Apptivo which is being offered starting at $8 per user per month for the Premium edition (billed annually), is an affordable and customizeable customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It is a great option for companies seeking a customizeable solution with various strategic integrations and excellent mobile platform support. While not as recognizable as fellow Editors’ Choice winners Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional and Zoho CRM, it stands out as a robust platform and a good fit for small to midsize businesses (SMB) for its ease of use and reasonable price.
Apptivo CRM offers a free Starter plan and two paid plans, Premium and Ultimate. We tested the Premium plan ($10 per user per month, billed monthly, or $8 per user per month, billed annually), which gives you company branding, IMAP email, reports, message templates, 3 gigabytes (GB) of storage per user, license and insurance tracking, invoicing, third-party integrations, and much more.
Stepping up to Ultimate ($25 per user per month, billed monthly, or $20 per user per month, billed annually) adds more storage, more application programming interface (API) requests per day, 24-hour phone support, and access to select apps such as Properties, Sales Planning, and Territory Management. For higher-end needs, the company offers an Enterprise tier, which adds features like a dedicated instance and white labeling, though you’ll need to contact Apptivo for pricing.
To get started with Apptivo, you can sign up for the 30-day trial, explore the different tiers of service, or sign up for the free version of the software. On the Pricing page, you’ll find a comparison chart that shows the differences between the tiers and and a link to Apptivo Enterprise. The latter is Apptivo’s way of helping larger companies get set up with the right functionality from the start; it has custom pricing with high-volume discounts available.
Signing into Apptivo reveals the agenda view with your weekly calendar and tasks, which are lined up in a navigation panel on the right. You can set it to list view, or view the day, week, or month. Likewise, you can customize your task view to see today’s tasks or overdue, upcoming, or completed tasks.
On the left side of the page are links to commonly used resources, including your calendar, tasks, call logs, work queue, follow-ups, emails, and notes. Along the top are drop-down menus that will take you to any apps you’ve added. When you first set up the software, Apptivo asks a few questions about the type of business you conduct. Your answers will generate a list of suggested apps that companies like yours find helpful in Apptivo.
Selecting among Apptivo’s 40-plus apps is a significant part of getting the software up and running, and luckily, you can customize them as you go. If you’re in retail sales, for example, you’ll want to add product management and supply chain tools to your suite, such as the orders, inventory management, and shipping apps. This level of customization is available in Zoho CRM, but Apptivo feels even friendlier in its approach.
Whatever you need to create, be it a project, deal, lead, or opportunity, you’ll find it under the Category links at the top of your page. For a project, click the Project Management drop-down menu, and then click Projects. You’ll land on your projects newsfeed, where you can see all project activity from anyone on your team. Click the Create a Project button on the left, and you can choose whether to create a new project from scratch or modify an existing project. Optionally, you can add a budget so the software can generate an invoice or timesheet with the click of a button when it’s time to get paid.
Any tasks or scheduled activities that you attach to a project, lead, contact, or anything else within Apptivo will show up on your agenda. Any changes made or tasks needed will show up in your teammates’ newsfeeds, unless you choose differently in the settings. If you don’t like something in the software, you can change it.
Apptivo also has tools called triggers to build custom workflow automation rules for any given app. Rules can be based on specific events or by detecting events over time. The sales apps also include added tooling for managing multiple sales pipelines, and the ability to define built-in logic to control when deals can move to the next stage.
The platform also includes robust campaign management features. In addition to Apptivo’s ability to create email templates and send emails to your contacts, you get mass email marketing. Companies can develop targeted lists of CRM contacts for specific campaigns, for which they can create a custom email template using the platform’s visual designer.
This level of customization also extends to field options. A Reference Attribute field gives users the ability to form custom associations between data in different Apptivo apps, such as taking CRM data (like business addresses or payment terms) and displaying them in another app (such as an invoice). Another new field type is Custom Formulas, which can be used to calculate metrics such as a sales commission based on a specific deal amount. The final new option is Field Conditions, which allow administrators to create workflow rules inside a field layout—for example, constructing visibility rules that will hide or display fields and sections on a form based on a user’s input.
Power Tip: Custom Field Conditions
If you want your employees to love the software, you need to keep it simple. Make sure you leverage Apptivo’s powerful configuration tools to fine-tune every detail for your company. You don’t need to be a programmer to make complicated changes to the system; it just takes a little time and thought to reduce clutter, use correct terminology, enforce business rules, and facilitate actions for your team.
One key area to look at is in the Master Layout where you can select which fields are present in every Apptivo app and how they appear to your users. When determining what a contact profile looks like, take advantage of Field Conditions, which let you build a workflow that guides each user when they are updating details in the CRM.
Let’s say an employee is entering a new lead into the system. At this point, he or she only needs to input contact details. You can make the other fields conditionally visible, so they only display when needed. You might add a field for the type of service (Shipping, Consulting, Distribution) and then show the user the next set of required details when they select a type.
You can build your entire workflow using tools like this and let the software guide your users through each step of your business process.
Reporting and Third-Party Integrations
Apptivo’s list of compatible software is relatively short, but that’s because there is hardly anything that can’t be accomplished natively within Apptivo. Third-party options include Google G Suite, Office 365, Slack, QuickBooks, Xero, Paypal, RingCentral, and Dropbox. The RingCentral integration gives users the ability to automatically have calls logged into the CRM with corresponding contacts, or make an outbound call by clicking a contact’s phone number.
Apptivo offers so much functionality that you can conduct every aspect of your business within this app. However, if you use separate accounting or project management software, you’ll probably wish you could integrate these tools rather than move everything to Apptivo. For instance, you can’t import files from other accounting software, so you have to start from scratch if you choose to use Apptivo’s invoicing features. Third-party integrations are where Salesforce shines with its massive ecosystem.
There are versions of the Apptivo app for Android and iPhone. Like everything else about Apptivo, the mobile app can be customized to fit your company’s needs. Previously, Apptivo had separate apps for some functions such as invoicing or support, but as of 2020, all mobile functionality is in one app.
Chat support is incredibly responsive, and it’s a huge plus that it’s available 24 hours a day. A little button hovers at the bottom of every page offering you support via chat, so help is never far away. Phone support is also available 24 hours a day for the Ultimate plan, but the other packages have limited phone support hours. You can also contact the company by email or social media (the Twitter account is much more active than the Facebook page).
Apptivo also has granular security control for what actions different users can perform in each app within the CRM. Beyond controlling data, reports, and access to fields, Apptivo offers controls over searching capability and all individual actions inside the app. Administrators can restrict access to performing bulk operations, deleting records, emailing contacts, viewing notes, and importing or exporting contact data.
One-Stop Customizable CRM for SMBs
Apptivo’s wide range of functionality makes it a do-it-all CRM tool and companies that invest in it will get a solution that mirrors the he functionality of higher-cost products like Salesforce, plus a ton of customization options. SMBs can tweak and tool Apptivo as their business grows.
It’s this flexibility that makes it a one-stop solution for just about any organization, regardless of size. All of this earns Apptivo our Editors’ Choice for CRM software, which it shares with Zoho CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional.
The Bottom Line
A solid example of an all-round CRM solution that ticks all the boxes for most SMBs. Powerful features, affordable pricing, and an intuitive interface make Apptivo CRM an outstanding Editors’ Choice pick.