Your firm’s customer relationship management system is the foundation for managing relationships, deals, and your complete network of potential business contacts. Copper CRM is a lightweight platform designed for speed and ease of use, but they’re not alone in the CRM market. Let’s look at the top six Copper CRM alternatives:
In order to understand which CRM will best meet your business needs, let’s explore the functionality and benefits of Copper alongside these major competitors.
Copper is a cloud-based, cross-platform CRM that integrates directly with Gmail, Google Drive, and the rest of the Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) family of products. Previously known as ProsperWorks, Copper CRM is designed to be a lightweight, simple solution focused on helping teams build lasting relationships with their clients.
The G-suite integration gives Copper a familiar look and feel to anyone that already relies on Google Suite for their day-to-day tasks. Some limited data entry automation features pull information from Gmail and Google Calendar instances and add them directly to the CRM.
Familiarity also makes it easy for small businesses and sales teams that rely on Google Workspace to get started quickly. Unfortunately, businesses that work outside of the Google family, using tools like Microsoft Outlook for their email client, are limited to either switching to Google products or spending time setting up clunky integrations. Copper is, according to their team, “made for G-suite.”
Copper’s core mission is about building enduring relationships with clients, but limited automation features and a lack of relationship intelligence—the insights into your team’s network, business relationships, and customer interactions that help you find, manage, and close deals—means that Copper CRM is still a sales CRM, designed for traditional, transactional sales processes.
If you’re a sales team that needs streamlined CRM software with the familiar Google interface, Copper is a fast, easy way to get started. Gene Marks, former senior manager at KPMG, acknowledged this about Copper, sharing that he would recommend it to sales clients that use Google apps, but “by choosing one platform over another, Copper is sacrificing some customers.” If your team doesn’t live in the world of Google Workspaces, Copper may not be for you. If you’re looking for a platform designed for investment workflows, it’s also worth looking elsewhere.
Affinity’s Relationship Intelligence CRM is purpose-built for relationship-driven investment and professional services teams and enables those teams to leverage their personal networks to find, manage, and close deals faster—all with software that every team member will find easy to use.
Affinity is able to extract historical data from your existing customer relationship and contact management system. Whether you’re working in spreadsheets or in a transactional, industry-agnostic platform like Copper, the transition to Affinity can be completed in just a few days; thanks to the flexibility to edit your team’s workflows on the platform when needed, deployment does not require months of process or engineering to implement.
Once you launch Affinity, the platform automatically captures all of your current and historical “data exhaust”—details pulled from email communications, meetings, and contact information such as names, roles, industry, and source of introduction—of every relationship you’re managing right alongside active deal pipelines, providing a comprehensive understanding of every stage of your firm’s business development.
Detailed, AI-driven insights provide a thorough understanding of your team’s collective network, quantifying and scoring the quality and depth of those relationships, and moving you beyond simplistic knowledge of who knows whom. Affinity also integrates with some of your favorite productivity, marketing automation, and file-sharing tools to further improve the platform’s scope and your workgroup’s efficiency.
An intuitive, user-oriented interface makes onboarding easy, and the simplicity rests on top of deep data sets that include industry-standard, third-party data sources like Pitchbook and Crunchbase. Lastly, real-time analytics consolidates this data into customizable dashboards, so you can review historical performance and current deal pipeline activity that allow investment and professional services teams to make faster, more accurate, data-driven decisions. If your team needs a CRM built from the ground up for building enduring business relationships, try Affinity.
Salesforce (SFDC) Sales Cloud is the world’s largest CRM platform, and its near-infinite list of integrations, add-ons, and corporate partners makes it a strong contender for any sales team in need of a CRM. Sales Cloud offers near-endless customization and tools designed for marketing, sales, and customer support teams.
SFDC supports a global network of businesses of all sizes, across countless industries, and you can integrate almost any of your existing systems and data sources using their open API. They also offer extensive training options so that your team can become SFDC experts who can create a completely customized CRM.
Unfortunately, for many deal teams, Salesforce’s greatest assets are also its greatest flaws. The platform’s broad reach means that you’ll likely pay for tools and features that you don’t need. In order to effectively make use of all of the features you do need, you’ll also need to dedicate hundreds of hours per year on additional training to manage and organize the system—something most small businesses or fast-moving investment teams don’t have the time for.
This time spent on training is on top of the 188 hours per person per year that relationship-driven deal-making teams spend on manual data entry—if your sales or deal team is entering that data. CRM adoption continues to be one of the primary causes of failure. Salesforce recognizes that in order to implement a manual CRM, your team will “require training...and change management to ensure the implementation sticks.” Since, like Copper, SFDC is dependent on manual data entry, it can quickly become outdated if your team is focused on deal-making rather than data entry (as they should be).
HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM platform designed for sales and marketing automation. With their extensive set of email marketing and communication tools and inbound approach to sales, HubSpot gives teams the ability to attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers in a single ecosystem.
HubSpot’s flywheel sales model—a model based on creating a self-sustaining cycle of marketing to sales to customer success to customer advocacy—is a standard-bearer for customer success teams. Users that rely on this specific model will be able to leverage the customer data in their CRM to create a sustainable cycle of new business. In order to support this process, HubSpot also has built-in call capabilities and the ability to build out email templates and email workflows that can replace other email marketing tools like Mailchimp.
That all said, the platform’s marketing tools are the shining star and the foundation that the CRM is built upon; sales is a secondary function for HubSpot. This gap grows wider still if you do not have a dedicated marketing team that plans to use the full suite of marketing tools—from social media auto-posting to SEO review tools and in-depth marketing analytics.
The same can be said about HubSpot’s sales and deal automation; the platform’s marketing automation software is user-oriented—easy-to-use for new marketers and complex enough that veteran teams and full agencies can rely on it to help run massive campaigns.
Sales and deal teams that need a CRM that matches to their workflows, however, will see the same issues with HubSpot as with other transactional CRMs: low adoption rates due to manual contact management, a steep learning curve that can further deter regular use, and a lack of the unique insights that help drive long-term, relationship-driven deals.
Pipedrive is an efficient, activity-driven platform dedicated to sales management. As the name would suggest, Pipedrive is a CRM designed to make lead management and pipeline management as simple and as smooth as possible.
Transactional sales teams can rely on Pipedrive’s Activity Scheduler to routinely follow up with potential leads as a built-in solution for task management. Salespeople looking for a tool that can help close one-off deals or annualized contracts will be well-equipped with the workflows they need to be successful.
While Pipedrive is a powerful CRM for sales teams, for truly relationship-focused deal teams looking for a tool that puts relationships at the forefront of relationship management, Pipedrive lacks automated data entry and relationship intelligence technology. With these missing pieces, the platform’s streamlined approach to storing and tracking deals, while efficient and easy to use, can’t provide meaningful, actionable support for building and maintaining better relationships with your business connections.
Companies that are ready for a platform built for selling can build a strong sales funnel with Pipedrive, but investment professionals and other professional services teams will be at a loss trying to map a sales tool to the nonlinear, long-lasting deals and relationships that define their business.
Read more about other Pipedrive alternatives here.
Sugar is a CRM platform built for sales, marketing, and account management automation. Its most valuable asset is that it is also an open-source platform, which means you can customize it as you see fit. Like Copper, Sugar can easily work with Google Workspace but Sugar also has the flexibility to integrate with your team’s preferred toolsets.
Sugar’s broad native features are nonetheless straightforward and lean, making it a lightweight customer relationship management software for small businesses that may not need an enterprise solution like Salesforce or HubSpot.
Its lightweight nature and open-source design can present other challenges to teams that want to build and move quickly, however. Sugar’s native toolset is trimmed down with the expectation that your team will customize and build to meet your needs. Tech-savvy teams or companies with dedicated engineering resources can build or integrate the tools they need to succeed, and small workflow automation solutions like Zapier can help fill in gaps for those with fewer resources.
SugarCRM is a great fit for startups and other small sales teams in need of a CRM, but for relationship-driven investment professionals or large scale organizations with vast networks and expansive customer databases, the manual work required to mold Sugar to fit their organization may not be worth the time or effort when more tailor-made solutions already exist.
Zoho CRM is the customer relationship management solution within the Zoho software family, a collection of tools that helps manage everything from sales to finance, IT, HR, marketing, collaboration, project management, and everything in between. The complete Zoho ecosystem makes Zoho CRM especially enticing for teams that want all of their business tech stack to work together easily. It also provides integrations with a variety of other third-party sales software.
With this wide network of available tools (and the wonder of a free pricing option for their entry-level package), Zoho CRM could serve as a great place to start for a business ready to implement or test a traditional, manual CRM. Testing out a complete CRM system, however, is a costly, exhausting endeavor. The average time for a traditional CRM deployment is about ninety days, and attempting to uproot a system and try again elsewhere will cost your team more time and more money.
For companies that are excited to work in a single software ecosystem and have the time and resources to commit to launching that ecosystem, Zoho CRM easily slots into and communicates with the rest of the Zoho suite. If your team is ready to launch a CRM in days, rather than months, and would rather spend time closing deals than entering data, other more automated, lightweight options will serve you well.
Affinity is a relationship intelligence platform for dealmakers. Many of the traditional, manual, sales-focused CRM platforms listed above serve retail, hospitality, and product sales teams perfectly well. Dealmakers in industries such as private capital, financial services, and professional services require a deep level of relationship context as their deals are defined by longer-term engagements that are much more unstructured and collaborative. They are not well served by the transactional tech stack.
Copper is a great small business CRM for Gmail: it feels familiar and accessible. But for modern dealmakers, building truly enduring business relationships starts with having insights that close deals and the freedom from the drudgery of manual data entry that comes with accurate, automatically captured data that leaves you the time to focus on relationship-building and gives you the confidence to collaborate.