When running a small business, you’re typically not looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) tool with lots of bells and whistles. The best CRM for SMB is simple but effective. You may just need an update from the spreadsheet you started using way back in the day.
In many (or even most) cases, you simply need a CRM solution that:
- Automates repetitive tasks (like follow-ups, reminders, notifications, etc.)
- Allows custom rules (like adding a tag if a customer fits certain criteria)
- Easily set up workflows that help you close more deals
- Integrates with other tools
- Isn’t too expensive and has features specifically designed for smaller companies
Fortunately, there are lots of CRMs that cater specifically to the needs of small businesses. So in this article, we’ll look at thirteen of them.
Let’s dive in!
13 Best CRMs for Small Businesses
Here are our top 13 picks for small business CRMs:
Founded by Steli Efti in 2013, Close is a CRM built specifically for small businesses. It features automatic lead follow-ups, pipeline management, custom rules, integrated VoIP, email, and SMS features, and more. Customers love Close for its ease of use, and the accessibility of their Support and Success teams.
Close also integrates with many other tools like Google & Microsoft Office 365, Calendly, Slack, Zoom, and Zapier—so you can automate tasks and integrate it with other programs to get work done faster. And because Close is designed for smaller businesses, it’s much more affordable compared to several other CRMs.
- 4.6 out of 5 average user ratings according to G2
- Templates for SMS and emails
- Schedule emails and calls in Sequences
- Automated data entry features, capturing activity in real-time
- Quick and easy customer support (usually within minutes)
- Super easy to use and intuitive UI
- Basic sequencing capabilities
- $25 to $129 per user per month (billed annually)
- $29 to $149 per user per month (billed monthly)
Nimble is another great CRM designed specifically for small businesses.
But it’s especially useful if you’re looking for a solution that’s heavy on prospecting. It has social media features that add contact or customer data to your CRM from sources like Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter. So you can quickly build relationships with prospects without having to manually add their contact information.
They have reasonable pricing plans, too, and offer integrations with tools like G Suite, Outlook 365, and more.
- Intuitive social selling and prospecting tools
- One of the most inexpensive small business CRMs out there
- Smart customer history management
- Easy integration with 160+ Applications
- iPhone and Android apps
- The user interface can be quite tricky to use for first-time users
- May not be the best fit if you grow to become an enterprise-level business
- A $14-day free trial
- $19 per user per month (billed annually)
- $25 per user per month (billed monthly)
With over 100,000 customers in almost 180 countries, Pipedrive is one of the most popular small business CRM software products out there.
It comes with a robust set of features that make it easy to manage your sales pipeline, add deals and tasks, create reports quickly—and much more.
While users praise Pipedrive for its intuitive design, many also complain that the system is often very slow to load.
- Easy onboarding of team members
- Intuitive and user-friendly
- Report templates
- Intuitive deal view and flow
- Customer support team can be slow
- Doesn’t let you create custom reports
- Some users complain the system is slow
- 14-day free trial
- $9.90 to $59.90 per user per month (billed annually)
- $11.90 to $74.90 per user per month (billed monthly)
If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform for CRM, customer service, and email marketing automation, Insightly is an excellent choice.
Like most other CRM software products, it helps you track customer interactions, keep your contact database up to date, manage tasks across multiple projects (customer relationships), and lots more.
And if you need a customizable CRM and are on the Professional or Enterprise plan, Insightly lets you create custom fields and page layouts so you can track and manage customer relationships in a way that works best for your business.
- Custom reports functionality
- Customizable fields and page layouts
- Third-party integrations with over 2000 apps
- Grows with your business if you’re growing beyond an SMB size
- Learning to use the platform at full capacity can be a chore
- So many features smaller businesses may not need
- Free trial available
- CRM only: $29 to $99 per user per month (billed annually)
- Insightly All-in-One: $349 to $2599 per month (billed annually)
5. Zoho CRM
A part of the Zoho Suite family, Zoho CRM is another powerful and versatile customer relationship management platform.
Besides the CRM features in this tool, Zoho CRM offers users features like lead scoring, sales forecasting, email campaigns and templates, automation, and more. It’s also quite affordable and easy to use, making it an interesting option for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Great mobile app experience
- Easy-to-use CRM platform
- Provides an all-in-one solution for sales and marketing
- Easily syncs with other business software tools in the Zoho family
- Tons of features you may not need for customer relationship management as an SMB
- It can also get confusing to know which apps is needed for a particular task—given the sheer number of apps and features available.
- 15-day free trial
- $12 to $45 per user per month (billed annually)
- $18 to $55 per user per month (billed monthly)
As a part of the Freshworks family, Freshsales is a modern CRM designed with sales reps and small businesses in mind.
If you’re looking for a CRM product offering artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for lead generation, CRM, customer service, reporting, and so on, Freshsales is worth a look.
It includes features like lead management, deal prediction, contact management, CPQ capabilities (i.e, Configure, Price, Quote), and more!
- Website visitor intent
- Bulk scheduling of emails and SMS
- AI for chatbots, intent detection, and so on
- Easy to use and navigate
- Support can be slow
- Relies on a third party (Zapier) for many integrations
- Free plan available
- $15 to $69 per user per month (billed annually)
- $18 to $83 per user per month (billed monthly)
With over 300,000 users, Vtiger is one of the leading CRM software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.
And it comes with an impressive array of features, like sales automation, email templates, performance insights, project management tools, sales funnels, invoicing and quotes, integrations with third-party apps, and more.
Vtiger also provides mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, so you can manage customer relationships even when you’re on the go.
- All-in-one CRM software for marketing, sales, and customer service
- Custom workflows for repetitive parts of your operations
- Perform many functions without integrations
- Affordable and inexpensive pricing
- Great customer support
- The user interface feels quite old
- API connectivity can be limiting or clunky
- 15-day free trial
- $20 to $42 per user per month (billed annually)
- $28 to 58 per user per month (billed monthly)
Founded by John Roberts, Clint Oram, and Jacob Taylor in 2004, SugarCRM is a powerful cloud-based CRM tool that helps sales, marketing, and customer experience/service teams collaborate and manage their customer relationships.
SugarCRM comes with features like pipeline management, opportunity management, lead prioritization, collaboration & teamwork, omnichannel communications, and lots more.
And if you need an on-premise CRM solution where you can host the software yourself and access it securely, SugarCRM offers this option as well.
- Excellent project management capabilities
- Email templates and landing pages
- Drag and drop features
- On-premise solution available
- Mobile CRM available
- Multiple users complain about SugarCRM’s reporting feature
- So many features that can get overwhelming
- 7-day free trial
- $49 to $135 per user per month (billed annually)
9. Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce is a household name in the CRM software industry, thanks to its decades of success and a myriad of fantastic features.
It’s a comprehensive cloud-based CRM software product that includes features like lead management, customer segmentation, marketing automation, analytics & reporting, omnichannel communication capabilities, and more.
One major standout feature of Salesforce is its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in what’s called Einstein AI. It helps you to make data-driven decisions faster and more accurately by making revenue-driving predictions and giving you insights to improve your sales process.
- Super easy to create and customize reporting view
- Full management of leads and opportunities across the sales funnel
- Sales analytics for tracking metrics and KPIs
- Ability to integrate with almost any 3rd-party software
- Easy data migration in and out of the platform
- Often requires manual data entry when creating sales opportunities
- A steep learning curve for new users (especially those that aren’t tech savvy)
- Often requires a dedicated Salesforce engineer to set up and maintain the system
- Many features are only available as add-ons with additional cost
- 30-day free trial available
- $25 to $75 per user per month (billed annually)
10. Agile CRM
Agile CRM boasts 15,000+ customers, including companies like Indeed, The Next Web, Fidelity Bank, and more.
This all-in-one CRM software helps you automate sales, capture leads, provide a customer support help desk, and run marketing campaigns. So if you’re looking for a small business CRM software that can do it all, Agile CRM is an interesting option.
You can also take advantage of its AI-powered features, like contact scoring and lead scoring, which makes it easier to prioritize the hottest leads and focus on the most profitable customers.
There’s also a gamification feature that enables you to engage your team in competitions and motivate them by rewarding their performance.
- End-to-end tool for managing customer relationships
- Free CRM account available
- Advanced sales analytics
- 360-degree view of customer data
- Integrations with lots of relevant third-party plugins
- Multiple users complain of a buggy user interface
- Customer support can be slow
- Free account available for 10 users
- $8.99 to $47.99 per user per month (billed annually)
- $14.99 to 79.99 per user per month (billed monthly)
Keap is another excellent cloud-based CRM software product developed by Infusionsoft, a company founded in 2001.
With an average rating of 4.2 from almost 1500 reviews—according to G2—Keap is one of the best CRMs for SMBs and startups that want an all-in-one solution to help them grow their business.
Like most of the other CRM tools in this article, Keap helps you capture new leads with web forms, build and manage customer relationships, automate tasks, sales or business processes, and so much more.
But one stand-out feature of Keap is its Business Line feature, which helps you to add a unique local or toll-free number to your business, so customers can easily reach you.
- A campaign builder to automate messages/interactions per customer
- Create tags, triggers, and other automation for each campaign
- Integrations with Gmail Suite, VoIP, and hundreds of other apps
- An end-to-end solution for small businesses operations
- Advanced segmentation capabilities
- So many non-CRM tools you may not need
- The learning curve for some of the features is steep
- 14-day free trial
- $129/mo for two users and 1500 contacts (billed annually)
- $169/mo for two users and 1500 contacts (billed monthly)
- $199/mo for three users and 2500 contacts (billed annually)
- $249/mo for three users and 2500 contacts (billed monthly)
Copper is used by over 30,000 companies, and it comes with a wide range of features enabling you to manage sales, track contacts, and collaborate with colleagues.
But one major benefit of Copper is its integration with Google Workplace. If you’re a Gsuite user, this feature essentially brings your CRM inside your inbox, allowing you to manage contacts, leads, and deals right within Gmail.
- Easy to use for advanced CRM software users and newbies
- Powerful and seamless integrations with other tools you need
- Filter and search features
- Visually appealing user interface (UI)
- Comprehensive webinars and training content
- Multiple users complain about duplicated customer data
- Filter and search features have limitations
- 14-day free trial
- $23 to $99 per user per month (billed annually)
- $29 to $134 per user per month (billed monthly)
13. HubSpot Sales Hub
Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, salesperson, or just an online business or digital marketing enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot.
And you may know them from all the content they’ve created and shared online, but they also have one of the best CRMs for small businesses.
HubSpot’s CRM (or Sales Hub) is an interesting option for small businesses, offering an array of features like a reporting dashboard, company insights for every lead, pipeline and deal management, and more.
It also comes with add-ons and extra sales tools like live chat to communicate with visitors, customizable email templates, sales automation, an appointment scheduler, and more. That said, their paid plans don’t include these features, so watch out for the cost of these add-ons.
- Automatic data enrichment
- Lots of training and educational resources
- Robust workflow automation feature
- Integrations with hundreds of tools you probably use daily
- A suite of marketing, sales, and customer service tools
- Easily gets expensive as your business grows
- Multiple users complain about duplicate data
- 14-day free trial
- $27 for four users per month (billed annually)
- $30 for four users per month (billed monthly)
- $1,600 for five users per month (billed annually)
- $1,780 for five users per month (billed monthly)
- $5,000 for 20 users per month (billed annually)
FAQs on CRM Software for Small Businesses
Let’s address a few commonly asked questions on CRM software for small businesses.
What Are the Biggest Benefits of Using the Right CRM Tool?
You probably know most of it already—especially after reading an article like this—but the biggest benefits or end results you get from a CRM software product include the ability to better manage sales, customer service, and marketing processes.
For instance, with the deal management feature in most CRMs, you can track every customer interaction and keep them organized.
Some CRMs even use AI to help you predict which leads will most likely convert into paying customers, plus create workflows and automate your sales activities and processes.
Overall, the biggest benefit of a CRM is that it helps you better understand your customers, streamline communication with them, and ultimately increase revenue.
What Is The Best CRM Software for Small Businesses?
The best CRM for SMB depends on your specific business needs and budget. But the top-rated option—i.e. CRMs with at least a 4.5 average rating on G2—on our list here are Close and Nimble.
Is CRM Suitable for Small Businesses or Just Enterprise-level Businesses?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or an enterprise-level business. CRM is suitable for practically any type of business. As long as you have leads and customers to manage and deals to track, you can benefit from a CRM.
The only real difference between how small businesses and large corporations use CRMs is that for small businesses, you’d usually need to opt for basic CRM software with simpler features and often settle with the lower-end pricing plan of your chosen CRM solution.
Meanwhile, large enterprises tend to opt for the more expensive—and oftentimes higher-end features—CRM solutions.
What CRM Is Best for B2B?
As a B2B business, you need a CRM that can help you better segment and target leads, send personalized emails, collaborate with your teammates (especially if you have a sales team), track the progress of your deals, and provides excellent customer support.
Any CRM software that offers all of these features is usually good enough for B2B businesses. And most of the CRM providers we’ve shared in this article offer all these features and more.
Pick the Best CRM for SMB
At the end of the day, choosing the best small business CRM is all about finding the one that can meet your requirements and budget.
For instance, if you’re a small business selling digital products or services, you might need a CRM that integrates with your payment processor and provides automation features for customer onboarding.
Or if you’re a B2B business with a sales team, you need a CRM that allows for collaboration amongst your teammates so everyone can make the most out of their sales efforts.
Figure out what you need, find a CRM that provides those features and fits your budget, and get to work.
Think you’re not ready for a full CRM solution? Try this Spreadsheet CRM template to get you started tracking new leads and closing more deals: