Customer relationship management (CRM) software can generate a strong ROI for small business owners. According to Nomalys research, one dollar spent on CRM software generates an $8.71 return on investment — and can help boost sales by 27% thanks to its customer engagement capabilities.

Small business success is a challenge at the best of times. These days, even more so. Growth today requires marketing automation and an effective sales process to track sales leads and manage contacts. Sales reps and marketing teams aren’t enough. Growth depends on customer relationship management software to build customer profiles. Here’s the problem. Software is expensive! You need the best of the best — which is why we’ve vetted apps, partly based on customer satisfaction, and compiled a list of the top CRMs that you can use to take your small business to the next level.

Let’s dive in and start conversions … today.

Our pick for the best small business CRM: Honeybook

  • A complete solution for small businesses in a single platform, from contract creation to prospecting.
  • 24/7 customer service support.
  • Easy-to-read pipelines give you data-driven insights at a glance.

The Best Small Business CRM Software

  • Honeybook – The best all-around CRM
  • Monday.com – Great for new CRM users
  • Pipedrive – Strong email marketing features
  • Capsule – Ideal for users who want the basics
  • Copper – Great choice for Google-reliant systems
  • Keap – When you’re ready to take CRM to the next level  

Finding The Best CRM Software – Reviews

1. Honeybook – The best all-around CRM

HoneyBook - Review 2020 - PCMag UK

Honeybook has been providing CRM solutions for small businesses since 2013. The software’s simple design helps users build customer pipelines with ease. In addition to a robust CRM database that can store an unlimited number of client notes, correspondence, data, and past projects, the service allows small business owners to create custom automations.

Don’t let the simple design fool you — it is one of Honeybook’s greatest assets. Business owners can segment clients and prospects, separate projects, create funnels, and let the tailored sales solutions take over. If you are a business owner looking to rely more heavily on automation this year but are not sure where to start, consider Honeybook your best option.

Everything your business needs to get it done.

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Featuring hundreds of third-party integration options and internalized client communication capabilities, you can run your business off of a centralized system. It is all possible thanks to task tracking and management, branded asset creation, and legally-approved templates (contract, proposal, and invoice) that you can access in seconds.

The template repository of fill-in-the-blank style e-forms set this service apart, as Honeybook truly does provide small businesses with end-to-end management solutions at an affordable price. Test the service for free for seven days; no credit card required. After that, you can enjoy lower price points compared to their competitors — starting at $9.00 per month until your transaction total hits $10,000.

Pros:

  • Customizable, legally-binding templates 
  • Centralized and easy-to-use client communications by project
  • Form building and branding capabilities
  • In-platform payment and direct deposit options for all major banks

Cons:

  • Automation process is largely self-taught and may be limiting to new small business owners.

 

Software Our score Pricing
Honeybrook ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ $9.00/month – $39.00/month

2. Monday.com – Great for new CRM users

monday.com logo

Monday.com is ideal for small businesses. It is built with user-friendly, intuitive software that is designed to easily grow and scale with you. If you prefer visual databases and color-coded organizational styles, you’ll immediately be drawn to the vibrant colors and versatility that the platform has to offer. 

Monday makes managing your business processes seamless, allowing for unlimited tracking and management of potential customers. If you have a pre-existing CRM from another service, Monday has a tailored migration service that helps you import and format data. 

monday.com on mobile devices

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This service is unique because the initial sign-up is completely free. It also has a low-to-no-cost training model, allowing businesses to create their own workflows from the ground up in seconds thanks to the columns and organizational options. This is an important point, as some software options require an extensive learning curve and extended transition period. 

Overall, this platform is ideal for users just starting out, or for those who plan to scale their business quickly. Monday.com offers extensive integrations and automation capability, meaning the possibilities truly are endless. You can be assured that no matter how complex your system is, your team will be able to follow along thanks to the streamlined UI and ability to customize the values.

Pros:

  • Easy to scale with your business
  • Color-coded record keeping for easy tracking at a glance
  • Fully-customizable database structure
  • No-training, easy-onboard model

Cons:

  • No native purchase intake capabilities, integration-based only

 

Software Our score Pricing
Monday.com ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $24/month – $48/month

3. Pipedrive – Strong email marketing features

File:Pipedrive Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Pipedrive is a sales-driven CRM centered on client relationship management, sales, business growth, and team management. The unique platform was designed by salespeople, giving you the true toolkit you need to seamlessly navigate your first conversions. You can gain full access during the trial period with no credit card required, and will be in good company if you choose to purchase their services — the client portfolio includes Amazon.com, Vimeo, and Re/Max, to name a few! 

The platform’s top assets lie in its sleek, easy-to-navigate interface and easy-build process that allows you to create perfect sales activities and visual pipelines from the first touch to conversion. You also get the added administrative support that small business CRMs need along with feature-rich tools that help you collaborate, manage teams, schedule reminders, complete task management duties, record client data, manage correspondence, and track segments. 

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Pipedrive’s added functionality goes far beyond basic CRM. You can assemble customer-driven, web-based forms to communicate with your clients, thanks to mass email integrations and a branded AI lead generation tool — connecting you to your ideal customers in seconds. 

You can also access an easy-to-read, customizable dashboard that tracks key data points in real-time. This gives you access to actionable, data-driven insights that can help you accurately create forecasts and plan your next campaign. Overall, Pipedrive is a great tool for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a centralized system designed to help them manage overhead. Pipedrive is slightly more complex than some basic CRMs you’ll find online, but it is worth the investment and the learning process.

Pros

  • Internal project management for maximum efficiency
  • Easy-to-read, fully custom dashboards
  • Forecasting capabilities and several internal reporting options
  • Form creation and customer communication capabilities

Cons

  • This platform is significantly more complex than others in this list, which may cause an extended learning process for team members.

 

Software Our score Pricing
Pipedrive ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $12.50/month – $99.00/month

4. Capsule – Ideal for users who want the basics

Capsule Crm - Capsule Crm Logo PNG Image | Transparent PNG Free Download on SeekPNG

Capsule CRM’s entire marketing strategy is that they can offer your business just that — a capsule-esque CRM that has everything you need, and avoids the features you don’t. The minimalistic approach is attractive and can be great for small business owners who don’t have the time or resources to learn new systems. The platform is sales and client-oriented and pours its focus into delivering those CRM elements in a user-friendly design. 

Capsule can connect to several major integrations, so your business can run on autopilot. These include Quickbooks, Mailchimp, Outlook & Gmail, and their library is rapidly expanding. Most recently, they have integrated with Xero and Loom. On one platform, all of the data you need is at your fingertips, thanks to a streamlined daily dashboard and reporting elements. 

List of sales pipelines and their descriptions

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The platform offers visual pipelines and the ability to create more at no extra cost. This is extremely helpful if you are working on tailoring operations toward an ideal customer, or want a higher degree of accuracy in your reporting for different customer types. You can also use pipelines to inform targeted marketing strategies and convert more clients. 

Capsule’s customer management experience is better than most of the CRMs we’ve seen so far. The system eliminates the need for spreadsheets altogether, and houses contact information, correspondence, notes, preferences, and other elements in a single contact record. This is ideal for the fast-paced world of customer service. You can access key details for a specific client or case in seconds. The service also offers an auto-enrichment option, pulling key details from client social media accounts that can help you tailor your approach to their preferences. If your small business is expanding and rapidly gaining clients, your customer service representatives can tap this quick reference before writing and sending correspondence.

Pros:

  • Single-record client management capabilities
  • Auto-enrichment feature for ideal client data and preference gathering
  • Ability to use all major integrations, such as Outlook and Quickbooks
  • Multiple-stream pipeline creation for accurate reporting

Cons:

  • Limited library of integrations compared to other services

 

Software Our score Pricing
Capsule ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $0.00/month – $54.00/month

5. Copper – Great choice for Google-based systems

Copper, Inc. Logo Vector - (.SVG + .PNG) - FindLogoVector.Com

Copper is a relatively new CRM compared to other entries on this list but has one of the most robust Google workspace integrations currently available on the market. The CRM interface is modeled after your inbox, allowing you to effortlessly navigate between client conversations and records. Because of this feature, the platform boasts a “0% learning curve,” letting your team organize their own workflows and management systems without restrictions or templates. 

This system is ideal if you are looking to start immediately and want a low to no setup system that can put your business and client management in an automated process. The concept that sets this CRM apart is rare: absolutely no data entry is needed thanks to its complete integration and compatibility with your G-suite. 

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The company has refined the user experience. It is sleek and was recently promoted at Google Next ‘21 for its innovative and inclusive design structure. Beyond the one-touch client management system, you can also enjoy visually-oriented pipelines with workflows designed to help you close your first (and thousandth) sale. 

Copper is worth the investment, as your team can work from a central system without ever interrupting the workflow. With the easy add extension, you can simply add a contact from your inbox to Copper, and access their data with just a few taps. This feature is revolutionizing how work is being done, from creating deliverables on Google Drive to meeting preparations with Google Calendar. Every piece of relevant information is available with no searching, lost time, or confusion. If your organization is growing and wants to enhance its efficiency, switch to Copper and start recuperating that lost time now.

Pros

  • Easy to use flow and process with low time spent on the learning curve
  • Centralized system minimizing time spent out of CRM
  • Google Suite compatible
  • No data entry needed thanks to Google’s auto-capture feature

Cons

  • If you don’t work with Google Suite for your operations, this CRM is not the best option for your small business, it may be limiting for you.

 

Software Our score Pricing
Copper ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ $25.00/month – $119/month

6. Keap – When you’re ready to take CRM to the next level

Keap Logo Vector (SVG, PDF, Ai, EPS, CDR) Free Download - Logowik.com

Keap is designed for small to large enterprises, offering a full-stack solution for all of your digital marketing and client management needs. While you can access Keap’s extensive library of third-party integration capabilities through tools like Zapier, you may find that you won’t need it thanks to their inclusive solutions. You can send bulk email, run reports, create sales pipelines as well as sales processes, and innovate your custom dashboards with a single click. This platform is automation-heavy, which offers the potential to save some serious lost time and costs — although there is a bit of a learning curve. 

The system is designed to be adaptable and smart. Customize the system to your current needs. While the optimization process does take time to perfect, you can always work with one of the system’s specialists to get your business up and running in a done-for-you framework. 

Graphic showing the different companies Keap integrates with.

When you work with Keap, you won’t have to worry about integrating with Quickbooks or any other service to track payment schedules. The interface has a tracking system that is available on every customer record, allowing you to view full histories and complete payment tasks in seconds. This method and design are ideal if you have a variety of product offerings or paid events, giving you easy visibility and traceability to create tailored marketing campaigns for a select group of clients. 

Keap has the advantage of longevity in the industry and has continued to become more dynamic and adaptable to the needs of their clients, creating the most intuitive and innovative platform possible. Overall, this platform is ideal for medium-sized businesses looking to enhance their current system, and step into a platform with the infrastructure needed to scale.

Pros

  • Advanced reporting and pipeline functionality
  • Advanced automation abilities with a user-friendly setup system
  • Enhanced traceability and segregation through in-platform tagging
  • Endless ability to integrate with your favorite apps

Cons

  • More advanced learning curve due to platform capabilities

 

Software Our score Pricing
Keap ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $79.00/month – $199.00/month

 

Did you know?
Fact: In 2021, worldwide revenue from CRM sales was estimated to be $46.5 billion USD (From Statista)

 

Which type of small business CRM is right for you?

There are many considerations when selecting a small business CRM. Make sure you choose the option that matches the current phase of your business operations — not the phase that you hope to be in soon. This approach helps you select a high-impact tool with a high return on investment.

Below are a few things that you should evaluate when making a decision:

  • Consider remote access through cloud-based systems. You’ll want a modern, tech-forward solution that offers the information you need, wherever you need it. That’s why you should ensure your platform of choice has remote access capabilities and is not a complex, single-seat system. 
  • Consider price point. While launching a small business requires a significant investment, it is important to determine if the CRM cost is something you can comfortably sustain over the long term. There are a variety of options available, some as low as just a few dollars.
  • Consider ease of use. A software solution is exponentially more valuable if it is easy to implement and use. Your CRM is meant to be used by all members of the team and needs to be user-friendly to generate the best results for your business.
  • Consider customer support elements. Does your CRM currently have 24/7 customer support? If your business needs additional support or the database crashes, you know the effects of downtime. It is always a good idea to choose a CRM with 24/7 customer service. 
  • Consider record limits. As you review subscription options, be mindful of record limits. Some options limit you to 250-1000 records before forcing you into the next-level service plan. If you run targeted ads or automations, your record limit can be exhausted quickly, often before you plan to move forward.

What is a CRM?

A client relationship manager, otherwise known as a CRM, is a database that can help you track client relationships, outreach initiatives, purchase histories, and more. Ultimately, a business CRM should be one of your first investments. It can shape brand perception and success in operations and marketing.

Does my small business need a CRM?

Short answer: Yes! The market is becoming more saturated as new innovations and products are created for consumers to indulge in. It’s important to make sure your business stands out and is positioned in a way that will resonate with your customer base.

CRMs allow you to connect with your prospective customers in new ways and store information such as previous customer interactions, sales records, preferences, demographic information, and customer care correspondence. Maintaining an accurate and live CRM helps you to create targeted marketing campaigns with ease, and can help you to save significant time and cost.

What is the best small business CRM on the market?

In our review, we believe that the most comprehensive and best CRM option currently available for small businesses is Honeybook. We believe Honeybook is the top choice because it is designed to meet the needs of small businesses in any phase of execution. 

Often, smaller enterprises do not need complex automation systems and capabilities. Instead, they need reliable contracts, client management resources, and task management. Honeybook offers all of these benefits in an easy-to-use framework along with team support and tutorials at an unbeatable monthly price. 

It’s important to note, however, the answer to this question is entirely subjective and depends on what you are looking for. Read on to learn what you should consider when reviewing small business CRM options.

How do you choose a CRM for your small business?

To find the best CRM for your small business, we recommend solidifying your short and long-term business goals and identifying your current areas of need. You may want to work with your team as well to ensure that their needs are met through whatever platform you choose and that you are investing in a solution that will be reliable and scalable.

You may also prepare by reading reviews and recommendations such as this one and doing your own independent research into the platforms and what they offer. You’ll also want to compare each package that you are interested in against your budget to ensure it will be a suitable long-term solution.

What are three key features you should look for in your small business CRM?

Many CRM options are packed with benefits that you can enjoy as you scale your business. However, there are three key components that you should look for in a CRM software solution.

  • Easy client management: This is the entire point of a CRM, which is why you should ensure your platform of choice has an easy way to manage and delegate any type of client correspondence. 
  • Pipeline management: Your CRM can be optimized to be a massive tool for outreach and client experience. Pipeline management capabilities and ease of use are major considerations for your small business. This consideration alone can make the difference between stagnant and consistent conversions, as your pipeline will show your reps where every prospect is at any given time. Your pipeline informs your marketing strategy, making this a valuable asset to look for in your search for the perfect small business CRM. 
  • Integration capabilities: Many CRMs offer a flexible framework that grows with your business. When you are looking for a CRM solution, be sure to check their ability to host integrations with key apps that you may use. This can save you valuable time and help you to build automations — putting time back in your day and money in your pocket. 

What is the easiest CRM to use for small businesses?

If you are looking for ease of use and an impeccable support team, we recommend Honeybook for small business owners new to CRMs and automation. Honeybook has its own in-house support team that is available 24/7 to assist with customer inquiries and has a streamlined, user-friendly interface that separates clients and prospects by project. You can enjoy integration capabilities, visual pipelines, contract management, and email marketing tools, as well as in-platform payments — making this our top choice.

Do small businesses use CRMs?

Yes, absolutely. Businesses of all sizes do (and should!) use CRMs to support their business offerings and client experiences. You can benefit from using a CRM from the very start of your business, as you learn how to use integrations and automations to perfect the client experience and manage prospects.

Which CRM is best for a small retail shop?

We recommend Copper for a small retail business. Often, your web domain will redirect from a Google Suite email address, which would offer you the integration and versatility you need to manage any incoming customer inquiries in a single location. As a retail shop, it is likely that your business is receiving customer service requests via email as well, which would make Copper a more attractive and efficient solution for your reps.

You can respond and handle repetitive tasks within a single, centralized Google system in-platform, saving time and the cost of multiple systems. You can also see easy payment history and management if your business uses e-receipt systems, giving reps quick access to key information.

Copper is relatively inexpensive for what it offers, which could be a strong asset if your business is going through the scaling process and is on a restricted budget.

Best small business CRM — Conclusion

We know that you need a CRM to work for you. That’s why we’ve chosen Honeybook as the best CRM based on our analysis and criteria. Its scalable, done-for-you model is ideal for businesses just starting out, allowing you to be as intricate or as hands-off as you need to be. 

The variety of available features combined with a low price point makes this an ideal choice for small businesses of all types.

Honeybook – The best all-around CRM

HoneyBook - Review 2020 - PCMag UK

 

Bottom Line

Running an effective CRM system takes time and resources. In the short term, the cost of CRM software might not seem justified especially for small and medium-sized businesses running a patchwork of apps. In the long term, investments in CRM software can generate significant returns if you factor in higher conversions, better customer contact, and the opportunity cost of internal staff time on task. All you need to do is go through the best CRM software options we’ve reviewed here, consider their offerings, and select the one that will work best for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions on CRMs for Small Businesses

What is CRM?

Does my small business need a CRM?

Which CRM is best for a small retail shop?

How much money do I need to spend?

What is the easiest CRM to use for small businesses?

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