Top 5 Analytical CRM Software Solutions for Businesses in 2020

Tablet displaying analytical CRM software at work

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 21 July, 2020

Looking for a CRM tool that packs more of a punch? Want to prioritise automation over admin? Keen to spend less time running your business, and more time growing it? You’re in the right place…


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analytical CRM software provider
Salesforce vectorZendesk logo table transparentMicrosoft Dynamics 365 vectorSugarCRM logo table transparentZoho vector
Starting price£60*£9*£40*Dependent on module£18 per month
Highest price£120*£12*N/AOn request£355 per month
Sales reportingXX
Revenue cycle modelling
Sales forecastingX
Business intelligence
Free trial?30 daysFree version and trialYesDemo onlyFree version

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* Per user, per month


It’s a fact as irrefutable as the laws of nature – as your business grows, so too will your reporting and analysis needs. 

Pretty soon, the CRM (customer relationship management) system that served you so well as a small business won’t cut it anymore, and you’ll want to explore a more heavy-hitting alternative.

Enter analytical CRM software. Pioneered by the likes of Salesforce and Microsoft, analytical CRM allows you to use customer data to make more informed decisions about the future. We’re talking sales forecasting, revenue cycle modelling… basically, anything that turns raw data into refined statistical insights to help your business scale.

Below, we unveil our top 5 analytical CRM software providers for UK businesses. Our researchers reviewed, ranked, and rated multiple providers (you can check out our methodology here) to determine which CRM suppliers are best for medium-sized to large businesses.

Let’s take a look.


Top 5 analytical CRM software providers

According to our extensive research, Salesforce – with its superlative, AI-driven reporting module Einstein Analytics – is the top CRM pick for medium-sized to large businesses seeking CRM. 

Rounding out the rest of the list is Zendesk Explore, Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Sales Insights, SugarCRM’s Sugar Discover, and Zoho Analytics.

The best analytical CRM systems in the UK:

  1. Salesforce (Einstein Analytics) – best for the most detailed sales and service insights
  2. Zendesk (Explore) – best for businesses on a budget
  3. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Sales Insights) – best for smart, customisable features
  4. SugarCRM (Sugar Discover) – best for data visualisation and intelligent reporting
  5. Zoho (Analytics) – best for the simplicity and usability of its interface

Read on to find out why, or dive right in and start comparing quotes from top CRM suppliers immediately.

Simply provide us with a bit of info about what you’ll require in an analytical CRM system (such as how many users it’ll be for, what features you’ll need, and what kind of contact management software you currently rely on), and we’ll match you with suppliers that fit your requirements

They’ll then be in touch with quotes tailored to your business. It takes just 30 seconds, and it’s free.

Are you in the right place?

This article is dedicated to analytical CRM software – that is, the higher end of the spectrum in terms of the technology available for businesses. Analytical CRM isn’t typically available as a standalone product, but rather as an add-on – you’ll usually need a subscription to the CRM it works with to access it.

That – combined with the larger price tag these systems usually come with – means that it’s more medium-sized to large businesses (or at least those that are more established) that are set to benefit more from this list.

It’s these businesses that have more need of the granular insights the following CRM systems offer, and thus who we’ve tailored this list to.

If your business isn’t at this stage in its growth yet, don’t fret. For startups, or those trying CRM for the first time, we recommend heading to our page on the best CRM systems for small businesses instead.


Salesforce (Einstein Analytics)

Best for the most detailed sales and service insights

Everything about Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics is designed to make your job easier. Visualising all your business’ crucial data (from external systems as well as your own) on a single screen, you’ll have everything you need to make smarter decisions. Better still, everything is customisable: templates, apps, workflows, dashboards… the lot.

Overall Rating :

Perhaps the only setback is that Einstein Analytics is, well… too advanced! Many user reviews suggest it can be tough to use, and even harder to get to grips with. You’ll receive amazing insights, but equally need to be prepared for the costs and onboarding difficulties that may arise.

Works with Salesforce products:Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud
Starting price£60 per user, per month
Highest price£120 per user, per month

Compare analytical CRM quotes

Salesforce (Einstein Analytics): feature analysis

We’ve assessed Salesforce (as well as all the other analytical CRM software providers showcased here) on their ability to perform a specific subset of functions that are crucial for medium-sized to large businesses. 

To find out more about what these features mean, jump to the section ‘the benefits of analytical CRM’ below for a full breakdown.

Sales reporting: Yes.

Revenue cycle modelling: And how! Einstein Analytics empowers you to build complex revenue cycle models based on how your users are interacting with your website, allowing you to see which behaviours led to which purchases, and better optimise your site and marketing for conversions.

Sales forecasting: Yes.

Business intelligence: Yes – in fact, Einstein Analytics actually represents the industry’s most advanced reaches into the depths of customer data analysis. Utilising both machine learning and artificial intelligence, Salesforce offers granular insights into your customers, your team’s performance, and the overall health of your business.

Pros:

  • Tailored to insights for the specific needs of sales and customer service teams
  • Integrates with thousands of third-party applications
  • User-friendly mobile app

X Cons:

  • Notoriously difficult to get to grips with
  • At £60 per user, per month, Einstein Analytics is expensive – particularly when added to Salesforce’s already steep costs
Is Salesforce Einstein Analytics the right analytical CRM software for your business?
Complete our short questionnaire to find out
Do you already use CRM software? YES NO

Zendesk Explore

Best for businesses on a budget

With an inviting price point (just £9 per user, per month) and a completely free version, there’s plenty you’ll want to explore about Zendesk’s analytics add-on. Working with Zendesk’s solutions for both sales and customer service teams, Explore enables you to break down your business’ most complex data, and then rebuild it in digestible graphs and reports. Omnichannel capability allows you to see how people are relating to your brand across all platforms, too – including email, social media, chat, and phone.

Overall Rating :

Sure, Zendesk Explore certainly isn’t the most feature-rich analytical CRM system on our list (if it were, you’d be adding another zero onto the end of those prices). However, it’s still a powerful piece of software – and, at the very least, an excellent entry-level analytical CRM for growing businesses.

Works with Zendesk products: Sell, Support
Starting price£9 per user, per month (free version available)
Highest price£12 per user, per month

Compare analytical CRM quotes

Zendesk (Explore): feature analysis

Sales reporting: No – this feature is part of Zendesk Sell, but not Explore. Zendesk Explore’s reporting features are tailored more to handling ticket submissions, and automating your team’s customer service endeavours.

Revenue cycle modelling: Yes, but with Zendesk Explore’s ‘Professional plan’ (£9 per user, per month) only – not the free version.

Sales forecasting: No.

Business intelligence: Yes.

Pros:

  • Boasts an aesthetically-pleasing user interface
  • Low starting price
  • Its reporting features are well-suited to customer service teams...

X Cons:

  • … but not so much to sales teams
  • No sales forecasting feature, although this is available with Zendesk Sell’s ‘Professional’ plan and above
Is Zendesk Explore the right analytical CRM software for your business?
Complete our short questionnaire to find out
Do you already use CRM software? YES NO

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Sales Insights)

Best for smart, customisable features

Microsoft bills its analytical CRM software as “bringing together the art and science of selling”. Good marketing… but does it live up to its mission statement? We think so. Like Salesforce, Dynamics 365 leverages the best in AI, providing real-time insights to increase your sales team’s performance, and turn engagement into leads. As well as providing personalised talking points to help your salespeople start a conversation, Dynamics 365 also offers ‘health scores’, helping you keep tabs on dwindling relationships with clients.

Overall Rating :

Sales Insights comes at a decent price point, too. However, you’ll have to pay extra for Customer Insights and Customer Service Insights, its separate analytical tools for marketing and service teams, respectively.

Works with Dynamics 365 products:Dynamics 365 for Sales
Starting price$50 (£40) per user, per month
Highest priceFixed fee (£40 per user, per month)

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Sales Insights): feature analysis

Sales reporting: Yes.

Revenue cycle modelling: Yes.

Sales forecasting: Yes.

Business intelligence: Yes, AI is available to supplement your sales data and help your team make more efficient decisions, such as prioritising your lead pipeline and providing accurate profit extraps.

Pros:

  • Provides excellent predictive analysis
  • Powered by artificial intelligence
  • Considering the hefty price tag of Dynamics 365’s other products, this one’s a bargain!

X Cons:

  • Requires a significant investment of resources to set up and use effectively
  • No on-premise solution available
Is Dynamics 365 the right analytical CRM software for your business?
Complete our short questionnaire to find out
Do you already use CRM software? YES NO

Sugar Discover

Best for data visualisation and intelligent reporting

Sugar Discover – available as an add-on to SugarCRM’s products for sales, marketing, and customer service – does its work behind the scenes. It continuously analyses your sales and marketing metrics, identifying the relationships and patterns that exist across all your customer, lead, sales, and campaign data. This enables Sugar Discover to identify any changes in the norm, offering insights into what’s happened… and why.

Overall Rating :

Our only gripe? The price point. Sugar Discover comes in at about half the price of what you’ll pay for the system it relies upon. But, when this initial cost can be as low as $52 (£41) per month and as high as $1,000 per month, there’s not much in the way of transparency.

Works with SugarCRM products:Sugar Sell, Sugar Market, Sugar Serve
Starting priceAround 50% of your total selected package with the above modules
Highest priceOn request

Compare analytical CRM quotes

SugarCRM (Sugar Discover): feature analysis

Sales reporting: No.

Revenue cycle modelling: Yes.

Sales forecasting: Yes.

Business intelligence: Yes.

Pros:

  • Its ‘root cause identification’ feature empowers your team to get to the bottom of issues with ease
  • Straightforward onboarding process

X Cons:

  • No sales reporting functionality
  • Lack of pricing transparency
  • The interface is a little clunky
Is Sugar Discover the right analytical CRM software for your business?
Complete our short questionnaire to find out
Do you already use CRM software? YES NO

Zoho Analytics

Best for the simplicity and usability of its interface

With two million users across half a million organisations – including HP, La Liga, IKEA, and Hyundai – Zoho Analytics is clearly doing something right. And, according to our researchers, it is – most noticeably the stylish, stripped-back elegance of its interface. But Zoho Analytics boasts just as much substance, with a scalable, BI (business intelligence) development platform that offers the highest levels of customisability. Our favourite feature has to be Zia, though. It’s a smart analytical assistant powered by AI, machine learning and NLP (natural language processing). Ask it anything, and watch it come up with the reports or metrics to answer your query in moments.

Overall Rating :

Of course, Zoho Analytics does have its setbacks. It doesn’t boast as many features as Einstein Analytics or Dynamics 365 (though in fairness, not many analytical CRM systems do), and sometimes it can be tough to drill right down into the data you need

Price-wise, it’s not quite as affordable as the rest of Zoho’s range of software products – though a decent free version helps to negate this.

Works with Zoho products: All
Starting priceCloud-based: £18 per month (free version available)

On-premise: Free

Highest priceCloud-based: £355 per month

On-premise: £294 per user, per month

Compare analytical CRM quotes

Don’t know your cloud from your on-premise? Check out our guide to the best cloud-based CRM systems to get clued up.

Zoho (Analytics): feature analysis

Sales reporting: Yes.

Revenue cycle modelling: Yes.

Sales forecasting: Yes, though this feature is included as part of Zoho’s regular CRM, rather than being restricted to its analytics module alone.

Business intelligence: Yes.

Pros:

  • Zoho Analytics also offers an on-premise solution
  • Zia – wow!
  • Highly customisable
  • Affordable, and with a free version to boot

X Cons:

  • Its mobile app can be slow to update with data, with some online reviews suggesting branding it ‘cumbersome’
  • Limited range of integrations, particularly when compared to some other analytical CRM software providers
Is Zoho Analytics the right analytical CRM software for your business?
Complete our short questionnaire to find out
Do you already use CRM software? YES NO

The benefits of analytical CRM

In order to rate each analytical CRM provider on its effectiveness for medium-sized to large businesses, we assessed each provider on four key features all advanced CRM systems need to have. 

Conveniently, these features also illustrate several of the key benefits analytical CRM can introduce to your business:

Sales reporting

Generating accurate reports about the sales your business has made over a specific period isn’t just about understanding how much money you’ve made – it’s how you turn short-term success into long-term profitability.

Sales reporting allows you to understand who your customers are, and where they’re coming from. It allows you to identify the bottlenecks in your pipeline, and address them with confidence. Moreover, sales reporting allows you to see how each of your individual reps are performing against their own targets, and what that means for your business at large.

Revenue cycle modelling

Think of the sales funnel – that familiar shape that adorns the walls of break rooms and sales academies across the country. 

Well, a revenue cycle is basically that, but tailored to your own business. It’s also less of a funnel, and more of a cycle – mapping out the journey each one of your customers will take, from a prospect all the way to a closed deal, or from failure to re-engagement.

Revenue cycle modelling allows you to understand where the gaps in that user journey lie. Moreover, it enables you to remove any roadblocks to lead qualification and conversion, and develop an intimate knowledge of the customer experience.

Sales forecasting

Sales forecasting helps your team plan for the future, analysing current sales to provide an estimation of what quota you can expect to hit in the weeks and months ahead. 

Forecasting helps you manage your resources, cash flow, workforce, and growth. Taking into account a combination of your business’ historical data, wider economic trends, and your competitors’ situations, effective forecasting is vital to sales success.

Business intelligence

Business intelligence is the process of analysing and understanding data to make better decisions. 

It’s also about seeing the bigger picture – about pulling data from numerous sources to get a holistic view of your operations. Business intelligence allows you to know what you’re doing well, and improve in the areas you’re not. It’s not necessarily limited to your own activities, either – if done well, business intelligence can help you identify emerging market trends and new opportunities to scale.


Next steps

When it comes to data-crunching, number-churning, metric-munching CRM software, these providers are the very best. 

Of course, smaller businesses won’t require the sheer level of granularity the above systems have to offer. But as those businesses become bigger – and as medium-sized operations become enterprise-level companies – analytical CRM stops being just a possibility, and starts being a necessity…

…which makes choosing the right provider even more important. So if you’re ready to compare quotes and explore how analytical CRM software could work at your business, let us help.

Simply take 30 seconds to complete our quick quote-finding form. Once you’ve provided us with a few details about your business, we’ll do the rest. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and wait for your phone to ring. When it does, there’ll be tailored quotes on the other end, ready for you to compare. 

It’s free for all UK-based businesses – why not try it out?


How we Analyse and Rate CRM Software Providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies. 

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems

Ratings

We rated each provider across four key metrics: their level of help and support, the price of the software, the amount of features provided, and the providers' customer approval ratings.

To do this, we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’. This is a weighted total calculated from customer feedback across a range of online review aggregators. It gives an indication of the average customer approval levels for a particular CRM.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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