Thursday, October 7, 2021

Best CRM Software

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best CRM software for most people is HubSpot.

A good customer relationship management (CRM) software focuses on the one thing that makes a great business: the customer.

To take your business to the next level, you need the best CRM software for you.

Finding the right CRM platform for your business can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. That’s what inspired me to create this guide.

I’ve looked into dozens of CRM software out there. Below, I’ve distilled them down to the nine very best ones and tell you exactly why they are.

  • 100% Free CRM software
  • Contact & task management
  • Email tracking & scheduling
  • Document sharing & live chat
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The 9 Best CRM Software Solutions of 2021

After researching and testing dozens of different CRM software, I’ve determined that these are the top nine options on the market today:

  1. HubSpot
  2. Salesflare
  3. Zoho CRM
  4. Freshsales
  5. Insightly
  6. Apptivo
  7. Pipedrive
  8. EngageBay
  9. Salesforce

We’ll take a closer look at the features, benefits, and pricing of each software in the reviews below. Use this guide to help you find the best CRM software for your business.

Best CRM Software Reviews

#1 – HubSpot

  • 100% Free CRM software
  • Contact & task management
  • Email tracking & scheduling
  • Document sharing & live chat
Get it for Free

HubSpot is another well-recognized name in the business world. Their blog is one of the best resources for content related to sales, marketing, and services.

HubSpot is unique because they offer free forever CRM software. They also have CRM for multiple roles within an organization, like:

  • CRM for sales leaders
  • CRM for salespeople
  • CRM for business owners
  • CRM for operations managers
  • CRM for customer service representatives
  • CRM for marketers

Some CRM providers offer a free trial or free plan with basic features. But HubSpot’s goes above and beyond what you’d normally get for free.

New users will have no trouble taking advantage of all that HubSpot has to offer. The interface is clean and simple, making it easier to store relevant info about your customers.

Sales folks will get a birds’ eye view where each customer is in the pipeline, with the ability to set filters and track deals in a way that makes sense.

This is just one small facet of what the free version of HubSpot can help with. Here are some of the top features for the no-cost sales CRM:

  • Contact management
  • Deal management
  • Task management
  • Email tracking and notifications
  • Email templates and scheduling
  • Document sharing
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Email integration (Gmail and Outlook)
  • Live chat

As for the paid software, prices vary based on the type of CRM you’re looking for and the number of contacts you have.

The Marketing CRM, Sales CRM, and Service CRM all have plans starting at $50 per month. Enterprise plans for Service and Sales start at $1,200 per month, and the Marketing Enterprise begins at $3,200 per month.

In my opinion, the paid options are well worth the price. They come with better, more robust features to help you manage your relationships with prospects and your current client roster to great effect. Your ROI on this CRM software is hard to beat.

For those of you who want CRM solutions for multiple departments and uses, you can buy a bundle from HubSpot as well. Growth Suites (include Sales, Marketing, Service) starts at $112.50 per month.

You can also create your own bundle based on the specific tools that you’re looking for.

#2 – Salesflare

  • Plans start at $29/month
  • Tailor-made for B2B sales teams
  • Automation for email campaigns
  • Easy integration with Outlook & Gmail
Try it for Free

Salesflare is what I recommend for B2B sales teams who want to get better at their lead, prospect, and customer management.

It starts with simple, automatic data collection from prospects and customers. The platform intelligently scoops up information from emails (and even email signatures), social media profiles, and much more.

Then it automatically populates fields in folders dedicated to each customer, filling in the blanks on details like a contact’s role at their company and their contact information. Salesflare even logs their actions—like what emails they’ve opened or links they’ve clicked—so you have access to all the pertinent information in one place.

This really helps sales teams of any size. By keeping all this information in one place, it allows any team member to pick up the client or customer even if they haven’t interacted with them before.

Salesflare also provides the tools to send out focused emails based on customer information and actions. First, you’ll get notifications when a lead turns warm because they’ve visited your website, opened a welcome email, or their dwell time on your site’s pages.

Track every lead at every stage in the intuitive pipeline. Your team will be able to stay organized, never missing an opportunity to encourage potential buyers through their journey.

The platform integrates so well with Gmail and Outlook that it’s as easy as pie to take the next step upon receiving one of these notifications.

Plus, with the two higher pricing tiers, you get extra features for personalizing and segmenting your next round of emails, tracking the responses, and even setting up automated campaigns that send when triggered by any piece of data in your Salesflare software.

Salesflare does not offer a free forever version like some other products on this list, but its pricing plans are competitive and you get most of the key features even at the lowest tier:

Growth — $29 per user per month

  • Automated customer data gathering
  • Track actions like email opens and website visits
  • Simple email integration with Gmail and Outlook
  • Further integrations with PieSync, iCloud, and more
  • Personalized email campaigns
  • Mobile app

Pro — $49 per user per month

  • All of the Growth features, plus
  • Email workflows and scheduling
  • User permissions, including view-only users
  • Custom dashboards

Enterprise — $99 per user per month

  • All of the above, plus white-glove service that includes
  • A dedicated account manager
  • Custom training programs for your team
  • Managed data migration into Salesflare

Though the main focus is on automation and emails, there are really helpful collaborative features within it, as well. Team members can see if any of their colleagues have connections to set up an intro with a prospect, access a shared customer address book, and track opportunities in a pleasing, Kanban-style board.

Salesflare is a potent tool for improving your lead management and powering up your sales funnel. Despite no free forever version, you can try it out for free for up to 30 days or contact Salesflare to set up a demo.

#3 – Zoho CRM

  • Plans start at $18/month
  • Convert more leads
  • Engage with customers
  • Custom reporting dashboards
Try it for Free

Zoho CRM is one of the best solutions for companies that need a basic CRM they can customize to make their own.

I might point folks who need more really advanced CRM functionality to Salesforce, but Zoho CRM is going to be so much easier to start working with on day one. Especially for smaller companies without a ton of developer support. 

This isn’t to say Zoho CRM stays basic. You’ll be able to customize considerably to capture all the information that’s important to you. You’ll even have a say in the look and feel of the platform, which you can design yourself:

I found Zoho CRM to be very approachable. Every CRM is going to take a little investment to get going, but Zoho asks a lot less of users than other products I’ve seen.

It’s also going to tie into Zoho’s entire suite of products, which are top notch. In fact, Zoho Books made our list of the best business accounting software, and Zoho Inventory is on our list of the best inventory management software.

Big brands like Bose, Netflix, Amazon, Ducati, and Suzuki all use Zoho CRM for customer relationship management.

Here’s a brief overview of the plans and pricing for Zoho CRM:

Standard — $18 per user per month

  • Scoring rules
  • Email insights
  • Workflow conversion
  • Web forms
  • Unique and custom fields
  • Custom reporting and customized dashboards
  • Groups and tagging
  • 100,000 records

Professional — $30 per user per month

  • Real-time notifications
  • Process management
  • Email integration across multiple devices
  • Web-to-case forms
  • Inventory management
  • Google Ads integration
  • Validation rules
  • 2.5 million records

Enterprise — $45 per user per month

  • On-demand sales analytics
  • Pipeline view for emails
  • Customize your visual CRM record display
  • Built-in analytics
  • Multi-user portals
  • Custom buttons and modules
  • Mobile SDK and app
  • Territory management
  • 5 million records

All of the prices are for month-to-month plans. You can save 20% with an annual contract.

Zoho offers an Ultimate plan that’s only available yearly. It has features like advanced customization, enhanced storage, email sentiment, and automation suggestions. But you’ll need to contact the Zoho sales team for a custom quote.

Additionally, there’s a free version of Zoho CRM—although it’s extremely limited and only realistic for a small home-based business.

#4 – Freshsales

  • Plans start at $19/month
  • Visual sales pipeline
  • Lead and deal management
  • SMS integration
Try it for Free

Freshsales is tailor-made for sales teams.

They help your team find and manage all your sales leads.  You’ll be able to have relevant conversations with prospects and improve your sales pipeline.

Here’s a closer look at their plans and features that come with them:

Blossom — $19 per month per user ($12 with annual contract)

  • Lead, account, contact, and deal management
  • Visual sales pipeline
  • Lead scoring
  • SMS integration
  • Access to marketplace apps
  • API access

Garden — $35 per month per user ($25 with annual contract)

  • 1,000 free contacts
  • 250 bulk emails per user per day
  • 5 sales sequences per user
  • 10 teams
  • 10 workflow automations
  • Lead assignments and territories
  • Advanced reports

Estate — $65 per month per user ($49 with annual contract)

  • Advanced CRM customization
  • Auto profile enrichment (with social media information)
  • Reporting dashboard
  • Event tracking
  • Multi-currency support
  • Sales goals

Forest — $79 per month (billed annually)

  • EEA data center
  • IP whitelisting
  • Audit logs
  • Dedicated account manager

You can try out any of these plans for free with a 21-day trial. Freshsales also has a free forever startup plan with basic features.

Bottom line: it’s affordable and perfect for a growing sales team. You can easily upgrade to a higher tier as your company grows.

#5 – Insightly

  • Plans start at $29/month
  • Send, track, & manage emails
  • Workflow automation
  • Customize dashboards
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Insightly is a bit unique compared to some of the other options we’ve reviewed so far. In addition to sales and marketing, Insightly CRM puts a strong focus on project management. You’ll get all of these feature sets in a single solution.

Some of the benefits of Insightly CRM include:

  • Dataset management
  • Create and deploy custom apps
  • Customize dashboards for metric tracking
  • Lead routing
  • Workflow automation
  • Send, track, and manage emails
  • Relationship linking

There’s a great mobile app for when you’re on the go too. Scan business cards, update your tasks in real-time, and create new opportunities on-site at a client’s location.

Popular tools like G Suite, Gmail, QuickBooks, Google Drive, Mail Chimp, Slack, and Dropbox all integrate with Insightly.

All Insightly CRM plans are billed on an annual basis. Here’s a look at those rates:

  • Plus — $29 per user per month
  • Professional — $49 per user per month
  • Enterprise —  $99 per user per month

You can request a demo and try it out for free. Insightly has a free forever plan with basic features for two users.

#6 – Apptivo

  • Plans start at $0/month
  • Premium plans start at $10/mo
  • Integrates with other tools
  • Multiple apps in one
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Apptivo is another top choice for CRM software. It’s used by 200,000+ organizations in roughly 200 countries. The Apptivo CRM is unique because it combines multiple apps into a single solution.

In addition to CRM, Apptivo also offers:

  • Online invoicing
  • Web help desk
  • Project management
  • Expense reports
  • Field service tools
  • Email marketing
  • Procurement for supply chain management

So for those of you who are in the market for these additional services, you can manage everything in the same place with Apptivo CRM. This is much simpler than juggling multiple apps for different uses.

The CRM apps for Apptivo fall into the following categories:

  • Contracts
  • Sales planning
  • Territory management
  • Competitors
  • Work orders
  • Customers
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Cases
  • Leads

Apptivo integrates tools like Slack, Office 365, G Suite, and more.

Here’s a brief overview of the plans and prices for Apptivo CRM:

Starter — $0

  • Up to 3 users
  • 500 MB
  • Basic contact sharing
  • Standard reports
  • Standard support

Premium — $10 per month per user ($8 with annual contract)

  • 3 GB per user
  • 1,000 mass emails per user
  • 2,000 API calls
  • Standard support

Ultimate — $25 per month ($20 with annual contract)

  • 10 GB per user
  • 3,000 emails per user
  • 20,000 API calls
  • Priority support

Enterprise — Custom pricing

  • 5,000 emails per user
  • White labeling
  • Custom integrations
  • SLA support and dedicated account manager

You can save 20% if you sign up for yearly billing instead of month-to-month.

Apptivo is commonly used for businesses in real estate, travel and hospitality, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, utilities, and energy industries.

#7 – Pipedrive

  • Plans start at $17/month
  • Lead & deal management
  • Communication tracking
  • Deep insights and reports
Get started now

Pipedrive CRM is designed to simplify your sales process.

More than 90,000 businesses use Pipedrive CRM. It’s a straightforward platform that’s easy for anyone to figure out.

This CRM was created to generate more leads and sort your sales in a single location. It helps eliminate administrative tasks that are unproductive. It’s designed to drive more sales with less legwork on your end.

Some of the top features and benefits of Pipedrive CRM include:

  • Lead management
  • Deal management
  • Communication tracking
  • Automation
  • Deep insights and reports
  • Privacy and security for business data
  • Mobile app access
  • 150+ third-party integrations

More than $24 billion in sales have been closed using Pipedrive. On average, businesses increase their close rate by 28% after the first year using this CRM.

These are the plans and prices for Pipedrive CRM:

Essential — $17 per month per user ($12.50 with annual contract)

  • Custom pipelines
  • Custom fields
  • AI sales assistance
  • User and company goal setting
  • Custom dashboard

Advanced — $31 per month per user ($24.90 with annual contract)

  • Sales task automation
  • Email integration
  • Email templates and email automation
  • Products catalog

Professional — $59 per month per user ($49.50 with annual contract)

  • Call tracking
  • Click-to-call
  • Unlimited meeting scheduling
  • Batch emails
  • Team management
  • Multi-dashboard support
  • Revenue forecasts
  • Custom user and admin permissions

Essential — $99 per month per user (billed annually)

  • Minimum 10 users
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Phone support
  • Data import
  • Enhanced security
  • Additional user permissions for full control

Pipedrive also has a “Leadbooster” add-on for $39 per month ($32.50 with annual contract). This tool is billed per company, not per user. It’s designed to turn more web visitors into leads. Leadbooster is basically a chatbot. It engages with customers with instant responses and makes it easy for them to schedule a meeting.

Try Pipedrive CRM free with a 14-day trial.

#8 – EngageBay

  • Robust free plan
  • Sales, marketing, & service tools
  • Deep automation abilities
  • Social suite included
Try it for Free

A good CRM helps you organize all your contacts and associated information in a way that makes your sales efforts easier. A really good CRM takes that, applies it across the board to your marketing and customer service teams as well and adds in a healthy dose of automation capability to really streamline things.

EngageBay is a great example of the latter.

This is a CRM that can work for anyone but will really boost teams where post-sale customer service is as vital as securing the purchase. And it comes at a really great price, to boot.

In fact, EngageBay’s free forever package includes all the essentials that a team would need, especially in low-demand environments. You get a boatload of marketing features, like custom forms, email sequences, web pop-ups, and a landing page builder.

Not only that, but key integrations like Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 are also included. A lot of CRMs require you to belly up to a paid plan to unlock that.

You also get EngageBay’s social suite for keeping a bird’s eye view of all your social media engagement efforts, plus service tools for ticket and contact management and a live chat widget.

Again, all of that is on the free forever plan.

But, you are limited to an extent. You can only do so many sequences, build so many pages, and send up to 1,000 branded emails per month on the free plan.

The Basic plan doesn’t add many features, but expands the number of lists and contacts you can have, plus boosts the number of emails you can send, sequences you can set up, and more. That costs $8.99 per user per month.

Unlock the automation tools at the Growth plan level, which runs $29.99 per user each month. That also provides key features like call reports, service team push notifications, and custom URLs for landing pages you build. You also get a dedicated EngageBay account service representative at this tier.

The full monty comes with the Pro plan at $47.99 per user per month. That greatly expands the number of automations you can set up, contacts you can have (unlimited at this tier), and emails you can send.

If you want to focus on one team’s needs, you can even purchase plans that focus on just marketing, the service bay, or a combination of the CRM and service tools.

Improve all facets of your operations, from lead generation to continuing customer support, by choosing EngageBay.

#9 – Salesforce

  • Plans start at $25/month
  • Productivity tools
  • Advisory services
  • Detailed analytics
Try it for Free

Salesforce CRM is one of the most popular customer relationship management solutions on the market today.

150,000+ businesses rely on them for their customer relationship solutions including some you might recognize like Spotify, Amazon, Macy’s, Toyota, and U.S. Bank. So if you decide to go with them, you’ll be in great company.

Salesforce has an extensive suite of CRM products for you to choose from. They offer solutions based on business type, role, need, and industry. Examples include:

  • Small business
  • Service
  • Sales
  • Sales and service
  • Marketing
  • Commerce

It’s one of the most extensive CRM product offerings that you’ll find on the market today. They even offer advisory services, success plans, productivity tools, integrations, and detailed analytics.

For the purpose of this review, I’m going to focus on the Sales CRM from Salesforce. In my opinion, this is the best one that they offer. Here’s an overview of the Sales plans:

Essentials — $25 per user per month

  • All-in-one sales and support
  • Account management
  • Lead management
  • Contact management
  • Opportunity management
  • Email integration
  • Salesforce mobile app

Professional — $75 per user per month

  • All Essentials features
  • Best for teams of all sizes
  • Lead registration
  • Lead scoring
  • Collaborative forecasting

Enterprise — $150 per user per month

  • Customizable CRM
  • All Professional features
  • Workflow automation
  • Approval automation

Unlimited — $300 per user per month

  • Best power and support of all plans
  • For large businesses
  • All Enterprise features
  • 24/7 support and configuration services

It’s worth noting that these are the rates if you choose to be billed annually. They’ll go up if you just want to try it month-to-month.

Even the Essentials and Professional plans will be more than enough for most businesses. You can try Salesforce for free with a 30-day trial.

What is CRM software?

CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” It’s a system that lets you manage all your organization’s interactions with your customers.

Typically, CRM refers to specific software that accomplishes this for you. A good CRM software improves sales log communication, lead management, and even helps with marketing campaigns.

At the end of the day, though, it’s there to improve your relationship with your customers. Doing so can help retain the ones you have while drawing new customers in.

Why you need CRM

Your customers are the most crucial lever for success. Plain and simple. CRM software gives everybody in your company an opportunity to improve the relationship with your customer through tools such as:

  • Sales reporting
  • Customer information
  • Segmentation
  • Lead reporting
  • Marketing analysis
  • Customer service

Historically, CRM software was only used by large businesses and enterprises. But today, CRM has evolved to fit the needs of all organizations, regardless of size or industry.

That means that you should invest in a CRM software—even if your company is small.

How to Choose the CRM Software For Your Business

CRM software can be a complicated subject. With so many options to choose from, finding the best solution for your business might be overwhelming.

This is the methodology that we recommend here at Quick Sprout to help narrow your search. I’ll explain each element in greater detail so you can make a decision based on your needs.

Compare Quotes From The Best CRM Software

Get matched up with the CRM software that fits your specific needs.

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Team Size

The size of your business and team will have a significant impact on the CRM you choose. Some solutions are better for small businesses, while other options specialize in enterprise software.

You can even find CRM tools for small teams of just one or two people.


Customer relationship management software is so diverse. It’s such a broad term, and it’s used across multiple departments and for various reasons.

Common CRM categories include:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Project management

There are even other solutions for things like customer service. Some companies offer all CRM capabilities into a single platform. Others specialize in one category over another.

There are CRM solutions offered as an all-in-one solution. But other times, you’ll have to buy the software separately or bundle it into a single package.


You should look for CRM software that integrates with popular tools that you’re already using. This will allow you and your team to manage everything from a single dashboard.

If you constantly have to bounce back and forth between multiple platforms to manage your leads and customers, it defeats the purpose of using CRM to streamline your process.


As always, price will be a significant factor in which CRM you choose.

In most cases, pricing is based on the number of users you have. Depending on the platform, pricing can also be based on the number of contacts or storage you’ll need as well.

Make sure to find something in your price range. The pricing for CRM software ranges from $0 to $300+ per user.


What’s the best CRM software? The answer varies depending on your business type and what you’re looking for.

Our top pick for most users is HubSpot, with its feature-rich modules and robust free plans.

Salesflare is great for B2B companies looking to improve their lead and client management. Those looking to improve their sales funnel’s capability by simplifying and streamlining it will love the features offered in Pipedrive.

If you’re already using Zoho Books for your accounting (which we also reviewed well), Zoho CRM is an easy choice for its seamless integration.

Sales teams looking for a resource to lean on for the long haul will be happy with either of Freshsales or Salesforce, two of the biggest names in the CRM space.

Want to help out your marketing and service teams as well as your sales force? Get with EngageBay and improve all three facets of your operations.

Teams that want to wield their CRM for helping with project management will find the features in Insightly incredibly helpful. If you need a bit more and also want marketing tools included (but don’t want to pay Hubspot for their full suite), Apptivo offers a complete package at a reasonable price.

From startups to enterprises, and sales to marketing and project management, I’m confident that you can find the best CRM software for your company on this list.

Compare Quotes From The Best CRM Software

Get matched up with the CRM software that fits your specific needs.

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from Quick Sprout

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