Top 9 Best CRM software for small business (2022): Compared & Reviewed
What is CRM (Customer relationship management)?
In the field of business, it is always said that those who respect their customers and understand their needs are going to succeed no matter what. CRM is one of the ways to understand those needs. It is a process of interaction that the business follows to communicate and connect with their existing and prospective customers so as to understand what they like, what they don’t like and how the business can solve the problems that they are facing.
Basically, businesses collect data about their customers regularly, apply the data analytics principles to that collected data and then try to understand how the businesses can improve their relationship with the customers. This is done with the belief that when the businesses understand their customers through data then they are able to achieve higher sales from their target market.
The businesses gather data about their customers from all the modes like emails, feedback, reviews, telephone calling etc. This process is not a one-day process where you just generate graphs through software and you are done. This process has many phases. This is a long process, a process to build relationships with the customers takes time.
Not only the businesses that are global need to do this but this should be done by the small businesses as well. It is the duty of each and every business to nurture their relationship with their customers so as customers get value from what they buy and business can expand through higher sales.
And in order to carry out this long process, the businesses use the automated means. They take the support of customer relationship management software.
What is CRM software?
CRM software is that software that allows the businesses to do their CRM activities in an automated manner. Not all businesses can hire people for each and every function, small businesses’ proprietors need to manage spreadsheets, phone calls, customer emails, appointments etc. all on their own and have a very limited staff. A good CRM solution can help you manage all of these plus more at one place with utmost of ease.
Customer relationship management software simply said is an all-in-one tool. The tool that helps you manage each and every aspect of your relationship with your customers. This software even keeps and maintains a record of each interaction that you had with your customer so that you can have a better understanding of customer satisfaction.
CRM software also helps the businesses to integrate processes of the business. They help to establish a proper channel of communication among the business as well so that every part function in great synergy.
It has become very important that businesses become an experience for the customers. It shouldn’t be limited to just a place where people buy goods. For this experience it is very important that the businesses equip themselves with good CRM solutions. Small businesses need CRM more because the way CRM software manages data, it helps the businesses to focus their resources in optimum manner.
Best CRM Software for Small Business
Few of the best Customer relationship management software option available in the market are-
Salesforce is one of the best CRM software for small businesses.
Its features have been specifically developed for small businesses.
They give special emphasis on sales and customer relationships.
This platform has the best CRM capabilities that help the users in managing customers, leads, sales and marketing activities at one place with utmost of ease.
Salesforce can be used to create sales as an experience for the customer. Right from personalization in lead to after sales services, salesforce has covered it all.
This software is mainly a boon for the micro or small enterprise, but this doesn’t deny the fact that this can be used by bigger businesses as well. Any type of enterprise can use this software.
The businesses can have the best AI technology equipped marketing platform to create the most profits. These businesses can target customers through email, SMS, social media, and digital advertising. All the features are developed in a manner that proves to be a journey for the customer as well as the businesses.
Salesforce has a cloud-based user interface that allows the marketing and sales activities to be carried on remotely. This app comes as an SaaS deployment that provides the best technology for database management, data security and workflow, privacy of workflow. The data is end to end encrypted as well thus establishing trust among customers.
It provides a free trial for 30 days.
- Salesforce is available for outlook as well, this way it helps the users to synchronize various details of the customers like contacts, registration ID, invoices etc. at a third-party platform as well.
- In Salesforce you can synchronize scheduled calendars, customer and staff emails and tasks for the employees at one window so it doesn’t create any interruptions in the customer satisfaction process.
- Salesforce is one of the oldest CRM software in the market. This has had a presence in the market for a long time.
- This is a very positive thing because time allows the company to gain experience about what their clients like and what they don’t like.
- The features of the salesforce show that it has used its experience in a great manner to develop its product from time to time.
- Essentials plan at $25 per user per month.
- Sales professional plan at $75 per user per month.
- Service professional plan at $75 per user per month.
- Pardot growth plan at $1250 per month.
All the plans are billed annually.
Formerly known as Infusionsoft, Keap is a business solution, privately owned company that offers businesses automated task managers.
is popular in making CRM software, lead generation software and sales management software.
It is one of the prime players in the market with an estimated user base of around 200,000 businesses providing every type of business solution they need.
Keap CRM software is specifically aimed at small businesses that offers them contact management which in turn leads to sales generation.
This software begins with collecting contact information by the established channels then it simplifies that data into any form you want like sheets, graphs etc.
This is so flexible that you can create any type of data you want using the contact information, meaning you can send specific types of messages to the people according to their likes.
These contacts can be synchronized with your business or individual Gmail/Outlook account. It can manage appointments, tasks, events, payments etc.
with the most ease. Keap as a whole has a solution for every need but you have to choose plans according to features you need.
- Grow plan is $79 per user/per month (free trial is available)
- Pro plan is $149 per user/per month (free trial is available)
- Infusionsoft plan is $199 per user/per month
All the plans vary in their features. Their websites show that these plans are billed monthly.
- One of the major features of Keap is that it can track sales records with utmost perfection. It can record the data for the sales so that the team can create appointments, track potential leads and then convert those leads into profits.
- The scheduled calls, emails, messages etc. helps to convert those leads into sale profits
- Keap is a highly compatible software that can synchronize Gmail, Graphly, Imember360, Instapage, JotForm, LeadPages, My Fusion Helper, O, WordPress, with PieSync, AdEspresso, BigCommerce, Bojoro, AppointmentCore, Automate.io, optinMonster, Outlook, PlusThis, Privy, QuickBooks, ScheduleOnce Zapier, Fix Your Funnel, Deadline Funnel, CustomerHub, Formlift, and others. This is one of the best features of this software, because this increases the affordability of the software.
HubSpot is one of the most popular CRM solutions available in the market.
It is easy to use software with a huge range of tools to manage multiple functions at a time.
HubSpot also manages workflows of multiple departments for improved project management.
It allows the users to effectively assign and track leads, record sales, record customer interaction;
all of this streamlining towards getting one task: optimum customer relationships. The forever free plan of HubSpot CRM has a great range of marketing tools that helps you create blog posts with SEO techniques and also offers email marketing.
Even though the free plan comes with a limited number of features, HubSpot is a great option for micro enterprise and business from home setups.
This is a fact to be noted that not all businesses require all the features of software; it all depends on how much you need.
HubSpot has a nice interface, thus it allows the users to complete the tasks in a simplified manner.
There are certain features in the HubSpot that allows you to set levels of how much data you want to collect.
In order to not make the data collection complex, users can select options about how much data they want to collect.
- HubSpot comes with the application both for mobiles as well as computers. These apps make the CRM software much more accessible for the businesses that operate remotely.
- These apps give similar services to the business and have no difference whatsoever. You can have messages, template, calls, emails, campaigns, etc. managed from both of them.
- HubSpot is compatible with almost 300 apps, few of them are Gmail, Outlook, Office 365, WordPress, Microsoft Dynamics etc.
- This allows the users to do best email marketing targeted at specific customers with specific needs. Compatibility and customization are the best of the features of HubSpot.
Zoho is cloud-based CRM software that is built to give you the best features that you require to run your small business.
One of the strategies of Zoho CRM is that it is specifically developed for small businesses.
Its ability to integrate with multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and various types of mails allows the businesses to engage with leads effectively and efficiently.
It provides a state of the art set of marketing and sales features that comes with the technology applications.
Zoho is also very strict about data protection of the businesses. It comes with robust policies of protecting the user data from hackers or leaks.
This feature allows the user to store and sort even the most sensitive data of the business on the CRM platform.
The data management of Zoho is commendable as well; Zoho integrates the data in the most simplified manner and gives the data reports in the best possible way.
The platform lets you manage everyday workflows and tasks, dictate your leads and much more.
This software mainly helps small businesses to organize their brand as per the standards of the market, manage customer’s leads and sales, provide customer support and a lot more.
- Zoho comes with an artificial intelligence voice assistant that helps the users to complete their tasks in a simplified manner. If you are ever struck somewhere, you can always use the voice assistant for your help.
- This app comes with a feature that allows the user to prioritize their sales needs; this means that this collects the data in a certain manner that shows the leads that are likely to be converted into sales.
- This is one of the beneficial features for the business because this will help the business to identify where to focus their resources.
- Zoho also allows for the creation of a platform that allows for the collaboration mechanism. The team members can work in a manner that can streamline their tasks in a more synergistic manner. This enables the business to focus each and every task towards the ultimate objective.
Ultimate version is $52 per user/per month.
The billings of the plans are done on an annual basis.
Pipedrive is one of the most user-friendly CRM that is very easy to use and unexpectedly fast.
Pipedrive, as the name suggests, is highly focused software that streamlines the sales process and contact tracking.
This CRM has a simple and a straightforward user interface that is mainly designed to help the businesses to convert leads into sales.
Their pipeline management feature helps you to control and customize sales process as per the needs of your business. Pipeline management also helps you integrate emails, report sales and forecast profits.
The Pipedrive is useful for handling leads, sales management, synchronizing contacts, and managing other tasks.
It also helps you to prioritize sales activities and sync information across various modes and manage your tasks at one place.
This helps to save a lot of time by eliminating the manual needs. This allows the business to use their skills on building customer relationships.
In Pipedrive you can create multiple platforms to create specific strategies for product and services.
You can create reminders, lead and sales notifications and customer follow-up messages in an automated manner.
You can integrate emails through email integration features, create notes, alerts, etc. for building customer relationships. All in all, it’s a great package with the best customization and integration techniques.
- Pipedrive doesn’t have a specific customer segmentation feature but it allows the users to look at the leads in a simplified manner.
- This is possible due to its very user-friendly interface. The aspect of personalized sales is also very conveniently covered in this CRM because of its email templates.
- You can create customized email templates for each and every customer so that they feel that you are connecting with them in a personalized manner.
- Essential plan is $12.50 per user/per month billed annually, and $15 billed monthly.
- Advanced plan is $24.90 per user/per month billed annually, and $29 billed monthly.
- Professional plan is $49.90 per user/per month billed annually and $59 billed monthly.
- Enterprise plan is $99 per user/per month, billed annually.
A 14-day free trial is available for the Essential, Advanced, and Professional plans for the users to try out and understand if they want the software for their business or not.
Freshsales or Freshworks as we know it now, is CRM software that’s targeted towards all businesses, micro, small, medium and big.
Freshsales offers a very convenient solution that gets your businesses suited to it in no time.
This is very easy to adapt for the users who own micro enterprises as well.
It has a sales-oriented approach that comes with the best features to convert your leads into sales in the most effective and efficient manner.
Freshsales comes with the state-of-the-art artificial technology that helps the users to get the data of leads and sales very easily.
This same feature also allows the user to identify which leads have the potential to be converted into sales.
It gives the user access to contact management, reports, emails, phone calls etc. in no time.
This saves a lot of time for the user. It comes with web-based clients, mobile apps and computer apps so that the user can conveniently complete their work remotely.
These apps are also conveniently integrated with the third-party apps so that the users can work with the other apps of their choice as well.
This saves a lot of time and resources. It comes with such a great package of tools that the users can have access to customer relationship data in a single window.
- The platform is designed in such a manner that it will help you scale your business through certain rating standards, keep updated with all deals, prioritize tasks, run email campaigns to boost sales and productivity.
- It has also got very good data analytics processing features so that the users can enjoy the benefits of data centralization. This allows the users to have an insight in the business data at one place.
- Freshsales has an auto update feature regarding customer profile. It means that as soon as there are any changes with the customer data like location, contact numbers etc. it auto updates the customer profile.
- This saves a lot of time for the users as they don’t have to keep data manually for each and every customer.
- Growth plan for small businesses is $29 per user/per month billed annually and $35 billed monthly.
- Pro plan for growing businesses is $69 per user/per month billed annually and $85 billed monthly.
- Enterprise plans for large enterprises is $125 per user/per month billed annually and $149 billed monthly.
A 21-day free trial is available for all Freshsales plans. The plans of Freshsales are billed annually.
Email marketing is one of the most important marketing activities of any business and for this purpose there can be nothing better than streak.
Streak has been specifically developed to work with G Suite and free Gmail accounts.
It comes with the best package of tools for email marketing.
This CRM lets you track customer emails that are potential leads and helps you identify which ones are likely to be converted into sales.
It helps the users to manage contacts and customer information in a systematic manner on a single dashboard.
It also helps the users to manage workflow and complete various tasks regarding marketing, relationship building and several others.
You can even work on your tasks about HR hiring, project collaboration, customer support, and whatnot. And that too is specifically tailored as per your own needs.
The best part about using Streak is that it is very simple to use.
Streak helps in customer support by helping the user with the specific data required for responding to customer inquiries in an efficient manner.
There are features to update customers and contacts in real time. You can get insights reports to track customer relationships, buyer updates and potential leads.
It can help you add tasks for your daily targets, set reminders for each individual for completing their tasks for the ultimate target by creating notes etc.
- In streak the user can import and export data from any third-party app in an easy manner. This helps the users to complete their work conveniently.
- Sometimes it may happen that the customer may have used a third-party app to get in touch with the business so this feature of the CRM allows the user to maintain data at one place. This promotes data centralization.
- It comes with mobile and computer apps. We have already explained why it is important for the software to have an application-based user interface. It provides ease of communication, access and ability for the users to work remotely.
- Personal version for individual use is free.
- Solo is $15 per user/per month.
- Professional is $49 per user/per month.
- Enterprise is $129 per user/per month.
Professional tier is available as a 14-day free trial. All the plans are billed annually.
Copper is simply the best option if you use Gmail for your businesses every day.
This is very convenient software that gets installed in no time.
Copper gives features like automated data entry, smart customer identification, leads and sales tracking and contact management.
The CRM comes with one of the best user interfaces and offers a satisfying sales pipeline for creating and converting leads.
It has got tools that can help the user to identify the priority-based leads. It can give insight into what are the potential leads that can get converted into profits.
The intra business communication is very easy with the help of this software. This software allows for team collaboration and easy access to the customer data.
Any user can have access to the data as per the tasks needed to perform. Copper provides flexibility in email, voice assistant and communication through text or messages. It has the ability of writing notes via voice recognition.
- It increases productivity as it provides automated features for leading tracking and marketing management.
- It provides sales automation techniques that allow the users to track sales and leads.
- Copper also provides insights of the data through data analytics methods. This generates the data for sales Intelligence, data analytics and data driven reporting.
- Basic plan is $25 per user/per month.
- Professional plan is $59 per user/per month.
- Business plan is $119 per user/per month.
Sendinblue is one of the best email marketing tools.
This CRM software is such a great package of email tools that it is regarded as one of complete packages.
It is a very powerful tool that has all the features you need to serve as the best CRM software.
Sendinblue can be used by any type and size of businesses.
They have a very reliable email service that is equipped with email automated replies, transactions trackers, enquiry tracker, customer segmentation on the basis of emails and many more functions.
Sendinblue CRM also allows the users to market through the medium of SMS marketing and personal chats.
SMS marketing is one of the recognized that can get results at a rapid rate. This helps the business to boost sales and customer engagement.
Users can engage in live chats with their customers as well, thus helping the users in real time.
The documentation of starting Sendinblue is also very well designed. The startup manual is so detailed that it has covered the most intricate aspect of the software.
This allows the user to get the best insight for the CRM and implement the software in no time.
- Sendinblue has the best features for easy customers’ segmentation which in turn allows personalization in communication. This is one of the most important aspects of CRM software because this way customers feel that the businesses are engaging with them at a personal level. This in turn leads to higher sales.
- One of the best features of Sendinblue CRM is its email service. Every aspect of sales and marketing is covered in its email features.
- All in all, Sendinblue is one of the best options for email marketing in the sector.
- It has the features of tracking transactional emails and then setting them up in such a manner that it leads to reliable order delivery. This is basically establishing a supply chain through emails.
- It comes with a free plan.
- Lite plan comes at $25/month.
- Premium plan comes at $65/month.
Benefits of CRM software-
1. Increase sales - CRM software helps to increase sales by streamlining the process of interaction with the customers. When the business becomes an experience for the customer, the sales go up. CRM has always proved to be one of the biggest factors which increases revenue for the business.
2. Clarity In Work Process - CRM lays down the tasks one has to perform in a clear, concise and simple manner. This enables the business to set up a process of how each and every work is done to achieve the end result. This also helps to reduce miscommunication.
3. Identify Target Markets - One of the issues that the small enterprises face is to create their target market. CRM solves this issue by harnessing the customers data in a manner that is very easy for the customers to understand, thus helps them to identify their potential customers. The same benefit also allows these businesses to retain their existing customers.
4. Time Effective - One of the major benefits of using a CRM is that it helps to save a lot of time. It reduces a large number of hours that would have been wasted in doing certain tasks manually. This allows the users to establish their focus on main business functions rather than waste their time on certain tasks. Automation is the need of the hour and CRM helps in doing just that.
5. Reporting - Apart from collecting data CRM software also helps in generating reports of data in a clear manner. This helps the departments like marketing and sales to establish their future strategy. These reports can be used by all of the departments as well, if used in an optimal manner.6. Manage Social Media - In order to establish your business, you need to have a good social media presence. CRM software even helps you to manage your social media accounts of the business, thus establishing another mode of communication between your customer and your business. This can also be used to generate customer data.
Factors that affect selection of CRM software-
1. Prices - When talking about CRM for small business, this factor cannot be ignored. These businesses function on a very tight budget. It may seem that businesses can afford the costs of CRM software very easily but that isn’t the case. A business has to decide what CRM software on the basis of their needs as well as the pricing scheme of the plans they tend to buy.
2. Automation - One of the biggest reasons why people buy CRM software is that they want their tasks to be automated. When buying this software, one has to have a look at all the features that the software is providing and whether these features will help the business automate their tasks and use their resources in the best manner.
3. After sale service - When a business is dependent on CRM software, they make most of their tasks automated because of lack of staff. So, if software goes down at any point of time it may prove to be bad for the business. This calls for the need to have very good customer care services. One has to take this into account as well while buying the CRM software to what extent customer service is available.
4. Social media - As explained above why social media is important for the businesses, the business needs to look at what type of features CRM software provides with the social media. This in earlier times may not be a deciding factor but at present it is one of the major needs of the business.
5. Complexity causes delay - Complex CRM software causes the work to be delayed because one has to put in a lot of time to understand any complex functioning software. Ease of use should also be one of the deciding factors of selecting the CRM software.
6. Tailored - Any CRM software should be flexible enough that the business is able to customize their software as per their needs. Any software that doesn’t cater to the needs of the business is not the best one. Small businesses aim to create a new identity in the market thus they want their software to work as per their needs. Rigidity in CRM software is not one of the best traits.7. Cloud based - 2020 has shown us how important it is to have a business that can function remotely. Thus, it has become mandatory for the CRM software as well to have cloud-based storage. This can also be a factor that can be considered while talking about the aspect of flexibility.
It is very important for any business to find the best solution that they require.
They should buy this software by making some comparisons because each of them has their own specific qualities and features and drawbacks as well.
The decision for CRM software is very important for any business because this software manages everything of your business, right from order to delivery.
Every business should compare software’s pros and cons and then make an informed decision.
CRM software advantages for your business helps in identifying your weak points, your strong points etc. It helps you to expand your reach and attain your place in bigger markets.
They’re the need of the hour for handling the sales process and that too from any mode or medium available.
Social media marketing and various modern marketing tools will help you make your business more mature and bigger. This in turn will help you to get on top.