The market has become flooded with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, making it incredibly difficult to narrow the field enough to find the right CRM software for your needs. If you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, however, the sheer number of options can be beneficial, allowing you to zero in and find the perfect fit.
Every business — theoretically, at least — has customers, but that doesn’t mean that every business needs a CRM. There are, however, a few different business models that will be able to realize significant benefits from an investment in CRM software. Those with sales teams will have an advantage when it comes to finding patterns in consumer behavior, and a CRM will help them identify the most effective steps of the sales funnel — as well as those that need more work.
A CRM solution will also help identify the most promising leads so your team doesn’t accidentally let them slip through the cracks. Any business that needs to market itself will benefit from these insights and the improved ROI brought about through a CRM, as will businesses looking to automate certain tasks that are taking valuable time away from other functions in the organization.
If your business needs to track leads, rank them, improve the sales funnel, and become more efficient, a CRM is a good place to start. There are hundreds of options out there. I’ve(or my team) has tried over 100 different CRM software tools. We decided to tell you which ones are the best according to us. To make things easier, this is post and list is more geared towards small to medium sized business owners.
Top CRM Companies for Business Owners
HubSpot’s free version offers what is essentially an intro to CRM solutions, complete with an abundance of training guides and resources.
HubSpot Academy gives users access to valuable classes and certification programs to educate them on all aspects of running a business.
HubSpot takes the top spot, however, because of its wide-ranging capabilities — the CRM core has specific hubs for sales, marketing, and customer experience to bring the different sides and needs of a business together, eliminating silos.
Spiro’s secret sauce lies in its AI capabilities, which can speed up information processing and yield more effective relationships with clients. The solution also comes with a bot that can compile data from various sources, such as calendars and emails, to provide sales personnel with a to-do list that’s always up-to-date.
It also handles the data entry aspects of sales, freeing salespeople up to spend time nurturing relationships without losing the valuable data embedded in each call — in fact, Spiro’s reports have eight times the data richness of other reports.
The new Service CRM by Nextiva allows your business to see complete customer history and manage all of your customer interactions in one place. You can automate workflows using the powerful rules engine and build forms to collect valuable data.
The keyword analysis tool allows you to improve your CRM’s artificial intelligence and keep customers happy.
Omni-channel support across email, voice, and chat makes running a business easier than ever – and allows you to reach your customers where they need it most.
Freshsales is a powerful CRM that tells you everything you need to know about your lead, from one screen. It comes with AI based lead scoring, built-in phone, email integration, automation, reporting, and more. You can get a hang of the tool by signing up for a 21-day free trial or requesting for a demo.
Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM solution offers an option that can cater to both enterprises and small businesses. Salesforce offers plenty of features and functionalities, including advanced analytics powered by its Einstein AI, project management tools, and customizable dashboards.
Its Customer Success Platform offers powerful apps that can help businesses develop a consistent e-commerce customer experience and collaborate on campaigns.
ONTRAPORT offers the “most powerful visual marketing automation and reporting platform in the world,” enabling small businesses to map their customer journey and utilize data to create visuals of trends and patterns.
Its Projection Mode uses predictive intelligence to anticipate what prospects and customers will do next and make decisions based on data. The platform’s automated workflow tools aim to help brands measure their work rather than create more of it.
An ideal option for small business users, Hatchbuck helps manage contacts and automates follow-ups, tracking individuals as they move through the sales funnel and alerting you when prospects are ready to make a purchase.
Having sales and marketing working together prevents leads from going unnoticed, and this solution will get the job done without having to pay for more than what your small business truly needs.
Best of all, its integration with Zapier means small businesses don’t have to give up the tools they’re already using, and the platform provides smart insights into the sales and marketing data it collects.
Insightly is a great option for midsize businesses, and it offers a free edition so users can try the product out; Insightly also offers paying users upgraded features to keep it relevant as businesses grow and become more complex.
The platform provides relationship maps to help businesses adopt the best approach and tracks contacts’ contacts, creating organizational hierarchies to streamline communication. Insightly also automates workflows and creates milestones to keep teams on track.
While it doesn’t offer the same degree of customization as many competitors, Zoho is a great value with an intuitive, user-friendly interface, making it possible to implement without bringing in a developer.
In addition, Zoho has a full suite of other business apps that will work seamlessly with its CRM. Its ominchannel focus features a conversational AI, Zia, as well as SalesSignals, which streamlines notifications and ensures businesses hit every customer touchpoint.
An affordable SaaS solution, Agile allows a team of up to 10 users to manage a collective group of 50,000 contacts for free.
Compared to other CRMs that can cost thousands of dollars per month, Agile CRM’s enterprise version is quite a value at less than $50 per user per month. Its all-in-one CRM package aligns messaging across an entire company and seals data leaks so organizations can make the most of their information. The CRM automatically creates tasks for salespeople and automates marketing features, helping teams save time.
Pipedrive is created with small business owners in mind, and the speedy setup and intuitive design mean that no training is required. The “light-touch sales platform” ensures businesses can get started using the product minutes after setup, and it uses a visual display to show how deals in the pipeline are progressing and help salespeople pinpoint their to-do tasks and deadlines.
Pipedrive’s automated tracking eliminates time spent on admin processes, and it builds action steps around what will move things forward in the sales funnel. Its strongest feature is its ability to be customized, allowing small businesses to fit the platform to their processes.
With a separate open-source edition that’s ideal for developers, SugarCRM differentiates itself with lots of custom options and exceptional customer service. It’s also supported on many different operating systems besides Windows and Mac OS, including Linux and Unix.
The CRM boasts the highest Net Promoter Score across major CRM providers; its Hint feature speeds up research prior to calls, and the platform collects information across the sales, marketing, and service functions to create consistency.
The exploding market for CRM solutions makes finding the right one difficult, but their popularity also shows how effective they can be. For businesses of all sizes, the right CRM software can transform an inefficient, disorganized process into a well-oiled, automated machine.
Start your CRM search with this list, and don’t hesitate to try a few out. Taking the time to find the perfect fit will pay off in the long run.
Benchpoint is a sales CRM and pipeline management system designed specifically for startups and small businesses that have teams or CRM users of up to 10.
With a forever free plan and low monthly per user fee, Benchpoint is among the most cost effective CRM softwares in the market that offer all the premium features that are utilised by a small business.
This clutter-free tool provides a comprehensive view of sales pipeline and works particularly well for product companies that can make data-backed purchasing and sales decisions.
Updated September 2019
Editor In Chief at ReadWrite
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.