October 22, 2020

Best CRM Software for Small Business

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With talk of a global recession brought on by COVID-19 on the horizon, you might be thinking that it’s time to cut back costs as much as possible and wait for things to blow over. You’re a small business with limited resources, right?

best crm

Hopefully, since you clicked on this article, you’re smarter than that — you know that survival in a difficult climate is all about investing back into your business and standing out from the competition.


One of the best ways to do that is by improving customer experience and boosting your digital presence. How can you achieve both these goals?


How To Find The Best CRM Software


By using a great customer relationship management (CRM) software to capitalize on your leads, deliver better customer service, and make better use of the technology available.


AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: We reference companies in this article because of their relevance and often due to partnerships. As you click on links to those partner sites, our company may be remunerated. This support helps our site so we can keep bringing you the best answers for small business.


Here are our top picks for the best CRM software available on the market right now.


GoHighLevel


GoHighLevel calls itself an “all-in-one sales and marketing platform,” making it an excellent choice for small businesses that want to handle all their processes on one platform.


You can combine it with all kinds of other tech software you might use for your marketing processes, including Mailchimp, Wix, and WordPress. Easy to see why it’s such a time saver.


It’s targeted at digital agencies, making it great for businesses that fall into this category but not necessarily for everyone else.

GoHighLevel

Pros

  • Combines sales and marketing in one place
  • Integrates with other essential software

Cons

  • Less helpful for businesses that aren’t digital agencies


Pipedrive


Looking for CRM software to manage your pipeline effectively? Pipedrive could be the perfect choice for you.


As you set up your account, you’ll be struck by the aesthetically pleasing interface and easy-to-understand features. The whole process is about as intuitive as they come, yet contains all the key functions you might want, built around contact management and deal tracking.

The only downside is that you can’t manage your emails in the same place.

Pipedrive

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Focused on pipeline management

Cons

  • Can’t use to manage your emails 


InstantReply


As the name suggests, InstantReply helps you get back to customers faster through its autoresponder features. But that’s not all it offers!


InstantReply is great for various aspects of marketing, like organizing your campaigns and building forms for your websites.


However, with a strong focus on marketing, InstantReply isn’t as suitable for businesses looking for a platform that helps them with sales or customer service.


It’s also expensive at $197 per month, but this price includes features other CRM systems don’t have, like call tracking and leads.

InstantReply

Pros

  • Automates aspects of marketing
  • Helps you find leads

Cons

  • More focused on marketing than sales
  • Expensive


Zoho CRM


Zoho is the kind of software that can take you from the initial birth of a business idea straight to scaling your company for explosive growth.


Start on the free version to test the waters (you can use it for up to three people), then progress to the paid versions when you see how valuable it is.


The free version will give you access to basic features, like organizing your tasks through a workflow and handling leads. When you upgrade to paid, you can also use more sophisticated features, like sales forecasts and funnel tracking.


You’ll find almost everything you need here, but bear in mind that Zoho is less geared up to handle individual interactions (like one-on-one email tracking), which is one potential drawback.

Zoho CRM

Pros

  • Free for the first three users
  • Great for scaling a business

Cons

  • Doesn’t allow individual email tracking  


Monday


Monday has been around since 2012, but it’s begun to establish itself in the CRM space over the last couple of years. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular — the site boasts a very intuitive process that’s great for collaborating with your team.


Admittedly, it’s not for everyone. Designed more for managing projects than deals or leads, it lacks the more advanced and sales-specific features that other CRM systems have — but it’s very customizable, making it a versatile platform.

Monday

Pros

  • Very intuitive
  • Good for team collaboration

Cons

  • Not designed specifically as a CRM  


Freshsales


Freshworks offers various business software solutions, and the Freshsales CRM is its answer to everything related to tracking deals and managing campaigns.


Freshsales certainly isn’t short of features — tech and sales geeks will be kept busy for days figuring out new ways to boost their productivity! However, anyone who struggles to get to grips with new software might find it tough to learn how to use Freshsales.


Although there’s a free trial, once you decide to commit to Freshsales, you’ll have to pay. The cheapest plan starts at $12 per user per month, going up to $79 per user per month for the most comprehensive package.

Freshsales

Pros

  • Sophisticated features
  • Free trial

Cons

  • Difficult to learn
  • No free version


Hubspot


If you know anything about sales or marketing, you’re bound to have come across Hubspot. Giving it a go can seem like a no-brainer considering the free version allows unlimited users and even some advanced features, like email tracking.


As you’d expect from the leader in its field, Hubspot is also pretty easy to use and integrates satisfactorily with other software, like Zapier and G-Suite.


One of the main disadvantages is that many helpful add-ons Hubspot offers are expensive (e.g., $300 per month for the content management system), so the free price tag is somewhat misleading.

Hubspot

Pros

  • Unlimited users on the free version
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Add-ons are expensive  


Zendesk


Zendesk was once a customer service portal, but these days, it’s morphed into a complete CRM — without sacrificing its original customer support features. You can manage your ticket system and your leads database in one place!


This makes it a great catch for small businesses, although organizations with a more developed sales team might find themselves wanting more features. It’s also one of the more expensive options, starting at $59 per month per user.

Zendesk

Pros

  • Includes customer service features
  • Features a customer support ticket system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Has fewer sales-specific features

Copper


Many CRM systems try to tick every box simultaneously, but Copper has one clear focus: it’s a CRM for G Suite. Either that’s what you’re looking for or it’s tim to move on!

This makes it easier to manage your communications and automate certain tasks, like data entry.

It’s reasonably expensive, with the basic plan starting at $19 per user per month.

Copper

Pros

  • Integrates smoothly with G Suite
  • Manage and automate communications

Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Less versatile


Agile CRM


As a small business, exploring the world of software for the first time can be daunting — especially if you’re on a budget.


Agile CRM lets you kill two birds in one stone by providing marketing and CRM tools in one place, but you can also restrict each user’s access to tools to avoid confusion.


Adding contacts and managing campaigns has never been easier. One particularly handy feature is that you can “score” each lead or let the software assign them a score depending on their actions.


Even better, it’s free for the first ten users!


The drawbacks? The more sophisticated features are tricky to get your head around, with no clear instructions or tutorials available. Customer service could also be more responsive.

Agile CRM

Pros

  • Also works as marketing software
  • Free for the first ten users

Cons

  • Limited explanations for advanced features  


Thryv


Designed specially to help small businesses, Thryv lets you handle multiple tasks and projects in the same place.


Its main focus is on automation: spend less time remembering to follow up with leads and more time on the tasks that really matter, like formulating your strategy.


The only downfall of Thryv is that it could be more customizable. You also need to contact them directly for an accurate quote, which is less transparent than most other CRMs.

Thryv

Pros

  • Specially designed for small businesses
  • Helps automate your tasks

Cons

  • Not transparent about pricing
  • Lacks full customization


Nimble CRM


As the name suggests, Nimble prides itself on its ability to simplify the way you work. It aggregates information from your email contacts and social media accounts (including LinkedIn), so you can see all your leads in one place — and data about how you’re interacting with them.


Unfortunately, the Android app isn’t quite as “nimble” as the iOS app or the web version. There’s also no free version with the lowest tier starting at $12 per month.

Nimble CRM

Pros

  • Great for tracking contacts and leads from socials
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • No free version 


Salesforce


As far as big names in the CRM sphere go, Salesforce is certainly up there. It has many features spanning sales, marketing, and customer service, making it possibly the most versatile option on the list.


It’s somewhat expensive from a starting cost of $25 per user per month, but what do you expect from a market leader?


Another downside is that it has more of a “classic” interface than more modern platforms, making it feel outdated.

Salesforce

Pros

  • Established market leader
  • Lots of features

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less modern interface  


Choose Your CRM


Don’t fool yourself into thinking that creating a better CRM system is tomorrow’s problem or that you’ve already solved the problem by reading this article. 


There’s no time like the present and you’d struggle to find a more urgent point to take action than now. Small businesses are on the line so what are you doing to stay ahead of the pack?


Whatever your budget is and your needs are, there’s a CRM system out there to suit your business. Don’t waste any more time!

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