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Collaborative CRMs are software that help multiple departments at your company easily organize and share lead and customer data through specialized communication and collaboration features. The top collaborative CRMs offer tools for communication and document management as well as centralized data, activity tracking, and cross-platform compatibility. To help you choose the best CRM for you, we've evaluated quality options and their use cases:
The top seven collaborative CRM solutions include:
Our overall winner for the best collaborative CRM was Freshsales, which took first place in the customer support category and also tied in the features and pricing categories. However, all options on our list are quality CRMs. Continue reading to learn more about each option’s use case, pricing structure, and key features. Otherwise, jump down to see our scoring logic.
Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless otherwise noted.
Offers multiple views and task management tools for an affordable monthly price.
Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)
Freshsales is a sales-heavy CRM that helps you collaborate with your team via task management tools and multiple modern views offered in cost-effective tiers. Its free plan allows you to assign tasks, leads, and project deadlines to different reps and track their individual performance. See the current status of reps’ deals via timeline, funnel, classic, or compact view, as well as dig deeper into your teams’ recent interactions with a detailed activity timeline.
Freshsales is a solid tool to collaborate with your sales team and has earned our rating as the best overall CRM, but it's often not as great of a choice for those needing robust sales and marketing tools and collaboration. If this sounds like you, check out Zoho CRM instead.
Unifies your sales, marketing, and service teams across multiple collaboration channels.
Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15- to 30-day free trial)
Zoho CRM is a sales and marketing platform that helps different teams centralize communication with collaborative tools. Request information from a coworker through one-on-one chat or post announcements and polls via your company-wide feed. Teams from various departments can also edit documents together in real time and coordinate how they want to set up workflows such as nurturing leads or closing deals with the journey builder.
Zoho CRM is a solid option for company collaboration, but its user interface could improve. If you’re looking for a cleaner, more intuitive platform with cross-functional collaboration, look into monday sales CRM, which won in the ease of use category and offers this feature.
Provides a user-friendly platform for reps to work together on deals and projects.
Price Range: $10 to $24+ per user, per month (14-day free trial)
monday sales CRM is a highly visual CRM platform with collaboration tools and colorful boards that are simple to set up and use. Co-edit and share comments in real time with monday workdocs and easily embed dashboards and videos directly into the document with its drag-and-drop tool. Organize your deals or projects on kanban boards that allow you to tag assigned reps, color-code status, attach files, and set deadlines for each task or milestone.
Although monday sales CRM provides a clean and intuitive interface, it doesn’t offer a free version, which solopreneurs and small teams often need. For a user-friendly CRM with a free plan, try Freshsales, which ranks high in the ease of use category and offers visual pipelines.
Pipedrive is an easy-to-use sales CRM offering advanced filters and notifications that turn your kanban-style pipeline into a strong collaboration tool. You can filter your team's pipeline by sales rep, deal status or stage, activity, and more, as well as save filter settings for the whole team — then click a deal to see the latest or planned activity and help the deal owner if needed. Multiple reps working on a deal can also set up email notifications for new activity or direct mentions.
While Pipedrive is a great tool to collaborate with your sales team on your shared pipeline, the only way to use the platform is to pay a monthly fee. If you'd prefer a free sales tool that still offers solid pipeline and collaboration features, check out Freshsales.
Allows teams that work from home, office, or on the go to easily collaborate online.
Price Range: Free to $399 per month (15- to 30-day free trial)
Bitrix24 is an online workspace that offers teams that work remotely digital tools for easier collaboration and communication. Reps can clock in and out with its worktime feature, and administrators can track their working hours and daily reports in return. Teams can also invite colleagues or external stakeholders for HD video conferencing and run remote sales cycles such as issuing invoices and receiving payments directly from the CRM via the Bitrix24 Store.
Although Bitrix24 is great for online collaboration, it has limited mobile application features, which might affect reps on the go. If you need a CRM with an accessible online workspace and a robust mobile app, check out Zoho CRM, which is one of our best mobile CRMs.
Offers Chatter, a social networking tool to collaborate with your company, vendors, and clients.
Price Range: $25 to $500 per user, per month (30-day trial)
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a fully customizable CRM with robust collaboration tools that help you work with your team, other departments, and even vendors and customers. Leverage Chatter, a real-time enterprise social network, to connect external data to internal systems so you can easily update sales opportunities, approve project funds, and launch campaigns. Chatter is also mobile-ready, so you can keep track of discussions and developments within the mobile app.
Although Salesforce comes with feature-rich tiers, its pricing is still more expensive than other CRM platforms. If you're looking for a reasonably priced collaborative CRM that offers the same features as Chatter, consider using Zoho CRM.
Includes key collaboration tools in its free tier, with additional functionality offered in upgrades.
Price Range: Free to $1,500+ per month (Sales Hub)
HubSpot CRM is a sales, marketing, and service CRM offering robust team collaboration features. In the free tier, you'll receive crucial tools like team email, shared inbox, Slack integration, and reporting dashboards that your entire team can access. Upgrade to Sales Hub for advanced collaboration functionality like the ability to assign teams to a deal and to create sales automations to notify your organization when a deal enters a new pipeline stage.
HubSpot's free tools make it the best free CRM, but when you upgrade for more functionality, you might end up paying for users that you don't need. To start with a free plan and upgrade at a per-user cost, take a look at Freshsales for sales only or Zoho CRM for sales and marketing.
The key features below are included in the top collaborative CRMs:
By making customer data and deal statuses readily available for all employees to view and keep updated, your company can come off as highly organized to your leads and clients and communicate with them effectively.
When you log calls, emails, and other interactions with leads and current customers, it's easier for your coworkers to take over and understand what their experience has been so far, then seamlessly continue their interaction or journey.
Tools such as one-on-one chat, direct mentions or tags, or a company-wide network provide ways for your team to quickly message each other and streamline all communication.
Tools to help you create and file key documents can help your team edit and share proposals, contracts, invoices, and anything else that multiple employees in the company would benefit from accessing.
Because many sales reps are often on the road, having a CRM that can be accessed from desktop, mobile, or tablet is crucial so everyone can collaborate in real time.
In our evaluation, we used six key criteria consisting of more specific subcriteria to review some of the biggest and most popular collaborative CRM software. After assigning a score out of five for each criteria, we added up the total scores to determine the overall winner. The CRMs that scored the highest made our list, then we used our research to assign a primary use case to each according to what it does best.
A collaborative CRM helps reps and teams manage communication and collaboration across multiple departments that interact with the same customers and share data. Traditional CRMs focus heavily on client-facing processes with the goal of improving customer relationships and driving revenue, but collaborative CRMs are integral for teams to manage nurturing processes together, allow cross-functional communication, and easily collect collateral and documents.
Collaborative CRMs are ideal for team-based environments where multiple teams or departments interact. Evaluate the different reps, teams, and even external stakeholders you’re working with to identify which tools would actually help you to work together more effectively. Also assess the resources available to you, including your budget and your team’s technical know-how, so you can narrow down a list of options that are affordable and easy to use.
Collaboration is vital in every business with teams working together, but industry-specific companies need a suite of niche features so they can be more effective in their field. While most software offers standard CRM functions, industry-specific solutions provide distinct tools such as asset management for creatives, progress trackers for construction, a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant platform for healthcare, and more.
Whether you’re empowering internal sales and marketing teams or building partnerships with vendors and stakeholders, the best collaborative CRMs give you tools to communicate and share key info. There are plenty of worthy CRMs available that offer conventional solutions for the typical business model or customized approaches for industry-specific companies. For more on how collaborative CRMs stack up against other types, check out our guide on the four types of CRMs.