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10 Best CRM Software Small Businesses Should Know

Mike Kulakov, August 28, 2017
10 best crm software small businesses should know

In today’s digital age, businesses – especially small and midsize – are looking for almost any way to gain a leg up on the competition. And CRM software is quickly becoming the best way to do exactly that.

CRM software is very important to any business, and with advancements in technology, a CRM platform is one of the most valuable systems that any small or medium-sized business can implement. But why exactly are they so valuable?

Mostly because they allow you to create better and more personalized relationships with your customers. Don’t believe me? Recent studies show companies that utilized CRM software increased sales by 29%.

Although, finding the right CRM tool for your business can be a bit tricky. Let’s take a closer look at the best 10 CRM software programs on the market so you can see what best fits the needs of your business.

Pipedrive CRM Software

Pipedrive is a sales management platform that was designed specifically for salespeople by salespeople. One of its best aspects is its flexibility, as Pipedrive allows users to easily create their own workflows so everyone on the team can see the big picture. Within these workflows, users can quickly rearrange, rename or add notes for any task. All of your deals are conveniently located in a sales pipeline, and you can even get monthly reports and an accurate sales forecast for the coming months.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

Compared to many other similar programs, it’s also fairly easy to learn and is relatively inexpensive at only $12/month per user.

One of the only cons of Pipeline is that you are unable to tag other users with the “@” symbol, and also there is no available SMS marketing.

Hubspot CRM Software

Hubspot is one of the most advanced CRM platforms, allowing you to automate just about any marketing or sales process. You can keep all of your contacts in one centralized database, and every interaction with each contact is logged.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

Social media is also a breeze, as you can integrate all of your social media profiles into your Hubspot Dashboard. And not to mention, you get your own personal Hubspot representative to contact if you ever have any issues or need any help setting up some of the more complicated, automated features of the platform. Still wondering why so many switches to Hubspot?

The only real con with Hubspot is that to fully take advantage of its automation and sales features, it takes time and likely some intensive hands-on training. This program is best for smaller to midsize businesses due to its complexity and slightly expensive price tag. While they do have a freemium option, the paid version is necessary to take advantage of most of their more useful features and it requires a 12-month contract.

Base CRM Software

Base markets itself as a do-it-all CRM platform that enables you to sell more with less effort. While that may be a bit broad, that is the ultimate goal of any CRM or sales platform. It’s a great for simplifying the daily lives of your salespeople, and can even analyze data to provide your team with actionable insights and the information they need to improve performance and accelerate revenue growth.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

Essentially, Base is modeled to be the grown-up version of Hubspot CRM. They started as a competitor to Salesforce and ultimately sold into reps and mid-level management instead of VPs. As a result of their business model, they have the best interface, UI, and feature set of any CRM program.

Although when compared to Hubspot, the management tools just aren’t up to par. And you certainly won’t get the deep analytical insight with Base that you’ll get with Hubspot. Another con is the price of $45/month/user, but with such a clean feature-rich program and real-time data updates, most users seem to think the price tag for Base is worth it.

Salesforce CRM Software

Salesforce is a sales management platform and is one of the best ways to get real-time customer information and activity in the same place. Not to mention, it’s great for small businesses because Sales Cloud is completely customizable and grows with you. Salesforce also connects to thousands of business apps and offers great visibility with an interactive dashboard with insights and reports.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

It can help you with your customer relationship management, your marketing, advertising, operations and even human relations in order to unearth never before seen patterns, insights, and connections between your data. It is easy to develop your applications on Salesforce without having a programming knowledge.

The program works by automatically reviewing customer emails and finding what’s most important and who needs to be contacted, and it’s no surprise that Salesforce is currently one of the most popular on the market.

Capsule CRM Software

Capsule is a smart but simple CRM platform. Much like with other CRM platforms, Capsule organizes your contacts, emails, tasks, and sales pipeline all in the same place. You can put everyone into separate lists representing their relationships with the company and each other, and even see your most recent interaction with each contact.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

The program also offers great native integrations, and pricing is very affordable at $12 per month. If you’re looking to build stronger customer relationships, Capsule is easy to set up and use. However, due to so many customization options, many also feel that the user interface can get a bit clunky.

The only major con to using this program is that unfortunately, it does not offer marketing automation. So, if that’s something necessary to your organization, you’ll have to find another tool to use in addition to this one.

Zoho CRM Software

Zoho is a web-based CRM platform that is used as a way to strengthen customer relationships. Zoho is very simple to use, allowing users to create tickets, and then view, edit, and create special or required fields. You can even capture leads from a form on your Facebook page and automate workflows so they come through your sales funnel, or import them over from Salesforce. Why would you want to switch to Zoho? There are plenty of positives.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

One of the few cons of Zoho is that you can’t add a ticket number like you can with other CRM software programs like Hubspot, so keeping up with or referencing a specific task can get slightly tricky. There also are little development capabilities, so for those that like to code to customize their CRM programs, this might not be the program for you.

Contactually CRM Software

With Contactually, it’s simple to be engaged with everyone in your network. They use what’s called a bucket system, which essentially allows you to organize your most important contacts into automated buckets. Not to mention, it also comes with customizable email templates that allow you to bulk send emails with a personalized touch. The program will ensure you have fewer forgotten connections and more engaged relationships with your customers.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

Many people even believe that this is the perfect program to replace Hubspot. Why? It does many of the same things. Whether it’s tracking contacts, organizing tasks, or sending out customized emails, Contactually is great for those that want the benefits of a CRM platform like Hubspot but without the annual contract required.

While $39/month/user is a bit on the pricey side and the interface can get a bit clunky during set up, the simple bucketing system alone is enough for many to adopt Contactually as their CRM program.

Nimble CRM Software

Nimble is exactly what the name implies. You can easily combine all of your contacts, emails, activities and access them wherever you are. Once you do that, the program tells you which contacts are the most promising and who you should follow up with first.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

It also offers a Kanban-style layout for leads to help you funnel them through your sales process. When you’re trying to grow a small business, being able to have quick access to contacts and insights is essential, and that’s exactly what Nimble offers. Nimble is often compared to Capsule as the two are similar CRM programs, but where Nimble really stands out is its social media integration.

Aside from Hubspot, Nimble has among the best social media integrations of any CRM platform, allowing you to track any and all social signals.

Insightly CRM Software

Despite being one of the more powerful CRM platforms on the market, it’s also one of the least expensive. Insightly can automatically find any of your contact’s social media profiles to get you the information and insight you need. And with integrations to Gmail, Office 365, MailChimp, Zapier and more, it’s no wonder that Insightly is an incredibly popular tool among small businesses.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

One of the few small cons with Insightly is that although the program is very customizable, it does take a good bit of time and usage to get things working and flowing like you need them to. However, if you like mobile and social media capabilities, Insightly is a great tool to start using.

Close.io CRM Software

Close is here for exactly what the name implies – it’s here to help close deals. While this inside sales CRM program is a little more on the pricey side at $65/user/month, it’s also one of the best.

10 best crm software small businesses should know

Close.io helps you make calls with just a simple click, and all emails sent or received are automatically tracked. It also comes with SMS capability, and the graphical interface makes for easy use and set up.

Close.io is often compared to Base, but which program is better? Well, Base focuses more on mobile, and outside sales are in their DNA, as it’s a major competitor to the mega-giant Salesforce. While Close.io is more focused on inside sales, and pushes the idea that to make more sales you need to make more calls, send more emails, and nurture more leads. So if you’re looking to decide between Base or Close.io – there’s no right answer – it really all just depends on your needs.

One con is that leads cannot be unmerged, and also if a lead switches a company it can be difficult to note or change that within the lead.

So,

Depending on your needs, there are a lot of great CRM and sales platforms out there that can help improve customer relationships.

While increased sales may be the ultimate goal, remember that the real reason all these programs are so successful is their common ground – nurturing customer relationships. Building and maintaining great relationships with your customers is one of the most important aspects of any sales funnel, and with such a wide variety of CRM platforms, building and maintaining relationships with customers has never been easier.

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of which program will work best for you!

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Mike Kulakov

IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.