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Close CRM

Starts at $25 per user per month
9.3

Features & Functionality

9.0/10

Multi-channel communication

9.5/10

Support documentation

9.5/10

Pricing & value for money

9.0/10

Pros

  • Multi-channel communication with built-in email, calls, and SMS functionality
  • Excellent calling features with power dialer and predictive dialer
  • Fantastic support & help documentation
  • Built-in meetings sync with Zoom integration is super useful

Cons

  • Lack of native mobile apps
  • Takes some time to getting used to

An efficient CRM has become an integral part of any type of business in the modern days.

Is it absolutely mandatory for a small business to use a CRM? Absolutely not. However, by not using one, any small business or a sales team is losing time and money on the table. 

Salesforce has become a gold standard in the CRM space in the enterprise and corporate market. However, it's out of the reach of small business owners both in the price and also the complexity involved.

Small businesses or a sales team consisting of less than 50 team members need something extremely simple that can be used on the go by an individual or a small team without the overheads of IT or training expenses. 

Many CRM's have tried to build one but the ones that have come nearest to it are Pipedrive & Salesflare which are fantastic tools for small businesses.

However, if there is one that has an edge over these excellent CRM's, I would say it is Close CRM. There are many reasons for it which I will cover in this review, but in short, additional to email and pipeline management, it adds two very important channels of marketing - Text messages and Phone calls.

These two are incredibly important a small business and Close CRM makes it extremely easy to set up both text messages and calls in the outreach campaigns.

We will find out more in the review on the features, pricing, and support of Close CRM and why I love it. Let's get into it. 

Getting started

The onboarding process is very simple in Close which is very important for a small business that might use a CRM system for the first time. 

Once signed up, the first thing is to connect your email account. You can either connect your Gmail/Gsuite account or alternatively, any business account by entering the SMTP or IMAP details. 

The next step is to give the basic information of yourself and more importantly, to import your existing leads. This is really good that it is done right during the initial onboarding process. 

You can either import the leads as a CSV file or import directly from your current CRM. 

Close CRM leads import

Almost every CRM you can think of is present in the list to integrate and import which saves a ton of time to actually get started with using Close. Overall, the onboarding process is easy, functional, and very impressive. 

For making calls from Close CRM, it is necessary to download and use the native desktop app as calls are not supported by the web version. It is available for both Mac and Windows 

Smart view

Once the leads are into the system, the next step is to get the list organized in lists. Almost all the CRM's have this feature, but Close lets you organize the leads into smart views that dynamically assign any new contact onto a list based on certain predefined parameters.

To start with a smart view, it is important to first set-up a search called Lead Seach. You can apply various filters for a particular lead search. 

The filters are of a wide range including location, email activity, call activity, SMS activity, and a whole lot more. 

Get a free 14-day trial of Close CRM

After setting up the lead search criteria, it can be saved for your private reference or can be shared across a specific team or across the whole organization. 

Smart views based on a specific lead search makes it incredibly easy to pull in a bunch of leads under a specific stage of a pipeline. For example, you can pull out all the leads you have called twice, just with a few clicks, and tailor an outreach campaign specific to this list. 

Multi-channel outreach

The real strength of Close CRM is its multi-channel outreach ability including emails, calls, and text messaging. We will see each in detail.

Email

With Close, you can set up your outreach email sequences right within the CRM. The sequences can be highly personalized with custom fields for both leads and contacts. 

Your best performing sequences can be saved as templates for future use and even be shared across your team members for more effective outreach efforts.

It is possible to send bulk emails to a specific group of contacts based on your smart view and track the email open rates for these campaigns. You can also schedule emails to be sent later and set up a reminder to send followups on specific dates. 

Overall, every aspect of an email outreach campaign, Close CRM has got you covered. 

Text messaging/SMS

Close CRM supports one-click send/receive of text messages all within the application. Text messages are a very underrated channel of sales outreach and there are very few CRM's that support it, which is quite a surprise considering its excellent delivery and open rates. 

With any other CRM, you have a use integration with an additional text messaging service like SalesMessage.

Having this feature built-in for a long time, Close has absolutely nailed it. Text messaging seamlessly integrates with other channels of your campaigns and you can also send bulk SMS campaigns using the Close API. 

Voice calls with Power and Predictive Dialer

This is the real highlight of Close as a CRM and its incredibly wide array of highly useful features that are very difficult tech stack to build. 

The system automatically records your call logs, you can transfer a call of a prospect to a different teammate, forward the calls to another number. 

Power Dialer and Predictive Dialer allows you to completely automate the calling system within Close CRM. 

With Power Dailer, you can select contacts in any smart view and just start calling all of them one by one. You can continue with your routine tasks when the system calls every prospect and you can hop in as soon a connection is done. 

The amount of time this saves is really huge for any sales team. 

Once the call is completed, you can also take notes on any follow-up tasks to de done before the Power Dialer gets back in action to continue calling other contacts. 

Then comes the even more impressive feature, Predictive Dialer. 

It is an incredibly complex technology to build and refine, the reason why many CRM's and even many call dialer tools don't have it.

The way predictive dialing works is it takes the input from the whole sales team, calculates their efficiency in calling based on the saved records, and automatically decides on the number of calls to be made at a specific time based on the number of team members available. 

It completely automates outbound calling of not just an individual sales rep, but that of the entire team. Across a whole year, the amount of time it would save even for a small sales team is absolutely huge. 

Pipeline management

Pipelines form basic fundamentals of any good quality CRM and Close nails this as well.

You can build multiple pipelines for different teams and departments within your company, for different sales processes and the products or services you offer. 

The pipeline syncs automatically with your smart view filters, so they are always up to date.

It is also possible to get a real-time view of actual expected sales values in each pipeline giving the sales team and individual reps an overview of the numbers they are working on. 

Reporting

Another super impressive feature. The reporting is robust and gives an overview of all the important metrics to gauge the performance of individual reps and the overall sales team at a glance. 

Some of the metrics that can be viewed include the number of emails sent, open rates, response rates, number of minutes spent on the call talking to prospects, average call duration, opportunities built over a period of time, opportunities won & lost, the number of sent & received SMS, etc. 

All the metrics can be filtered to a specific period of time and compared to get valuable insights into the real growth of the team.

Reports and numbers can be exported as a CSV or JSON file to further analyze in any other intelligence tool. 

Also, the looks of the report overview can be completely customized to show the most important metrics of your campaigns.  

Using the explorer feature, it is also possible to visualize the data as graphs and charts. Any metric of your choice can be selected as fields for the X & Y-axis. 

Meetings

Meetings being an integral part of any sales process, Close CRM's integrated meetings feature makes it super easy to have all the upcoming meetings streamlined all within the dashboard. 

Once connected to your Gmail account to sync with Google calendar, you can have an overview and reminders set up for all your meetings from one place. 

The native Zoom integration makes the management of meetings even more effective.

For example, during a follow-up outreach to a prospect, you can look back at the last meeting with a few clicks without leaving Close and have a re-run of all the important points discussed. 

Integrations

Communicating with other third-party tools is going to be vital in using any CRM and native integrations are so important for this. 

Close integrates natively with many of the most widely used tools for a seamless workflow and automation. Some of the important integrations include,

Help desk & customer support

  • Drift
  • Intercom
  • Helpscout
  • Zendesk

Workflow automation

  • Airtable
  • Google Sheets
  • Process Street
  • Zapier

Project management

  • Asana
  • Trello

Meetings & team communication

  • Slack
  • Zoom

Lead generation

  • LeadFuze
  • LinkMatch
  • Unbounce
  • 99Inbound

Email marketing & marketing automation

  • Autopilot
  • Drip
  • HubSpot
  • MailChimp
  • Marketo

Documentation

  • Better Proposals
  • DocuSign
  • Get Accept
  • HelloSign
  • PandaDoc

Analytics

  • Gong
  • ChartMogul

Payment gateway

  • Stripe

Apart from the native integrations and Zapier, there is also a robust public API that can be used to integrate with almost any application you are willing to with a little bit of work.

So, irrespective of the niche and type of industry you are running, Close will have you covered in terms of integrations with other tools. 

Pricing

There are four plans in Close CRM namely Starter, Basic, Professional, and Business.  

Close CRM pricing

The price ranges from $25 per user per month for the starter plan to $95 per user per month for the professional plan.

The business plan has custom pricing and hence you have to contact the support team to get the pricing based on your specific use case and needs. 

Paying annually will give a discount of 15% across all the plans. Except for the Starter plan, you can store an unlimited number of leads & contacts in all the other plans.

The main difference between the plans include the number of available pipelines and certain calling features like predictive dialer, call recording, voicemail drop, call transferring, etc. that are available only in the Business plan. 

Also, power dialer, email sequences, and bulk emailing are available only in the Professional and Business plans.

Additional to the price to use Close, the only other charge involved would be the Twilio fee for using calls and SMS. Unlike some other CRM's, Close doesn't mark up the Twilio prices for calls and messages which is a really good thing. 

Best use cases

Close CRM works best for the below use cases,

  • Tech or SaaS startups with a small to medium sales team consisting of 5 to 50 team members, 
  • Cold outreach agencies,
  • Pay per lead agencies,
  • Small and medium businesses with a sales development & marketing team.

Support

There is no live chat support available, but there are channels to easily send support tickets within the application. 

The support documentation is very detailed and gives proper instruction on each of the available features. Also, you get a dedicated account manager with the Business plan.  

There are tons of resources in the blog section of Close for sales teams to get so much value from. 

For new users or someone who is completely new into the usage of CRM in their business, a weekly webinar namely "Close for Newbies" is conducted every Thursday to learn how a business can implement Close CRM. 

Best Alternatives

There are are a precious little number of CRM's that have the functionalities as diverse as Close as a CRM.

However, if you don't want all the features Close offers, particularly that of calls and text messages, there are a few alternatives to look into. 

Pipedrive

Price - From $15 to $99 per user per month

Pipedrive is an easy to use CRM with all the essential pipeline management and emailing features for a small sales team. 

As an EU-based company and data centers in both the US & EU, it is a good option for European companies that have very stringent guidelines on GDPR. 

Although you miss out on the calling and text messaging features that Close offers, the presence of native mobile apps gives Pipedrive the upper hand in customer management on the go. 

Salesflare

Price - From $30 per user per month

Salesflare is similar to Pipedrive in many of its features but has a very much simpler pricing structure of only $30 per month with all the features included.

As with Pipedrive, there are no calls or text messages included, but the overall simplicity of the tool and the workflow automation of emails males Salesfalre a very good alternative. 

Salesmate

Price - From $15 to $30 per user per month

Salesmate is one of the very few CRM's that has voice calls and text messages included. It is much more affordable but lacks some of the powerful features Close offers like Predictive dialer. 

If you need basic calling and texting functionality on the top of emails, Salesmate is a more affordable alternative. 

One advantage it has over Close CRM is the availability of mobile apps for both iOS & Android which could be very important for field sales teams. 

Conclusion

To conclude, to be short, I absolutely love Close as a feature-packed CRM tool with so many channels you can connect with a prospect or a customer. 

It would be nice to have native mobile apps, particularly for on-field sales teams and it could be quite expensive if you need predictive dialer, call recording, etc. 

Try Close CRM free for 14 days

However, overall Close is excellent value for money for the wide array of features it offers and it could completely transform the customer relationship experience your business currently provides. 

Close CRM Review (2020) – Is it the best multi-channel CRM for SMB’s & sales teams?

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