7 Top-Rated Affordable CRM Software

By: Saumya Srivastava on April 17, 2024

Small business sales, marketing, and customer service teams can ditch data overload, missed leads, and blind sales pipelines with a budget-friendly customer relationship management (CRM) system. The tool organizes customer information, streamlines workflows, and personalizes interactions to build lasting customer relationships without breaking the bank. 

This article lists seven top-rated affordable CRM software solutions based on verified user reviews and pricing found on vendor websites. Per our research, we’ve considered products with base plans priced less than $42 per month as affordable software and arranged them in ascending order of their prices. Read more.

The software tools listed in this article focus on maintaining long-term customer relationships with features that efficiently capture customer data, track interactions, manage past communications, and draft compelling marketing content.

What is a base software plan?

A base plan is the most affordable pricing tier offered by a software provider. Besides having the lowest price, base plans provide access to all core software features. However, they may have limitations compared to higher-tier plans in terms of the available functionality, storage capacity, number of user seats, support options, etc.

We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between March 2022 - March 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.

1. EngageBay

CRM capabilities within EngageBay offer a 360-degree customer view that centralizes all customer interactions and information into a unified platform. The data is segmented into customer profiles, including contact information (name, phone number, and email), communication history (via email, chats, and calls, social media profiles), website activity, lead score and qualification, and purchase history. Users can tailor communication efforts based on individual customer preferences and past behavior. 

The base price plan for EngageBay CRM comes with integration capabilities and up to 250 branded email templates per month. It also allows users to manage up to 500 contacts. Switching to a high-end plan enables users to manage up to 20,000 to 30,000 contacts and email templates per month.

Base plan features:*

  • Custom deal milestones: Define and track customer stages within the sales pipeline. The feature allows the creation of customized stages to reflect the different steps in the sales journey. 

  • Reporting dashboard: Visualize customer activities and trends using bar charts, line graphics, pie charts, and tables. The feature allows customizing the dashboard layout to include the specific metrics most relevant to the current business goals.

  • Tag management: Define tags relevant to the business, such as ‘marketing qualified lead,’ ‘trial user,’ or ‘high-value customer.’ The feature allows users to manually add or remove tags to individual contact profiles based on specific criteria. 

Starting price: $11.04 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $42.49 per user per month

Billing cycle: Biennial

Customer support options: FAQs, emails, video tutorials, blogs, chat, and guides

Who should consider EngageBay?

Sales, marketing, and customer service teams looking to manage all aspects of the customer journey within a single platform can leverage EngageBay CRM. The tool simplifies workflows and improves data visibility with features, such as tag management, reporting dashboards, and custom deal milestones. Customer support teams can access complete customer profiles before interactions, allowing them to personalize and address specific customer needs. The tool leverages past interactions to resolve ongoing issues, customer demographics, and agents’ handling experience.

EngageBay CRM

EngageBay CRM

4.66 out of 5 stars

721 reviews

2. monday sales CRM

monday sales CRM software allows the creation of custom pipelines with pre-built templates listing common stages, such as prospecting, qualification, closing, and proposal. Users can customize each stage with specific criteria to move deals between stages. They can organize data by segregating 'tasks to complete,' 'documents to upload,' or 'pending approvals' before moving to the next stage. 

monday sales CRM’s base plan offers unlimited, customizable pipelines and contact profile creation. This plan also includes free dashboards that can be customized based on the created Kanban boards. Upgrading to a premium plan enables customization with up to 50 boards along with an artificial intelligence email generator and multiple dashboard views.

Base plan features:*

  • View-only access: Give read-only user access to data and dashboards. The feature allows users to grant and revoke access at any time. 

  • Web forms: Use a drag-and-drop interface to build lead generation web forms with varied fields, including name, email, and phone number, as well as dropdown menus and checkboxes. 

  • Kanban board: Use a Kanban-style board to list all the deals as cards that move across the pipeline stages. The feature allows customizing the visual elements of the board, such as card colors or labels, based on the user’s preference.

Starting price: $12 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $17 per user per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base, chat, FAQs, webinars, blogs, help center, and user community

Who should consider monday sales CRM?

monday sales CRM benefits adaptable and growing sales and marketing teams. The tool allows users to adjust and modify the sales pipeline and visualize workflows with Kanban boards for performance tracking. This flexibility enhances collaboration across geographically dispersed teams and helps members understand the customer journey to ensure successful customer relationship management.

monday sales CRM

monday sales CRM

4.72 out of 5 stars

387 reviews

Pro tip

Identify your business's core needs from a CRM tool before dicing into software comparison. These may include lead management, sales task prioritization, or setting pricing for quality customer service.

3. Upnify

Upnify CRM software tracks the sales pipeline from initial leads to closed deals. The tool facilitates customer communication through various channels, including calls, emails, and text messages. Users can generate custom reports via the tool’s dashboard, which lists key metrics, including sales performance and customer interactions. The dashboard also helps identify lead generation sources and assess their effectiveness, sales pipeline stages, deal conversion rates, customer communication trends, and engagement levels. 

The base plan for Upnify offers up to 10GB storage, 10 email and message templates, and three quoting formats. Switching to a higher plan allows up to 100GB of storage, over 100 templates, and 10 quoting formats, along with priority support and integration.

Base plan features:*

  • Email engagement tracking: Integrate email providers (such as Gmail or Outlook) to track email engagement metrics. These include open rates with the percentage of recipients who open the email and click-through rates with the recipients who click on a link within the email. 

  • Pre-built templates: Leverage the tool’s pre-built email, SMS, and sales quoting templates to save time when creating them from scratch. The feature allows users to customize the templates for the desired text, formatting, and style. 

  • Contact registration: Register visitors' contacts on the business website and social media. The feature stores all contact information in the system for marketing campaigns and automatically updates the contact information for every new visitor. 

Starting price: $14 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $20 per three users per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: FAQs, help center, phone calls and emails

Who should consider Upnify?

Sales, marketing, or customer support teams looking to enhance communication via email and social media and track their target user’s engagement can leverage Upnify. Its automatic contact registration feature ensures that every lead is captured and targeted in the marketing campaigns. This is a valuable solution for teams who don’t have adequate resources for engagement tracking but want to send out bulk emails.

Upnify CRM

Upnify CRM

4.76 out of 5 stars

62 reviews

4. ForceManager

CRM capabilities within ForceManager allow you to capture initial lead information and convert it into an opportunity to begin the sales process. Users can add essential details, such as the potential deal value, contact information for key decision-makers, and desired closing date. These created opportunities are linked to the sales pipeline, allowing users to visualize their progress through various stages of the funnel, including ‘qualification,’ ‘proposal sent,’ or ‘negotiation.’ 

ForceManager’s base subscription plan offers up to 2000 contacts, 750 opportunities, 1000 batches, 250 geolocations per month, 1GB file storage, and 1GB data storage. Upgrading to a higher plan increases the limit to 100,000 contacts and opportunities, 20,000 batches, 1000 geolocations per month, 5GB file storage, and 10GB data storage.

Base plan features:*

  • Activity and call tracking: Capture call details, including caller ID, call duration, and notes taken during the call. The feature allows incoming and outgoing call logging through mobile applications or integrated phone systems. 

  • Geolocated visits: Visualize the location of sales representatives and customer appointments on a map. The feature allows sales representatives to check in at a customer location for scheduled appointments.

  • Video call integration: Initiate video calls from within the system to connect with the on-field representatives. The feature allows recording these calls to assess their performance and train them for future opportunities.

Starting price: $14.50 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $19.50 per user per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Online ticket, support portal, chat, emails, webinars, FAQs, and blogs

Who should consider ForceManager?

ForceManager’s geolocated visitors, opportunities, and video call integration features assist in managing on-field sales representatives. The activity and call tracking capabilities further assist back-office support agents in remotely addressing customer or representative queries. Sales representatives can use the tool’s mobile application to access customer data, log interactions, and manage tasks remotely.

ForceManager

ForceManager

4.51 out of 5 stars

111 reviews

Pro tip

Leverage vendor-provided demos, free trials, online guides, webinars, and training to understand the selected tool’s core capabilities. These resources allow users to test essential CRM interface functionalities and evaluate the tool’s integration with their existing workflow.

5. Less Annoying CRM

This customer relationship management system allows you to organize and manage team tasks for all the relationship management activities. Users can set up task sharing using access controls and sync the task schedules with Google Calendar for easy access on the mobile application. The tool’s lead report shows an up-to-date list of every lead in the pipeline, including the status and priority of the lead, contact information, and notes from the last interaction. 

Less Annoying CRM’s base subscription plan offers unlimited contacts, client accounts, and pipelines. It provides 25GB of file storage, email logging, user permissions, and mobile access. Users with custom needs can switch to a premium plan by contacting the vendor.

Base plan features:*

  • Email logs: Record and store information about sent and received emails. This includes the sender's and receiver's names, email addresses, time stamps, dates, subject lines, and attached documents. 

  • User permissions: Share emails and lead data with other users using access controls. The feature generates login credentials for all the users to access the shared information on any device. 

  • Collaboration: Create custom fields for contacts, companies, and pipelines to store and track specific details. Pipelines are attached to these records to track workflows or opportunities.

Starting price: $15 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: Available upon request from the vendor

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Blogs, help center, chat, how-to articles, phone calls and emails

Who should consider Less Annoying CRM?

Less Annoying CRM’s task management and sharing feature can benefit marketing and sales teams looking to enhance communication and ensure everyone is on the same page on task updates. Users can also share specific emails, leads, and data with team members using access controls. This provides granular control over information access and protects it from accidental deletion or unauthorized access.

Less Annoying CRM

Less Annoying CRM

4.79 out of 5 stars

592 reviews

6. eWay-CRM

eWay-CRM allows converting email to contacts, tasks, and deals. The tool recognizes actionable items within an email, such as mentioned deadlines, a request requiring follow-ups, or any information suggesting a to-do item. The identified requirements are automatically converted into an email with a detailed body and subject line for quick task reference. Users can customize details, such as due dates, assign specific team members, and add additional notes. 

The base plan subscription for eWay-CRM offers web, desktop, and mobile applications access. Users get up to three calendars, predefined user roles, and up to 10GB of cloud storage. Switching to a higher-price plan offers unlimited calendar syncs, user view modules, and up to 50GB of cloud storage.

Base plan features:*

  • Duplicity checker: Compare the information entered in the designated field against existing entries in the database. The feature matches the database and flags duplicate values. 

  • Document version: Track changes to an uploaded document and revert to previous versions if required. The feature allows users to restrict view access and revert the document to its previous version. 

  • Caller identification: Integrate the phone system directly into the CRM system to recognize incoming calls from existing contacts within the system. This allows real-time caller ID information to be automatically displayed during incoming calls.

Starting price: $15 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $20 per user per month

Billing cycle: Triennial

Customer support options: FAQs, blogs, tutorial videos, how-to articles, e-books, and chat

Who should consider eWay-CRM?

Sales teams can leverage the email parsing feature of the eWay-CRM platform to simplify lead capturing, task management for follow-ups, and caller identification for improved customer targeting. Customer support teams can also use the tool to automatically convert customer inquiries into tasks for efficient resolutions, caller identification for personalized service, and document versioning for knowledge base management.

eWay-CRM

eWay-CRM

4.56 out of 5 stars

578 reviews

Pro tip

Consider user roles and permissions to maintain data security and privacy within the CRM system. This ensures that sensitive customer information is only accessible to authorized users.

7. Nutshell

CRM capabilities of Nutshell leverage AI to automate content summarization, keyword search, and extract customer or client data via pictures. All the gathered data, including emails, calls, notes, text messages, and scanned documents, is stored as timelines within the system. Nutshell’s AI analyzes the content of the communication history within the timelines to identify key points and extracts the most relevant information from each communication. This includes identifying keywords and phrases indicating significant events or decisions, recognizing deadlines, action items, or commitments, and highlighting key points from notes or summaries added to the timeline. 

The base price plan for Nutshell offers unlimited data storage and contact records, up to five lead capture forms, and a customizable pipeline. It also helps users summarize two timelines per user per month. Switching to a higher-price plan offers unlimited access to the base plan features with up to 100 per user, per month timeline summarizations.

Base plan features:*

  • Business card scanning: Scan a business card with the tool’s mobile application. The feature captures business card information using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract text from the image. This includes the user’s name, company name, phone number, email address, and other relevant information.

  • Intelligent search: Search various data fields within the saved timelines using keywords and phrases. These include contact names and details, company information, deal names, and content within emails and call notes.

  • Timeline summaries: Analyze the content within the system’s communication history on the timeline. The feature focuses on identifying and extracting key points into actionable insights. 

Starting price: $16 per user per month

Cost to upgrade: $42 per user per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: FAQs, help center, blogs, playbook, and chat

Who should consider Nutshell?

Sales and marketing teams looking to review and analyze the entire customer communication timeline efficiently can consider Nutshell. The tool’s data extraction and summarization capabilities simplify long-standing relationships or complex interactions to give accurate outcomes in less time and effort. These further enhance the decision-making process for sales targeting and marketing initiatives.

Nutshell

Nutshell

4.29 out of 5 stars

461 reviews

Top 5 CRM software features users rate as highly critical

All the products listed in this article include the features mentioned below. To identify these, we asked users to rate, on a scale of “low importance” to “critical,” how important different features are for CRM software. The features showcased are those that the highest percentage of reviewers rated as “highly important” or “critical” over the past two years (as of March 19, 2024).

Feature name

Criticality rating (%)

Description

Contact database

91%

Create customer and client profiles with their contact information, such as name, phone number, and email address.

Contact management

91%

Manage, organize, and store customer and client contact information.

Activity dashboard

85%

View the status of ongoing processes, identify current incidents, and track past activities.

Customizable fields

83%

Describe assets for the type of category or metadata created on a need basis.

Lead management

82%

Store information about leads and contacts and track them through the sales process.

How much does CRM software cost?

A CRM tool can cost as low as $11 per user per month or up to $67.99+ per user per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, form and letter templates, AI capabilities, training availability, deployment options, and storage. Most CRM solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: No-cost plans ranging from a week to a month, giving users access to all or limited software features. These are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free version: A free plan offers access to basic features, such as lead management and contact management, and limited premium features, such as AI email generation. These are ideal for small business owners with a limited budget.

  • Entry-level: Starts at $11 per user per month and offers essential CRM features, such as time tracking, contact management, lead management, reporting dashboard, language translations, document templates, AI summarization, and email content generation. These are ideal for small businesses and teams with basic CRM platform needs.

  • Mid-tier: Range from $17 to $59 per user per month and offers features, such as an optical character reader, customizable workflows, AI workflow automation, calendar, board, and list views. These are ideal for small businesses and teams that have outgrown basic CRM solutions and don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end: Advanced software plans go up to or over $67.99 per user per month and offer unlimited entry-level and mid-tier features with cloud storage and priority support. These advanced features are ideal for larger businesses spread across the globe.

Hidden costs associated with affordable CRM software

Besides the software license, additional costs include:

  • Implementation and training: Include data migration, customization, and employee training. These can be substantial, especially for complex systems or large organizations.

  • Cloud storage: The additional digital storage costs can add up quickly, particularly for larger campaigns and customer data.

  • Add-ons: Additional costs may be incurred for including add-ons or optional modules offered by the software vendor.

Frequently asked questions when selecting affordable CRM software

Here are some questions to ask software providers before making a final purchase of the best CRM software:

  • What are the CRM features covered in the base plan?

The CRM solution features vary for the entry-level, mid-tier, and high-end plans. Some vendors offer custom pricing plans with specific features required by the businesses. This makes it important to assess the features needed to meet the business goals and match them with the base plan of the selected CRM solution. Some core features to look for include contact management, lead generation, marketing automation, and interaction tracking.

  • Are there any user limitations in the base plan?

Most affordable CRM software tools on this list are priced per user per month, and their base plans offer single-user access to their features. Users can either pay a per-new user fee or upgrade to a higher plan to match the team size. 

  • Is there a limit to the number of contacts added to the system?

Some tools offer unlimited contact repositories, while others have a set limit to their base plan. Users need to assess if the provided contact repository count in the selected tool’s base plan matches their business requirements or if they should keep looking to find the most suited one.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, each product:

  • Should be a part of Software Advice’s Frontrunners Report 2024 for CRM software.

  • Include contact management, interaction tracking, and lead management as core features.

  • Must meet our market definition for CRM software: “CRM software enables customer interaction, support, and relationship management.”

  • For all the 25 products included in the FrontRunners report, we assessed the monthly subscription price of the base plans and found the average price to be $42—we considered only products with publicly available pricing information. We then shortlisted products with a monthly base price lower than $42 for this article.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of March 19, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from CRM software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website.  

Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s CRM software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them.

Editorial independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.