The number of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions available now compared to ten years ago has increased at rates that will make your head spin. A CRM is defined as a platform that helps you “manage” your customers and those relationships, but the term can be loosely applied to almost any platform that houses contact information.
It is imperative that you do the footwork required to help navigate through the sea of options and make sure you are choosing the right option for your company. Just because so many platforms call themselves a “CRM solution”, it does not necessarily mean they have all that you need to take your company to the next level.
Some CRMs are more marketing driven, while others focus more on sales, and yet others tend to have more features for customer support. Trying to sort through the differences can be overwhelming, but it is important to understand your particular needs and current issues you are having to help ensure you choose the right platform.
This article will go through whether you need a CRM, and will take a look at two available options on the marketplace today: Salesforce and Infusionsoft.
Do you really need a CRM?
Many businesses often wonder if they really need a CRM to help their business grow. After all, they seem to do alright with the way they’re doing business now, and their business has already grown! That may be the case, however, what if you are missing out on the potential to grow your business faster? And, can your current state of affairs handle an increase in that growth, or will bottlenecks stifle what could be a great thing?
A CRM is a must have in today’s business world. Yes, there was a time when businesses could grow with everything in its own silo, but that has become increasingly difficult in today’s fast and ever-changing pace. The truth is, the more joined together your systems are, the easier it can be for your business and employees. And, when everything is connected, you can get a more transparent view into the health of your business, which will help drive those big changes to push your business forward.
Salesforce vs Infusionsoft / Keap
The two options being explored in this article are Salesforce and Infusionsoft by Keap (also currently known as Keap). First, let’s consider a little bit of their historical background and basic information.
Salesforce is a long standing solution for CRM needs because they have been around going on 21 years (as of this article). Not only have they been a major player for so long, but Marc Benioff and Parker Harris have been at the top since inception, as well. Over the years, Salesforce has made a number of acquisitions to make their platform a leader in the CRM world, and maintains a strong mindset in keeping adaptation as a priority.
Infusionsoft (now known as Keap) has also been around since around the time Salesforce was just getting started. It was started by Scott and Eric Martineau, brothers from Arizona. They made a shift in 2019 to Keap and chose to focus on “non-tech experienced businesses”, as well as continuing to drive forward as an email marketing solution for small businesses.
Both companies have won numerous awards and recognition for their platforms.
It is safe to say that Keap is a Salesforce competitor, but it’s worth taking some time to look into how the platforms compare and to see which one is better for your business.
What are the Similarities?
Both of the platforms are classified as CRMs and they started with the idea of organizing contacts better for businesses. This is a solid foundation for both platforms, as their goal was realized as a huge need during their times of inception, due to more and more companies shifting away from paper and pencil, and into robust options that could expand as the future of tech changed for the better.
They both offer basic objects, such as contacts and opportunities, with very similar functionalities. They also offer invoices and quotes to streamline the sales to customer experience, and lead scoring along with activity tracking to help keep track of prospects.
There seem to be similar frustrations with both platforms, also, as both can require a lot of time to learn how to ramp up, and there can be cost concerns with each option, depending on what you are looking to spend.
What are the Differences?
For this next section, let’s take a look at a few reasons companies flock to each solution and go into some of the main differences between Salesforce and Keap.
Contacts and Customer Management
Infusionsoft does indeed advertise its contact organization as one of the promising features of its platform. Within the contact object, a user can search for contacts, and use a series of icons to see related items, such as activity, orders, and tags. A user can leave notes pertaining to the contact that compile into a running history with the date, and tasks that need to be addressed on specific dates.
Appointments can also be shown on the contact, and any associated emails, as well as campaigns associated with that contact. Related opportunities also show on the contact object.
Search for a list of Contacts using Infusionsoft, and select buttons for related records and notes.
Salesforce contains all that Infusionsoft has for contacts, with a bit more functionality. While custom fields can be added to both Infusionsoft and Salesforce, on Salesforce, they can be placed on the page layout amongst standard fields; Infusionsoft has a separate tab for custom fields. Also, with Salesforce, the Chatter object appears on the contact, which can show internal conversations (or even external in some circumstances) and other details.
The Salesforce Contact page shows more upfront and allows for many different page layout options.
Salesforce allows for Lightning pages to be assembled, moving components around to best suit your needs, and provides many different types of components for you to better customize the information that appears.
Sales Pipeline and Opportunities
Infusionsoft also has an Opportunities object that seems very “deal centric”. This means it can take a lot off of the sales rep, as it can allow a guided selling experience for reps. It also allows tracking for when deals will close, and the amount of the opportunity.
Opportunities can be shown in a list view with the Sales pipeline.
Salesforce also has an Opportunity object, and can provide guided selling, also. Salesforce does seem to incorporate other features along with the Opportunity to make it customizable, and can allow for automation with flows and process builders. Like the contact object, the layout is also very customizable, as well.
Salesforce also offers features to support the sales pipeline, such as Enterprise Territory management, and reports and dashboards tailored for Sales.
Salesforce opportunities also have a sales path, where guided selling can be baked in to provide details that the rep will not have to remember!
Marketing & E-commerce
This is by far where the two systems differ the most. Earlier, it was mentioned about certain CRMs having strengths and being developed with a specific need in mind, and this is where Infusionsoft stands out.
Infusionsoft was created with marketing and e-commerce in mind. Online forms can capture activity and display on a dashboard, and leads can be generated with follow-up campaigns triggered automatically. This means less tedious work for employees so they don’t have to track down progress with prospects or customers. Infusionsoft can also import lists of contacts, and can link with websites and social media.
Infusionsoft marketing automation.
The shining star of Infusionsoft is the marketing automation tool. You can use a campaign builder (which is a visual workflow) and build using a canvas and components. This can do everything from round robin lead assignment, landing page design, and even incorporate shopping cart functionality.
Infusionsoft also has native features to support e-commerce, with invoices, orders, and shipping options. This can work with third-party sites, as well.
Infusionsoft E-Commerce setup guide.
Salesforce does have marketing automation and e-commerce options, however, they are considered separate clouds. There is basic campaign functionality that comes baked into the packages Salesforce offers, however, to get a robust marketing tool, you must pay extra for Salesforce Marketing Cloud or another option such as Pardot.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows for a unified glimpse into the customer experience with Sales and Services, as well. Using a tool much like Infusionsoft, a drag and drop canvas can be utilized to create Journeys for the customer, making for a unique, tailored experience.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud can also use a connector to work even better with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and create personalized campaigns that are more attractive to your customers. Salesforce uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) in most of its clouds to help with the end-user process, as well. Einstein is an example of AI that Salesforce uses as a mighty tool to make the experience great.
Is there a way to combine Infusionsoft / Keap and Salesforce?
If you have one CRM but are considering the other, there is a way to connect Infusionsoft / Keap and Salesforce by using ETL tools (which stands for Extract, Transform, Load). These tools allow for integrations between apps and CRMs, giving you the ability to customize how you move data from one environment to another. As the name implies, you extract the data from one source, transform it so that it is compatible with the environment you are pushing it into, and it loads the data in the final environment.
In the end, you have to decide what it is you’re looking for before trying to make decisions on the proper platform. Request to see demos and trial orgs to ensure you get a good idea of what each tool can do, and dive deep to make sure it can meet your needs.
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