Well-designed CRM software can help make your sales or marketing job easier. It can boost productivity, help you keep track of clients and sales leads—and, on mobile devices such as the iPad, help you stay organized even when you’re out of the office. And well-designed CRM software starts a with clean, intuitive user interface (UI).
However, not all UIs are created equal. An effective user interface will present information cleanly and offer a clear, straightforward workflow. Poorly-designed UIs, on the other hand, can frustrate users with non-intuitive layouts and confusing navigation, rendering frequent visitors to the “help” and “how-to” pages.
A high-quality UI is especially important for iPad apps, since mobile users need to be able to get things done quickly and easily.
To help you decide on the right CRM system for your iPad, we evaluated dozens of solutions and selected the five iPad apps with the best UIs out there.
Base’s sleek, simple interface makes this CRM and sales tracking app an easy one for new users to pick up.
To manage their sales pipelines, users can create customizable sales-tracking tags to define different stages of the sales process on the terms that best fit their business—and they can add as many new stage tags as necessary.
The above image, for instance, shows that a potential deal has progressed from the “qualified” stage of the sales pipeline to the “quote” stage. Base’s drag-and-drop function allows users to pick up these projects as they progress and move them onto the appropriate stages.
Base also syncs seamlessly with Google Contacts and other tools such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word, allowing users to upload documents associated with a specific contact and display them by upload date or document name. And Base’s navigation toolbar, with icons for contacts, leads, reports and deals (among others), allows users to move easily between different functions and tasks.
To help users manage their clients, the Base app presents all of a customer’s contact information on a profile page containing tracked emails, user notes and audio recordings. Its map display allows users to keep track of their contacts by location, as well (pictured below).
Finally, Base’s beautiful reporting and visualization tools make company trends immediately easy to grasp. A manager reviewing the data below, for instance, would be able to see a clear difference between the performance of two sales employees.
With a stitched-leather backdrop and design details such as four-ring binders and folder tabs, Folders‘ (formerly CRM Mate) interface offers a sense of familiarity for those who once worked with paper planners. On Folder’s organizer page, users can toggle between important planning tools: upcoming appointments, and tasks for the week.
They’re also presented with two different calendar views—one a simple layout of the month, the other a color-coded calendar for tracking sales projects—that provide broader overviews of projects.
The design of Folders’ customer and contact management folder is also intuitive, with basic contact details for a customer cleanly presented to the left of the binder rings and dated notes appearing to the right (pictured below). Folder tabs for “cases,” “opportunities” and “contacts” (which provides a list of all contact profiles) are also easily accessible.
Folders’ simple, straightforward capabilities make it an effective tool for sales and marketing professionals who need to find information on their contacts and campaigns while in the field.
Contacts Journal’s user interface provides an at-a-glance view of nearly everything you might need to manage your contacts. Users can switch quickly between the to-do lists, documents and log entries associated with a particular client (such as the one pictured below). The app also allows users to filter their contacts by logs, to-do lists or contact location, providing a handy organizational tool for businesses managing large client volumes.
Contacts Journal’s large, colored tabs and drop-down menus can also be customized to fit individual business needs: Companies might create separate tabs for important clients to make their information more immediately accessible, for instance.
TrackVia lets businesses custom-build their own CRM applications, either from scratch or using existing spreadsheets as templates. After building these apps on their desktops, users can then transfer them to their iPads for mobile use. This may sound intimidating to the non-tech-savvy, but user reviews indicate that TrackVia really does accommodate all technical skill levels.
This image of a sample CRM dashboard shows us why. To build the application, users drag their spreadsheet into this screen:
TrackVia processes the data and, from a simple spreadsheet of company contacts, will produce a CRM dashboard that looks like this:
The pieces on this page fit together clearly and logically. Beneath a widget that allows users to easily register new contacts, is the contact database. Here, the user was able to highlight important information, such as their contacts’ first names and email addresses, so that these contact details come immediately to the forefront—a helpful capability for time-pressed sales reps.
A simple, colored pie chart in the upper right corner provides broader context for these contacts, showing a breakdown of the amount of sales generated per client company: valuable background information to inform reps as they’re reaching out to contacts.
A “go to” bar in the upper left helps users quickly jump to different tables, forms, charts or spreadsheets, while the search bar and “add record” button (to the right) make the database easier to navigate.
TrackVia also includes a few valuable tools for on-the-go business users, such as signature capturing and audio recording. A significant extra perk: while sales automation tends to be TrackVia’s most frequently-used function, users can also build applications for asset management, help desk management, human resources and more.
Routzy’s CRM app was designed natively for the iPad, and its UI makes creative use of the iPad’s capabilities. In addition to a clear breakdown of the relevant contact details for a certain client, the below screen displays a few of the features that make this user interface a valuable tool for sales reps and others in field service.
The proposal/quote function shown in the upper-right corner (and pictured in larger detail below) allows businesses to create PDFs customized with their branding and key terms. And the app’s signature-capture tool helps reps close deals on the spot, with the signed file automatically uploading into Dropbox.
Routzy’s photo annotations and drawing capabilities (pictured below, and accessible from the bottom-right of the contact screen) could also be a boon for more visual communicators, who might use the tool to draw flow charts or diagrams for a client, for instance.
Finally, its time-tracking option will document all contact-related activities completed through Routzy and create lovely, color-coded graphs breaking down an employee’s activities each day—giving employers a clear snapshot of how their employees prioritize their time in the field.
What are your favorite iPad CRM UIs? Let us know by leaving a comment below.