What is the Best CRM For Small Companies? Depends who you ask. And even if a brand new tool hits the market, it doesn’t mean that it’s “the best” for you. If you break down the evaluation criteria for a small business CRM, a lot of variables come into play. You need to consider features, customer service, pricing and more. The list seems endless. And if you’re a small company without an in-house marketing department or enterprise budget, those choices multiply exponentially.
We all have goals, some small and some large. In a typical business environment, you have to juggle a lot of balls to keep your company growing. There are more things to manage than time: invoicing, email marketing, follow-up emails… The list goes on. As a small business owner, it is easy to lose focus momentarily. That’s the last thing you want when you have thousands of dollars riding on each customer. I’ll explain how CRMs can help small businesses increase sales and streamline operations.
Best CRM For Small Companies
Pipedrive: Best Personal CRM With Visual Sales Pipelines
Overall Score:4.88 / 5
What We Like
- Simple visual representation of sales pipelines
- Offers revenue forecast reports
- 24/7 customer support via live chat and email
- No free plan
- In-app phone feature is limited to the two most expensive plans
- Essential: $14.90
- Advanced: $24.90
- Professional: $49.90
- Enterprise: $99
- Free trial: 14 days
*Per user, per month pricing based on annual billing; monthly subscriptions are also available except for the Enterprise plan
Pipedrive offers customizable visual pipelines, dashboards, and reports helpful for solo users who want to see the overall health of their deals and opportunities on one page. It allows users to view data and insights, including leads, tasks, activities, deals, and revenues, and download them into simple reports. It also features an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistant that provides users with actionable insights and recommended steps, such as sending follow-up emails.
However, Pipedrive doesn’t offer a free plan, and its in-app phone feature is only available in higher-priced plans. Users who want a free plan should consider Streak or Agile CRM. Meanwhile, those looking for an in-app phone system, even for free or low-cost plans, should consider HubSpot CRM.
Pipedrive Plan Summary
|Deal & Lead Management||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|AI Sales Assistant||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Video Conferencing Scheduler||✕||✕||✓||✓|
Pipedrive features sales pipelines and automation tools to help users move their opportunities along various sales stages easily. Below are some of the features that single users will find most useful from the platform:
- Visual sales pipelines: Provides solo users with visual representations of their pipelines that show actionable insights for their leads and deals.
- Email campaigns: Nurture your clients through sustained content marketing campaigns that offer valuable content related to their business industry.
- Email tracking: Shows real-time activity, such as emails being opened and links clicked, to provide insights on the interests of leads and contacts.
- Insights and reporting: Has prebuilt or customizable sales reporting templates that show sales trends, revenue, and active leads and opportunities.
- Extensive CRM integrations: Can be connected to 300-plus third-party apps that include project management, email marketing, ecommerce, and invoicing and accounting. Some of the most popular integrations include Slack, HubSpot CRM, and LiveChat.
Pipedrive boasts a clean and sleek interface, as well as essential tools like an automated sales assistant, workflow automation, and deal reports. To learn more about its features, read our in-depth Pipedrive review.
HubSpot CRM: Best Free Personal CRM With Excellent Email Marketing Features
Overall Score:4.53 / 5
What We Like
- Has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface
- Free plan supports 1 million contacts and companies
- Offers robust email marketing tools, including email health and link click tracking
- Free plan lacks access to customer support and is limited to forums
- Workflow automation tools are not included in the free plan
- Free: Supports an unlimited number of users
- Starter Sales Plan: $45 per month for two paid users
- Professional Sales Plan: $450 per month for five paid users
- Enterprise Sales Plan: $1,200 per month for ten paid users
- Free trial: 14 days
*Based on annual billing; monthly subscriptions are also available at higher rates
HubSpot CRM provides a free option that offers a wide range of features solo users need to manage leads, including customizable dashboards, chatbots, and landing pages. It also provides excellent email marketing tools for users who require professional-looking marketing emails to expand their customer base. The system lets them manage and track the performance of their email marketing campaigns.
However, HubSpot CRM’s free plan lacks customer support and does not include CRM workflow automation tools. Users who need support, even for free plans, can consider Zoho CRM, while those who need workflow automation tools can consider Salesflare.
HubSpot CRM Sales Hub Plan Summary
|Sales Hub Key Features||Free||Starter||Professional||Enterprise|
|Users||Unlimited||Includes 2 paid users||Includes 5 paid users||Includes 10 paid users|
|Live Chat & Basic Bots||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Sales Analytics & Custom Reporting||✕||✕||✓||✓|
|Predictive Lead Scoring||✕||✕||✕||✓|
|Recurring Revenue Tracking||✕||✕||✕||✓|
HubSpot CRM Features
HubSpot CRM offers a handful of free sales and marketing tools to help users manage their leads and deals better. Below are some features that will benefit solo users:
- Email marketing: Offers users helpful email marketing features, such as email reply tracking, bulk message sending, and follow-up form emails.
- A/B testing and analytics: Helps users evaluate which types of emails convert and engage customers most effectively by deploying two versions of emails.
- Custom workflow automations: Create tasks based on lead-triggering activities, including email marketing and sales pipeline management tasks.
- Event management feature: Data from marketing events can be stored and managed through integrations with event planning and scheduling applications like Eventbrite, atEvent, and Attendease.
- Appointment setting tools: Built-in meeting scheduling tools to help users easily set appointments with their leads and customers.
- Third-party integrations: Centralize your customer data management by integrating other business tools you’re using. HubSpot integrates with many third-party apps like Mailchimp, Zendesk, LiveChat, Xero, and QuickBooks.
HubSpot CRM offers free tools that include lead, project, and task management. Its intuitive interface makes it an easy-to-use CRM for any user, regardless of their level of experience with using a CRM system. To learn more about this provider, check out our HubSpot CRM review.
Zoho CRM: Best Personal CRM With Extensive Omnichannel Communications Capability
Overall Score:4.46 / 5
What We Like
- Beginner-friendly interface
- Offers varied customer communication platforms, such as email, phone, and live chat
- Offers analytics and predictive tools
- Limited storage capacity; requires add-on for additional monthly storage
- 24/7 support is only available upon purchase of an Enterprise support plan
- Free plan: Up to three users
- Standard: $14
- Professional: $23
- Enterprise: $40
- Ultimate: $52
- Free trial: 15 days
*Per user, per month pricing based on annual billing; monthly subscriptions are also available at higher rates
Zoho CRM offers solo users an array of essential CRM features, such as sales automation, sales prediction, and marketing automation. Its most standout feature is its omnichannel communications management system. It enables users to manage all emails, phone calls, social media engagements, and live chats in one platform—making it handy for solo users to keep track of all their lead communications.
Zoho CRM has limited storage allocation, and its round-the-clock customer support comes at an additional cost. Those who need 24/7 customer support and ample data storage can consider Pipedrive instead.
Zoho CRM Plan Summary
|Lead & Contact Management||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Deal & Opportunity Management||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Social Media Lead Generation||✕||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Custom Products Catalog||✕||✕||✓||✓||✓|
|Quotes, Invoice & Purchase Order||✕||✕||✓||✓||✓|
|AI Sales Assistant||✕||✕||✕||✓||✓|
Zoho CRM Features
Apart from its omnichannel communication tools, Zoho CRM also provides additional single-user friendly features like social media and lead management tools. Below are some of its standout features:
- Social media tools: Connects with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for publishing, scheduling, and managing social media content. It also offers features for social media monitoring and automatic lead generation from social media.
- Messenger integration and profile enrichment: Allows users to read and reply to messages to their social media contacts and turn them into leads. It also lets users enrich their contact profiles by syncing information found on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Zoho Finance Suite integration: Allows processing of quotes and purchase orders, as well as invoicing and billing clients.
- Business card scanning features: Built-in business card scanner on mobile application syncs contact information to CRM database.
- Integrations: Allow users to synchronize inboxes, contacts, and calendars into the CRM. It integrates with popular apps including Google Workplace, Trello, and Slack.