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Small Business CRM Software


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Infusionsoft logo
 
Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation and e-commerce functionalities in a suite. It helps small businesses across various industries deliver... Read More
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Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation and e-commerce functionalities in a suite. It helps small businesses across various industries deliver... Read More
 
Salesforce.com logo
 
The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
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The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
 
amoCRM logo
 
AmoCRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps users manage the sales pipeline. Users can receive feedback and reports about the performance of salespersons. The solution offers lead scoring and nurturing,... Read More
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AmoCRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps users manage the sales pipeline. Users can receive feedback and reports about the performance of salespersons. The solution offers lead scoring and nurturing,... Read More
 
HubSpot CRM logo
 
With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
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With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
 
NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read More
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NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read More

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Copper (formerly ProsperWorks) logo
 
Copper is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The Copper solution... Read More
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Copper is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The Copper solution... Read More
 
FreeAgent CRM logo
 
FreeAgent CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for sales and marketing teams in small and midsize businesses. The solution enables users to manage leads, contacts, emails and calls, accounts and deals,... Read More
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FreeAgent CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for sales and marketing teams in small and midsize businesses. The solution enables users to manage leads, contacts, emails and calls, accounts and deals,... Read More
 
Base logo
 
Base CRM is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. Base CRM features... Read More
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Base CRM is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. Base CRM features... Read More
 
Chime logo
 
Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
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Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
 
Apptivo logo
 
Apptivo is a cloud-based suite of applications designed to help small businesses manage a range of functions including financials, human resources and supply chain management. Apptivo’s customer relationship management (CRM) applications... Read More
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Apptivo is a cloud-based suite of applications designed to help small businesses manage a range of functions including financials, human resources and supply chain management. Apptivo’s customer relationship management (CRM) applications... Read More

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LeadMaster logo
 
LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read More
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LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read More
 
Shape logo
 
Shape is a cloud-based business management solution designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines and connect with customers. The solution caters to multiple industry... Read More
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Shape is a cloud-based business management solution designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines and connect with customers. The solution caters to multiple industry... Read More
 
Act! logo
 
Act! is a customer relationship management solution (CRM) that brings together contacts, account history, notes and activities into a single, centralized location. Users can take notes, manage prospect and customer information, send... Read More
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Act! is a customer relationship management solution (CRM) that brings together contacts, account history, notes and activities into a single, centralized location. Users can take notes, manage prospect and customer information, send... Read More
 
Pipeliner CRM logo
 
Pipeliner CRM is an end-to-end customer management system that provides better visibility and transparency into the entire sales process. It is a web-based system that is both Mac and Windows compatible, as well as offering an app... Read More
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Pipeliner CRM is an end-to-end customer management system that provides better visibility and transparency into the entire sales process. It is a web-based system that is both Mac and Windows compatible, as well as offering an app... Read More
 
Firepoint logo
 
Firepoint is a cloud-based lead generation and business management solution that caters to small and midsize businesses in the real estate industry. It helps users manage leads, track team activities and report key metrics. Firepoint... Read More
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Firepoint is a cloud-based lead generation and business management solution that caters to small and midsize businesses in the real estate industry. It helps users manage leads, track team activities and report key metrics. Firepoint... Read More

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bpm'online CRM logo
 
Bpm'online is a process-driven customer relationship management (CRM) solution for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead to sales and to ongoing customer service. The... Read More
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Bpm'online is a process-driven customer relationship management (CRM) solution for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead to sales and to ongoing customer service. The... Read More
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM logo
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
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BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
 
BoomTown logo
 
Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
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Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
 
Claritysoft logo
 
Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within... Read More
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Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within... Read More
 
Maximizer CRM logo
 
Maximizer CRM is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for organizations of all sizes across various industries. This solution can be deployed on both on-premise and in the cloud. Maximizer CRM features... Read More
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Maximizer CRM is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for organizations of all sizes across various industries. This solution can be deployed on both on-premise and in the cloud. Maximizer CRM features... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Andrew Friedenthal,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: August 14, 2018


With the growing number of affordable, Web-based products on the market, more and more small businesses are looking for customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage interactions with both current and prospective customers.

Many are seeking to upgrade from basic email marketing or contact management systems. However, the capabilities of CRM systems can range widely, with varying levels of functionality for sales, marketing and customer support. We developed this guide to help buyers understand exactly what these products can offer, so they can select the solution that best meets their needs.

Here's what we'll cover:

A Comparison of Top Small Business CRM Solutions
Common Reasons Small Businesses Shop for a CRM Solution
Common Features of Small Business CRM Software
Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise
Key Considerations for Small Businesses

A Comparison of Top Small Business CRM Solutions

There are many popular small business CRM solutions on the market, and it can be hard to know what distinguishes one product from another and which is right for you. To help you better understand how the top small business CRM systems stack up against one another, we created a series of side-by-side product comparison pages that break down the details of what each solution offers in terms of pricing, applications, ease of use, support and more:

Top Insightly Comparisons Top Zoho CRM Comparisons Top Zendesk Comparisons
Insightly vs. Base
Insightly vs. Nimble
Insightly vs. Zoho CRM
Insightly vs. Zoho CRM
SugarCRM vs. Zoho CRM
UserVoice vs. Zendesk

Common Reasons Small Businesses Shop for a CRM Solution

Thousands of small businesses contact us every year, looking for advice to help them select the CRM solution best suited to their company. Some are just getting started, while others are looking to replace an outdated or problematic system.

Startups may have their own needs, in some cases related to but unique from the needs of small businesses in general. If you're a startup, check out our guide to CRM for startups here.

Small businesses most commonly look to purchase a CRM system because they are:

  • Hoping to consolidate customer records and reduce double-entry.
  • Seeking to automate functions (alerts, follow-up emails etc.).
  • Looking to generate, track and manage leads more efficiently.
  • Needing specific features (e.g., trouble ticket management).
  • Frustrated with current CRM software (too complicated or not enough features).
  • Experiencing transition or company growth.

Screenshot of Pipedrive

Live dashboard in Pipedrive

Core CRM Applications for Small Businesses

Application Function Best for...
Contact management The core component of any CRM solution, contact management systems consolidate critical customer data (e.g., names, addresses and company info) into a single database, as opposed to scattering it across many individual inboxes or address books. Most small businesses; any business that needs to organize contact information or associate notifications, tasks, notes, files etc. with specific customers.
Sales management Basic sales management applications allow businesses to track deals at different stages of the sales pipeline, integrating sales activities and appointments with the general contact database. Some may also include limited automation (e.g., automatically sending follow-up emails or setting up reminders) and reporting. Any small business with a dedicated sales team, or that needs to organize a high volume of leads and automate follow-up (e.g., real estate agencies).
Marketing automation Entry-level marketing automation applications allow small businesses to quickly set up landing pages, Web forms and email templates that inspire potential customers to take action. They may also offer some degree of automation to send targeted, personalized messages based on prospects’ behavior. Small businesses with a dedicated marketing team, and/or looking to attract potential customers through email marketing or Web traffic.
Customer service management Simpler customer service applications typically focus on basic trouble ticket management, which allows small businesses to document, track and resolve customer issues. Small businesses with a dedicated customer service team, or any business that needs to resolve a high volume of customer inquiries and/or complaints (e.g., software companies).

Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise CRM

Most small businesses should consider hosted, cloud-based CRM solutions. Because these systems are hosted by the vendor, they eliminate the need for you to have a dedicated IT team for managing and maintaining your own server. They also drastically reduce upfront investment and installation costs.

In addition, they typically offer monthly subscription pricing, which makes them scale well for fast-growing companies that need to add additional user licenses or features down the road.

However, small businesses with sufficient IT resources and capital may still benefit from on-premise CRM systems. These solutions usually require purchasing an expensive perpetual license up front, but they may become the cheaper option if you use the same system over an extended period of time.

You can see how pricing for these two models compares to figure out what works best for you using this tool. However, keep in mind that with on-premise solutions, you might also pay additionally for upgrades, customizations or maintenance.

Key Considerations for Small Businesses

With so many options and feature sets to choose from, selecting the right CRM for your small business can quickly become an overwhelming task. To narrow things down, here are four key factors for small businesses in particular to keep in mind as they evaluate different products:

Which Applications to Prioritize?
Because CRM encompasses so many functions (e.g., sales, marketing and customer service), many entry-level products are actually “best-of-breed” solutions. This means they focus on only one of the core applications listed above (although all CRM systems will provide some level of contact management functionality). “Integrated suites,” meaning solutions combining multiple applications in one software package (often billed as “professional” or “enterprise” editions) are much more expensive.

So before you begin shopping, start with a clear assessment of exactly which functions you need. The “Best for...” column in the chart above provides recommendations as to which types of companies may need which applications.

System Complexity and Ease-of-Use
Many small businesses we speak with say they’re replacing their CRM system because it’s too complicated or difficult to use. And if your employees find it too burdensome to input data into your program, you’ll wind up with a spotty, incomplete customer database, which defeats the entire purpose of having a system in place.

As a result, small businesses should pay particular attention to ease-of-use as they evaluate CRM software options. Consider solutions with smart, intuitive interfaces. Also, take advantage of the demos and trials offered by many companies to get a real sense of how user-friendly a system is.

Integration Considerations
While small businesses may not have as many integration requirements as larger companies, you should still consider CRM solutions that integrate with programs that you and your employees already use, such as email clients, calendars and accounting software.

For instance, integration with email clients such as Outlook and Gmail will make it much easier to import contacts and conversations into your new system. It also allows your employees to continue using the programs they’re comfortable with, while ensuring your contact database remains comprehensive and up-to-date.

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