ACT CRM Software Review: A Good Contact Management Software?
Looking for a CRM with deep roots? First released in 1987, ACT! CRM is about as legacy as you can get.
In our ACT CRM review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the features and functionality of ACT! to help you decide if it is the right CRM software for your business.
Yes, it helps businesses cultivate relationships with their customers. Yes it keeps track of sales pipelines and helps make the most out of marketing efforts. But is it “the one”?
ACT CRM Review 2022: Is ACT CRM software system any good?
Our ACT contact manager review explores the software’s features in depth. For those looking for a quick answer—the ACT CRM system is reliable, with many features that small to midsize businesses find helpful. ACT CRM is legacy software tried-and-true, evolving with the changing needs of businesses.
First released 30+ years ago, at a time when CRM software practically didn't exist. First called “Automated Contact Tracing”—and later Sage ACT!—it was one of the most sophisticated contact managers first available.
To put things in perspective, industry leader-by-market-share Salesforce debuted their app in 2000, and Zoho CRM and HubSpot both came on the scene in 2005.
The platform has since undergone many changes and updates. The latest version, ACT! 21, was released in May 2020. It’s now packed with features that make it an excellent CRM solution for a range of business needs.
While ACT! doesn’t appear on our list of the best CRM software, it’s truly evolved into an SaaS cloud app and is a full-featured CRM worth thinking about, with optional digital marketing features that allow businesses to keep track of customers and cultivate relationships.
ACT CRM pricing plans
First of all, how much does ACT cost? Let’s first review ACT prices:
Premium desktop version
Premium cloud version
Premium cloud version w/ desktop sync
Are there any ACT coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
We did the research, and it seems that there are no ACT coupon codes or discount vouchers available at this time. Sometimes you might find ACT software for sale at a discount price on Amazon or some other third party site.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the software offered is usually not the latest. You might not want to end up with older versions of Act! so we’d recommend going through the vendor.
ACT overview: What is ACT software & What is ACT used for?
ACT software is customer relationship management (CRM) software for small to midsize businesses. ACT CRM helps businesses track and manage their customer relationships in one place.
The ACT contact manager can be used to store customer contact information, track customer interactions, manage sales opportunities, and more. ACT also offers optional digital marketing features that businesses can use to cultivate relationships with their customers.
In a nutshell, this software makes it simpler for companies to decide how to deal with their consumers by centralizing all company contacts in one place. There is no need to switch from one app or—be still my heart—one filing cabinet to another.
The marketing automation feature makes it easier for businesses to attract new prospects and turn them into customers. The sales pipeline management feature allows companies to stay on top of their deals and close opportunities faster than ever before.
Of course, there's no closing deals without happy customers. The ACT customer management feature allows users to keep track of each and every customer and make them feel valued. The activity management feature ensures the users are always up to date with the key projects and priorities.
ACT CRM software is available in both desktop and cloud-based versions. The cloud-based ACT app can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it a more flexible option for businesses that have employees working remotely or in multiple locations.
ACT free vs. paid: what’s the difference?
ACT doesn’t offer a free version that can be used for an unlimited amount of time.
However, the company does offer a free trial with full access to all of the software's features for 14 days. After the free trial expires, users will need to choose a paid subscription plan in order to continue using ACT.
Gaining access to the trial is very simple as there is no download or credit card required. Users only need to enter their first name, last name, and email address, and they'll be able to access the trial.
As for paid versions: it’s worth noting the cloud version has the same features as the desktop version, with a few additions such as 6GB cloud storage, disaster recovery, nightly backups, and automatic upgrades.
One thing to remember is that the prices listed in our table a few headers above are for the basic ACT plan, without any add-ons. For example, the Basic ACT marketing automation plan is included in the subscription.
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 Pros and Cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of ACT:
The biggest advantage of ACT is its fully customizable sales pipeline. This feature allows businesses to track every aspect of their sales process and get valuable insights that can help them close more deals.
ACT’s calendar and email integrations are a great way to keep appointments and communication in sync across all channels.
The customer management features are also very comprehensive and allow businesses to track every aspect of their interactions with customers.
ACT’s user interface is one of the bigger drawbacks of using this software. The UI is very old-fashioned and not user-friendly all the time. That makes the software slightly difficult to use for first-time users who have never used any ACT products before.
In addition, ACT’s email integration requires an external email client, such as Microsoft Outlook.
The pricing structure is also a bit opaque, as there are add-ons not listed when you buy into the basic platform. You might find yourself wanting these extra features and realizing you need to up your budget.
Despite these drawbacks, ACT is a great CRM software for small and mid-size businesses that need a solution that will help them stay on top of their deals, customers, and opportunities.
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.
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.