The Top 10 CRM Software

HubSpot CRM Logo

HubSpot CRM

Best CRM software

4.5 4.5 Stars
  • Automated email, internal linking, marketing campaigns, lead scoring
  • Data enrichment
  • Integrates with most used small business apps
HubSpot CRM is one of the most popular CRMs because of its freemium plan which includes many of its best features. However, HubSpot CRM is more than its free plan.

  • Starting price: Free

  • Automation Tools: Yes

  • Reporting: Site traffic, sales, support, marketing, custom

  • Integrations: 1,249

  • Customer support: Community forum, email, live chat, phone (7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET)

  • Free trial or demo: Freemium plan



HubSpot CRM offers a centralized hub focused on inbound marketing, sales, and support. It’s a comprehensive tool helping with nearly all facets of your business, and what it doesn’t cover, an integration likely exists. I named this the best CRM software because much of HubSpot CRM is simple and free to use.

HubSpot CRM is often named one of the best marketing tools available because it is customizable, integrates with some of the top third-party software (Gmail, Outlook, Zapier, Slack, Shopify, QuickBooks Online), and it offers automated tools to streamline your work.

Perhaps its strongest selling points are ease of use, its all-in-one platform, and its ability to analyze any data you gather.

HubSpot offers a site builder and content management system (CMS), but you may need to use one of these website builders to create your own site and integrate HubSpot. That’s the beauty of HubSpot: It’s complete, but it also works with what you already have, so it’s one of the most flexible choices.

I spent hours playing with my free version of HubSpot CRM and found that it was instantly intuitive because HubSpot created its CRM for use by more than your sales team. The email tracker makes it easy to time follow-up emails. The only thing I wish HubSpot CRM would do is separate non-marketing contacts and leads.

Who is HubSpot for?

I think it’s best for marketing (but who has marketing without sales?). I think HubSpot is one of the simplest CRMs in the industry, especially if you’re new to CRM. I created campaigns and managed a customer base without paying a dime — but I would opt for a paid plan if I decide to continue using HubSpot CRM.

Recent upgrades to HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM focuses on inbound strategies to help you pull in prospects and leads, and provides you tools to close those deals (and maintain or build on those relationships). In September 2022, HubSpot shifted its focus to something new — more authentic ways toward better customer relationships and experience.

Here are some of the new features or improvements:

  • Journey reports: Build a customer journey to help you understand how a customer interacts with your agents, sales reps, your website, and your ads.

  • More unified internally: Marketing campaign and sales data isn’t relegated to those teams alone anymore. HubSpot has integrated teams more by offering a unified calendar, comments threads, task and asset list combination, and more transparent reports for your teams.

  • Customer report builder: Bring data from all teams together into one report to give you insight into sales, support, marketing, and operations — all on one report. Now you can compare KPIs across teams and add pivot tables to these reports.


HubSpotCRM pricing

HubSpot CRM provides one of the best freemium plans in the industry. You can make a free plan work for a while, but you won’t have all the tools. Paid month-to-month plans cost $30, $1,780, and $5,000* for Starter, Professional, and Enterprise plans for the CRM suite. Alternatively, you can choose each hub separately for a different price, whether you want marketing, sales, or customer service.

Pros and cons of HubSpot CRM

Pros

  • Excellent freemium plan
  • Affordable entry-level plan
  • Centralized hub for all teams
  • Simple CRM platform
  • Automation features on all plans

Cons

  • No automatic daily backup
  • Limited support for low-tier plans
  • Can get expensive

      Summary

      • Starting price
        • Free
      • Automation tools
        Yes
      • Reporting
        Site traffic, sales, support, marketing, custom
      • Integrations
        1,249
      • Customer support
        Community forum, email, live chat, phone (7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET)
      • Free trial or demo
        Freemium plan
      Features
      • Automated email, internal linking, marketing campaigns, lead scoring
      • Data enrichment
      • Integrates with most used small business apps
      Less Annoying CRM Logo

      Less Annoying CRM

      Best CRM software for startups

      4.4 4.4 Stars
      • Simple to learn and use
      • Inexpensive single plan with all features
      • Excellent customer support
      Less Annoying CRM focuses on being accessible to new and small businesses. Contact and pipeline management are the main features, but customization is also easy to do, so you can make the CRM work the way you want (with automation being the exception).

      • Starting price: $15 per user per month

      • Automation tools: No

      • Reporting: Custom

      • Integrations: 20+

      • Customer support: Email and phone support (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time weekdays)

      • Free trial or demo: 30-day free trial



      Less Annoying CRM leans into its name and reputation: It’s a simple-to-use CRM with straightforward pricing and no feature is blocked. There’s only one pricing plan, which is affordable for small businesses.

      The software is cloud- and browser-based, so you can use it anywhere, but it doesn’t offer an actual app. Some of its strongest selling points are ease of use and support, so small businesses can get up and running quickly. Support is responsive, whether you reach out via email or phone.

      At the heart of Less Annoying CRM is simplicity, which could be seen as a pro or con. From lead and pipeline management to filters and reports, I found them easy to create, track, and understand, but I’ve used other software that drills deeper granularly with reports.

      Less Annoying CRM may be a simpler way to manage contacts, but it offers more features than that. I created events and tasks to assign and created simple reports based on pipeline status or by team members. Customizing fields and workflows were also easy — and I have zero programming skills.

      Who is Less Annoying CRM for?

      I think it’s best for startups or small businesses that need all the tools of a fully functional CRM without the hefty price tag. Although there are no plans to upgrade to, you don’t need to worry about that — you get all the features from the start.

      Recent upgrades to Less Annoying CRM

      Each month, Less Annoying CRM posts about product updates in its company blog. In fact, it seems to have multiple updates every month. In October 2022, Less Annoying CRM announced an integration with a form-building tool and ZipMessage.

      The “Reform” integration lets you create web forms for lead generation and gather reviews from clients. There’s a free version or paid plans starting at $15 per month. You can also add the ZipMessage app to send video and audio messages to contacts. You can log those messages in Less Annoying CRM.

      Less Annoying CRM pricing

      There’s not much to say about Less Annoying CRM except that it costs $15 per user, per month. You won’t find hidden fees for add-ons or higher tiers.

      Pros and cons of Less Annoying CRM

      Pros

      • Focus on ease of use
      • Customize without dev help
      • Excellent customer support
      • Straightforward, affordable pricing
      • No gatekeeping of features

      Cons

      • Data analysis is a bit simple
      • Limited integrations
      • No mobile app
      • No true automated features

          Summary

          Less Annoying CRM Logo

          Less Annoying CRM

          • Starting price
            • $15 per user per month
          • Automation tools
            No
          • Reporting
            Custom
          • Integrations
            20+
          • Customer support
            Email and phone support (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time weekdays)
          • Free trial or demo
            30-day free trial
          Features
          • Simple to learn and use
          • Inexpensive single plan with all features
          • Excellent customer support
          Freshsales Logo

          Freshsales

          Best lightweight sales CRM

          4.2 4.2 Stars
          • Built-in phone, live chat, and email
          • 24/5 support for all plans
          • AI-assisted tools
          Freshsales is a sales CRM that’s part of a larger suite of tools from Freshworks. It’s an affordable option for tracking leads, connecting with contacts, and using artificial intelligence (AI) bots to help with forecasting and closing deals.

          • Starting price: Free

          • Automation tools: Yes

          • Reporting: Revenue, appointments, tasks, forecasting, custom

          • Integrations: 36

          • Customer support: Knowledge base, 24/5 email, live chat, phone

          • Free trial or demo: 21-day free trial, freemium plan



          Freshsales offers a cloud-based CRM you can use on browser or mobile app, making it a great, light CRM for sales teams needing a connection wherever they’re working.

          Freshsales gains an advantage with its mobile app, built-in chat, email and phone features, and Freddy (the name for Freshsales’ AI). Any sales team can connect with leads and clients easily without relying on integrating other communication apps.

          I customized my dashboard easily to see what’s important to me, like appointments and new contacts. I rearranged things as if I were a manager and found I can focus on upcoming deals and performance instead.

          One of my favorite features is Freddy AI, which offers data-powered forecasting (math isn’t my strong suit anyway), so I can see how I can focus on sure deals instead of dead leads. I’d suggest looking into the other Freshworks products if you’re not already using them because Freshsales doesn’t integrate with many third-party apps.

          Who is Freshsales for?

          I found that Freshsales is best for sales teams that need a flexible, sales-focused CRM. My research and testing showed that Freshsales is easy to use, and this might be its biggest claim to fame. Specifically, it was easy for me to learn and use the CRM from a browser (and the mobile app).

          Recent upgrades to Freshsales

          Freshsales often enhances features throughout the year, and occasionally introduces new features for various plans. Generally, it's updated once per month.

          Here are some of the additions Freshsales made in 2022:

          • Record types: The Enterprise plan recently got this feature that lets you update data with tags. You’d essentially classify data for contacts and accounts, for example, and apply roles to users, so each one can view or edit data specific to their role.

          • Queue transfer: All paid plans now have the option to transfer a caller to a different queue — that is, not to a specific person, but to a specific queue (support, sales, tech).

          • Duplicates: Freddy, Freshsales’ AI bot, detects duplicate entries in your records. If you’re on the Pro or Enterprise plan, you can click an icon within a record to view duplicate entries and then merge, edit, assign to a user, delete, or mark it as not a duplicate.


          Freshsales pricing

          Freshsales is one of the more affordable sales CRMs. The free plan is useful to entrepreneurs or extremely small teams that don’t need lead scoring or a pipeline yet. The other three plans are comparably low in price: $18 to $83 per user, per month (or get a discount for paying annually). All paid plans limit your Freddy AI bot sessions per month: 2,000 for Growth, 3,000 for Pro, and 5,000 for Enterprise. If you need more bot sessions, they cost $75 per 1,000 per month.

          Pros and cons of Freshsales

          Pros

          • Free plan available
          • Affordable paid plans
          • User-friendly platform
          • Freddy AI bot insights, automation
          • Streamlined CRM for sales teams

          Cons

          • Few integrations
          • Not as feature-rich as other CRMs
          • Siloed for sales teams (other modules needed for comprehensive CRM)

              Summary

              • Starting price
                • Free
              • Automation tools
                Yes
              • Reporting
                Revenue, appointments, tasks, forecasting, custom
              • Integrations
                36
              • Customer support
                Knowledge base, 24/5 email, live chat, phone
              • Free trial or demo
                21-day free trial, freemium plan
              Features
              • Built-in phone, live chat, and email
              • 24/5 support for all plans
              • AI-assisted tools
              Salesforce Logo

              Salesforce

              Best CRM software for scalability

              4.2 4.2 Stars
              • Holistic view of customers
              • Automated tools for sales, support, marketing
              • Natitve collaboration and via third-party integrations
              Salesforce is synonymous with the term CRM, and a lot of that has to do with how long it’s been around. It was created in 1999 and has improved year after year. It’s one of the most feature-packed CRMs with customizable and automation to help sales teams close deal after deal.

              • Starting price: $25 per user per month

              • Automation tools: Yes

              • Reporting: Contacts, accounts, leads, campaigns, opportunities, products/assets, sales engagement

              • Integrations: 4,122

              • Customer support: Learning center, tickets, live chat, phone support (24/7)

              • Free trial or demo: 30-day free trial



              Salesforce is the granddaddy of all CRM, but its age hasn’t slowed it down. This is the CRM businesses look to when they know they’re scaling quickly and need a program that’s going to keep up. Salesforce offers a wide range of products for all business types, and makes it possible to piece together a CRM solution a la carte.

              I like how data displays on the dashboard with my digital assistant on the right. All my tasks are neatly organized and it’s easy to click and call a lead without navigating to another app.

              Salesforce Genie is the newest feature. It’s a real-time CRM that pulls in customer data from all sources, and continues to pull new data, giving you the most up-to-date customer profile. It's one of the most valuable features Salesforce has added because Genie helps you home in on the customer experience, so you aren’t just making a sale, you’re building trust and creating loyalty.

              What Salesforce does best is provide you with the most holistic view of your leads and customers with its AI tools, real-time data, and connections between your teams, employees, and other software you use. In fact, Salesforce’s thousands of integrations means you can create a centralized platform for all your teams. This functionality helps drive and support growth as you scale.

              Although Salesforce gets expensive, it’s a popular choice because it provides your business any feature, customization, or automation it can, whether through its products or an integrated third-party app. However, it has a steep learning curve because it’s so expansive.

              Who is Salesforce for?

              I found that Salesforce is a great choice for companies that are growing quickly, though I personally wouldn’t use it for my business (I’m running a one-woman operation). Salesforce provides entry-level plans for sales, support, and marketing teams, but it’s too much CRM for me and it gets pricier as your business grows. The hope is that your revenue is growing, too.

              Recent upgrades to Salesforce

              Salesforce updates its products and adds new features three times per year, so check Salesforce’s website for new releases every spring, summer, and winter.

              For summer 2022, Salesforce announced a subscription management feature for the Sales product letting you create a subscription that allows customers to subscribe for a product or service.

              The Service module has a swarming feature, letting support members use Slack to problem solve. Marketing, Commerce, Analytics, and many other Salesforce products received new features, too.

              Salesforce pricing

              Salesforce’s Small Business Solutions plans range from $25 to $75 per user per month, if paid annually, but Salesforce pricing is a bit complicated. There are basic plans for the sales, service, marketing, and commerce platforms, and some of them have different editions with different pricing. So, it’s difficult to show you all pricing tiers in one screenshot or paragraph.

              Pros and cons of Salesforce

              Pros

              • Scalable for any size business
              • Added functionality from other Salesforce products
              • Thousands of integrations available
              • Excellent learning center
              • Customizable dashboards and reports

              Cons

              • Steep learning curve
              • Per-user pricing model makes it expensive
              • No free plan
              • Setup can be pricey

                  Summary

                  • Starting price
                    • $25 per user per month
                  • Automation tools
                    Yes
                  • Reporting
                    Contacts, accounts, leads, campaigns, opportunities, products/assets, sales engagement
                  • Integrations
                    4,122
                  • Customer support
                    Learning center, tickets, live chat, phone support (24/7)
                  • Free trial or demo
                    30-day free trial
                  Features
                  • Holistic view of customers
                  • Automated tools for sales, support, marketing
                  • Natitve collaboration and via third-party integrations
                  Zoho CRM Logo

                  Zoho CRM

                  Best CRM software for marketing

                  4.1 4.1 Stars
                  • Affordable plans for small businesses
                  • Excellent automation and personalization tools for lead generation
                  • Free plan available
                  Zoho is known for its suite of tools to help you run a business across many teams or channels and Zoho CRM is its aptly named platform for marketing, sales, and support teams.

                  • Starting price: Free

                  • Automation Tools: Yes

                  • Reporting: Campaigns, deals, customers, users, ad spending, revenue, invoices, forecasting

                  • Integrations: 500+

                  • Customer support: Tickets, email, phone

                  • Free trial or demo: 15-day free trial, free plan available



                  Zoho CRM was built with marketing teams in mind, given all the tools you can use to capture and nurture leads. Even the free plan from Zoho CRM is functional — I used it to set up a single pipeline and create campaigns. It’s easy to do, and I appreciate that I can track up to 500 contacts, but I can see myself outgrowing that number quickly.

                  You can create personalized emails, track your site visitors to see which keywords they’re using, where they originated, and you can set up automated workflows to put all that data to use (and move your lead down that pipeline with triggers and actions).

                  I tried to run detailed reports, but many of Zoho CRMs reports are basic. If I had more data, I would’ve created customized reports, but it was pointless to test that on my free account. Related to all this are the lead scoring and forecasting tools, which are available even on the Starter plan, so you can make intelligent decisions to move a lead through to the next stage of your pipeline.

                  Much like Freshsales, Zoho is a suite of tools, so if you find you’re missing functionality, there’s probably a Zoho tool you can add on to extend the platform’s use.

                  Who is Zoho CRM for?

                  I’d recommend Zoho CRM for small businesses that want to focus on marketing efforts. But, Zoho CRM is also great for sales teams needing multiple pipelines, basic workflows, and the aforementioned lead scoring and forecasting.

                  Recent upgrades to Zoho CRM

                  I found Zoho CRM is on a monthly update schedule, so you can expect to see regular fixes of bugs, new features, and upgrades to the existing platform. In September 2022, the dev team added an integration with WhatsApp Business and gave Zia lots of upgrades. For example, Zia now analyzes emotion in emails, which can help point out emails that need to be escalated, so you can quickly resolve issues, or jump on hot leads to close a deal.

                  Zoho CRM pricing

                  Zoho CRM is free for up to three users, which is a great deal for freelancers or brand-new businesses, and the paid plans are fairly affordable for small teams. The Standard, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate plans cost $20, $35, $50, or $65 per user, per month, respectively.

                  Pros and cons of Zoho CRM

                  Pros

                  • Affordable plans for small teams
                  • Integration with Zoho modules expands functionality
                  • Customizable CRM
                  • Automated workflows for campaigns

                  Cons

                  • Not the most intuitive interface
                  • Lots of upsells of add-ons or higher plans
                  • Limited functionality on free plan

                      Summary

                      • Starting price
                        • Free
                      • Automation tools
                        Yes
                      • Reporting
                        Campaigns, deals, customers, users, ad spending, revenue, invoices, forecasting
                      • Integrations
                        500+
                      • Customer support
                        Tickets, email, phone
                      • Free trial or demo
                        15-day free trial, free plan available
                      Features
                      • Affordable plans for small businesses
                      • Excellent automation and personalization tools for lead generation
                      • Free plan available
                      Keap Logo

                      Keap

                      Best for CRM software for small business

                      4.0 4.0 Stars
                      • Almost all features available on both plans
                      • Easy automation implementation
                      • Priced fairly with a great value-to-cost ratio
                      Keap is a simple CRM that’s gone through a lot of changes recently, including its pricing structure. From the ease of use and limited contacts to how pricing works with Keap, it’s clear that its audience is for smaller businesses.

                      • Starting price: $169 per month

                      • Automation tools: Yes

                      • Reporting: Revenue, transactions, pipeline, CTR, actions

                      • Integrations: 21

                      • Customer support: Community forum, webinars, live chat (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT weekdays), phone (6 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT weekdays)

                      • Free trial or demo: 14-day trial



                      Keap is a small business CRM with pricing that’s average for the industry, but given how many features are included even in the low-tier plan, it’s a better value-to-cost ratio than some of the biggest names in CRM.

                      None of Keap’s automation features are off limits for the low-tier plan — they’re all included. Keap’s limitations are related to the number of contacts, users, and custom fields allowed. Its best features are related to automation for sales and marketing teams because they allow you to focus on running your business, not daily tasks, but the CRM also provides many tools for growing your business.

                      Maybe it seems silly, but I appreciate that Keap changed “if this, then that'' to “when” and “then.” I like that I was able to easily set up automated emails to send after a lead fills out a form, and then set up time-based automation to send leads a follow-up email.

                      Who is Keap for?

                      After testing Keap, it’s clear it’s a platform built for small businesses. It’s a mostly complete CRM that lets you track contacts, accounts, tasks, and deals, so you get all the basics. Keap also offers advanced customization and automation, along with tools to help you grow your business, such as lead magnet blueprints (I’m a big fan of this), and lead scoring.

                      Recent upgrades to Keap

                      Keap constantly updates its platform and plans multiple times per month. In October 2022, Keap fixed bugs in its forms feature, automated emails, checkout forms, and appointments. It also added updates to landing pages, such as allowing you to link to a landing page in an email, which then pulls the contact info and populates the fields on the landing page form, which personalizes the customer journey.

                      Keappricing

                      I was surprised to see that Keap doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can sign up for a free 14-day trial. The good news is Keap charges a flat fee from $169 per month to $249 per month. The Pro plan allows two users, while the Max plan gives access to three users; each additional user costs $29 per month.

                      Pros and cons of Keap

                      Pros

                      • Easy to use platform
                      • Basic automation and customization
                      • Includes built-in payment processing and shopping cart
                      • Automation for task, lead, and marketing management

                      Cons

                      • Contacts and users are limited (you have to pay more to add on)
                      • No free plan
                      • Only affordable for small teams

                          Summary

                          • Starting price
                            • $169 per month
                          • Automation tools
                            Yes
                          • Reporting
                            Revenue, transactions, pipeline, CTR, actions
                          • Integrations
                            21
                          • Customer support
                            Community forum, webinars, live chat (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT weekdays), phone (6 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT weekdays)
                          • Free trial or demo
                            14-day trial
                          Features
                          • Almost all features available on both plans
                          • Easy automation implementation
                          • Priced fairly with a great value-to-cost ratio
                          Apptivo Logo

                          Apptivo

                          Best CRM software for affordability

                          3.9 3.9 Stars
                          • Affordable plan pricing
                          • A la carte method of scaling functionality
                          • 24/7 email and live chat support
                          Compared to some of the industry leaders, Apptivo is a newcomer, but it’s still a contender. It is missing some needed features, but give it time — Apptivo is quickly developing new features, so if there’s a gap in the apps it offers, it’ll be available soon.

                          • Starting price: Free

                          • Automation tools: Yes

                          • Reporting: Leads, opportunities, customers, estimates, invoices, custom

                          • Integrations: 27

                          • Customer support: 24/7 live chat and email support, 24/5 phone support, knowledge base, videos, webinars

                          • Free trial or demo: Free plan available; 30-day free trial



                          Apptivo is a cloud-based and mobile-based CRM relying on its apps to provide functionality for small to large businesses. Each plan has a set number of apps you can choose; you simply add them to your dashboard to work with its native platform features.

                          I particularly liked the feature of adding an explainer to custom fields. I can add a note about each field explaining precisely what I want to my team. For example, I added a field to a form for “genre” and then a popup info bubble to explain, “This is the type of book, such as romance, mystery, horror, etc.,” which helps reduce back-and-forth emails and downtime.

                          Apptivo’s apps set it apart from its CRM competitors. You get 18 with the Lite plan, and you can choose any app available to the plan users. Its biggest selling points are ease of use, value-to-cost ratio, and functionality via its apps. These key features make Apptivo accessible to businesses at any stage, and it’s super scalable.

                          Apptivo doesn’t integrate with many third-party apps, which isn’t an issue because it’s developing apps and features continuously. Another bonus is Apptivo has a customizable mobile app, similar to the browser version, making it a great solution for traveling teams.

                          Worth noting: An odd omission for the low-tier plan is two-factor authentication (2FA), so security might be a slight concern.

                          Who is Apptivo for?

                          After my tests, I found Apptivo is best suited for small to midsize businesses because it’s a simple CRM with an affordable price tag for each plan. I like that you can still use much of Apptivo's functionality, even on the low-tier plans (marketing being the exception).

                          Recent upgrades to Apptivo

                          I found Apptivo updates its CRM monthly. In August 2022, Apptivo announced an update to its mobile app CRM. Now you can use Square point of sale (POS) with Apptivo to record payments automatically to your CRM.

                          In October 2022, Apptivo enhanced its Microsoft integration and added a bulk import option for its WorkOrders app. Users report Apptivo pays attention to bug reports and feature requests, so if something’s missing, let Apptivo know.

                          Apptivo pricing

                          Apptivo is more affordable than most CRMs, but your cost depends on your business size and what you need to be effective. Pricing varies from $10 to $25 per user, per month, but the cost decreases if you choose an annual contract ($8 to $20 per user, per month).

                          Pros and cons of Apptivo

                          Pros

                          • Hugely Popular
                          • 24/7 live chat support for all plans
                          • Almost everything is customizable
                          • A la carte solution with apps to extend functionality

                          Cons

                          • Inexpensive CRM
                          • No 2FA login for low-tier plan
                          • Longer Wait Times for Tech Support

                              Summary

                              • Starting price
                                • Free
                              • Automation tools
                                Yes
                              • Reporting
                                Leads, opportunities, customers, estimates, invoices, custom
                              • Integrations
                                27
                              • Customer support
                                24/7 live chat and email support, 24/5 phone support, knowledge base, videos, webinars
                              • Free trial or demo
                                Free plan available; 30-day free trial
                              Features
                              • Affordable plan pricing
                              • A la carte method of scaling functionality
                              • 24/7 email and live chat support
                              Pipedrive

                              Pipedrive

                              Best CRM software for Pipeline Management

                              3.9 3.9 Stars
                              • Customizable pipelines with no limit
                              • Built-in dialer included for web-to-phone calls
                              • 2FA login for all plans
                              Pipedrive is a solid CRM that was initially built with sales teams and pipeline management in mind, but it’s fast becoming a CRM for marketing teams, too. The built-in web-to-phone (and mobile) dialer makes connecting with leads and customers easy without needing a third-party app (though it offers 300+ apps you can integrate).

                              • Starting price: $19.90 per user per month

                              • Automation tools: Yes

                              • Reporting: Deals, activity, team goals, revenue, forecasts

                              • Integrations: 300+

                              • Customer support: Community forum, tutorials, knowledge base, 24/7 live chat support, scheduled phone support

                              • Free trial or demo: Free 14-day trial



                              Pipedrive focuses on the art of the deal with unlimited customizable pipelines, so sales teams can close deals efficiently. However, it’s quickly becoming a CRM other teams can use, too.

                              Pipedrive’s strongest selling points are the visual interface ( making it easy to search and understand what you’re viewing), and the robust, customizable, and automated sales tools helping sales teams focus on selling and closing deals, not mundane tasks.

                              I know there are complaints about Pipedrive being slow, but I didn’t run into those issues — I also didn’t have years’ worth of data on a shared server. I tested the smart contact feature by adding my own email address and saw how Pipedrive pulls info from my social media and my website.

                              If you want a CRM to help with lead generation that doesn’t require you to babysit it, consider the add-on Leadbooster, which is a customizable chat bot you can add to your website.

                              Who is Pipedrive for?

                              In my opinion, pricing is decent for smaller businesses, and the features are robust, especially on the mid-priced plans. The best parts about Pipedrive are that you can create an unlimited number of pipelines on any plan, and it’s intuitive, graphical interface with many custom features, so you can create precisely what’s needed to reach your goals.

                              Recent upgrades to Pipedrive

                              The latest update to Pipedrive was in September 2022, which focused on automation for marketing campaigns. Now you can create drip campaigns and run a report on those campaigns to see how well they worked.

                              If you use one of the higher-tier Pipedrive plans with the Smart Docs feature, you can now add a signature field anywhere in a document that can be signed with text or drawing.

                              Pipedrivepricing

                              Pipedrive costs $19.90 to $119 per user per month if you choose to pay monthly. The annual pricing requires you to pay in full upfront, but the range drops to $14.90 to $99 per user, per month, which is more affordable than most fully functional CRMs.

                              Pros and cons of Pipedrive

                              Pros

                              • No limit on sales pipelines
                              • Graphical, intuitive interface
                              • Unlimited contacts
                              • Allows web-to-mobile calls (send calls to your phone)
                              • 24/7 live chat support

                              Cons

                              • Many custom features aren't on low-tier plan
                              • Limits on custom fields, active workflows, and open deals on most plans
                              • No workflow automation on low-tier plan

                                  Summary

                                  • Starting price
                                    • $19.90 per user per month
                                  • Automation tools
                                    Yes
                                  • Reporting
                                    Deals, activity, team goals, revenue, forecasts
                                  • Integrations
                                    300+
                                  • Customer support
                                    Community forum, tutorials, knowledge base, 24/7 live chat support, scheduled phone support
                                  • Free trial or demo
                                    Free 14-day trial
                                  Features
                                  • Customizable pipelines with no limit
                                  • Built-in dialer included for web-to-phone calls
                                  • 2FA login for all plans
                                  Sugar Sell Logo

                                  Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM)

                                  Best CRM software for customization

                                  3.7 3.7 Stars
                                  • Deep customization options
                                  • Data enrichment
                                  • Lots of different analytics
                                  SugarCRM is one of the best-known CRMs, and Sugar Sell is its sales-specific CRM module. Although it’s complicated, from the product to pricing, it is worth implementing for larger businesses needing a strong, customizable CRM.

                                  • Starting price: $49 per user per month

                                  • Automation tools: Yes

                                  • Reporting: Custom

                                  • Integrations: 250+

                                  • Customer support: Knowledge base, community forum, email, live chat, phone support (hours vary)

                                  • Free trial or demo: No*


                                  *You may be able to secure a free trial after contacting SugarCRM for a demo


                                  SugarCRM is the oldest CRM and still quite popular because it’s highly customizable. It recently changed to break off into separate modules, so Sugar Sell is a CRM for sales teams, while Sugar Market is for marketing. There’s also Sugar Serve for customer support teams and Sugar Enterprise, which is an on-premises solution.

                                  You can turn Sugar Sell into the CRM your sales team wants thanks to its customization, but you need devs to help. A few of Sugar Sell’s best features include how it collects and manages data, how often SugarCRM updates its modules, and its AI. Most plans include automated data enrichment, so you spend less time on manual data entry, which Sugar Sell’s AI helps with.

                                  There’s no free plan or free trial, so I relied on demos and instructional videos to get an idea of what Sugar Sell does and doesn’t do. I liked the new metrics dashlet for viewing data in real time (you don’t have to run a report).

                                  Sugar Sell is not made for small businesses — it’s a comprehensive program, if you spring for the higher-tier plan. It requires heavy implementation time and patience to configure it to your needs.

                                  Who is Sugar Sell for?

                                  It’s clear that Sugar Sell is primarily made for sales teams, but to take it a step further, it’s for sales teams that have developer support in the company. In my opinion, it’s a highly technical CRM that’s excellent if you have a dev team to customize it for you. The data you can gather via automatic data enrichment saves you time and helps populate your CRM, and the reports you create will give you plenty of insights, but the pricing may be too high for a small business.

                                  Recent upgrades to Sugar Sell

                                  SugarCRM continuously upgrades its products, and Sugar Sell got a big update recently to its analytics feature. In October 2022, SugarCRM made Sell’s reports easier to use and read, and it added real-time metrics to the renewals console. The report dashlet lets users view metrics without having to click through to the reports module, saving time.

                                  You can also set up your dashlet to automatically show you the right data based on filters and records you’re viewing. So, if you check the box to only view related data for a current record, and then select an opportunities report, you should only see opportunities as they relate to that record.

                                  Sugar Sellpricing

                                  SugarCRM’s Sugar Sell product pricing is complicated — and pricier. The low-tier plan Sell Essentials comes with a three-user minimum, so the $49 per user, per month cost jumps up to $147 per month. Sell Advanced starts at $80 per user, per month, also with a three-user minimum, meaning you pay $240 per month, minimum. The Sell Premier plan costs $135 per user, per month, but its minimum user requirement is even higher at 10, so the cost is $1,350 per month.

                                  Pros and cons of Sugar Sell

                                  Pros

                                  • Ability to customize almost anything
                                  • Hyper-focused on sales
                                  • Automatic data enrichment
                                  • Excellent organization of data

                                  Cons

                                  • Complicated pricing structure
                                  • Minimum seat requirement
                                  • Dev help needed for effective customization
                                  • Steep learning curve

                                      Summary

                                      Sugar Sell Logo

                                      Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM)

                                      • Starting price
                                        • $49 per user per month
                                      • Automation tools
                                        Yes
                                      • Reporting
                                        Custom
                                      • Integrations
                                        250+
                                      • Customer support
                                        Knowledge base, community forum, email, live chat, phone support (hours vary)
                                      • Free trial or demo
                                        No*
                                      Features
                                      • Deep customization options
                                      • Data enrichment
                                      • Lots of different analytics
                                      Insightly

                                      Insightly

                                      Best for CRM software for project management

                                      3.7 3.7 Stars
                                      • Project tracking
                                      • Integrated features to turn deals into projects
                                      • Easy-to-use interface
                                      Insightly CRM excels at tracking sales and project pipelines. Its interface is easy to use and visual, so you can see important data and project statuses. It’s one of the few CRMs focusing on project management (PM), making it a great choice for service-based businesses.

                                      • Starting price: Free

                                      • Automation tools: Yes

                                      • Reporting: Project, lead, opportunity, event, activity, pipeline, organization

                                      • Integrations: 2,000+

                                      • Customer support: Help center, community forum, email, phone

                                      • Free trial or demo: Free plan for 2 users



                                      Insightly is a CRM with all the basics (contact, deal, task management) and an emphasis on project management. You can easily create a visual project pipeline that makes it clear what a project’s status is, which is great for managers that need to know whether a project will meet its deadline.

                                      I’m familiar with Insightly because I used it at one of the previous tech companies I worked for. Mostly, sales used the CRM features, while the publishing team used it for content planning and project management. I liked the click-to-call feature which made staying in touch with contacts easy, but you can also integrate one of the best VoIP phone services instead.

                                      The cross-departmental collaboration tools are great, but that’s more on the PM side of things. As far as the CRM features go, I liked that I was able to see the support and sales history of client interactions (as a marketer) because it helped me better understand our audience.

                                      Where Insightly really shines is in connecting data. For example, you can configure Insightly to populate an opportunity with tasks once it passes a certain stage in the pipeline. The same goes for project pipelines, too.

                                      There are many types of reports built into Insightly. Whether you want to see data on a specific task, opportunity, lead, organization, project, or metric, there’s a report. Although you cannot build a strictly custom report in Insightly, it is possible to choose the parameters in a prebuilt report.

                                      Who is Insightly for?

                                      After spending a considerable amount of time working with Insightly, my testing showed that it’s best for small businesses offering services that require project tracking. Insightly lets you assign tasks to various users and track the progress of the project via project pipelines.

                                      Recent upgrades to Insightly

                                      Insightly isn’t known for regular updates, but when the dev team creates something new, it’s several upgrades or new features in bulk. In June 2022, there was an announcement of a round-up of multiple changes to many of Insightly’s modules.

                                      Recently, Insightly worked on improving the integration of its own products. So, if you’re an Insightly CRM and Marketing user, you can more easily combine data from one product in the other.

                                      Insightly pricing

                                      Insightly keeps pricing simple for its three plans. Plans cost $29 per user per month, paid annually, to $99 per user per month, paid annually.

                                      Pros and cons of Insightly

                                      Pros

                                      • User-friendly interface
                                      • Project management tools
                                      • Business card scanning

                                      Cons

                                      • Click-to-call feature is paid add-on
                                      • No automation on low-tier plan
                                      • Limited support options

                                          Summary

                                          • Starting price
                                            • Free
                                          • Automation tools
                                            Yes
                                          • Reporting
                                            Project, lead, opportunity, event, activity, pipeline, organization
                                          • Integrations
                                            2,000+
                                          • Customer support
                                            Help center, community forum, email, phone
                                          • Free trial or demo
                                            Free plan for 2 users
                                          Features
                                          • Project tracking
                                          • Integrated features to turn deals into projects
                                          • Easy-to-use interface

                                          How I Tested CRM Software

                                          I test each CRM by signing up for demos, free trials, or free plans to check out what each provider offers new users and how easy it is to navigate around each brand's dashboard. I look for unique or standout features that set each CRM apart from its competition.

                                          I test features as though I’m in different roles in a company and in different departments so I can make the best recommendation for your business. It’s also important to consider support availability, different channels, and how helpful they are. I use the help centers and then reach out to support if I can’t find an answer.

                                          Lastly, I base my ease of use score on my own experience and user reviews.

                                          Ease of use is such a subjective element of a CRM, but I can quickly assess whether a menu, dashboard, or feature set is going to require a lot of help from support to configure. User reviews help confirm my assessment of whether a CRM is simple or has a steep learning curve.

                                          Each CRM has been selected based on who it’s best for and that’s why we didn’t rank the best CRM software in order. Your needs may be different from another business, so it’s important to choose a CRM that’s best suited to your situation.