At Vtiger, we are passionate about helping companies build deep customer relationships. We are a bootstrapped company ourselves, with over 15 years of legacy of supporting companies on their growth journey with our Open Source edition. Since 2021, we have supported those who wanted to take advantage of the power of this exciting new frontier with our cloud editions.
Over the past years, several new entrants introduced free editions of their offerings with severely limited capabilities. While a 360-degree view of the customer was achieved by stitching together data from multiple sources became a big talking point, we stayed focused on the core value Vtiger CRM provided from day 1.
We have a truly free Open Source CRM for those who want it, and we have genuine customer ‘One View’ baked into our cloud offerings. When we said One View, all aspects of the CRM – Marketing, Sales, Support and Analytics were operating off a single database! We were not stitching together data points to arrive at an extrapolated view of customer data.
We steadfastly stayed away from introducing a free edition while offering a 15-day no-commitment trial of everything Vtiger CRM offered.
And then 2020 happened.
It has been a rough year for companies around the world – financially and emotionally. We have a few scars of our own, but things could have been much worse. During 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, the best we could do was offer a discount on billing for those who really wanted it. It is a huge validation of how much our paying customers see the value of the offering that only a handful really needed to use the discounts. (A big thank you from all of us at Vtiger.)
As the pandemic wore on, we doubled down on improving the product experience and enriching it with exciting new functionality. The all-new V9 was rolled out mid-November to rave reviews about how easy it was to use the new CRM. The new Calculus AI engine takes intelligent automation to a whole new level. (Take a test drive today, if you haven’t already.)
We look forward to 2021 with a renewed sense of hope. Businesses big and small that drastically scaled down their operations shut down, or deferred new initiatives are now looking to get back.
And we wanted to help. We decided that in true Vtiger ethos, we want to do everything we can to help businesses come out stronger from the shadow of the pandemic in a sustainable way.
As my team and I debated on the best way to make a meaningful impact, we realized a couple of things that are core to these companies who sought to accelerate their growth in 2021.
- The Marketing and Sales technology landscape is complex. Even setting up a basic stack can be daunting if you want a 360-degree view of the customer.
- Companies don’t want a free edition for the sake of it. They need something that solves their business challenges.
- Over 300,000 businesses worldwide use Vtiger’s free on-premise solution. Ever since Vtiger CRM launched in 2004, it has been downloaded thousands of times every week. But, there is a perceptible shift. Small businesses looking for a CRM today prefer the cloud-based version to get the latest and avoid the hassle of managing the hardware and installation.
And that led to the Vtiger Re:Boot program. We are working on a bunch of things under a broad umbrella of Re:Boot to get companies set up their automated sales funnels and come ‘roaring’ back. (Yes, we will be announcing some exciting things for the Open Source edition too, under Re:Boot.)
The Vtiger Cloud CRM – Pilot edition is the first of the offerings as a part of this initiative. The Pilot is a new edition of Vtiger One to empower small businesses with the power of Customer One View. As part of the Re:Boot program, to help businesses emerge stronger, we are making it free forever for everyone that signs up in 2021.
Rapidly evolving Sales Tech and CX Toolkits.
Before I dwell more on the ‘free’ aspect, let me first talk a bit more about the complex technology landscape that I mentioned before. The Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service technology landscape is littered with hundreds of tools. In the past five years, the tools have also advanced to take advantage of AI capabilities and new communication channels such as WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Telegram, etc.
If you consider just Sales technologies, there are around 30 different application categories – from Sales Coaching to Pipeline Management to Data Enrichment to Enablement Technologies like Document sharing and Esigning.*
Marketing Tech Landscape is even more crowded, with over 8,000 tools across 40+ categories!**
If you are a small business running on spreadsheets and email inboxes, and looking to improve sales and customer service, which tool(s) would you pick? There are, in fact, many free tools if you are willing to scatter your customer data in a dozen different apps.
- Appointment pages – Calendly.com
- Email sequences – Mixmax
- Group mailboxes – Frontapp
- Contact management – HubSpot
- Document management – Pandadoc
- Sales Pipeline management- Insightly
- Email Ticketing – Freshdesk
- Email Marketing – Mailchimp
- Project Management – Asana.com
- Business Card Scanner in Mobile app – CamCard
Just think about the implications of using these single-function tools. You will be asking your salesperson to login to six different applications for their daily activities. The thought of it might scare you. More importantly, expecting anything good to come out of dealing with dozen different tools is silly.
If you want your sales and customer service agents to delight prospects and customers, you should give them a tool that empowers them with a 360 degree view of the customer.
- Startups and first time CRM users
- Teams that are growing out of spreadsheets
- Small teams struggling to increase productivity while using a bundle of tools
What are the top problems Vtiger One Pilot solves?
- Scattered customer data.
- This leads to poor and uninformed conversations with customers.
- Sales and Customer service reps lose valuable time in gathering information.
- Salespersons miss follow-ups.
- Deals are lost.
- Repetitive tasks drain the time of salespersons.
- Sales reps lose time in many repetitive jobs that can be automated. For example, lead creation, email sequences, and appointment pages.
- Poor internal collaboration
- When conversations happen out of context, you and your colleagues are scampering for more details.
- Responses to customers are delayed or incomplete.
3 reasons to choose Vtiger One Pilot
- Breadth and depth of features
- Ready dashboards
- Custom charts and reports
- Idle contact alerts
- Customizable sales stages
- Deal contact roles
- Group mailboxes
- Appointment pages
- Custom templates for quotes
- Email templates library and a drag-and-drop email builder
- Add-ins within Gmail/Office 365
- Email marketing
- Case management with SLA
- Mobile App with Geofence and Quotation capabilities
- Custom fields
- Custom lists
- Lead forms
- Easy to use UI
- Deal One View
- Contact One view
- Customizable main menu to allow each user to personalize
- Kanban Views for Deals and Tasks
- Dark mode support
- Built-in dialer
- Robust Integrations with your current tools
- Meeting apps – Google Meet, Zoom (MS Teams is coming soon)
- Email apps – GMail, Office 365-sync
- Phone systems – Twilio, Plivo, Telzio, ..
- SMS gateways
- & over 2000 more apps via Zapier.com. (Paid plans also include integrations with Accounting systems, Payment systems, & more.)
- Email support with 24 hour response time. (Paid plans include phone and real-time chat support)
Why did Vtiger make it free forever? And what is the catch?
We did think over the question of a ‘forever free plan’ for a long time. Ultimately, the decision came down to these two reasons:
- The 15 day trial period is too short to realize the benefits and assess full capabilities.
- Many businesses are facing hard choices. Business owners have to find ways to do more with the same resources or less. Technology can help businesses increase productivity, but owners with tight budgets need proof.
Vtiger Pilot edition is priced at $5 per user (on annual billing), but this fee is waived for businesses signing up in 2021.
The catch is that you might want more out of Vtiger when you see it working for your business. It might only take a few months for that to happen. When you do, we hope you will upgrade to one of our many affordable paid plans.
What are the limits in the Pilot edition?
- 10 users
- 3000 records
- 2 custom fields per module
- 1 appointment page per user
- 1 group mailbox
- 1 personal mailbox per user
- 1 Pipeline with customizable sales stages
- 1 SLA
- 1 Business Hours
- 3 GB total storage
What are the prices for paid plans?
When you upgrade to a paid plan, you will still pay but less than 30% of what you would be paying for the multiple single-function tools. Instead of paying $10 to $30 for each of these tools (total over $400), you will be paying between $10 (Eg., Sales Starter) to $50 per user per month (Eg., One Enterprise).
- One View with one product – for Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing automation.
- Vtiger started in 2004 with the mission of bringing the best of business automation to small and midsize businesses.
- Over 300,000 businesses worldwide use Vtiger. It is available in 20 languages.
- Vtiger is the #1 open source CRM.
- Vtiger has earned numerous plaudits in G2Crowd, Gartner (in MagicQuadrant for Salesforce Automation).
- Our Customer Service team is second to none.
Get started with Vtiger One Pilot.
For more details, please visit the Pilot Edition page on our website.
For a full list of features, please click here.
*Source: SalesTech Landscape from SalesHacker.com
**Source: Martech Today