Are you looking for the best CRM software for your business?
Look no further. I compiled a list of the 10 most valuable CRM solutions on the market. It took some testing, lots of research, and industrial amounts of coffee. But you’ll love the result.
No matter how big (or small) your business is, you need CRM software. It gives you more and better ways to interact with your clients. And it can ultimately skyrocket your sales.
What is CRM software
CRM stands for customer relationship management. A CRM program helps you create and develop relationships with the most important people in your professional life: your clients.
CRM software analyzes ridiculous amounts of data regarding a business’ clients, deals, contracts, and sales.
You can think of it as a business card holder with a very extended set of functions. Not only can you look up a client’s info, you can also see how many deals you’ve signed with them, how they respond to marketing campaigns, and how effective your sales team is in offering them your products.
You may think CRM only makes sense for big corporations. That is not true.
A lot of entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of CRM for small businesses. The better you know your clients and the sales process inside your organization, the higher the chance to pump up your revenues.
Yes, CRM is very beneficial for big companies as it generates a lot of valuable data. Still, small businesses can take advantage of it too.
Why you need a CRM platform
There was a time, long ago, when doing business was personal.
John, the owner of a store, would only have a handful of shoppers. So he had to know his clients very well.
Otherwise, John would starve.
Here’s how he would pitch them: “Hey, Mary, you remember that blue hat you were asking about 3 months ago, but wasn’t in stock? Well, I ordered it for you, and I’ll even sell it to you at a discount”.
See how personal it is?
Then came e-commerce and mass marketing. It improved sales, but the communication between the business and its clients was not efficient.
Clients like it better when it’s personal. They buy more when it’s personal.
But could it be done?
Enter CRM solutions. Those apps identify your most valuable clients and manage your communication with them in a rather personal way.
They track your deals so you don’t get lost in a sea of sales numbers.
Are you selling more? Are deals happening more easily? If not, is it because your sales team doesn’t answer clients’ queries? You can see the answers to those questions on the dashboard.
How I chose the best CRM software
So how did I choose the products on this list anyway?
I took into account a few important criteria.
A CRM solution may do wonders for your business, but if the price is high and you work with a tight budget, you simply cannot afford it.
When you buy a CRM, you usually get billed on an annual basis. You could opt for a monthly subscription instead, but it increases the overall price.
Some products on this list are also surprisingly expensive, making them a poor fit for smaller companies.
Your CRM software may not have many features, but that’s not much of a problem if you can integrate it with other platforms.
Some of the picks on this list can work with hundreds of apps. Others have little integrity. The rule here is: the more integrable a CRM system is, the better it suits your needs.
CRM software is complex. Users need support for customization, configuration, or learning tips and tricks.
I checked each pick’s customer support. Does it have a content-rich support page? How fast can you get in touch with a customer support agent when you need one? Do you have to pay for support?
On top of that, I checked each vendor’s rating at the Better Business Bureau. The BBB gives ratings on customer support based on the information it obtains from the vendors, as well as from customer complaints.
TechJury’s Top Picks
Let’s see what the best CRM software is.
Even if you have no idea what a CRM is, you’ve likely heard of Salesforce.
A giant in its industry, Salesforce holds a 20% share, making it the biggest player on the market. Its flagman product, Sales Cloud, is one of the most popular CRM platforms out there.
Sales Cloud pricing starts from $25/user/month with an annual subscription. For that money, you get the Essentials pack that supports up to 10 users. It’s also the one with the least features.
There are a total of 4 Sales Cloud packs, the most expensive being Unlimited. It costs $300/user/month, which is pricy indeed, but you get the full benefit of Salesforce’s cloud CRM technology.
If you’re not sure about Salesforce, you can always test the free trial version. The trial period varies depending on the product. For example, the Essentials trial version is just 14 days, while the Ultimate “test drive” period is twice as long.
Sales Cloud is super feature-rich, but it depends on which plan you’re buying. The Essentials plan has contact, lead, and opportunity management for up to 100000 contacts, email integration with Gmail and Outlook, and a mobile app to access the data from everywhere.
That is a pretty good deal for customer relationship management software. However, it’s nothing compared to the Ultimate plan that gives you the whole spectrum of Salesforce’s power. You get lead scoring, workflow automation, and sales planning and predicting, among others.
Salesforce has a lousy D- score from the BBB, which is surprising considering they are the market leader in the CRM segment.
A company like that should put the effort into providing great, always-on customer support. Alas, you’ll only get 24/7 support if you buy their most expensive Sales Cloud plan.
However, their website does have an extensive support section with FAQs, training, and video tutorials. An excellent knowledge base for one of the top CRM systems on the market.
Great variety of tools
Integration with many platforms
Pricier than other products
Low customer support grade
Zoho offers a nice combination of many features and a decent pricing model. Let’s jump right into it.
The Zoho Standard plan comes at $12/user/month. It caps your contact list to 100 000 names. The Enterprise plan, on the other hand, costs $35/user/month and gives you the full range of Zoho tools, including conversational AI and data encryption.
You can test each of Zoho’s premium plans with a 15-day free trial. It requires no credit card details, although two weeks might not be enough to feel the full capabilities of the suite.
Zoho is one of the most feature-packed CRM systems I’ve laid my hands on. The Starter plan is pretty basic: you got stuff like workflow conversion, web forms, and custom reports.
But Zoho unleashes its real power with the Enterprise plan. It comes with a high level of customization. There are custom modules and buttons, views and filters, and layouts.
You can integrate your call management applications with Zoho, so you can call them from inside the CRM with a click.
Zoho monitors your social media profiles. That way you can keep track of what people are saying about your business on websites like Facebook or Twitter.
If you are a fan of virtual assistants, you should check Zia, Zoho’s AI. It helps you communicate with your customers by analyzing things like the tone they used in their emails. That way you can have a better idea about what response you should send.
Not sure when to contact your clients? Zia can tell you that too. It analyzes data from the CRM database about previous contacts and shows you the best times a client is most likely to answer a call or read your email.
With Zoho, the more you pay, the more customer support features you can use. There are two free support plans with live chat and toll-free phone calls, but they are available only 8/5.
In contrast, should you decide to pay for customer support, you’ll get 24/5 or 24/7 availability, depending on which support plan you choose.
With paid plans, you get some other benefits like remote assistance from the support team and faster response times (up to 1 hour for the Enterprise support plan vs up to 24 hours for the Basic support plan).
Zoho’s customer support rating is not so good either. The company has a D- score from BBB. Still, it’s one of the best CRM applications.
AI virtual assistant
You have to pay to see the full benefit of customer support
Less Annoying CRM
As the name suggests, this CRM is here to give you one thing and one thing only: a simple-to-use customer relationship management system. This one has no confusing menus, pricing plans, or features – which is a breath of fresh air.
This is how Tyler and Bracken King, Less Annoying’s co-founders, describe their product. They say they focus on giving the customers what they need.
Most users get put off by long-term contracts, so with Less Annoying, you can cancel at any time. Buzzwords are annoying as well, and you’ll hardly find any in this CRM product.
This top CRM software costs $10/user/month. That’s it. No premium plans with extra features, no contact limitations, no extra costs for additional services. You pay $10 for every user and you can use the entire platform. You can also cancel at any time. It’s as simple as that.
If the lack of long-term contracts is not convincing enough, you can test Less Annoying for 30 days (twice longer than the trial period of most CRMs!). If you’re happy with the product, you can switch to a premium account.
Loyal to its simplicity pledge, Less Annoying has a clean and easy-to-use interface. It will probably appeal to people who have no experience with CRM or are fed up with complicated platforms.
With what might be one of the best CRMs for small business, you get lead management. This allows you to easily see all the information about your contacts. You shouldn’t be afraid of hard to understand menus and options, because there aren’t many of those.
To make things even easier, you can customize the way Less Annoying looks and feels. You can also customize your pipelines by adding dropdown lists, text areas, checkbox lists, etc.
If you need to open Less Annoying on a mobile device, you can do so without an app. This CRM is entirely web-based and works like a charm on any screen.
Less Annoying lets you sync your Google Contacts and vice versa. You can also integrate the platform with MailChimp to execute email marketing campaigns.
It’s easy to contact support by email and phone, albeit it’s only possible in business hours. The company’s support team promises to do their best and answer queries after 5 PM, but you shouldn’t rely on that.
What does the BBB say about this CRM service’s support? It’s rated A+, the highest among all CRM products on this list.
Not bad, Less Annoying, not bad at all.
Very easy to use
Simple pricing plan
Lacks features like detailed reporting
HubSpot is well known for its marketing automation tool, but it also offers a CRM platform. It uses a freemium model, so you can get a lot of value for no expense.
Hubspot’s pricing is more complex than other CRM systems and may confuse you.
The core Hubspot CRM product is free and does a great job of covering a small business’s CRM needs.
If you want to add extra functions, it will cost you. Depending on whether you want to get the full set of sales or marketing tools, prices may vary from $50/month to at least $3200/month for some of the plans.
You can create your bundle of services, and supercharge it with add-ons. That raises the price even higher.
You can test Hubspot’s premium features with a 14-day free trial.
Like some other CRM companies, Hubspot’s paid plans add marketing power to a free CRM tool. For no extra cost, you can take advantage of marketing features like social media ads, analytics tools, email marketing.
This CRM shows you information about the deals you’ve done, contacts you have, and reports about your business’s activity.
You can always submit a ticket, but Hubspot also offers a phone line. You can tweet your question, or ask the Hubspot community for help.
For more detailed technical support, you can sign up for one of Hubspot’s training programs. They’re not free though.
As for the ticketing system, Hubspot tries to answer all queries within one working day.
Easily one of the best free CRM software suites
Lots of options to upgrade it with premium features
Some paid plans are not suitable for small companies with a tight budget
Pipedrive is a good choice for small businesses and CRM first-timers. While it may lag behind some other CRM products in terms of features, it makes up for it by offering a simple to use interface.
Pipedrive has 4 plans, the cheapest of which is the Essential one. It costs $12.50 user/month.
The Enterprise plan is the company’s most expensive offering. It has everything that other plans include, plus some perks like a dedicated account manager or enhanced security to protect your data and revenue. The price tag for this one is $99/user/month.
All Pipedrive plans come with a 14-day free trial version. Don’t hesitate to test it if you’re not sure whether you want to spend your money on Pipedrive.
You can expect a great deal of value from Pipedrive. Of course, it all depends on which plan you purchased. And you should also keep in mind that this client management software hasn’t got as many features as some competitive products.
The Essential subscription will give you most of the tools you need to manage your leads, build relationships with your clients, and automate your sales.
However, it does not include useful features like workflow automation, group emailing, and customizable dashboards.
The more expensive plans have those, as well as many other tools. For example, the Enterprise plan packs extras like unlimited advanced user permissions or account management.
Customer live chat support is available 24/7, and you can even get help in some other languages like Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German.
If you’re not a registered user you can still contact support by dropping them an email.
One of the best CRM apps around, Pipedrive has a B- customer support rating from BBB. According to the bureau, there have been just 3 customer complaints for the past 3 years.
Great for beginners
Simple to use
Lacks some functionalities compared to other CRM software
Simple and reasonably priced, Insightly is worth considering as your CRM of choice. Here’s why.
Insightly has three paid plans. The Plus tier costs $29/user/month and is just enough to get you started.
The Professional plan is priced at $49/user/month, while the Enterprise plan is worth $99/user/month.
You can test any of the paid plans for free with the company’s 14-day free trials. Apart from that, you can always check the free version of Insightly. It is limited to just 2 users and supports the basic functions like lead scoring, but excludes most of the goodies you get with the premium plans.
Insightly is all about simplicity, so don’t expect a load of features from this client management system. Which is not to say it doesn’t have any. The Plus plan will provide you with lead management, contact and organization management. Detailed information about all your deals, and iOS and Android apps to use the CRM from any device you want.
Upgrading to the Enterprise plan, however, will add a lot of extra value. For what’s it worth, you get unlimited records and storage, as well as the option to convert up to 50 mobile business cards into contacts (with the Plus plan, the limit is just 15).
You can also create and share with your coworkers as many charts and graphs as you want. This option is not even present in the Plus tier.
There’s free email support available, and that’s about it. If you want anything like direct contact with a support agent, customized trainings or quick response times – get ready to pay.
Like some other CRM apps, Insightly charges extra for customer support, and the cost is not easy to swallow – especially if you are a small business. The price of the cheapest support plan starts from $1500/year, while the starting price of the Admin support plan is a wowing $10000/year.
OK, so Insightly customer care is expensive, but what about quality? The BBB has assigned an A- rating to Insightly’s customer support, which is higher than most of its competitors. It is up to you to decide whether paying that extra money for customer support is worth it.
Easy to use
Customer support costs extra
When you’re starting a business, you don’t necessarily have the money to buy expensive software. But maybe you don’t need to. Agile CRM tries to prove that by offering a cheap, but still useful product.
Agile CRM is a fairly low-cost CRM service. It offers 3 paid plans, the cheapest of which is the $8.99/user/month Starter tier. By the way, this is the starting price, and it’s only available if you get a 2-year subscription. With an annual subscription, the price will be $10.
The Regular plan, which is also the most popular among Agile CRM customers, is worth at least $29.99/user/month. Again, this for a biannual subscription.
Upgrade to an Enterprise plan and it will cost you $47.99/month/user. But it’s worth it: you get unlimited contacts (with the Starter pack, it’s just 10000) and all the features inside the Agile CRM platform.
Agile CRM has a free version, but it only supports up to 10 users. Plus, it lacks some features like marketing automation or social media monitoring. Heck, even mobile marketing is not included.
However, you can still take advantage of customer support by email, and some basic reports about your sales and teams. This makes it a very affordable CRM tool.
Agile CRM will give you most of the tools you need to manage your customer relationships. You get everything from lead scoring to meeting schedules to deal tracking.
You can integrate the platform with various telephony products like Twillo or SIP, which are excellent for small businesses that still heavily rely on phone calls.
Marketing automation is present in Agile CRM, as well as the ability to track all kinds of digital communication like social networks, emails, and mobile marketing. You can track each marketing campaign’s success thanks to Agile CRM’s analytics tools.
Another reason to put Agile CRM in the best CRM software list is the platform’s gamification feature. It shows your sales teams’ achievements in a fun way, sort of like a video game top player list.
While it sounds like it’s no big deal, this can be good for your revenue. Gamification increases competition between your salespeople, stimulating them to work harder. After all, everybody wants to be at the top of the best players list!
Agile CRM has a live chat assistant on its website, but that’s just for starters. You can contact customer support through email (available 24/5) or phone. Phone calls are answered only on business days from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM EST. You can also schedule a call.
Apart from that, you can register for any of Agile CRM’s regular webinars.
Nice set of marketing features
Limited functionality of the free product
What should the best CRM for small business have in store? Should it be both cheap and highly customizable? If so, Apptivo might be what you’re looking for.
Apptivo offers similar features in all its 3 premium plans, and the price difference is not so much justified by the quality but by the quantity.
The Premium tier costs $8/user/month and includes 1000 mass emails per user, 3 GB of storage, and standard customer support.
By contrast, the Enterprise plan is custom-priced, has 5000 mass emails per user, and comes with a dedicated account manager.
The company also offers an Ultimate plan that costs $20 and sits somewhere in the middle of Apptivo’s product mix.
This CRM platform gives you plenty of options to test the product before you buy it. All premium plans come with a 30-day free trial version. You are free to register and test it, and it doesn’t require credit card details.
What’s more, you can check Apptivo’s free version. It’s fairly limited compared to the premium plans, but it’s enough to give you a taste of Apptivo.
Apptivo has lots of modules you can add that make it highly customizable. From the moment you register an account, the system offers you suitable modules in accordance with the industry you’re in.
With Apptivo, you can attract new leads, track sales, oversee contracts, get detailed information about your clients. There’s even a territory management app to list and manage your clients based on their location. Is that one of the best CRM software packs or what?
If you need online invoicing, Apptivo can generate invoice templates and some additional bonuses like automatic payment recording and invoice summaries.
If you cannot send exact numbers to your clients, you can give them estimated values instead. Apptivo can do the estimates for you. All you have to do is send them out to your customers.
You can send email campaigns, manage the supply chain, generate work orders, and access Apptivo from many different devices (there are Android and iOS apps). A client management system at its best!
Apptivo has provided a few channels to contact customer support. You can make a call as long as it’s between 9 AM and 6 PM PST. The company has offices in India, so you can contact them during local business hours.
Sending an email is also an option. Finally, you can take advantage of Apptivo’s starter guide, user manual, or Answers page.
Nimble is a CRM product aiming at small and medium-sized businesses. It gained additional popularity in 2017 when it struck partnership with Microsoft. Nimble can be integrated with Office 365, making it a great choice for small firms that heavily rely on Microsoft’s office product.
So why is this one of the best CRMs for small business?
Similarly to Less Annoying CRM, Nimble has a simple pricing strategy. There is only one paid plan. For $19/user/month, you get the full set of features of the platform. If you reach the plan’s limit, you can pay extra. The storage limit, for example, is just 2 GB per user. But paying $10 on top of your subscription will give you a bonus of 10 GB of cloud storage. It’s as simple as that.
Go ahead and try Nimble’s 14-day free trial version. It offers the full functionality of the platform, giving you some time to make up your mind if this is what you need for your business.
Being a CRM for beginners, Nimble keeps it simple from the beginning. The first thing you see when you register your account is to sync your contacts from Office 365, Outlook, G Suite, or other CRM programs.
That makes sense. Not many beginners will figure out the first thing they need to do is import their contacts. So why didn’t Nimble do that for them?
You can move your entire email communication to Nimble and have a detailed look at what’s happening. Everything from email history to contact details is there.
You can see your tasks, manage your deals, and check the deals’ progress.
The Reports section is a tool to monitor what matters the most to you: sales and number of deals. While the reports are not super detailed, they do provide some juicy info about your business. You can also forecast revenue for a period you desire.
While it’s top CRM for small business, contacting Nimble’s customer support might require some patience. The site has a chatbot, but it won’t do you any good outside business hours. (Although it did throw in some good article suggestions concerning my query.)
You can also send an email, or join one of Nimble’s regular webinars. If you want, you can schedule a 15-minute call with a customer support agent from the platform’s website.
Freshsales is an easy to use CRM that’s centered around communication with clients. If you’re not looking for any fancy stuff, you should check that product out. This is especially true if you’re running a small business where contact management and lead scoring are key.
One of the reasons to put Freshsales in the best CRM software list is it has one of the most flexible pricings I’ve seen. There are four paid plans, a free plan, and free trials. It’s more than enough to test Freshsales and decide if this is your thing.
Blossom, Freshsales’ cheapest plan, sells for $12/user/month. It does not include some cool stuff like advanced CRM customization or multi-currency support, but it will still do the job for small business teams.
The most expensive plan is Forest. It costs $79/user/month and unleashes the full power of Freshsales. This includes monitoring up to 75 workflows and IP whitelisting.
All premium plans come with the option to test them for 21 days without paying anything. You don’t need to leave your credit card details either, unlike with other CRM applications.
You can also take advantage of Freshsales’ free version. It doesn’t have the functionality of the premium plans, but it is still a great alternative if you are on a budget.
The free plan can handle lead scoring and even has some perks like built-in telephony.
Freshsales’s interface is straight-to-the-point when it comes to lead scoring and contact management. You can easily see a list of all your leads with additional info like times you last contacted them, as well as their score which identifies their willingness to buy something from you.
Contact management is similarly easy to figure out. Freshsales handles you only the most important information for a given contact, which is the number of open deals with that contact.
The best CRMs for small business show detailed info about a firm’s deals. Freshsales does it through the Deals tab. Over there you can see revenue numbers and revenue forecasts.
Freshsales’s reports section is a good way to dig deeper into your business. It offers info on activities like phone calls, email campaigns, meetings, new customers, and pipeline sizes.
Freshsales’s knowledge base is great: it has video tutorials and a library of how-to guides.
If you still need customer support, you can call or fill in an online form. If you choose the latter, you can leave your phone number or Skype ID and expect a call.
Could use some more integrations with third-party apps
How to choose the best CRM software
A CRM app may have lots of functions, but does that make it useful for your company? Here are some features you should be looking for in a CRM.
Lead scoring is the process of finding potential clients(leads) that will bring the most value to your business.
If someone keeps opening your website and checking out the product catalog, it makes sense to win them as a client, doesn’t it? Lead scoring uses data analysis to define those potential clients and give you access to them.
A great CRM tool has contact management features. It sorts your clients into groups and helps you communicate with them much more efficiently.
Without management, all your contact data is useless. Managing thousands of contacts is unthinkable for a single person (or even a group of people, for that matter).
CRMs do it successfully and at almost no cost to you.
Reports and analytics
Data about your business is crucial. The more you have, the better.
It’s not just about the quantity though. It’s about how you interpret the data.
CRM programs analyze tons of data and spit it out in a way that gives you insight into your business. They visualize data for every employee to understand with ease.
It is a much valued feature in the corporate world, and you need it to run a successful business.
Sales and marketing automation
The sales process involves a lot of repetitive tasks that can be automated. That way your employees have more time to focus on more important things, while at the same time your CRM takes care of the simpler and more boring stuff.
CRM solutions can automate many tasks in your marketing department. This saves time and makes your marketing efforts much more efficient.
There’s a variety of CRM solutions and all of them may help your business… or turn out to be a redundant expense.
If you have a small business and you’re just starting with CRM, perhaps a simpler and cheaper solution is better for you. If you’re running a large size corporation, a product that’s scalable and has extra features will pay off in the long run.
Our best CRM software list gives you the tools you need to make the right decision. From there, it’s up to you to get the one you liked the most and develop the full potential of your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best CRM software?
It depends. If you are a manager in a big company, you’ll need a platform that’s capable of performing many complex tasks.
If you’re a small business owner and have no experience with CRM apps, you’d be better off with a simple and cheap solution.
What are the top 10 CRM systems?
TechJury’s top CRM systems list consists of 10 great tools that will help you improve your sales and communication with customers.
Here they are:
- Less Annoying
- Agile CRM
Which is the best free CRM software?
Hubspot’s free version has an excellent mix of features that will easily suit small businesses. There are other free CRM tools out there, but Hubspot is the one leading the niche.
What is the easiest CRM?
Less Annoying CRM has an intuitive interface and the pricing model is simple. This makes it perfect for beginners and users who don’t want to spend much time on technical details.