Running a successful small business is like having hundreds (or thousands!) of friends you need to keep track of somehow. Don’t rely on handwritten client notes that you can’t even read. Instead, check out some of the best CRM software that’ll help you stay on top of your client list.
A CRM (customer relationship management) software will help you manage customers and potential customers, freeing up your time and energy to focus on growing your business.
But, what is a CRM, what can you expect of a CRM software, and how do you pick the right one?
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you out. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how CRMs can help and how you can choose the right CRM for you.
Plus, we share details on the 10 best CRM software for small business, so you can get started off right.
Table of Contents
- What Is CRM Software?
- What to Look for in the Best CRM Software
- Best CRM Software for Small Business
What Is CRM Software?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an all-in-one tool to manage customer info, add notes, send emails, and so much more. And, you can do it all without leaving the CRM software platform.
Many small businesses make do by managing customer details through sticky notes or manual spreadsheets. But, not you. Not anymore.
As your business grows, manual processes become increasingly inefficient and costly. If you’re not careful, it could easily cost you customers and sales.
CRM software helps keep everyone in your company on the same page, bringing marketing, sales, and customer support together with all the data they need to succeed in their roles.
With CRM software, your small business can easily store and access all the customer info you need, resulting in personalized, attentive service, efficiently!
What to Look for in the Best CRM Software
There are tons of CRM software companies, so knowing what to look for in the best CRM software is super important. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Ease of Use
You’re going to be using your CRM software a lot, every single day. You’ll be living in it. If it isn’t easy to use, you won’t use it. And that won’t help you reach your goals.
Want to know how important usability it? A recent survey found that 67% of businesses think that ease of use is the most important feature of their CRM software.
Cloud-Based Client Management
Having a cloud-based CRM is important for your team. They’ll be able to access client details from anywhere, in real-time, increasing productivity. Nucleus Research found that 65% of companies using mobile-friendly CRMs exceeded their sales targets.
Plus, cloud-based software is more secure, faster, and makes it easier to integrate with the other apps you use to keep your business thriving.
If you have a sales team, this one’s vital. You must be able to track your contacts all the way from “just browsing” to “brand evangelist” without missing a beat.
This means that your CRM software has to be able to send emails automatically based on behavior, make follow-up phone calls, and more.
Features and Integrations
What features do you need your CRM software to have? You might be shouting at your screen right now, “I don’t know, OptinMonster, I only just found out that I even need a CRM!”
That’s okay. Let’s talk it out.
First, your CRM is more than just a contact list. It needs to integrate lead generation with marketing and sales.
So, how do you need to be able to get in contact with people? Your CRM should store name, email address, phone number, and maybe even social media links. Some CRM software even scans through social media profiles to show you if the contact fits your buyer persona.
The best CRM software will help you stay on top of the entire customer journey. That means you’ll need to make sure you can integrate the CRM software you’re considering with your existing business and sales activities.
Best CRM Software for Small Business
Now that you have a general idea of what you’re looking for in a CRM, let’s take a closer look at the best CRM software for small business, as chosen by us, your friends (and resident marketing experts) at OptinMonster.
Drip is the leading eCommerce CRM, but it’s not just for eCommerce. It’s powerful, has a beautiful interface, and is very easy to use for any business.
This CRM software makes it easy to build automation workflows and email campaigns. You even have the choice of building your email with a visual builder or text builder. And either option is really easy.
Drip also offers easy list segmentation, conversion tracking, content customization, purchase intent marketing, and much more. With tags, events, and custom fields you can learn and track everything you need about your customers’ stories.
It’s designed to increase your bottom line and help you generate leads, manage contacts, and turn them into lifelong customers.
Drip is loaded with features including marketing automation, advanced contact management, actionable reports, email campaigns, one-on-one conversations, eCommerce user tracking, and more.
You can easily integrate Drip with all of the best 3rd-party services like email services, lead generation software, WooCommerce, Shopify, and many more. There are even workflows for Facebook and Instagram lead generation.
- Marketing automation workflows
- Advanced contact management using tags, custom fields, and events
- Native integrations with popular 3rd-party services
- Actionable reports
- Easy email list segmentation
- Content customization
- eCommerce user tracking
- Custom conversion tracking
- Purchase intent marketing
- Automatic revenue attribution
Plans start at $49/month for up to 2500 active contacts, unlimited email sends, and 24/7 chat & email support. You can try Drip free for 14 days.
Sendinblue is a powerful email marketing service that has all the features you need to serve as a complete CRM, too.
Sendinblue is a great option for any size business, because you can get started for free and then upgrade as your business grows. They offer reliable email delivery, email marketing, automations, transactional emails for eCommerce, smart segmentation, and more.
Unlike many other CRMs, they also have SMS marketing and chat. SMS marketing is a powerful tactic that can instantly boost sales and engagement. Their live chat solution allows you to connect with customers and leads in real time.
Sendinblue comes with a top-tier support team and detailed documentation so it’s easy to get started.
- Easy segmentation and personalization
- Powerful marketing automation tools
- Transactional emails with reliable delivery
- Landing page and signup form builder
- Easy Facebook ads and retargeting
- Detailed and actionable analytics
- Automatic send time optimization
- A/B testing
- SMS and Chat marketing tools
Get started for free! Click here to try Sendinblue free today.
HubSpot is hands down the best CRM software for small businesses looking for a cost-effective solution when they’re getting started.
HubSpot is easy to use and offers a wide range of tools to manage the customer journey. It even offers forever free plans with limited features for their CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Service Hubs.
The CRM has a nice interface, letting you see your entire sales pipeline right on your dashboard. If you want more data (and who doesn’t?), you can view all contact and sales activity, detailed reports, and performance on a user or team basis.
HubSpot has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android, email templates, real-time notifications, email tracking, scheduling, phone calls, and more.
It also integrates with more than 300 apps and services like WordPress, email marketing companies, lead generation software like OptinMonster, and on and on. You can also connect HubSpot to Gmail or Outlook to log activity automatically, capturing every single email.
- Personalize email sequences for leads and existing customers
- Place phone calls right from the CRM
- Get real-time notifications about lead behavior
- Integrate with popular tools like Salesforce, Shopify, and Microsoft Dynamics
- Store unlimited users, data, and up to a million contacts
- Integrate 300+ apps
- Create custom filters to sort contacts
- Schedule emails, tasks, and create tickets
The core CRM software is free, but for more powerful features you can upgrade to a paid plan for Marketing, Sales, or Service hubs (starting at $50/month). You can also upgrade to the Growth Suite starting at $113/month for a single user.
Constant Contact is a wildly popular email marketing service, but you can also use it as a CRM. It’s great for small businesses, with a simple and easy-to-use dashboard, marketing automation, reporting, sales funnels, and a useful drag and drop tool for creating emails.
You can also store contacts, manage customer information and add 3rd-party integrations (including eCommerce integrations) from Constant Contact’s huge marketplace. The number of integrations makes it easy to build just the right platform for your business.
- Email scheduling
- Easy list segmentation and list cleaning
- Marketing automation to make lead nurturing a breeze
- Drag and drop builder to easily create stunning emails
- 100+ email templates
- Easy integration with eCommerce platforms
- Run Facebook and Instagram ads to grow your email list
Plans start at $20/month for the Email plan, but you’ll want to go for Email Plus (starting at $45) to get all the features that will make this a good CRM software option.
Zoho is a cloud-based software suite built to give you all you need to easily run your small business. You’ll get a powerful set of marketing and sales features with SaaS apps and online productivity tools.
This CRM software helps small businesses organize contacts, market their brand, manage sales, provide customers support and a lot more.
You can use Zoho to integrate with the other marketing tools you already use, capture leads through social media, segment visitors, and offer support using built-in live chat.
- Multichannel contact management (email, phone, live chat, and social media)
- AI voice assistant for creating intelligent dashboards and forecasting business trends
- Sales lead management (with lead scoring) so you can prioritize leads and convert them faster
- Detailed analytics reports so you can make data-driven decisions
- Mobile apps to keep everyone on the same page, even on the go
- Team collaboration tools and team roles
- IT management for monitoring websites and handling support tickets
- Built-in security measures to keep your data safe
Zoho has a free plan for up to 3 users, but the really good features are in the paid plans. Those start at $12/month per user (billed annually).
Pipedrive is a ridiculously user-friendly CRM software that’s designed to be simple and fast. Using their pipeline management feature you get an overview of your entire sales process and can stay in control of it the whole way.
In addition to pipeline management with a clear, visual interface, you’ll also get email integration, sales reporting and forecasting, and mobile apps so you can access your CRM from anywhere.
Pipedrive doesn’t offer any segmentation, but it’s simple enough to make identifying leads and maintaining relationships really easy.
- Mobile alerts and email reminders
- Easy integration with Google Apps, Trello, Zapier, and more
- API for easy integration with any software
- Email integrations to keep your sales communication is one place
- Email templates
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Sales forecasting and trend analysis
- Backups and encryption to keep your data secure
- Drag and drop tasks as customers follow the sales funnel
Plans start at $12.50/month per user (billed annually).
Salesforce is a giant in the CRM field and one of the very best CRM software for small businesses. You can use Salesforce to take leads through a personalized customer journey and use the intelligent marketing platform to drive more sales through emails, SMS messaging, social media, and digital advertising.
Since Salesforce has been around forever, it includes tons of advanced features and solutions for everything you could possibly need: sales, marketing, commerce, customer service and engagement, team productivity, and even more.
- Guided onboarding
- Custom dashboards and reports
- Automatically track emails and meetings
- Social media and email support
- Enterprise-level security and ongoing support
Plans for small businesses start at $25/month per user (billed annually).
It has an excellent dashboard that gives you immediate access to contact management, reports, emails, phone calls, and more. And, if the intuitive, web-based interface wasn’t enough, there are also mobile apps so you can make sales wherever you go.
Freshsales use AI-powered lead scoring to help you easily prioritize the leads that are more likely to convert. You can also set up custom workflows, get actionable insights into conversations, track events, and use the 360-degree customer view to see all the most important info from a single screen.
It does have native integrations for some popular 3rd-party services and apps, but the number of integrations is a bit limited.
- 360-degree access to customer profiles, complete with customer touchpoints
- AI-powered lead scoring for prioritizing leads and boosting sales
- Sales team grouping and automatic lead assignments
- Visual sales pipeline with a drag and drop navigation
- Mobile app integration for managing your business on the go
- Automatic contact profile updates
- Appointment booking and phone calls right from the platform
Pricing starts at $12/month per user (billed annually).
Streak CRM works with G Suite and free Gmail accounts and lets you track customer emails and leads, manage contacts, and stay on top of your sales funnels. If you already use Gmail or G Suite, this may just be the best CRM software for you.
You can automatically capture leads right from your contacts, add tasks and reminders, schedule emails, create custom pipelines/funnels, add tags and notes, and a lot more.
Streak CRM comes with workflow management features like hiring, project management, sales, support, and more, but you can also customize it to your exact needs. Since it’s built straight into Gmail, it’s super easy to use, even for complete beginners.
This CRM software comes as a browser addon or mobile app for iOS and Android. Plus, it supports 3rd-party integrations through Gmail and Zapier.
- Track all your contacts in a pipeline (with custom views)
- Track and share customer interactions with your team
- Easily import and export data
- Mobile apps help you stay connected, track calls, and take notes from anywhere
- Mail merge to send mass emails easily
- Easy integration with hundreds of platforms
Streak CRM has a free plan with limited features. For businesses, you’ll want one of the paid plans starting at $49/month per user (billed annually).
10. Agile CRM
Agile CRM is one of the best all-in-one CRM software around. You get contact management, sales, marketing, and customer service in one dashboard. Plus, it’s easy to use!
With this CRM, you get a 360-degree contact view, project management, gamification for your sales team to inspire fun competition, events, calendar, timeline, and more. In addition to the detailed reports that are available, you can also access quick reports that you can then drill down in to get a closer look at what’s going on.
Agile CRM includes single-page contact management, 1-click calling, appointment scheduling, and the marketing tools you need to generate and capture leads. And, you can create email newsletters, landing pages, and send out emails.
As if all that weren’t enough, Agile CRM has service features including support ticketing, helpdesk, and more.
They offer single-page contact management, deal tracking, 1-click calling, voicemail automation, appointment scheduling, project management, and much more… and that’s just for sales. They also have marketing features like a landing page builder, email tracking, and social suite. Service features include helpdesk, ticketing, and more
- Single-page contact management
- 1-click calling, call scripts, and automated voicemail
- Fully integrated marketing automation (create landing pages and web forms)
- Multichannel campaigns created and managed with a drag and drop interface
- Advanced lead tracking and reporting
- Built-in live chat windows
Agile CRM offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $9.99/month per user (billed annually). There’s also an option to pre-pay 2 years for a discount.
Choosing the best CRM software for your small business will make your life so much easier. Any of the platforms we’ve mentioned in this post will be a massive improvement from scribbled notes or digital files that offer no real way of using the information you spent time getting.
And, if you want to drive leads to fill up that CRM software, there’s nothing better than OptinMonster. Join OptinMonster today and give that CRM software a workout!