A small business with a price tag attached, representing the best crm tools for small businesses
The 10 Best CRM Tools for Small Businesses
A small business with a price tag attached, representing the best crm tools for small businesses

The 10 Best CRM Tools for Small Businesses

Keeping track of your customers shouldn’t be too much of a challenge when you only have a few of them. A simple spreadsheet might be enough. But as your business grows and you gain more customers, you’ll most likely need to elevate your organizational methods with a CRM — a customer relationship management platform. However, choosing the best CRM for your small business can be an overwhelming task.

Find out why you need a CRM and discover the 10 best CRM tools for small businesses.

Why Does a Small Business Need a CRM? 

Whether you’re a one-person show running your own small business or part of a tight-knit team within a startup, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands. The idea of adding yet another tool — and learning to use it — might seem like a monumental task. While there may be a bit of a learning curve when first implementing a CRM, the long-term benefits are more than worth it. 

By consolidating all of your client information in one place — including email addresses, phone numbers, and order history — a CRM can save you and your team a lot of headaches. You don’t have to waste time trying to find that lone sticky note with a sales lead’s email address on it. With CRM software, you can find that valuable information in seconds. 

In addition to saving that time, a CRM tool can seriously boost your small business’s earning power. When you can see a client’s position in the pipeline, past interactions, and feedback, you’re gaining incomparable context into their behaviors. This data empowers you and your sales team to focus resources in the most efficient way possible. 

For example, perhaps a member of your sales team sees a potential opportunity to close a larger deal with a past customer. When they look the individual’s name up in your CRM, they see that the last time the customer ordered something from the business, they were left extremely dissatisfied. The live chat history and notes from other team members state that the customer said they never want to be contacted by the company again. This informs the sales team member’s next actions (i.e. do not reach out again to this customer), allowing them to instead focus on different accounts.

In addition to these benefits, many CRM tools will create sales reports and forecasts for your business, as well as help scale your sales process as a whole. Using the data stored in your CRM, you can quickly see the actions and tactics that are boosting your business, and those that could be hurting it. A CRM ensures that you have all of the data you need for your company to continue growing at a healthy pace. 

The best CRM tools for small businesses

Pipedrive

Named the easiest to use CRM tool in 2020, Pipedrive helps users close an average of 28% more deals after their first year. 

With Pipedrive, you can easily track and manage customers at all stages of the sales pipeline, ensuring you don’t miss out on any potential leads or business opportunities. The easy-to-use interface allows you to organize your dashboard the way that works best for you —plus it can grow with your business. You’re able to start simple and then customize your business’ specific pipeline as it evolves. 

Every time one of your customers communicates with your business through email or a phone call, Pipedrive automatically records and tracks it. This gives you a full view into the history of each and every customer, along with any notes regarding future plans. Spreadsheets might have helped you track your clients’ contact info, Pipedrive will optimize your sales process.

Pricing

After a 14-day free trial, Pipedrive offers four levels of paid plans. If you’re just starting out, either their Essential ($12.50 per user, per month) or Advanced Plan (24.90 per user, per month) is probably the best choice. If you’re looking to scale and grow more quickly, their Professional Plan ($49.90 per user, per month) includes more detailed analytics. 

Copper

If you’re a Google Suite user, Copper is a natural CRM choice for small businesses.

Copper integrates with your G Suite so it’s able to automatically import all relevant data from your emails and documents, including meetings and Google Drive content. This means little to no data entry on your part  — something that can save a small business countless hours of work. If you’re concerned about the time involved in the onboarding process, Copper can help ease these worries. The learning curve is smooth and quick, with their website promising “If you know how to use Gmail, you know how to use Copper.” 

Copper lets you customize pipelines, projects, and processes to best suit the needs of your business. Features include the ability to track and manage leads through visual pipelines, built-in sales forecasting capabilities, analytics, account and contact management, email and task management, plus collaboration, integration, and automation support. 

Pricing

Copper offers a free 14-day trial for all new customers. After that, you can choose from one of their three paid plans. Smaller businesses with up to three users are best-suited to their Basic Plan ($25 per user, per month), while their Professional Plan is great for growing businesses ($59 per user, per month). If you need a CRM that can support unlimited contacts and full customization, their Business Plan is $119 per user, per month. 

Keap

If you’re struggling to do everything for your small business yourself, Keap can help. Designed specifically for small and self-run companies, Keap offers a comprehensive CRM tool that lets users focus on the most important aspects of running and growing a business. 

Keap helps you nurture leads with pre-built reminders to follow-up, automated emails, and even texts. If your team struggles with consistency, or you’re not sure how to establish a repeatable sales process, Keap gives you the structure to set-up appointments and meetings, track your leads, and send quotes. Plus, Keap offers landing page templates and campaign builders that are perfect for those with small businesses who may not have the time to create such assets from scratch. 

If you’re often on-the-run, Keap also offers a mobile app so you can find the data you need, wherever you are. You can also integrate Keap with other tools, such as Shopify, Quickbooks, and Mailchimp. 

Pricing

Like most CRM tools for small businesses, Keap offers a free 14-day trial. After that, you can determine the paid plan you need with Keap’s handy interactive pricing tool. Simply enter the number of contacts you have and Keap’s three core plans will adjust in pricing based on this info. For example, their Lite Plan (labeled as “best for new businesses”) starts at $56 per month, which includes 500 contacts and one user. 

Bigin by Zoho

If you’re trying to find a CRM tool that is not quite as complex as enterprise-level software, yet a step-up from your basic spreadsheet, Bigin by Zoho could be your best solution. 

Built and priced specifically for small businesses, Bigin by Zoho helps users manage their client relationships and drive more revenue. You’re able to see a 360-degree view of your contacts, all in one place. While many CRMs offer phone, email, and live chat history, Bigin by Zoho also lets you see your contact’s Twitter activity (allowing you to respond to them via Twitter), as well as capture leads through customizable webforms. 

If you often find your team is losing out on clients due to disorganization, Bigin by Zoho helps small businesses stay on top of prospects with a simple drag and drop interface. You’re able to view key information about contacts at a glance, customize your data to best suit your sales team’s needs, create and manage multiple pipelines at once, and tag teammates with questions or comments for a more collaborative workflow. 

Pricing

After a customary free trial period, Bigin by Zoho starts at $7 USD per month, per user. This includes 50,000 records, multiple pipelines, 25 workflows, and more. If you need more features, you’re able to add those on at an extra cost. 

Freshsales

As part of Freshworks’s product stack, Freshsales offers one of the CRM tools for small businesses. 

Rather than using multiple tools and platforms, Freshsales combines sales and marketing automation, phone, and chat, all in one place. You can view all of your contacts’ information, social profiles, and touchpoints from the interface without switching between windows. With Freshsales’s built-in Slack integration, your team can collaborate even more easily. This streamlines the entire sales process, giving your salespeople more time to focus on the most important opportunities. 

Freshsales also helps you close more deals with its smart insight tool, Freddy AI. This will identify and let you know when a deal is “Likely to close,” “At-risk,” or “Gone cold” and will then suggest possible next actions. To save even more time, Freshsales offers tons of automation options. You can auto-assign leads to specific salespeople, automate your sales sequences, and create code-free webforms to generate leads. 

Pricing

Freshsales is a great option for small businesses as you can adjust your plan as you grow and scale, only paying for the features you need. Their free plan includes built-in chat, email, and phone support, contact and account management, contact lifecycle stages, 24-hour support, and access to the mobile app. If you need more features, they also offer a Growth Plan ($15 per user, per month), Pro Plan ($39 per user, per month), and Enterprise Plan ($69 per user, per month). 

Salesforce Essentials

As a pared-down version of the full Salesforce product, Salesforce Essentials is the perfect CRM software for many small businesses. 

Besides organizing your contacts’ information (including automatically synching customer data from your emails), Salesforce Essentials offers a range of tools and features to maximize your potential business growth. You can track all of your client relationships and deals by stages, project revenue based on each deal, respond to customers through a set and organized process, and see the health of your business in one place thanks to the tool’s free, prebuilt reports

With the Salesforce Essentials mobile app, you’re able to get customer info while on-the-go and enjoy all of the same features the desktop and web version offers. Plus, Salesforce Essentials integrates with other tools like Dropbox, Zapier, and DocuSign to keep the sales process as streamlined as possible. 

Pricing

You can try Salesforce Essentials for free with a 14-day trial. After that, their plans start at $25 per user, per month. 

Capsule

Capsule’s modern design and branding sets it apart from many other CRM software tools on the market. 

Capsule helps small businesses understand the big picture when it comes to their operations and success. You’re able to make more informed business decisions thanks to Capsule’s insightful reports and interface that lets you monitor every aspect of the sales cycle. Capsule’s analytics tool lets you see exactly where time and resources are being spent in comparison to sales coming in and revenue being generated. You’re able to see and track unique sales activities so you can see each  team member’s individual performance. You can then export any reports into other tools such as Excel. 

In addition to a comprehensive contact management system, Capsule enables you to tailor your sales cycle to fit your business. Different products, services, and industries have different needs, so this feature helps you get a more accurate idea of your business’s success over time. 

Pricing

While many other CRMs include a standard 14-day trial, Capsule lets you try their CRM tool free for 30-days. After that, their Professional Plan starts at $18 USD per user, per month and includes 50,000 contacts, 10 GB of storage (per user), premium integrations (with tools such as Microsoft 365, MailChimp, and Quickbooks), and activity reporting. 

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot’s free CRM tool has something for every member of your small business’s team. From salespeople to business owners, their CRM functionality goes way beyond simple contact management. 

The sales productivity tools included ensures you and your team spend more time actually closing deals, and less time scrambling for details and the information you need. You’re able to organize and manage deals in a custom pipeline, create reminders, and feel confident knowing that your calls, emails, meetings, and any notes are all being tracked automatically. Gmail and Outlook integrations mean you’ll be notified the second a contact opens their email so you can follow-up in a timely manner. 

In addition to regular CRM functions, HubSpot’s CRM tool helps you attract more leads to your business through ad management tools, and free forms and landing pages that can help you convert website visitors into leads. Plus, their email marketing tool lets you draft email campaigns with a simple drag and drop interface and analyze results. 

Pricing

HubSpot offers a Free and Starter Plan that are great for small businesses. The Starter Plan is $50 per month, and includes coverage for up to 1,000 contacts, 2 user subscriptions to the Sales Hub Starter, 2 user subscriptions to the Service Hub Starter, the CMS Hub Starter, and the Operations Hub Starter. If you find yourself eventually needing more advanced CRM functionality, more information on HubSpot’s premium Sales Hub products can be found here

Streak

Streak is a Google Chrome extension that builds your CRM tool right into your Gmail account. All you have to do is download the Google Chrome extension and you’ll be all set. 

With Streak, all of your email data is automatically captured from your contacts and emails, saving you and your team invaluable time. This ensures all contact details and activities are always up-to-date, which in turn helps you build and nurture customer relationships. 

As contacts move through your pipeline, you and your team will receive notifications whenever changes or updates are made. This makes sure you never forget to follow-up and lose out on potential sales. When sending emails, you can choose from a library of templates or frequently written emails that you and your team have sent. Plus, Streak has a mobile app that lets you take your work on the go when needed. 

Pricing

Streak offers a free 30-day trial, with their cheapest paid plan starting at $15 per user, per month. This includes a basic CRM (for up to 5,000 contacts) and mail merge. If you need more features and contact capacity, they also offer Pro and Enterprise plans. 

Nimble

Nimble collects and helps you organize contact data from not only emails and web browsers, but social media channels. With Nimble, you get real-time visibility across social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Nimble offers social listening and engagement tools so you can easily find new leads and make more data-informed decisions. Nimble’s Contact Record feature combines all of this cross-channel and platform information in one place to help streamline your sales efforts. 

When it comes to email, Nimble’s Intelligent Email Tracking feature enables you to track who is opening and clicking your emails so you know exactly which contacts are your best options. Group Email Marketing lets you send personalized group emails to contacts with tracking, analytics, and reporting functionalities, as well as your personal business email — not a generic marketing or company account. 

Pricing

If you’re interested in Nimble after your 14-day free trial, their Business Plan starts at $19 per user, per month. This includes relationship management, contact management, unified inbox, calendar synching, email message synching, social media signals and profile match, and more. 

Stay connected

As your small business grows, so do your CRM needs. From organizing your contacts to closing deals, the right CRM software can help your small business scale your sales process, increase customer satisfaction, reduce stress for your team, and boost revenue.