Best CRM Software Providers 2019 - Reviews, Pricing & Features
Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) helps businesses and salespeople effectively manage leads, contacts, deals, and customers. CRMs exist with a range of features and at a range of price points, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs. Leveraging a CRM can make the sales process more efficient for you and your team.
What Is a CRM & What Does It Do?
CRM software can be set up to mirror a custom sales funnel and allows sales teams to manage and track activities related to the sales process. Most CRM software includes the ability to capture leads, manage sales pipelines, create deals, submit proposals, leverage email and other communications, and track the performance of sales team members. It is, therefore, one of the best sales tools available.
Top 6 CRM Software Providers for Small Businesses
|Freshsales||(Best Overall) B2B businesses with remote sales teams that want a flexible, robust, and competitively-priced CRM with call recording|
+ Mobile app calling
+ Free plan with unlimited users
- No invoicing or booking tools
$12 - $79/month
|Pipedrive||Field sales teams with a consultative sales process. |
+ Visual sales pipeline tool
+ Appointment scheduler
- No mass-marketing email tools
$12.50 - $62.50
|Dubsado||Consultants or freelancers who manage one-off jobs and track hourly billings|
+ Digital design proofing
+ Recurring billing
- No built-in email marketing
Free - $85/month
|Insightly||Businesses that manage standardized or recurring projects and need G Suite integration|
+ Highly customizable
+ Project management
- No proposals or quotes
Free - $49/month
|Zoho||Online brands and ecommerce retailers wanting a robust CRM with social media integration and order management tools|
+ Social media lead generation
+ Robust integrations
- Limited pipeline customization
Free - $45/month
|HubSpot CRM||Agencies and service-based businesses that use inbound/content marketing strategies. |
+ Email and activity tracking
+ Built-in content management system
- More expensive for some standard features
Free - $400/month
*All prices are per month/user except Dubsado and HubSpot.
Which CRM is Best For You?
CRM Software Pricing Guide: What You Should Expect to Pay
We’ve looked at dozens of small business CRMs and compiled a list of the most common plans, features, and pricing to give you an idea of what you should expect to pay. Pricing varies across different CRMs based on the features you choose and the total number of users, but this simple chart will give you an idea of the most common features and pricing.
*Average monthly prices shown are based on annual payments.
Best Free CRM Software Option
Many of the CRM software available for small businesses offer entry-level free plans with basic CRM features and functionality. These plans are a good option for businesses that are just beginning to implement a CRM, though they are often limited in features when compared to higher-level pans.
Three of our favorite free CRMs include:
|Freshsales||(Best Overall) Sales teams using telephone outreach with lead scoring within their sales strategy|
|HubSpot||Teams wanting a robust, free CRM with contact management and chat|
|Agile CRM||Startups wanting a single platform to manage sales, service, project, and marketing activities|
Freshsales’ free version supports unlimited users and contacts, and includes features like a built-in phone and an easy-to-use mobile app. What makes its free plan unique is its generous 24 x 5 level of support by phone and email. For businesses that want an affordable option with great support, Freshsales is a good choice with strong features for the price.
Key CRM Software Features
CRM choices vary from sophisticated enterprise-level software that automates the sales process to email contact management plug-ins that simply help you keep track of your customer communications. Navigating the different choices and features available can be overwhelming when making a decision about which are most important to your business, so we looked at the CRM functionality that matters most.
Some of the most important features include:
- Lead Qualification – Evaluating and determining whether or not a lead is a good fit for your sales process based on criteria you set for your target customer.
- Sales Forecasting – Allows you to visualize your opportunities at various stages of the sales process and project which ones are likely to close and how much revenue they are likely to generate.
- Email Tracking – Provides information about when leads or customers open emails sent from within the CRM and what actions they took as a result.
- Sales Pipeline Tracking – Visualize the overall sales process by stage, giving you a big picture of where deals are at and how your team is performing.
- Mobile CRM App – iOS or Android-based apps that allow access to your CRM database on your mobile device.
- Customization – How easily the software can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of your sales process. Includes the option for open source software, which is highly flexible, freely available software that can be modified or adapted by anyone.
- Social Media Integration – Integration with social media accounts to stream contact profiles and activity, and allows the creation of new leads based on brand mentions.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility – For teams using devices on multiple platforms, is the software available for both Windows and MacOS, Linux, the Safari browser, or iOS and Android?
- Integration with Accounting Software – Provides a link between your CRM and your bookkeeping, such as QuickBooks, for invoicing and tracking revenue from your sales efforts.
- Integration with Email Marketing – Ability to coordinate your email efforts with email marketing, like MailChimp, by syncing contact lists and automatically updating new subscribers and contacts as leads.
- Website/CMS Integrations – Software integrations that allow you to capture leads directly from your website and host landing pages or forms directly from your CRM.
Types of CRM Software
Many of the different CRM options available focus on specific features or industries. Choosing the best CRM often means understanding the different types of CRM software available, along with the industries they are best suited for. Here are a few of the different types of CRMs:
- Marketing CRM – Software that not only allows you to manage your leads, contacts, and pipelines, but also enables you to perform and track marketing activities including email, social media, and mobile marketing campaigns.
- Sales Management – CRM software that goes beyond simple lead management and includes features like mobile app calling and email templates. Gives salespeople tools to conduct cold calls and track response and activity.
- Customer Service – CRM software that includes support and service features like ticket management and agent assignment, giving a full view of the customer history that enables both sales and support team members to provide the best overall experience.
- Collaborative – Software designed to facilitate collaborative sales efforts, including features like group emails, group task management, and assignment. Some also include real-time messaging across multiple teams, document sharing, and video calls.
- Operational – These CRMs give business owners and managers the ability to manage and track sales and business functions like HR, accounting, inventory, support, and projects in one system.
- Analytical – CRMs that provide advanced reporting and analytics based on your sales team data and performance. Allows managers to see how their teams are performing and forecast future opportunities and results.
- Mobile CRM – Software that enables field-based sales teams to access CRM data and perform sales activities on the go. Most of the time, it is available as an app on either an iOS or Android device and provides functionality similar to a desktop CRM.
- QuickBooks CRM – QuickBooks CRM software includes integration between your CRM and QuickBooks, allowing salespeople to view, create, and send invoices as well as follow-up on payment-related tasks. It also enables customers to access their accounts and make payments.
- WordPress CRM – WordPress CRMs are plug-ins that work within an existing website and allow basic CRM functionality like lead collection, contact management, and sales opportunities. Check out our guide to the best WordPress CRMs.
- Real Estate Industry CRM – Wise Agent is a robust CRM for realtors by allowing them to track leads, manage their sales cycles, and execute marketing activities.
- Construction Industry CRM – JobNimbus is a CRM for general contractors. It incorporates construction-specific features including job estimates, invoices, and project management.
- Restaurant Industry CRM – CaterZen is a restaurant-specific that combines contact management with catering services like order processing and delivery management.
Be sure to check our guide on Industry-Specific CRMs to decide which is the best for your business.
How We Determined Which CRM Software Is the Best
CRM software benefits organizations by managing contacts and helping track activities related to closing a deal. Many CRMs include added features like analytics, system integration, and process automation, while others offer even more robust features that can add complexity and cost.
We picked the top CRM software based on criteria including:
- Price – We compared each program’s monthly per-user fee as well as any add-on costs that resulted in additional functionality.
- Ease of Use – We read through extensive product reviews for real-world usage and reported ease of implementation.
- Contact Management – We compared how easy it is to create, edit, and search for contacts as well as how each tool worked with email, phones calls, and other tasks.
- Deal and Opportunity Management – We looked into how each tool tracked a deal’s pipeline stage, what data related to the deal was viewable, and how each tool helped prioritize follow-up activities.
- Workflow Automation – We reviewed each tool’s methodology regarding the sales process, follow-up tasks, and other reminders.
- Reporting Tools – We examined the data available to help sales managers better monitor their teams as well as their sales pipelines.
We recommend Freshsales as the best overall CRM for small businesses because of its combination of value, ease of use, and ability to customize according to your specific needs. For more about why we chose Freshsales, as well as other top CRM choices, check out our article on the Best CRMs for Small Businesses. You can visit Freshsales’ website to sign up for a free trial.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your CRM Software
What Are Some Good Examples of CRMs?
Some of the most popular and easy-to-use CRMs available today include Pipedrive, HubSpot, ZohoCRM, Insightly, Copper, Freshsales, AgileCRM, and Salesforce. Each has different strengths and emphasizes slightly different functions, but all are examples of fully-featured CRMs that are worth consideration.
What Are the Key Benefits of Using CRM Software?
The biggest benefits of CRMs are that you are able to track sales opportunities through your sales process and create automated workflows that eliminate routine administrative tasks. This frees up your sales team to spend its time on the most important customer-facing activities. CRMs also give you the ability to track performance and monitor the progress of deals as they move through your sales pipeline.
Are There Any Potential Issues Using CRM Software?
Most CRMs available today are cloud-based software that you access through a desktop browser or mobile app. As a result, your information is stored on someone else’s server, and your customer data is entrusted to the security of another company. If that company ever experiences a security breach or goes out of business, it could affect both your access to data and your liability.
Additionally, depending on the specific CRM, getting your data out can be a complicated process if you ever decide to move to another option. Most will allow you to export contacts, but it can be difficult to export settings like pipelines, email conversations, and deals.
Which Businesses Benefit Most from CRM Software?
Almost all businesses benefit from having a CRM to help manage the sales process. However, service-based businesses and B2B companies that sell via contracts can especially benefit from the ability to track leads and monitor their sales pipeline. This is because many CRMs offer deal and proposal management as part of their general sales pipeline management.
What Are the Latest CRM Software Trends?
A few of the more recent software trends that have been adopted in CRMs include business card scanning, VoIP phone calling, email tracking, and fully-functioning mobile apps. These features all take advantage of advances in browser-based software technology and mobile operating systems, giving salespeople powerful tools to find, manage, and convert leads.
What are the Different CRM Software Options?
There is a wide range of CRM software available in the market today. Some CRM software is designed for a particular role or job function, while others are optimized for functions like collaboration or analytics. Some are even designed for a specific industry.
While CRMs are powerful tools for salespeople and teams, there are other software tools you can use in conjunction with a CRM. These include lead generation software, social media management tools, help desk software, and more.
Check out the list below for related software that might interest you:
- Marketing Automation -Software that helps automate your lead generation and nurturing process, including lead scoring and email drip campaigns.
- Workflow Automation Tools – Software that creates automated workflows that can include tools to connect different pieces of software, and functions within software that helps streamline specific tasks.
- Project Management – Software that helps teams manage various types of projects, including marketing campaigns, events, customer projects, and more.
- Email Marketing Software – Software that allows you to collect subscribers, segment lists, and target email messages to your audience.
- Lead Generation Software – Tools that help you collect leads, either through landing pages, forms, email submissions, chat, or social media.
- Social Media Management – Software designed to help businesses monitor, measure, and engage with their social following. Usually includes tools to publish content and analyze engagement.
- Help Desk Software – Software that helps companies provide support by creating tickets that can be assigned to agents who engage with customers through email, web chat, social media, or telephone.
Nimble is a CRM software that works directly with Office 365 and G Suite inbox. Prices range from $12 to $25/user/month. View Profile
Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM software that simplifies sales processes and contact management. Prices range from $15 to $59/month. View Profile
Freshsales CRM enables users to track leads, monitor deals, and run sales campaigns. Prices range from $19-$65/user/month. View Profile
Salesforce is a CRM platform that allows users to utilize customer information for their business growth. Prices range from $25 to $300/user/month. View Profile
Infusionsoft is an advanced CRM solution that offers an integrated sales and marketing platform. Prices range from $99 to $379/user/month. View Profile
Insightly lets users organize and manage their customers and business leads. Prices range from $29 to $99/user/month. View Profile
Hubspot CRM is a free CRM software that includes basic customer management functions. It is a free product. View Profile
Streak is a CRM solution that integrates with Gmail. It has sales tracking and project management tools. Prices range from $0 to $159/user/month. View Profile
Less Annoying CRM is a web-based and pay-as-you-go CRM solution that streamlines sales and other business processes. Pricing is at $10/user/month. View Profile
OnePageCRM is a CRM software that provides users with sales-driven to-do list tools. Pricing is at $12/user/month. View Profile
The Bottom Line
After you’ve had a chance to learn about CRM software, the best way to really figure out which is right for your business is to try out a few that seem to fit your needs. Many of the CRMs mentioned in this article have free trials that you can sign up for on their website. In addition, our pick for best free CRM, Freshsales, has a plan that really is free and includes unlimited users and contacts. Visit Freshsales to sign up today.
The CRM landscape is vast and continuously evolving with each software provider offering different functionalities. Popular features include keeping track of contacts, scouting for potential leads, managing sales pipelines, monitoring project progress, and analyzing business performance. The number of CRM in the space is reflective of how important the software is to businesses of all sizes and industries.
CRM By the Numbers
- There are currently over 600 CRM in the space, with the growth of the CRM industry only continuing to boom. According to Grand View Research, the CRM market is expected to reach $81.9 billion by 2025
- 53% of companies identified investing in a CRM software as one of the top priorities of their IT departments in 2018, alongside Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
- Small to medium-sized businesses are driving the growth of the CRM industry with the segment estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.0% over the next nine years.
- More CRMs have already been founded in the current decade (2010-2018) than any previous decade.
- The vast majority of companies (70%) have less than 50 employees. Only 1% of CRM have 10,000+ employees.
- The average year founded for CRM companies with more than 10,000 employees is 1980. This means that the current most successful CRM companies were founded over 25 years ago.
Interesting Facts About the CRM Industry
- Giant CRM companies are leading the pack with Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and Adobe, taking the spots as top picks among all business sizes.
- From the pool of players, there are also small business winners. For smaller companies, the top CRM include Insightly, Pipedrive, and Prosperworks.
- According to users, the three most important features they look for when it comes to choosing the right CRM are ease of use, schedule management functionalities, and a complete snapshot of their overall customer management activities.
- The landscape is continuously evolving with social media functionalities being one of the biggest emerging trends. On the other hand, cloud-based solutions and analytics capabilities are already considered as necessary features of every CRM software.
- Some CRMs are also made to fit specific industries. There are CRM software that are particularly designed to cater to real estate companies, call center operators, pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturing companies, among others.
How Do Businesses Benefit From Using CRM Software?
Did you know that, more often than not, customers stop patronizing a product or a service because they feel that the company doesn’t care about them? According to a study, 82% of customers don’t really stop purchasing due to pricing or because of the product, they leave because they don’t feel valued.
This is where the need for a CRM software comes in. Businesses need a tool to help them organize the various customer-related aspects of their company to ensure that they don’t miss any important aspect when servicing their customers.
Proven benefits of using a CRM tool in running a business are increased productivity and better performance of customer service agents and sales representatives. Additionally, using a CRM tool also contributes to the business growth of a company because it provides actionable insights that help business owners navigate their operations better.
Post the CRM Technology Landscape on Your Site
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Top Sales Influencers of 2018
We’ve scouted the web for sales influencers with a prominent social media presence and put together the list below of the top sales influencers of 2018.
Our goal for this list is to present helpful tips to small business owners right from the experts themselves. We found that the diverse quantity of influencers listed has outstanding credentials, expertise, and skills pertaining to sales, as well as an impressive quantity of social media followers.