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Any business owner will tell you that the working world moves fast. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep tabs on EVERYTHING by yourself.... Top Software Picks for CRM with Automation

Any business owner will tell you that the working world moves fast.

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep tabs on EVERYTHING by yourself. Don’t worry, in this article we’ll explain how you can do just that!

Finding a CRM solution with automation that fits perfectly with your business strategy can be a gamechanger for your workforce (Yes, that’s the secret!)

CRM – or Customer Relationship Management – software is almost vital for any business. If you’re not completely up-to-date with why this is the case, be sure to check out our What is CRM Software? explainer.

But essentially, CRM software is an application which brings a number of different functions together as a single cohesive unit or platform. This can help facilitate, streamline and automate the processes of promoting and managing sales.

It allows you to keep track of customers, contacts and suppliers, thus nurturing an organization’s relationship with the consumers of its products and services. Automated features can help you boost productivity, improve co-ordination between your sales staff and create healthier sales pipelines.

Finding a CRM with automation is a must for businesses. Image author: Nick Youngson. Source:

Finding a CRM with automation is a must for businesses. Image author: Nick Youngson. Source:

How to choose the best CRM with automation that suits your needs

That’s the big question. Every software of this kind should do the same thing overall, – it should stop tasks from piling up and let people know what needs to be done. However, many specialise in different areas.

There are some obvious things you need to consider though. First, work to your budget and don’t buy features you’re not likely to use! You will also have to consider what will have the most impact on improving your opportunities and processes.

In terms of automation features, what would recommend?

In this article we will provide quick reviews of five top CRM options with automation features. Making their way on to our list are Zoho CRM, Act! CRM, amoCRM, Freshsales and Insightly. Overall, they all provide great usability and constant connectivity for your team members – but all possess subtle differences.

Zoho CRM
Act! CRM
Best for
Covering all bases
Mobile Use

Easy to use, powerful software
Easy to use, powerful software
Easy to use, powerful software
Easy to use, powerful software
Easy to use, powerful software
Automated Sales Features

Process Automation
Workflow, sales and marketing
Sales, lead nurturing, messaging, setting tasks
Workflow, sales, lead routing, call logging
Advanced Integration Options

Reporting and Analytics



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With Zoho CRM you can expect great automation of workflow procedures, such as approvals, scheduling, assignment and escalation. Meanwhile, with Insightly you will enjoy automated lead capture as well as workflow automation.

Act! CRM is great for sales process automation, particularly for small businesses! amoCRM and FreshSales CRM are also brilliant at sales automation, the latter being particularly great for lead generation, profile enrichments and reporting!

Don’t worry, there’s a lot to take in. So, we’ve also put together a quick table – above – to compare the five. We can’t say which one is the best, as every business will have a different set of criteria that needs to be met – so decide for yourselves. We’d love to hear your thoughts though!

Zoho CRM

First, we have Zoho CRM. Here’s a solid platform that can always be trusted to provide a complete CRM solution. With this neat little package, you will be able to manage sales, marketing and customer support, as well as service and inventory, thanks to a single system.

Don’t worry, no setup is required as Zoho is based in the cloud! So, this means that it can be accessed from anywhere and available on both desktop and mobile devices. Essentially, it will allow you to generate and track leads, manage tasks and follow the entire sales pipeline directly.

Key features include:

  • Manage multiple factors.
  • Cloud based.
  • Available on an app.
  • Customizable workflow management tools.
  • Email integration.
  • Mobile integration.
  • Comprehensive reporting tools.
  • Great usability.

So, team members have access to the most current information available wherever they are – meaning collaborative working is effortless. Regular tasks can be truly automated thanks to customizable workflow management tools too. This is especially useful for administrators, who can set up actions to be executed when certain criteria are met. This, in turn, gives you greater control over how leads are handled.

Zoho CRM can integrate with your existing email environment. This is useful because it provides users with a universal platform of communication across your organization. By integrating an existing email system, users will be able to access new messages and reply them from directly within Zoho CRM.

Zoho CRM also has the ability to connect to many third-party app: including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, PhoneBridge, and QuickBooks. Zoho CRM for Google Apps also takes the software beyond simple email integration.

Overall, Zoho CRM is a powerful solution for small and medium-size businesses that is available at an affordable price bracket. It is particularly effective for organizations that already use the company’s other products, such as Zoho Projects or Zoho Books.

Act! CRM

The creators of Act! CRM promise it is the ‘perfect fit’ for all your business needs. To be fair, they’ve got a pretty strong argument. It’s a platform that is flexible and able to be tailored to suit the user, it also strives to keep you connected everywhere.

In short, Act! is trusted by more than six million users in over 100 countries for customer relationship management. It allows businesses to up their game, creating growth and success as well as securing long-lasting relationships.

Key features include:

  • Flexible and tailored to user needs.
  • All-in-one sales, marketing and customer management tool.
  • Quality integration.
  • Keeps you constantly connected.
  • Wealth of database configuration options.
  • Cloud based.
  • Great usability.
  • Trusted by millions.

This is a program built with small and medium business success in mind, making it easy for businesses to grow with effective sales and marketing tools. Looking for a wealth of database configuration options? Look no further, Act! can equip you.

It truly goes where you go and allows you to be productive wherever you work, it doesn’t even matter if you’re online or offline. Integration is also key, Act! will keep you connected to other well-used business apps, just to make life that little bit simpler.

The creators behind Act! say that their CRM can provide powerful sales and marketing features that will fuel your growth. What’s more is it will also provide freedom and flexibility, from deployment with Cloud to tailoring a unique database.

Exclusive ‘Act! Insider’ benefits will also keep you connected, covered and current, as well as having peace of mind knowing that Act! is a trusted and proven choice for millions of businesses worldwide.

Moreover, a user-friendly interface – together with expert technical support over the phone, email and live chat – will guide you. Online training resources will also help let you get the most out of your Act! CRM.


Here’s an option that is far more than your simple, traditional customer relationship management service. amoCRM can increase sales conversions and eliminate the chance of lost leads, by providing an intuitive cloud-based solution available in any location with internet connection.

It will allow you to manage your sales pipeline and team, while also giving you a clearer insight into your sales patterns thanks to customizable analytics and reports. Meanwhile, you can also organize your clients and filter leads through tasks that need to be completed.

Key features include:

  • Eliminate lost leads.
  • Increase sales conversions.
  • Cloud-based.
  • Great usability.
  • Customizable analytics and reports.
  • B2B leads and sales management tools.
  • Contact organization.
  • Mobile access.
  • Integration options.

Thanks to mobile access, you can update your contacts, monitor transactions, schedule tasks and more. The amoCRM app has an offline mode, which lets you record notes, even when there is no internet connection. As soon as you connect online again, the app will sync with the cloud.

Moreover, it integrates well with several services, including: WordPress, Xero, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, LiveChat, Dropbox, Unbounce, Google Analytics, Facebook, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack, Gmail and more.

So, amoCRM is a solid platform for SMBs to fully manage customer relations. The cloud based CRM platform is very intuitive and easy to use. It is ideally suited to sole traders and small businesses, although the framework is strong enough to support larger organizations.

amoCRM has an abundance of tools to assist in managing company sales, including sales pipeline reporting and analysis. It also comes fully scalable to meet future growth needs, without the need to change platforms or retrain staff.


Next we have Freshsales, which was designed as an improved CRM tool for sales forces. It strives to enable businesses to reach out to each lead with an informed call-to-action and will complete context.

It has secured great reviews for its ability to manage leads – guiding the process from click to close. G2 Crowd, the business software review platform, even names it as a High Performer among other CRMs.

Key features include:

  • Designed for sales teams.
  • Rank and assign leads to team members.
  • Email alerts.
  • Great usability.
  • ‘Explore simplicity’.
  • Keep on top of leads.
  • Efficiency tools.
  • What are the key features?

Freshsales not only allows you to rank leads, but you can also assign them to particular team members. Thanks to helpful email alerts you will also be able to keep on top of scheduled tasks and follow-ups.

Essentially this application encourages high velocity sales and does so with a user-friendly interface. Inviting users to ‘explore simplicity’ Freshsales argues that, with their help, managing leads has never been so easy.

You can also score your leads. By ranking leads you will be able to easily focus on those who are the most important. This will allow you to prioritise follow-ups based on those who need ‘nurturing’ and those who are ‘sales-ready’.

The bottom line? Freshsales will help to multiply your sales team’s force and efficiency. Many businesses have given special testimonials for Freshsales, claiming that it has ‘made sales fun again’ and revolutionised their workforce.


Lastly, but in no means least, we’ve picked Insightly to complete this esteemed selection of CRM platforms. Like the others, it allows you to manage contacts, organizations, vendors and suppliers from its unified system.

It will help you streamline everyday processes for improved business efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness. Insightly lets you access deeper insights into how your customer relationships are influencing sales.

Key features include:

  • Data analysis and reports.
  • Great usability.
  • Familiar ‘Facebook-like’ layout.
  • Plenty of customization and integration options.
  • Contact management and organization.
  • Flexible calendaring, notes, comments and tagging features.
  • Pipelines.
  • Team-friendly.

With Insightly, your feed can be filtered by activity type and user, so you can quickly see emails that were recently sent or monitor a specific team member’s progress. The navigation panel links you to your team’s tasks, contacts, organizations, leads, opportunities, projects, emails, and reports.

By utilizing Insightly’s CRM toolset you have a transparent view of all of your customers and prospects in a centralized location. To help you keep track of various clients, Insightly provides you with numerous tools at your disposal, including flexible calendaring, notes, comments, and tagging features.

Another great feature of Insightly is Pipelines. Pipelines allow you to see the progress along a specific path in a project, so you will always know exactly where you are in the stream of time. Your Pipeline should include all the anticipated stages that are in the workflow, from conception to the completion of the project.

Insightly has a comprehensive reporting tool that is based on opportunities and completed activities. You have the option to filter reports by date ranges and topic.  Moreover, Insightly allows you to connect your CRM and project management system to products and services such as Google Apps, Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Xero, Quote Roller, MailChimp, Torpio, and Zapier.

So, it’s a well-designed and powerful CRM and project management tool that is not only affordable for SMBs, but is also packed with team-friendly features. Insightly can help your businesses not only organize interactions with clients, but also keep track of projects, emails, notes, leads, and milestones via a streamlined and easy to navigate interface.

CRM with automation – Final Thoughts

So, hopefully by now you will have a better understanding of how CRM software with automation can immensely benefit your sales performance.

Yes, most of these programs share similar features, but as you’ve read, they all specialise in different areas. All, however, give your business the opportunity to excel thanks to automatic features – saving you time (and, as the old cliché goes, money).

We’ve covered five great pieces of software for automation, however there are many more programs out there to choose from! Check out our Top Five CRM Software article to discover more!

Interested in more CRM software? Be sure to read Best CRM Software with Outlook Integration.