The UAE is a special region that is unlike many other countries, with a high number of expatriates coming and going, an ever-changing landscape and an energetic drive to modernise, digitise and push forward as a competitive player in the world of business. These unique features make Dubai and the greater UAE an interesting place to operate a business, one where implementing an engaging and nurturing customer relationship experience can quickly propel an organisation to the top spot in a customers mind.
Any company that cares about growth needs CRM. CRM tools help businesses to organise and manage customer information so that they are best equipped to enhance the quality of their interactions. This can cover everything from Sales tracking calls to ensure customers and prospects are periodically contacted, or Marketing scheduling automated activities to entice prospective customers and existing customers to take affirmative action.
Selecting the Right CRM in the UAE
With so many CRMs now entering the market, it can be hard to tell which is best, especially when most information online is written for users in other markets, where the dynamics of business can be very different. For example, here in the UAE, there are unfortunately many companies that are lacking when it comes to customer service standards. While that is unfortunate for customers, it presents a massive opportunity for businesses looking to stand out from the crowd. The power of CRM -- despite being a critical tool for every business anywhere -- can be felt much greater here than abroad.
While customer service can sometimes be lacking in the UAE, it has been set to an extremely high standard elsewhere in the world and any business that is able to level up to what expats are used to experiencing at home, are going to quickly become a hotspot for those craving the touches they were previously accustomed to.
UAE CRM Comparison Guide
In the UAE, the most used features of CRM are:
Contact management - Capturing contact details of customers or prospects to track interactions with them and be able to find them in searches based on things like location, gender, age, last communication, purchase history, etc.
Lead nurturing - Using the above information to set reminders to keep in touch with contacts, schedule promotions for them, invite them to events, etc.
Email marketing - Again, using the above features to create emailing marketing campaigns to share news, deals, product information or whatever else to nurture the relationship and encourage them to take action; click, share, buy, call.
Sales forecasting - Combining all of this information to get an overview of what sales are likely to come through, where prospects are at in the buying cycle and what the analytics suggest in terms of conversions.
With these in mind, let's compare the best CRM platforms in the UAE:
HubSpot is an intuitive CRM that is easy to use and is wildly popular across the UAE and the world. The CRM itself is entirely free and handles all of the contact management and lead nurturing features a business needs. For those looking for some more sophisticated Sales and Marketing tools, they offer the Sales Hub, with integrations of Gmail and Outlook calendars and email, as well as customisable contact properties, deal stages, pipeline, opportunity tracking, tasks, website chat and bots, email tracking, reporting, meeting scheduling link per user. Upgrading to HubSpot Sales Professional gives users multiple pipelines, and integrating HubSpot Marketing allows businesses to bring campaign management and marketing integration into the CRM.
Salesforce.com has long been a business favourite. The Salesforce Essentials plan gives its users basic contact management features, along with task and event tracking, Outlook & Gmail integration, mobile app access, a content library, reporting, and Chatter (their internal chat tool). For those looking for more advanced Sales and Marketing features, Salesforce has an entire suite of add-ons to meet any needs, as long as the budget is available.
3. Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics is one for the enterprise-sized organisations. The platform easily covers the necessary features expected in any CRM, plus it performs a range of reports and advanced Sales and Marketing services, like automation, to build strong customer relationships and improve sales. As a large, comprehensive platform, this one does need a dedicated person to manage it.
Zoho is easy to use, offers a good set of standard features, and has a vast range of advanced features and third-party integrations available to those who purchase advanced plans. The basic plan includes workflow automation, sales gamification, sales process builder, Professional adds on Google AdWords integration, and their Enterprise plan brings the user an AI sales assistant.
Pipedrive is a sales focussed CRM that has small plans with basic functionality making it best for smaller businesses that mostly want to focus on the contact capture and lead nurturing processes. It does have a decent pipeline tracker for sales forecasting, but limited features for marketing.
Infusionsoft is a small business CRM with comprehensive plans for sales and marketing solutions to capture leads, track behaviour and design campaigns, including unlimited landing pages, CRM, marketing automation, unlimited emails, invoices and payments, and free customer support.
All in all, each platform has a place as one of the best CRMs for UAE businesses. Which to implement would depend on the size of the company and what features are important to help nurture customers and boost growth.