TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • SCRM
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho
  • Salesforce
  • Pipedrive
  • Final Thoughts

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    To succeed as a freight broker, you’ll need to seamlessly juggle communication with both new and existing customers. Whether you’re a small, independent freight broker or a large enterprise, you need the best customer relationship management tool (CRM) to manage all your leads and customers in one place.

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    With so many CRMs on the market, it can be difficult to find one that’s most effective for your business. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 5 of the best CRMs for freight brokers.

    1. SCRM

    Supply Chain Relationship Management (SCRM) is a unique and among the best CRM tools designed specifically for freight brokers and logistics professionals. Many of the top CRMs on the market do not have 3PL-specific features, which limits their value for professional freight brokers. These industry-specific features will help you provide a better service to your leads and clients.

    Best CRM for Freight Brokers - SCRM

    Best Features

    • Logistics Dashboard: One of SCRM’s best features is its dashboard that presents the most valuable data for freight brokers all in one place. These include shipment count, shipment frequency, client ranking by awarded shipments, and more. It also presents general information crucial to sales, such as revenues, profits, gross margins, and more.
    • Integrations: SCRM readily integrates with some of the most popular logistics applications on the market. These include DAT, TomTom, PC Miller, BlueGrace, LOADPlus, and more. It also integrates with any TMS, WMS, or accounting system to optimize the exchange of data between your systems. This allows you to maintain workflows and processes with existing applications.
    • Quoting Tool: Another one of SCRM’s best features is its powerful quoting tool that allows freight brokers to generate detailed logistics quotes. It lets you create consolidated or separate FTL, LTL, Intermodal, FCL, LCL, Air, and Warehousing quotes in three minutes or less. You’ll also be able to access right from SCRM real-time pricing from over 100+ carriers, current market conditions, and historical customer pricing to inform your quotes. This lets you secure more shipments and win more profitable deals.

    Shortcomings

    SCRM is a relatively new application, so the program doesn’t offer a comprehensive set of tools like Hubspot or Salesforce. But unlike those generic CRMs, it provides the essential features and tools that freight brokers need for their operations, with new features constantly being added monthly.

    Reputation might also be a factor since it’s less mature than Hubspot or Salesforce. SCRM started development in 2019, opened to the public in 2022, and is now used by some of the fastest-growing freight brokers in the US. It is also helmed by professionals with over 35 years of logistics and technology experience, including experience from C.H. Robinson, one of the biggest 3PLs in the world.

    Pricing

    SCRM offers a free version with a variety of sales and contact management tools made specifically for freight brokers. There are also three payment plans available with additional features for organizations of a variety of sizes. Prices are billed per license. These include:

    • Basic: $24/month, includes unlimited contacts and companies, logistics dashboard, reports, notes, locations, and tools to track your meetings, calls, tasks, and emails.
    • Standard: $41.25/month, includes everything from the Basic plan, advanced quoting tool, sales cycles, sales pipeline, unlimited integrations, and auto call and email sync.
    • Advanced: $48.25/month, includes all features from the Standard plans but with unlimited sales cycles and quotes.

    View the full pricing table and request a demo of SCRM here.

    2. HubSpot

    HubSpot is one of the most popular CRMs on the market. While it isn’t best designed for freight brokers, this CRM has a huge range of features, and you can take the time to customize the program to meet your needs. Here are some of HubSpot’s most notable features.

    Best CRM for Freight Brokers - HubSpot

    Best Features

    • Powerful Marketing Suite: The program started out as a marketing automation tool and later expanded to offer a CRM with sales features. As a result, the marketing features within HubSpot are arguably the most valuable aspect of the program. This makes it a good CRM choice for freight brokers who want to expand their customer outreach options and manage their sales. There’s even a content management tool to help you manage your social media and blog posts.
    • Sales Features: HubSpot offers a variety of automated CRM features to help your sales team manage leads. These include call and email tracking as well as a variety of email templates.
    • Intuitive Mobile Apps: HubSpot has a mobile app that you can use to manage your sales on the go. The apps are generally very intuitive and easy to use.
    • Service and Operations Software: In addition to sales and marketing features, HubSpot also offers helpful options for customer service management as well as internal operations management.

    Shortcomings

    While HubSpot does offer integrations, there aren’t very many freight-specific integrations. This means you may need to manually transfer data between applications or use a separate application to do specific tasks.

    Additionally, HubSpot’s large suite of software products can be overwhelming for smaller freight brokers or those new to CRMs. If you only need to use a few CRM features or are looking for a simple and straightforward program, this CRM might not be the best choice for freight brokers.

    HubSpot’s prices are also higher than many of its competitors. Customers must also sign an annual contract, meaning you’re locked into their services for an entire year. Because of this, it’s very important to ensure the service is worth it before making a purchase.

    Pricing

    All of HubSpot’s software programs offer free tools, allowing freight brokers to test some its best CRM features before making a purchase. Their pricing can be complex, though, as they have multiple products with extra purchases, which could significantly increase the cost of the service. They also have the option to purchase the whole suite of products at a discount and an option to create bundles. Here’s an overview of their pricing plans:

    • Marketing
      • Starter subscription starts at $18/month
      • Professional starts at $800/month
      • Enterprise starts at $3,600/month
    • Sales
      • Starter subscription starts at $18/month
      • Professional starts at $450/month
      • Enterprise starts at $1,200/month
    • Customer Service
      • Starter subscription starts at $18/month
      • Professional starts at $450/month
      • Enterprise starts at $1,200/month
    • CMS
      • Starter subscription starts at $23/month
      • Professional subscription starts at $360/month
      • Enterprise starts at $1,200/month
    • Operations
      • Starter subscription starts at $18/month
      • Professional subscription starts at $720/month
      • Enterprise starts at $2,000/month

    3. Zoho

    Zoho is another popular CRM that is best known for its straightforward, user-friendly interface, which freight brokers would like. It’s easy to set up and get started immediately, even if you’re not tech-savvy. This makes it a popular choice for small to mid-sized businesses. Here are some of Zoho’s notable features.

    Best CRM for Freight Brokers - Zoho

    Best Features

    • Automated Sales Features: Zoho has features to help you automate your sales pipeline, from lead management to customer relationship.
    • Marketing Features: Additionally, Zoho has a full suite of marketing features to help you manage email campaigns, social media posts, and your website.
    • Quoting and Invoicing Tools: Zoho offers several features to help you generate quotes and invoices.

    Shortcomings

    Zoho’s biggest shortcoming is that it doesn’t offer logistics-specific features and integrations. Also, their integrations are only available with the paid version and can be tricky to set up. This makes it difficult to customize the CRM to best suit freight brokers’ needs.

    Additionally, Zoho doesn’t have the functionality that larger enterprise-level teams may need. The mobile app options are limited, which can be challenging for teams that frequently work on the go.

    Pricing

    Zoho is known for being one of the most cost-effective CRMs on the market, which makes it a good option for independent freight brokers and small teams on a budget. There is both a free version and a variety of affordable paid options available. Their prices are billed per user. These include:

    • Basic: This plan starts at $14/month and focuses on managing your sales cycle.
    • Professional: This plan starts at $23/month and has additional features to focus on business growth.
    • Enterprise: This plan starts at $40/month and comes with the full CRM suite.
    • Ultimate: This plan starts at $52/month and comes with the full CRM suite as well as advanced business intelligence features.

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    4. Salesforce

    Salesforce is often considered the world’s largest CRM, constantly expanding with new features. Here’s what makes Salesforce such a popular choice.

    Best CRM for Freight Brokers - Salesforce

    Best Features

    • Comprehensive Suite: This CRM is fully customizable with endless features, so it works well for teams that need plenty of flexibility. The platform also offers a wide range of automated features to help you save time while processing deals and checking in with clients. In addition to sales management features, Salesforce has expanded to offer features for marketing, customer service, data storage, and more.
    • Integrations: The Salesforce company owns a variety of other SaaS tools like Slack and Tableau, which makes for easy integrations. However, the program doesn’t offer integrations with freight-specific applications.
    • AI Tools: Like many other tech companies, Salesforce has begun integrating artificial intelligence into its products. These include an AI chatbot to help you with everything from sales emails to business analytics.

    Shortcomings

    This CRM has a massive suite of features that is often too overwhelming and too expensive for smaller freight brokers. These features aren’t logistics-specific either, so it may be difficult to customize to your needs.

    Additionally, Salesforce takes time to integrate into your system, and many companies even need to bring on an expert Salesforce consultant to get the job done. While the program is very powerful, the UI can also be very confusing, especially for those just getting started.

    Pricing

    Since the SalesForce suite is so large, the exact amount you’ll pay will vary depending on the individual features you use. Talking to a SalesForce representative is the best way to get a quote. SalesForce does offer a free trial of many of its features before you buy.

    5. Pipedrive

    Pipedrive is a simple, straightforward CRM that focuses on keeping your sales pipeline organized. Here are some of the best features this CRM offers.

    Best CRM for Freight Brokers - Pipedrive

    Best Features

    • Sales Pipeline Visualization: This program offers a clear visualization of your pipeline in columns, and you can sort your contacts into each column based on where they are in the sales pipeline.
    • Email Management: Pipedrive syncs with your email, allowing you to track relevant sales communications.
    • Intuitive Set-Up: This CRM is simple and has fewer automated features than the other tools on this list. However, this is a good option if you’re looking for a quick and easy-to-set up, affordable, and intuitive CRM.

    Shortcomings

    Pipedrive’s features are very simple and straightforward. While this can be good for smaller organizations that don’t want an overwhelming CRM, the limited functionality won’t likely be enough for larger organizations that are growing rapidly. Additionally, Pipedrive doesn’t offer many options for customization, and doesn’t offer any logistics-specific features either.

    Pricing

    Pipedrive doesn’t offer any free plans, although they offer a free trial for most of them. Pipedrive’s plans are paid per user. Their paid plans include:

    • Essential: $12.50/month, lets you set up simple sales processes
    • Advanced: $24.90/month, includes full email sync and automation builder
    • Professional: $49.90/month, focuses on deeper reporting capabilities, field customizations, and document management
    • Power: $59.90/month, offers more flexibility and customization for larger teams
    • Enterprise: $74.90/month, offers complete access to all features as well as unlimited reports and customization

     

    Final Thoughts

    If you’re looking to grow your brokerage business, improve your customer experience, and make your operations more efficient, you’ll need the best CRM for freight brokers. The right CRM will help you convert more leads into happy customers and retain them as much as possible. To make sure you’re getting the best value from your CRM, opt for one that works best for your freight brokerage.

    To see a demo of a CRM made specifically for a freight broker, click here.

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    Thank you for reading our article. For more educational content, you can explore all our blogs here. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook for supply chain trends and efficiency tips. If you have other inquiries or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us here!

    ABOUT AUTHOR

    Hector Sunol Information Technology Expert

    Hector is IFS’s co-founder and CEO, with over 21 years of experience leading and managing companies and IT operations for large and mid-size businesses. Hector is also the co-founder and CEO of Cyzerg, a technology company specializing in innovating software solutions for warehouses and DCs. Before IFS and Cyzerg, Hector was senior director of technical operations, overseeing an e-commerce website with more than one million monthly transactions.