Table of contents

CRM software: Top 5 platforms in 2024

What is CRM software: Benefits and recommendations 2023

What is a CRM System?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and by integrating information from different communication channels, it is able to give business owners a complete and holistic view of each customer in real-time.

A well-developed CRM software can help businesses to combine all sales, marketing and customer service information into one central database, enhancing both efficiency and organizational structure. But with so many service providers to choose from, do you honestly know which one fits the best? No worries. Sleekflow hereby introduces the top 5 CRM tools including Salesforce, together with a detailed explanation of the differences between 3 types of CRM.

General Features of a CRM System

A CRM system is an all-in-one platform which allows businesses to manage leads, sales pipelines and onboard customers with less effort. Since the system is capable of streamlining the workflows and processes associated with sales, marketing, and customer support through automation, it is now widely considered as a better way to strengthen the external interactions and relationships with customers that drive success.

3 Keys Functions

1. Contact Management

Able to record and retrieve all applicable customer data in one searchable platform, businesses can source information such as names, email addresses and social media activities instantly.

2. Audience Analysis

Able to break the customers down into smaller groups by gender, stages in the customer journey and more, businesses can therefore approach different subsets with customized messaging and offers.

3. Workflow Automation

Able to systematize the sales process by automating repetitive and manual tasks, hence, improving team efficiency and productivity.

Let’s Take a Closer Look to CRM

By FunctionsBy UsersBy System Designs
Operational CRM B2B CRMVertical CRM
Analytical CRMB2C CRMHorizontal CRM
Collaborative CRM

By Functions

  • Operational CRM:

Maximize the effectiveness of sales, marketing and services through automation. 

Examples:  Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation and Mobile Sales.

  • Analytical CRM:

Customer information from both online and offline channels will be collected and saved in a Data Warehouse. Detailed reports regarding customer behaviours, satisfactions and further needs will then be generated, allowing business leaders to gain insights and make strategic decisions accordingly.

Examples: On-Line Analytical Processing, Data Mining

  • Collaborative CRM:

Facilitates sharing information across departments since every single interaction between a customer and a business can be tracked.

Examples: Banks manage sales networks, online bankings, mobile wallets and customer data with one single CRM software.

By Users

  • B2C CRM:

    For companies that sell directly to the end customers

  • B2B CRM:

    For companies that sell products and services to other companies, such as marketing agencies, vendors and manufacturers

By System Designs

  • Vertical CRM:

    Equipped with common industry workflows and processes, specially built for highly regulated businesses

  • Horizontal CRM:

    Built to cater to unique business needs, ranging from bare-bones systems to more advanced, fully customizable platforms

Why Do Businesses Need a CRM System?

1. Create Accurate Customer Profile

  • Systematically gather particular customer information across website, SMS, email and instant messaging applications.

  • Unify every order history and service detail for easy follow-ups, reducing man-hours tremendously.

It helps business owners to segment customers according to specific characteristics and behavioural patterns, so companies can market to each group effectively and appropriately.

2. As a Support for Customer Knowledge Management

  • Even though an employee no longer works with the organization, it still manages to prevent customers from leaving since all contact details have already been uploaded to Cloud.

One of the biggest fears of many is the departure of a well-connected employee will take the existing clients elsewhere, not only will it result in a lost business, but it can also cause unwanted competitions between employees, leading to a stressful and unproductive environment.

3. Connect with the Third-party Applications Seamlessly

  • By integrating CRM with other applications, businesses can be more efficient in managing data, eliminating the hassle of toggling back and forth between systems.

The modification of any CRM system is inexpensive, in other words, even with a low budget, it is still an ideal plan for better customer relationships management.

4. Instant Replies

  • Chatbots can offer quick responses to customers’ requests.

  • Automatically record conversations and log them to the system, also to create regular alerts on particular issues.

Timeliness in customer service is essential to keeping customers satisfied.

5. Provide a more Personalized Experience

  • Companies can tailor-make marketing messages based on customer preferences and behaviours.

Examples include birthday discounts and order confirmation, making your customers feel more special.

6. Improve Sales Performance

According to Salesforce, the CRM system is sales-conducive.

  • With effective sales activity tracking, CRM can analyze the conversation keywords, remarks and quotation, then assign clients to the appropriate salesman, increasing the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.

This is how CRM helps to speed up the sales cycle. Moreover, CRM can take over most administrative duties, freeing workers up to focus on more valuable, high-impact deals in the pipeline. For example, instead of spending most of their time on administrative tasks, managers can focus on developing a proactive management style for better results and increased employee engagement.

How to Choose the Right CRM System?

Below are the core factors you ought to take into consideration:

  1. Is your business small or medium-sized

  2. What is your business most used communication channel when interacting with customers?

  3. What functions are you looking for? Data analysis? Customer management? CRM integration?

  4. What is your budget?

If your answer to the first question is “yes”, you should invest in a CRM system that is low-cost, easy to use, customizable, integrable and with powerful backend support services.

When it comes to CRM selection, Deloitte Consulting suggested 3 basic requirements:

  • The system’s functions should match your business needs

  • The system should have certain extensibility and flexibility

  • The development cost is within your budget

Apart from these guidelines, the following reminders can potentially assist you in making a more informed decision.

1. Get a 360° Overview of your Customers

  • You should be able to integrate the CRM system with other technology platforms in just a blink.

Example: Data synchronisation between ERP and CRM system

2. Deliver an Omni-Channel Customer Service Experience

  • Serves as an omni-channel platform that allows you to weave all customer touchpoints into one profile

Example: Using only one software to interact with all customers regardless of the channel they contact you through

3. Built-in Features Meet Your CRM Needs

Given that the CRM system is supposed to streamline business processes, its basic functions should be able to help you fill in the gap without extra modification.

4. Cloud-based or On-premise

With advanced automatized backup policies and robust data recovery plans, a cloud-based CRM system, coupled with reliable VPN services, can maintain top data encryption to protect your company and your clients.

5. Responsive Vendor

Not only do they provide local support during and after the CRM implementation, but they also have the ability to fix bugs promptly.

Top CRM Systems / Tools to Consider for Your Business

1. SleekFlow 

SleekFlow is an integrated omni-channel customer communication platform that creates AI-driven and personalized customer journeys across everyone’s go-to messaging channels, including the WhatsApp Business API.

SleekFlow new logo


  • All-in-one Inbox - SleekFlow, an omnichannel messaging platform, merges multiple instant messaging tools, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, etc., into one place to help businesses sell and support better. The app helps implement efficient leads routing and allows simultaneous collaboration across teams. Its easy integrations with customer relationship management tools enables businesses to automate workflow and engage customers in real-time.

  • Social CRM - By importing existing data, businesses can categorize contacts for refined targeting. They can integrate SleekFlow with third-party software such as Shopify to filter customers based on order histories and purchase preferences and create lists. The analytics dashboard provides all the insights businesses need to improve their CRM strategy.

  • Campaign - With personalized broadcast messages, businesses can execute result-oriented campaigns to generate leads and accelerate the growth of their sales pipeline.

  • Automation - Automated rules can be set on SleekFlow to send engagement messages, assign conversations, and even auto reply to comments on Facebook and Instagram. It helps businesses get rid of the manual elements and simplify workflows to explore countless possibilities. Integrated with Shopify, SleekFlow can send automated messages when contacts are added or updated or shopping carts are abandoned. Businesses can also build chatbots to qualify leads and answer FAQs.

  • Integration - SleekFlow also acts as an omnichannel payment solution that allows merchants to send payment links and product catalogues to get paid in chat. From browsing the catalogue and raising questions to completing the order and making the payment, and even tracking the delivery and giving feedback, every step can be done in just one app.


  • Multi-login to ensure the team can actively and simultaneously work together, providing instant customer service and support

  • Segment, filter, and label customers by robots

  • Deliver personalized messages to target groups so as to keep them in the loop

  • Wide range of channels and integrations with other CRM and e-commerce platforms

SleekFlow wins G2 Best Software Award in Customer Service Products 2024

SleekFlow proudly showcases numerous accolades, check out SleekFlow's awards and achievements

2. SalesForce

Combine EDM, website, SEO, landing page, blog, and social media management into one central platform.



  • Able to integrate seamlessly with the business’s own system, blend data easily and quickly from multiple data sources.


  • Third-party integration is there, it works well with a wide range of software including but not limited to Shopify, Microsoft Dynamics and Chatfuel

  • Email Marketing Tool: You can view critical elements such as email opens, clicks, undeliverable messages, and other metrics online. You can also make good use of the marketing automation tool to ensure the email can be sent at the perfect time.

  • Salesforce helps you to put together every customer’s personal information, allowing you to provide them with the most relevant content and sales quote.

  • You can use the AI called Sales Cloud Einstein to analyse your CRM data and learn what separates deals won from deals lost. Then it highlights your top leads and next steps to close.

3. HubSpot 

All marketing tools and data are on one platform.



  • Instead of reaching out to potential customers proactively, HubSpot helps businesses to get discovered by publishing content that is relatable to their audience


  • Integrate with the business’ own system seamlessly

  • Collect and analyze data from multiple sources

  • Huge storage capacity

4. Microsoft Dynamics 365

A one-stop solution for sales and marketing.

Microsoft Dynamics 365


  • Able to synchronize email messages, contacts, tasks, and appointments between Office Outlook and Dynamics 365, streamlining the business process


5. Pipedrive 

A deal-driven CRM and pipeline management solution.

  • Bring the sales pipeline, lead tracking, customer onboarding and emails into one place. It can also record and store email addresses, phone numbers and social media accounts from different channels automatically.

If you wish to learn more about CRM, let’s explore how social CRM works!

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