The 7 Best CRM Software for Small Business in 2020

As we all know it, customers have a bittersweet – not to mention, a sensitive relationship with businesses. This is exactly why it holds an integral position when it comes to the success of a business.  Companies can technically feed off of its customer relationships, if managed properly.

This opens the door to the question of how exactly can you leverage your relationship with customers to maximize the output? Of course, through professional CRM tools (you’re not superhuman, and you know it!)

Since the quest for finding the right CRM software can be outright overwhelming, I’ve done the work for you.  Your search for the best CRM software just got a whole lot simpler.

I dug deep into many different types of tools and analyzed them to bring together the perfect one for you.  But, before moving on to the best CRM systems, let’s have a quick roundup of why it’s a good idea to invest in one:

Why investing in a CRM tool is more important than you think?

For starters, a CRM software is probably all you need to get that streamlined communication you’ve been waiting for. Some of the major advantages of getting a CRM tool on board are:

  • Better Reporting; with a CRM software at hand, you’ve technically gotten a secure customer database which otherwise can become quite a nuisance to get. The powerful reporting comes with analytical capabilities to further make things easy for you.
  • Streamlined Customer Communication; building and tracking that one-on-one relationship with your customers can become a delightful experience with CRM tools. You know exactly what your customer needs are and how they can be catered.
  • Hiked Customer Retention Rate; the mere sense of being important to a business invokes a higher sense of loyalty in customers, which ultimately results in higher retention rate and high profit margins.
  • Real-Time Access to Information; customer relationship management software provides valuable insights and analytics about your customers. What they’re searching for, their buying patterns, likes and dislikes, and numerous other details which can help you target your niche effectively.
  • Managing Leads; it goes without saying that when you have a tool set in place for organizing everything, managing leads becomes easy. Possessing an integrated platform can become a powerful means of grabbing those potential leads and converting them to customers

Best CRM Software for Small Businesses and Startups (2020)

  1. Salesforce
  2. HubSpot
  3. FreshSales
  4. PipeDrive
  5. ZohoCRM
  6. Insightly
  7. Microsoft Dynamics 365

1. Salesforce – Editor’s Choice for Best CRM Software

A gold standard in CRM systems, Salesforce probably has everything a business can ask for. The sole reason I gave top spot to this software is the rich portfolio of features it comes with.

salesforce-crm-software

A robust CRM software which comes with humongous customization options. Suitable for businesses of all kinds, Salesforce is like that perfect grocery store which knows exactly what you want.

Starting from: $25.00/user/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

PROS:
  • Lead Management and Control
  • Account and Contact Management
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Real-Time Data Visibility
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface
  • Dashboards for Reporting
  • Workflow Automation
  • Live Chat
  • File Sync
  • File Sharing
  • AI Powered Assistance
  • Campaign Management
  • Customization Options
  • Email Templates
  • Mass Email
  • Google Apps Integrations

CONS:
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners
  • Steep learning curve
  • A little pricey for startups/beginners

Hands down, Salesforce is one of the best CRM software which left me in awe. Packed with an impressive set of advanced features, it definitely delivers what it promises. The tool serves all genres of businesses, including startups, as well as non-profits.

From the most basic contact management to advanced AI powered assistance, Salesforce makes sure it get things done for you. It can seem a bit pricey if you’re just starting out, but it can be the perfect solution for mid-sized or large organizations.

Key Features

  • Key contacts management for keeping a secured database
  • Live chat with customers for gaining insights
  • Visual workflow management
  • Campaign management for better financial decisions
  • Real-time sales forecasting
  • Dashboards and reports for quickly glancing at critical information
  • Google apps integration to keep you updated anywhere you go

2. HubSpot

Looking for an easy to use CRM software? Hubspot to the rescue!  My personally recommended best free CRM software.

hubspot crm software

A CRM solution which offers all of its core features free of cost. It’s a must-try for all small businesses as it helps them easily track their contacts, workflows, campaigns, and much more.

Starting from: $50.00/month (Free plan available)
Pricing model: Free and Subscription based
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Web

PROS:
  • Free of Cost Core Features
  • Smooth User-Interface
  • Pipeline Management
  • Contacts Management
  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots
  • Contacts Website Activity
  • Marketing Automation Tools
  • SEO and Content Management
  • Website Traffic Analytics
  • Custom Reporting
  • Custom Permissions and Single Sign On

CONS:
  • Limited Free Features
  • Premium Functionality comes with high price
  • Might not be suitable for large organizations
  • Limited customization allowed

Another best CRM for small business, FreshSales has managed to grab third place in my roundup. It’s an intuitive CRM system which provides all the basics pretty smartly. You don’t need to go for integrations or power-ups if you’re not looking for a hefty feature set. Freshsales does it all by itself.

The tool makes it easy to navigate through your workflows and processes without making you pull your hair off out of frustration. The key highlights of this CRM application includes lead management, deal management, and a massive number of native and other integrations.

Key Features

  • Clean, clutter-free interface
  • Multiple pricing models to choose from
  • Automatic leads management through smart forms
  • Email tracking and email templates
  • A timeline view for managing activities/events
  • Advanced lead scoring based on activity

3. FreshSales

The next best CRM for small business that I looked into is FreshSales. First impression of the tool – pretty easy to set up, doesn’t shove complicated features in my face, even beginners can pull it off pretty easily.

freshsales crm software

A perfect combination of reasonable price and a friendly interface. FreshSales is your go-to CRM system if you’re looking for a quick solution, but don’t want to spend a fortune.

Starting from: $12.00/user/month
Pricing model: Subscription based
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Android, iOS, Web

PROS:
  • Clutter-free Interface
  • Flat Learning Curve
  • Customization Abilities
  • Email Tracking
  • Pipeline Management
  • Lead Management
  • Streamlined Processes
  • Automated Tasks Management
  • Calls Management
  • Multiple Third-Party Application Integrations

CONS:
  • Lacks Advanced Functionality
  • Sometimes takes longer time to load

Another best CRM for small business, FreshSales has managed to grab third place in my roundup. It’s an intuitive CRM system which provides all the basics pretty smartly. You don’t need to go for integrations or power-ups if you’re not looking for a hefty feature set. Freshsales does it all by itself.

The tool makes it easy to navigate through your workflows and processes without making you pull your hair off out of frustration. The key highlights of this CRM application includes lead management, deal management, and a massive number of native and other integrations.

Key Features

  • Clean, clutter-free interface
  • Multiple pricing models to choose from
  • Automatic leads management through smart forms
  • Email tracking and email templates
  • A timeline view for managing activities/events
  • Advanced lead scoring based on activity

4. Pipedrive

As the name suggests, Pipedrive is a fast CRM tool which focuses primarily on user-ease instead of extensive (read: unnecessary) advanced features.

pipedrive crm software

Another solid attraction for small to mid-size businesses. Pipedrive provides a clean, streamlined view of your processes while keeping everything in check.

Starting from: $12.50/user/month
Pricing model: Subscription based
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Android, iOS, Web, Mac

PROS:
  • Fast and Reliable
  • Sales Pipeline View and Sales Reporting
  • Goal Setting & Reporting Capabilities
  • Contacts Management and History
  • Timeline view
  • Email Tracking
  • Google Calendar & Contacts Integration
  • Mobile Apps Available
  • Customization Options
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Data Import and Export
  • Google Apps integration

CONS:
  • Reporting requires third-party integrations
  • Limited features available in the Essential package

If you’ve been a victim of tiresome on-boarding procedures of CRM systems in past (like me), this software is specifically for you. By providing a lightning fast signing up and a quick setting up of essential information, Pipedrive instantly became my favorite CRM for small business.

When you first launch the program, you’re welcomed with a pleasantly clean interface with everything right in front of you. Once you dig deep, you’ll find a plethora of useful features awaiting you. The tool also comes with a comprehensive guideline (including courses) and tutorial videos in case you get stuck somewhere.

Key Features

  • A visual pipeline for effectively managing deals
  • Email reminders and notifications so you never miss an update
  • Workflow automation for streamlining operations
  • Tracking of emails, calls, and contacts history
  • Customizable dashboards for gaining insights regarding sales
  • Activity reports for keeping an eye on sales and their trends
  • Multiple integrations and mobile apps available

5. Zoho CRM

For a CRM tool associated with an empire of company’s other successful products, Zoho CRM doesn’t disappoint at all.

Zoho CRM Software

A piping hot CRM software straight out of the oven of a renowned name we’re all aware of – Zoho.

Starting from: $8/user/month
Pricing model: Subscription based
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Android, iOS, Web, Windows

PROS:
  • Real-Time Forecasting
  • Pipeline Analysis and Management
  • Lead Generation & Automated Lead Management
  • Performance Management
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Team Collaboration Functionality
  • Email Templates
  • Workflow Automation
  • Real-Time Sales Reporting
  • Integration with G-suite and Office 365

CONS:
  • Starter plan comes with limitations

You’ve likely heard of Zoho and the behemoth of products it offers. One such addition in the product-line of the company is Zoho CRM. Whether it’s owing to a strong name backing it up, or merely because it is an excellently designed product in itself, Zoho CRM might be the perfect CRM you’ve been looking for.

Navigating through this best CRM for small business, I’ve come to the conclusion that it puts together a smart feature set along with a small price tag pretty nicely.  The thing that caught my attention the most was the gamification feature. It allows you to turn your daily operations into a competition and take the team motivation levels up a notch. Get things done while having fun!

Key Features

  • Sales force automation, including lead management
  • Live chat for website visitors, along with feeds and focus groups
  • Multiple progress tracking charts and reports
  • Email management for customer communication management
  • Sales forecasting using historical data for contingency planning
  • Gamification of deals and AI prediction for prospect customers

6. Insightly

An insightful edition to my review of best CRM software, Insightly brings together multiple aspects of a business into one common solution.

insightly crm software

A single platform for three most important insights of your business – Marketing, Sales, Projects.

Starting from: $29/user/month
Pricing model: Free plan and Subscription based
Free Trial: Available (No Credit Card required)
Devices: Web, iOS, Android

PROS:
  • Free Version Available
  • Power BI Integration
  • Email Tracking
  • Email Templates
  • Custom Fields and Filters
  • Automatic Email Reminders
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Enterprise Level Reports and Dashboards
  • App Development According to Requirements
  • Easy File Uploads and Fast Search

CONS:
  • Workflow automation available in higher price
  • Unavailability of automatic email forwarding
  • Pricey compared to other options available

Marketing, projects, and sales pretty much sums up the core areas of a business which require maximum attention. With Insightly, you don’t have to juggle multiple systems for managing each one of these.

The program helps you efficiently deal with your sales, turn them into valuable insights, and manage your entire projects like a pro.  The customization and automation features help fit the tool with any type of business requirements with ease.

Key Features

  • Data visualization through interactive dashboards
  • Timeline view through activities for lead tracking
  • Emails and call management
  • Bulk emails functionality for targeting multiple prospect leads simultaneously
  • Real-time charts and graphs for monitoring performance
  • Workflow automation for managing business processes

7. Microsoft Dynamics 365

A cloud based best CRM software which helps businesses manage their operations through a single platform.

microsoft dynamics 365 crm software

A ‘dynamic’ customer relationship management tool which brings together a multitude of applications into an integrated solution

Starting from:
Pricing model: Subscription based
Free Trial:
Devices: Windows

PROS:
  • Valuable Customer Insights
  • Programmatic management of product properties
  • Permission Controls
  • Activity Management and Control
  • Server-to-Server Authentication
  • Virtual Agent for Customer Service
  • Fraud Protection
  • Process Management
  • Power BI
  • Dynamics 365 app for Outlook

CONS:
  • Steep learning curve
  • Comes off as clunky for beginners
  • Mass data entry can turn into a tedious task

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud managed tool which comes integrated with Office 365 and multiple other Microsoft products. So, if you’re already a Microsoft user, you’ll love this tool and unlike a completely new user, setting up would be a piece of cake for you.

Out of many useful features, the one I particularly liked was the tool’s ability to generate sales estimates and invoices in Microsoft Outlook, which are then reflected in the accounting system automatically.

Key Features

  • Optimization of sales process for maximizing output
  • Dashboards for providing insights into customer behavior
  • Marketing module to effectively manage campaigns
  • Customer services module for catering all the customer concerns
  • Performance management functionality to help track employee performance

In a nutshell, the best CRM software for you will always be the one that fits rightly with your needs. Evaluate your needs, take the plunge, and pick the right tool which make things easy for you. Any other CRM deserves to make this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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