The popularity and availability of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has exploded in recent years. This is great news for small businesses, since the right CRM can streamline your workflow, help your teams to be more efficient and productive, and increase conversions and customer satisfaction.
But with so many options out there, how’s a small business to choose the right one? Well, one way to narrow down the top CRM solutions is to be one with the crowd and check out the software that's most popular among your peers. After all, they're popular for a reason!
What's on this page?
In order to help you narrow down your options and find the CRM suite that best fits the needs of your business (and its clients), we're going to review the 5 most popular top CRM software tools:
The 5 Most Popular Top CRM Software Tools
The 5 top CRM solutions
|Zoho||Best for value for money|
|Insightly||Best for integration|
|Nimble||Best for social media|
|Infusionsoft||Best for automation and scaling|
|HubSpot||Best all-in-one solution|
Best for Value for Money
- Robust free version
- Easy to capture and import leads
- Managers can keep track of team performance with quota management
- Customized reporting is limited
- Weak customer support
While several CRM solutions offer a free "light" version, these tend to come with limits and strings attached.
By contrast, Zoho is one of the country’s most popular CRM tools because its free CRM solution offers enough features that some small businesses and solopreneurs will find it sufficient for their needs.
Zoho’s free version includes modules for billing, HR and more, and its cloud-based architecture means the application works seamlessly across a number of devices. It can help up to ten users manage and automate the business’ sales cycle, and handily integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and email.
You won’t get everything for nothing, however. The free version’s reporting function can be frustratingly limited, with minimal details and customization. Plus, Zoho’s best customer support goes to its highest-paying customers.
Of course, the paid version is far more feature-rich, adding extra list management, customer support, invoicing, reporting, and HR management utilities, as well as sales forecasting, mass emailing and social media lead capture. But even Zoho’s paid plans are cheaper than average - so are still worth considering for those on a budget.
▶ Find out more: Zoho Review
Best for Integration
- Interface is very easy to use
- Simple contact management
- Includes a customizable range of features
- No desktop/server software
- Reporting features are basic
Designed for small businesses, Insightly has become a market leader because it’s both user-friendly and comprehensive.
Uniquely, Insightly includes not just CRM but also useful project management functions, and its ability to integrate with a myriad of third-party apps - including Microsoft programs, Xero, Google Apps, Quickbooks, Mailchimp, Slack, Evernote and plenty more - means its functionality can be broad. You’re also given the option to customise functionality using Insightly’s REST API.
Unfortunately, the lack of a server/desktop version takes Insightly out of contention for businesses needing HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley 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.
While 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), Insightly is more than competent at handling the day-to-day needs of small businesses.
▶ Find out more: Insightly Review
Best for Social Media
- Detailed social media management and analysis
- Affordable single price point
- Limited to social media and email
Rather than an all-in-one solution, Nimble focuses squarely on social media - and is a popular choice among 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.
For businesses that don't require all the bells and whistles of a larger service, Nimble is an excellent solution. It's lean, 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, like Hootsuite.
Importantly, with a single price point of $19 per month per user (if paid annually - it’s $25 if not), Nimble is just about inexpensive enough to integrate with another CRM solution if you need a broader range of capabilities.
Best for Automation and Scaling
- Excellent customer service
- Focus on supercharging online selling
- More expensive than other software
- Interface can be confusing
First off, it’s worth saying that Infusionsoft - run by software company Keap - isn't cheap. It comes with onboarding costs and additional fees for additional services, and packages start at $199 per month.
But if you've ever needed proof of the axiom that you get what you pay for, Infusionsoft is a prime example. This software offers all the CRM features you'd expect, alongside excellent sales and marketing automation and tools for online selling.
It's cloud-based, and also integrates well with ecommerce platforms, content management systems, email providers, and tonnes more. Infusionsoft’s additional extras allow for social media management, the creation of custom membership sites, and synchronization with Gmail or Outlook.
Infusionsoft’s vast feature set can be a blessing and a curse; on the one hand, learning to use the complex and quirky user interface can be a learning curve - 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; and the time saved in automation, and the money saved in better customer service and client relations, will pay dividends.
Best All-in-One Solution
- Robust free version
- Comprehensive suite of services
- Easy to use interface
- Additional services are expensive
- Some free features have limited capabilities
While it's difficult to be all things to all businesses, HubSpot gives it a try and surprisingly succeeds to a high 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 is that its CRM offering is 100% free. Enabling unlimited users and up to one million contacts, it’s a solid option for budget-conscious small 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 intuitive.
Beyond its CRM package’s price (exactly $0), 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 intuitivity makes this worthwhile.
Running a small 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, and so much more in the customer lifecycle - the right CRM solution can help your business work as smart as it works hard.
If you’re still unsure about which CRM software is best for your business, why not try filling out our quick quote-finding form, which you can find at the top of this page? Answer a couple of questions about your business, and you’ll receive custom quotes from the suppliers who can best provide what you need.