Gmail CRM: CRM for Everyone

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
CRM.org
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CRM.ORG is a knowledge hub for all things work: digital tools, customer service relationship software, and other innovative methodologies for exploring work-related relationships. In “What is a CRM?”, we break down the meaning of the three-letter monster that is CRM and explore the history, benefits, and features of the customer relationship software.  
 
 

Let’s be real. CRM doesn’t seem so crazy if it lives inside your Gmail, right? Familiar and favored for a reason, the Gmail CRM platform is user-friendly on a whole other level.

Currently used by 4 million paying enterprises worldwide, most of the large and small business world are using the Gmail inbox already. You probably are too. It’s safe to say Gmail probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so CRM companies have latched on to the popularity and started to consider, “why not bring CRM to the people?”

Google’s focus on design simplicity and user experience appeals to every internet user. The user benefits of a CRM system for Gmail involve a minimal learning curve and well-designed productivity tools (aka Google apps) that are intuitive to use. Whether we like to admit it or not, Gmail is where we live. It’s where we communicate, book appointments, organize meetings, store contacts, maintain relationships, build opportunities, plan new projects, and set reminders for all the essential action items of life and work.

There’s a comforting feeling of control when it comes to using a platform like G suite. There’s no need to rely on a project manager, spouse, or assistant to organize your work and personal life. And sometimes, comfort is integral to productivity. We’re talking to you sweatpants-wearing university students and free beer-WeWorker enthusiasts.

And on top of it all, having a well-integrated CRM in your Gmail means the way you interact with the software comes naturally.

The following CRMs deliver the goods to you, in the comfort of your Gmail inbox. It’s almost as enjoyable as a warm pizza delivery on a cold winter night. Almost.

With Google suite integrations, these CRMs are built for where you are already at—a familiar, basic framework with hassle-free training and maximum user-friendliness. Perfect for small and medium-sized businesses.

There’s really no good reason not to hit, ‘order now’.

CRM delivered to your inbox

Streak

Streak is the one and only fully integrated Gmail CRM—meaning this bad boy lives directly inside your Gmail inbox for desktop or mobile (and that comes with all the G Suite integrations too). The idea behind Streak is to provide an organic extension of your existing workflow. While this CRM is more of a lightweight option, Streak still has all those juicy CRM details like pipeline and lead generation features. Streak helps break down all that scary biz jargon that comes with an acronym like CRM and provides everything you need in an incredibly accessible and readable format. In Streak, a pipeline looks more like the child of Gmail and Google Sheets. The concept? Everyone’s already using static spreadsheets, so why not supercharge the experience with data already built inside Gmail? Because, news flash, it’s not the 1980s anymore.

The platform includes customizable workflows with easy to use search, filter, group, and sort functions plus automatic tracking, data capture, and easy to view details of your pipeline right alongside your emails.

Streak truly believes in the democratization of CRM. This is no longer just a sales-centric term. They built their CRM inside Gmail to make it accessible for everyone. With a broad selection of industry customers ranging from project management, media and creative agencies, to customer support, recruitment, fundraising and more—Streak defies preconceived notions of CRM and transforms the way you’ll look at your inbox.

Streak for Real Estate

In real estate, you have an extensive market to manage, not to mention a numerous amount of clients to keep track of from several different directions. Real estate is personal. You want your clients to feel comfortable and their interactions with you familiar. So why not invest in a customer relationship management platform that does the same thing for you?

What makes Streak so great to begin with is also what makes it a perfect option for the real estate industry. Streak comes to you, in your inbox. By displaying a full contextual history beside each email interaction, Streak helps you remember all the essential details of your clients— because nobody is a superhero. You can set up reminders, assign filters, and add data to each profile without breaking your workflow.

Beyond relationships, the numbers side of real estate requires a lot of focus too. With Streak, you can track your performance by automatically calculating individual commissions or sum and analyze all potential commissions. It automatically tracks all the information you need, even when you’re not signed in. The best part is it does all this in a spreadsheet design that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been sitting under fluorescent lights for the past three decades.

Streak for real estate is intelligent and fresh. Tons of automated features like mail merge directly from Gmail, customized messages and the ability to set up reminders, key commands, and appropriate permission levels all help teams to stay more organized, efficient, and happy.

Copper

Copper is one of the first to connect the CRM and Gmail dots beyond sidebar status. Rebranding this year from ProsperWorks, the company’s mission has always been to make CRMs easy to use. This isn’t some minor integration—Copper’s Chrome Extension lives in Gmail the same way you do, while their tight G Suite integrations mean all your Google spreadsheets, docs, and slides are easily attached to each and every customer profile. The entire platform is built with Google Material Design, so you can do all things CRM—such as email tracking, call logs, and contact management—in what looks and feels like G Suite. Although, it’s important to note Copper is not fully integrated into your inbox. So while there may be some minimal tab-switching, by utilizing Google Material Design, Copper’s workflow feels organic and consistent.

Copper’s native G Suite integration translates to more AI-driven capabilities in their products to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks. The software automatically records emails, calls, events, and other productivity documents so that reps can focus on the more important stuff—actual customer relationships.

Plus, the integration is so seamless that Google itself uses and recommends Copper CRM for its millions of users. That’s a pretty convincing recommendation if we’ve ever heard one.

Insightly

Insightly is a CRM built more for enterprise-size sales and relationship management; however, the comapny’s ‘free for 2 users’ option caters to startups as well. While Insightly promotes itself as the “#1 Gmail and G Suite CRM”, what they really mean is that they are the #1 CRM that has a fairly convenient Gmail integration.

While the CRM doesn’t offer a full integration, their Insightly Sidebar Chrome browser extension is pretty helpful. It allows reps to migrate contacts and emails from their Gmail inbox or sent folder directly into Insightly, with just one click. A “handsome” Insightly logo button automatically saves contacts and emails into the CRM while the sidebar gives users easy access to Insightly with hover note features and task creation options, avoiding the dreaded switching-between-tabs action that every CRM user despises.  

Insightly is a reputable CRM with both desktop and mobile function. It’s a robust CRM with Kanban sales pipelines, custom reports, various dashboard options, and relationship maps to fuel your customer relationship fire. The company takes pride in its motto, “the CRM for lifelong customer relationships,” and if this is the kind of CRM you’re looking for, then their Gmail integration proves incredibly handy. Clearly, the company has the user in mind with their Chrome extension offering.  

Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM offers a Gmail add-on integration similar to Insightly’s Sidebar Chrome browser extension. To install Capsule into your G Suite domain, you access the add-on much like you would any of the other Google app. Once the add-on is installed, your CRM is synced up to Gmail as a sidebar host to features like storing conversation threads and customer details, linking sales opportunities and cases and adding follow-up tasks.

While the add-on is familiar to other CRM Gmail integrations, Capsule as a CRM is catered towards a more startup and small business culture, offering a simple platform designed with usability in mind (aka if you’re new to CRM, Capsule is an appealing option). Simple, intuitive, clean design—just like Gmail–Capsule offers customizable options and a mobile-friendly interface with a dedicated customer support system—because while you hope never to have to make a call, it’s always nice to know the help is there.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a top-rated CRM, so it’s worth noting that the company now also offers a Gmail extension. Similar to Insightly and Capsule, Pipedrive’s Gmail integration exists as a sidebar application that allows you to schedule sales activities, make notes, and add contacts from Gmail to Pipedrive.

One cool thing is that once you’ve installed the add-on, you can instantly see all sales history with each contact whenever you open an email communication with them. Pipedrive really promotes context as being integral for closing deals and their Gmail integration is catered towards fulfilling that philosophy.

The company is in the big leagues, set out to take on the mega CRM giant, Salesforce. So, they’re a more established company with a Gmail integration that is geared towards sales—prospects, leads, closing deals, and all that jazz.

NetHunt

NetHunt, like Streak, is a fully integrated CRM for Gmail. We’re not talking Chrome Extension or Sidebars here.

In NetHunt Gmail land, the familiar Gmail dashboard that sits on the left of your inbox comes with a second tab, transformed into all the CRM capabilities you could possibly desire. Features organized into categories like Deals, Companies, Support, Tasks, Contacts, and Pipelines are all readily accessible from this dashboard, directly inside your inbox. No tab-switching, no window minimizing. With NetHunt it’s all there for you.

A Sidebar dashboard to the right of your inbox offers additional information, like company or customer profile details.

The CRM is built around “Records”, which are a collection of your emails, tasks, and other files which can be organized into customized groups and views. NetHunt is special because it’s geared towards sales, marketing, and support—because each department requires its own unique set of features.

For sales that means viewing key customer details in every email and the ability to create leads in one-click from emails, social profiles, and chat messages. For marketing, NetHunt offers personalized email campaigns backed up by analytics, the ability to land in the right inbox (say goodbye to Spam and Junk inboxes), and automatic data updates based on email campaign results. Their support features clearly outlines, organizes, and helps prioritize “critical”, “high”, “medium”, and “low” customer requests in addition to automated creation and assignment of support inquiries.

The CRM offers a Zapier integration allowing you to connect with over 1,000 other favorite app combos. There’s a mobile app as well.

NetHunt’s pricing options are startup friendly with a free plan for up to two users, which has limited records and daily email campaigns. The Professional plan is $24 per user/per month with 25,000 record space and 2,000 email campaigns per day. The Enterprise plan is priced at $48 per user/per month with 250,000 records and 2,000 email campaigns per day.

Propeller CRM  

Propeller CRM is the power of an industry-level CRM but in your inbox. Built for small businesses, Propeller is all about customizing.

You can create and manage custom tasks throughout your sales cycle and create custom email templates—for example, an “email followup” or a “response to info request” template. With Propeller, you even have the ability to add customizable columns, attributes, and sales stages plus an opportunity to create multiple sales pipelines for different products, markets, or processes.

The CRM company recognizes, “every sales process is unique and every team needs the power to define terminology.” They offer a lot of handy team-based features too, like tracking tasks and activities, assigning follow-ups and the ability to see a full view of your sales activity. Whether you’re a team of 1 or a team of 100, having one view in one place is incredibly valuable.

Propeller integrates with Gmail as a Chrome Extension and it should be noted that to view every bit of your information, you’ll have to access Propeller’s web app. But the upside of this CRM is that it’s super easy to get into and has the most hassle-free pricing plan of all time, coming at a “one size fits all” price of $35 per month/per user, all features included.

Propeller strongly believes in not letting your business get held back by legacy CRM systems or proprietary software. So in addition to making their CRM more accessible through Gmail, they also provide Zapier integration with a connection to over 1,000 other useful apps plus REST API, which helps to seamlessly send your data wherever you need it to go.

Arcade CRM

Arcade CRM wants to, “empower your team to work smarter, not harder.” They do this by providing a Gmail Chrome extension that works across all major platforms on the web and also includes a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Beyond a juicy Gmail mail merge, Agile CRM also integrates with all the other apps you’re probably already using like Mailchimp, Xero, Quickbooks, and Zapier.

While the platform may not offer as many features as a fully integrated CRM for Gmail, like Streak or NetHunt, it has all the necessary “Modules” you’d want in a CRM as a small or medium-sized business, including a Dashboard module, Contact, Sales Pipeline, Calendar, Task Management, Document Management, Sales Reports, and even a VOIP Calling Module.

With the VOIP Calling Module, you can log calls manually and automatically, transfer numbers, call scripts, and call logs plus search and find any local number in your area.

Perhaps one of the best things about Arcade CRM is its simple, straightforward, and incredibly accessible pricing. Arcade comes to you at just $15 per user/per month or $12 per user/per month billed annually. That comes with all the business tools you need: customer management and full sales management features, the native mobile app and Gmail integration.

Get yourself a Gmail CRM-kinda workflow

The workflow of a CRM user looks a lot like this—open and read an email, identify an opportunity, assign an action item, follow up, and nurture a customer relationship. With a CRM system built for Gmail, the user gets to maintain their workflow, naturally (and sometimes even in a single tab).

Most of the time, it all starts with an email in Gmail, so might as well get started with your very own CRM integration for Gmail.

 
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