The 7 Most Popular CRM Software Solutions in 2021

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

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 20 April 2021

Struggling to decide which CRM system is right for your business? Why not ask the audience? Browse our top 7 most popular CRM software picks below, and compare quotes from top suppliers


CRM solutionPopular for its:Paid plan from (per user, per month)Free trial?
ZohoValue for money$12Free version
HubSpotAll-in-one approach to functionality$50Free version
SalesforceAutomation and analytics$2530 days
InsightlyStylish data visualization$29Free version
NimbleSocial media capabilities$1514 days
SendinblueStrong email marketing focus$25Free version
Freshworks CRMSimplicity and ease of use$19Free version

The star of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has been rising exponentially since about 2008, becoming cheaper, more user-friendly, and more effective.

And in 2021 – now that COVID-19 has made remote work the ‘new norm'. at least – the flexibility that CRM brings to team collaboration means that the software is hitting new levels of popularity.

But with so many options out there, how are you supposed to choose the right one? Well, one way to narrow down the top CRM solutions is to be one with the crowd – to embrace conformity, and check out the software that's most popular among your peers.

After all, they're popular for a reason! (The CRMs, not your peers). Let's get started.


The 7 Most Popular Top CRM Software Tools in 2021

We know that your competitors are using CRM software. 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 know CRM is popular then, but… just which CRM system providers are the most popular? We wanted to find out, so took matters into our own hands with a comprehensive research into CRM features, pricing, customer support, and customer approval – among other things.

The goal? To bring you the most popular CRM systems in the US, and to help you decide which one is best for your business.

So, without further ado, here they are – the 7 most popular CRM systems in the US, which consist of Zoho, HubSpot, Salesforce, Insighly, Nimble, Sendinblue, and Freshworks CRM. Jump into the list below to navigate straight to a supplier, or scroll on to find out why these sought-after CRM systems cut the mustard.


Zoho

Best for Value for Money

Zoho is one of the country’s most popular CRM tools. It's easy to use, affordable, and comes in a range of pricing tiers to suit businesses of all sizes.

Zoho's capabilities include modules for billing, HR, and more, and its cloud-based architecture means the application works seamlessly across a number of devices. It'll help you manage and automate your business’ sales cycle, and handily integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and email – slotting seamlessly into your business' existing processes, while (hopefully) maximizing your profits.

Zoho's prices start from just $12 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.

Pros:

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

X Cons:

  • Customized reporting is limited
  • Weak customer support

HubSpot

Best all-in-one solution

While it's difficult to be all things to all businesses, HubSpot gives it a try – and, surprisingly, succeeds to a great degree!

More than just a CRM, HubSpot is a Swiss Army Knife of an inbound-marketing tool. Split into four ‘hubs’: Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Services Hub, and HubSpot CRM (plus the Growth Suite, a bundle of all these packages), each comes with its own variety of features – and pricing tiers – and you can choose which one(s) you’ll need.

But we’re talking about CRM here, and one of the most appealing things about HubSpot's particularly popular CRM solution is that 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.

Beyond the starting price (exactly $0, in this case), 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 makes 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

X Cons:

  • Additional services are expensive

Salesforce

Best for automation and analytics

First off, it’s worth saying that Salesforce – the top dog of CRM software with around 18% of the market share – isn't cheap. While its most basic plan, Salesforce Essentials, is available for just $25 per user, per month, this quickly rises to $75 per user, per month and beyond for Salesforce's premium plans. For big spenders, Salesforce's top plan for sales and service teams totals a bloated $325 per user, per month.

But if you've ever needed proof of the axiom that you get what you pay for, look no further than Salesforce. This software offers all the CRM features you'd expect, alongside excellent sales and marketing automation and ecommerce tools for online selling.

Salesforce, as you'd expect from a top provider these days, is 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.

You'll also be privy (albeit at an extra cost) to ‘Einstein Analytics', Salesforce's leading, AI-powered software for crunching the data powering your business. Just be warned… the learning curve is steep!

Which leads us into 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......

X 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!


Insightly

Best for its stylish data visualization

Designed for growing businesses, Insightly has become a market leader because it’s both user-friendly and comprehensive. The interface is wonderfully colorful, allowing you to create easily-exportable graphs and charts to impress investors and senior stakeholders. Better still, it's super simple to get the hang of – we've even given it a try, and can confirm it's a cinch!

Uniquely, Insightly also includes not only features exclusive to CRM, but plenty of useful project management functions, too. Moreover, its ability to integrate with a myriad of third-party apps – including Microsoft programs, Xero, Google Apps, Quickbooks, Mailchimp, Slack, Evernote and lots more – means it's a versatile system with huge scope. You’re also given the option to customise it all using Insightly’s advanced API (Application Programming Interface).

Unfortunately, the lack of a server/desktop version takes Insightly out of contention for businesses needing HIPAA (such as those seeking a CRM solution for the healthcare industry) or Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance. However, there’s plenty to like here, including the ability to manage leads and contacts, customize reporting, share tasks and files, and link related projects.

Plus, Insightly’s cloud-based architecture enables you to work on a smart device – from practically anywhere with an internet connection.

Sure, it's not as feature-rich as some of its mid-to-large business-focused competitors – automation is absent, and sorting and reporting features can be basic. But for smaller businesses looking to prioritise usability over sheer, unadulterated functionality, Insightly is a shrewd choice.

Insightly's prices start at $29 per user, per month. Though a free plan exists for a couple of users, you'll most likely want to upgrade – at least to Insightly's ‘Professional' plan, for $49 per user, per month, but potentially to the ‘Enterprise' plan – which will set you back $99 per user, per month.

Pros:

  • The interface is extremely easy to use – it's all powered by drag-and-drop functionality, after all
  • Straightforward contact management makes getting organized a breeze
  • Includes a customizable range of features and vibrant reporting dashboards...

X Cons:

  • ...though, when compared to providers such as HubSpot and Salesforce, Insightly's analytical capabilities leave much to be desired

You're over halfway through our list of the top 7 most popular CRM systems for US businesses. Time to start comparing quotes?

Simply hit one of the buttons below to start our quick questionnaire. It takes just 30 seconds to do, and by telling us more about your business’ specific requirements, we can help ensure that you receive the best, most personalized rates from the country's most popular CRM software providers.

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Nimble

Best for social businesses

Rather than spreading itself too thinly (like far too many self-proclaimed ‘all-in-one' CRM solutions profess to do), Nimble focuses squarely on social media. And it works, because Nimble is one of the most popular CRM choices in the US – particularly when it comes to businesses for whom social media is the backbone of their marketing.

You can use Nimble to import and manage contacts from several social media channels, as well as your existing email accounts; managing activities by task, content, or team member. Plus, a “unified inbox” tracks social media conversations and mentions in real time, enabling quick, proactive responses to problems and opportunities that arise. Nimble’s substantial app ecosystem means you’ll be able to integrate individual applications and entire services with ease.

There's no doubt Nimble is a popular CRM solution, but is it right for you?

Well, if you don't require all the bells and whistles of a larger service, Nimble should hit the spot. As the name suggests, Nimble is lean, quick, and comes with absolutely no fluff. We believe solopreneurs in particular might benefit from the features and analytics offered, which are far more robust than those of its competitors in the social space, like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

And, with a single price point of $19 per user, per month (if paid annually – it’s $25 per user, per month if not), Nimble is just about inexpensive enough to integrate with another CRM solution – especially if you need a broader range of capabilities.

Pros:

  • Detailed social media management and analysis
  • Unusually for CRM, it comes at a single (and highly affordable) price point

X Cons:

  • Though excellent for email and social media marketing, its sales and customer service capabilities lag behind

Sendinblue

Best for email marketers

There's no other way to say it – if CRM systems were college students, Sendinblue would be a jock. As one of the most popular CRM software providers in the US, Sendinblue's slick, savvy interface powers some of the most successful businesses in the world – from startups to enterprise-level companies.

Oh, and listen up, email marketers, because this one's for you. Sendinblue specialises in helping you dominate your SMS, email, and live chat marketing – shooting the breeze with (and selling to!) your website's visitors in real time. Better still, everything's customizable – and we mean really customizable. Whether you want a more intelligent way of segmenting your audience, or to overhaul the design and deliverability of your email communications, Sendinblue equips you with everything you need to turn your business into an international force.

So now you're thinking… how much is this all going to cost me?

And the answer is – nothing! Sendinblue offers a free plan that comes with 300 emails per day, and unlimited contacts.

Upgrading to the ‘Lite' plan costs just $25 per user, per month, but unlocks a whopping 100,000 email sends per month. For one million emails, check out Sendinblue's ‘Premium' plan, which costs $65 per user, per month.

Bespoke rates for enterprises are also available – head to Sendinblue's website to get yours.

Pros:

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

X Cons:

  • The 'Lite' plan doesn't allow you to build a landing page, or conduct A/B testing
  • Chiefly oriented toward email marketing teams, so we wouldn't recommend Sendinblue for you sales gurus out there!

Freshworks CRM

Best for user-friendliness and simplicity

The recently rebranded Freshworks CRM (formerly Freshsales) is looking… well, fresh – and, though the name has changed, the software itself remains as popular as ever. If you like simple, no-frills CRM that's as adaptable as it affordable, look no further than this one.

Refreshingly, Freshworks CRM starts at just $19 per month for its ‘Marketing Cloud' plan, while its ‘Sales Cloud' is similarly budget-friendly, at $29 per user, per month. That said, we reckon the best value comes from Freshworks CRM's ‘Customer For Life Cloud'. It bundles together the superlative sales and marketing features of the above plans, while adding in live chat and handy VoIP telephony integration.

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

Freddy is Freshworks CRM's 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

Perhaps the only catch is that you'll have to pay extra to unlock Freddy's most powerful functions. Freshworks CRM's popular ‘Sales Cloud' plan hits the heady heights of $99 per user, per month, while the ‘Customer For Life Cloud' tier caps at $125 per user, per month.

Pros:

  • Transparent pricing and plans – you'll know exactly what you're getting for your money
  • Um... Freddy?!
  • Marvellous mobile app

X Cons:

  • Its lowest pricing tier restricts you to a stingy 1,000 contact maximum
All pricing info is correct as of 20th January, 2021.

Next Steps

Running a business comes with dozens of challenges, some of which can't easily be addressed by software. Cash flow is never quite what we'd like, our marketing budget could always stand to be larger, changing rules and regulations cause headaches, and finding the right employees is anything but an exact science.

However, when it comes to a host of other business issues – lead capture, list management, client acquisition, workflow, project management, customer service automation, and so much more in the consumer lifecycle – the right CRM solution can help your business work as smart as it works hard.

So make the right decision, and pick a popular CRM solution. After all, they're tried and tested by thousands of business owners just like yourself.

But if you’re still unsure about which of these popular CRM solutions is best for your business, why not try filling out our quick quote-finding form?

Simply provide us with a bit of info about your business, and its unique CRM requirements. We'll ask how many team members the system will need to support, and for a little more info about your industry and what (if any) type of contact management software you currently rely on.

When you're done, we'll match you with one or more handpicked CRM providers, who'll be in touch with you directly to offer bespoke 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!

Rob Binns
Rob Binns Senior Writer

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.

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