solutions and thousands of unnecessary features that confuse employees and stall the CRM adoption process. Instead, they need a less annoying solution. Less Annoying CRM aka LACRM — “a CRM for people,” as they claim on the homepage of their website.

Less Annoying CRM is the perfect cloud-based CRM for individuals, small teams, and small businesses. It focuses on making those bonds stronger, bringing people together, and letting them work collaboratively to make more sales.

Find out if small businesses need a CRM in our article.

LACRM is one of the most affordable solutions on the market, offering an excellent selection of features for a very modest price.

Key features of Less Annoying CRM

  • Contact management functionality
  • Daily agenda emails summarising your tasks and events for the day
  • Collaborative functionality
  • Email logging
  • Lead reporting
  • A built-in calendar
  • Mobile access

By nature, LACRM has a very short learning curve. You can start using the solution from the first day you purchase it. An intuitive, user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate through the system without prior experience with customer relationship management software.

If you have difficulty or face any problem when using LACRM, this vendor has outstanding customer support - they’re available via phone and email at all times.

Less Annoying CRM pricing

🆓 There’s a 30 day free trial; no credit card required
💰 $15 per user, per month

Copper CRM

Copper CRM
Source: Copper's website

Copper is a pretty good cloud-based CRM solution for Google users.

It’s a lightweight CRM system that integrates with G Suite, including Google Calendar, Meet, Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets, and allows you to manage your sales processes without leaving your Gmail inbox. There’s a nifty sidebar integration that Google uses and recommends others to use.

Everything about Copper CRM resembles the Google ecosystem. For a user that isn’t familiar with CRM software, it’s significantly easier to get used to this too. It’s easy-to-use and intuitive, mirroring Google’s native design for Workspace apps.

An important thing about Copper CRM is that it’s third-party tested and compliant with US and European data privacy laws. Copper is also multilingual, offered in English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, or Italian.

Copper is a highly customisable tool that can be scaled if needed. It also offers an impressive list of features, including sales automation functionality, basic email marketing functionality, excellent collaboration tools, and several third-party integrations.

Copper is a relatively young CRM system that leaves some room for improvement. For example, email marketing functionality is only available to Professional and Business subscribers, and bulk emails are limited to 200 recipients at a time.

Key features of Copper CRM

  • Lead management functionality, including lead capture and lead scoring
  • Sales automation functionality
  • Sales pipeline management functionality
  • Built-in sales analytics tools
  • Limited email marketing functionality
  • Task management functionality
  • Collaborative functionality

Copper CRM pricing

🆓 There’s a free 14-day trial period; no credit card required
💰Basic: $25 per user per month when paid annually
💰Professional: $59 per user per month, billed annually
💰Business: $119 per user per month, billed annually

Agile CRM

Agile CRM
Source: Agile CRM's website

Many reviewers claim that Agile CRM is one of the very best cloud-based CRM systems overall, giving it high ratings and praise.

Like many other modern SaaS CRMs, Agile CRM is an all-in-one CRM that extends its features to different departments, dividing them into three main categories: Sales team-oriented, marketing-oriented, and service-oriented.

It’s truly a solution for all, not just the sales department.

The same is reflected in the number of integrations with third-party apps that Agile CRM offers — there are over 500 of them, and you can unlock more for an extra price. Specialists from across the company can connect their tools of choice to Agile CRM and make their work even more productive.

Agile CRM also allows top managers to gamify the sales process and encourage sales reps to work harder by engaging in intra-team competition. There’s a custom leaderboard, collaboration opportunities between employees, and more.

Key features of Agile CRM

  • Telephony
  • Contact management functionality
  • Lots of integrations with third-party apps
  • Sales process gamification
  • Collaborative functionality
  • Marketing automation functionality
  • Email marketing functionality

Copper CRM pricing

🆓 Free for up to 10 users
💰Starter: $8.99 per user, per month billed annually
💰Regular: $29.99 per user, per month billed annually
💰Enterprise: $47.99 per user, per month billed annually

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