The Best CRM tools for small businesses

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Managing your contacts, as a business, is very important, as it helps you keep track of all your prospects, leads, customers and so on. With a good CRM tool in hand, managing contacts with the entire team is easier than ever – in this blog post, we’ll be going through the best CRM tools for small businesses.

Why do I need to get a CRM tool for my business?

Customer relationship management tools are beneficial for a plethora of reasons, particularly because:

  • They help you be more organized: being organized saves you time, effort and a lot of headaches – I’ve learned this the hard way! If you work as part of a larger team, it’s doubly helpful: every member of your team will be able to access any information about any client, lead, cold lead and so on – and when time is of the essence, having this feature can make a huge difference
  • You can keep better track of your leads: if you want to turn leads into customers, you need to act at the right time…or, hey, even remember to react! With CRM, you can make sure you know exactly who your leads are, and you can set reminders so that you contact them regularly in order to eventually turn them into clients
  • They help you save time: being organized in general helps you save a lot of time, and in this case, it also helps that you won’t have to scour through your emails, social media, and other platforms to find previous conversations, potential leads and so on.
  • They help make sure you never lose your most important data, your clients and leads: by using a CRM system, you are ensuring that all your data is safely stored in a centralised database.
  • Help you keep track of relevant information about your leads and customers: with a CRM tool, you can enter all of the relevant information about a person or business, as well as all your past conversations in one place.
Why do I need to get a #CRM tool for my #business? via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

Have I convinced you yet? If so, let’s get into the best CRM tools for best businesses:

1. Agile CRM

best crm tools

What sets Agile CRM apart is that it’s a complete, end-to-end business management solution—with comprehensive CRM, sales enablement, marketing automation, and customer support features—all in one platform. It provides everything you need to manage the entire customer journey, from lead generation and prospecting to deal closure and customer support.

Agile offers over 50 sales automation features, such as customizable opportunity tracks, 360-degree contact views, gamification, voicemail drops, call recording, autodialing and project management capabilities. It delivers marketing automation features such as a landing page builder, web forms, lead scoring, drip campaigns, and email marketing. It rounds out the deal with a customer support module, which includes help desk ticketing automation, live chat, service-level agreements, dedicated help desk groups, and more.

All of that, coupled with its open API and third-party integrations, allows companies to manage nearly all of their functions from a single platform. It’s free for 10 users, so it’s a great option small business, while being scalable enough for enterprise-level business.

2.    SalesForceIQ CRM

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

The SalesForceIQ CRM tool is one of the most popular on the market. To get started, all you need to do is to connect your SalesForce account to your Gmail or Exchange accounts. Once you do so, all of your emails, phone calls and meetings will be automatically added to your SalesForce account, which you will then be able to access on multiple platforms, including your mobile via their app and your browser, via their Chrome extension.

In terms of plans offered, there’s something for everyone, including small businesses: their starter plan allows up to 5 users and it is quite affordable, or you can get the Growth plan, which also offers direct integrations and reporting.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @salesforceiq via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

3.    Freshsales

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Freshsales, another top CRM tool, is specifically designed for sales teams, in order to help them turn more leads into customers and make more repeat sales.

Freshsales has built-in tools for phone and email, so that you can easily email or call someone from within the tool. They also give scores to your leads, so that you can easily find the best leads, the ones that are showing signs that they are ready to buy, and contact them.

The tool also keeps track of every interaction a lead or customer has had with your business, including sales, pages visited and any action they might have taken. One other cool thing is that you can visualize the entire sales pipeline and follow exactly how your leads are moving up the pipeline.

Whenever someone opens an email, clicks on a link or sends you an email, you will get an alert immediately, so that you can quickly take action.

The best news, though? They offer a free plan for up to 10 different users, and their paid plans are very affordable, although you will need to pay for each individual user you add.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @freshsalesapp via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

4.    Hubspot CRM

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Hubspot’s free CRM solution is a great option for small businesses. The tool is completely free to use for up to 1 million contacts, no matter how many people there are in your team.

The tool stores all the relevant information you need about each contact, including interactions by email or phone, a log of your meetings and any notes you need to make.

On the main dashboard, you’ll be able to see all of your completed and upcoming appointments and all the most important information about your sales funnel.

You can also sync your account with Gmail or Outlook, so that every customer interaction is entered in the database automatically.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @hubspot via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

5.    Zoho CRM

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Zoho CRM lets you add all of your contacts, customers and leads from multiple channels (email, social media, etc.) into one centralized platform. You can then use Zoho to connect with them on whichever platform they might be on – phone, live chat, social media, email and so on. You can even use their insights to pick the best times to contact your leads, for maximum results.

One of my favourite things about Zoho, though, is Blueprint. This technology basically allows you to build the exact sequence of actions you want your team to take when moving a lead through the sales pipeline. Once you’ve set it up, the tool will guide your users through the steps they need to take in order to turn a lead into a customer and won’t allow them to take any liberties, unless certain conditions are met.

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Zoho also provide in-depth analytics, lead scoring features and many more.

Their prices are affordable, starting at €12 per user, for the standard plan – however, if you have quite a few members in your team, it can get a bit pricey.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @zoho via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

6.    Insightly

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

Insightly is a CRM and project management tool designed for small businesses – although, they also have features and plans for enterprise-level. What makes it stand out is that it integrates the two – you not only get contact and lead management tools, but you can also use it to manage your projects.

Insightly integrates with all kinds of applications, such as email, Office 365, Quickbooks Online and others.

Use it to keep track of all your leads and contacts and your email correspondence, share files with the team, manage your projects, add notes and comments to your contacts and much more – plus, there’ an Insightly mobile app that you can use when on the go.

And the good news is, there’s a free plan that you can try out for 1 or 2 people in your company. Or, you can try the Professional plan for 2 weeks for free, and if you don’t want to pay for it afterwards, you can easily switch to the free plan.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @insightlyapp via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

7.    InfusionSoft CRM

The Best CRM tools for small businesses

InfusionSoft’s CRM tool is built specifically with small business success in mind.

You can use it to add and organize all of your business contacts with tags and segmentation, as well as to collect data about them to help you score your leads and prioritize them.

InfusionSoft also offer complex marketing automation features, which allows you to send personalized messaging to your audience based on different triggers.

Overall, it’ a very strong CRM and automation tool, but it’s also quite a bit more expensive than other options – the smallest plan starts at $199 per month for up to 3 users and 2,500 contacts, and includes CRM and marketing automation, but no sales automation or e-commerce features.

The Best #CRM tools for small businesses @infusionsoft via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

Conclusion

Using a good CRM tool can not only help you be more organized and save time, but it can also help you make more sales and help you ensure you’re not missing any important opportunities.

Are you using CRM tools for your small business? What is your favourite CRM tool? Let me know in your comments and please share:)

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Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.

  1. Wilson Moore on 2017-03-13 at 4:14 pm

    This is a thoroughly researched, useful, relevant and timely information.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-14 at 9:00 am

      Thank you Wilson, delighted you found it useful 🙂

  2. Jason Hilkey on 2017-03-13 at 10:45 pm

    Too bad you missed reviewing ONTRAPORT. It has many of the strengths of Infusionsoft but easier to use and at a lower entry price ($79/mo. for 1,000 users and unlimited emails).
    http://www.ONTRAPORT.com

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-14 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Jason, I can see that someone else has also mentioned them. I purposely only mentioned those tools which specialised more with CRM than email marketing.

  3. Diana on 2017-03-14 at 7:58 am

    Great review, thank you.
    I see Ontraport and ActiveCampaign are missing from your list – I’ve found them great tools that bring so much more than a CRM on the table.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-14 at 9:04 am

      Thanks Diana. Yes, they are great tools too. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I purposely left these tools out as felt they sat more with email marketing than CRM so wanted to focus more on the CRM side.

  4. Gunjan Ganatra on 2017-03-15 at 6:59 am

    Hii Liach,

    Thanks for these awesome list apps.

  5. Hopeton (the moneyguru) on 2017-03-15 at 9:22 pm

    Love your article, it is very informative.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-16 at 8:39 am

      Thanks so much, delighted you’ve found it informative 🙂

  6. Catherine on 2017-03-16 at 5:38 pm

    There’s a great add-on for Salesforce that provides InsideView data without subscription. Perfect for small business on a budget! It’s called DataAmp and I got it on the SF appexchange.

  7. CRM for Small Business on 2017-03-21 at 12:06 pm

    Your given information is very useful and important. I am using On sites’s <acrm for small business. In my opinion e mail marketing is very essential to the success of many small businesses today.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-21 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks. Absolutely, it’s crucial in today’s market place.

  8. Harjinder Singh on 2017-03-26 at 4:07 pm

    Exactly what I was looking for.

    Thanks Lilach

  9. Nate White on 2017-05-02 at 6:02 am

    Why would you don’t even mention most popular free full featured CRM, like Bitrix24 or its clones. The only free CRM on your list is Hubspot, but it can’t do even 25% of what Bitrix24 or SuiteCRM do.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-05-02 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks Nate. I’m not familiar with Britrix24. I personally find that it pays to invest in a CRM tool, the free one’s tend to have limited capabilities – Hubspot you have to upgrade to the most value from.

  10. Maurice Koks on 2017-08-26 at 12:28 am

    Nice list Lilach, I agree with you that it pays to invest in a CRM tool, there is no business in the world which can sustain on giving things for FREE and as you will see there is almost always a catch.
    On the other (and this is my humble opinion) why would you want things for FREE
    if companies work hard to create useful tools they deserve to be paid as long as the prices are reasonable and give the user value. Paying them ensures also that they can stay in business.

    Now as said prices should be reasonable,
    to give you an example I like to share a small story with you,
    I am a Gmail user since their Beta in 2004 so when I 6 years ago was looking for a CRM for my Premium Cigar Manufacturing & distribution business I ended up with the choice to pay an arm and a leg for a combination of, Yesware, Cirrus insight and Salesforce,

    I liked the combination but as a small/medium size business owner myself, I thought there must be a more affordable all in one solution.

    I couldn’t find this, so three and half years ago I decided to take the plunge and build a system combining the features of Yesware & Cirrus insight with the CRM features I really needed myself, as always I found out later that I wasn’t the only one who saw the need for such system so while building a new CRM showed up called Prosperworks.

    Fortunately for me, they went the VC lane which combined with being located in San Francisco forces them to charge outrageous prices, this is what you see a lot with todays start-ups, they do solve a problem and build nice products but are forced to charge crazy prices after taking VC capital, so IMHO the value for small businesses is not there anymore.

    Anyway, it took a long time to build but my self-funded CRM system is finally ready to go into Private Beta next month I call it “The Affordable Gmail Centered CRM for SMS’s” and chances are that this is what many small businesses are looking for, so I would be pleased if you could reach out to me so I can give you a personal demo, perhaps we can make it on your list in the future.

    Warm Regards

    Maurice

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-08-29 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Maurice, thanks for your comments and glad to hear you liked the list.
      Indeed, CRM tools are essential for businesses of all sizes and can make a huge difference to your success – namely, in converting more of your leads into actual paying customers.
      Thanks for sharing your story, and drop me an email if you like regarding the CRM tool you’re developing.
      Thanks again!
      Lilach

  11. Jen on 2017-12-18 at 11:23 am

    You need to include Bitrix24 on this list, it’s the most powerful free CRM on the market right now. Unlimited records, quotes, invoices, time tracking, email marketing, call tracking – all free.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-12-18 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks Jen, not familiar with them so will take a look.

  12. Abhijeet on 2018-02-15 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Lilach,

    The information you have written is very well and helpful. Thanks for all the list 🙂

    I would also recommend you to take a look at CompanyHub CRM on companyhub.com.

    CompanyHub is a fully customizable CRM, as it is customizable any one can customize it according to their own requirements with just drag & drop without ever needing any developer to do it.

    Regards,

  13. Abhijeet on 2018-02-15 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for all the information. It will definitely help me to choose write CRM for my business.

  14. Manoj on 2018-07-10 at 9:18 pm

    Nice list. But still, you missed out Apptivo CRM 🙁 I moved from Zoho One to Apptivo because it offered way too many apps and customizations for the price. It’s a bummer that no one talks about Apptivo as it’s the only s/w that goes toe-to-toe with Zoho One.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2018-07-11 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Manoj. I’ve not heard of Apptivo. I personally really like Zoho One

  15. Irsa Chaudhary on 2018-09-15 at 7:56 am

    Hi Lilach

    There’s an another CRM out there called Funnel CRM. We have switched from PipeDrive to Funnel CRM and its great for Small Businesses

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