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I think almost everyone, if not everyone altogether, who is reading this knows that Salesforce is the largest cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution provider and that it also provides sales automation and marketing automation. Most everyone else also knows that it tracks customer interactions from multiple sources—email, internet usage, etc.

What everyone reading this may not know is that the value Salesforce provides relative to its cost trails its competitors. This is particularly true for small to midsize customers in the manufacturing space. This blog will identify four CRM solutions that provide comparable and often superior functionality and UX to Salesforce for less money. These solutions also address, to varying extents, the particular needs of SMB manufacturers.

Verenia

The only front-end solution custom-built for manufacturers, Verenia is designed and developed with a sales optimization and configuration solution that addresses the industry's unique needs. Verenia also serves the wholesale distribution, marketing, retail, software, and services industries, with targeted, last-mile, front-end solutions.

The Verenia solution features a seamless portfolio of applications that optimizes sales and increases teams' efficiency and productivity. It also cuts manufacturing costs with manufacturing-focused features like dynamic Bills of Materials (BOMs) and Routings.

These industry-leading applications include Verenia’s powerful CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote), CRM, 3D CAD Imaging, and Ecommerce technologies, delivered on a unified platform that prioritizes and optimizes the customer experience.

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Zoho

Zoho CRM serves sales, marketing, customer support and service, and inventory management with CRM in one solution. It's designed for SMBs. The one key element of a complete front-end solution that Zoho lacks is a CPQ solution.

Zoho relies on integrations with third-party providers like PandaDocs and iQuoteXpress for CPQ. These offer light CPQ functionality that focuses on document management but do not feature the powerful rule-based CPQ engines that are typically needed for manufacturing businesses who build discrete, highly customizable products.

HubSpot

HubSpot also focuses on SMBs and offers solid marketing automation, customer and contact management, lead tracking, and content management functionality.

The HubSpot solution also lacks a CPQ application, although it can generate quotes and proposals through HubSpot's Sales Quote Tool. HubSpot, like Zoho, relies on integrations with solutions like PandaDocs for light CPQ functionality that focuses on document and proposal creation but doesn’t feature a rule-based configuration engine that produces dynamic Bills of Materials (BOMs) and Routings.

ZenDesk Sell

Zendesk is a customer service company that has moved into customer relationship management (CRM). The Zendesk Sell CRM solution is very strong in its support of the customer support and ticket management to sales workflow. Its strong chat functionality is a key feature that backs this case.

However, again, Zendesk as a front-end solution provider lacking the crucial piece that manufacturers need in a CPQ solution, relying on third-party integrations for the configuration of custom, configurable products, systems, and service packages.  

For more information on Verenia and how our team can help get your front-end IT projects moving forward, contact info@verenia.com.

Tags: CRM, Manufacturing Sales Process, Front-end Solutions, Digital Transformation

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