Best Customer Relationship Management Software for Small Businesses in 2021
For any business, small or large, developing strong relationships with customers is a critical factor for success. Using customer relationship management (CRM) software can help companies organize important data from multiple locations into one convenient interface.
The ability to track and analyze every interaction with a customer or prospect increases customer engagement and keeps the customer where he or she belongs – at the center of your focus – and helps you close more deals and win more business.
Research has shown that a properly integrated CRM solution can generate ROI from approximately $2.50 to $5.60 for every dollar invested in the solution.
Salesforce, one of the leading providers of Customer Relationship Management software, found that using a CRM solution can increase sales by 29%, salesforce productivity by 32% and sales forecast accuracy by 44%. Today’s competitive landscape is more crowded than ever, and the ability to tailor your engagement process to fit each customer is an advantage that will help your company stand out.
The right CRM software will make your salesforce vastly more efficient, and help to identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. You can also take advantage of inbound marketing techniques that leverage your website and search optimization, combined with a content library, to bring more qualified prospects into the fold.
Customer Relationship Management software will capture extremely detailed information about customer behavior and preferences that can inform targeted marketing, product development and sales activities. The right CRM software can help you raise your business to a new level.
Given the role a CRM solution can play in a company’s success, it’s vital to find the right provider who can offer the features and customization capabilities to fit your business needs. We’ve reviewed a number of software offerings on the market.
The choices are myriad, but we’ve identified some of the best providers for the small-to-medium sized companies. We’ll give you the pros, cons and bottom line on some of the best-known names in Customer Relationship Management software so you can make a decision that will help grow your business.
CRM Trends in 2021
Before getting into our recommendations for the best CRM software in 2021, we’re going to analyze a couple particularly interesting trends related to CRM. These trends are still developing, but we see a lot of potential for AI, machine learning and subscription services as they relate to CRM.
AI and machine learning is starting to synchronize with CRM software to create new kinds of customer relationships. As machines become better at “relationship intelligence” AI is being integrated into other CRM software. Machines can’t replace true human interaction, but they are starting to get close. Machine learning allows AI to become more intelligent about customer behavior, opening the door to new types of customer relationships and CRM processes.
The increasing prevalence of subscription services is evolving right alongside improvements to AI and machine learning. The “subscription economy,” impacting entertainment, transportation and other fields, is changing customer relationships.
AI can make use of the vast data gleaned from such subscription services to improve machine learning. By analyzing such data, smarter and smarter algorithms can parse out minute customer relationship details. This suggests AI and the “subscription economy” may be the way the CRM technology moves in 2018 and beyond.
Best Customer Relationship Management Software for Small Businesses
Salesforce CRM is one of the most recognizable names in CRM software, and for good reason. The company is the world’s largest CRM provider, and consistently ranked at the top of industry surveys.
They offer a cloud-based solution that reaches every stage of the customer life cycle and is flexible, mobile and fully customizable. It’s also easy to learn and use, and offers an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate on mobile and desktop devices. It can be expensive for smaller companies, but many users contend that the lower training costs offset the higher subscription fee.
Prices start at $25 per user per month (up to 5 users), with progressively more sophisticated versions including Pro ($75 per user), Enterprise ($150 per user), and Unlimited ($300 per user). Add $25 per user for the service module and $75 for the sales and service analytics module.
Best Free CRM Software
Zoho Office Suite may be free, but choose this option and you won’t be forced to compromise on capabilities just because you’re not a paying customer. This cloud-based The Zoho CRM solution was created with the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Users enjoy all the core functionalities of pricier options, and the interface includes tools such as sales and marketing automation, product configuration, reporting, and customer analytics.
There’s also a gamification feature that adds a bit of fun to the sales process and rewards salespeople who achieve targets. The mobile version gives users access to sales and customer information on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. The free edition is restricted to 10 users, with upgraded services starting at $12 per month.
While users report that considerable customization can be necessary at the outset and customer support can be limited, Zoho is a powerful tool for small businesses that are not ready to pay subscription fees.
Best CRM Software for Startups
Hubspot is another fully functioning CRM that is free for users and includes many of the tools a startup needs. It can track and organize contacts and offers a complete overview of the sales pipeline.
Hubspot CRM also offers a sales add-on, in free and pro versions ($50 per month), which include email notifications and templates, document tracking, and in-app calling.
Moreover, Hubspot offers all the basic features necessary without the complexity that can make other CRM software difficult to use for newbies. It’s also a certified, premier Google partner, easily integrates with other software, and can be used in a variety of industries. Unfortunately, there’s no phone support for free users, but that would be a little too good to be true.
Best CRM Software for Companies that Want Customizable Solutions
Apptivo is a web-based CRM solution that offers a variety of customer relations, project tracking and financial management functions. Users love the customizable app features that allow them to pick and choose the functions they need for their companies.
The software is highly compatible with Google applications and users rave about the highly responsive, 24-hour customer service and great live chat support option. Altogether, one of the most flexible and affordable CRM tools available.
To find the best CRM software for small businesses, we began by talking to business owners themselves, as well as some of the professionals who advise them.
We asked them their choice of CRM software, what features are the most important to them, what informed their choice of provider, what they love about their current CRM software, and what they would love to change. We discovered, not surprisingly, that ease of use and the ability to customize are important features, as is cost.
The top features that business owners look for include: contact management, the ability to track interactions, scheduling and reminders, email marketing, pipeline monitoring, reporting analytics and integration with other platforms. They highly value customer support and extensive help desk functions.
We also did extensive research online, reading hundreds of consumer reviews and complaints, and poring through numerous review web sites. Then we narrowed down our list of CRM software to the most commonly mentioned names.
With the short list of 10 CRM software packages in hand, we scrutinized each company’s website to compare and contrast the options offered. We watched their tutorial videos and reviewed the customer resources offered by each.
Based on our research, we developed these criteria, which we used to evaluate each outsourcing company.
- Range of functionality
- Analytics capability
- Ability to integrate with other platforms
- Ease of use
- Mobile access
- Social media integration
- Workflow management
- Customer service
- Help desk availability
- Training requirements
Here are the remaining companies we looked at during our research.
Microsoft Dynamics offers a look and feel familiar to Office and Sharepoint users, with a user interface that’s easy to use. This makes the software a great option for Microsoft users and it’s optimized for performance with Microsoft products, meaning that it can be slightly clunky if you integrate with other products.
The solution can be deployed via the cloud, on-premises or via a hybrid combination, but the on-premises option is great for companies that have data security concerns.
The range of functionality is comprehensive, but it’s a sophisticated product that can be difficult to use. It’s a better choice for companies that have well-defined processes. It’s great for companies that need contract management capabilities, but can be expensive and difficult to use for smaller companies.
vTiger CRM is an all-in-one option designed for small businesses. It offers sales automation, email, project and inventory management, forecasting, workflow automation, case and lead management and a customer portal. There are also training, migration and email marketing packages available separately. vTiger easy to learn and affordable, with a tech support desk that’s quick to respond. The biggest drawback is that it can be difficult to customize.
Nimble is a good choice for companies of any size that want to unify disparate data and improve their social media integration. Unfortunately, there’s no Facebook or LinkedIn message integration since these social media forums have removed API access, although Nimble CRM works well with Twitter.
The software automatically populates profiles and interaction histories from contact lists, email and social media. The interface gives a comprehensive view of to-dos, key deals, engagement opportunities and more. Best of all, Nimble has a rules engine that helps the software learn from user behavior and predict increasingly relevant contacts and activities.
Suite CRM is an open source CRM that is scalable for any business size. Designed to offer enterprise-level functionality, the software can be deployed in a private cloud, directly on private servers, or on a public cloud.
Suite is highly customizable and offers a free option for sophisticated enterprise users. However, it takes considerable skill to administer and is only suited to advanced organizations.
Act! manages contacts and leads while offering reporting and third party integration that includes basic accounting, client history and pipeline reports. Available in a cloud version that requires no IT support, as well as in a server-based version. The software offers built-in email marketing tools and integrates with phone systems.
However, some users reported that the interface is dated, the software can be confusing to use and social media integration could be better. This difficult-to-use CRM is not for the faint of heart and feels more like a jazzed-up contact manager than a fully functional CRM.
Goldmine was among the first contact management and CRM tools. The software is still good for maintaining a centralized contact list, but it’s less appealing as a sophisticated CRM. According to some, the email function can be troublesome, in particular, and some users have reported it is prone to crashing. Further, feedback indicated that many of the features available through Goldmine can be found elsewhere at a better price and with better functionality.
CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system’s main purpose is for collecting data that studies interactions among the company and its customers. This data has many sources such as the company website, customer support logs and databases, feedback reviews, and the social media channels. The company uses the generated data to improve their operation concerning products, find answers to the customers’ concerns, and improve its growth and expansion. A simple crm system is mandatory for your startup’s success.
CRM is an important feature for all companies, but it is crucial for small businesses and rapidly growing startups that are in the beginning of their growth process. The reason behind that is that their growth and expansion depend mainly on how many new customers they can attract and manage to keep them as well. You will also find helpful tips in this article about crm for service business.
For example, if you are starting a new restaurant, you need to know what is the opinion of your customers in the food, what are the online reviews saying and if they think they will visit the place again or recommend it to a friend.
This data is very important to make your service better and gain your customer’s confidence. When running a startup you will need a customer management software for small business. Customer service software is also a main component of the CRM software. It is important to find the best customer management software for small business.
According to different requirements of your company, there are different options for an effective CRM software. In this article we will recommend a bunch of those showing each one’s pros and cons. We will help you to compare CRM for small business options and determine the best CRM for small business. CRM and project management software is a broad topic, hope you will like our coverage in this article.
Salesforce is a comprehensive solution with all what you need in a single CRM software. Salesforce customer relationship management is one of the best you can get.
Salesforce is usually a perfect known choice for large companies and enterprises, but they issued a Salesfprce small business edition. This edition allows small start ups to use the tools and resources of the main software with less price. Their platform is user friendly and easy to use. They offer important features that can not be missed such as contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, sales forecasting and lead generation. The platform also offers cloud based customer relationship management. It is also considered an easy crm for small business. Its software is a crm easy to use for everyone. Using Salesforce you will have the best crm and project management for small business.
Multiple options are available at salesforce that makes it suitable for large and small businesses as well.
In last february, they acquired Everage which is a customer data platform to improve its real-time personalisation capabilities. This merger will allow Salesforce to develop more intelligent and predictive features using AI technology. This will make the program easier and more comfortable for the users.Salesforce CRM system is now better than ever.
In May 2020, they added more features to help the companies through the COVID pandemic. This update will help the businesses with the reopen in the next few months. The new features will help assist the social distancing policy and help the business owners control the number of employees in the office at the same time. Salesforce also offers an online CRM software that is capable and simple at the same time.
Presenting an interesting set of features and a wide range of automation abilities, they are surely the best CRM system choice for small businesses.
The basic plan for Agile has a competitive price of 9$/month for one user. It offers a lot of important features for marketing teams as well as the sales ones. It gives you the choice to store data for upto 10,000 companies or clients. They support tracking emails by a two-way integration system which are lead scoring and custom deal milestones.
If used by a marketing team, it offers builder tools needed by many services, this includes emails, forms, different templates for emails and landing pages for websites. They also added a feature to do marketing tasks automatically and evaluate social media data. It is surely the best simple crm for small business.
This software is easy to use and inexpensive. Zoho software can be implemented easily and offers a chunk of features and functionality for a fraction of the price of the competitors. Some may argue that Zoho has less customisation options than other CRM competitors, but there are many ways to overcome this and make Zoho a perfect fit for your needs.
The software itself is an example for a modern, intuitive and a clean program. Their CRM module is flawless. They have also added tens of different extra features that can be added by a click-to-install extension and downloaded from the Zoho Marketplace. This process of editing Zoho is so simple that most businesses can build a tailored CRM without needing a developer.
Zoho is a comprehensive CRM option for all businesses, especially the small ones. It has a fair price and excellent customer support.
Last March, due to the coronavirus pandemic Zoho allowed its employees to work from home. They also updated their tools to help companies operate remotely. They launched a remote suite that had 11 apps including apps like Meeting, Office Suite, Cliq, Assist, Lens, Show, WorkDrive and Sprints. They are available for free upto July 1.
In June, Zoho issued a new CRM software ‘Bigin’ that is mainly working on small businesses. It helps them to manage their customers and their relationships in simple terms and features. It just takes 30 minutes to be ready and shows many options and customizable features. It has a telephone partition that allows more communications with customers.
Zoho offers many valuable tools that we will show you in the following lines:
1.SalesSignals: This is a service that notifies your employees when any customers or potential clients interact with any channel concerning your product. These interactions may include visiting your website, mentions for your brand on social media, or opening your marketing emails.
2.SalesIQ: it is a valuable add-on that provides you with live chats, statistics based on your performance, and the behavior of your clients. This includes time spent on website and clicks; all the data is added to its respective clients so that the sales reps will have all the data needed about each client.
3.Artificial intelligence: AI features add a lot of functionality to the CRM, such as tracking customers’ data. After that, the system will suggest specific orders as the best time to reach out to each client or predicting the success of any process. The AI software predicts the success of each lead on a scale from 1 to 100.
4.Flexibility: Zoho is customizable in many ways; for example, you can create buttons that connect you directly to a particular action, such as the “create a proposal” button associated with your proposal software.
5.Additional features: Zoho is not limited to CRM software; it also has valuable additions such as Zoho power dialer and other products for human resources accounting, social media, email campaigns, and surveys.
Zoho can be used freely for three users or in a paid plan that starts from $12/month.
HubSpot gives the small businesses and tiny contractors an easy entry to the CRM software world. They have a great free version that might show enough effectiveness and functionality to increase the company’s performance, regulations, and processes without any cost at all. It has an online library which gives the users a great amount of scientific resources. This library includes template generators, learning guides, email signature generators, and marketing plan template generators. All users will have a wide variety of options that will allow them to improve their business a lot without spending any money on research and development.
Among all the companies we talked about in this article, HubSpot offers the best free plan. This is a great thing for start ups and very small businesses that can not afford a paid CRM software. However, HubSpot has one of the best comprehensive libraries that will get you all you need. Hubspot is the best client management software for small business.
Last April, They published a content management system to their software. This recent CMS hub helps users to develop and change their websites. Their CMS is always protected with a web firewall 24/7 monitoring threats. They also support many languages. They also have many themes and modules for websites to tailor your website. The CMS hub will only be accessible in HubSpot enterprise and paid plans. Hubspot plans provide an affordable crm software for small business.
Hubspot can also integrate more than 300 applications and services. This includes WordPress, lead management software as OptinMonster, marketing companies, and email management software. It can also be easily connected to email services likes Gmail and Outlook to record the email activity automatically.
Hubspot is easy to use with a friendly interface that you get used to in a short time. The learning curve of the software can be cut into shorter periods using tutorials and customer support.
Real-time reporting and data management with the different team members. Templates are a great tool that saves a lot of time for the employee instead of rewriting the emails again.
Email tracking allows you to know when a potential client opens an email.
All transactions ongoing among the clients and employees are plotted and recorded.
1.Hubspot pricing is only suitable for official enterprises, and it can be difficult to afford for small startups.
2.Leads can be challenging to organize.
3. The mobile application of HubSpot CRM could be a lot better. It only allows you to monitor the status of the customer request without being able to respond to it.
Drip is a lot more than one of the best email marketing suppliers on the market.It is also a great and powerful ERCM (eCommerce). It does an amazing job providing numerous functions for email marketing and it also helps make an automatic system for your sales by using workflows.
Drip is not just an amazing CRM software that connects with your email marketing services, but it can also handle email marketing for your company. This service offers a unique option that makes your customer workflow automatic that allows certain actions such as split testing workflows. Drip may be the best crm for sales and marketing on the market. Drip is also a simple crm system for small businesses.
This tool is very simple and easy to use despite being very powerful and active. This marketing software is complete and automotive. It is also a great choice for beginners. It also has a modern and user friendly interface.
A few of Drip’s best effective features are:
-Workflow builder to automate workflows in intuitive and visual ways.
-10 built-in reports on the WordPress dashboard with export features.
-Testing feature to find out how your customers interact with the messages you send.
- Connects you with Facebook Ads system and custom audience.
- Facebook and Instagram user base can be taped into easily by the lead generation workflow.
Drip’s plan is for 49$/month as a start for an infinite number of emails and 2500 subscribers.
In this article, we discussed the best crm solutions for small business. It is not easy to determine the best crm platforms for small business as there are a lot of simple client management software that offers a great experience for a small business. Sales management software is a cornerstone nowadays in any business. There are great crm solutions for small businesses on the web. Most of the discussed examples have services like cloud based crm for small business. Determining the best sales crm for small business is not important as any of these has a great online crm system that will support your sales. You can also use free sales management software provided by crm.
The examples mentioned are also a cheap crm for startups. The relationship between crm and sales management is crucial for your business’s growth. It is also important to look for the best client management software to achieve more client satisfaction.
The sales management crm is also a very helpful tool for your business. There are specific tools that work as a sales crm for small business, you may look it up if you think it will be helpful. Each platform has a mobile app, the experience and reviews will help you to know the best crm apps for small business.