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10 Best CRM Software for Small Business

11 Best CRM Software for Small Business

Dwight Pavlovic
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Managing customers and clients across a variety of platforms can be daunting, particularly when your company is starting to grow. If this sounds familiar to you, we have some good news.
Improvements in software design and an expanding marketplace for easy-to-use sales tech means the bar is higher than ever when it comes to the best CRM (short for customer relationship management) for small business.
Your spreadsheet talents and years of experience can get you a long way, but as you add new team members and projects, you’ll run into the need for a more efficient solution.

Why use a CRM?

CRM systems allow you to efficiently track your customer and sales interactions. Using the data your CRM collects over time, you can build a clear picture of your customers and how best to serve them.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at 10 of the top CRM software solutions for small business. While most have some overlap in terms of functionality, they all have unique advantages when it comes to key features and pricing. Some prioritize a smooth and consistent user experience for big teams, while others are loaded with specialist functionality. Let’s get into it.

1. Microsoft Dynamics 365

For a familiar experience that’s also easy for any user to learn, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a comprehensive sales and marketing suite with numerous products, features, and services to choose from.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 bundles different services together, which means you’ll need to do some research and check the details of each product before you buy. But no matter which you pick, you can expect clear and intuitive design. You’ll also enjoy a smooth and seamless user experience if you already use Windows and other Microsoft products.
Pricing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 varies. However, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales modules contain most critical CRM functionality and are priced well within the mid-range of our list.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

2. HubSpot CRM

One of the most prominent options we’ll discuss today, HubSpot CRM is a common choice for loads of different businesses. Why is it so popular? In 2014, HubSpot launched its CRM service by providing users with one of the most functional free customer relationship management systems available. Also, you can choose to pay for just a single subscription fee, instead of per user, which is attractive for larger companies.
Even with their free service, businesses that use HubSpot can add unlimited users and up to a million contacts with its account. Having a high degree of scalability and functionality makes this CRM great for larger teams that need an easy way to coordinate without getting tripped up. It’s also designed for easy integration with whatever web services you and team use.
There are also paid Professional and Enterprise plans for larger businesses with more complex sales processes. Explore both to compare and contrast functionality, with options for extra content support, traffic growth, and comprehensive security. There’s plenty of room to customize features and a ton of built-in options to get you moving quickly.
Cost: Free or paid subscription

3. Insightly

Geared towards promoting great CRM within a framework of direct project management, Insightly has gone through several iterations of its main service. The current model opens up with a streamlined free plan that offers great functionality for small businesses or working partnerships, along with a range of comparatively low-cost paid plans.
Insightly is certainly viable as a free service under the right circumstances, but the low cost of upgrading to their paid services gives you a distinct advantage. For small to midsize teams who know their needs, Insightly offers a lot of functionality at a moderate starting price.
Insightly has built a respectable user base and strong reputation through its combination of robust CRM with comprehensive project management features. Overall it’s an intuitive, straightforward CRM for most users.
Cost: Free for 2 users or pay-per-user subscription

4. Vtiger

Lots of top CRM software options offer a variety of functions tailored to different parts of your team: management, sales, support, project delivery, and any other number of roles involving customer interaction. But Vtiger is popular for its emphasis on a “unified” approach that reduces barriers between the different parts of your business.
Users can subscribe to just a streamlined Sales CRM or Help Desk version, but Vtiger’s All-in-One service offers a lot of additional features at a savings. This brings your team together in a single easy-to-use service, combining sales, marketing, inventory, and support, using a simple interface that won’t hold you back when business is booming.
It also boasts notable marketing features and allows users to create impressive outreach and email campaigns. Plus, it’s surprisingly well-priced. For just the Sales CRM, pay $10 per month per user, while the full All-in-One Enterprise package costs only $42 per month per user.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

5. Zendesk Sell

Zendesk is known for customer service technology, but they also offer a full-function, simple CRM service through their expanding Sales Suite. Users can sign up for just the basics with Zendesk Sell or upgrade to Zendesk Sales Suite for a more comprehensive toolkit featuring customization options, full customer support integration, and more.
With Zendesk Sell, you still get a powerful collection of apps and features. The cost is $19 per month per user, and an annual subscription gets you a strong slate of integrated sales and marketing features. Higher price points provide extras like API functionality and deeper marketing options and analytics.
Part of the appeal of Zendesk is the ease of using it with their other services. Their strong roots in customer service and emphasis on a clear interface are big reasons why some businesses prefer this software.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

6. NetSuite CRM+

Oracle’s NetSuite CRM is popular for its information-driven approach with a strong focus on data and analytics. The interface is simple and clean, so users with only minimal CRM experience won’t risk getting bogged down. For others, it’s a goldmine of insights into clients, customers, and your organization.
That makes it a favorite for pro-users and organizations with a fast pace of business. If that sounds like you, you’ll also enjoy the more complex data stream and interface. It may not be as simple for newcomers, but it does present some unique advantages for data junkies in particular.
Like HubSpot, NetSuite CRM is also distinguished by its single subscription fee. That makes it a great candidate for mid-sized companies that want high functionality without the cumulative user cost. You’ll need to get in touch with their team for pricing.
Cost: Paid subscription

7. Salesforce CRM

Used extensively across many industries, Salesforce CRM is a popular option for teams of all sizes. For their comprehensive CRM service, Salesforce offers four pricing tiers that scale well to the needs of businesses at various stages of development. Being so widespread, it also increases the likelihood you have access to the same resources as your competition.
Though scalability and competitive sales insights are a part of Salesforce’s attraction, the CRM is also known for good basics. You can expect easy-to-use interfaces with recognizable labels and layouts, plus an extensive suite of other services to consider as your business grows. It also helps streamline a lot of tedious backend tasks for small businesses, like customer support.
Pricing varies depending on your preferred service options and the size of your team. That means mid-sized teams on a budget may have a steeper bill though, by comparison, the costs of a typical Salesforce subscription are average for our list.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

8. Freshsales CRM

Freshsales CRM is widely appreciated as one of the most user-friendly options available. It features a simple interface with a clean layout for easy navigation, no matter how much information you need to visualize. Notes, contacts, and peripheral information are all clear and easy to access.
Freshsales is a great choice for bringing a bigger team together without unnecessary obstacles. Their goal is to provide a CRM experience that users can easily adapt to regardless of experience level and software preference, extending right into how the software displays information and analytics. Comprehensive product support is also available across every layer of this tool.
As for costs, it’s one of the most affordable entries on our list with a range of price points. Starting at $12 per user with an annual subscription, their $79 Forest version is one of the most competitively priced Enterprise Editions on our list (at least for smaller companies).
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

9. Less Annoying CRM

If you’ve ever gotten bogged down in a complex CRM interface packed with too many windows or compatibility issues, you can probably guess the pitch from Less Annoying CRM. It has a lot of the same features of previous CRMs on our list, but it’s loaded in a cloud-based application that’s as easy to implement as it is to use.
That ease of implementation is a big part of the appeal for teams with more than a few members, particularly when roles are split up among the group. For small businesses that need a laid-back solution, Less Annoying CRM offers a huge amount of core sales functionality without much hassle.
Pricing is a big part of the advantage with Less Annoying CRM, too. Like their interface and design, their pricing is geared toward simplicity. All subscribers pay only $10 per user, and that’s all there is to it. Their 30-day trial also provides total access to the service’s full suite of features. Less Annoying is a great CRM software for small business, helping your team build on what they already do best.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

10. Apptivo CRM

Well known for its great mobile functionality, Apptivo CRM is another great option for users who want a balanced software solution. Apptivo packs in tons of high-end features at all levels, and it preserves a highly intelligible interface across both mobile and desktop versions.
Apptivo is also on the more affordable side of our list. It offers a free entry plan, paid subscriptions, and the option to get in touch for custom enterprise pricing. There’s also a 30-day trial period for you to get familiar with the system, which is helpful for any business looking to make a big change for multiple staff members.
CRM software for small businesses doesn’t always offer a lot for free users, but Apptivo CRM is well-liked for its versatility at lower price points. With access to easy expandability and other Apptivo business services, there’s a clear appeal to any small business on a budget.
Cost: Free or paid subscription

11. FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM was developed in the early aughts and is now owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland. It’s also one of the most balanced options on our list, with a relatively high bar for functionality regardless of your preferred subscription pricing.
FreeAgent offers pro features without sacrificing the simplicity of an easy-to-use layout. It packs in the extended functionality you expect from services with enterprise support, and it remains intuitive for users of any experience level. It makes the most of common structural elements while streamlining how more complex information is rendered.
There’s no free option, but the Essentials Plan costs just $25 per user per month when billed annually. The Enterprise and Ultimate Plans have higher price tags, but they also add on top-tier functionality like automation and customer support.
Cost: Pay-per-user subscription

Other tech resources for small businesses

Access to a good CRM for small business is critical, but it's not the only tech concern you may want to address. How the world does business is constantly evolving, making it more important to stay up to date on software issues, mobile planning, and many other concerns that eat up time.

The right solution for your business

Consolidated solutions may have been cumbersome in the past, but by using a CRM, businesses can increase client interactions and drive productivity. This impacts both your day-to-day and long-term operations, which means the right CRM is beneficial when planning for growth.
Virtually all of the services on our list are available to explore as a demo or free trial. Not sure which is most suited to your situation? Consider trying out a few to experiment with basic functionality. Even just a few minutes of testing can help form a clearer idea of your preferred interface experience.
Remember, whether you choose a streamlined solution with no recurring costs or a paid service with deeper functionality, CRM is designed to boost sales and make life easier for you and your team. The best CRM for small business should always add value to your existing experience and procedures.

About the Author

Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

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