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Freshworks CRM Review

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
  • The perfect CRM software for your company automatically organizes all of your continuously changing customer data, freeing your team to focus their time on the activities that drive sales.
  • Smaller businesses with limited resources should look for a CRM software platform that helps them engage with the right leads at the right time.
  • We examined the industry's most popular platforms and chose Freshworks as the best CRM software for communication tools.
  • This review is for business owners searching for an all-in-one CRM software platform that prioritizes customer engagement and that uses AI. 

Freshworks CRM (formally FreshSales) is an AI-powered software platform developed to score leads with a 360-degree view of your customers. Their automated tools can capture and combine all of your customers' experiences in one place, leading to actionable insights that improve the efficiency of your sales and marketing efforts. In addition to customer data, your communications methods are centralized, with support for email, phone, chat, WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat and SMS.

Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM

The Verdict

Freshworks CRM replaces time-consuming, repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus on attracting quality leads, engaging across multiple channels, nurturing customer relationships and closing deals faster.

Freshworks CRM features an artificial intelligence assistant named Freddy. Freddy can automatically enrich your contacts with publicly listed information, prioritize leads with predictive contact scoring, and handle basic chat messages on your website with a lead-generation bot capable of providing relevant information and valuable content.

Pricing

Freshworks' CRM "customer-for-life cloud" offers three subscription plans. These plans are differentiated by total features, available frequency of use for some tools and the number of marketing contacts.

Add-ons are available for any subscription level to increase the number of contacts, workflows, and additional feature options, including WhatsApp Business, phone credits, dedicated IP addresses, conversion rate optimization, and company-branded documents for quotes. For teams interested in sales or marketing-specific CRM cloud services, Freshworks offers separate plans at a slightly lower rate for the Pro and Enterprise-level options.

We like the 21-day, no-credit-card-required free trial offer that lets you import data and test any subscription level you desire. 

  • Growth starts at $29 per user per month, billed annually. It includes 1,000 marketing contacts, predictive contact scoring, basic segmentation, basic custom fields, deal management, a visual sales pipeline, live visitor tracking, email sync, workflows, email templates, automated marketing journeys, basic phone services, a chat widget, SMS and Facebook Messenger integration, and mobile functionality.
  • Pro starts at $69 per user per month, billed annually. Pro includes 3,000 marketing contacts, a lead gen bot, an answer bot, smart forms, deal insights, a product catalog, territory management, conference calling, WhatsApp and Apple Business chat, offline functionality on mobile devices, and the modest expansion of most limited features from the Growth bundle. 
  • Enterprise starts at $125 per user per month, billed annually. Enterprise includes 5,000 marketing contacts, dedicated account management, advanced metrics, sales forecasting with insights, field-level permissions, automated marketing emails, auto-customer profile enrichment, and the vast expansion of most limited features from the Growth and Pro bundles.

Usability

We reviewed the "Customer-for-Life Cloud" at the Enterprise subscription level to explore all of the available features. It's worth noting that the lower-tier bundles offer many of the same features, with limits placed on the frequency of use for many tools. We like how every learning module includes an estimated time to completion, giving you a great idea of the time commitment required.

Many of the advanced features are still difficult to get set up if you're not experienced with rule-based tools, similar to Excel or Google Analytics. Some may struggle to implement sales sequences, chatbot flows and some advanced features. However, you can find easy-to-use templates for many important automations, such as abandoned cart communications, welcome email subscriptions, re-engagement campaigns and simple autoresponders.

For smaller businesses that have not yet developed activities like retargeting campaigns, Freshworks makes it easy to get up to speed with modern marketing practices. But the advanced communication features could take some time to learn, implement and use effectively.

Did you know?Did you know? When you are first setting up Freshworks, the platform provides guided tours and brief video tutorials to help you accomplish everything from building custom reports to creating customer journeys.

With Freshworks, you can automate several types of communications to customers, such as abandoned cart communications, welcome email subscriptions and simple autoresponses.

Features

Chat campaigns You can engage with your website visitors at critical times in the customer journey.
Freddy AI You can receive actionable sales forecasts based on historical data, engagement and customer activities.
Reports Customizable visual reports measure KPIs in ways that make sense for everyone on your team.
Predictive contact scoring Lead scoring demonstrates how likely a lead is to become a customer.

 

Chat Campaigns

Chatbots add a unique opportunity to engage with your leads and customers in two different ways. Freshworks provides users with the ability to proactively target website visitors based on location, identity or their activity on your site. Chatbots communicate with these uses with triggered (push) messages. You can easily select the appropriate team member to receive any replies to a chat campaign, ensuring your leads always reach the correct members of your team. You may also use targeted messages for your logged-in customers using rules or a combination of rules with "and"/"or" filters. Setting up the correct targeting or proper workflow is a slightly complex process. However, the ability to provide marketers with another means of communication at the perfect moment in the customer journey makes it worth the time to learn and optimize.

Freddy AI

Given the identity of a cartoon dog with glasses, Freddy is a data collection hound whose purpose is to assist your sales team with the best information possible. The software learns from your CRM data to provide actionable insights, predictions and recommendations. Freddy also has automation capabilities to qualify website visitor leads in real time, helping sales teams distinguish between hot and cold leads, identify deals that are near closing, and get in front of a near-lost opportunity before it's too late. For international businesses, Freddy bots support more than 50 languages.

Visualizations of open deals give you a sense of which deals are likely to close, and which deals are in trouble.

Reports

Freshworks CRM's data visualizations make it easy for everyone in the organization to understand the data being presented. Custom reports are easy to build using a drag-and-drop widget system to add any number of charts, text fields, and images with an assortment of style options. You can also build from dozens of templates to help accomplish any analysis quickly. Once you've developed the ideal report, you can schedule it and send it to colleagues or present it from within your Freshworks dashboard.

Freshworks' reporting data is shown in various visualizations.

Predictive Contact Scoring

Freshworks makes it easy to differentiate qualified leads from unqualified prospects, allowing sales and marketing teams to focus their energy more efficiently. Predefined criteria segment your leads into hot, warm and cool based on your ideal customer profile. You can customize the scoring based on any rule-based criteria. For example, you can offer a better score when a visitor has recently interacted with one of your marketing emails. 

TipTip: Lead scoring can improve your overall conversion rates by helping you to focus your marketing and advertisement dollars on people who are more likely to become customers.

Predictive contact scoring allows you to gauge how likely a lead is to become a customer so you can spend your time and money marketing to them accordingly.

Setup

Implementation is fairly simple with the right help. Even the demo account provides you with an option to schedule a complimentary 30-minute onboarding session, which we have not seen offered by other providers. At the time of our review, we could schedule a same-day appointment within two hours, and there was wide open availability for the rest of the week.

Suppose you'd prefer to tackle implementation on your own. In that case, you'll have help from the guided wizard to walk you through the process of importing your contacts, connecting your email, reviewing your sales pipeline, creating your marketing journey and inviting your team. These steps only take a few minutes to complete.

TipTip: Take advantage of the 30-minute onboarding session to establish a checklist of things you should keep an eye on during implementation. Most companies do not offer an onboarding session, especially not for free.

Customer Service

All service plan levels receive support by phone, chat and email 24 hours a day, five days per week. However, enterprise subscribers receive a dedicated account manager who can personally resolve issues and relay your company's feedback to Freshworks. Freshworks has a robust knowledgebase with easy-to-follow, detailed how-to's covering many frequently asked questions. They also have digital guides for admins to learn how to do everything from CRM basics to web analytics and management. 

Drawbacks

Many of the features in the Customer-for-Life Cloud are restricted by frequency and require add-ons at an extra monthly cost to expand their use. With many tools facing user limits, it can be difficult to estimate how much of everything you'll need when shopping for a plan and determining your actual cost. For a solution with straightforward pricing plans, consider Keap, the best CRM for ease of use.

Some of the advanced features are lacking in easy-to-use templates or existing examples to reverse engineer. It might be very difficult and time-consuming to build so many new processes from scratch for a business that's new to chatbots, advanced reporting or complex workflows. While it's true that each business is going to implement these advanced features in different ways, some general guidelines to copy may be helpful for newer businesses that aren't as familiar with CRM software and its capabilities.

Summary

We recommend Freshworks for:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses needing help modernizing their sales and marketing efforts with AI-powered tools
  • International businesses that require AI-powered communication support in multiple languages
  • Businesses that want the ability to screen their leads based on any relevant rule-based criteria

We DON'T recommend Freshworks for:

  • Brand-new businesses without historical sales data
  • Smaller businesses relying heavily on fully formed templates to build email campaigns and advanced reports

Image Credit: shironosov / Getty Images
Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM

The Verdict

Freshworks CRM replaces time-consuming, repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus on attracting quality leads, engaging across multiple channels, nurturing customer relationships and closing deals faster.

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jeff Hale is a writer and editor based in San Diego with a background in business development and marketing. He has identified new market opportunities for Fortune 500 companies and developed communications strategies and digital branding for tech startups and small businesses. Jeff covers emerging technologies and business solutions with a focus on efficiency and growth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Chapman University.