The Best CRM Software Guide (10 Top CRM Systems in 2021)

This ultimate best CRM software guide is for serious marketing professionals, sales teams, and business owners.

Customer relationships are essential to the success of your brand.

Without the right connection to your audience, you can’t hope to turn those one-time purchases into repeat transactions. Fortunately, building a community of dedicated customers doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems.

CRM software, or Customer Relationship Management tools, are solutions intended to automate the process of building deeper connections with your customers. Through the right CRM technology, you can gain a better understanding of the steps your customers take when they engage in a buying journey with you.

For instance, what are the questions your customers normally ask before they buy a product similar to yours? What kind if issues might stop your customers from buying from you, or send them rushing to your competitors instead?

CRM software can help you to better understand your audience, and keep track of your conversations with them, without relying on an excel spreadsheet.

So, what’s the best CRM software?

What is CRM Software

Introducing CRM Software

CRM software is the secret to seamlessly integrating business intelligence with marketing campaigns, sales automation, and customer support in one centralized platform. That means sales reps get to work hand in hand with their marketing counterparts for the sake of common business goals. All the team members are kept on the same page, with workflow management tools setting a clear path for each individual’s roles.

The success of the entire system depends on how you capitalize on your customer interaction opportunities without compromising the corresponding customer experience. Hence, your CRM software should gather relevant contact information, and then combine it with its business intelligence for meaningful conversations.

And speaking of which, a quick scan through a customer’s profile should give you insights into what they’ve purchased in the past, how they handled the purchase processes, their contact details, as well as the subsequent customer satisfaction levels.

Ok, I know what you might be thinking right now. Don’t these features make a CRM system sound like a regular business spreadsheet? So, what’s the difference between leveraging CRM software and keeping your contact information in one long spreadsheet?

Interestingly, that happens to be a common question when it comes to CRM applications. And as it turns out, quite a huge chunk of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) all over the world actually rely on simple spreadsheets for lead management.

However, the fact is, spreadsheets are nowhere close to CRM software. While the former relies on a manual system of managing information, the latter goes beyond that by combining contact insights with automated follow-up processes.

In essence, modern CRM platforms come with a brain that can collect and record your lead information, then consequently use it to drive sales conversations based on the specific rules you set. A CRM software is capable of piecing together all every single bit of data it collects about your leads, and then use the resultant insights to systematically target individuals with personalized messages across multiple channels.

Choosing The Best CRM Systems - State of The CRM Solutions Market

A word of caution though. Although there are numerous CRM software options on the web right now, not all of them offer the functionalities we’ve mentioned. The current CRM market is quite extensive, with all sorts of solutions providing different types of marketing, sales, and pipeline management features.

While the resultant competition between them makes CRM software conveniently cheaper, it also presents a fairly difficult challenge. Sorting through all that forest of potential solutions is no walk in the park.

But, luckily for you, we understand that you may not have the time to conduct a comprehensive evaluation. You’re probably too busy running your business and worrying about acquiring new customers.

So, we took the time to do the heavy lifting for you. Our team here at Ecommerce-Platforms has been evaluating different types of CRM software for the past couple of months, and here’s the resultant report.

This article goes beyond the standard stuff for CRM systems. It’s not just about good CRM software. Rather, we comprehensively evaluated the leading options down to the last detail to establish the ultimate list of the 10 best CRM software.

So, let’s explore every single one of them as we highlight their core features for marketing automation, customer data management, lead scoring, sales forecasting, pipeline management, lead generation, workflow management, project management, task management, sales automation, email marketing, etc.

This guide, therefore, is for serious marketing professionals, sales teams, and business owners that want the best for their companies.

But, if you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief breakdown of our overall best pick, the best budget CRM software, the best CRM software for small businesses, as well as the best free CRM software.

And in case you’d like to discover the formula we used to evaluate them, this article provides pointers on how to choose the best CRM software for your business. You’ll find them towards the end, right after our list of the 10 best CRM software.

So, without further ado…

No time to read? Here's our no.1 pick when it comes to the best overall CRM software in the market:

Our pick:
hubspot crm logo

HubSpot CRM

Best overall CRM software

Although it’s not the most advanced CRM software on the market, HubSpot has managed to establish itself as the overall best CRM software option for numerous businesses and sales teams.

Instead of focusing on enterprise-level capabilities, HubSpot’s secret has been maintaining a favorable balance between customer relationship management features, ease of use, and pricing.

Overall rating: 10/10

» Try HubSpot CRM «

What Is The Best CRM Software For a Small Business?

All things considered, the likes of HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Agile CRM, and Insightly CRM are the overall best CRM software solutions for small businesses. That said, HubSpot and Zoho are particularly outstanding here because of the exceptionally rich feature sets they provide for free.

Now, as for the ultimate small business CRM, I guess that depends on you. What you’d consider as the overall best depends on your company structure, plus the needs of your sales and marketing processes.

So, to help you make an informed selection, here’s our detailed guide on the best CRM software options for small businesses.

What Is The Best Free CRM Software?

While there are multiple free CRM software solutions with decent feature offerings, HubSpot CRM is the most dominant one.

This cloud-based CRM software solution is in a world of its own since it provides pretty much all the CRM functionalities you can think of for free. Plus, all that comes with a pleasant, user-friendly interface.

Come to think of it, I guess HubSpot affords to pull this off because the company generates its profits from a wide range of other supplementary ecommerce tools.

Whatever the case, however, don’t get it twisted. While HubSpot CRM is doing a great job in this space, it ‘s not the only perfect option. Of late, several of its competitors have seemingly been giving it a good run for its money.

👉 Find out all about them from our comprehensive review of the best free CRM software.

The 10 Best CRM Software Solutions in 2021

Best CRM Software #1: HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is among the best-known CRM solutions on the market, offering a range of advanced features to suit any business need. HubSpot CRM promises to bring the benefits of customer relationship management to businesses of all sizes.

Additionally, unlike other market leading solutions, many business leaders agree that HubSpot is extremely easy to use and reliable. The core CRM functionality of HubSpot is free to use. That’s something you won’t get from market leaders like Keap.

Although you won’t get all the advanced features for your sales cycle in the free option, there are plenty of extra features to explore that make HubSpot an excellent investment, including collaboration tools for small teams and salespeople.

HubSpot was designed from the ground up to be the ultimate CRM for the modern world. You can design a pipeline that covers every step of the customer process, and manage every conversation carefully. There are templates available to help you build pipelines if you’ve never done so before, and you can also access a range of support solutions too.

HubSpot CRM makes it easy to understand where and why you might lose access to deals during your sales journey. You can also integrate with a range of website builders, including WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and many others. There are even integrations with things like Office 365 and Zapier.

If you need to better understand the impact of different lead options, then you can access the lead management and measurement technology included in the software.

Pricing 💰

As mentioned above, HubSpot CRM is one of the few solutions that starts off as completely free. Although you will need to upgrade to a paid service if you want to access all the functionality available, you’re going to get a great insight into how everything works from the free solution too.

HubSpot can also expand to suit different expectations and needs. The HubSpot CRM can be either available on its own, or delivered as part of a comprehensive suite of tools that include solutions for marketing, customer service, and sales. This means that you can build the package that’s best suited to you.

Who Should consider using HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot CRM is one of the market leaders in CRM technology for a reason. Not only is the service easy to use, but it’s extremely rich in feature options too. You can access a huge range of capabilities, and connect with your audience at every stage of the buyer journey.

👉 Check out our detailed HubSpot CRM review.

Best CRM Software #2: Salesforce CRM

salesforce crm homepage

While HubSpot CRM is the best at simplicity, Salesforce is the king of advanced cloud CRM.

And why is that so?

Well, interestingly, it turns out that before Salesforce came along, most CRM solutions were fundamentally on-premise systems. Businesses spent a lot of resources plus time to install and deploy CRM software on their in-house servers.

All that changed when Salesforce moved everything to the cloud. Then almost immediately, the costs of installing and running CRM software dropped drastically, allowing even small businesses to join the bandwagon. And as they say, the rest is history.

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Salesforce has never looked back since. It, in fact, remains a world leader in not only CRM, but also the entire SaaS spectrum. And as a result, it’s currently recognized as the fifth largest software company across the globe.

Now, for a brand with such a reputation, it comes as no surprise that Salesforce CRM is a holistic, multifaceted suite composed of several different software products. Instead of bundling all its tools into one comprehensive software, Salesforce offers its functionalities through multiple specially-optimized applications.

Apart from Salesforce Sales Cloud, there’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Community Cloud, Salesforce IoT Cloud, and Salesforce App Cloud.

That said, the four most essential software products here are Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Analytics Cloud, plus Salesforce Sales Cloud.

And as you’ve probably guessed already, the Marketing Cloud is optimized for marketing, Service Cloud comes with customer support capabilities, while Analytics Cloud is all about data and reporting. Then last is the Salesforce Sales Cloud, which happens to be the principal tool when it comes to CRM.

You see, the one thing that makes Salesforce Sales Cloud special is its smooth blend of functionalities from the other three Salesforce applications. It basically provides the full CRM experience by combining marketing automation features from Salesforce Marketing Cloud with customer service functionalities from Salesforce Service Cloud, plus business intelligence capabilities from Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

The result is a well-streamlined CRM platform with everything you’d want for project management, pipeline management, workflow management, contact management, partner management, task management, campaign management, and much more.

Salesforce CRM was developed to help you personalize conversion experiences for each individual customer. You get to streamline your customer service, billing, finance, marketing, and sales teams to offer customer journeys. Consequently, you should be able to boost your conversion rates, close more deals, and increase your overall sales numbers.

In the meantime, your sales reps will have an easy time handling everything thanks to automated tasks, standardized processes, as well as impactful insights and accurate forecasts from the Salesforce built-in AI.

Pricing 💰

Salesforce CRM Pricing starts with the Essentials pack at $25 and increases to around $300 per month, depending on the functionality you need. Options include:

  • Essentials: $25 per month per user when you pay annually. Features include a Lightning app builder, data storage, file storage, email integrations, case management, Lightning flow automation, custom reports, dashboards, activity feed, opportunity management, email templates, web-to-lead capture, and more.
  • Professionals: $75 per user per account: All the features of Essentials, plus web services API, developer pro sandbox features, record types, permissions, roles, custom profiles, orders, contracts, forecasting, and more.
  • Enterprise: $150 per month per user with all the features on the Professional plan, plus approvals and workflow. Lighting platform, full sandbox, advanced reporting, opportunity splitting, custom opportunity fields, sales teams, and more.
  • Unlimited: $300 per user per month for all the features of Enterprise, plus various custom objects, multiple sandboxes for testing, custom apps, and more.

Who Should Consider Using Salesforce CRM Software?

Salesforce Sales Cloud, which happens to be the principal Salesforce CRM software, is ideal for sales teams that want to make insightful decisions, accelerate productivity, get more leads, as well as close more deals.

That said, Salesforce is undeniably the best CRM software for advanced business processes. It’s flexible enough to accommodate even large enterprises managing numerous dynamic workflows at the same time.

👉 Check out our detailed Salesforce CRM review.

Best CRM Software #3: Zoho CRM

zoho crm homepage

Zoho CRM comes from Zoho, a well-renowned company that has been providing a host of SaaS business solutions for a couple of years now. And apart from CRM solutions, it specializes in human resources, IT and help desk, email and collaboration, finance, sales and marketing, plus accounting tools.

While all these software products are pretty good, Zoho CRM is the one that arguably takes the crown. It’s a cloud-based SaaS solution that powers multichannel customer relationship management via an intuitive system.

Social media, phone, surveys, live chat, self-service portals, web conferences, and email are the core engagement channels on the Zoho CRM platform, and they work in tandem to provide a seamless and continuous customer lifecycle. You get to assign every single team member a specific target, and then track their subsequent progress using real-time analytics.

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Then to make sales processes much easier for everyone, Zoho CRM includes user-friendly tools for building, as well as customizing automated campaigns. And while you’re at it, you can even take advantage of its libraries plus the REST API to create your own custom solutions and integrations.

That might not be necessary though, since the system comes with some of the best CRM software integrations by default. There are literally hundreds of third-party extensions you could easily embed with your Zoho CRM system to expand its capabilities.

And speaking of which, it’s also possible to connect the platform with your individual leads’ Facebook plus Twitter profiles. The goal here is to capitalize on the full potential of multi-channel experiences and consequently enhance lead generation, customer loyalty, as well as customer satisfaction.

Now, if you haven’t noticed already, there are two sides to the Zoho CRM tale. On one hand, we have customers while on the other, you get to handle leads. Each of them is a distinct entity on its own, and Zoho CRM gives you the privilege to freely categorize your contacts accordingly.

Another benefit that comes with Zoho CRM is mobile app access. It helps you track your sales and marketing processes on the go by providing real-time analytics on both its iOS and Android apps.

It doesn’t stop there though. Turns out you could take your CRM framework a notch higher by upgrading from Zoho CRM to Zoho CRM Plus.

But, make no mistake. I’m not suggesting that the standard Zoho CRM is weak as it is. Far from it to be honest, because this system remains to be one of the best CRM software for small to medium-sized businesses.

Zoho CRM Plus essentially extends the boundaries to unify your sales, marketing, and customer support teams. Their processes are systematically integrated within one centralized interface for a more holistic approach to the touchpoints in your overall customer lifecycle.

Pricing 💰

You can access Zoho CRM for free with use for up to 5,000 API credits per day, various integrations with Google, and a range of extra features. You will need to pay for data backups ($10 per request), but you get a lot of functionality, including 1GB of free storage, and module data, as well as standard reports, contact forms, email templates, and so much more. Upgrading to a paid account will cost:

  • Standard: $12 per month billed annually for all the features of the free package, plus 1000 emails per day, Google synchronization, Slack integration, audit logs, up to 20 groups, organizational hierarchy with up to 5 roles, 2 data backups per month, 100,000 records, 250 emails per day, 100 email templates, custom dashboards, schedule reports, and more.
  • Professional: $30 per day per user for all the features of Standard, as well as integrations with Microsoft, and various Zoho products. You also get web-to-case forms, vendor, invoice, and sales tracking, inventory management, validation rules, assignment rules, business process management, and pricing books.
  • Enterprise: $45 per month per user for all the features on Standard, as well as data encryption, webinar integrations, anomaly detectors, 25 profiles, 250 roles, Zia reminder, Zia voice, data enrichment, deal closure prediction, approval processes, case escalation, custom buttons, custom modules, picklist history tracking and multiple currencies.

Who Should Consider Using Zoho CRM Software?

While Zoho CRM is considerably light, it packs a robust feature set that provides some of the best CRM software functionalities. Plus, the platform itself has a well-structured framework with multiple control points for medium-sized teams.

Hence, it’s evident Zoho CRM was built for midsize businesses that interact with their customers across email, social media, phone, live chat, phone, surveys, and web conferences. They’d certainly appreciate the capabilities that come with Zoho’s enterprise-level tools.

Companies already using other Zoho software products are noticeably the best candidates here, since they’d combine multiple Zoho tools to achieve a comprehensively streamlined business ecosystem.

Best CRM Software #4: Agile CRM

Agile CRM is another all-in-one customer relationship management solution with just enough tools for all the typical business scales. In addition to contact management, it’s specially-optimized for social media marketing, sales and marketing automation, targeted landing pages, project management, email tracking, scheduling, customer service, plus much more.

That said, one of the first things that’ll strike you about Agile CRM is its free plan, which supports up to 10 users concurrently and 1,000 contacts. It then combines that with basic sales management, marketing management, and customer support features.

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So, freelancers, startups, plus small businesses on a budget should feel right at home.

But, don’t feel obligated to start off with the free plan. If your needs extend beyond its capabilities, you can go ahead and settle for any of the premium packages. I find them to be quite affordable.

Now, when you finally start using Agile CRM to drive customer interaction, you should be able to methodically combine its multiple tools to boost both your marketing and sales teams’ efforts.

You could, for instance, manage your contacts using lead scoring, custom contact fields, and contact grouping functionalities. Agile CRM is even capable of diving deep into social media to help you with social media marketing, social CRM, plus social monitoring.

And speaking of which, Agile CRM is one heck of an effective customer relationship management system when it comes to monitoring and tracking. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best CRM software options for teams that are particularly concerned about tracking and analytics.

They can comfortably use Agile CRM for monitoring their website visitors, assessing their subsequent behaviors, email tracking, social monitoring, contact level analytics, and custom deal tracking. The resultant analytics come in handy when you’re building and following up on your campaign workflows.

All the workflows here are built via a smooth drag and drop interface, which allows you to customize automation triggers, campaign nodes, system actions, groups, etc. Agile CRM also happens to come with a landing page builder, an email templates builder, and a form builder.

As you continue leveraging them, you could coordinate your team’s efforts using Agile CRM’s task management features. All it takes is just dragging and dropping custom tasks into well-organized lists, arranging tasks accordingly, making notes on them, as well as updating their status every now and then.

Another benefit you can expect from Agile CRM is extra functionalities thanks to a host of smart integrations. Some of its email integrations, for example, include IMAP, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, and Gmail services.

Otherwise, you should also be able to link it with social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. This allows you to easily publish posts as well as respond to your followers’ messages.

But, make no mistake. Social media and email and not the only channels you can use on Agile CRM. This platform is, rather, built for omnichannel engagement, with the primary channels being email, social media, text messaging, as well as web messaging.

And to be more precise, web messaging entails push notifications, landing pages, forms, and popups.

Pricing 💰

You can access Agile CRM for free, which supports up to 10 users per day with 500 API calls a day. This package also comes with a single app integration, 1 campaign workflow, up to 5,000 emails, and a host of other functions. You can schedule appointments, set custom deal milestones, and much more. For those willing to pay a little extra, options include:

  • Starter: $8.99 per month for all the features of the free plan, plus phone support, 5,000 API calls a day, 5 automation triggers, 3 integrations, 5 campaign workflows, marketing automation, social monitoring, 2-way email integration and more.
  • Regular: $29.99 per month to supplement all the features of Starter with up to 10,000 API calls a day, more than 50 integrations, 10 automation rules, 10 campaign workflows, 25 nodes per campaign, mobile marketing, and up to 50,000 contacts.
  • Enterprise: $47.99 per month for all the features of the regular plan, as well as 25,000 API calls per day, Access Controls, 50 integrations, 50 notes per campaign, unlimited campaign workflows, and unlimited contacts.

Who Should Consider Using Agile CRM Software?

Going by its pricing and features, we can agree that Agile CRM is best for freelancers, startups and small businesses. The free plan provides a perfect opportunity for beginners to learn what customer relationship management is all about, plus try out various basic customer interaction and marketing tools that come with it.

Beyond that, the farthest Agile CRM can stretch is probably mid-sized businesses. Its Enterprise plan can easily accommodate midsize companies that have typical marketing and CRM needs. They get to interact with an unlimited number of contacts using an unlimited number of campaign workflows, as well as an unrestricted volume of automation triggers.

Best CRM Software #5: Insightly CRM

insightly crm - best crm software

Insightly CRM is an advanced SaaS customer relationship management system with extensive experience in delivering projects, accelerating sales, generating quotes, and building relationships. It’s one of those top CRM software products that provide robust Outlook and Gmail plugins for seamless email integration.

So far, Insightly CRM has attracted more than 1.5 million users, who’ve leveraged its tools for call management, advanced reporting, project management, workflow automation, quote generation, opportunity management, lead management, email tracking, contact management, and relationship linking.

While some of these might seem like complex enterprise-level functionalities, Insightly CRM has managed to simplify everything for SMBs. Consequently, you don’t need extensive technical knowledge or expert guidance to build and manage your campaigns. The simple tools combined with third-party app integrations make it conveniently easy to do anything here.

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More specifically, you should be able to manage not only your contacts and leads, but also suppliers, vendors, partners, plus organizations. Insightly CRM has a well-streamlined information system that allows you to follow up on each entity’s important dates, email history, background, plus much more.

And if you ever need to link opportunities, Insghtly’s project management function has got you covered. It can quickly connect opportunities and projects to make tracking and follow-ups easier.

And speaking of which, opportunities here can be managed in several different ways. Insightly CRM gives you the power to come up with your own opportunities, as well as coordinate the subsequent activities via pipeline management.

You also get to dive into various funnels to tweak their categories, priorities and stages based on their close date predictions, plus the corresponding win probabilities.

It doesn’t end there though. Insightly CRM happens to be extremely robust in Social CRM too. By integrating your system with social media, you should be able to access your contacts’ Facebook posts, LinkedIn profiles, as well as Tweets from their Twitter accounts.

Other notable integrations you’ll find here include QuickBooks, DropBox, Box, Evernote, Mailchimp, Outlook, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Office 365, Google Drive, etc. Some of these can also work well with Insightly CRM’s Android and iOS mobile applications.

Pricing 💰

Insightly pricing starts at around $29 per user per month when you pay annually and goes up to $99 per user per month. Options include:

  • Plus: $29 per user per month for up to 250 integrations, customized scheduling and emailing, built-in business intelligence dashboards, batch record updates, sales team assigning, apply task and event activity sets, contact management, organisation management, automatic social profile enrichment, visualize lead options, outbound emails.
  • Professional: $49 per user per month with annual billing, customized with all the features of the Plus, plan, as well as customized support and services, configurable profiles and page layouts, unlimited account role permissions, 100 customizable insights, and automatic call analytics.
  • Enterprise: $99 per month per user with all the features of Professional, plus developer API support, serverless lambda functionality, dynamic page layout rules, price books, quotes, products, custom real-time cards, extensive mobile business card scanning and more.

Who Should Consider Using Insightly CRM Software?

While Insightly CRM has extremely powerful tools, everything has been well-structured to make the platform user-friendly without compromising scalability. Additionally, this is one of the few best CRM software products that are flexible enough to cover pretty much all the core business processes, from opportunities to project delivery.

Now, when you combine all that with its relatively affordable pricing, you have yourself the right CRM tool for both experienced and inexperienced SMB teams.

Best CRM Software #6: Pipedrive CRM

pipedrive crm - best crm software

Pipedrive isn’t just a good CRM software. It’s much more than that. And, in fact, it touts itself as the best CRM software and pipeline management system.

The system itself was built after sales professionals and web app developers embarked on a project with one common vision. They all wanted a platform that would make selling easy.

Well, it turns out Pipedrive has actually managed to achieve that, thanks to its well-balanced feature set. The trick Pipedrive CRM has seemingly used is blending its solid direct sales foundation with smart tracking tools and an intuitive interface. The end result is a strategically streamlined CRM system that offers a clear view of the entire sales process.

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Now, in simple terms, Pipedrive CRM provides a simplified but detailed overview of your entire sales system. You get to arrange all the leads’ paths accordingly so you can track their progress, as well as identify priority deals right off the bat.

All that is delivered through a streamlined sales pipeline that follows a standard pipeline structure. The deals here are organized in stages to help you assess the progressive performance of your sales teams, plus the specific deals they should focus on.

And that’s not all. Pipedrive further allows you to go beyond that level by providing additional tools for tracking your individual sales team members. You can judge their progress in real-time from either your PC or the mobile app version of Pipedrive CRM.

It’s worth noting, however, that the sales pipeline here is not restrictive. Pipedrive comes with customization privileges for adjusting its fields based on your specific business setup. Hence, you should have an easy time editing various pipeline stages, disabling modules, and introducing your own parameters.

Such system features help users align Pipedrive CRM with their core business processes. In the end, this translates into increased data accuracy and efficient pipeline management. So, of course, you can rely on Pipedrive CRM to spot the most promising deals and activities.

Now, if you like to stay on top of your business at all times, then you should consider combining the Pipedrive PC system with its corresponding mobile app. Yes, that’s right – apart from a web SaaS version, Pipedrive CRM comes in the form of iOS and Android apps. They’re pretty handy when you need to follow up on things remotely and on the go.

Pricing 💰

Pipedrive offers pricing starting at $12.50 and going all the way up to $99 per month. Although it’s not the most expensive CRM on the market, it’s also far from the cheapest option. Your packages include:

  • Essential: $15 per month, ($12.50 paid annually). You’ll have access to 24/7 customer support, Pipedrive academy, Chrome extensions for email, mobile app access, activity and sales reports, automatic call logging, real-time sync for all devices, custom dashboards, email inbox, and access to various custom sales pipelines.
  • Advanced: $29 per month ($24.90 annually). This package comes with all the features of Essential, plus product catalogues, one click contact data, email automation and templates, AI sales assistants, sales task automation, and activities for workflow management.
  • Professionally: $59 per month ($49.90 annually). The Professional option comes with all the features of Advanced, plus revenue forecasting, custom permissions, multiple dashboards, batch emailing, team management, unlimited meeting scheduling and more.
  • Enterprise: Starting at $99 per month: This Enterprise solution comes with all the features of Professionals, plus extra user permissions, enhanced security, supplementary customization options, managed data import, phone support, and a dedicated account manager.

Who Should Consider Using Pipedrive CRM Software?

Pipedrive CRM is extremely easy to use, intuitive, and perfectly optimized for pipeline management. It was built by sales professionals for sales teams to conveniently manage their sales funnels at an affordable price.

That alone makes it ideal for anyone who’d like to close deals faster by identifying and subsequently prioritizing the most promising sales opportunities.

Best CRM Software #7: SugarCRM

sugar crm - best crm software

In addition to featuring prominently among the best CRM software, SugarCRM happens to be one of the most widely used CRM tools on the web. So far, it has been downloaded and tried out more than 7 million times across numerous countries, and the numbers are still growing.

While there are multiple reasons behind SugarCRM’s increased uptake, many users have particularly applauded its excellent customer support, brand promotion tools, customer engagement capabilities, and extensive customizability.

Well, by now, we’ve explored quite a number of top CRM software that provide solid customization options. But, get this- the bulk of them can’t possibly match up to SugarCRM. The flexibility it offers makes it one of the most customizable CRM systems on the market.

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And its trick, as a matter of fact, is pretty simple. You see, SugarCRM is an open-source CRM software. That means it provides access to its underlying source code, subsequently allowing developers to extensively tweak its default CRM functionalities. So, as long as you have the skills, you can customize the whole platform down to the smallest detail.

But then again, come to think of it, you probably won’t need that at all since SugarCRM comes fully loaded with pretty much all the essentials. It’s particularly reliable in generating intelligent reports, team management, launching and managing campaigns, streamlining the help desk, as well as integrating with a host of helpful third-party apps.

If you’re working with a team, you’ll be pleased that the default SugarCRM platform is optimized for up to 8 user types. The primary admin account can be supplemented by different types of secondary accounts, from customer support to sales reps and possibly marketers running campaigns on various channels. SugarCRM even allows you to roll this out on a large scale with groups of individuals sharing the same account privileges.

In the end, you should have a well-networked CRM system that facilitates seamless collaboration between team members. That means marketers, sales reps, and customer service professionals complement each other’s roles as they gradually enhance customer relationships.

Then to help you build effective campaigns, SugarCRM provides an intelligent campaign wizard. It packs a wide range of tools to support your campaign creation process, as well as the subsequent execution phase.

You can, for instance, use it to come up with strategic campaigns based on your expected ROI, budget, desired audience, plus target goals. It’s also quite handy in picking up and compiling leads, plus disseminating forms within the interaction framework. Otherwise, you might also want to analyze your leads, rate them accordingly, and then match them with the right agents.

Another area where SugarCRM really shines is contact management. It’s built to dig deep into your contact data, analyze everything comprehensively, and then compile any related profile info. That means it’s even capable of picking up the tiniest behavioral indicators that often go unnoticed.

SugarCRM doesn’t stop there though. The intelligent system goes ahead and offers additional assistance in the subsequent contact organization process. You should be able to sort out your contacts based on priority, mark them accordingly, link huge files, as well as customize notes and documents.

When it comes to integrations, however, it turns out SugarCRM doesn’t link natively with third party services. That shouldn’t get you worried though, because the customer relationship management software manages to leverage an API code called SugarExchange to connect with other applications.

With that, you should be able to integrate SugarCRM with a wide range of stuff including Pardot, Zendesk, MailChimp, CloudAgent, Zapier, etc.

Pricing 💰

With SugarCRM you have a range of pricing options to choose from, with each package designed to serve specific needs.

  • Sugar Professional: This is an on-premises CX software solution that starts at $40 per month. You’ll get unlimited online support, studio customizations, and cloud or on-premises deployment. There’s access to 15GB of storage, call center automation, reporting and analytics, authorized contacts, and sales automation and forecasting.
  • Sugar Enterprise: The Sugar Enterprise package starts at $65 per month with annual billing. Features include SugarCRM’s support portal, SQL-based reporting, advanced workflows, 60GB of storage, role-based views, revenue line tracking, and all the Professional plan features.
  • Sugar Serve: This costs around $80 a month with features like 2 sandbox solutions, 60GB of storage, 4 support-authorized contacts, analytics and reporting, self-service portals, case routing, time-based escalation, SLA management, service console access and case management.
  • Sugar Sell: Starting at $80 per month, Sugar Sell will give you all the features of Serve, with a few extra bonus features like quote approvals, lead routing, email notifications, and product catalogue management. You also get full reporting capabilities and dashboards, contact management, account management, and a host of extra bonus options.
  • Sugar Market: The Sugar Market package comes with marketing features for running a range of marketing campaigns. The price starts at $1,000 for up to 10,000 contacts. Features include real-time website data, social media marketing tools, support-authorized contacts (4), phone support, landing page builder, form builder, email marketing tools, marketing reports, analytics, lead scoring, and more.

Who Should Consider Using SugarCRM Software?

SugarCRM manages to cater for not only marketers and sales teams, but also customer service teams in SMBs. Sales professionals in small businesses would find the Sugar Professional package to be quite handy, while their mid-size business counterparts would probably go for Sugar Enterprise or Sugar Sell.

Customer service teams, on the other hand, should be comfortable with SugarCRM’s Sugar Serve solution, which offers a host of customer support tools. Then marketing teams would be better off with the Sugar Market package, which is perfectly optimized for digital marketing campaigns across social media, email, landing pages, forms, and Google Ads.

Best CRM Software #8: Freshworks CRM

freshworks crm - best ccrm software

By now, you’ve probably heard about Freshworks. It’s a renowned business applications company and it happens to one behind the eighth tool in our best CRM software list.

Now, going by the experience Freshworks has had in the ecommerce software space, you can bet Freshworks CRM is a quality, well-developed CRM tool. As a matter of fact, many of its users consider it a comprehensive contact management system that enhances their lead control and engagement capabilities through an intuitive, user-friendly interface.

In essence, they continue to take advantage of Freshworks CRM to attract, nurture, manage, and successfully convert their leads.

To achieve that, this elegantly-designed system offers customizable reports and dashboards, intelligent workflow automation, a visual sales pipeline, AI-powered lead scoring, built-in phone call and email, event tracking, sales lead tracking, activity monitoring, and more.

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Now, as you’ve probably guessed already, the user interface is one of the most notable things about c CRM. Freshworks has designed it with a focus on ease of use as well as comprehensive control of the customer lifecycle.

That means the last thing you can expect here is a steep learning curve. Even beginners should be able to hit the ground running as soon as they sign up for the service.

And when it comes to managing the customer journey, Freshworks CRM comes with an incredibly rich but simple lead management feature set. The tools here help you prioritize the most important leads while getting rid of the ones that seem to provide little value.

Then as you set up a solid interaction framework, you should be able to organize your leads by grouping them systematically. Such groups could subsequently be assigned to various team members, who would then proceed to target the leads with relevant conversion strategies.

In the meantime, you get to track their overall progress from your sales pipeline. Freshworks CRM even provides quite a handy drag-and-drop editor for building and customizing your pipelines. It allows you to configure different deals based on how your entire sales framework is set up.

Well, all things considered, the CRM pipeline here fundamentally seeks to help you sell more and much faster. Its intuitive visual structure is perfectly optimized to give you a seamless experience while you assess, organize, and prioritize your sales deals. Then by focusing on the most critical ones, you should be able to close them much faster, before moving on to the rest.

That said, a single click should be enough to reveal the status of any deal along the pipeline. Otherwise, you could also generate detailed reports for deeper analysis of how your lead engagements are progressing.

And speaking of reports, Freshworks CRM offers advanced reporting and analytics tools, which you can capitalize on for accurate insights about your leads. The platform’s AI engine is capable of assessing not only your leads’ behaviours, but also their respective behaviors. Then subsequently, Freshworks CRM’s lead scoring system grades them from the warmest leads to the ones who might need some additional nurturing.

In addition to that, the analytics function generates details about the context plus engagement levels of every single lead. And if you want more, Freshworks CRM’s 360 degree tool provides comprehensive info about all the leads and customers, including their corresponding tasks, appointments, touchpoints, as well as conversations.

With that, therefore, your sales team should have an easy time establishing the best approaches for various deal opportunities.

And to help you with the subsequent lead engagement process, Freshworks CRM comes with a host of pre-built integrations. You can easily embed ecommerce, accounting, social media, marketing, and task management apps.

They include; Xero, QuickBooks, MailChimp, Google Apps for Work, Hubspot Marketing, the Freshdesk suite, Facebook, Trello, Magento, etc.

Pricing 💰

  • Blossom: Starting at $12 per user per month, the Blossom plan comes with API access, various Freshworks integrations, SMS, phone Freshcaller support, 2-way email sync, visual sales pipelines, lead management, account management, contact management, and deal management. There’s even support for a lead scoring strategy.
  • Garden: Starting at $25 per user per month, the Garden plan is intended to support growing sales teams and companies. These businesses will get access to advanced reports, custom roles, smart matching for leads, lead assignment, 10 workflow automation options, 10 user teams, up to 5 sales sequences per user, a visual sales pipeline, and contact management, among other options.
  • Estate: With prices starting at $49 per user when you pay annually, the Estate plan supports larger companies who want access to various advanced features like sales goals, multiple currencies, smart forms, event tracking, reports dashboards, automatic profile enrichment, advanced reports, advanced CRM customization and more.
  • Forest: The Forest package is only available on the annual payment plan for $79 per month, and it comes with everything on the Estate plan, including an IP whitelisting system, sales goals, dedicated account manager, 50 user teams, up to 100 workflow automations, and 5,000 bulk emails for each day.
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Who Should Consider Using Freshworks CRM Software?

Freshworks CRM is essentially what you get when you combine ease of use, a visual but customizable sales pipeline, plus a rich leads management feature set on a platform that can accommodate both small and large sales teams.

Hence, this is one of the best CRM systems for SMB and enterprise sales teams working in a dynamically demanding business environment. it helps you enhance your sales force by streamlining your leads pipelines through intelligent insights.

Best CRM Software #9: Nimble CRM

nimble crm - best crm software

Before we get to the specifics, here’s an interesting fact about Nimble CRM. It happens to be closely related to yet another renowned CRM tool called Goldmine. Turns out they were both founded by a guy named Jon V. Ferrara.

While Goldmine CRM doesn’t feature in our best CRM software list, it’s still a legend in the customer relationship management industry. The reason being, it was among the premier sales force automation CRM tools for small to medium-sized businesses. And believe it or not, that occurred in 1989.

But, although Goldmine CRM has been dominant to this day, Nimble CRM is the one that has managed to perfectly implement modern automation advancements.

Consider the software hosting environment, for instance. While Goldmine CRM is still an on-premise solution, Nimble CRM has been developed to be a cloud-based Saas platform. This allows it to not only scale easily, but also extend its functionalities beyond the scope of traditional customer relationship management systems.

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Consequently, Nimble CRM is now one of the best CRM software products for sales force automation, social CRM, as well as contact management. The automation process itself can be controlled on both its web-based PC dashboard, as well as its corresponding Android and iOS mobile apps.

In fact, it’s pretty darn good at automating stuff that it can lift details from social media, email conversations, plus multiple other platforms, and then automatically update the corresponding customer profiles.

This, in other words, is called social listening and you can take advantage of it to find out what your contacts are saying about your business on social media. Otherwise, you might also want to use the resultant insights for touchpoints.

If you discover a contact is celebrating their birthday, for instance, you could convert the milestone into an engagement opportunity that might possibly develop into a successful sale. Then in the meantime, you’d get to use Nimble CRM’s pipeline management, task management and deal tracking tools to progressively nurture the lead.

Nimble CRM even makes the follow ups much easier through its “Today Page”. This is essentially a section that comprehensively displays your day to day engagement opportunities, key deals, and to-dos.

Now, the opportunities themselves are derived from Nimble CRM’s AI engine, which I tested and found to be quite impressive. It’s capable of identifying the most valuable opportunities and contacts by analyzing user behavior.

Another tool you’ll find loaded with your contacts’ info is Nimble CRM’s widget. In essence, the software comes with an array of widgets that allow you to conveniently access contextual details without necessarily logging into the system.

Now, as you continue shifting between the various tools, you’ll notice that everything here is holistically connected. From the sales pipeline, for example, you can easily view a history of your interactions with a specific contact by simply clicking on a deal.

And the same, as a matter of fact, applies to the contact profiles. Nimble CRM automatically updates your contact profiles with information from your sales pipeline deals, as well as other sources within and beyond the platform.

That said, the deals come in two display formats. You could either track them from the sales pipeline or simply view them in a list. Nimble CRM even provides a couple of sales stages by default to help you organize everything accordingly.

But, make no mistake. You don’t have to use the default framework. If your sales process is structured differently, you’re free to customize the stages.

Whichever system you choose to adopt in the end, Nimble CRM will still provide you with insights about the most promising opportunities.

Now, if you’re working with a team, you can go ahead and use Nimble CRM’s task management tools to assign the opportunities accordingly. You could also create new tasks, as well as configure their parameters to link them with specific deals and contacts.

You might also want to embed your system with Gmail or any IMAP account before you roll out your email campaigns. The good thing about this approach is, the system will maintain a detailed log of all your interactions.

Pricing 💰

Nimble CRM pricing starts at $25 per user per month when you pay monthly, or $19 per user per month when you’re paying annually. You get all the features you could want with this single package, including API access, G-Suite and Microsoft 365 support, onboarding assistance, and various forms of online support. There’s also a host of team permissions and apps too.

There’s also the Nimble Prospector solution, as well as task reminders, activity tracking, 1000 group messages per user per day, business insights capture, social profile match, and saved search segments. Users can save up to 25,000 contact records and sync calendars too.

 

Who Should Consider Using Nimble CRM Software?

Nimble CRM is a holistically interlinked platform that provides a host of smart sales force automation capabilities, without the complications that usually accompany advanced marketing automation.

It’s the type of customer relationship management system you could use as an individual or team for powering dynamic sales pipelines. You get to combine smart actionable insights with a reliable AI engine and integrations.

Therefore, all in all, Nimble CRM is perfectly ideal for sales teams that need to make well-informed decisions about their pipelines.

Best CRM Software #10: NetSuite CRM

netsuite crm - best crm software

Tenth on our list of the best CRM software is NetSuite CRM, which is yet another cloud-based SaaS customer relationship management solution.

Now, to be more specific, you can think of Netsuite CRM as a platform that facilitates a smooth uninterrupted flow of info across the entire customer lifecycle. Its info funnel starts from the lead level and it subsequently follows a customer through every single stage, including opportunity, sales order, cross-selling, upselling, fulfillment, renewal, and customer support.

All this information is held in a well-protected data center, which is part of Netsuite CRM’s dynamic multi-tenant architecture. The resultant details give you a strategic 360 degree view of all the critical parameters relating to your leads and customers.

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Netsuite CRM, on the other hand, uses the intelligence to power its entire customer relationship management ecosystem. Sales force automation tools, for instance, heavily rely on the data to run effective campaigns based on actionable insights.

This, however, is only one part of Netsuite CRM. The platform happens to be pretty extensive, with customer relationship management functionalities being supplemented by marketing automation tools, customer service management features, as well as integrated ecommerce capabilities like order management.

Hence, you can leverage Netsuite CRM for functions like marketing analytics, partner relationship management, customer data management, sales forecasting, and much more. All the tools are holistically integrated for form an all-in-one suite that’s accessible via PC, plus Android and iOS mobile apps.

That said, customer relationship management here relies on both traditional approaches as well as advanced intelligence. You get to drive business growth using automated tools, workflow management, contact management, collaboration capabilities, campaign management, sales forecasting, third-party integrations, and partner relationship management.

You could begin from the contact management area, which offers a detailed view of all your contacts and leads. Apart from the basic details, the customer profiles here give you an insight into your interaction history with every single contact, their company roles, sales parameters, etc.

Then if you happen to form a partnership with another company, you could capitalize on Netsuite CRM’s partner relationship tools. They’ll help you coordinate and organize all the marketing campaigns you engage in as partners. Plus, you should be able to monitor every single thing as it occurs thanks to Netsuite’s real-time reporting capabilities.

Now, for the campaigns you choose to run solo, Netsuite has just the right workflow management features. They help you keep tabs on each employee’s activities, the corresponding task completion ratios, as well as their overall progress.

There’s also a group calendar feature that can be accessed by all team members. So, every single person should be able to view their to-do lists, and subsequently complete the assigned tasks.

Speaking of which, the engagement campaigns here should be fairly easy, considering Netsuite CRM’s AI system and its accompanying automation tools will have your back.

The AI system, more specifically, will save you from wasting time on low-value opportunities. By monitoring your prospects’ behaviors, Netsuite CRM manages to provide actionable insights into the most promising opportunities.

So, the fact is, you don’t always have to rely on just the info you have on your contact profiles. Rather, you should target leads based on their profile data as well as the supplementary insights generated by the system.

The trick that Netsuite CRM employs here is simply keeping track of all the paths and actions taken by your web visitors. It determines their interests based on what they click on and the webpages they spend time viewing.

Such information is also pretty handy when it comes to sales force automation. You can leverage the insights along with Netsuite CRM’s sales tools to drive sales and boost your overall business growth.

Netsuite CRM further tops that off with sales forecasting capabilities. So, you get to predict your sales potential using automatic real-time forecasts.

Pricing 💰

NetSuite isn’t as straightforward with pricing as the other CRM mentions here. Your price will need to be given to you via custom quote, based on the number of users you intend to host, the features you want, the contract length you choose, and so on.

You’ll probably pay around $129 per user per month according to the reviews we’ve read. This gives you up to 1,200,000 emails per year, basic CRM functionality, project tracking, and partner relationship management features.

Who Should Consider Using NetSuite CRM Software?

Netsuite CRM is not only one of the best CRM software solutions, but it also happens to be among the most extensive customer relationship management systems.

Its sales force automation tools are intended to help you maximize your sales opportunities, while customer service management attempts to boost customer satisfaction through data-driven support. Marketing automation, on the other hand, is all about leveraging real-time insights to power automated campaigns for qualifying leads.

Then considering everything here runs on scalable enterprise-level cloud infrastructure, we can agree that Netsuite CRM is a specialized customer relationship management system for large businesses, enterprise teams, and B2B companies. It can comfortably host multiple departments at the same time, with each one leveraging a specific feature set.

How to Choose the Best CRM Software

Well, there you have it. The ultimate guide to 10 of the best CRM software.

A word of caution though. While each of these CRM solutions provides some of the best customer relationship management features, it would be unwise to pick one randomly.

And why is that so?

Well, as we’ve established, every single one of them is unique in its own sense. Hence, they’d have varying impacts on your business.

So, how exactly should you compare different options to choose the best CRM software?

The truth is, there’s no two ways about it. You have to systematically evaluate not just the pricing, but also the type of functionalities each tool offers.

And to help you with that, here are the main features you should focus on when it comes to customer relationship management systems:

  • Lead Management and Sales Management: The best CRM software products are capable of hunting for leads across multiple sources. They employ an omnichannel strategy that integrates several digital engagement channels to form seamless lead management and sales management platform.

Apart from emails, you should be able to tap into other popular channels like social media, web forms, inbound calls, text messages, etc. The specifics depend on what your target leads commonly use.

Then after lead generation, the CRM software should allow you to follow up all the way to the end of the customer lifecycle. That means applying different automated approaches while keeping tabs on every single prospect’s progress on the sales pipeline.

  • Marketing: Since customer relationships are nurtured through personalized engagements, the top CRM software happen to double up as digital marketing tools. The marketing functionalities here are used to reach out to leads, customers, plus prospects.

And when it comes to that, the best CRM software for your business should come with AI-driven marketing automation. Plus, the campaigns should be fully intertwined with your sales pipeline.

  • Workflows: Customer relationship management admittedly entails numerous stages and multiple intricate elements, which are best managed with project management tools.

Hence, the best CRM software usually provide dynamic project management capabilities through customizable workflows. This is where you get to streamline your sales pipelines accordingly while coordinating your sales teams, tracking progress, and organizing the corresponding entities.

  • Reports and Analytics: All things considered, customer relationship management is a data-driven process. The type of leads you go for, how you target them, and how you engage with them depends on the insights you’re able to gather about them. So, reports and analytics is one thing you cannot afford to compromise.

You should particularly prioritize CRM products that offer accurate real-time analytics about all your core engagement channels, marketing campaigns, sales pipeline, contact behaviors, as well as your team’s performance. That said, it would also be advisable to choose a software product that can further generate sales forecasting insights. This will help you identify the most promising sales opportunities.

  • Ecommerce: The best CRM software go beyond sales and marketing to focus on other closely-related ecommerce processes. Some platforms, for instance, supplement their core CRM functionalities with customer support tools, while others tend to lean towards team collaboration.

That said, you should choose the extra ecommerce functionalities based on your business setup, plus the specific entities you consider to be critical to your relationship with customers.

  • Integrations: At the end of the day, a customer relationship management tool forms just one part of the entire ecommerce ecosystem. So, a CRM software solution can only be a great fit for your business if it perfectly integrates with all your core systems. Plus, it should come with pre-built integrations for third-party applications you intend to use in our campaigns.

With that in mind, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself to analyze the suitability of each CRM software option:

  • What type of businesses does it target?
  • What types of automated marketing campaigns can you run and manage with the CRM software?
  • Is the sales pipeline customizable?
  • How’s the overall interface design? Is it easy to use and navigate? Does it offer any onboarding features?
  • How many team members can the CRM software host concurrently?
  • Does the CRM software integrate with your current ecommerce platform? How well does it work with other marketing tools?
  • Will you be able to identify the best deals to prioritize?
  • How many contacts and leads can the CRM tool hold? How many can you engage concurrently?
  • Does the CRM software offer comprehensive data protection? What other security features does it come with?
  • How much does the entire CRM system cost? Does it fit your budget?
  • What’s the possible ROI based on the value you get from the software? Are there any extra charges that you might incur along the way?
  • What do past and current users say about the software? Any notable negatives you can identify from the reviews?

Then to top it off, be sure to check out our unbiased reviews about various tools in this space. We’ve covered all the best CRM software solutions on the market in detail.

Davis Porter

Davis Porter is a B2B and B2C ecommerce pundit who’s particularly obsessed with digital selling platforms, online marketing, hosting solutions, web design, cloud tech, plus customer relationship management software. When he’s not testing out various applications, you’ll probably find him building a website, or cheering Arsenal F.C. on.