Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps sales teams manage and organize leads, prospects, and current customers to help sales teams make sure nothing slips through the cracks. It includes tools like contact management, advanced reporting, and lead prioritization. Costs range from free to more than $100 per month, depending on the CRM provider and its features.
Examples of Leading CRMs for Small Business
What It Does
Price per User, per Month
Manage and make sales calls without leaving the CRM
Free - $69
Social media integration
Publish content, monitor customer engagement, and track interactions on social channels
Free - $30
Service desk tools
Document and organize customers’ help desk interactions right in the CRM
Free - $46
Converts opportunities into projects with customizable pipelines
Free - $99
Monitor key business metrics with prebuilt reports and customized dashboards
$25 to $75
Pro-tip: Many CRMs offer built-in or third party integrations such as contact management and reporting. Read our article about CRM Integrations to learn more.
You can also check out our list of the 10 best small business CRMs to learn more about these services as well as other highly rated and popular alternatives.
What Is CRM Software?
CRM software creates a single storage environment for all data related to leads, prospects, and existing customers. Sales agents can access the software from their desktop computer or, in many cases, their mobile devices. Once logged into the CRM software, users can manage customer information, check pipeline stages, and more.
Download our free CRM e-book for a comprehensive look at how customer relationship management systems help teams reach their sales goals. It also offers tips on how to choose the right system, CRM training best practices, and more, so download the e-book today.
CRM Software Costs
Customer relationship management software costs range from free to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the provider, the type of CRM it is, and the kind of features it offers. Free or very low-cost solutions are no-frills platforms that may be limited in the number of users it supports or features it includes. These are best for solo business owners and small teams on tight budgets.
Mid-range CRM software, including some industry-specific CRMs, run from approximately $5 to $50 per user, per month. They contain enough features and tools to accommodate most sales teams and small businesses. High-end CRM software, generally priced over $50 per user, per month, contains myriad features, from advanced customization options to comprehensive business phone systems. They are usually used by enterprise-level organizations with hefty software budgets.
Pro tip: While the advertised cost of a CRM may show only part of the picture, with maintenance costs, phone service, and more adding to the bottom line, the good news is most CRM providers will work with you to find a solution that meets your team’s needs and budget.
Benefits of a CRM System
Before customer relationship management software was available, sales teams kept their contact records in Rolodexes and customer information in filing cabinets. Although it’s still possible to organize and manage leads, prospects, customers, a busy sales pipeline, and all the other essential data that sales teams generate, why bother?
Click through the tabs below to learn more about how customer relationship management features give your sales team a competitive advantage.
- Capture Leads
Use tools like web-to-lead forms to capture and funnel leads directly into your CRM. Build a form that asks website visitors as much or as little information as you wish, then assign submissions to agents in a variety of ways, such as first-available or round-robin routing. Web-to-lead forms are a quick and effective way to provide superior customer service to people who want to learn more about your business. (Source: Bitrix24)
- Qualify Prospects
Use your CRM to create and segment prospect lists by role, size, industry, and a variety of other rules for the best chance at identifying and winning prospects. Gather the insights you need to make educated decisions about which leads to prioritize and invest the most time on. (Source: Zendesk Sell)
- Track Sales
Track the sales pipeline from lead capture to the deal’s close with visually compelling tools that let you see each stage of the deal at a glance. Never lose track of a potential sale or let prospects slip through the cracks again. (Source: Pipedrive)
- Engage Customers
Features like in-app calling and live chat let sales agents engage customers in real time without leaving the CRM. Some CRM solutions also include social media integration, allowing sales agents to interact with leads and customers on their preferred channels. (Source: Zoho CRM)
- Store Contacts
Collect and log contact details in a central location that’s easy to update and accessible to the entire sales team. Document every customer touchpoint, including service desk issues and email marketing sends, so everyone stays in the loop and customers feel supported across all departments. (Source: HubSpot)
- Manage Teams
Powerful reporting and analytics give sales managers insight into individual and team performance metrics. Set and track goals, motivate your team, and monitor your team’s productivity to learn what’s working and when to adjust course before performance is affected. (Source: Freshworks CRM)
Find out which CRM functions are mission-critical to your team’s success with a look at the 12 features your small business needs.
Recommended CRM Resources
Our site is filled with advice and recommendations on every aspect of CRM software, from defining a CRM process to training teams on how to use it. Click through the tabs below for more resources.
- CRM Strategy
Developing a solid CRM strategy is a multistep process that begins with understanding your company’s guiding principles and overall business strategy. You’ll then want to take a look at what you expect from the customer journey and establish your sales workflows. Our article and free worksheet help walk you through everything you need to know about creating a CRM software strategy.
- Choosing a CRM
Selecting the right CRM for your small business takes time and effort, but the payoff of a better sales experience for agents and customers alike is worth it. There are lots of details to keep track of during the selection process, so we’ve put together some tips and a free checklist of things to consider when choosing a CRM to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
- CRM Training
A CRM training strategy is a multistep process that starts with deciding who owns the process and ends with evaluating the results to see how the learning process went and where there’s room for improvement. Our article and free CRM training worksheet outline everything you need to get the most out of your CRM investment and maximize the efforts of your training program.