The 10 Best CRM Solutions for Small Businesses in the UK in 2024

With one of the best small business CRM services, UK business owners can centralize all their customer data, improve their customer service, streamline marketing efforts, and boost their sales — all without breaking the bank.

That said, with so many options, finding the best small business CRM software can be challenging. To help, we’ve compiled this list of the market’s top options for startups and nonprofits, factoring in affordability, scalability, ease of use, and functionality.

The Best CRM Platforms for Small Business Needs

The Best Small Business CRM Software Companies Compared

Need more help picking the best CRM for small business UK needs? Here’s a comparison of the market’s top options:

CRM Tools Price (Paid Plans) Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
Monday CRM £8.50/seat/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS Timeline & Gantt views, 20+ column types, Whiteboard collaboration
Pipedrive £14.90/user/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS 350+ integrations, mass email, Smart docs
HubSpot £27/user/month A free plan Android, iOS Deal, call, and email tracking, Form & landing page builder, Reporting dashboard
Act! £25/user/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS Browser-based access, World-class, secure hosting, Optional desktop sync
Bonsai $17/month – annual plan
(£13.50)
7-day free trial Android, iOS Task & Time Tracking, Unlimited Scheduling events, Connect Multiple Bank Accounts
Zoho £12/user/month – annual plan 15-day free trial Android, iOS Advanced analytics tools, Dedicated admin panel, State-of-the-art customization
Freshsales £12/user/month – billed annually A free plan Android, iOS Personalize, schedule, and automate emails, Custom reports and schedules, Seamless automations
Maximizer £45/user/month A free demo Android, iOS Sales rep data, Pre-configured dashboards & reports, Maximizer productivity improvements
Salesforce £20/user/month – annual plan 30-day free trial Android and iPhone Email Integration, Sales Engagement and Insights, Workflow and Approval Automation
Zendesk Sell £15/user/month 14-day free trial Android, iOS Industry-leading ticketing system, Easy-to-set-up automations & workflows, Unified agent workspace

1. Monday CRM — The Best Small Business CRM for Ease of Use

A logo of Monday

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£8.50/seat/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS Timeline & Gantt views, 20+ column types, Whiteboard collaboration

Monday.com’s CRM tool is best known for being easy to set up and work with. It covers everything you’ll need to effectively manage your customers, leads, and even your team.

For starters, Monday lets you collect leads from multiple sources — social media campaigns, lead generation forms, etc. —and centralize this data. Pipeline management with Monday is also effortless.

The interface is drag-and-drop, making changing lead stages a breeze. Plus, Monday offers easily one of the best project management and task management solutions integrated into the platform.

Everything, whether it’s customer interactions or internal communications, Monday centralizes everything into one neat, easily customizable dashboard.

As you’d expect, it also offers excellent email tracking capabilities, and you’ll be able to sync your Gmail or Outlook accounts to keep all your data in one place.

All of this—and loads more—makes it easily among the best CRM software solutions for small businesses looking to manage customer relationships, especially as it costs less than £ 9 per month.

Want to know more? Check out our full Monday.com review.

Pros

  • Numerous automation templates
  • Smooth onboarding process and training
  • Excellent project tracking visibility
  • Easy to organize workflow

Cons

  • Time tracking isn’t available with base plans

2. Pipedrive — Best for Pipeline Management and Handling Multiple Projects

A logo of Pipedrive

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£14.90/user/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS Over 350+ integrations, Group email and email scheduling, Smart docs

Pipedrive is a web-based sales CRM platform, meaning you don’t have to install any software to work with it. We also liked how you can manage multiple open deals at the same time.

The cheapest plan limits open deals to 3,000, which is ample for small businesses. For larger ones, it’s unlimited, making it an equally excellent option in terms of scalability.

As Pipedrive is known for its pipeline management capabilities, it’s unsurprising that one of the best things about this platform is that these pipelines are highly customizable.

You can have custom fields in your pipelines and CRM databases, and you can create different sales stages for each client and move the deal along with simple drag-and-drop ease.

You’ll also know if a deal has been sitting idle for too long. This will help you reassess the situation and approach the client again, or you can pull your resources and invest them elsewhere.

To add to Pipedrive’s suitability for small businesses, it’s incredibly easy to use and get started with. It offers one-click import/export for transferring your data, too.

Learn more with our full Pipedrive review.

Pros

  • Multiple customizable pipelines
  • An effective autofill feature
  • A comprehensive dashboard to prioritize tasks
  • Excellent funnel visibility makes tasks easy
  • Easy to learn

Cons

  • Phone support isn’t available with the basic tier

3. HubSpot — The Best Free CRM for Small Business UK Needs

A logo of HubSpot

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£27/user/month A free plan Android, iOS Deal, call, and email tracking, Form & landing page builder, Reporting dashboard

HubSpot CRM is popular, particularly for its free CRM. Whether you need marketing, sales, or CRM features, the HubSpot CRM system does it all — and the free version offers features spanning all of these hubs.

The best part about HubSpot CRM is that it’s highly scalable, catering to small businesses that need 2,000 contacts to large enterprises needing a full all-in-one solution.

We love how clean HubSpot’s dashboard is, too. Here you can get an easy overview of your entire sales pipeline, giving small business owners real-time insight and updates into everything happening.

HubSpot also offers lead and email tracking capabilities, letting you see where each lead is in your customer journey and how they’re interacting with your business and marketing campaigns.

There’s even a Meeting Scheduler that can be synced to your (or your team’s) calendar, allowing leads to book a meeting with you without the need for back-and-forth email threads.

Overall, although HubSpot does have a slightly higher learning curve than tools like Monday or Pipedrive, for example, many small businesses choose this CRM software because it offers insane value for money.

Learn more with our full HubSpot review.

Pros

  • A plethora of tools for effective CRM management
  • Makes social media management easy
  • A unified, integrated solution
  • Can personalize and set emails in a sequence
  • Has a generous free plan
  • Offers free marketing, CRM, and sales tools

Cons

  • It has a slight learning curve
  • It can be too costly for some businesses

4. Act! — Powerful Platform with Offline Access for Uninterrupted Work

A logo of Act! CRM

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£25/user/month – annual plan 14-day free trial Android, iOS Immediate, browser-based access, World-class, secure hosting, Optional desktop sync

Act! is an all-in-one customer management system. From marketing to sales and post-purchase management, Act! will help you take care of these processes, all from a single dashboard.

It’s super easy to manage customer information, communications, and preferences, to personalize your sales and marketing efforts to improve customer relationships and encourage repeat customers.

It offers simple drag-and-drop pipeline management, and the stages can be customized to your specific business. It also excels at lead management and workflow automation.

You can create lead forms and landing pages within the platform and automate your email marketing campaigns. Plus, we Act’s found email templates invaluable for small businesses.

During our test run with Act! CRM, we were impressed to see that, unlike most, it offers an on-premise solution, too—which is incredibly rare with relationship management CRM software.

That said, it can be a bit expensive for some small business owners, but this really depends on your specific needs and budget.

Read our Act! CRM review for more.

Pros

  • A quick search feature
  • Known for its Outlook integration
  • One of the most simple and easy-to-use CRMs
  • Effortless customization options
  • Easy to build reports

Cons

  • Can be expensive for startups

5. Bonsai — All-in-One CRM Best for Sales Teams

A logo of Bonsai

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
$17/month – annual plan
(£13.50)
7-day free trial Android, iOS Tasks & Time Tracking, Unlimited Scheduling events, Connect Multiple Bank Accounts

Bonsai’s CRM is an all-in-one machine that’s loved by many small businesses. Besides contact management, Bonsai helps you set up client contracts and process their payments too.

It’s even great for project management. We found the user interface was quite easy to navigate, letting you manage tasks, agreements, client onboarding, and billing, all on one platform.

It also comes loaded with highly customizable templates that are a must-have for small businesses. This includes client intake and registration forms for lead generation, for example.

Bonsai’s all-in-one nature makes it popular for startups and even freelancers who manage clients, as it lets you centralize customer communication, tasks, documents, and everything in between.

You can store all your customer information alongside the logged communications and add notes about each deal or lead. It even offers built-in team collaboration capabilities.

The client portal allows small businesses to offer added transparency, allowing clients to view the project’s progress, pending payments, contract details, and more.

Pros

  • Accurate time-tracking
  • Automates invoices and proposals
  • Enough features to maintain transparency with clients
  • Lots of payment options

Cons

  • A bit expensive compared to other options
6. Zoho CRM — Top CRM for Workflow Automation

6. Zoho CRM — Top CRM for High-End Workflow Automation

A logo of Zoho

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£12/user/month – annual plan A free plan Android, iOS Advanced analytics tools, Dedicated admin panel, State-of-the-art customization

Zoho is popular because, as with HubSpot, it offers multiple products, including Zoho Projects, for example. However, its intuitive CRM platform certainly takes the cake.

Like HubSpot, Zoho also offers a free forever plan, making it a leading option for small businesses, startups, and nonprofits. Besides this. Zoho CRM offers incredible automation features.

For instance, if you’re tired of manually sourcing leads, Zoho offers automated lead generation—finding prospects from chats, social media, websites, and trade shows.

Zoho CRM also offers lead scoring, where it’ll score prospects based on parameters you’ve set. This ranking makes it easy for your sales reps to prioritize leads based on their willingness to buy, for example.

You can also easily track customers and all the deals in progress. Divide the workflow into multiple stages, such as the Final Decision Stage, and list the relevant deals under these categories.

You’ll even get data on failed deals to help ensure you don’t repeat these mistakes. From mass email to a free subscription for 3 users, an intuitive interface, and powerful automation, this budget CRM is popular for a reason.

Here’s a detailed Zoho CRM review for more details.

Pros

  • Automations with all plans
  • Integrates well with other third-party apps
  • Has a solid reputation
  • Excellent analytics and visualization
  • A handy free plan

Cons

  • There’s a slight learning curve
  • Integration can be challenging
7. Freshsales — Best for Customer Service Teams

7. Freshsales — Best Small Business CRM Tool for Customer Service Teams

A logo of Freshsales

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£12/user/month – billed annually A free plan Android, iOS Personalize, schedule, and automate emails, Custom reports and schedules, Seamless automations

Freshsales is a feature-rich CRM tool that’s perfect for small businesses, but more so for customer service teams as it even offers integrated VoIP capabilities.

During our testing, we found it incredibly easy to use, too, making the entry-level plans even more enticing for small business owners. We also really liked how you can visualize your data in many ways.

From Kanban boards to list view and table, it reminded us a lot of Monday CRM in terms of its user interface. The timeline view is particularly handy for seeing every client interaction.

You can track email communications, chats on Messenger and Zoom, and calls, among other things, and even automatically log or record calls or redirect them to the right agent.

Freshsales’ automation features are also a key highlight of the platform. From sending welcome emails to sending invoices or qualifying leads, none of this is manual with Freshsales’ AI tools.

That said, with a limit of 10 sales pipelines, 100 workflows, and 5,000 emails, it’s worth considering whether Freshsales is a good option in the long run, especially if you’re after a CRM email marketing solution.

Need more? Here’s a full Freshsales review.

Pros

  • An excellent AI assistant
  • Importing data and sharing reports is easy
  • Simple APIs ensure smooth integration
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use UI

Cons

  • No reports in the free plan
8. Maximizer — Best for Sales Teams

8. Maximizer — Popular CRM for Managing the Entire Sales Process

A logo of Maximizer

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£45/user/month A free demo Android, iOS Sales rep data, Pre-configured dashboards & reports, Maximizer productivity improvements

Maximizer CRM is specifically built for sales leaders. You’ll see what’s been done, what’s happening, and by whom, making it incredibly easy to identify your best and worst performers.

One feature that we really liked was Maximizer’s reporting features; namely the Customer Health Analysis, which marks customers who are more likely to leave your service based on their interactions and engagement levels.

For example, if you have two clients at risk of leaving and one of them spends £10,000 on your service every month while the other only spends £500, you’ll know who to save first.

It’s heavily focused on sales and customer service, helping businesses get repeat customers and grow their customer base. That said, Maximizer does cost more than some rivals.

However, the setup is painless, there are pre-configured dashboards and reports to make getting started even easier, and you get guided onboarding—all big plusses for small business owners.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for sales and customer service teams
  • Has industry-leading analytics
  • An excellent sales team and support
  • Seamless data and contact management

Cons

  • Users have complained of a glitchy experience
9. Salesforce — Highly Popular for Marketing and Sales Teams

9. Salesforce — Incredibly Popular for Sales and Marketing Teams

A logo of Salesforce

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£20/user/month – annual plan 30-day free trial Android and iPhone Email Integration,
Sales Engagement and Insights, Workflow and Approval Automation

Salesforce is incredibly popular, and while it has a learning curve, it remains a top choice for small businesses. One of its most unique features is the Opportunity Split.

If your employees work on commission, this will calculate everyone’s share. You label who completed each part of the project, and Salesforce will help you split bonuses automatically.

Salesforce has also revolutionized the process of automatically connecting leads with the right rep. For example, let’s say you have leads flowing in from your website and a recent email campaign.

You can direct these streams of leads to two separate teams based on their activities. This will reduce the wait time for your leads and make it easier for your team to manage them.

Another feature that can make your life a lot easier is predictive sales forecasting. This will use your company’s old sales records and performance results to predict how the business will do in the future.

It’ll remove the guesswork, and you’ll be able to allocate your funds more effectively. You’ll also be glad to know that Salesforce’s plans are quite flexible, with affordable plans for small businesses.

It’s easily one of the market’s very best CRMs, so despite the learning curve, many, including small businesses, still opt for it. Its AI capabilities are miles ahead of the competition.

Learn more with our in-depth Salesforce review.

Pros

  • More than 1,000 integrations
  • Dynamic forecasting options
  • Provides a broad overview of reports & dashboards
  • Complete record traceability
  • Highly scalable

Cons

  • Overwhelming and complex feature set
10. Zendesk Sell — Affordable All-in-One CRM

10. Zendesk Sell — Affordable All-in-One CRM

A logo of Zendesk

Price Free Version Mobile Support Top 3 Features
£15/user/month 14-day free trial Android, iOS Industry-leading ticketing system, Easy-to-set-up automations & workflows, Unified agent workspace

Zendesk Sell is more than just a CRM platform. It’s an all-in-one sales solution that helps you maximize your revenue and productivity.

From storage limits to integrations, Zendesk has it all—all at an affordable per user price point for small businesses. For starters, we were huge fans of the pre-built sales dashboards.

Besides evading the learning curves other tools have, you’ll be able to easily customize these dashboards to your business. Managing your schedule is also quite easy with Zendesk Sell.

You can integrate it with your Google Calendar account so that all your events and appointments show up here, making it easier for you to manage your commitments for the day.

Through this integration, you can also manage appointments and meetings with your leads, centralizing all customer interactions and data for easy retrieval.

Just like Act, Zendesk Sell gives you offline mobile access, too, so that work is uninterrupted, regardless of the connection.

Pros

  • Presents revenue data at a glance
  • Easy to categorize sales process as needed
  • Excellent call recording functionalities
  • Seamless importing and exporting
  • Custom dashboards

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free plan

What is a Small Business CRM?

A small business customer relationship management (CRM) prioritizes ease of use and simplicity. They’re regular CRMs with tailored solutions specific to small business operations and needs.

Instead of having advanced analytics, ample, complex automations, and customization options, for example, these CRMs keep it simple and specific to what a small business would need.

Notably, you’d have the key features you’d need for basic task and contact management, your sales processes, and integration with key software, like your email client.

Small businesses often can’t and shouldn’t need to fork out loads of money, too. Small business CRMs offer packages suitable for small business budgets.

The Key Benefits of a CRM for Small Businesses

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why your small business needs a CRM:

Extensive Analytics

Extensive Analytics

CRM software often includes analytical tools that tell you things like bounce rates, click-through rates, and demographic data. These tools allow you to assess the performance of a marketing campaign and optimize it appropriately. Additionally, they help you discover the source that provides the most revenue.

Understand Your Clients

Understand Your Clients

CRM software allows you to store all client data in one place, but it also lets you build a detailed profile on clients, allowing you to analyze their preferences, past interactions and purchases, and more to better target their needs.

Boost Sales Efficiency

Boost Sales Efficiency

Using a CRM system, you’ll be able to nurture leads better and know where they are in your sales pipeline. Key features like task management, pipeline management, and numerous analytical tools will give you invaluable insight into your customer experience and their preferences.

A CRM software system highlights the areas in your sales process where leads frequently stall out, too, letting you identify opportunities, risks, weaknesses, and strengths in your sales pipeline. You’ll also know which sales measures work with your target audience.

Improved Communication

Improved Communication

A CRM is vital to external communication and internal collaboration, which ultimately improves the overall customer experience.

For example, having everyone informed about a lead’s past interactions and purchases means you’re more likely to personalize their experience, even if a different rep deals with them. This is one of many benefits of the communication tools included in CRMs.

Centralized Data

Centralized Data

Customer relationship management system for small business needs will, at a bare minimum, assist your company in collecting and organizing data on your leads and customers.

As data entry and enrichment is automated, you won’t need to worry about errors, missed opportunities, incorrect data, or otherwise, and having this all centralized and automated makes it far easier to manage follow-ups, complaints, and your campaigns, for example.

Effective Marketing Management

Effective Marketing Management

A CRM for small businesses is invaluable when you consider the marketing automation benefits. Besides automatically nurturing customers, a CRM lets you segment your audience to ensure you’re sending personalized messages to each lead, ultimately boosting engagement and the success of your campaigns.

Powerful Automation

Powerful Automation

From data entry to email marketing automation, you’ll have the means to streamline workflows, boost your team’s productivity, improve customer service, and focus on more pressing matters, like closing deals.

Basic automation is also an option, as CRM solutions also connect with various third-party programs, including accounting and project management apps. These apps let you automate certain tasks and sync them with your CRM to keep all data centralized.

Read More: Why CRM is Important to Any Business

How to Choose a CRM for Small Business

When looking for the best customer relationship management software for your small business, you should keep these factors in mind:

PricingFeaturesEase of UseIntegrationsScalabilityCustomizability

Pricing

It’s important to find an ideal CRM for your small business without going over budget. We recommend setting a budget and then shortlisting your options based on this. You may even find that a free CRM will do.

Features

Perhaps you want a CRM that offers email marketing automation, or perhaps a very basic CRM will do if you’re not after advanced features like AI automation or unlimited contacts—determine what you want a CRM for, and then review the key features on offer with the ones you shortlisted.

What Features Should I Look For in a Small Business CRM?

As a small business, you’ll want contact and lead management capabilities to store and manage all your lead and customer data in one centralized place and segment them based on demographics for targeted marketing and personalized communications.

Beyond this, pipeline management is another key feature small businesses would find invaluable. Having visibility into where each lead is in your sales pipeline is great for identifying opportunities and better prioritizing leads most likely to convert into customers.

For this, small businesses should look for key features like lead scoring, deal tracking, forecasting, and customizable sales stages. Task and calendar management are also important for small businesses.

Being able to track appointments, follow-ups, and other sales and marketing tasks in one place reduces the need to invest in separate tools or have the data scattered across different apps.

For this reason, email integration is another key feature to look for in a small business CRM.

Recommended Read: The Key CRM Features Small Businesses Need

Ease of Use

Usability and a low learning curve are priorities for most small businesses looking for business software, not just a CRM. What’s considered a simple CRM will vary from person to person; as such, we recommend using any free versions on offer with the tools you’ve shortlisted.

Integrations

Some CRM systems restrict integrations to certain plans, so small businesses must note this. Free plans are also often incredibly limited in this regard. We recommend noting what tools your business uses most to pinpoint the best options.

Scalability

When your business grows, you’ll need a lot more from your CRM system, and changing CRM software is an absolute nightmare. As such, we’d recommend factoring in the price to scale and noting the limitations and features of the higher-end plans.

Customizability

Having the option to customize your organization’s CRM allows you to remove any elements you don’t need and maintain a simple and intuitive user experience. Customization options vary depending on the provider and the plan.

Read More:

Free vs Paid CRM Systems for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, the decision between a free and paid CRM system is tough. Ultimately, this depends on several factors, including:

  • Your budget — A free CRM may make the most sense for your business initially, but we’d advise factoring in scalability for when you need more out of your CRM.
  • Features — Free CRM solutions include core functionality, but they’re limited in terms of users, storage, and features. Depending on your needs, a free CRM may suffice initially, or you may want to consider a cheap one instead.
  • Support and updates — Unlike with paid plans, free CRMs lack priority support, limit the support channels, and prioritize updates less.
  • Integration — Some free CRMs offer limited integrations. Consider this when deciding whether to opt for a free or paid (or even cheap) CRM for your small business.
  • Customization — Paid CRMs offer far more flexibility, allowing users to tailor the platform to their specific needs. Free CRMs, on the other hand, are a lot less customizable.

Ultimately, this decision depends on your specific needs and whether a free CRM will suffice or whether a cheap one is a better option. Scalability is very important to consider, regardless of whether you choose a free or paid CRM.

What’s the Best Free CRM Software for Small Businesses?

If you’re used to tracking your leads and customers the old-fashioned way, with notebooks and spreadsheets, using a free CRM system will streamline your processes and assist in your business’s growth.

Free CRM tools allow you to test the system to see its strengths and weaknesses firsthand, but they lack key features and generally don’t offer the best support.

That said, HubSpot is easily the best CRM software for small businesses searching for a free way to get started. It offers free features spanning its CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Service hubs.

FAQs

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References

Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.