Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps businesses manage relationships with customers and prospects using sales pipelines and other organizational tools. We compared dozens of products to determine the 10 best CRMs for solopreneurs, startups, and growing teams in terms of price, features, integrations, and reporting, arriving at the best overall option for small businesses.
Top 10 CRMs for Small Business 2020
Best CRM for Small Business
(Best overall) B2B businesses needing a customizable, robust, and competitively priced CRM with built-in phone
Organizations that want a CRM with social media integration and order management tools
Teams that want a user-friendly interface and visual pipeline to manage sales
Businesses wanting a free, no-frills CRM with basic features for unlimited users
Small businesses that want a CRM with enterprise-class sales and support features
Businesses looking for a solid CRM with a top-notch mobile app
Small businesses needing a CRM with built-in marketing and service desk capabilities
Organizations needing an inexpensive, all-in-one CRM
Businesses that want a CRM for project management and G Suite integration
Individuals and startups that want a simple CRM living directly in their Gmail inbox
Last updated on 04/22/20
Evaluating the Best CRM for Small Business
The best CRM software for small businesses should be relatively inexpensive and provide a simple process for managing and tracking customers and prospects. Upgrade plans should allow companies to expand efficiently and include features such as process automation, system integrations, email marketing, customization, and advanced reporting.
To learn more, check out our detailed list of evaluation criteria.
Which CRM Is Best for You?
Freshsales: Best Overall Small Business CRM
Freshsales is a fully featured and customizable CRM offering contact and lead management designed for businesses with long sales cycles. It offers a basic free plan and three paid options from $12 to $49 per user, per month. You can even make calls and send emails without leaving the tool, and it is great for business-to-business (B2B) teams that want highly customizable CRM software or that have remote users.
Free plan can be used by unlimited users
Lacks the ability to issue quotes, manage orders, and invoice directly
Offers rules-based scoring to help you better prioritize lead follow-up (not often found in other free plans)
Doesn’t include pricing books or product statistics
The Garden plan improves the lead process by automating lead assignment
Mobile application can have glitches and interfere with productivity
- Freshsales offers a basic free plan and three paid options from $12 to $49 per user, per month.
- All plans offer basic sales management functions and rules-based scoring to help you better prioritize lead follow-up.
- Freshsales is a fully featured and customizable CRM offering contact and lead management, and is designed for businesses with long sales cycles.
- You can also make calls or send emails without leaving the tool.
- Their variety of plans also supports the needs of small businesses with different teams with multiple sales pipelines, configurable dashboards, and lead assignment rules.
Read more about what this solution has to offer on our Freshsales reviews page.
Zoho CRM: Best Small Business CRM for Social Media Management
Zoho CRM is an all-in-one small business CRM with sales management and a robust social media suite, which allows you to incorporate social media into your relationship management, tracking interactions, and publishing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. There’s a free plan and paid plans starting at $12 per user, per month. This makes it perfect for sales teams wanting an affordable way to prospect and connect with leads on social media sites.
Free plan can be used for up to three users and includes contact opportunity management and social media connections
Zoho CRM only allows 1GB of storage per user without additional cost
Standard plan comes with Social Lite, a social media suite allowing unlimited publishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Customizing the sales pipeline process can be confusing
Enables teams to forecast sales
Does not include the project management capabilities
Zoho CRM Pricing
- Zoho CRM’s free plan supports up to three users.
- Zoho’s paid service plans cost between $12 and $30 per user, per month.
Zoho CRM Features
- Zoho CRM’s free plan includes lead and contact management as well as robust mobile apps.
- It also has a unique activity tracking feature—website visitor monitoring—which is not available on many other free plans.
- Higher-tiered plans support publishing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Paid plans also offer sales forecasting tools, email insights, automated lead scoring, product management functionality, and purchase order and invoice management.
Learn more about Zoho CRM on our Zoho CRM reviews page.
Pipedrive: Best CRM for Visual Pipeline Management
Pipedrive is a small business CRM designed to simplify the sales pipeline process. Its highly intuitive and easy-to-use pipeline management tool gives you the ability to see what is in your sales pipeline at a glance while helping to manage sales of standardized products and services. Starting at a per-user price of $12.50 per month, Pipedrive is best for teams wanting a CRM with unique pipeline views that help reps quickly determine next steps.
User-friendly interface allows even entry-level users to create a unique process to fit your business needs
Lacks lead assignment and lead-based routing
Allows for unlimited storage and unlimited pipelines
Does not include lead scoring
Advanced package enables email tracking capabilities and contact data enrichment
Lacks a mass email features like marketing and tracking
- Plans range from $12.50 to $49.90 per user, per month with annual agreement.
- You can switch between plans at any time during the billing cycle.
- Offers a leadbooster add-on for $32.50 per month.
- Unlimited users can try Pipedrive for free for 21 days.
- All paid plans include Pipedrive’s visual pipeline homepage as well as contact management capabilities and report configuration.
- Additional plans add email tracking, contact data enrichment, cumulative revenue forecast, and more advanced reporting features.
- Its highly intuitive and easy-to-use pipeline management tool gives you the ability to see what is in your sales pipeline at a glance while helping to manage sales of standardized products and services.
- It also allows for unlimited storage and pipelines, automatic call logging, and workflow automation.
Read more on our Pipedrive reviews page.
HubSpot: Best Lead Management CRM for Small Businesses
HubSpot is a free contact management application with functionality like smartform lead capture, a chat widget, and customer support ticketing, as well as email tracking and deal management. It can also be integrated with the Sales and Marketing Hubs for additional automation features. This makes it a great option for budget-conscious businesses of any size needing free CRM software for contact and lead management.
Simplistic user interface makes it an ideal introduction to basic CRM features
Features like workflow management and customer support are only available if you subscribe to one of their paid packages
Live chat and bots allow you to quickly connect with customer support
Does not automatically log social media interactions
Includes over 200 integration options, making it one of the largest app ecosystems we reviews
Some integrations may require additional paid subscriptions
- HubSpot CRM is free for an unlimited number of users.
- Add-on modules with additional sales, marketing, service, and content management features start at $40 per month, but can go as high as $3,200 per month for enterprise versions.
- Add-on bundles combining multiple feature sets start at $50 per month.
- HubSpot offers contact management applications with functionality like smartform lead capture, a chat widget, and customer support ticketing, as well as email tracking and deal management.
- The free CRM also includes deal pipelines, reporting dashboards, and a meeting scheduler.
- Advanced add-on plans for growing teams feature record customization, custom reporting, and more.
- Users can also access over 200 business app integrations for even more productivity options.
Read more about this free CRM on our HubSpot CRM reviews page.
Salesforce Essentials: Best Small Business CRM With Advanced Features
Salesforce Essentials is a powerful small business CRM with features like contact management, sales opportunities, mass emails, and customer service ticketing starting at $25 per user, per month. The Salesforce ecosystem offers an extensive suite of software, including support, marketing automation, ecommerce, and analytics apps, and it is especially suited to small businesses that need advanced features like territory-based lead assignment and reporting.
Essential plan includes case management for customer support
The entry-level plan is more expensive than other options and only allows for 25 users
Includes territory management
Requires expensive upgrades for features like rules-based lead scoring and invoicing, in comparison to Zoho
Professional plan offers advanced features like lead scoring, sales forecasting, and advanced reporting
Often requires extensive setup and training
- Salesforce Essentials is $25 per user, per month for up to 25 users and includes both sales and service modules.
- Salesforce also offers the Professional edition for $75 per user, per month, which includes advanced features like lead scoring, forecasting tools, and campaigns.
- Salesforce Essentials is a powerful small business CRM with features like contact management, sales opportunities, mass emails, and customer service ticketing.
- The Salesforce ecosystem offers an extensive suite of software, including support, marketing automation, ecommerce, and analytics apps.
- It also includes advanced features like territory-based lead assignment and reporting not found in other small business-centric CRMs.
Visit our Salesforce reviews page to learn more.
Zendesk Sell: Best Small Business CRM for Mobile Teams
Zendesk Sell is a fully featured CRM that includes contact and deal management features as well as a great mobile app with built-in calling functionality with plans starting at a per-user price of $19 each month. Zendesk Sell is also part of the overall Zendesk suite, which includes a help desk, chat, analytics, and IT management. The mobile app makes it the best choice for field sales teams that need built-in mobile calling and call recording.
All plans include contact management and one of the best mobile CRM apps of all the options discussed
Does not offer a free plan
Integrates easily with other Zendesk apps
Lacks features like bookkeeping, social media management, and productivity apps
Professional plan offers advanced features like lead scoring, sales forecasting, and advanced reporting
Lacks marketing automation tools like email campaigns, requiring third-party solutions
Zendesk Sell Pricing
- Zendesk Sell plans begin at a comparable $19 per user, per month.
- Premium Plans that include tools are available for $49 to $99 per user, per month.
Zendesk Sell Features
- All plans include contact management, deals, and mobile CRM apps featuring click-to-dial calling and call recording.
- Premium plans include additional tools like bulk emailing, sales forecasting, and lead scoring.
- Zendesk Sell is also part of the overall Zendesk suite, which includes a help desk, chat, analytics, and IT management.
Check out our Zendesk Sell reviews page for more information.
Really Simple Systems: Best Small Business CRM for Service Tools
Really Simple Systems is a CRM tool with built-in marketing and service desk tools like case management and service level agreements (SLAs), giving small businesses CRM, marketing, and service capabilities all in one. In addition to a free plan, monthly paid plans start at $14 per user, making Really Simple Systems ideal for small businesses that want an affordable CRM for managing entire customer journeys.
Really Simple Systems Strengths
Really Simple Systems Weaknesses
Free plan allows pipeline management and enables teams to view entire product catalogs and quickly verify related information
Does not offer mobile apps for Android or iOS users
Starter plan includes lead management and the ability to segment accounts, contacts, and leads by specific properties
Does not offer the ability to automate workflows
Professional plan can access quotations and create custom pricing for prospective customers
The entry-level paid plans don’t offer case management capabilities
Really Simple Systems Pricing
- Really Simple Systems offers a free plan and three paid plans that build on its core functionality.
- Its entry-level paid plan starts at $14 per user, per month with annual customer agreements.
- Its two upgraded plans are offered at $30 and $46 per user, per month with an annual agreement.
Really Simple Systems Features
- The free plan affords users access to email and chat support, as well as custom fields, custom dashboards, and custom pages.
- Additional plans add features like case management and advanced reporting.
- Really Simple Systems also offers built-in marketing and service tools.
To learn more, visit our Really Simple Systems reviews page.
Bitrix24: Best Low-cost, All-in-One Small Business CRM
Bitrix24 is a CRM with a free tier that includes all of the basic features needed to run a small business, including contact and project management, invoicing, help desk, telephony, and live chat. Paid plans start at $55.20 per month, with many additional features such as email and text marketing, CRM automations, and unlimited pipelines. Therefore, it is best for small businesses that want an inexpensive, all-in-one CRM.
Free plan can be used for up to 12 users and includes contact management and invoicing
Lacks email marketing functions
All plans connect to Facebook, Instagram, Slack, and others
The user interface can feel busy because of its multiple business functions
CRM Plus provides the unique feature of voice broadcasting, which lets you deliver prerecorded phone messages with an auto-dialer
Free plan lacks the contact data enrichment functionality
- Bitrix24 is a CRM with a free plan for teams up to 12.
- Paid service plans, which cost between $55.20 and $99 per month, add additional features such as email and text marketing, CRM automations, and unlimited pipelines.
- Paid plans require a minimum of six users.
- All Bitrix24 plans include contact and project management for unlimited contacts, telephony, invoicing, help desk, social media integration, and live chat.
- Paid plans bring in CRM automation with triggers, as well as email marketing and SMS capabilities like bulk email and voice broadcasting, a feature unique to Bitrix24.
Learn more on our Bitrix24 reviews page.
Insightly: Best Small Business CRM for Project Management
Insightly is a competitively priced small business CRM with powerful project management functionality and sales pipeline customization options. Monthly plans start at $29 per user, and there is a free starter plan. It also includes tools to help you manage vendors, prospects, and customers and has numerous custom reporting options. Therefore, Insightly is a great solution for businesses looking for CRM software that can help them manage both sales and projects.
All plans offer relationship tracking, voice notes, and bulk email campaigns
Free plan does not include email tracking
Paid plans have extensive and customizable reporting options
Does not provide quotes and order management without upgrading to an enterprise-level plan
Plus plan allows users to add and manage 100,000 records and send 2,500 bulk emails per month
User experience can be more complicated, and is not as intuitive as other CRMs
- Insightly offers a free plan for up to two users with limited functionality.
- Paid plans start at $49 per user, per month with annual subscription.
- The free plan gives one or two users access to contact records, task, and opportunity management.
- The Plus plan allows users to manage contact relationships after the deal is closed by linking a contact with any one of multiple, customizable project pipelines.
- The Professional plan offers advanced reporting options with customizable fields.
- Insightly’s paid plans also include tools to help you manage vendors, prospects, and customers and has numerous custom reporting options.
Read more about this solution on our Insightly reviews page.
Streak: Best CRM That Integrates Directly Into Gmail Inbox
Streak CRM resides in your Gmail account’s inbox, where you can create and manage contacts, deals, pipelines, and communications. There is a free plan and monthly paid plans starting at $49 per user. Because of these capabilities, this platform is best for solopreneurs or small businesses that want to manage contacts and deals directly from Gmail.
Free plan integrates with G Suite and offers unlimited pipelines
Doesn’t offer marketing automation features
All plans include email scheduling, tracking, a mobile app, and task management
Lacks inbound or outbound feature option
Pipeline reporting is highly customizable
Integrations are limited to Google Sheets and Hangouts, and some options via Zapier
- Streak offers a free, basic plan for individuals.
- Paid plans start at $49 per user, per month with annual agreement.
- The free plan has unlimited pipelines and includes email scheduling and tracking. Because of these capabilities, this platform is best for solopreneurs or small businesses that want to manage contacts and deals directly from Gmail.
- Unlike other types of CRMs, Streak resides completely within your Gmail account’s inbox, where you can create and manage contacts, deals, pipelines, and communications.
- All of Streak’s plans, including the free tier, include templates to support ticket tracking, job applications, event bookings, project management, and other business uses.
- Streak allows you to create unlimited pipelines and includes email scheduling and tracking from within Gmail.
- Advanced plans add reporting, leads by source, meeting notes, and access to over 900 business app integrations via Zapier.
To learn more, visit our Streak reviews page.
How We Selected the Best CRM for Small Business
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting what types of CRM for small business are worth checking out and which one we believe is best overall. Here’s an in-depth look at our evaluation criteria.
- Price: Monthly user costs should offer multiple price points to meet a range of budgets, and we considered the overall features for the price to determine the best value. We also looked at providers that offer free plans and trials to get started.
- Ease of use: Everyday use should not require advanced technical skills. Therefore, we compared how easy it is to set up and to use each featured CRM.
- Contact management: Creating, editing, and searching for contacts should be simple and integrated with functions such as email, phone calls, and other tasks.
- Deal and opportunity management: Deal and pipeline creation should be customizable, intuitively visual, and easy to manage.
- Workflow automation: These features automate functions such as the sales process, follow-up tasks, and other reminders.
- Reporting tools: Reporting tools track data such as sales, rep activities, and forecasting.
- System integrations: A good CRM will integrate with other software such as accounting, ecommerce, and marketing.
- Customization: Customization of items such as contact fields, opportunity fields, pipelines, and sales processes is typically standard with high-tiered plans.
- Customer satisfaction: Positive user reviews of CRM providers and multichannel customer support options are indicators of a satisfying customer experience.
Small business CRM software is essential for managing contacts and the sales process. Most vendors also bundle other business applications such as marketing, project management, and service features into their plans. The best CRM software for your small business will depend largely on the number of users, use needs, and budget.
Freshsales is an affordable CRM for small businesses that features 360-degree customer insights, activity tracking, and appointment and lead management capability. Its suite of additional business applications also makes it attractive as a do-it-all platform for growing companies. Visit Freshsales and sign up for their risk-free, 21-day free trial.