Best CRM Tools for Small Businesses: Top 10 Pick

Best CRM Tools for Small Businesses: Top 10 Pick

Finding your first few customers can be one of the most difficult challenges for new businesses, especially those that are relatively small. However, once that first wave of customers comes rushing in, it can become difficult and cumbersome to try to take care of your existing clients while also guiding new customers through your funnel. This is because there are more customers to attend to. Because they are so preoccupied with trying to fulfill their customers' and their own deadlines and expectations, some small businesses have not even begun to develop their sales funnels.

CRMs are able to help in this regard. CRM software designed specifically for small businesses assists organizations in streamlining their sales processes and expanding their customer base.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at why every small business should use a customer relationship management system, what characteristics make for a great CRM solution, and which software is best suited for your company's specific requirements.

What Is CRM For Small Businesses?

What exactly is a customer relationship management system? CRM is an acronym that stands for "customer relationship management." This term refers to the process of keeping track of your customers, particularly with regard to how they relate to your sales cycle.

CRM software is a type of digital platform that is used by businesses to assist them in managing their relationships with their customers, in addition to other business functions related to sales, customer service, marketing, and even operations.

However, not all customer relationship management programs are the same. While some customer relationship management systems are designed for use in large corporations, others are tailored to meet the needs of small businesses. Because even the best CRM on the market might be designed to meet the needs of a large corporation, it might not be the CRM system that is easiest for a small business to operate.

Why Is a CRM Necessary for Growing Businesses?

In this day and age, it is nearly impossible for a company to function successfully without having some kind of digital system in place to manage their data. These digital systems and tools, such as customer relationship management systems (CRMs) or any sales software designed for small businesses, assist expanding businesses and small businesses alike in not only catching up with their customers who are technologically advanced but also in gaining a competitive advantage.

Having said that, a number of smaller businesses continue to maintain a manual system for keeping track of their customers, using methods such as spreadsheets or even spiral notebooks. And while these "minimalistic" customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be a good starting point for any small business, eventually, if you plan on increasing the levels of your business, you'll need customer management software that can scale with your customer base. This is because these "minimalistic" CRM systems can be a good starting point for any small business.

What Are Advantages of CRM Systems?

Using customer relationship management (CRM) tools in a small business has many benefits, the majority of which assist you in streamlining your day-to-day operations and accelerating the growth of your company. The following is a list of some of the ways that even a basic SMB CRM can assist in the growth of a small business:

Better Customer Relations

Because all of your team members will be able to access the information about your customers from a centralized location, you will be able to provide your clients with a consistently satisfying experience, regardless of who they speak with at your company. In this way, you will be able to strengthen relationships with existing customers while simultaneously nurturing leads, and you will be able to do so from the same location.

Keeps Teams Connected

Many of the best customer relationship management software for small businesses include features for project management that enable users from across your organization to keep each other up to date on the progress of particular tasks without having to leave the platform. This helps to reduce the number of errors or blunders that frequently occur when there is a delay in or fragmentation of communication between teams.

Enhanced Knowledge of Your Company's Performance

"What gets measured, gets managed," is a proverb that states this truth. When it comes to expanding a small business, one of the most limiting factors is frequently a lack of concrete data that can be used to evaluate the performance of the business. By providing sales forecasts and in-depth analytics, tools like customer relationship management systems (CRMs) enable small businesses to better serve a greater number of customers at higher business levels.

Information centralized database

With a customer relationship management system (CRM), small businesses have a place to store all of the data and information related to their customers in a single, centralized location. CRMs make it simple to retrieve any relevant details about any customer at any given moment, in contrast to fragmented systems, in which team members are required to scavenge for information across multiple incompatible systems.

Enhancing Customer Segmentation

You will have a much easier time sorting and segmenting your customer base into categories along a variety of different types of dimensions as a result of all the data that CRMs collect on your customers. For instance, in addition to more fundamental filtering criteria such as demographics, you can use a CRM to organize your customers into groups according to information that is more illuminating, such as their typical order size or the number of times they make purchases.

Saves both time and money

One of the capabilities of customer relationship management software or client management software that is not as widely known is the ability to automate various aspects of your business. CRM solutions enable small businesses to make better use of their time, which ultimately results in increased profits. This is accomplished through a variety of means, including direct messaging with customers, the management of administrative tasks, and overall operations management.

Obviously, a great deal of this is dependent on the CRM system that your small business ultimately decides to use.

What Makes a Good Small Business CRM?

It's possible that some customer relationship management software for small businesses will work better than others simply because your requirements and preferences are unique to your company. However, in general, there are many features that are commonly sought after by small and medium-sized businesses as well as startups.

Multiple Integrations

You will probably want a customer relationship management system (CRM) that is compatible with the platforms that you are already using to communicate with your customers, whether it be for marketing, sales, or customer support. This is especially true if you run a small business. On the other hand, the CRM that will prove to be the most useful for your company is the one that can easily integrate with all of the other platforms you use, thereby producing a fully digital operating system for your company.

The following are some examples of some of the more common types of integrations that small businesses search for in CRMs:

  • Telephone network.
  • Program for live chat and chatbots.
  • Email client.
  • Digital marketing platforms (e.g. Google Analytics, Facebook Ads).
  • Calendars for both personal and business use.
  • Accounting and billing software.
  • POS (point-of-sale) devices.

On-the-Go and Cloud-Based Functionality

When it comes to carrying out their day-to-day operations, small businesses are beginning to rely significantly more on digital tools and platforms. As a direct result of this, many of the most well-known and widely used customer relationship management systems for small businesses are implemented as web-based applications. A number of these cloud-based CRMs also provide a smartphone app version of their software, which enables employees and owners of small businesses to manage customer interactions regardless of their location.

This is particularly useful for retail businesses or any company that uses tablets, phones, and other mobile devices to engage with their customers.

Small business CRM solutions that offer native iOS and Android app versions (as opposed to browser-based apps) also allow users to share data and capabilities with other mobile applications. The best mobile CRMs are those that are designed from the ground up, which typically results in an experience that is more friendly to users.

Constructs, Aligns, and Improves Your Funnel

Finding a way to properly organize and set up their sales funnel from the very beginning to the very end is a major obstacle for many types of small businesses.

Because of this, the better options for customer relationship management software for small businesses don't just help you collect and manage your data; they also leverage it so you can tweak and optimize your funnel.

Through the entirety of the customer journey, cross-platform integrations ensure that all of your teams, regardless of their function within the business, are collaborating with one another and using the same information. Because of this, things like messaging and support tickets will not become confused with one another.

What Other Factors Should You Consider When Selecting a CRM for Your Business?

When looking for a customer relationship management system (CRM), it is best to begin by determining the specific requirements of your company rather than comparing various small business CRMs based on the features they offer.

There are many evaluative factors that you and your team must take into account, including:

  • What kind of clients are you providing?
  • Which additional benefits do you hope to derive from using your CRM?
  • What applications do you currently use that your CRM system would need to integrate with?
  • How would you describe the current state of your business, as well as your projections for how it will develop in the future?
  • Who are you planning on having to use your CRM?
  • What kind of budget have you set aside for customer relationship management?

It is essential that you devote as much time as is required in order to have an in-depth conversation with your team about these questions. Because implementing a CRM system for your small business can be a significant financial investment, you will want to make certain that you are selecting the appropriate solution for your circumstances.

After you have reached a consensus on these criteria for evaluation, you will need to take some additional steps in order to help you select from among the available choices.

Features to Look for in Small Business CRM

When searching for a customer relationship management system (CRM) for a small business, here are some of the most important characteristics to look for:

User-Friendly Interface

When you think of criteria for your CRM, the user experience may not be the first feature that comes to mind for you. In most cases, this is due to the fact that user-friendly CRMs are simple and straightforward to operate. On the other hand, customer relationship management systems that are cumbersome and challenging to navigate can end up being a source of a great deal of frustration. If they are difficult to utilize, even the most sophisticated capabilities are rendered useless.

Sector Specialization

These days, you can find customer relationship management systems that are tailored to particular fields of work or kinds of companies. Whether you run a marketing agency or are a real estate agent, it's likely that you'll come across customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that are tailored to the specific requirements of your line of work. It's possible that a CRM designed specifically for your business's line of goods or services will prove to be the most effective means of customer relationship management (CRM) for your company. Industry-specific CRMs also offer more nuanced features than standard CRMs.


On a more micro level, it is beneficial to use a CRM that gives you complete control over the features that are activated and the user privileges that are granted. Even if you are utilizing a small business CRM system that was developed specifically for your sector, the requirements of your company are probably unique in comparison to those of other companies. If your company is able to customize its CRM, you will have the ability to remove any features that are superfluous to your operations, thereby maintaining a streamlined and user-friendly experience.


The proliferation of intelligent technologies has led to an increase in the number of customer relationship management (CRM) systems that incorporate AI- and ML-based features and tools into their respective software. These newly added capabilities go a long way toward assisting in the operation of your company on its own and maintaining communication with your clientele, even when you are sound asleep.


While evaluating any CRM, one of the most important factors to take into consideration is how much money it will cost you. You will want to focus on customer relationship management (CRM) systems that are both cost-efficient and fit within your budget, in particular for small businesses that are just starting out or bootstrapping.


Be sure to consider whether or not the customer relationship management system (CRM) you are leaning toward will be able to scale with you as your business expands, even though you might be tempted to choose a CRM that you can afford right now. It's possible that free or inexpensive customer relationship management systems seem like a good choice for your organization right now, but you need to make sure that the CRM you select can handle the volume of business you'll be doing in the future.

Simple to assemble and use

When comparing customer relationship management systems, the ease of use and configuration for your company should also be a primary consideration. You'll find that lots of customer relationship management systems (CRMs) look good on paper and include features that are both impressive and powerful, but you might find that some CRMs feel better simply because they provide a more user-friendly experience.

What Does a CRM Cost for a Small Business?

The total cost of a customer relationship management system for a small business will be determined primarily by three aspects: the package or tier, the price, and the number of users.

The most effective and widely used customer relationship management (CRM) platforms typically provide a variety of plans and packages that can be customized to meet individual requirements. If you are only interested in essential features such as contact and deal management, you should probably go with a basic plan that is reasonably priced. This is the best option for you. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find full-fledged CRM packages that offer large-scale sales automation and other advanced features. These packages can be found in a variety of price points.

In most cases, the cost of a CRM is calculated each month based on the number of people in your organization who use the system. That being the case, the overall cost of a CRM on a monthly basis will be equal to the base cost of the platform multiplied by the total number of team members who make use of it.

Make sure that when you are calculating the number of users for your CRM that you are only including the members of your team who truly require access to your CRM in order to carry out their responsibilities. Although CRM access will be required for the majority of customer-facing roles, the vast majority of employees whose primary responsibilities are production and operations are unlikely to find much use for this kind of software.

Paid plans typically begin at $7 per user on the low end and can go as high as $99 per user on the high end.

Is There a CRM That Is 100% Free?

There are a lot of customer relationship management systems that provide free plans for new users. Even though these CRMs are frequently scaled-down versions of full-featured CRMs, they still offer all of the fundamental features that are necessary for effective customer relationship management in small businesses.

However, due to the fact that the free versions of these "freemium" CRMs typically have fewer capabilities and features than the paid versions, some companies may consider them to be too restrictive.

If you are looking for a CRM that is totally free to use for your small business, your best bet is to search for a solution that provides you with all of the sales tools you require without trying to convince you to upgrade to a paid plan. This is your best bet if you are looking for a free CRM. Make every effort to stick to platforms that provide you with complete access to all of their marketing and sales features without charging you any additional fees. You might even be able to find a customer relationship management system (CRM) for small businesses that caters specifically to your objectives and requirements, such as Semrush CRM, which is a free CRM solution for digital marketing agencies.

The Top 10 Small Business CRM Options

You can find hundreds of different customer relationship management systems (CRMs) available all over the web by doing a quick search on Google. Each CRM has its own set of distinctive features and capabilities.

As a result, in order to assist you in navigating the vast CRM landscape, we have compiled a list of the best CRM solutions for small businesses in 2022.

Hubspot CRM

Key Characteristics:

Hubspot's free CRM is one of the more well-known customer relationship management platforms. It provides users with a robust set of essential features, such as the ability to manage contact information for up to one million contacts and even email marketing capabilities. Hubspot helps you track whether your recipients open your emails and when they do so. This is especially helpful for small businesses that rely heavily on email for one-on-one communications with leads and customers.


  • Unlimited data storage.
  • The free plan will remain free permanently.
  • A multitude of integrations with well-known productivity software.


  • Very few automated tasks available in the free version.

Who should use it?

  • The vast majority of small businesses, especially those that rely heavily on various cloud-based platforms and tools


  • The CRM component of Hubspot is available at no additional cost.
  • Several "Hub" add-ons can be purchased, with prices starting at $50 per month for each one.


Key Characteristics:

Pipedrive is definitely something to take into consideration if you're searching for a user interface that is slick and extremely easy to understand. This customer relationship management system stands out in particular because it gives users the ability to visualize the entirety of the sales process, from the initial stages of a deal all the way through to its conclusion. In addition to helping you automatically organize your day-to-day correspondences across devices, this CRM also helps users stay on top of all of their open deals.


  • User-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • 24/7 email and live chat assistance.
  • Over 275 applications and integrations.


  • Only a 14-day free trial is offered; there is no free version.
  • Only the Enterprise plan includes security features.

Who should use it?

  • Small businesses that require a clean and simple user interface with all of the essential features of a solid CRM.


  • Essential plan starts at $12.50 per user per month.


Key Characteristics:

Insightly's primary value proposition revolves around the Business Intelligence (BI) features that it offers. These features, as implied by the product's name, provide small businesses with valuable insights into the data and performance of their sales. This customer relationship management system also includes a sidebar extension for Chrome that makes it simpler to enter customer data into your CRM on the fly.


  • Integrated, comprehensive platform for the management of projects.
  • Lead management and distribution, along with monitoring of achievements.
  • Automation of multi-step workflow processes.


  • There is no available free version.
  • The basic plan does not include any of the premium features.

Who should use it?

  • Companies of a smaller size that want to be able to use the same platform to manage their sales pipeline in addition to their projects


  • The Plus plan, which is their most affordable alternative, costs $29 per user per month and is billed annually.


Key Characteristics:

Keap is yet another all-in-one CRM solution that was designed to scale along with your company's needs. It is particularly well-known for the marketing and email automations it offers. Your company will be able to run more smoothly thanks to preset templates and customizable workflow automations, which can also save your team an average of ten hours per week of work time.


  • Sales cadences and follow-up sequences that are fully automated.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Comprehensive contact management.


  • Keap Pro is the only version that offers lead scoring.
  • Learning how to use more advanced features can take some time.
  • The basic plan is on the pricier end of the spectrum.

Who should use it?

  • Any locally owned and operated companies that communicate with their clients via email on a consistent basis


The Lite plan begins at $79 per month, and billing occurs on a monthly basis.


Key Characteristics:

EngageBay provides one of the most comprehensive customer relationship management systems at a price that is manageable for businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to large corporations. This CRM software is ideal for companies that want to manage their sales and marketing efforts from a single interface because it comes equipped with a wide variety of marketing tools. Some examples of these tools include landing page builders and lead generation forms.


  • Integrated solution that can cater to a wide range of commercial requirements.
  • Integrated center for communication.
  • Service to customers that is both quick and helpful.


  • The user interface is not particularly easy to understand.
  • Training documentation for new users that falls short of ideal conditions.

Who should use it?

  • Companies of a smaller scale and new businesses looking for a CRM with robust marketing automation features.


  • Free plan available.
  • Pricing for the basic plan begins at $14.99 (USD) per user (USD) per month, and is billed monthly.

Semrush CRM

Key Characteristics:

Free customer relationship management software designed for use by marketing teams and agencies, Semrush CRM was developed by the same company that brought you one of the best platforms for search engine optimization and digital marketing. This customer relationship management system enables you to integrate the data from your client projects with the data from your sales pipeline and funnel, making it an excellent choice for expanding businesses that want to manage all of their client data from a single platform.


  • Free.
  • Enhanced client and prospect information.
  • Simple cross-team and client collaboration.


  • Made with agencies in mind.

Who should use it?

  • Digital agencies and businesses that operate on an agency model.


  • Free.


Key Characteristics:

Small businesses have access to some of the most cutting-edge customer relationship management software options thanks to Salesforce, which is ranked as one of the best CRMs overall. This is due to the fact that Salesforce is a network of features and platforms that were developed to address all aspects of the customer journey. These aspects include everything from text message marketing to email marketing and digital advertising.


  • Platform that is entirely hosted in the cloud.
  • Capable of connecting with other powerful tools and platforms offered by Salesforce.


  • A steep curve for learning.
  • There is not a free version.
  • The setup process might take longer than with competing CRMs.

Who should use it?

  • Companies that are expanding and are looking for a CRM that can grow to any size with them are good candidates.


  • When paid for annually, the Essentials plan has a starting price of $25 per user per month.

Bigin by Zoho CRM

Key Characteristics:

The pipeline-based CRM solution Bigin is offered by Zoho CRM, and it is designed specifically with small businesses in mind. Bigin is purposefully designed to be user-friendly and uncomplicated, and it provides all of the fundamental components necessary for establishing a reliable CRM system. However, it does not include the intricate functionalities and steep learning curve that are typical of more robust CRMs.


  • Native mobile version available.
  • Integrated phone functionality.
  • Dashboards that can be personalized.


  • There are some mobile integrations that are exclusive to iOS and not available on Android.
  • Traditional CRM users might find it difficult to adjust to the interface's minimalist design at first.

Who should use it?

Bigin is an ideal CRM solution for smaller companies that are looking for something straightforward that can be accessed from desktop computers as well as mobile devices.


  • Free plan available
  • The Express plan begins at $9 per user, per month, when purchased.


Key Characteristics:

Capsule offers an intuitive web-based method for customer relationship management to companies that primarily rely on cloud-based platforms for working and collaborating. This is the target audience for Capsule's services. This customer relationship management software for small businesses is used by thousands of companies all over the world and offers a wide variety of configurable features, such as user permissions, custom filters, and views for sales pipelines. Because of its extensive customization options, Capsule is an ideal customer relationship management system (CRM) for smaller companies that are looking to upgrade from an overly simplistic solution to one that provides more advanced capabilities.


  • Contact re-engagement reminders.
  • Wide variety of integrations that are unique to small and medium-sized business tools and platforms.
  • Interface that is pristine and uncomplicated.


  • Analytics with little to no value.
  • Scalability issues for companies with expanding needs.

Who should use it?

  • Small businesses looking for a customer relationship management system that simplifies team collaboration


  • Free plan.
  • The starting price for the Professional version is $18 per user per month, and it is billed monthly.

Agile CRM

Key Characteristics:

Agile CRM promotes itself as an all-in-one platform for small businesses that is equipped with the capabilities of Fortune 500 companies. This includes functionality such as gamification for sales, as well as an integrated wireframe tool for prototyping your digital assets and products. Their plugins and integrations, which only require one click to install, make it simple to synchronize your CRM with all of the third-party applications and services that you are already utilizing for your business.


  • Very affordable.
  • Automated sales pipeline system.


  • The CRM is not the most integratable option.
  • Unsatisfactory reporting.

Who should use it?

  • Businesses of a smaller or medium size that want to automate their sales, marketing, and service processes using a single CRM platform


  • Free version available.
  • The beginning price for the Starter plan is $14.99 USD per user per month, billed monthly.

These are only a few of the customer relationship management (CRM) systems that are available to small businesses. Because of this, it is important to make sure that you don't overlook any compatible platforms by allocating a sufficient amount of time to sort through the various customer relationship management systems (CRMs) for small businesses that are currently available on the market.

Nevertheless, even the most effective CRM on the market for small businesses might not be the most effective CRM for your particular small business. The following is a guide that will help you choose the appropriate solution for your requirements.

The top CRM program for marketing teams and agencies

Only a small number of customer relationship management systems (CRMs), despite the fact that there are many CRMs designed specifically for marketing agencies, provide the advanced features that marketers use on a daily basis in order to complete tasks and projects for their customers.

There are some full-fledged CRMs that do provide marketing automation tools, such as Hubspot and Keap; however, these services are typically an additional cost. In addition, the majority of customer relationship management systems are developed as general-use platforms with the goal of catering to a diverse range of markets and types of businesses.

Semrush provides its own free CRM platform for marketing firms that are looking for a customer relationship management solution that integrates seamlessly with their day-to-day marketing activities.


Small businesses, in particular, will need to make use of customer relationship management systems and other sales-based platforms in order to keep up with customer expectations as digital technologies become an increasingly important component of customer journeys.

Not only do customer relationship management (CRM) systems make it possible for small businesses to store all of their customer data in a single location, but many of these platforms also provide additional capabilities such as collaborative project management and advanced marketing automations.

Despite the fact that there are a great deal of well-known and well-known CRMs available on the market, the type of small business that you are operating will determine which CRMs work more effectively than others. Your unique requirements as well as the other kinds of software that you are already utilizing will likely play a significant role in the decision-making process.

In particular, marketing teams and agencies require a CRM that can integrate with specialized marketing tools while also keeping track of ongoing client projects. This is an essential requirement for any CRM.

Semrush CRM is a powerful solution that digital agencies that are looking to expand their client portfolio can take advantage of for free. It connects to other Semrush tools and provides a seamless user experience.