CRM software is a competitive field, with dozens of quality brands vying for small businesses needing a CRM solution. That makes it a buyer's market – as a small business, you can be extra selective and ensure you get the best CRM system for your specific needs. So, which CRM should a small business choose?
- Freshworks CRM is the best value CRM for small businesses
- monday.com CRM is the best CRM tool for easily setting up simple automations
- Salesforce is the best option for a sales-focused CRM for small businesses
- Zendesk is the best CRM for small businesses running customer-support teams
- HubSpot is the best CRM for marketing
Good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software will allow you to ramp up your ability to convert leads, while cutting down on churn at the same time. It can help support teams to deliver solutions to customers, or it can help marketing teams to engage with new and existing customers. All of the above can be crucial for a small business looking to scale up.
The number of names in the CRM market – plus the array of features and add-on integrations – can be off-putting, but we are here to help your small business choose the best solution for your specific needs. Each CRM is different, with unique functions and potential extra costs – you can compare the latter using our handy CRM pricing quotes tool.
Free Trial Version
Cheapest paid plan
Price quoted is per user, per month
BEST VALUE CRM
BEST FOR EASY AUTOMATION
BEST CRM FOR SALES
A highly intuitive CRM that is packed with plenty of features and even has a free plan option
Popular option with a modern, easily customizable interface and a great Free Trial
A market leading CRM for good reason and a great all-rounder – with tailored pricing plans available, it should always be considered first.
A strong CRM system with an attractive free tier and great marketing features
An inexpensive, simple CRM tool that offers the best service features available
Core CRM features with appealingly flexible pricing plans
A solid CRM platform with scaling price plans and powerful features
A robust CRM platform that embeds brilliantly with Microsoft products
Flexible, friendly and effective, Zoho also starts at low price plans and has a great free trial
A great all-round CRM with a great, easy to understand dashboard
A decent choice for email marketing that falls behind in some other areas
The best CRM tools for a small business include, Salesforce, Freshworks CRM, monday.com CRM, HubSpot and Zendesk. Each has their own merits that may (or may not) make them ideal for your own business.
Below, we list the best CRM software providers you can choose. Each one has tiered plans that can help a small business scale and grow, so you can find affordable packages that may help you to start small.
- Freshworks CRM – best value CRM, with a free tier, too
- monday CRM – best for an easy, modern interface
- Salesforce – best sales-focused CRM platform
- HubSpot –best for marketing
- Zendesk – best for service-focused businesses
- Pipedrive – best for flexible pricing
- Microsoft Dynamics – best for larger businesses
- Zoho – best for multi-language companies
- SugarCRM – best for simple pricing
- Sendinblue — best for email marketing
From first inspection, it may seem hard to knock Salesforce from its position as the leading CRM provider on the market. And without question, Salesforce is the best CRM you can choose if you are after a sales-focused CRM tool. However, small businesses on a budget should certainly consider the alternatives – Freshworks CRM, for example, is an outstanding choice for a growing business. It has a brilliant free Freshworks CRM tier, which lets you use plenty of its features at zero cost.
If you're after a simple-to-use CRM for a small business, then monday.com CRM is a recent addition to the market that's well worth considering. With a blissfully simple modern interface, monday.com CRM makes automated sequences easy to set up and the whole platform is refreshingly uncomplicated.
Here's our closer look at the pros, cons, and unique abilities of the best CRM software vendors available today.
- Packed with a great catalogue of features
- Highly intuitive user interface, easy for beginners
- Free tier available
- Reporting tools are a bit limited
- Some key features exclusive to expensive plans
- Highly customizable platform
- A bit more affordable compared to other services
- Automation features save loads of time
- Missing more common project management features
- Limited third party integrations
- Higher tiers required for basic features
- Tailored pricing plans
- Wide feature set
- Frequently updated
- Robust support & training
- No free plan
- On the more expensive end of the industry
- Basic plan caps data at 612 MB/user
- Free option available
- Simple user interface
- Integrates with Gmail and Outlook
- Training is largely online
- Not great for larger companies
- Limited features compared to Salesforce
- Open API for unlimited customizability
- 24/7 live support options
- Unlimited data with basic plan
- Highest tiers are expensive
- A bit more complicated to use
- Few enterprise-level features
- Wide range of pricing plans
- Sales Assistant AI feature
- 24/7 chat support
- Good email features are costly
- Only the Enterprise plan has phone support
- Integrates with Microsoft products
- Features on par with Salesforce catalog
- Robust, 24/5 support options
- Decidedly expensive
- Limited API, particularly compared to Salesforce
- No free plan
- Free 15-day trial
- Lots of G Suite Integrations
- Supports 20 different languages
- Free trial available
- No data backups in free plan
- Shorter than average trial period
- Incredibly customizable for specific needs
- On-premise installations available
- No hidden fees
- No free plan available
- A bit expensive compared to the rest of the industry
- Less well-known brand
Best for simple, affordable email marketing
Sendinblue is a straightforward CRM tool that can help your company manage its sales, customer service, and marketing operations.
Perhaps its most unique feature though, is that its pricing is based on the number of emails that your teams send per month, rather than on a per-user basis. This means that you could save money if you have a lot of employees but don't send a lot of emails to customers.
Sendinblue was initially conceived as an email marketing automation tool but has grown its remit to cover all aspects of customer relationship management. However, our researchers found that it can't quite match up to some of the bigger players in the industry. For example, Sendinblue's sales features don't quite measure up to Salesforce when it comes to forecasting and payment management.
However, if you stick to email marketing, Sendinblue's generous “emails sent” and storage allowances make it a decent option.
Sendinblue pricing plans
Sendinblue offers four pricing plans, including a completely free option. All of them offer unlimited contacts.
The free version will allow you to send up to 300 emails per day. Plus, you can market on SMS messages and manage your sales relationships.
The $25 per month Lite plan gives you 100,000 with no daily send limits. You can also start using email support and get real-time reporting on your campaigns.
The Premium plan costs $65 per month and allows you to send one million emails. You also get access to Facebook adverts, telephone support, custom landing pages and more.
Finally, there's the Enterprise plan which is strictly POA. You can negotiate a custom email limit and have more than 20 custom landing pages on the go at any one time.
- Very simple pricing plans
- A strong email marketing choice
- Offers SMS marketing support
- Not the best for customer support functions
- Lacks some features
How We Rate CRM Software
At Tech.co, we take the ranking of business software like CRM very seriously. We aren't just picking numbers out of thin air – we're thoroughly and tirelessly researching and evaluating software based on a wide range of metrics, to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right choice for your business the first time.
For CRM software specifically, our research looks at a broad range of factors, including support options, key functionalities, depth of features, and price. In addition to all these specific scores, Tech.co also takes into account customer score, which is an aggregate score of online reviews, competitors scores, and more of our research.
By providing our own independent research, we hope that users will be able to make smart, informed decisions about what kind of CRM software provider will work best for their particular needs.
Conclusion: Next Steps in Getting a CRM System
To figure out which CRM services will offer your business the best deal, take just a minute to fill out Tech.Co's CRM comparison tool. The system you choose today could transform your business’s future.
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