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The best CRM software can boost the quality and quantity of your business relationships if chosen and utilized correctly. Customer relationship management (CRM) covers all the tools, techniques, and strategies that you use to handle your interactions with new leads and existing customers. The right tool is a vital part of your revenue-generating stack.
The five best CRM software for businesses are:
Pipedrive ($12.50 to $99 per user/month) – Sales specialization + User-friendly
Freshsales (Free to $69 per user/month) – Automation features + AI technology
Salesforce ($25 per user/month to $1,250 per 10,000 contacts / month) – CRM expertise + Scalability
HubSpot (Free to $5,000 per month) – Feature-packed free version + Multiple hubs
Zoho CRM ($14 to $50 per user/month) – Customization options + Communication alerts
A CRM system applies organized methods to improve the two-way relationship between your organization and your clients. Small business CRM software can serve as a convenient CRM system that helps you connect with your customers, simplify your work operations, and earn more profits.
Top 5 CRM Software
Each option has its pros and cons but every single one can be a great CRM option for those looking to improve their overall customer management processes. Now, let’s dive into the details for each option to learn more about why we chose each one.
Pipedrive: Best Overall CRM Software
Pipedrive is an all-purpose CRM software that specializes in the sales process. It was particularly designed to increase the revenue of small businesses. You can start using this user-friendly program in a matter of minutes.
Identify your pipeline stage based on the current phase of your business so that you can start planning future sales deals. The software lets you create an unlimited number of pipelines, which you can sort and organize through drag-and-drop actions.
You can also use the program to personalize sales reports, integrate your email or calendar apps, and automate your sales workflows. It helps you to handle your leads, predict upcoming revenue, and digitally sign documents. It also provides you with insight analysis through the available customer data.
We have designated Pipedrive as the best overall among CRM applications because of the superior results it generates, the affordable pricing, and ease of use. Pipedrive claims that its users typically close up to 28% more deals compared to users of other CRM programs. You can measure the results of your own campaigns through the accurate analytical tools of Pipedrive.
Essential: $12.50 per user / month
Advanced: $24.90 per user / month
Professional: $49.90 per user / month
Enterprise: $99 per user / month
All plans are billed annually. You can also try Pipedrive for free for 30 days.
Freshsales: Best CRM Software for Automation
Freshsales is a sales CRM platform that provides a 360° view so you can close deals with clients more quickly. It grants you an overview of your client’s interactions with your business so you can offer them tailored services and products. It encourages you to grab potential lead generation opportunities through Predictive Contact Scoring.
This program simplifies your sales workflows so you can get better results. It minimizes the complexity of your IT system so you can lower your costs and boost adoption rates. It allows you to have a clear perspective of your progress through sales, support, and marketing touchpoints on the activity timeline.
We have granted Freshsales the distinction of being the best for automation among CRM products because it is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Its AI chatbots interact with your leads and clients in real-time. It automates your lead assignments and routine tasks so you can save time and effort. It records visitor information through web forms, plus it analyzes their intentions through website page engagements.
Growth: $15 per user / month
Pro: $39 per user / month
Enterprise: $69 per user / month
Annual billing applies for the reduced rates.
Salesforce: Best Overall CRM for Small Business
Salesforce is an integrated CRM platform that you can use to manage operations including sales, marketing, commerce, IT, and customer service. As one of the pioneers in the CRM field, it is widely recognized as a standard that competitors compare themselves against.
Its simple interface makes it easy to use and navigate, while its third-party app integrations add to its functions. Salesforce also showcases collaborative tools that allow you to work in sync with your team.
On top of this, you can scale this versatile program based on the size of your organization and the industry that you belong to. In case your business flourishes in the future, you can tweak Salesforce to meet the changing needs of your expanding venture. It can assist you in resolving your issues in the different stages of business growth.
We have awarded Salesforce as the best sales CRM software because it focuses on the core of the sales process and has helped sales teams all over the world find success. It’s not only a sales platform as it improves the overall customer process as well, but it can be on the more expensive end for smaller teams. It also enables you to monitor your customers, keep track of client interactions, establish automation, and set task reminders.
It’s no wonder that Salesforce is often considered the top product among all CRM apps in the global market. It garnered an impressive market share of 19.5% in 2020 and has been a market leader for years.
Essentials: $25 per user / month
Sales Professional: $75 per user / month
Service Professional: $75 per user / month
Pardot Growth: $1,250 up to 10,000 contacts / month
HubSpot: Best for Beginners
HubSpot is a multidimensional CRM solution that is a viable alternative for first-time CRM users. It is simple to set up and easy to use so you can navigate its interface freely even if you don’t have previous experience with CRM platforms. HubSpot features a variety of hubs that concentrate on different aspects of your small business. At the same time, these hubs integrate together for the sake of CRM synergy.
The Marketing Hub equips you to increase your website traffic and convert leads to customers. If the Sales Hub guides you to close deals, then the Service Hub encourages you to connect with clients. The CMS Hub lets you manage your content, while the Operations Hub automates your procedures and syncs your data.
We have recognized HubSpot as the best for beginners among CRM programs because of the surprisingly rich features of its free version. It doesn’t require you to invest in pricey software right away while you’re still figuring out how to use CRM. After all, the complimentary edition of HubSpot is already packed with features that will motivate you to build stronger connections with your customers.
Starter: $50 per month
Professional: $1,780 per month
Enterprise: $5,000 per month (billed annually)
Zoho CRM: Best for Customization
Zoho CRM is a flexible CRM program that you can adapt to any type of business in any industry. You have the option to configure the tools based on your project requirements. The drag and drop feature lets you move tasks from phase to phase so you can keep track of your progress.
This platform enables you to reach out to your customers even when you are on the go. You can connect with clients and leads via traditional channels like email and phone or modern media like social networks or live chat.
It sends you real-time alerts whenever your customers interact with your business. These instant notifications can help you figure out how effective your communication strategies are and what you can do to improve them.
We have chosen Zoho CRM as the best in customization among CRM software because of its personalization options. It allows you to change the design of the user interface even if you don’t have coding skills. You can tailor this CRM solution based on the preferences of your business team. On top of this, the plans may be adjusted from month to month according to your current needs.
Standard: $14 per user / month
Professional: $23 per user / month
Enterprise: $40 per user / month
Ultimate: $50 per user / month
All plans are billed annually.
What You Need To Know About Best CRM for Small Business
Choosing the right CRM software for your small business may come down to pricing or features, but there is so much more to consider. For example, before making a decision you can discover what the various CRM software types are, what benefits the software provides, and other factors you may want to consider when selecting one for your company.
What Is a CRM?
CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” It is a holistic technique used by private businesses to establish, maintain, and strengthen connections with customers. It is a mix of strategies, practices, guidelines, and technologies which you can use to manage your interactions with the customers and leads of your business. It covers various aspects of client interactions like sales, customer service, forecasting, and evaluation of customer trends.
The purpose of CRM is to enhance the quality of your professional relationship with your customers and to increase the number of your leads and clients. It equips you to provide a better experience to your customers to encourage business loyalty and to enhance your sales and revenues.
A CRM system collects and records customer information, such as personal data, contact details, and purchase history. It gathers this data from multiple points of contact between your business and your clients, including your official website, phone, email, chat, and social media channels. As a result, it enables you to keep track of relevant data on the various stages of the customer life cycle.
What Are the Types of CRM Platforms?
There are three types of CRM platforms that are commonly used for CRM purposes. The types of CRM platforms are:
1. CRM Software
CRM software is a computer program that is installed directly on your business servers. This on-premises system grants you control over the installation, administration, maintenance, and security of the program. You must pay licenses upfront if you wish to purchase CRM software, instead of subscribing to an annual plan with a cloud-based provider.
It is designed to level up the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer interactions. It compiles customer information in a central database so you can manage and monitor the data. Its various features enable you to engage with customers, receive alerts on client activity, and measure your sales performance.
This CRM tool automates some of your tasks so you can save time and effort on customer service activities. It integrates with other software and apps to sync your data across several programs. It helps you predict the needs of your customers so you can meet their requests quickly.
It gives you full control of the CRM program since you are the direct administrator of the CRM software
It offers tighter security since your data is stored on-premises
2. CRM Cloud Solution
A cloud-based CRM solution is an online service that lets you store your CRM information on an external server. You and your business team can access your CRM data and perform CRM tasks by connecting to the server over the Internet.
Cloud-based CRM providers usually offer storage, installation, maintenance, and repair services. You may sign up for a cloud CRM plan which you can pay on a monthly or annual basis if you prefer a cloud-based CRM system.
Both you and your employees can access your CRM data anytime, anywhere as long as you can connect to the internet
CRM cloud services are usually more affordable than on-premises CRM software
You may find it hard to access your CRM information if your cloud-based provider has system issues or your internet connection is unstable
Your CRM data is more vulnerable to security issues since it is stored online on a remote network instead of your own local server
3. Open-Source CRM Platform
An open-source CRM platform is based on a source code that is available to everyone. You can install the program on your business server for free. Afterward, you may tweak the UI and functions of the system according to the CRM requirements of your business. You can also add and personalize data links on social media networks.
All three kinds of CRM platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages. Overall, cloud-based CRM software offers the best balance for small business owners in terms of cost-effectiveness and ease of use.
What Are the Types of CRM Software?
There are three main types of CRM software that you can choose from.
1. Strategic CRM Software
Strategic CRM is a collaborative type of CRM software which consolidates customer data so that it can be viewed and changed by the sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Its interaction management features let you monitor client engagements, service requests, and buying history. Its channel management functions provide insightful data so you can decide which channels to use when reaching out to certain clients.
2. Analytical CRM Software
Analytical CRM software collects customer data from different sources so you can evaluate the latest consumer trends. It allows you to assess customer behavior so you can generate more leads, convert your leads to customers, improve customer service, and create marketing strategies. You can use it to predict sales patterns, plan your budget, and form pipeline analysis reports.
3. Operational CRM Software
Operational CRM software automates daily, repetitive business tasks related to customer service, marketing, and sales. It produces more accurate results compared to manual work because it runs on digital computing power. You can use it to pinpoint potential clients, keep track of customer interactions, and conceptualize marketing campaigns to boost your sales.
What Are the Functions of CRM Software?
Most CRM software has a broad range of functions which you can use for your small business.
CRM database: It compiles customer data and documentation into a central database that you can access and manage.
Permissions: It allows you to control which customer data each employee can view and modify. It lets you handle permissions regarding project templates and document access.
Task management: It breaks down projects into manageable tasks. It assigns each task to certain members of your team based on their roles and responsibilities.
Project scheduling: Simple CRM solutions typically include this feature. It schedules the start and end dates of projects and individual tasks. It can also schedule recurring tasks and create critical paths to clarify the workflow process.
Progress tracking: It enables you to monitor the progress and completion of simple and complex projects in the workplace.
Integrations: It makes it simple for you to sync data across different programs for a more streamlined work process.
Collaboration: It allows you to coordinate with your team members so you can become more productive together.
Resource handling: It lets you track your income and expenses so you can allocate a sufficient budget for each project.
What Are the Benefits of CRM Software for Businesses?
You can experience several benefits if you use CRM software for your business, including:
Provide better customer service: You can offer faster, better customer support to your clients and leads because you can anticipate their needs and wants more precisely.
Save time: You can save time and effort because CRM software automates some of your customer support, sales, and marketing tasks.
Set clear goals: You can set realistic goals after you gain clear insight on consumer trends and behavior with the assistance of CRM software.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing CRM?
Here are some of the factors that should make an impact on your choice of a CRM software product:
Features: Each CRM software has its own special set of features. Pick the program which includes the features which will help you attain the CRM objectives of your small business.
Pricing: Most CRM platforms offer an assortment of packages with different pricing ranges. Select the product and plan which suits the budget and preferences of your business team.
Feedback: You can determine how effective each CRM software is by reading customer reviews online and by asking for word-of-mouth recommendations from your colleagues in the business industry.
Final Thoughts on the Best CRM Software
The best CRM software for small business strengthens your customer relationships in an organized way. Small business CRM platforms equip you to reach out to your leads and clients so you can increase your sales and revenues.
Pipedrive is the best CRM today because it’s easy to use, scalable, and it offers a variety of plans for different-sized businesses. It’s a market leader across the industry, not just for larger businesses like some of the other options on the list, and is number one on many CRM lists for a reason: It helps you manage customer relationships with ease.
Best CRM Software Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Learn the answers to some of the most popular questions about the best CRM software for businesses that we’ve seen below.
What Is CRM Software?
CRM software is a CRM platform that is designed to improve the customer relationships of your business. It enables you to manage and keep track of customer interactions. It stores information on your clients and leads in a CRM database.
Do Small Businesses Use CRM?
Yes. Small businesses use CRM technology to achieve sales, marketing, and customer support goals in a systematic way. It automates repetitive tasks so that the team can focus on reaching out to clients and leads. It integrates with other apps and programs to sync data across the whole system. No business is too small to benefit from the advantages of CRM software.
Which CRM Is Best for Small Businesses?
The top five best CRM for small businesses are Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and Freshsales. We recommend Pipedrive as the best overall CRM software because of its targeted focus on customer relationships. Each has its unique features and benefits though.