The Top Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software for Small Businesses in 2021

Today’s data-driven market requires the best CRM software to manage your customer relationships. To drive sales and new insights into your industry, consider these cutting-edge CRM tools for your business.

Top Rated

Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM software caters to businesses of all sizes. Our full review breaks down features, customer support, pricing, and other aspects of this platform.

Easiest to Use

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is an easy-to-use CRM software for small businesses and marketing teams. At an affordable price, this tool will help you invigorate your lead generation so you can maximize your sales.

Best Value

Agile CRM

Designed for small to mid-sized businesses, Agile CRM acts as a centralized hub for your CRM software needs. Offering tons of integrations, this tool is a great option for sales teams.

Best Support

Insightly

As one of our favorite CRM software tools, Insightly comes with an outstanding collection of features to support both your sales and marketing teams.

Best Training

Salesforce CRM

The titan of the sales industry, Salesforce is the most advanced CRM software tool known to man. This mammoth is built for large enterprises and comes with a matching price tag.

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No matter what industry you’re in, you probably need customer relationship management (CRM) software. Rest assured your competitors are using it, and if your organization is a mess when it comes to managing leads and customers, those other companies are going to eat you alive.

Enterprise companies and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) need well-managed customer data to generate the results they want, and this is where the magic of CRM software comes into play.

CRM solutions automate and oversee the customer life cycle of a business from end to end, with different types of CRMs focusing on different needs. Customer-facing teams utilize CRM tools to respond effectively to the real-time needs of their clients and customers and foster closer relations with them.

This guide will break down what to look for in CRM software and provide the 10 best CRMs based on The Blueprint’s ratings.

Our top picks for the best CRM Software:

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Top Rated

1. Freshworks CRM

   

Freshworks CRM is an outstanding CRM software option that provides a nice balance between a lean and affordable small business option and a features-heavy enterprise solution. With great customer support, an easy-to-use interface, and lots of powerful features, this is one of our highest-scoring CRM platforms yet.

Best Support

2. Insightly

   

Insightly is a popular cloud-based business CRM that can help to improve the flow and organization of your business. It boasts an outstanding collection of marketing tools. You can growth hack your business with advanced marketing automation or empower your sales team to contact leads at the right time.

Best Value

3. Agile CRM

   

Agile CRM is a customer relationship management platform generally designed for small to midsize companies. This cloud-based software focuses on integrating sales, service, marketing, social media, and other engagement avenues to create one centralized hub for your customer reports, analytics, and marketing. Agile CRM offers a variety of pricing levels, from free software for small businesses with up to 10 users to an enterprise-level that supports over 50 plug-ins and integrations with third-party websites and apps.

4. Redtail CRM

   

Finding the right CRM software is tricky particularly if you just want a simple, straightforward dashboard that organizes all of your contacts, leads, and workflow processes. Redtail CRM aims to fill this niche with a software option that is fairly light on features but easy to use with a straightforward price point.

Easiest to Use

5. Pipedrive

   

If you operate within a small business or are a part of a marketing team, then Pipedrive offers an efficient and easy-to-use CRM that boasts smart marketing tools to help you actively sell your products and services.Pipedrive is economically priced, ridiculously easy to use, and is made by sales experts, for sales experts. If you want to invigorate your lead generation and sales flow from top to bottom, then Pipedrive can be a smart investment.

Best for Enterprises

6. HubSpot CRM

   

HubSpot is a great CRM that is super easy to set up and get started with, and it offers one of the best free versions out there. With its focus on sales and marketing, HubSpot does a fantastic job of aggregating disparate pieces of information and presenting metrics in a simple and thorough way.

7. Capsule CRM

   

If you’re looking for a new CRM for your business and are concerned about price and ease of use, Capsule CRM is a great option to consider. It provides the basic functionality and organization a small sales team needs to be effective, although it lacks some of the more advanced features and reporting of other options.

8. Zendesk Sell

   

Zendesk Sell is a CRM software platform designed to make sales team management simple with minimal onboarding, while adding powerful reporting features to improve team performance. The software can be expensive depending on your needs, but this is a solid CRM option that scores big in terms of ease of use.

9. Vtiger Sales CRM

   

Vtiger is a CRM system that improves your interactions with customers, helps you market to potential clients, and streamlines your communication with other employees and the public. Vtiger helps to organize and store information on your sales and marketing efforts and successes, automates tasks to help eliminate your to-do list, and can work with customer support in the same platform where client data is stored.

Best Training

10. Salesforce CRM

   

You’ve finally outgrown your outdated CRM, and you’re ready for something bigger and better, we get it. You may have heard of Salesforce as it has nearly 20% of the market share, and is the name that often springs to mind when we’re talking big business CRM software. After all, many large companies like T-Mobile use Salesforce. In this complete Salesforce review, we don’t hold back: Salesforce provides the most advanced CRM known to humanity.

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What The Blueprint looks for in a great CRM software

CRM software offers a wide range of features, but in general, you should ensure any option you choose has the following three characteristics.

Contacts and lead tracking

Every CRM software option worth its salt should have a good way to organize contacts and track sales leads. While every software offers some version of this — it’s impossible to do your job as a salesperson without it — not all of them do it as well. You want software that lets you customize your contact list and add detailed information that will give you an edge. It should also allow you to chart where leads are in the sales funnel so you know when to reach out to them.

Relationship management

Relationship management is important in sales — after all, it's the "R" and "M" in "CRM." Look for software options that ensure you are not only able to land a sale but keep that customer and even develop a relationship that could lead to future sales. That means your software should track the customer life cycle, offer data insights, and have automated tools for building customer relationships.

Sales tracking and analytics

Data is of the utmost importance in sales. By tracking every metric possible, you can determine if you’re making too many or too few calls, doing poorly in terms of conversions, or not spending enough time on lead qualification, among other activities that might be affecting your bottom line. Look for software with strong sales tracking, analytics, and reporting features. Software that can break down how you’re performing in granular detail should not be undervalued.


How your business can benefit from using CRM software

So why should your organization sign up for CRM software? Chances are you wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t think some things need improvement at your organization. Here are some of the benefits of a CRM you’ll enjoy.

Interaction tracking

Modern CRM systems document all interactions with your customers. For example, the CRM suite tracks every live chat, email, in-person conversation, text message, and phone call you have with customers.

Tracking processes are fully automated and can include engagements on social media platforms. With social media tracking enabled, businesses can learn which social posts drive the most customer interaction.

Workflow automation

No CRM strategy will be successful without proper execution. With CRM software, you can set up and maintain integrated office software tools such as task lists, push alerts, and interactive calendars through CRM suites.

For instance, if you compile a list of daily objectives in the calendar app, the CRM tool will automatically create a to-do list from the data. As you work through the day, the list updates in real time, keeping you focused and on track.

Performance reporting

CRM software tracks sales productivity and customer analytics. You can compile and issue regular reports based on the activities logged in the CRM system. Reports can include bottom-line information such as new revenue accumulated or customer-side metrics such as the number of new contacts generated.

Performance reports are useful tools for forecasting business outcomes. Using the data collected through CRM software, your business can be better positioned to forecast your sales pipeline for the upcoming quarter.


Frequently Asked Questions for CRM Software

What can a CRM do for me?

A CRM is a piece of software that manages every aspect of your company's interactions and engagements with leads, prospects, and customers. The goal is to improve your relationship with all of them.

How do I know I need a CRM?

There are typically five ways a company realizes it might need a CRM. They are:

  1. When it needs to improve relationships with clients
  2. When it needs to increase workflow efficiency
  3. When it wants to “better” engage with leads — be that quicker, cheaper, or through more personalized marketing
  4. When it wants to improve cross-selling or up-selling
  5. When it needs to scale or automate its business

How do I develop a CRM strategy?

As you get started with a CRM, these are some of the most important things to consider:

  • Brief your internal team and employees about your goals.
  • Set goals that will improve on pain points in the business.
  • Be patient — at the beginning, roll out new features slowly so employees (and leads) can get used to them.
  • Think of integrations with other software stacks in your business.

The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned. Click here for more information.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), HubSpot, and Salesforce.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.