10 Best CRMs for Small Business Needs in 2024

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The best CRMs for small businesses are ones that offer excellent value for money, adequate customization capabilities, affordable scaling, and an intuitive interface.

With ample options, we’ve shortlisted 10 of the best small business CRM providers, outlining their key USPs, who they’re best suited for, and their standout pros and cons to help you find the one that best suits your business.

The 10 Best Small Business CRM Systems

If you’re not familiar with the customer relationship management market, it may be challenging to pick the best small business CRM software for you. Here are the market’s top options:

  1. Salesforce — Best CRM small business solution for sales teams.
  2. Monday — Best small business CRM software for ease of use.
  3. Pipedrive — Best for email marketing.
  4. Zoho CRM Best budget CRM for AI capabilities.
  5. Freshsales — Best entry-level CRM for beginners.
  6. Bonsai — Best small business CRM for freelancers.
  7. HubSpot — Best free small business CRM.
  8. Act! — Best for on-premise CRM software.
  9. Zendesk Sell — Best for customer-facing teams.
  10. Maximizer — Best for automation tools.

The Best Small Business CRM Solutions Reviewed

Want to learn more about our top 10 small business CRM systems? We’ve reviewed each product in more detail below.

1. Salesforce Best Small Business CRM for Sales Teams

Best For Sales teams
Price $25/m per user
Free Version 30-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Salesforce is the best CRM system for small business teams focused on sales. It also has powerful tools for customer service, marketing, and analytics.

It’s unsurprising that it’s used by big names like American Express and Adidas. It lets you set tasks and priorities, manage leads, and drive contact management with everything logged on a calendar.

Furthermore, you can set statuses and assign leads to your agents with one click. You can also call leads directly from the platform, send them emails, or create new tasks and events for your agents.

Salesforce can help you organize your agents, plan ahead, estimate your sales pipeline value, and ensure you take advantage of every opportunity to close deals.

While Salesforce isn’t the easiest CRM, and it can be costly for some small business owners, many still find it well worth every penny.

Read our Salesforce review

Prospros

  • Ideal for sales companies
  • AI-generated reports
  • Jam-packed with features
  • Has a free trial
  • Highly scalable and customizable

Conscons

  • Can he expensive for some
  • Has a learning curve

2. Monday.com Best CRM for Ease of Use

A logo of Monday

Best For Ease of use
Price $9/m per user
Free Version Yes, up to 2 users
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Monday is easily one of the best small business CRMs, especially in terms of ease of use and affordability. It’s great for teams in sales, marketing, project management, and dev ops.

Despite being cheap, Monday offers ample features, even on the Standard plan. For example, you can even customize lead reports and add prospect statuses.

The lead scoring feature helps you prioritize potential customers, ensuring you allocate resources as effectively as possible. Monday also offers a huge number of templates.

Thanks to its broad functionality and extensive task management tools, Monday.com is among the best project management tools currently on the market.

The comprehensive workflow automation helps small businesses speed up their work. You can create new events and set dates, and Monday will provide you with detailed updates when relevant.

You can also connect Monday CRM with other popular apps, such as Zoom, Google Calendar, Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and LinkedIn, to keep everything centralized.

Read More: Our full Monday review

Prospros

  • Multi-purposed CRM
  • Supports Gmail, Zoom, Outlook, and others
  • Workflow automations feature
  • iOS and Android apps

Conscons

  • No integrations or automations on the starter plan

3. Pipedrive Best Small Business CRM Software for Email Marketing

A logo of Pipedrive

Best For Email marketing
Price $14.90/m per user
Free Version 14-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Pipedrive is incredibly easy to navigate, which is one of the many reasons over 100,000 companies use it. It thrives in pipeline management and is excellent for email marketing, too.

This CRM software can help you close deals faster, find new leads, manage customer relationships, set goals, and track progress. Leadbooster plays a vital role in boosting your conversion rates.

This feature allows you to integrate a chatbot into your website to acquire more leads. And while you can only send 100 emails at a time, this is generally more than enough for startups.

Unlike many of the best email marketing CRMs, like Freshsales, which caps you to 1,000 contacts, Pipedrive lets you have unlimited contacts on the first paid plan.

You can easily automate the stages of your sales pipeline as well, segment your contacts for personalized messaging and marketing, and loads more, all without breaking the bank.

Read More: Our full Pipedrive review

Prospros

  • Customizable platform
  • Leadbooster feature
  • Excellent email marketing capabilities
  • Mobile CRM application
  • Very budget-friendly and scalable

Conscons

  • Minor technical issues on mobile apps

4. Zoho CRM Best Budget CRM for AI Capabilities

Zoho - Suitable for Small to Midsize Businesses

Best For Budget CRM for AI features
Price $14/m per user
Free Version Free for 3 users + 30-day free trial
Mobile Support iPhone, iPad, and Android

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution trusted by over 250,000 businesses. As an integral part of Zoho Office Suite, this tool is simple to use and packed with tons of valuable features.

The interface is intuitive, with all essential features in the navigation menu at the top of the page. From there, you can quickly access leads, contacts, deals, calls, reports, analytics, and more.

You can create detailed client records, send emails, and set up blueprints. The blueprints feature is ideal for smaller-scale sales companies and ensures your agents follow the sales process.

Zoho CRM offers an AI companion, Zia. This powerful tool can help you get more leads and boost your sales. Zia can take notes, collect documents, and even predict the outcome of sales.

The Standard package costs only $14/m per user, making Zoho CRM among the most affordable CRMs today. You can register for free and try it for a full month.

Read More: Our full Zoho CRM review

Prospros

  • A massive number of features
  • Advanced sales pipeline and contact management
  • AI-powered assistant
  • Affordable pricing plans

Conscons

  • AI is only on premium subscription plans

5. Freshsales Best Small Business CRM for Beginners 

Freshsales CRM and Lead Management Super-easy Sales Tool

Best For Beginners
Price $9/m per user
Free Version Forever plan + 21-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Freshsales is ideal for entry-level users as the platform is intuitive and easy to navigate. On top of that, this is one of the few CRM tools that rely on AI to help you get the most out of this tool.

Like Zoho, Freshsales offers a user-friendly AI assistant. Freddy analyzes customer engagement history to predict whether a lead is a potential client.

It also offers an easy drag-and-drop landing page builder and is great for small business email marketing. The starter plan allows you to store 1,000 contacts and send 250 emails a day.

Freshsales offers numerous plans, including a free plan. Growth is just $9/user/month and includes account management, sales sequences, and up to 500 AI sessions with Freddy.

Read More: Our full Freshsales review

Prospros

  • Sales-oriented CRM platform
  • AI-powered forecasting insights
  • 500 bot sessions with Freddy
  • Built-in email, chat, and phone features

Conscons

  • No task reminders

6. Bonsai Best Small Business CRM for Freelancers 

A logo of Bonsai

Best For Freelancers
Price $21 per month
Free Version 7-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Bonsai is the best CRM for small business owners and an excellent tool for all freelancers and solopreneurs. Although costlier than some of the other options, it’s an all-in-one powerhouse.

For starters, you can use the Proposals feature to create a perfect job offer to potential clients. Choose a template you like the most and increase your chances of landing a more significant job.

Top lawyers create Bonsai Contracts so you can protect your business with legally binding documents. But that’s not all – you get built-in time tracking, and there are invoicing tools.

There’s even task management capabilities and excellent lead management features. You can create custom lead scoring rules, add notes to leads and customers, and add custom tags.

Beyond all this, Bonsai offers ample templates perfect for small businesses that need a little guidance with getting started. This includes client feedback or intake forms, for example.

Prospros

  • Ideal for individual contractors
  • Free project collaborations
  • Contract and tax assistant
  • Scheduling feature

Conscons

  • Expense tracking only works in the US and Canada

7. HubSpot Best Freemium CRM Software for Small Business

A logo of HubSpot

Best For Free CRM tools
Price $9/m per user
Free Version Free plan + 14-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

HubSpot is easily the best free CRM tool for small businesses. This plan includes features spanning all of its hubs, including Marketing, Sales, Service, Operations, and CMS Hub packages.

The CRM comes with a comprehensive manual on using the platform to get more customers, for example, via social media marketing to gain leads, boost sales, and enhance customer service.

HubSpot literally has everything a small and growing business would need, including phenomenal automation capabilities. For example, you can automate your customer service with live chat software.

Beyond all this, it even offers an online meeting scheduler and excellent deal pipeline management capabilities that let you visualize where each lead is in your funnel.

Paid plans start at just $9/month, making it one of the more affordable CRM systems for small businesses.

Read More: Our full HubSpot review

Prospros

  • A wide variety of products
  • Website builder
  • Very generous free plan
  • Excellent automation
  • Ideal for marketing

Conscons

  • Has a learning curve

8. Act! Best for On-Premise CRM Software

A logo of Act! CRM

Best For On-premise software
Price $30/mo per user
Free Version 14-day free trial
Mobile Support iPhone and Android

Act! is a top-rated CRM for small businesses built with smaller marketing and sales teams in mind. The platform looks straightforward yet highly functional.

You can create rich lead profiles to customize your client approach, bind calls, notes, emails, and documents together, and access everything from one place.

Moreover, unlike some other CRMs, Act! can be accessed online or offline from your desktop computer or mobile phone, and it’s one of very few to offer both cloud and on-premise options.

Act! can undoubtedly help you maintain and grow your client base. But this isn’t its only value. This CRM management software is great for scheduling tasks and automating processes.

You can import multiple email templates and create autoresponders to make your marketing campaign more efficient and get more time to deal with other relevant tasks.

Act! has two versions: desktop and cloud. The first costs $37.50/mo, while the other is slightly cheaper—$30/mo per user. You can try Act! free for 14 days to see if it fits your goals and preferences.

Read More: Our full Act! review

Prospros

  • Email marketing features
  • Marketing automation
  • Desktop and cloud-based versions
  • Available offline

Conscons

  • Outdated design
  • Can be expensive for some

9. Zendesk Sell — Best for Customer Service Teams

A logo of Zendesk

Best For Customer-facing teams
Price $19/m per user
Free Version 14-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Zendesk Sell is a popular sales and customer service CRM software that allows you to call your prospects, email them, and take notes directly from the platform.

Zendesk Sell’s lead database is neat and well-organized, so you’ll have no trouble adding comments or changing lead statuses. It also does a wonderful job of creating new prospect profiles.

Every time you receive an email in sales or customer service, it collects customer data from the email and creates a new lead for you.

Its dashboard offers user-specific details, as well as the number of new deals, completed tasks, installments, revenue, or appointments. Moreover, you can customize it with drag-and-drop ease.

Zendesk Sell costs only $19/m per user. This includes up to 2 customizable sales pipelines, call tracking and recording, and email and calendar integrations. There’s also a 14-day free trial.

Read More: Our full Zendesk review

Prospros

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Advanced sales reports
  • Forecasting and goal-tracking
  • Demo and 14-day free trial

Conscons

  • No phone support

10. Maximizer — Best for Automation Tools

A logo of Maximizer

Best For Automation tools
Price $65/m per user
Free Version 30-day free trial
Mobile Support iOS and Android

Maximizer is one of the best CRM solutions for sales acceleration and workflow automation. It helps you monitor sales processes by collecting customer data.

This data helps identify effective strategies. Maximizer also offers many useful tools built to increase prospect reach and boost closed sales percentages. For example, the Interactions Report offers a detailed task summary.

You can find information about a specific time frame, interactions, or users. The summary report will inform you about completed and incomplete actions.

Get the exact number of appointments your team made, a list of ongoing tasks, and even which communication channels your employees use to interact with clients.

Maximizer’s price point may prove too high for some small business owners, but many find the automation and insights invaluable and worth the money.

Prospros

  • High-quality sales CRM platform
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Simple to navigate platform
  • Available in demo mode

Conscons

  • Can be expensive for small businesses

The 10 Best Small Business CRMs Compared

Here’s a detailed overview of the best CRM solutions for small businesses. Check the table below for more information.

Small Business CRM Systems Best For Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support
Salesforce Sales teams $25/m per user Free for 3 users + 14-day free trial iOS and Android
Monday Ease of use $9/m per user Free for up to 2 users iOS and Android
Pipedrive Email marketing $14.90/m per user 14-day free trial iOS and Android
Zoho CRM Budget CRM for AI features $14/m per user 30-day free trial iPhone, iPad, and Android
Freshsales Beginners $9/m per user Forever-free plan + 21-day free trial iOS and Android
Bonsai Freelancers $21 per month 7-day free trial iOS and Android
Hubspot Free CRM tools $15/m per user Free plan + 14-day free trial iOS and Android
Act! On-premise option $30/mo per user 14-day free trial iPhone and Android
Zendesk Sell Customer-facing teams $19/m per user 14-day free trial iOS and Android
Maximizer Automation $65/m per user 30-day free trial iOS and Android

Why Small Businesses Need CRM Software

Many small business owners struggle to realize the impact of customer relationship management on their company’s performance. Many still rely on spreadsheets and deal with messy, inaccurate, or outdated data.

Here are some of the main reasons why small businesses need a CRM:

Centralizing Your Data

Centralizing Your Data

With a CRM system, you can centralize everything, including internal and external communications, customer data (contact details, preferences, and past purchases and interactions with your business), and everything in between.

Add integrations to this (with your email client, Slack, and similar), and you won’t have to open five, six, or seven different apps to get the details you need. All relevant information can be in one software.

Personalize Your Marketing

Personalize Your Marketing

With all of this data being accessible to all your teams and updated in real-time, your sales and marketing teams with have the information they need to personalize their messaging. This is known to improve conversion rates and is a must-have for closing more deals.

Automation

Automation

The best small business customer relationship management tools offer numerous ways to help your teams save time. Take lead scoring, for example.

The tool automatically scores potential customers based on their engagement/interest in your brand, allowing your teams to better prioritize leads. Automatic data entry and task assignment are another example, as is automated email marketing.

Gain Valuable Insights

Gain Valuable Insights

Most platforms are equipped with advanced reporting features, and sales performance reports can give you a better insight into how your sales rep performed. You can also see how many deals your team closed and the total revenue your company generated.

Forecast reports can help you predict revenue over a specific period of time, and you’ll find most offer in-depth email marketing reports, too, so you’ll know how many emails are opened, the bounce rate, and the click-through rate, for example.

Improve Customer Relationships

Improve Customer Relationships

With in-depth customer data, you’ll be able to better understand the needs and preferences of your customers to provide a more personalized experience and better customer support. This makes it easier to keep customers happy and ultimately encourages repeat business.

Methodology

How We Review And Test CRM Software

We base our recommendations on first-hand testing. All the CRM Software products we feature, have been tested based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of Use: We assess the CRM service’s overall UX across platforms. Some CRM services we’ve used have a learning curve, so we also factor in their online documentation.
  • Functionality: We consider the depth of features on offer, including contact, lead, and pipeline management, marketing capabilities, and the depth of reporting on offer.
  • Integrations: We assess the CRM platform’s ability to integrate with essential everyday tools like email marketing services, accounting software, and ERPs, for example.
  • Security and Compliance: We look for features like data encryption, role-based access controls, GDPR compliance, and industry-specific regulations like HIPAA.
  • Customization: We check for features like custom fields, workflows, and automation rules, to assess whether the platform can be tailored to specific needs and industries.
  • Value for Money: We weigh the feature-to-price value on offer and consider whether the provider offers affordable scalability.
  • Mobile Accessibility: To ensure sales reps and managers can use the CRM on the go, we test the mobile apps available and evaluate their functionality.
  • Reputation: We don’t waste our time with tools that don’t have a good reputation. We note what other users have to say to ensure we offer full insight into the tools we feature.

How to Choose the Best Small Business CRM Solution

Finding the best CRM for a small business is challenging. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you make your decision:

Ease of UseCRM FeaturesCustomer SupportValue for MoneyScalability

Where one business finds a particular tool easy to use, another may find it has a learning curve. Some tools, like Salesforce, are known to have a learning curve, but this doesn’t make users feel any less satisfied.

Overall, we recommend using any free trials or plans to test the platform yourself and prioritizing tools with ample online resources and quality support.

The best CRM solution for a small business will offer plenty of tools to improve your marketing campaigns, sales processes, and customer relations.

Certain features, like integrations and some reporting capabilities, are often reserved for higher-end plans, so it’s key to pinpoint the features you need to ensure that you get them on a plan you can afford.

Read More: 

No matter how straightforward your CRM is, some minor technical issues can occur. You should pick a CRM that has solid customer support spanning multiple communication channels, such as live chat, email, and phone support. Also, make sure customer support is available 24/7, as you never know when the issue might arise.

We wouldn’t advise just opting for a free or cheap CRM – instead, factor in the value for money on offer. Salesforce is costlier than some, but it offers incredible value for money in terms of the feature-to-price value on the basic plan.

While a free or cheap plan may be best for your small business now, it’s a good idea to factor in your future needs. How much will it cost to scale with the provider, and are there plan limitations that may pose a problem?

Read More: 

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…