Apple has traditionally been a consumer-focused brand, controlling both market and mindshare in the consumer electronics space. This massive consumer adoption is beginning to migrate to the business space as well. We are particularly seeing adoption of Apple devices (computers, iPads, iPhones, etc.) among the self-employed and in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) space. As a result, software vendors are beginning to develop applications specifically for Apple’s operating system platform, iOS.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a logical area for this development. With people already managing their personal relationships on their iPhones and Macs, it’s a no-brainer that they would also want to efficiently manage business relationships as well. There are currently several CRM solutions on the market specifically designed for Macs. With Apple’s announcement earlier this year of their intention to focus more on the enterprise, we expect to see more Mac-based CRM solutions for business in the near term.
In this guide, we will share the top Mac-based CRM systems for you to consider, as well as the leading web-based CRM applications that have been specifically optimized to work with Apple’s Safari Internet browser.
Mac-based Customer Relationship Management Software
Mac-based CRM systems are a great choice for companies utilizing a Mac iOS, as these systems were developed with that OS in mind. Therefore, the look and feel and straightforward user interface will be similar to the one Apple users have come to expect. Below is a list of the top CRM systems for the Apple platform.
|Monthly subscription||Ideal for small businesses looking to improve their contact management, lead management, sales automation and customer service. The system has deep workflow capabilities and a very user-friendly interface. Compatible with both iPhone and iPod Touch.|
|Daylite||Software license||Consistently rated as one of the best Mac-based CRM solutions, Daylite helps companies better manage opportunities, projects, tasks, contacts and email. The system provides database templates for multiple industries. Compatible with all Apple devices.|
|Bento 4||Software license||Bento is a contact management system from FileMaker with advanced project management and collaboration features. A custom form builder allows users to create documents based on their unique needs. Bento is compatible with Mac, iPhone and iPad.|
|SOHO Organizer||Software license||SOHO Organizer comes with a full set of features for contact and relationship management. The system integrates with native Mac apps such as MobileMe and iCal, easing adoption for existing Mac users. Can be used on Mac and iPhone devices.|
While the Mac-based software solutions outlined above are excellent options for managing customer relationships, buyers might also consider looking into software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems that have been “Mac-enabled” or adapted for use via the Safari web browser.
Web-based Customer Relationship Management Software
SaaS, or web-based, CRM systems are hosted in the cloud. Therefore, the vendor is hosting the software from a secure, remote location, and users can then access the software from any web-enabled device – such as a computer, iPhone or iPad. With the growth of mobile and tablet devices, more CRM vendors are developing subscription-based cloud software.
One benefit of opting for a web-based CRM system is that it offers more flexibility down the road should you choose to switch away from Mac. If your company decides to go the PC route, you can continue to run your CRM on a hosted system. Additionally, with the multitude of web-based CRM systems available, the market is much larger, giving organizations more options when searching for a CRM to meet their unique functional needs.
Below, we list five of the top web-based CRM vendors that optimize their systems for Safari, Apple’s proprietary web browser.
|Monthly subscription||Safari, IE, Firefox, Chrome||Serving thousands of customers globally across multiple industries, NetSuite is a leader in the web-based business applications market. They offer full CRM functionality, including eCommerce. Ideal for small to mid-sized organizations.|
|Oracle On Demand|
|Monthly subscription||Safari, IE, Firefox||Oracle has over 14 years of experience in the market. It is highly flexible, with tailored solutions for specific industries, including insurance, automotive and medical. Compatible with Blackberry and iPhone devices. Ideal for companies of any size.|
|Monthly subscription||Safari, IE, Firefox, Chrome||An open source platform makes Sugar CRM one of the most customizable systems available. It is used by over 50,000 companies worldwide and is popular for its intuitive user interface (UI). Compatible with all mobile devices. Ideal for companies of any size.|
|Monthly subscription||Safari, IE, Firefox, Chrome||Salesforce is the leader in web-based CRM. It offers a full CRM suite, with strong functionality in sales force automation (SFA) and customer service. It offers industry-specific solutions, as well as mobile integration. Ideal for organizations of any size.|
|Monthly subscription||Safari, IE, Firefox||With more than 20 years of success in on-premise CRM for SMB, Maximizer CRM has released their web-based version, CRM Live. It offers a complete set of features, with its core strength in SFA. Ideal for small to mid-sized organizations.|
Have you had any experience with the applications listed above? Do you use a Mac-based or Mac-enabled CRM system that we missed? Please let us know in the comment section below.