The 7 Best CRM Software Solutions in 2024

The letters CRM, circled in red pen in a page of the dictionary

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5-Second Summary

  • Zoho CRM is the top-rated platform in our research, built with small businesses in mind, it offers a solid CRM system with reasonable prices to match.
  • Alternatively, Freshsales champions ease of use, making it equally a great choice for those just getting started with CRM.
  • If you're looking to get the benefits of a professional CRM platform, without the investment, HubSpot offers a free plan that holds its own in comparison with many of the paid plans.

Businesses facing economic uncertainty need to choose the right CRM software to streamline costs and enable staff to nurture customer relationships more efficiently. However, finding the right software can be challenging due to the overwhelming number of options claiming similar features.

To help you identify the top CRM solutions uniquely positioned to meet the evolving landscape in 2024, this article will cut through the confusion. We'll uncover the capabilities of each solution, for small businesses seeking streamlined workflows to large enterprises requiring scalable systems with cutting-edge functionality.

As customer relationships are at the heart of any successful business, the right CRM empowers teams to optimize customer interactions across the organization. By matching software capabilities with your needs and budget, you'll be equipped to make a timely upgrade decision. With clarity on the CRM solutions that can best support growth despite headwinds, we'll give you the tools to make a wise choice.

What are the top 5 best CRM software solutions in 2024?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Clicking on the links will take you to the provider's website.

  1. Zoho CRM – Best value for money
  2. Freshsales – Best for user-friendliness
  3. HubSpot CRM – Best all-in-one solution
  4. Pipedrive – Best for lead management
  5. monday.com – Best for customization

The Top 7 Best CRM Software Tools in 2024

We conducted extensive research into the available CRM software tools on the market, comparing them on a number of criteria. Below you'll find a simple breakdown of the top 7 best CRM providers in 2024.

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Key Features
  • Unlimited contact limit
  • Wide range of integrations
  • Top ranking email features
Key Features
  • Customer segmentation for personalized campaigns
  • Networking features for events
  • Unlimited user limit

 

Key Features
  • Contacts scored by AI on success rate
  • Kanban-style deals, contacts and sales pipeline
  • 24/5 customer support available
Key Features
  • Free unlimited drip campaigns
  • Email A/B testing
  • Social media integration

 

Key Features
  • 400+ integrations
  • Website visitor tracking
  • LeadBooster add-on to generate more leads
Key Features
  • Project management
  • Workflow automation
  • File annotating and versioning

 

 

Key Features
  • Top-rated organization features
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Email automation
Try Salesforce Try Zoho Try Freshsales Try HubSpot Try Pipedrive Try monday.com Try Zendesk
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Why Can You Trust Expert Market for CRM Recommendations?

At Expert Market, we are dedicated to helping our readers make informed purchases to make their businesses thrive. Our publishing team is completely separate from our sales team, so our research-backed opinions are independent of financial persuasion.

We conduct an unbiased, user-led testing process to evaluate the best CRM on the market. Refer to our methodology section for a more detailed breakdown of how we arrived at our top five.

Statistics suggest around 91% of businesses with over 11 employees use a CRM system to manage their deals, marketing, and customer service tickets with greater ease, speed, and efficiency.

We conducted comprehensive research into CRM features, pricing, customer support, and customer approval – among other things. The goal? To bring you the best CRM systems in the US, and to help you decide which one is best for your business.

If you'd like to cut straight to the chase, fill out our CRM comparison tool, which will match you with some suitable CRM platforms based on your business's information.

About pricing

Many CRM platforms offer two pricing systems – annual and monthly. If you pay annually, the price will be slightly reduced (for example, Zoho's Standard plan is $20 per month, or $14 per month if you pay for 12 months in one payment). We'll be using their annual prices in this article.

Zoho – Best for Value for Money

Zoho Logo
Zoho CRM
4.7
Pricing $14 – $65 per user, per month
Who it's best for

Currency conversion at all price plans and translation at premium tiers make Zoho CRM best suited to international businesses.

Strengths

Free for up to three users

Easy to use and to set up

Lead scoring on all price plans

Weaknesses

Mobile app has limited functionality

Premium support costs 20% extra

Pricing
PlanPrice
Standard Sales forecasting, calendar booking, 10 custom dashboards $14 per user, per month (annual billing) $20 per user, per month (monthly billing)
Professional Automate follow-ups, leads assigned to available reps, unlimited custom reports $23 per user, per month (annual billing) $35 per user, per month (monthly billing)
Enterprise Advanced data visualization, customize modules, personalized customer journeys $40 per user, per month (annual billing) $50 per user, per month (monthly billing)
Ultimate Business intelligence analytics $52 per user, per month $65 per user, per month

Why is Zoho the best CRM for value for money?

Zoho CRM has focused on small businesses since its inception, which is why it offers robust but affordable plans. These plans include lead management features such as being able to monitor social media in real time and workflow automation.

Zoho CRM also offers lead scoring so you can work more efficiently. Zoho CRM offers a ton of customization but the software has a steep learning curve, so we wouldn't necessarily recommend it for absolute CRM beginners.

Zoho's prices start from just $14 per user, per month.

And, while its cheaper pricing plans are still pretty feature-rich, you can upgrade to benefit from extra list management, invoicing, reporting, and HR management utilities. Zoho's premium tiers also boast intelligent sales forecasting and mass emailing features, plus social media lead capture.

You can try Zoho completely free, for a whole 15 days. Head to Zoho's website now to get started.

Why is Zoho CRM popular?

Zoho CRM is popular because of its free plan, offering free CRM software for up to three users. It includes a mobile app and access to leads and documents. Once your business has outgrown this plan, you can jump on to its paid plans which start from an affordable $14 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM's highest score in our research is a 5/5 for its customer support, this is because it includes support tickets, case management, and a knowledge base builder. However, these features aren't available for those on its lowest-priced plan, instead, you'll have to opt for its ‘Professional' plan which starts at $39 per user, per month.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Easy to capture and import leads
  • Managers can keep track of team performance with quota management

Cons

  • Customized reporting is limited
  • Weak customer support
What's New in Zoho CRM?

A November 2023 update means you can now seamlessly migrate services and appointments between two Zoho CRM accounts, allowing for uninterrupted operations.

Freshsales – Best for user-friendliness and simplicity

Freshsales Logo
Freshsales
4.5
Pricing Free – $59 per user per month
Who it's best for

If you’re a small business looking for an effective, affordable CRM system without all the bells and whistles, Freshsales will be right up your street.

Strengths

Great for automating tasks such as logging phone calls

A simple software that’s easy to pick up, and won’t require much training

Free trial available

Weaknesses

Offers fewer third party integrations than competitors such as Zoho and Salesforce

Pricing
PlanPricing (annually)Pricing (monthly)
Free $0 $0
Growth $9 $11
Pro $39 $47
Enterprise $59 $71

Why is Freshsales the most user-friendly?

The kanban board for ‘deals' shows the total cost of business that can be captured, including ‘deal rot' calculation, in an understandable display.

Freshsales kanban deals board
We found the kanban board for 'deals' useful because it allows you to drag and drop cards between different stages easily.

Freshsales has been chosen as the most user-friendly CRM system because it provides lots of pop up support and demo suggestions when using the software.

Although we found the system to be user-friendly, we will say that it can be a little overwhelming, so you may need a couple of days to get used to it.

Freshsales also offers a free plan for up to three users, similar to Zoho CRM. One of the tools we liked the most on the system is the AI-based lead scoring. This lead scoring allows you to prioritize leads based on their likelihood to convert into sales.

Why is Freshsales popular?

Freshsales is popular across the board, but it’s the small businesses that sing its praises the loudest. Paid plans start at $9/user/month.

Freshsales is one of the best value for money CRM systems we tested, after Hubspot, offering a powerful platform that's easy to use. In our testing, we found it easy to set up email campaigns and to import contact information from a variety of sources including CSV/Excel, Google Contact, or Outlook Contact.

When you upgrade to one of Freshsales' higher paid tiers – which, like its lower-cost versions, are flexible and contract-free – you'll also meet Freddy.

Freddy is Freshsales' own AI-powered ‘assistant'. Learning from your business' CRM data, Freddy offers tailored recommendations, predictions, forecasting, and unique insights to help you get the most out of your customers, and make more impactful, data-driven decisions. Some of the smart functions Freddy powers are:

  • Predictive contact scoring
  • Lead gen and answer bots
  • Duplicate contact, deal, and account removal
  • Deal and forecasting insights

However, Freshsales' contact scoring system showed some inconsistencies in our testing, as we uploaded five contacts with the same basic fields (name and email), and their scores slightly differed.

Pros

  • Transparent pricing and plans – you'll know exactly what you're getting for your money
  • Freshsales' AI-powered assistant Freddy
  • Marvellous mobile app

Cons

  • Its lowest pricing tier restricts you to a stingy 1,000 contact maximum
What's New in Freshsales?

Freshsales' November 2023 release now offers region-specific email domain to improve deliverability and maintain domain reputation.

HubSpot – Best all-in-one solution

HubSpot logo
HubSpot
4.3
Pricing $0 - $1,781 per month
Who it's best for

HubSpot offers a free plan that is a worthy rival to many of its paid competitors, making it a top contender for marketing teams seeking CRM software with minimal financial investment.

Strengths

Bots collect leads

Take payments

Make and receive calls

Weaknesses

Limited number of pipelines

No analytics or custom reports (Standard tier)

Permissions editing only at Enterprise tier

Pricing
PlanPricing
Free Tools Free
Starter $240 (billed annually) $20 (billed monthly) no user limit stated
Professional $19,201 (billed annually) $1,781 (billed monthly) no user limit stated
Enterprise $60,000 (billed annually) $5,000 (billed monthly) no user limit stated

Why is HubSpot the best all-in-one solution?

We appreciated HubSpot's convenient integration with Canva, which allowed us to design email elements from the email editing space and upload them instantly into the HubSpot CRM. It was easy to add personalization to the emails, including specific data categories we had created ourselves.

Another reason it's a good all-in-one solution is because you can track and manage your campaign's budget from the system. It also includes workflow automation which we think is especially helpful for sales and marketing teams, however, it's a little complicated to get started with.

HubSpot email marketing example
We included the data category "Categories [the customer] had bought from," which appeared automatically in the personalization options in the email creator.

There was even the option to add default text in case any contacts were missing that particular data field. This feature means you won't have to worry about customers receiving emails addressed, “Hey there, Last Name!”

Why is HubSpot popular?

One reason HubSpot is so popular is because its (albeit most basic) plan is 100% free.

Enabling unlimited users and up to one million contacts, it’s a solid option for budget-conscious businesses. However, some of its features are limited – for example, you can only save up to five email templates, and the chatbots you can set up aren’t exactly the smartest peas in the pod.

The key advantage offered by HubSpot is its ability to take care of several vital business needs within the confines of a single, very powerful application. Of course, you will need to pay if you want additional hubs, but you may find that the convenience and intuitiveness of the system make this worthwhile.

For a paid package, prices start from $50 per user, per month.

Pros

  • Robust free version
  • Comprehensive suite of services
  • Easy to use interface

Cons

  • Additional services are expensive
What's New in HubSpot?

Since November 2023, you can now deep-link messages within conversations to share with your team. This simple fix will save wasted time spent scrolling through endless messages.

Pipedrive – Best for detailed lead management

Pipedrive
4.2
Pricing US$14 – US$99 per user, per month
Who it's best for

Ideal for SMEs looking for capable contact management features like list segmentation and automated workflows.

Strengths

App for on the move management

Comprehensive lead management – clearly see where each contact is in the sales funnel

User-friendly interface

Weaknesses

Automatic lead assignment available at mid-tier upwards

No phone support in lower price tiers

Pricing
PlanPrice
Essential Custom data fields, notifications on stagnant deals, visual dashboards US$14 per user, per month (billed annually) US$24 per user, per month (billed monthly)
Advanced Two-way email sync, meeting scheduler, automations US$29 per user, per month (billed annually) US$39 per user, per month (billed monthly)
Professional Automatic lead assignment, required data fields, digital document signatures US$49 per user, per month (billed annually) US$64 per user, per month (billed monthly)
Power Custom to-do lists with subtasks, phone support, personalized onboarding US$64 per user, per month (billed annually) US$79 per user, per month (billed monthly)
Enterprise Stronger security features, unlimited deals per company and unlimited insights US$99 per user, per month (billed annually) US$129 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Why is Pipedrive best for lead management?

Pipedrive makes the sales process much easier as it automates a lot of the sales process. The software automates the tasks a salesperson needs to complete to move a lead along.

It also uses artificial intelligence to get rid of repetitive tasks to make the day-to-day operations more efficient for sales teams.

Another reason it's suited to lead management is because it can provide personalized tips to help improve sales performance.

Why is Pipedrive so popular?

Pipedrive starts at $14 per user, per month, when you pay annually. This plan includes features like lead and contact management and a mobile app, so you can use it no matter where you are.

One reason Pipedrive is so popular, aside from its ability to streamline the sales cycle is that every plan includes a machine learning-powered assistant which helps you to best choose how to respond to current deals.

Despite the tools and features it offers for sales teams, its entry plans lack some features such as workflow automation, email sync, and email tracking.

Pipedrive add deal
Pipedrive has a really neat and easy interface. It was simple to add contacts and deals.

Adding contacts is speedy since you can easily import them via a spreadsheet or a drive. Once you get past the setup points, it gets more complicated for beginners who might have never touched a CRM system. For instance, while we found adding contacts to be easy, knowing what to do with them afterward could have been clearer.

Pros

  • Generous free plan
  • Its email designer is super compatible with mobile devices

Cons

  • No phone or email support
  • Little to no email/social media integration
What's New in Pipedrive?

In the November 2023 update, Pipedrive users in the top three tiers can now multi-sync their email accounts and use labels to organize and prioritize their inbox according to importance.

monday.com – Best for customization

monday.com Logo
monday.com
4.2
Pricing $12 - $33 per user, per month
Who it's best for

monday.com is suited to multi-tasking managers and service agents thanks to its mobile apps that let you perform tasks on the go. If your business uses lots of codewords, you'll benefit from its wide-ranging customization.

Strengths

Unlimited sales pipelines

Plenty of customization

Weaknesses

No mass email on cheaper plans

No lead scoring

More sales-focused than marketing-focused

Pricing
PlanPrice
Basic Templates for lead management, smartphone app use, unlimited contacts $12 per user, per month (annual billing) $15 per user, per month (monthly billing)
Standard Email integration, create invoices, merge duplicate data $17 per user, per month $20 per user, per month
Pro Sales forecasting, mass emails, email automations $28 per user, per month $33 per user, per month
Enterprise Lead scoring, advanced analytics, enterprise-scale automations Bespoke Bespoke

Why is monday.com best for customization?

We chose monday.com as the best CRM for customization because you can customize leads, contacts, and dashboards. You have the ability to customize an item which is then updated across all dashboards.

You can also create custom workflows to streamline operations by automating tasks such as sending out notification emails. monday.com features a built-in API and a large number of integrations so you customize the system even further.

It does lack social media integrations which is unhelpful for businesses that want the ability to access social media data on their CRM, so if this is important to you, a better option is Zoho CRM which integrates your social media presence.

Why is monday.com popular?

Aside from its extensive customization, monday.com also provides data visualization, as it also offers project management software. You get access to Kanban and Gantt charts and can share these data visualizations both externally and internally for more efficiency.

monday.com deals dashboard
Dashboards have customizable priority status labels.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Extremely affordable
  • Phone-based and email support available, as well as an impressive online knowledge center

Cons

  • No live chat support
  • No social media integration
What's New In monday.com?

Since October 2023, you can now speedily add new contacts with a form option rather than doing it from scratch each time.

Salesforce – Best for automation and analytics

Salesforce Logo
Salesforce
3.7
Pricing $25 – $500 per user per month
Who it's best for

Growing businesses that need in-depth campaign revenue figures. We recommend smaller businesses steer clear of Salesforce as it's a powerful tool with a premium price tag.

Strengths

Good range of features

Huge number of integrations

Free trial available

Weaknesses

Customer support costs extra

Tricky to use

No monthly pricing option

Pricing
PlanPrice
Starter Lead management, email integration, schedule meetings $25 per user, per month
Professional Forecast management, offline app $80 per user, per month
Enterprise Process automation, advanced pipeline insights $165 per user, per month
Unlimited AI lead scoring and deal health, premium support $330 per user, per month
Unlimited+ Performance management and integration with Slack $500 per user, per month

Why is Salesforce best for automation and analytics?

Salesforce has been chosen by our researchers as the best CRM for automation and analytics because it provides lots of different options for automation and comprehensive analytics.

The automation options, unlike with most other CRM systems aren't just limited to automatically assigning leads once they've come in. Instead, Salesforce's AI software ‘Einstein Analytics' can generate content for your sales, marketing, commerce, and customer service teams. We will warn you, however, that the learning curve for this tool is fairly steep.

salesforce opportunities screen
Salesforce allows different views of your opportunities, including a kanban view.

Why is Salesforce popular?

Salesforce is one of the largest, most popular CRM platforms on the market, with a market share of almost 20%!

As you'd expect from the most-used CRM, it's cloud-based, and also integrates well with ecommerce platforms, content management systems, email providers, and tonnes more. Actually, the Salesforce AppExchange connects your CRM to thousands of third-party applications – so there's very little the software doesn't work with!

More add-ons allow for social media management, the creation of custom membership sites, and synchronization with Gmail or Outlook.

This leads us to our next point – that Salesforce's vast feature set can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, learning to use the complex and quirky user interface is tough – however, users who take the time to learn the ins and outs of the service will find quite a bit of power at their fingertips.

Plus, the time saved in automation – and the money and potential reputation threat saved in better customer service and client relations – should pay dividends in the end. It was invented by a genius, after all!

Pros

  • Feature-rich, with powerful, AI-driven reporting functionality
  • Excellent customer service, with a huge online knowledge base at your disposal
  • Salesforce's basic plan is affordable, and the software comes with no implementation costs......

Cons

  • ...but on the whole, it's expensive

As we mentioned above, Salesforce isn't cheap. But if you are looking for CRM software that won't burn a hole in the pocket of your slacks, we can help. We've listed the top 15 cheap CRM systems in the US – go get yourself a bargain!

What's New In Salesforce?

Salesforce offers Einstein Conversation Insights, which highlights patterns and trends in your sales and customer service calls to help optimize efforts. In the latest release, this feature is now compatible with more VoIP systems than before including Dialpad, RingCentral, Aircall, and Amazon Connect.

Zendesk – Best for customer service

Zendesk logo
Zendesk
3.3
Pricing $19 - $149 per user, per month
Who it's best for

Sales managers and client success leaders who are looking for an easy way to track deal progression will benefit from Zendesk Sell. Email and calendar integrations at every price plan provide an easy way to marry your schedule with time-critical client relationship tasks.

Pricing
PlanPricing (annually)Pricing (monthly)
Support Team $19 $25
Support Professional $55 $69
Support Enterprise $115 $149
Suite Team $55 $69
Suite Growth $89 $115
Suite Professional $115 $149
Suite Enterprise Tailored Tailored

Why is Zendesk best for customer service?

We chose Zendesk as the best for customer service because it brings all of your customer communications together in one place.

Although a CRM's primary focus is to manage the relationship with your customers, however, not all CRM's have the infrastructure to do this well. Zendesk has such a stellar reputation for customer service because of its features such as tickets from all channels being fed into the same space so agents can easily access and see them.

Customer service agents can use a feature called ‘Side Conversations' to speak to their colleagues for further support without leaving the main ticket screen.

Another reason it's a good choice for great customer service is because it allows users to initiate tickets in multiple ways including Whatsapp and X (formerly known as Twitter). This gives your customers the ability to contact you easily and have their issues resolved more efficiently.

Why is Zendesk popular?

Aside from its robust customer service tools, Zendesk provides a flow builder for creating workflows and a ‘rich conversations' feature which means agents can have multiple channels open with customers and bring those together through dashboards and third-party analytic tools.

Zendesk sequence settings
Zendesk allows you to create your own sequences with automated emails and task reminders.

In our testing, we found that Zendesk can help clear up confusion with cross-team responsibilities, as its project management side compliments its customer relationship side. We were able to consider our next steps thanks to tools like the calendar, task lists, and deals settings that ask for a likely completion date. In businesses where delegation and a clear pipeline are crucial, Zendesk creates visibility and accountability.

Pros

  • Excellent ticket management capabilities
  • Robust VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)* functionality

Cons

  • No document storage
  • Lacks the same level of data analysis as Salesforce
What's New In Zendesk?

2023 saw Zendesk make many improvements to its customer service, mainly through AI-powered conversational features. It's now possible for chat-bots on Zendesk to be tailored to a specific persona and also offer generative replies based on your existing knowledge base to speed up customer service interactions.

CRM Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know

The following sections include all the vital information you need to know about CRM platforms before taking the plunge and investing in one yourself. Using our expert knowledge on the software, we'll explain the basics of CRM as well as highlight what you should look for when shopping for one and how much you can expect to pay.

What is a CRM? 🤔

CRM stands for customer relationship management and is a software system that allows you to store customer profiles and contact information.

CRM systems allow you to understand your customers better, analyze data and trends, and further develop your relationship with your customers.

Without a CRM system, you might find it hard to find customer information and keep track of previous interactions.

CRM systems have evolved to include various aspects of your business including sales, marketing, and customer service. Using the information on the system, your various teams can more efficiently move through sales cycles, create marketing campaigns, and provide great customer service.

CRM costs typically start at around $12 per user, per month for small businesses. For a larger business, you can expect to pay around $50 to $150 per user, per month.

How To Choose the Right CRM Software💡

With so many options out there, searching for the right CRM software can cause quite a head spin. Our comprehensive buying guide has some simple tips to make this process simpler.

Usability

With any new business investment, you want to ensure it's actually used. Consider how easy your chosen provider is, by reading customer reviews (or ours!), checking out the onboarding support or checking out the free trial version before taking the plunge. If you have a high staff turnover, it may not be wise to choose a complicated system that needs meticulous 1-1 training for each new recruit. A simpler system can help you see the return on your investment quickly. Another consideration is whether it will integrate with your existing software stack. If it doesn't, this may mean you have to make a costly switch later for a seamless experience.

Pricing

Consider which features are a must-have for your business and check that these are included in your chosen plan. While some are expensive and some are cheaper, the most important thing is value for money. A more advanced system that allows you to outsource simple functions to automation will save you money in the long run so it can be worth investing in a more high-end system. Another factor to consider is your payment terms, some providers charge less if you commit to them yearly, so this can be a great way to score a better deal.

Sales and Marketing features

There is a vast array of systems under the umbrella of ‘CRM'. Double-check that your team will be able to fulfil all of its actions within your chosen software. The features will differ depending on whether you have sales or marketing intentions. For example, you may want to check how well you can create a sales pipeline, or how well you can create and test campaigns or perform multi-channel lead capture. The list goes on!

Customer Support

With any technology, you may occasionally run into hurdles. This is where customer support comes in to save the day. Check the availability of your chosen provider's customer support. Some operate online only, whereas some can be reached via telephone too, which can be crucial if you're somebody who prefers to speak to another human being rather than a chatbot.

What Are the Key Features to Look For in the Best CRM Software? 🔍

The most important feature that underpins all CRM systems is contact management. Depending on your team's role (sales, marketing or customer service), here are some other features you may want to look out for when scouring the market for the best CRM system for you.

Marketing

The ability to track campaign performance, automate nurturing emails, and create landing pages to convert visitors are CRM superpowers for modern marketing teams.

For example, marketing managers can use campaign tracking to see that their holiday sale email drove over 400 visits to a landing page. By viewing these campaign metrics and seeing the high conversion rate from emails to site visits, they can quantify the value of email marketing and optimize future campaigns using automated workflows.

With a CRM providing features like automated email sending, landing page creation, and campaign analytics in one integrated platform, marketing teams like this can generate and qualify more leads to hit their pipeline goals. With the right tools in place to execute multi-channel campaigns and capture interested prospects, pipeline and revenue growth follows.

Sales

For sales teams, having a complete view of prospects and deals along with tools to advance them is key for hitting revenue goals.

For example, a software startup can use CRM to track over 500 contacts and manage a complex sales cycle with multi-stakeholder deals. Through contact management, sales reps can track all communications history in one place to pick up context quickly when following up with prospects. Pipeline tracking helps the sales leaders forecast expected deal closings month-by-month to predict revenue better. Task automation reminds the reps when to follow up based on each lead’s progress and proposal/quote management ensures pricing and quotes are version-controlled as deals progress.

CRM empowers sales teams to work smarter – keeping deal progress on track while rapidly responding to the needs of prospects.

Customer Service

Seamless customer service requires context and communication tracking – which a CRM enables for support teams.

For example, an online store can use its CRM to log all customer queries in one place, tracking thousands of support tickets each year. By accessing a customer's communication history and patterns within previous tickets, agents can quickly resolve new issues. Reporting also helps the team spot trending problems that repeatedly come up, such as a spike in login errors from a particular region, offering opportunities to fix the bug before it causes further trouble.

With features like support ticketing, customer communication logging, and service analytics in a unified CRM, agents can deliver more proactive assistance while product teams systematically improve the customer experience over time. This complete view of the customer and their technical needs is invaluable for continual service optimization.

How Much Does a CRM Cost? 👛

The cost of CRM varies greatly based on your industry, team size, data allowance, contact allowance and more. Some CRM systems are completely free, while some of the cheapest paid plans start at $10-$12 per month.

If you upgrade to a more complete plan, you may pay between $30-$90 per month. Lastly, Enterprise plans for large companies with complex needs can be in the thousands.

Many CRM providers reward longer-term commitments by offering cheaper plans if you pay annually rather than monthly. However, be sure to check whether you'll incur extra costs due to add-ons, training costs and integrations that aren't included in the basic fees for the system before committing to a long-term contract.

How We Test CRM Systems for Businesses

We tested 13 market-leading CRM systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, cost, scalability, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to US businesses.

Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in six main categories of investigation and 13 subcategories – in fact, we covered 84 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!

Our main testing categories for CRM systems are:

Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the CRM software, such as contact management, lead and opportunity tracking, and task and activity management.

Help and Support: the resources and assistance available to users when they encounter issues or require guidance while using the CRM software.

Customization: the ability to tailor the CRM software to suit the specific needs and processes of the organization, e.g. customizing fields, layouts, and workflows.

Scalability: the ability of the CRM software to accommodate the growth and changing needs of the organization, such as the capacity to handle a growing customer database.

Price: the cost associated with using the CRM software. It includes factors such as licensing fees, subscription plans, and additional charges for add-on modules or features.

Team Structure – Sales CRM: determining if a platform makes it easier to manage large sales teams, including team dashboards, team hierarchies, and team inboxes.

Usability – Small Business CRM: assessing the simplicity of the interface, the ease of navigating through menus and options, and the overall user experience.

Verdict

The best CRM system according to our research is  Zoho CRM. This is because it scores highly for user-friendliness and customization while it won't break the bank with prices starting from $14 per month. If you're seeking a system that tops the charts for ease of use, but is a little more pricey, consider Freshsales as a worthy alternative.

When it comes to lead capture, list management, client acquisition, workflow, project management, customer service automation – the right CRM solution can help your business flourish. The most popular CRM solutions are already tried and tested by thousands of business owners just like yourself.

If you’re still unsure about which of these popular CRM solutions is best for your business, try our free comparison tool.

Simply provide us with a bit of info about your unique CRM requirements and we'll match you with your best-suited CRM providers, who'll offer tailored CRM quotes and advice. You'll just need to set aside around 30 seconds of your time and be a US-based business. It's that easy!

FAQs

What is the most widely used CRM system?
The most widely used CRM is Salesforce, which has almost 20% of the market share.
Are there industry-specific CRM solutions?
Yes, there are industry-specific CRM systems. For example, healthcare, financial services, or retail.
Can CRM software be customized to meet the unique requirements of my business?
Yes, some CRM systems allow for extensive customization, but not all. We recommend monday.com and Zoho CRM.
Are there CRM options that integrate with popular marketing and sales tools?
Yes, lots of CRM systems integrate with third-party software. These CRM systems include Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and monday.com.
Written by:
Rob Binns
Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.