Best CRM Software Providers 2020: 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 variety of price points, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs. Leveraging CRM software can make the sales process more efficient for you and your team.
What Is a CRM & What Does It Do?
CRM software is used by business-to-business (B2B) sales teams to manage and track activities related to the sales process. Most CRM software includes the ability to capture and nurture 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 most common and effective sales tools available.
Top 6 CRM Software Providers for Small Businesses
Who It’s Best For
(Best Overall) B2B businesses with remote sales teams that want a flexible, robust, and competitively priced CRM with call recording
Free - $79/month
Agencies and service-based businesses that use inbound/content marketing strategies
Free - $1,200/month
Field sales teams with a consultative sales process
$12.50 - $99/month
Consultants or freelancers who manage one-off jobs and track hourly billings
Free - $35/month
Businesses that manage standardized or recurring projects and need G Suite integration
Free - $99/month
Online brands and ecommerce retailers wanting a robust CRM with social media integration and order management tools
Free - $45/month
*All prices are per user, per month except Dubsado and HubSpot.
CRM Software Pricing Guide: What You Should Expect to Pay
We regularly look at dozens of small business CRMs and have 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 CRM providers 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.
Benefits of Using CRM Software
The biggest benefits of CRMs are that you can track sales opportunities through your sales process and create automated workflows that eliminate routine administrative tasks. These benefits free 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.
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 contributes to the business growth of a company because it provides actionable insights that help business owners navigate their operations better.
Here are a few specific benefits of CRM software:
Produce the Highest-quality Leads to Pursue
By being intentional in how you set up your CRM, you’ll be able to evaluate and understand incoming leads and nurture them into customers based on the criteria you’ve used to define your target customer. By being strategic about your sales strategy and moving leads through the process, you can be sure to invest your time and energy in the most valuable sales opportunities, both by dollar amount and the likelihood of closing.
Win More Quality Sales Opportunities
Using a small business CRM results in more quality sales opportunities being won, which means more revenue for the business. Not all sales opportunities are created equal, meaning that sometimes the time invested isn’t worth it, or the customer’s needs aren’t aligned with your products or services. Your CRM, if set up well, will enable you to close the deals that are the best fit and are the most profitable.
Improve Customer Relationships
Investing in your current customers is almost always less expensive than finding and nurturing new customers. While most businesses will always be pursuing both, using a CRM can help strengthen the relationships you have with your current customers by helping you be strategic with how you engage with them regularly. Strategic customer engagement benefits your business because strong relationships mean that customers are less likely to take their business elsewhere.
Measure the Effectiveness of Sales Activities
Smart sales leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve their sales plan; using a CRM will allow you to set goals and track your team’s performance. Knowing which activities are best at generating new sales opportunities means that you can direct your efforts accordingly, and measure how effectively your team is spending its time. You can also create metrics that give you a sense of how you are achieving your sales goals.
Key CRM Software Features
CRM choices vary from sophisticated enterprise-level software that automates the sales process to email contact management plugins that simply help you keep track of your customer communications. Navigating the different choices and features available can be overwhelming when deciding on 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: Evaluates and determines 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: Visualizes the overall sales process by stage, giving you a big picture of where deals are and how your team is performing.
- Mobile CRM apps: 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. It 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, look at whether the software is 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 software by syncing contact lists and automatically updating new subscribers and contacts as leads.
- Website and CMS integrations: Software integrations that allow you to capture leads directly from your website and landing pages or forms 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: 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 support 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 human resources (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. They allow managers to see how their teams are performing and forecast future opportunities and results.
- Mobile: 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: 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: 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: Wise Agent is a robust CRM for real estate agents that allows them to track leads, manage their sales cycles, and execute marketing activities.
- Construction: JobNimbus is a CRM for general contractors. It incorporates construction-specific features, including job estimates, invoices, and project management.
- Restaurant: 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.
While CRMs are powerful tools for salespeople and teams, you can use other software tools 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. It 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, webchat, social media, or telephone.
Pipedrive is a CRM software that provides users with intuitive visual sales pipeline tools. Pricing ranges from $15 to $99/user/month. View Profile
Salesforce is an advanced CRM tool that helps businesses manage all aspects of their customer relationships. It costs $25-$300 per user per month. View Profile
Zoho CRM allows users to manage their contacts and automate their email marketing and lead generation tasks. Prices range from $0 to $55/user/month. View Profile
Freshsales CRM enables users to track leads, monitor deals, and run sales campaigns in their CRM platform. Pricing ranges from $0 to $79/user/month. View Profile
HubSpot is a CRM software that includes basic and essential customer management functions to help users grow their business. It is a free product. View Profile
Nimble is a CRM software designed for Office 365 and G Suite users. It costs $25 per user per month. View Profile
Daylite is a CRM software that offers opportunity identification, contact management, project tracking, and more. Pricing is at $29/user/month. View Profile
NetHunt CRM is a CRM and project management tool designed for Gmail and G Suite users. Prices range from $30 to $60 per user, per month. View Profile
OnePageCRM allows users to organize their contacts and visualize sales action plans. It costs $12 per user per month. View Profile
Insightly is a CRM platform that allows users to monitor pipelines, manage contacts, and more. It costs $0 to over $129 per month. View Profile
SharpSpring is a marketing tool that helps users generate more leads and increase conversion rates. Monthly fees start at $450 for 1,500 contacts. View Profile
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.
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.