Close CRM Review, Covid-19 Relief Discount and Alternatives

 

Close is a CRM designed to solve many of the common challenges faced by today’s businesses. Many customer relationship management services have flaws that limit their effectiveness. They may be difficult to use or they lack certain critical features. Close lets you track every touchpoint in the sales process to help your business acquire and manage more leads and turn these into conversions. In this Close.com review (previously Close.io), we’ll be exploring what makes Close different to help you decide if it’s a CRM that could help your business close more sales. We’ll also take a look at Close’s COVID-19 relief resources as well as suggest a possible alternative.

 

Close calls itself the “ultimate CRM.” This is a bold claim as there are hundreds of customer relationship management services and software applications on the market. Close, however, does make a solid case for its boast. Here are some of the main ways that Close helps businesses better manage and convert leads.

Built-in Calling and Automation

Making calls is fundamental to many businesses. Being able to make calls within a CRM helps you save time, make more calls, and track your conversations. Close lets you double your call volume, giving your sales rep the ability to make as many as 300 calls per day. The Close Power Dialer has several powerful features;

  • Call multiple numbers at once. When someone answers, the call is immediately routed to a sales rep. This saves people from wasting time calling numbers that no one answers.
  • Make calls to nearly 200 countries. Obtain local phone numbers in the countries of your choice.
  • Voicemail automation. Leave pre-recorded voicemails with one click so sales reps can quickly move on to the next call.
  • Record calls. Recording lets you track call activity, review your sales strategy, and train employees.
  • Easily transfer or forward calls.
  • Obtain instant insights. Easily track your team’s call activities such as the total number of calls made, calls per user, and call duration.

These and other features let you make more calls in less time, which can, by itself, help you acquire more leads. If your current calling process is not as efficient as you’d like, Close can provide a major upgrade.

Email Tools

Along with calling, email is a fundamental aspect of customer and lead management today. Email is another challenging area for many businesses.

  • Visualize your email history. Emails can be instantly synced with Close, whether they were sent or received via phone or computer. A visual display of your email timeline makes it easy to keep track of each conversation.
  • Make interaction history accessible across the team. When team members can quickly access emails, it helps prevent problems such as redundancy and miscommunication.
  • Automate follow-up messages. Create targeted drip campaigns that pre-sell, educate, and motivate leads to take action.
  • Create personalized templates. Automatically personalize templates for better targeting. Templates can be shared across an entire team.
  • Email scheduling. You can send out messages at the optimal time.

With Close, you don’t need to manage your email marketing using a separate service as everything integrates seamlessly into your CRM.

Built-in SMS

SMS or text message marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with leads and customers, with up to 5X the open rate of emails. And while it doesn’t replace email and phone conversations, it’s a central part of how people communicate today. Close provides a built-in SMS messaging service, making it easy for you and your team to send and receive text messages with your contacts. Features include:

  • Send SMS messages with a single click. The built-in one-click SMS lets you reach many contacts in a few seconds.
  • Respond to messages without leaving your Close inbox.
  • Send bulk SMS. The API lets you and your sales reps send messages in bulk and receive responses within Close.
  • You can exchange messages with contacts in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia with rates starting at $.01 per outgoing message.

Meetings and Video Conferencing

Another advantage of Close is the ability to run your meetings and Zoom sessions within your CRM. Online meetings play an important role in building client relationships.

  • Close Meeting Sync lets you streamline all aspects of planning and running meetings. Saves time and ensures everyone is on the same page concerning your meeting schedule.
  • Keep your team in sync about meetings. Past and future meetings are automatically visible on lead pages. Receive notifications about upcoming meetings. You can also sync Close with Google Calendar.
  • Integrate with Zoom. With Zoom for Close, you get the most out of one of the world’s leading online communication platforms. Team members can view and join meetings without leaving the CRM and receive in-app notifications about upcoming meetings.

A Unified View of Your Sales Pipeline

Having a clear understanding of your pipeline is essential for tracking and nurturing leads and serving the needs of your prospects and customers. The Close CRM lets you automate your workflow and provides you with actionable insights.

  • Pipelines are automatically updated. Close Smart View ensures that your pipeline is always up to date.
  • Drag and drop workflow. An intuitive interface lets you update deals with a single click.
  • >Sales forecasting tools. Instantly get an accurate view of values within every stage of your pipeline.
  • Pipeline View keeps your team in sync. The success of your sales process depends on everyone having access to the latest information about leads and deals. Close provides quick insights and maximum transparency.

Reports 

Close lets you easily track the metrics that are most important for closing sales.

  • Sales leaderboards. See real-time leaderboard stats based on any metric to compare performances and encourage healthy competition.
  • Access all data with one click. Track the performance of individual reps or your whole team for any period, such as the present or previous quarter.
  • Opportunities show you the status of all deals in your pipeline in one place.
  • Customizable reports. You can access data in any format you choose, whether spreadsheets or a custom dashboard.

Integrations

Close is designed to work with a variety of applications, including:

  • Zapier
  • Slack
  • HubSpot
  • ZenDesk
  • Facebook Ad Leads
  • Trello
  • LinkedIn
  • Unbounce
  • Drip
  • Help Scout

Enjoy one-click integration with these and many other apps. You can also build your own integrations.

Pricing and Plans for Close

Close offers three plans and gives you the choice of paying monthly or annually. The Starter plan will be discounted through 2020 to help small businesses struggling this year. Free calling credits will be included will all plans. All prices are per user.

  • Starter: $35/month or $29.75/month billed annually. Currently discounted to $25/month and $21.25/month billed annually through 2020 to offset any possible COVID-19 challenges. Three users limit, store up to 2,500 contacts, one pipeline, five custom fields, API access, activity, task, & pipeline management, and more.
  • Basic: $65/month or $55.25/ month billed annually. 30 users, unlimited contacts, one pipeline, unlimited custom fields, roles & permissions, all Starter features.
  • Professional: $95/month or $80.75/month billed annually. 100 users, unlimited contacts, three pipelines, all Basic features.

Close also offers a customized Business plan which provides access for unlimited users. You can sign up for a free trial of all plans.

 

Close vs. Kartra

When considering a CRM such as Close, it can be helpful to see how it compares with other applications, that view their CRM functionality somewhat differently. I thought it would be insightful to compare Close with Kartra, a popular CRM service that provides marketing automation, sales funnel tools, and more. While both Close and Kartra are powerful sales and marketing tools, they don’t perform the same functions. Here are some of the main features you get with Kartra:

  • Landing pages. Kartra makes it easy to create professional, high-converting pages in a few clicks. You can build pages based on hundreds of templates.
  • Email automation. Get more out of email marketing with features like behavior-based automation, split-testing, personalization, and multiple trigger rules (e.g., set up a sequence that goes into effect when someone fills out a form).
  • Video marketing. Kartra has powerful video player features such as video autoplay, embed videos, or have them as popups, watermark branding, mobile-friendliness, and more.
  • Helpdesks. Kartra helps you deliver high-quality support with a powerful ticketing system. You can organize tickets by department, set up canned responses for common issues, and set up an efficient multi-agent collaboration.
  • Lead management. See all relevant details about leads at a glance, including emails, helpdesk tickets, transaction history, and more.
  • Funnels and campaigns. Provides many tools to build a complete sales funnel such as emails, videos, sales pages, checkout, and lead tracking.
  • Memberships. Build a robust and user-friendly membership site where you can share content and lessons. You can create a community forum and set up multiple tiers at different price points.

Plans and Pricing for Kartra

  • Starter: $99/month, save $240 with annual billing. Supports 2,500 leads, one custom domain, 15,000 emails per month, 100 pages, 50 videos, 20 products, and more.
  • Silver: $199/month, save $600 with annual billing. 12,500 leads, three custom domains, unlimited emails, videos, pages, products, and membership sites.
  • Gold: $299/month, save $840 with annual billing. 25,000 leads, five custom domains, unlimited team members, unlimited help desks.
  • Platinum: $499/month, save $1,440 with annual billing. 50,000 leads, ten custom domains, all features of Gold.

Kartra also offers a free trial.

How Does Kartra Measure Up Against Close?

If we run a side-by-side comparison of Kartra and Close, we see some overlap and some differences. We also have to consider pricing. Here are a few of the main differences:

  • Close is primarily a CRM, while Kartra offers a broader range of marketing tools.
  • Kartra is designed mainly for online marketing. Close has tools for managing phone calls and SMS.
  • Close’s Starter plan is $25/month, and they charge $95/month for Professional. Kartra’s Starter plan is $99/month, making this service quite a bit pricier.

In summary, Kartra has a bigger range of features not found on Close, such as membership sites, help desks, video players, and sales pages. It’s a powerful end-to-end tool for setting up sales funnels. Close, on the other hand, is more narrowly focused as a CRM and is best if your business relies on personal communications on the phone, via texting, and video conferencing. For more info on Kartra, see our Kartra review, discounts, and extended trial.

Close: Value and Recommendation

Close is a great CRM for anyone who wants to gain more control over their lead generation and conversions. You may not even be aware of all the ways that your lead management tasks could be sped up and improved. For example, simply having a clearer view of your pipeline can instantly convey important information. Automated calling tools can enable you to talk to more leads and close more sales. Similarly, the SMS and video conferencing tools can make communication more seamless, both within your team and when talking to leads and customers.

Close, with its three plans, can provide organizations with an essential boost to help develop stronger relationships with leads and improve conversions. On the other hand, Close may not be ideal for everyone. That’s why we also looked at Kartra, a suite of tools that’s more specifically geared towards online marketers. The ideal system depends on your needs and how you connect with customers. I’d recommend Close for anyone who wants to get better results from their phone, SMS, or video conferencing efforts.

 

 

 

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