We often get the question "How does Copper compare to Streak?" With Copper's basic pricing starting at $25 per user per month, and Streak starting at $0 per user per month, it's a good question. We've answered this question in private more times than we can count, so last time we got asked we decided to post it here as a blog post. Keep reading for a candid comparison of Streak VS. Copper written by Efficient App's Founder, Alex Bass.
Super curious, any chance you're familiar with Streak? Streak seems to similarly tightly integrate with Google and I could get a discount on Streak too. Do you have any knowledge of Streak or red flags vs Copper (or major advantages with Copper)? I can't find much literature online comparing the two.
I'm actually intimately familiar with Streak CRM, that's actually the first CRM I cut my teeth on. I implemented it into my own business in 2014, and then my stepfather's business in 2015, and then recommended it to 43North as a CRM in 2016 (of which they used it for a year as per my recommendation). I really liked it, until I didn't.
My Journey With Streak
Over time, I had a lot of frustrations with Streak, it was more of spreadsheet than a CRM, and the killer was how much it slowed down Gmail. Gmail would take 2-4 seconds to load normally, and then streak would take 20-30 seconds to load on top of that. So when I wanted to quickly do something even in Gmail, it was being bogged down by Streak.
I started realizing that while I thought I liked the idea of an all-in-one tool (baked right into Gmail), it was actually the thing that made me despise it.
The Functionality of Streak
Streak positions itself as a CRM, but it doesn't function in many ways as a normal CRM does. What Streak really is, is a glorified spreadsheet within Gmail.
And while many might be like "what's wrong with that?" it's that it will lead to bad data entry practices and duplicate information without a single source of truth.
Which is the core problem with spreadsheets: it's so easy to create a new column of a data-point that you want to "track" on a standalone pipeline, and the next thing you know, sales reps are building out their pipeline structure, storing information on the "Box" (equivalent to an Opportunity in a traditional CRM), that should be stored on the person/company record traditionally.
Problems Mounting Up With Streak
What I saw after these 2-3 years of using Streak, was that my clients and I all had tons of duplicate data across different pipelines, wondering which one is the most up-to-date data.
Duplicate records of "John Doe" with the same and different email addresses, because "John Doe" was in 6 different boxes (separate processes), some for cold outreach, some used by other divisions of the company, and complete separation of data.
Email delivery issues arose because they were doing cold outreach with their main email domain because it was convenient (when they shouldn't as it hurts domain deliverability) and because Streak made adding data easy - like a spreadsheet.
But a CRM shouldn't be that easy to add whatever data-points you'd like. Part of a good CRM is keeping it clean and treating it as your company's single-source-of-truth.
Clean data comes from having thoughtfulness around what data-points you're adding and to what entities (Leads/People/Opportunities/Companies). Not quickly creating columns in a spreadsheet to do a quick one-off mail-merge email blast.
Streak is convenient, it has some cool features, but they come at a cost. Streak is a CRM that you'll have to move off of with scale, and when you do, a CRM consultant like us will steer clear, because there's no consistency in data. There's not even consistency in entity naming schemes (they have their own proprietary "box" terminology).
Start with a ‘real’ CRM
So moving to a properly structured CRM like Copper/Salesforce/Hubspot/Pipedrive will result in either throwing away much of your data or hiring a data cleanser to take a ton of junk data and attempting to merge it all and fix it all.
With 43North, we spent at least 40 hours cleansing their data to move them over to Copper. Streak was a huge mistake and I had majorly regretted recommending it back in the day to them.
Their team also had slight frustration because things like mail merge weren't as "simple" with Copper, so they got used to some of the convenience, though at a major cost. John in ABC department could move so quickly doing things, but at the expense of having a complete mess of data disconnected from the rest of the team. Is it worth it? Well, you tell me — you're not building company IP when you do that, you're trying to do things quickly with duct tape.
All that being said, when you get to tens of thousands of records, your Gmail is going to be loading so slowly which leads to other frustrations. It's a good temporary solution for a small team that is okay with moving quick and breaking things, but you'll have to move off of it in the future with scale, and when you do, companies like us will recommend starting from scratch as that is easier than it will be to fix what already exists.
But I have a free/cheap discount deal with Streak!
This question gets asked to us so often. Especially when it comes to pricing ("if I can get a free/discounted CRM, shouldn't I just go with that?") - and when you start looking into CRM's built for Google, you're going to stumble upon Streak.
I'd recommend using any traditional CRM (literally Pipedrive/Hubspot) over using Streak, because what Streak does is teaches your team bad habits and gets used to having convenient features, that won't scale.
So when you inevitably move to a proper CRM, because it's needed with scale, your team is going to be incredibly frustrated, but your company will need to do it. So it's a short-term solution that does cool things, but it's not what I would recommend if you're looking to invest in good software and build IP and a single-source-of-truth + processes for your company.
Copper CRM For The Win
Copper is trying to build a more user-friendly and enjoyable CRM, one that can be used instead of Salesforce for the SMB market. Streak is trying to bridge the gap between spreadsheets and CRM. They aren't a great spreadsheet tool and they aren't a great CRM. Their competitor is Google Sheets/Excel. While Copper's is too, they are also trying to compete with proper CRMs, enabling you to build a better company foundation.
Hope you enjoyed this candid comparison of Streak VS. Copper CRM. We typically work with businesses that are going $1.5+ mil in revenue/are ready to invest in building their CRM infrastructure for scale. Get in touch to learn how we can help you implement your CRM the right way from the start.
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