Customer Relationship Management Software Act

Do you use Customer Relationship Management Software? In this post, you’ll learn about some of the top customer relationship management (CRM) software available today. You’ll also read about how some companies have used CRM software to improve their business processes.

Act is a CRM software, which is owned by Sage and it allows you to manage your contacts, opportunities and case records from a single interface. Act software can integrate with WordPress website and this article will show you how to sync WordPress website with Act software.

Customer Relationship Management is a hot buzzword these days and rightly so. Keeping in touch with your customers not only helps you build better relationships but also increases repeat business, which ultimately leads to more profits. Although I’ve always been a fan of using the right tools to help me in my business, I now use customer relationship management software on a daily basis.

Customer Relationship Management Software Act

The Customer Relationship Management Software Act has been proposed to protect the interests of customers and companies alike.

The act will require all companies to install a software program on their computers that tracks every interaction with their customers, including e-mails, text messages, and phone calls. The software will also be able to track where the customer is located at any given time, so that if a customer complains about poor service or product quality, the company can determine if they were in fact treated poorly.

The act also includes provisions to ensure that all employees are trained in new technologies so they can use this software effectively. This training will include how to use the software itself as well as how it works with other technologies such as voice recognition systems or facial recognition systems.

This bill is meant to protect customers by ensuring that they are treated fairly and receive the best possible service from their companies. It will also protect companies by making sure they have accurate information regarding the quality of their products and services so that they can continue improving them over time (if necessary).

We believe that the Customer Relationship Management Software Act is a step forward for our industry.

There are several reasons why this legislation is so important.

First, it ensures that companies are held accountable for the quality of their products. This will help prevent companies from putting out shoddy software and misleading customers about its features and capabilities, as well as help prevent them from attempting to hide any defects with their products by using deceptive marketing tactics.

Second, it protects consumers’ privacy by requiring companies to disclose what information they collect on their users, how they use the data they collect, and what they do with any information left unencrypted or unprotected in any way. This helps ensure that consumers know exactly what kind of information is being collected by which apps and websites they use online, and allows them to make informed decisions about what kind of data they share with these companies voluntarily—or not!

Finally, this bill will help ensure that there are more options available for consumers who want to avoid using services run by big corporations like Google or Facebook but still want access to certain kinds of content like news updates or social media feeds without having to sign up for multiple email accounts just to keep track of everything!

[company name] is the ideal solution for your customer relationship management needs. Our software is easy to use and affordable, and our team of experts will help you find the right solution for your business. We offer custom solutions in addition to our standard offerings, so you can get exactly what you need.

Our software is designed with small businesses in mind, so it’s designed to be user-friendly and easy to learn. It’s also scalable, so as your company grows, you won’t have to worry about whether or not our system will be able to keep up with you!

We know that having a good CRM system in place is important for any small business owner—but it can be hard to figure out which one is right for your needs. That’s why we offer free consultations with one of our team members who can recommend which software would work best for your business. We’ll listen carefully to your needs and goals so that we can make sure that we’re recommending the right solution for you and your business.

ACT Contact Software Features List 

The main features of ACT are:

  • Marketing automation (personalized campaigns, landing pages, automated workflows, real-time metrics)
  • Sales pipeline management (opportunity tracking, sales process management, pipeline management, actionable insights)
  • Customer management (relationship history, powerful search, centralized customer data, offline and mobile access)
  • Activity management (customer activities, calendar & email integration, prioritized tasks lists, notifications and alerts)

1. Marketing Automation

ACT’s marketing automation tools make it easy to attract new prospects and turn them into customers. 

With ACT, businesses can create personalized marketing campaigns by using turnkey templates or developing a customized design. Relatedly, you can build high-converting landing pages and lead forms that capture leads. 

Automated workflows allow businesses to define outreach strategies and stay engaged with prospects and customers effortlessly. 

You can also create reports with real-time metrics that help businesses track their progress and adjust their marketing strategy on the fly.

ACT’s email marketing technology allows businesses to set up advanced digital marketing campaigns thanks to excellent features such as email templates, autoresponders, social media marketing planning templates, and bulk monthly mailing schedules. There’s also a visual workflow designer that automates each step.

The workflow designer is perhaps the most impressive part of marketing automation as it is fairly easy to use, yet it helps companies achieve exceptional results. Users are able to design emails, manage subscribers, and even record the campaign’s statistics.

2. Sales Pipeline Management

The ACT sales pipeline management features are designed to help businesses close deals faster and stay on top of their sales process. 

You can track opportunities and stay on top of details of every sales opportunity, and advance deals through stages of custom or out-of-the-box sales processes. Categorize the sales pipeline by product, territory, sales stage, agent, region, and more. Get actionable insights from interactive visual dashboards.

ACT’s sales pipeline management features are some of the most comprehensive in the CRM industry. They allow businesses to track every aspect of their sales process and get valuable insights that can help them close more deals.

In addition, the pipeline view stands out from the other screens with its clear graphics. Using the pipeline is very easy, as users can move a deal from one stage to another just by dragging a card to a different column. The greatest part of the sales pipeline is that the opportunity’s detail record is updated automatically.

3. Customer Management

Customer management features are another key feature. ACT! gives businesses all the tools they need to manage their customer relationships effectively. 

This includes a relationship history that enables companies to personalize interaction with every customer, and a powerful search that helps locate the customer info in an instant. The app provides centralized customer data where all information is organized in one place. 

Also, there’s offline and mobile access for iOS and Android, so users can work on the road.

ACT provides businesses with everything they need to manage their customer relationships in one place. The customer management features are very comprehensive and allow businesses to track every aspect of their customer interactions.

In addition, ACT’s mobile app gives users the ability to access their customer data offline, which is a great feature for salespeople who are often on the road.

4. Activity Management

ACT’s activity management features help businesses prioritize tasks and get more done in less time. With ACT, you can track all current and previous customer activities for each customer. Create prioritized task lists to stay focused on the most important activities; receive notifications and alerts that ensure no task or opportunity is missed.

You can also integrate your calendar and email to keep appointments and communication in sync across all channels.

Perhaps the feature that users appreciate the most—next to tracking deals and prospects—is the possibility to send emails to contacts directly from ACT CRM. The software also allows users to schedule meetings and assign other users tasks that need to be done.

ACT doesn’t stop at syncing your emails; the CRM can also sync the user’s Outlook calendar. In addition, ACT has its in-app calendar that can be used without any integrations.

Okay, now that you’re more familiar with the features of ACT let’s suss out the advantages and disadvantages of using this CRM.

ACT complaints & praise (from real ACT software reviews)

Wondering what other people have to say about this software? We took a look at a wide swathe of ACT CRM reviews from real users. Here’s what they had to say:

User reviews tend to praise the app’s straightforward functionality and ability to handle a large volume of contacts. Sales teams enjoy its ease of use for lead management and follow-up, with automated emails and notifications via the alarm feature. 

Others suggest it’s a great investment for company growth, having an appreciable effect on ability to scale.

Some reviews, while still skewing positive, do pause to note the app’s reporting is not so intuitive. And in general, the UX gets mentioned for being difficult to navigate in comparison to newer design-focused CRM platforms. 

Occasional glitches and buggy features were a frustration for some users.

Review of ACT CRM customer service support

If you ever encounter a problem when using this software, you will probably turn to customer service support first. 

We scoured ACT customer support from real users, and found a lot of praise for customer service support in explaining features and fixing problems. On the other hand, some wished their support staff would give more help with building reports. 

The majority of users opt for standard customer support. However, those who choose enhanced technical customer support rarely have any complaints.

Is ACT contact management software worth it? Key takeaways

Is ACT worth it? The answer is a “yes, if…”

It’s a great choice for small businesses and mid-size outfits looking for an affordable contact management software solution with features that are more than the standard. If your company size is enterprise-level, you might be tempted to look elsewhere.

This software is great for beefing up marketing processes, lead management, and keeping track of customer contacts and sales opportunities.

It’s straightforward and performs excellently as a CRM. However, as noted, the software has some drawbacks, such as a lack of intuitive reporting and navigation. To be a smart shopper, you may of course want to consider the ACT alternatives out there. 

ACT FAQs

Is Act owned by Sage?

ACT is no longer owned by Sage software company. Long story of acquisitions, but the gist is that Sage gained ownership of ACT! In 2001 and changed the name to “ACT! By Sage” in 2006, then “Sage ACT!” in 2010. ACT! was then acquired by Swiftpage in 2013.

When was ACT CRM founded?

ACT CRM was one of the earliest contact management platforms. The company was founded in 1986 in Dallas, Texas by developers Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney. The first iteration of the software was released way back on April 1, 1987. That’s even older than SAP, first released in 1992.

What makes a Great Free CRM?

How we evaluate and test apps

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

The best CRM apps don’t try to reinvent the wheel—they just try to make it roll a little smoother. This means keeping things like the user experience fairly conventional so that anyone—even if they’ve only ever operated an email inbox—can get up to speed quickly. The free CRM tools featured here are all relatively easy to operate for first-time users and provide enough resources (support or self-help) to assist when and if issues arise. 

And while the versions reviewed are all free, each CRM application offers different levels of upgrade plans to accommodate businesses with evolving needs. These paid plans are affordable for most small and medium businesses, especially when the capabilities are expanded enough to take the place of additional standalone software such as marketing and support. 

Below are the features we looked at when researching and evaluating free CRMs. While not every one of our picks checked off all five boxes, the ones that didn’t offered enough compelling features or highly specific use cases to make the final cut.   

  • Contact and sales management. When creating contacts, you should have some flexibility in the type of information you can add. Features like custom fields let you collect what info is important for your business. Also, a free app should provide room for at least several hundred contacts to get you started. Tracking deals is a must-have feature for any customer management software, and those that provide a visual (e.g., Kanban) pipeline with the ability to customize stages based on your sales process are ideal.
  • Ease of use. Customer relationship management software should make it relatively easy to perform repetitive actions (e.g., contact creation), input information, and provide a system with some customization options. We also looked for features that help automate actions such as performing tasks (emails, calls, etc.) as part of a sales process.     
  • Unique feature(s). If a product included a unique (or atypical) feature not usually found in free plans, we highlighted that in the review. 
  • Reporting and analytics. At the very least, you should have reporting to track total pipeline, deals by rep, and activities such as calls, emails, and meetings. Some of the apps we selected also had forecasting, leads by source, and average sales cycle duration.     
  • Integration with other apps. We valued CRMs that provide integrations with third-party apps, whether natively or with Zapier, since a customer tracking app is just one part of your business’s tech stack.

Best Free CRM (try before you buy)

Free CRM systems offer the opportunity to try out a platform with your team and see if you can derive value from it without dishing out on the initial investment—especially if you’re a small business or a budding startup on a lean budget a crm for small business is the way to go. 

Since it’s free, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t try it out! Here are some of the best free CRM software platforms, with enticing free plans:

Freshsales

Benefits:

Freshsales is a full-fledged sales force automation solution for sales teams. It provides everything a salesperson needs to— attract quality leads, engage in contextual conversations, drive deals with AI-powered insights, and nurture customer relationships. 

With built-in email, phone, chat, and telephony, Freshsales empowers sales teams with more time for selling by automating the sales process and increases efficiency and productivity in their daily activities. With Freddy AI, salespeople can get insights into the best deals to go after and what actions to take and predict revenue with sales forecasting. Businesses can take the next step forward towards powerful pipeline management with Freshsales. Also, the option to use native CPQ makes generating and sharing quotes and other vital sales assets hassle-free. 

Drawbacks:

Like many vendors, some of the better features are reserved for premium packages. Among these for Freshworks CRM are time-based workflows, some chatbot tools and advanced metric reporting. But overall, the free and basic plans are a decent place to start, and you can always upgrade.

Pricing:

  • There is a Free Forever Startup plan
  • Growth plan is $15
  • Pro plan is $39 
  • Enterprise plan is $69 

LEARN MORE

Zoho

Benefits:

Zoho CRM provides a small business-friendly platform with a simple user interface, customizable modules, pragmatic automation, and social media features. 

If you’re seeking free-ness, their unpaid plan for up to three users is a good place to start. The platform will allow you to build up and define specific workflow, manage leads, and start rationalizing day-to-day operations. It integrates with Twitter, Google+, and Facebook too, so you can reach out to leads with superhuman perfect timing.

Once you outgrow the free CRM, you can upgrade to the reasonably priced Standard version of Zoho CRM, which pumps up the usability factor with robust sales forecasting and KPI tracking. The Enterprise version piles on more features like stage-by-stage sales funnel tracking, data comparisons across users, teams, regions, products/services, and much more. 

Drawbacks:

Zoho has no email tracking or individual lead notifications, which might be a problem if one-on-one, long-term engagement with specific users is integral to your business. UI can be a bit laggy. Paying for Zoho add-on modules to give the CRM more mileage can shoot up operational costs quickly.

The free version lacks mass emailing features and overall the CRM has pretty limited customizability.

Pricing:

  • A free version is available for up to 3 users. 15-day free trial for paid versions.
  • Standard edition is $14 
  • Professional edition is $23 
  • Enterprise edition is $40 
  • Ultimate edition is $52. Exclusive 30-day free trial.

LEARN MORE

HubSpot

Benefits:

HubSpot is one of the biggest vendors out there (up there with Salesforce), and they offer a free CRM for unlimited users with basic features. 

The free HubSpot CRM allows you to assign and track leads, manage the sales process, manage workflows for better management, and record customer interactions across every channel in one place. It also has pretty comprehensive email marketing, as well as inbound marketing tools (the latter is quite useful for getting search engine hits for blog posts).

The platform works with G Suite and Microsoft Office, making implementation and data syncing seamless. Integration with Zapier facilitates easy information sharing and task management across apps like Google Sheets, Facebook Lead Ads, Slack, and more). 

The non-free, paid add-on packages for HubSpot CRM boost data storage, generate more sophisticated reports, and incorporate new AI and advanced automation tech.

Drawbacks:

The free CRM has many features, but a lot of them aren’t that robust, which means you may find yourself having to shell out for Marketing, Sales, or Service Hub products. Customizability is limited, which might make the CRM hard for certain niche small businesses to tweak and meaningfully implement.

Pricing: 

  • HubSpot CRM is free and the number of users is unlimited.
  • Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub add-on packages are $50 
  • HubSpot CMS starts at $300 per month
  • All-inclusive Starter Growth Suite starts at $113

LEARN MORE

Less Annoying CRM

Benefits:

Less Annoying CRM (aka LACRM) is designed as an all-inclusive CRM solution for small businesses. They offer a long 30-day free trial. After that, they have a single, low-cost paid plan.

LACRM handles task management, lead-to-sale, contact management, and follow-ups. Manage all your customer data, track your leads through sales pipelines. Stay on top of events and to-dos (in easy-to-use calendar and agenda formats). Makes a great real estate crm. 

Emails written and received outside a CRM platform can be logged inside LACRM. The app provides every user with a unique email logging address. You can create a contact with whatever email provider you use.

Drawbacks:

There are minimal app integrations, which might be a significant limitation, depending on your needs. The app sends out notifications by SMS or email, but not in-app, which feels a bit retro.

Pricing:

  • $15 

LACRM offers a risk-free, 30-day free trial for its only pricing plan.

LEARN MORE

Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems CRM

Benefits:

Really Simple Systems (RSS for short) doesn’t shy away from touting their marketing automation, sales and service platform as simple—but that doesn’t mean it lacks sophistication, it’s just really easy to use. This is especially handy for companies with distributed offices and remote workforces.

While they have paid-for versions, their free option is more than just a temporary trial offer for companies up to two users, so budding businesses and solo entrepreneurial ventures can use the CRM without watching the calendar. It allows for unlimited contacts and up to 100 MBs of document storage. The free version includes many of the core features including sales automation and customer service. 

Free users will be able to access distinct management tools for both contacts, which updates in real time all relevant info and related tasks for contacts, vendors and suppliers; and leads, which aims to convert contacts into eventual sales. RSS also does reporting their own way, dividing up the action in two parts. 

For one, there’s ‘Listing reports’ for quick stats on simple questions like, “how many hits did we get this month?” (you can formulate more complex questions too). Then there’s ‘Forecast reports’ which focus on expected sales numbers in a variety of time frames. 

For small businesses in the B2B game, RSS makes moving into the CRM zone a snap.

Drawbacks:

Generating reports is probably more complex than it needs to be. Opportunities system can be a bit clunky to use. Email marketing could be better; the email templates are fairly basic.

Also, if you’re using Outlook, you can’t link tasks to trigger active reminders in your inbox.

Pricing:

  • Free plan for up to 2 users.
  • Starter plan is $15 
  • Professional plan is $33
  • Enterprise plan is $50 

LEARN MORE

EngageBay

Engage Bay CRM

Benefits:

EngageBay bills itself as a HubSpot alternative, and sells three business process-orientated suites: Marketing Automation, Live Chat & Helpdesk, and CRM & Sales Bay. The last of these, CRM & Sales Bay, provides contact management tools designed for simplicity and company growth.

The platform provides multi-channel listening, aggregating contact info from across all your customer touchpoints. Track contact activity, web activity, email response, open and click rates, and more. 

Integrates with Gmail, Office 365 or any other IMAP service, with two-way sync capabilities. Zapier, SendGrid, Mailgun, Xero, and Mandrill integrations allow you to connect your CRM with your other business processes and further streamline your operations.

Drawbacks:

Could use more native integrations with third-party apps. Email template options are limited in number and simplistic in style.

Pricing:

  • A free plan is available, limited to 1,000 contacts and 1,000 branded emails
  • Basic plan is $12.99
  • Growth plan is $24.99 
  • Pro plan is $49.99 

LEARN MORE

Capsule

Benefits: 

Capsule works to bump not just your customer relationships, but all your business relationships, to the next level. And this it does ever so simply, with a clean user interface and zero learning curve.

Rather than piling on extended features, Capsule quite simply hones in on being really good at managing daily work. You can instantly find out what’s going on with your sales pipeline (bids, lead generation, proposals, customer data, etc.) and what your team needs to do and when.

It also makes it easy to find key information—contact lists can be imported from Gmail, Outlook, and your CSV spreadsheet and database files.

If you run a business solo or with a partner, you can get by with Capsule’s free version (the cap is two users). The Professional version features Zapier, G Suite, Zendesk, Twitter, and Mailchimp integration, helping you collect information and capture leads from across your apps.

Drawbacks: 

The free plan is capped at 250 contacts, so you may find yourself suddenly hitting a glass ceiling and having to commit to a paid plan. To keep using the product you’ve invested in for your day-to-day business, you may go from paying nothing to dishing out $18/month (or exponentially more). 

Apart from that, in order to track and auto-generate contacts from email, you’ll have to remember to BCC them to your Dropbox, which is quite easy to forget.

Pricing:  

  • Free, basic version of Capsule is available for up to 2 users. 
  • Professional version is priced at $18 
  • Teams version is priced at $36 

A 30-day free trial is available for Professional and Teams.

Choosing the Best Free CRM for a Small Business

The best free CRM software may seem like an oxymoron. However, as can be seen in our list, you can get a lot of features for little cost. Make sure you’re prioritizing the features important to your business.

Lead Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is meant to help you focus on your time where it will be most beneficial, as well as handling basic contact management. Free CRM options often limit the contact records you can store, which can put a limit on your ability to manage customer relationships.

There are free versions of CRM software that offer unlimited contacts, however. Whether that’s a priority may depend on your customer management needs.

Team Management

You may not be directly handling customer relationships, instead managing customer service teams. There are free CRM systems with the features you’re looking for, including assigning tasks to CRM users and other aspects of project management.

Marketing

Marketing tools are often vital to CRM, as it’s techniques like email marketing, ad management, web to lead forms, and other tools for sales that create new leads. Marketing automation can come at a premium, however, and may be hard to find in a free plan. 

Transaction Management

Something that may get left out of the average free CRM plan is deal management. It is possible to find some that offer tools to help with the sales process, including sales pipelines and workflow automation to keep things moving and bring neglected leads to your attention.

Reporting

Reports are one of the most important tools in project management, helping to pinpoint problems and opportunities. Most free CRMs come with some limited reporting, including website visitor tracking and conversion statistics. However, if you’re looking for complete reporting tools, you’ll usually need to look beyond the free plan.

Conclusion

If you are a small business owner and considering whether to utilize CRM software, you should review your current business operations and determine if there is a current need for this type of software. New businesses should give serious consideration as to whether a CRM system might help streamline operations and improve overall efficiency in the long term. If a business has a number of contact management software programs (the office manager’s copies) that are not linked together, it is highly recommended that they be integrated into one.

Leave a Comment