Customer management is essential for companies to survive. Customer data is just as relevant as a clear workflow. Large companies in particular therefore already use customer relationship management (CRM) systems. However, smaller companies also benefit from the use of customer management software. But which CRM tools are suitable for your company? In our CRM comparison, we compared 20 CRM providers based on more than 150 different criteria in 13 categories. The CRM comparison provides you with optimal orientation when selecting software. You can download the summary of the comparison as a PDF free of charge.
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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) stands for the entire management of customer relationships. Regardless of whether it involves measures in marketing, sales or support for customers. CRM involves interaction with the customer across all channels and across all departments. CRM software supports the following tasks:
- Establishing, maintaining and strengthening customer relationships
- Differentiate customer relationships according to individual customer needs
- Align customer communication according to individual customer needs
- Measuring various customer-relevant KPIs (e.g., customer lifetime value)
- Systematize customer processing
- Optimize processes in customer management
Would you like to learn more about CRM software? Then you should also read our whitepaper “Customer Relationship Management – CRM Software Selection in Practice”. In the whitepaper, we give you an overview of the use of CRM systems, look at various approaches to selecting a suitable CRM solution, and show you important aspects of CRM implementation, among other things.
The general functions and features of CRM software can also be found in our CRM comparison. In doing so, we have extensively compared the various CRM providers with each other.
Categories in the CRM comparison
Our CRM comparison has compared the different providers in a total of 13 categories:
- General information about the providers
- Language of the user interface
- Industry specialization of the providers
- Basic functions of the solutions in comparison
- Address management
- Communication functions
- Appointment management
- Reporting functions
- Sales & Automation
- Legal criteria
- Additional services of the providers
- Pricing approach of the systems
We have compared these CRM software:
acquibee is a German company based in Germering. Since 2015, the company has been developing and selling the CRM solution of the same name.
USP (according to its own statement): “Only with acquibee, thanks to special workflows, you double productivity and thus sales in the areas of new customer acquisition and qualification/follow-up of leads. In just one hour, acquibee is implemented in the sales team – either as a standalone sales CRM or as a pre-CRM to compensate for the weaknesses of usual CRM systems (complicated operation, poor data quality.)”
Behind the CRM solution AG-VIP CRM is the Grutzeck-Software GmbH from Hanau. The company has been on the market since 1979 and employs ten people. Grutzeck-Software serves 500 customers with its CRM software, according to its own information.
USP (according to their own statement): “Very customizable without the need for the IT department. Complete CTI integration for TAPI, own VoIP softphone, best-of-breed approach with interfaces to B2B website trackers or lead marketing automation solutions.”
ameax AkquiseManager CRM
The CRM solution ameax AkquiseManager CRM was developed by ARANES GmbH & Co. KG. The company is located in Aufhausen near Regensburg and employs twelve people. ARANES has been on the market since 2007. The company’s CRM solution is used by 2,500 customers, according to its own information.
USP (according to the company’s own statement): “The ameax AkquiseManager CRM is an industry-independent CRM software with which you can efficiently manage, control and monitor your customer data and sales activities (new customer acquisition or the generation of new orders). The web-based system is customizable to a very high degree to user needs and is especially designed for use in small/medium sized companies.”
On the market since 1986, CAS Software AG says it serves 32,000 customers with its CRM tool CAS genesisWorld. With 450 employees, the company operates from Karlsruhe, Germany, and according to self-disclosure, generated 44 million euros in revenue last year.
42he GmbH, which has been in business since 2010, markets its CRM tool under the name CentralStation CRM. 19 employees are involved in the development of the solution. According to the company, CentralStation CRM is currently used by 10,000 customers.
USP (according to the company’s own statement): “The most intuitive and easiest CRM software (SaaS) on the German market, specially developed for small companies (mostly in the B2B and service environment). Quick overview, short learning curve and all that combined with excellent support and German data protection.”
ClientCube comes from the development pen of Goal Software GmbH, which has been present on the market since 2016. Goal Software is based in Lensahn, Germany.
USP (according to its own statement): “Simple – clear – intuitive | ClientCube has emerged from practical experience and is a field service organization tool | sales information system | internal communication tool and without its own installation, immediately ready for use on all end devices.”
combit Relationship Manager
Behind the CRM tool combit Relationship Manager is combit GmbH, which has been operating since 1989. Based in Constance, combit employs 60 people and serves 1,700 customers with its CRM tool, according to its own information.
USP (according to its own statement): “Our system is more than a typical CRM “software”. It is rather to be understood as an open and flexible platform. Highly professional, comparatively fast and flexibly customizable.”
CURSOR-CRM was developed by the provider CURSOR Software AG from Gießen, Germany. With 100 employees, the company serves 500 customers, according to its own information. On the market since 1987, CURSOR Software AG generated 9.5 million euros in sales last year.
USP (according to own statement): “The combination of software that inspires; consulting that leads to the goal; integration competence & a lively community. The industry-proven software with comprehensive standard can be adapted to individual needs at any time. Through certified consulting & an active community, users receive valuable impulses and can directly influence further software development.”
The CRM tool HERO Software comes from Lyke GmbH in Hanover, Germany. According to its own information, the solution is used by 5,500 users. Lyke has 45 employees.
USP (according to its own statement): “Holistic control of operations: the paperless office.”
HubSpot CRM Platform
The HubSpot CRM Platform was developed by HubSpot, a company that has been around since 2006. HubSpot is headquartered in Cambridge, USA. The company also operates another office in Berlin. A total of 4,500 people are employed by HubSpot. According to its own information, 113,000 users use the HubSpot CRM platform.
USP (according to their own statement): “HubSpot’s CRM platform includes all the necessary tools and integrations for your team – be it for marketing, sales and customer service activities, content management or the automation of business processes. Each product is powerful on its own – but together, they’re unbeatable.”
Ninox Software GmbH has developed the eponymous CRM tool Ninox. The Berlin-based company has been operating since 2013 and employs 50 people. The CRM tool is used by 6,000 users, according to the company.
USP (according to the company’s own statement): “Ninox is a SaaS NoCode / LowCode platform that enables non-technical users without programming skills to develop individual business apps such as CRM systems in just a few minutes. Ninox is one of the most successful software products of its kind and one of the fastest growing B2B SaaS providers in Germany.”
Oracle Sales and Service
Oracle Deutschland GmbH operates out of Munich and provides the CRM solution Oracle Sales and Service. Oracle Germany has been in the market since 1977 and employs a total of 132,000 people. According to the company, the CRM solution has 430,000 users.
USP (according to its own statement): “Oracle Sales provides sellers with cleansed and comprehensive customer data, recommendations to drive their actions, data-driven quotas and territories, and user-friendly account management features that help sellers sell more. This comprehensive set of tools with ML and advanced automation and features reduces complexity.”
The Pipedrive CRM tool comes from Pipedrive Germany GmbH. The company’s headquarters are located in Tallinn, Estonia. Pipedrive operates a German office in Berlin. A total of 800 employees work for Pipedrive, which has been operating on the market since 2010. According to its own information, the CRM tool Pipedrive has 95,000 users.
USP (according to its own statement): “One of the most efficient CRM systems with optimal visualization by salespeople for salespeople.”
Behind the CRM sellify is the business//acts GmbH from Cologne. The company has been on the market since 2005 and employs 19 people. As business//acts states, sellify is used by 50 customers. Last year, the company generated sales of 2 million euros.
USP (according to its own statement): “sellify is an intuitive and user-friendly CRM system that gives your sales team more time to personally take care of customer relationships. All information is a maximum of one click away. Workflows can be greatly simplified through seamless integration with Microsoft Office and existing enterprise systems. sellify can also be customized to meet your specific needs.”
The company behind SuperOffice CRM is SuperOffice GmbH, which bears the same name and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. With another office in Dortmund, Germany, SuperOffice has been operating since 1990 and claims to have 6,000 customers. Last year, the 270-employee company posted sales of 47 million euros.
USP (according to its own statement): “SuperOffice is a leading CRM provider in Europe. Specializing in B2B SMEs, SuperOffice knows the requirement for digital and automated marketing, sales and service processes. With cloud-based SuperOffice CRM, you harness customer information gained, build sustainable relationships with existing and new customers, and increase your company’s success.”
TecArt CRM was developed by TecArt GmbH of Erfurt, Germany, and has 405 users, according to the company. TecArt GmbH, founded in 1999, has 40 employees.
USP (according to their own statement): “Customizings without programming, CRM module construction kit.”
TOPIX Business Software AG is behind the CRM tool TOPIX. Founded in 1990, the Ottobrunn-based company employs 60 people and serves 4,000 customers, according to its own information.
USP (according to its own statement): “TOPIX is a modular business software for macOS and Windows, with ERP, CRM, DMS, FINANCE and HR fully integrated into the system. TOPIX maps all business processes of medium-sized companies centrally and transparently. All data is up-to-date, audit-proof and archived in compliance with GoBD.”
With offices in Lübeck and Hamburg, Wice GmbH provides the CRM of the same name. Wice has been operating on the market since 2001.
USP (according to their own statement): “Wice CRM offers a comprehensive solution for sales, marketing, service and back office. The Wice CRM solution is modular and individually configurable and mobile by default. To get started, there is Wice Freemium, the free version for the first user.”
The CRM solution Wingmate comes from the Canadian company of the same name. The company is based in Toronto. Wingmate employs 15 people and says it has 80 customers. Founded in 2016, the company’s revenue last year was 750,000 euros.
USP (according to its own statement): “Wingmate leverages your existing resources, opens up communication channels and optimizes your efficiency – all at a low cost.”
From Zoho Corporation Pvt comes Zoho CRM. The vendor has been operating since 1996 and is headquartered in Chennai, India. With 9,000 employees, Zoho serves 250,000 customers, according to the company.
USP (according to its own statement): “Zoho CRM offers a true 360-degree view of the customer through the deep unification of the Zoho product suite and extensive interoperability with third-party software. Customization and automation allows organizations to tailor Zoho CRM to their own needs. With scalable personalization of the customer journey, you’ll transform prospects into advocates and enable your sales reps to empathize with prospects, have valuable conversations, and create memorable experiences with Zoho CRM.”
Extensive functions with all providers
In our CRM comparison, all providers offer extensive functions even in the basic configuration of their CRM systems. The basic functions queried include user/authorization systems, installation on a dedicated server or provision as a cloud solution (SaaS/ASP). In addition, we asked about the possibility of a mobile app and the features:
- integrated search function
- general API
- data import as well as data export
- template system for graphics
- customizability of the user interface without programming knowledge
- use of AI
- Whitelabel option
On average, the 20 featured vendors offer the majority of these features. In some cases, they place special emphasis on their CRM tools. For example, there are three providers in the CRM comparison that focus on a user/authorization system and installation on the company’s server. Five other providers, on the other hand, focus on cloud tools. In addition, a total of five CRM solutions offer almost all of the basic functions queried (except for a maximum of one that is not covered).
Specific applications from address management to reporting
CRM solutions must cover several application areas in companies: Address management, communication tool, appointment management and reporting. In our CRM comparison, we have therefore compared these areas of application in more detail for each CRM provider and looked at individual relevant functions for these areas.
In address management, all CRM tools show a very wide range of features. From the assignment of contact data (company data to people, contacts to sales people) to the scoring of addresses and contact data to the management of social media contact data and tool-specific features. Most tools cover nearly all of the address management features we queried. There are only a few outliers. In addition, many providers offer further features in the address management application field that go beyond the functions queried.
Nowadays, communication with customers does not only take place via mail, letter or telephone. Accordingly, we surveyed various communication channels in our CRM comparison. In addition to e-mail, telephone and letter, these include newsletter campaigns, online meetings, chatbots and Whatsapp as a social media channel. We also took into account the option of audio notes and text templates as well as the connection to Gmail. This field also shows extensive coverage among most CRM providers in our comparison. A few providers also offer additional functions such as the connection of lead marketing automation or voice connection. However, audio notes and/or their transcription are an area that can still be expanded in some cases in 9 of the 20 providers.
In the appointment management application area, all CRM solutions offer an appointment calendar. Many also offer a group calendar and the option of booking appointments online (12 out of 20 providers). Reminder functions and integrated task management are also supported by at least 90 percent of the CRM tools. Individual solutions also enable specific invitation management and the joint finding of appointments in different time zones.
All solutions in our CRM comparison offer reporting functions. However, the scope varies considerably depending on the provider. For example, three out of 20 providers offer only one to three reporting features, such as target/actual analysis or a funnel report and lead source analysis. The majority of CRM tools, however, offer at least four of the reporting functions we asked about. These include, for example, the funnel report or the lead source analysis for almost all providers. Most CRM providers also offer customizable dashboards for marketing and sales.
Simplifying processes with marketing automation
Marketing automation is becoming increasingly important in companies for optimizing marketing activities. That’s why we’ve taken a close look at features in the “Sales & Automation” category:
- Create quotes from the software
- Marketing Automation Functions
- Trigger functions
- Digital signature functions
- Invoice creation
- Sales commission invoices
- Affiliate platform connection
- Lead routing
- Deposit of contract documents
In the area of “Sales & Automation”, there are considerable differences between the software providers. Most providers offer at least six of the nine features queried. However, the self-reported intensity of the functions varies considerably. In addition, there are four providers who have integrated fewer than six of the nine functions.
Interfaces for optimal management of customer data
A CRM tool needs a variety of interfaces to support marketing and sales. In our CRM comparison, we asked about interfaces to ERP systems, ticketing and calendar tools, e-commerce platforms, and reporting, email marketing and digital signage tools. We also asked the providers about connections to marketing automation and social media as well as webinar tools. The various CRM solutions show very different connection options when it comes to interfaces. Some CRM tools offer simple API connections or individual programming. Other tools are designed for specific software and can only be connected to this software.
Legal criteria for CRM tools
CRM systems always place high demands on data protection. Legal criteria such as the server location or the encryption of personal data are correspondingly important. In addition, it is relevant for companies whether a standard contract for commissioned data processing can be concluded. If applicable, the CRM provider is also QMS or DIN certified. In addition, we asked about other data protection-relevant criteria in the CRM comparison. When it comes to the legal criteria, providers show great data sensitivity. Eleven out of 20 CRM tools even have certification.
Pricing models of the providers: Number of users decisive, significant differences in starting price
Last but not least, the costs for CRM tools in marketing and sales are relevant. This is evident across all CRM providers: The number of users is decisive for the costs of most tools. Almost all providers have a user-dependent calculation. Sometimes, however, the costs also vary depending on the provision of the CRM tool: On Premise or Cloud. Additional services and modules also influence the price.
The starting price per month, unlike the cost factors, shows a wide range. Some providers state that they have no minimum costs and even provide a free tool up to a certain number of users and addresses. Other CRM tools start between 10 and 79 euros per month. One provider stands out with a monthly starting price of 1,000 euros. Vendor pricing models may also include additional costs for implementation and support.
Some providers also gave us annual costs for a typical customer setup. These range from 480 euros to 5,000 euros. There are minimum contract periods for a total of 16 CRM providers. They range from one to 24 months.