Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are ideal for keeping track of your customers, organizing your sales team, and even streamlining your customer communication.
In this guide, we’ll list the best CRM software tools, and explain how to choose the right CRM software for your organization.
CRM Software Ranking Criteria
CRM tools come in many shapes and sizes, and may attempt to provide a comprehensive experience or specialize in one niche function. That’s why it’s important to shop around. Here are the qualities we consider in our rankings:
- Overall functionality. Most CRM software tools offer similar features, like the ability to store and manage customer information, lead tracking functionality, and reporting options for analysis. But some will be more robust than others. Also make sure your chosen CRM software tool integrates with other tools that your team uses, for the sake of convenience.
- Ease of learning. How long does it take the average person to learn how to use this platform? Is it something the average person can master in a reasonable amount of time? Most CRM software tools have knowledge bases and learning centers to assist with this, but the platform should still be intuitive.
- Usability. Is the platform easy to use on a regular basis? Are the fields easy to see and fill out? Can the app be used in equal effectiveness on both desktop and mobile devices? This is a subjective question, but it’s still important. Faster, more usable platforms can save you a ton of time in the long term.
- Price. Higher-priced CRM software tools are often so priced because they have extra features, but you may be working with a strict budget. There are CRM software tools for practically all price ranges, so be prudent in your decision.
- Trustworthiness. CRM software tools often store sensitive information, like customer data and sales statistics. You’ll need to make sure your software provider has a good reputation when it comes to security and customer trust.
The Best CRM Software Tools
These are some of the best CRM software tools to improve your sales efficiency:
Salesforce has been one of the top names in the CRM world for many years, and for good reason. It’s comprehensive, it’s easy to use, it integrates with just about every other software, and it can even be customized for your specific organization so you have all the data management tools you need to be successful. The only major downside is the price—with Salesforce, you’ll pay $75 per user per month for teams of more than 5 people.
Podio by Citrix functions as a CRM, but it doubles as a workflow management platform. With it, you can automate your sales pipeline, measure your budgets, assign tasks, and even share files with other users. For the full suite of features, you’ll pay $24 per user per month.
One tool that has been gaining significant traction is Acquire, arguably the best CRM software for small business. Whether you want to keep track of your customer’s journey, check out their communication in a unified location, track all their interactions in a timeline view, or respond to them in channels they prefer to use, this software enables you to do all of that. The tool also has AI-based chatbots which help you scale up your support services by automating answers to common questions. They do not list pricing publicly on their website, so you’ll have to inquire about current pricing by getting in touch with them.
If you’re looking for a CRM software tool that also works as a customer help desk tool, consider using Freshdesk. Freshdesk allows you to create a knowledgebase for your customers, and collect and respond to individual customer tickets—in addition to its main functionality as a CRM. Prices start at $18 per user per month.
5. Hubspot CRM
With Hubspot CRM, you’ll be able to manage your sales pipeline, automatically track new sales, and manage your marketing, lead generation, and sales strategies all in one place. It also integrates with most of Hubspot’s other tools, giving it even more power. Consult their website for pricing details.
Apptivo is designed to collect information on new prospects and leads while increasing your lead generation effectiveness (and close rates). With it, you can create forms for capturing new leads, automate your customer tracking, and get better insights into the functionality of your sales pipeline. It’s also very customizable. Prices start at $10 per user per month.
Odoo bills itself as the “real customer centric CRM.” It’s designed to help you track leads, close opportunities, and make accurate sales forecasts as variables change. It also makes itself open to customization and editing, so you can design your own dashboards and real-time reports. Pricing starts at $14 per user per month.
8. Zendesk Sell
Zendesk’s Sell platform is, as the name suggests, designed to help you sell. It features all the standard features you’ve come to expect in a CRM, and allows you to make your sales pipeline visible throughout your organization. It’s also integration friendly and customizable, so you can build the experience you want. Prices start at $19 per user per month.
9. Less Annoying CRM
Less Annoying CRM was designed for small business owners who have been frustrated with the unnecessary complexity of other CRM software tools. It’s a simple, easy to learn, easy to use tool that’s budget-friendly and regularly updated. Prices start at just $10 per user per month.
10. Capsule CRM
Capsule CRM is a platform that allows you to collect more data on your leads and customers, build better customer relationships, and close more deals with your sales pipeline. With it, you can create and assign tasks, you can store notes and emails, and you can share contacts within your team. Prices start at $9 per user per month.
Base allows you to funnel all your leads, regardless of their origin point, and allow you to track your sales prospecting and lead management process. It also features dynamic reporting, which you can use to calculate which of your lead generation sources are most likely to result in sales. When billed annually, the cost is $45 per user per month.
Highrise helps you track not just people, but also tracks and conversations within your sales department. Share leads within your team, track all your follow-up procedures, and set automatic reminders so you never miss an appointment. For small teams, the price is $24 per user per month, but that increases to $49 per user per month for larger teams.
Infusionsoft tracks your customers, like the other platforms, but allows you to keep track of much more information. You can log every conversation, every purchase, and even use the platform to send personalized messages to them. The price is $199 per month, with support for up to 3 users.
14. Sugar CRM
There’s also Sugar CRM, which provides detailed data visuals you can use to intuit your overall sales progress. You can use it to manage accounts, keep track of your opportunities, and analyze your pipeline. You can also automate certain phases of the sales process, saving your team time. Prices start at $40 per user per month.
Scoro CRM software allows you to track your sales performance and productivity with built-in pipeline management, task management, billing, reporting, and more. With it, you can save time on reporting, meetings, and inefficient data entry, and it’s super learnable thanks to its drag-and-drop mechanics. Prices start at $26 per user per month.
16. Zoho CRM
Next, there’s Zoho CRM. It’s a cross-platform CRM that lets you track and engage with leads from every direction, and you can use it to generate and track real-time data on customer behavior. It also allows you to launch competitions for your salespeople, and track their performance. Prices start at $15 per user per month.
17. NetSuite CRM
NetSuite CRM specializes in sales forecasts, allowing you to incorporate real-time sales data to predict future sales. It also has features to help you better understand the behavior and decision making habits of your leads and customers, and can be used to enhance productivity across your entire organization. Consult their website for pricing details.
Freshsales has a wide variety of features designed to help you sell more and better understand your leads in the process. It allows you to score your leads quantitatively, estimating your chances of success, and gives you tools to segment and organize your team, so you can collaborate more effectively. Free plans are available, but paid plans start at $15 per user per month.
Pipedrive is another top name in the CRM field. It’s specifically designed for smaller sales teams, and features a minimalistic visual pipeline, where you can easily track your deals and customers at a glance. It’s a great CRM if you’ve never used one before. Prices start at $12 per user per month.
Instream is designed not just for CRM, but also sales and “relationship automation.” With it, you can connect your social media platforms, manage all your contacts, conduct real-time conversations, and share both contact information and other sales data with your entire team. Prices start at $10 per user per month.
Nimble attempts to help you gather more customer data with as minimal manual effort as possible. When you begin entering customer data, the platform will automatically gather data from dozens of different sources, like social media platforms. It’s great if your team typically struggles with getting ample information on prospects. Prices start at $25 per user per month.
Finally, there’s Insightly. It’s a comprehensive sales and CRM tool that allows you to manage projects, sales, and marketing campaigns all in one place. With it, you can manage leads, suppliers, vendors, and other business contacts all in one place. You can also keep track of project activity, set goals, and report on your improvements over time. Prices start at $15 per user per month.
I hope this list of the best CRM software tools helps you find the perfect CRM for your business! If you’re looking for more ways to boost the power of your sales strategy, or if you just need more insights to improve your team’s productivity, consider an email analytics tool like our own EmailAnalytics.
EmailAnalytics will tell you countless details about your email habits, including your average email response time, your number of emails sent and received, and more. Sign up for a free trial today, and use these metrics to increase your team’s performance and efficiency!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.