Overview

If you're looking for a customizable CRM system with advanced (and affordable) marketing tools, Act! is a good choice. For more than 30 years, Act! has been finetuning its product and implementing new features based on the clients' needs. In some ways, the platform shows its age, such as the dated UI. But it doesn't lack for new and innovative marketing tools.
Pipeline is a sales-focused CRM for small to midsize companies. This "spreadsheet converter" was designed to make CRM accessible to anyone. However, Pipeline offers much more than a spreadsheet. You can see the status of your deals in real-time, automate tedious admin tasks, and receive emails and alerts--all from a single system. There are also 360-degree customer profiles so you can personalize every interaction and build stronger relationships.

Ease of use

Act! does not rate highly for user-friendliness. Virtually no aspect of the tool is intuitive, including setting up your homepage and dashboards. You will require training or at least a video session just to get up and running. Act! has a gray, dated look and feel and clunky navigation. The interface also feels crowded, and it's hard to find what you need. The CRM features powerful marketing tools, but none of them are easy to use--even once you've learned how to operate them. Competitors like HubSpot and Keap offer similar tools that are simple to use. However, Act! is much more economical. This CRM presents a clear line in the sand--do you prefer usability or affordability? Almost no other CRM provides the extensive marketing features for this price tag.
The layout will be familiar to anyone who's used a spreadsheet to track sales. From the home tab, you see your sales pipeline, which can be customized to fit your sales process. Next, you'll see three tabs: deals, people, and companies. This is where you can view and track all your contacts and leads. The agenda tab follows, which is where you'll see all of your upcoming tasks. Overdue items will automatically turn red and issue an alert. All of these tabs appear much like a spreadsheet, and you can filter according to your needs--account value, due dates, company, and more. What's more, you can integrate Pipeline with your favorite apps. This ensures all your company data "talks" to each other. For instance, integrating with Google or Outlook will automatically sync your calendar and contacts to Pipeline CRM.

Support

Several support channels are available via email, chat, and phone. In addition, Act! has a Quick Start Guide with the steps for the initial setting-up of the system. It gives you information on how to create new contacts, groups, and opportunities and how to import your data and set up marketing automation. There is also an extensive video library of tutorials. The Act! a blog is another helpful tool with tips on developing your business and building up a successful strategy.
Pipeline CRM's support team is provided by a team of US-based experts who use the platform themselves. You get access to phone support regardless of subscription tier, and they boast that someone will answer your call within a couple of rings. There are no frustrating automated systems to work through, and phone lines are open 8 am-8 pm. There is also unlimited chat and email support for all users. Online support includes guides, videos, and FAQs.

Who is it for?

Act! is best for small to medium-sized businesses that want advanced marketing tools at a fraction of the cost. Act! CRM will help you apply the right marketing strategy and multiply the number of your clients. API-supported software gives you the chance to integrate any app even if the system does not manually support it. However, users should allow for a significant learning curve and training time. You can try it free for 14 days to see if the system's benefits outweigh the outdated UI.
Pipeline CRM is best for small to medium-sized sales teams. The CRM hits the nail on the head regarding what sales reps actually need from sales software: unlimited dashboards and reports, customizable pipelines, and salesforce automation. Plus, all of this is presented in a familiar way; if you've used a spreadsheet, you can use Pipeline CRM. It's also an affordable option, with the premium subscription (US$ 49) providing access to the most advanced sales tools and automation on the market.

Ease of Use

3.7
4.3

Support

3.5
4.5

API Access

yes
yes

Free Trial

yes
yes

Free Version

no
no

Contact Management

yes
yes

Molile Access

yes
yes

Task Management

yes
yes

Social Integration

yes
yes

Email Marketing

yes
yes

Analytics & Dashboard

yes
yes

Lead Management

yes
yes

Marketing Automation

yes
yes

Already made a decision about the best CRM for your business?

To conclude, both solutions are worth your attention for boosting the business processes and enhancing the team performance.

Brief Comparison