8 Best CRM for Small Business Owners & Agencies

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by Chandraveer Singh

Do you prioritize better customer relationships, streamlined sales flow, organized database, and effortless lead management?

If yes, it’s time to ditch the spreadsheet or sticky notes management and switch to a CRM tool.

A CRM tool is no longer a luxury used by big enterprises but has become an essential part of small businesses striving to scale. In fact, CRM software is now the most significant software market in the world and is expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenue by 2025.

If you are looking to create long-lasting relationships with your customers and prospects, it’s time you start your search to find the best CRM tool.

Never mind, we already took care of the search part. We have scoured and curated a list of the best CRM for small business and agency owners.

It’s time to choose!

What is a CRM tool?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a cohesive system that enables you to manage your customer data, interaction history, sales cycle, lead segmentation, email marketing, and much more under a single platform.

All this produces a consistent and personalized experience for your customers, making your business their favorite place.

CRM for small businesses also acts as a centralized place for your marketing, sales, and customer support team to tap into all the data they need to run their tasks smoothly.

Having a CRM at the foundation of your small business rather than doing things manually will develop efficiency and yield better results in the longer run.

The question is how to pick a perfect CRM tool for a small business?

Well, there are a few common aspects that every small business needs to look in a CRM tool when buying, such as:

  • It should have a smaller learning curve
  • It should be a cloud-based and Mobile CRM solution
  • It should have funnel management
  • It needs to be affordable
  • Good customer support
  • Integration friendly

Now that you have got the primer on CRM tools and a checklist of features, let’s head to the list.

8 Best CRM for Small Business Owners & Agencies

1 HubSpot

HubSpot

Hubspot is a highly rated CRM tool with excellent features to manage your sales and marketing activities under one dashboard. Its intuitive UI makes it very easy for first-timers to keep track of new contacts, information and assign and track deals.

And the best part – it’s free. Yes, Hubspot’s basic CRM plan is free forever. This makes Hubspot the most cost-effective option for small businesses just starting up. If you want more advanced CRM features, then you can switch to its paid SalesHub plans.

Let’s look at Hubspot’s impressive feature list:

  • Customer data management
  • Interaction tracking
  • Customer insights
  • Gmail, Outlook, and Facebook Messenger integration
  • Email tracking
  • Live chat
  • Deal and ticket pipelines
  • Team collaboration

Pricing: Hubspot’s basic CRM plan is free, but for more scalability, you can switch to its Starter plan starting at $45/month.

Pros:

  • Thoughtful and easy to use interface
  • Quick Support
  • Easy integration with other tools
  • Customer segmentation and great filters to find data
  • Mobile-friendly

Cons:

  • Need improvement in calling features
  • Unable to catch duplicate contacts
  • Need improvement in email formatting feature in creating workflows and nurture sequence
  • Bigger plans are expensive

2 Drip

Drip

Drip is an excellent CRM tool for small businesses acquiring leads, managing contacts, and building long-lasting relationships.

This easy-to-use CRM tool enables you to build automation workflows and email campaigns effortlessly. With its powerful visual email builder, you can create exciting personalized branded emails to seal the deal.

Drip has 100+ app integration to improve your lead generation and marketing efforts. Its integration with multiple eCommerce stores like WooCommerce, Shopify, and many more makes it a fair option for small businesses looking to sell products.

Let’s Checkout Drip’s features:

  • Marketing automation workflows
  • Contact management
  • Custom conversion tracking
  • Customizable email templates
  • 100+ app integration
  • Actionable reports
  • Email list segmentation
  • Built-in SMS feature
  • Content customization
  • Purchase intent marketing
  • Automatic revenue attribution

Pricing: Drip builds its plan based on the number of people on your list. The plan starts with $19/month for up to 500 active contacts. It also has a 14-day free trial.

Pros:

  • Its event-based automation ability is impressive
  • Hundreds of pre-built workflows
  • Integration with the Facebook custom audience is beneficial
  • Email list segmentation is amazing for hyper-targeting

Cons:

  • The email builder is not as intuitive as it could be
  • Email templates could be better
  • Expensive for small businesses with a bigger subscriber base
  • Not best for A/B testing a sequence

3 Salesflare

Salesflare

Salesflare is widely used by B2B marketers and agencies to manage leads and clients.

All credit goes to its ease of usability and the ability to automatically pull out data from emails, email signatures, social profiles, and other sources to help follow leads in a better way.

Moreover, it automatically logs all your meetings and phone calls with customers by connecting to your phone and calendar, saving you from the tedious task of doing it manually.

It also keeps track of your lead’s online activity and tells you when they open your mail, visit your website, or post something on social media.

Let’s check out Salesflare’s feature list:

  • Automatic CRM data input
  • Interaction tracking
  • Personalized email campaign
  • Lead management
  • Social Collaboration feature
  • Opportunity and pipeline management
  • Outlook, Gmail, and Zapier integration

Pricing: Salesflare’s Growth plan for a single user comes at $29/month (billed annually). Further, you can get a Pro plan for $49/month and an Enterprise plan for $99/month.

Pros:

  • Great customer support
  • Zero learning curve
  • Seamless integration with your other sales toolset
  • It reduced your data entry tasks
  • Easy Pipeline management

Cons:

  • UI is not that impressive
  • The workflow automation could be easier to use
  • Reporting could be improved (custom reporting in beta)

4 Zoho

Zoho

Zoho is well-known as one of the best sales CRM for small businesses. It offers powerful features to empower your marketing/sales team to generate leads, accelerate sales, and measure sales performance.

It also enables you to connect with prospects and customers, talking through multiple channels from a centralized dashboard. It makes things easier for your sales team to have meaningful conversations with prospects effortlessly.

Zoho also has an AI assistant called Zia to help you fetch information, take notes, predict the future of a sale, provide suggestions, automate tasks, and more. But you only get this in the Premium plan.

Moreover, Zoho also has a cost-effective and straightforward CRM tool Bigin made for small businesses. It provides you with decent features to visualize your pipeline, engage prospects, and plug-and-play integrations with G Suite, Microsoft 365, and Zoho Desk.

Let’s take a look at its notable feature list:

  • Lead Management
  • Workflow Automation
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Process Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • iOS and Android Apps (with business card scanner)
  • Developer Platform
  • Journey orchestration
  • Webforms
  • Zia AI

Pricing: Zoho CRM offers a free plan for up to 3 users. From there, you can use its Standard, Professional, and Enterprise plan at $14/month, $23/month, and $40/month, respectively.

Pros:

  • Excellent database management to manage and track all sales
  • The Live chat feature
  • Smooth integration with different channels and third-party apps
  • Detailed analytics report

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve
  • Customer service needs improvement
  • The dashboard is not user-friendly

5 Freshsales

Freshsales

Freshsales, also known as Freshworks, is a fully-featured sales CRM tool for businesses of all sizes.

The CRM enables you to customize sales activities, add custom fields, and see the complete contact journey to become a customer.

Apart from the 360-degree view, the AI of the tool learns from the CRM data and notifies about the leads that are likely to convert first. You can also set up automation workflows, lead assignments, get insights from conversations, and connect with contacts across channels.

Let’s check out some of the best features from Freshsales’s long feature list:

  • AI-powered lead scoring
  • Contact management
  • Territory management
  • Excellent task management
  • Email templates editor
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Easy to use workflow
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps
  • Sales pipeline with drag and drop navigation

Pros:

  • Allows multiple sales pipelines with unique stages
  • Whatsapp integration comes real handy
  • Ability to customize the dashboard
  • Email tracking
  • Lead scoring feature, the Freddy AI

Cons:

  • Limited choice in email templates
  • Customer support could be better
  • Reporting could be improved

6 Salesforce

Salesforce

Salesforce is the most prominent CRM company globally, owning around 19.8% share of the CRM market. Since it is the first CRM company, you can imagine how long its feature list would be.

Salesforce started as a tool for small businesses and later turned its focus to big enterprises. Still, it hasn’t forgotten its roots and has a separate solution for small businesses called Salesforce essentials.

Apart from providing a full-fledged sales experience, you can use Salesforce to bolster your marketing efforts and drive more leads through emails, SMS messaging, social media, and digital advertising.

Let’s see the key features offered by Salesforce:

  • Contact and lead management
  • Opportunity management
  • Workflow automation
  • Pipeline and forecast management
  • Custom dashboard and reports
  • Gmail and Outlook integration
  • Quote management

Pricing: The small businesses plan starts at $25/month per user (billed annually) and goes up to $1250. You can also test the waters with its free trial.

Pros:

  • The reporting function is excellent to track the performance of reps
  • Highly customizable according to company needs
  • Easily accessible and user-friendly on all devices
  • The creation of a systematic pipeline through automation is effortless

Cons:

  • It is expensive for small businesses with multiple users
  • The in-tool navigation needs to be improved
  • Customer support could be better
  • Complex for SMB owners

7 Pipedrive

Pipedrive

Pipedrive’s power lies in its simplicity. Its fast and easy-to-use interface gets you up and running in just a few minutes.

The dashboard opens up a view of your complete sales process where you can use the drag-and-drop functionality to manage deals on different pipeline stages.

Moreover, you can use Pipedrive to track your email and calls for better reporting, get sales forecasting, and create workflow automation to cut back on manual tasks.

Also, Pipedrive has a marketplace with over 250+ tools and services to manage your marketing automation, lead generation, and phone communication needs.

Let’s check out Pipedrive’s features right away:

  • Visual Pipelines
  • Custom fields
  • Sales forecasting
  • Product and price list management
  • Quote and order management
  • Call Center Features
  • Workflow automation

Pricing: Pipedrive’s basic plan starts at $12.50/month per user (billed annually). You can get a free 14-day trial.

Pros:

  • It has a ridiculously easy to use interface
  • Very cost-effective
  • Activity tracking is fluid

Cons:

  • Not a suitable tool for behavior and ROI tracking
  • You can’t do campaign segmentation and planning
  • Lack of advance reporting options

8 Agile

Agile

Agile is an all-in-one CRM to manage and automate your sales, marketing, and service under one roof.

Agile is pretty strong on the sales front with features like appointment scheduling, lead scoring, custom data fields, 2-way email integration and telephony, and gamification to instill collaboration and competition in your sales team.

You can use Agile’s marketing automation feature to score leads automatically, and segment contacts based on email opens, link clicks, web browsing activity, and custom tags.

On top of all that, It also has a host of powerful help desk automation features to make your customer support experience smoother.

Let’s check out Agile’s feature list:

  • Single page contact management
  • One-click calling, call scripts, and voicemail automation
  • Project management
  • Full-fledged marketing automation
  • Email tracking
  • Social and mobile marketing
  • Ticket labeling

Pricing: Agile offers a free plan with limited features for 10 users. The paid plans start at $9.99/month per user (billed annually). You can get an extra discount if you pay for 2 years.

Pros:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • Email reporting works smoothly to track open rates
  • Acts great as a bulk email system for messages and e-newsletters
  • Manages inbound leads and marketing automation smoothly

Cons:

  • The interface has a bit of a steep learning curve and needs to be updated
  • Missing filter deals option based on the contact information
  • Lack of tutorials and articles to understand features

Over to You

If you aim to close more deals faster and effortlessly while maintaining a consistent relationship with your prospects and customers, the CRM tool is a must for you.

Now that you have the list of the best CRM tools for small businesses and agencies, the road ahead to choose the right CRM will be less bumpy.

Remember to keep in mind all the factors mentioned above before choosing the CRM.

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Frequently Asked Questions

🌟 What is the best CRM for small businesses?

Here’s the list of best CRM for small businesses and marketing agencies:

  • HubSpot
  • Drip
  • Salesflare
  • Zoho
  • Freshsales
  • Salesforce
  • Pipedrive
  • Agile

🌟 Is a CRM worth it for a small business?

A CRM tool is definitely worthy for small businesses trying to grow faster in an organized way. Having a CRM helps your Sales and Marketing team develop efficiency and yield better results in the longer run. They are also a great tool to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. And you know a happy customer means a happy business.

🌟 Does Google have a free CRM?

No, Google doesn’t have a CRM added to their Gsuite offerings. However, Google integrates with tons of other third-party CRM, which lets the sales team track conversations happening in Gmail on their dashboard to manage the leads better.

🌟 What is the most commonly used CRM software right now?

Salesforce is the most commonly used CRM tool owning around 19.8% share of the CRM market.

🌟 What is the simplest CRM to use?

According to our research, Pipedrive is the simplest CRM to use for first-timers. If you are willing to trade off on advance features and robust automation that other CRM tools provide, then Pipedrive is one of the most user-friendly choices for small business.

Picture of Chandraveer Singh

Chandraveer Singh

Chandraveer is a content writer at SocialPilot. Writing well researched and quality content is his forte. He is an avid reader of cat memes and tries very hard to put them in company blogs. He also loves to write his bio in the third person.

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