Customer relationship management is an essential business strategy that covers a wide area of interactions and activities between a company and its customers. Customer relationship management tools with advanced technologies like AI and intelligent automation enable sales teams to provide better customer service, increase sales, and improve customer retention.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks
- What Is CRM software?
- Best CRM Software and Tools
- Types of CRM Software
- CRM Software Features
Our Top Picks
Today, it would be impossible for sales reps to manually keep up with the sheer volume of market and customer data coming in from multiple channels. Luckily, there are tons of great CRM solutions on the market. Here are our top CRM software picks for small businesses and enterprises alike.
1 Zoho CRM
Fully-customizable Zoho CRM provides unified solutions for businesses of all types and sizes. Conduct your Sales & Marketing analytics to gain insights using Dashboard views and Automate your daily routines. Customize your CRM theme based on your industry needs using Canvas, Omnichannel communication for streamlined communication between teams and customers, handle customer support from within the platform to improve customer relationships. Get Started with Zoho CRM now!
Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and an API for those that like to “roll their own” software solutions. Full functionality for just $15 per month.
HubSpot is an intuitive CRM that makes managing your sales pipeline a breeze. Everything you need to track important metrics, set up time-saving flows and automations, manage clients seamlessly, and grow your business is available in one tidy dashboard. Plans are available for businesses at every stage of growth, starting at 100% free. Start taking the guesswork out of business management today with HubSpot CRM.
monday.com is the CRM software your team needs to close deals faster! monday.com helps you efficiently manage all your leads, customer relationships, sales pipeline, and tasks in one place so you can focus on closing the deals and not other things around. With monday.com, you can organize all your work, whether it’s contacts, leads, opportunities, or projects. Collaborate with your team members in context so that everyone is aligned, knows where things stand and what they should do to move work forward. Customize the form, and add the questions you want to ask, embed it into your site to capture leads. That’s it! All the submissions from your website will be collected directly into your board. Use our Kanban view to manage your sales pipeline. Know at a glance what you should do next.
Freshsales is a full-fledged sales force automation solution for sales teams. It provides everything a salesperson needs to- attract quality leads, engage in contextual conversations, drive deals with AI-powered insights, and nurture customer relationships. With built-in email, phone, chat, and telephony, Freshsales empowers sales teams with more time for selling by automating the sales process and increases efficiency and productivity in their daily activities.
What Is CRM software?
Customer relationship management software enables companies to hold all customer information and related data in one place. A single, unified, and constantly updated account and contact database gives teams easier access to valuable information. Using a CRM for project management allows them to perform analysis, gain insights, and get suggestions on how to develop successful customer relationships.
Using the best CRM software, users are able to track customer interactions and simplify communication among sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Each team is able to understand and follow the customer lifecycle easily, allowing them to provide the right products and services at the right moment. This helps boost customer satisfaction rates and also provides valuable time savings to the company.
Best CRM Software and Tools
Today’s customer relationship management software functions as more than just a digital Rolodex. The best CRM software helps companies retain customers, increase sales team productivity, and improve the customer experience, among others. Here is our full list of recommended CRM tools.
Zendesk Sell is an all-in-one sales software and CRM platform. It is a tool designed to help sales reps boost their productivity, make data-driven decisions, and deliver the best customer experience. It provides the sales team access to integrated tools that give complete customer account details in a centralized place.
Zendesk Sell enables sales reps to stay on top of everything with email intelligence. It has email tracking to keep communication in context, real-time push notifications and alerts, and marketing automation with unlimited email templates. It also has a native phone dialer for making, logging, and recording calls, sending SMS, as well as a place to write scripts and notes. Other features are integrations, API, sales prospecting, reporting, and analytics.
- Exporting available in various formats
- Reliable system performance
- Simple to set up
- Users wish for more customizable reports
- Limited email marketing functionality
SAP CRM and customer experience (CX) software are enterprise-grade products that enables users to identify, convert, and retain customers. Users are able to reach the right customers at the right time using the right channel. They are able to understand customers better, make decisions from gained insights, and use advanced tools to retain and upsell.
SAP CX products range from Customer Data Platform that provides rich customer insights, identify customers, and deliver exceptional customer experience, to Commerce Cloud for growing and small business e-commerce. Sales Cloud is a sales solution that improves win rate with automation, Service Cloud allows users to provide service support anytime from anywhere, and Marketing Cloud enables teams to build complete customer profiles, prioritize accounts, and empower sales reps with useful insights and marketing automation.
- End-to-end sales tracking
- Progress reporting
- Smooth integration
- Steep learning curve
- Pricing is on the high side
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform that covers all previous Dynamics versions. It is available as a cloud offering on as an on-premise installation. The customer relationship management software is highly customizable and includes new features like visualizations, dashboards, document management, project management, goal management, recurring appointments, and fetch-based reports.
Dynamics 365 enables teams to run multichannel marketing campaigns with email marketing, web content, and events. It empowers sales reps with sales force automation, marketing automation, dynamic sales processes, multi-source sales pipeline, metrics, AI-powered tracking, and automated contextual prompts. It also has modules for customer service, field service, and project service automation.
- AI capabilities, such as next best actions
- Valuable reports
- Easy integration
- Needs simpler navigation
- Users wish for enhancements in workflow management functionality
HubSpot CRM offers premium and free CRM software for a variety of users. A sales team can start with a free CRM tool first and get additional premium products as needed. The software allows users to get full visibility into their sales pipeline with features like reporting dashboard, company insights, deal tracking, and pipeline management.
HubSpot CRM enables sales reps to organize and sort deals, create tasks with reminders, and improve customer relationship with contact management and call tracking. HubSpot CRM is also for marketers, customer service teams, operations managers, and business owners. It provides the platform, tools, and integrations for all marketing, sales, content management, and customer service needs.
- Email marketing functionality
- Deal tracking
- Account and contact management
- Occasional slowdowns
- Users wish for more intuitive UI and navigation
Freshsales, formerly known as Freshworks CRM, enables companies to accelerate their revenues with context-driven sales. Users get a 360-degree view of customers that allow them to close deals faster. They can have conversations with context and automate tasks that streamline the sales process and improve seller effectiveness.
Freshsales keep sales reps happy with an easy-to-use and implement solution, thereby increasing adoption rate, reducing costs, and improving sales team morale. It has AI-powered chatbots, web forms, and website tracking that help users find the best leads and opportunities. Other features include activity timeline, predictive contact scoring, mobile CRM app, and omnichannel communication by phone, SMS, email, and chat.
- Custom lead generation bots
- Account and contact management
- Responsive support
- Mobile app needs improvements
- Users wish for more email marketing templates
Zoho CRM is a sales CRM platform that helps teams convert more leads, engage with customers, and grow business revenue. It is highly customizable to enable users to redesign the user interface of the customer relationship management software with a no-code tool to create personalized instances for specific requirements and preferences.
Zoho CRM offers a range of tools like sales force automation and workflow automation to automate tasks and create optimized workflows. It has lead, deal, and contact management features, as well as a sales process builder for all sales reps to follow. Other features of Zoho CRM include personalized journey orchestration for enhanced customer experience, omnichannel communication tools, analytics, team collaboration, project management, mobile app, and developer platform.
- Report exporting to various formats
- Lead generation and management
- Account and contact management
- Users wish for more third-party integrations
- Support response needs improvement
Teamwork CRM is easy-to-use sales CRM software for effectively managing the sales process. A sales team can easily manage leads, opportunities, and deals. It is among leading customer relationship management tools that provides sales reps full visibility of sales process and seamless handover through project management software Teamwork.
Users are able to track sales activities and deal progress at every stage with a sales pipeline board view. Teamwork CRM allows a sales team to create and manage multiple custom pipelines, separate deals into leads and opportunities, and auto-prioritize in order of importance. Other features are reporting and sales forecasting, contact management, integrations, mobile app, data import, API, and webhooks.
- Mobile app functionality
- Task and activity setup
- Simple user interface
- Needs feature scalability
- Reporting needs enhancements
Insightly is a CRM solution platform that is simple to set up and integrates with many existing applications, with scalability for growing businesses. It has several products ideal for sales, marketing, and customer support. Insightly CRM allows users to connect better with customers, create enhanced customer experience, and align teams to sell smarter.
Insightly CRM has lead tracking and automatic lead routing that allow sales reps to follow active leads. It has workflow automation, email integration, and relationship linking that helps users map and understand every relationship. Other features include project management, milestone tracking, security permissions, customization, dashboards, metrics, and mobile apps.
- Reliable system performance
- Lead routing to team members
- Ease of setup and use
- Needs more intuitive UI
- Users wish for faster responses from support
Proton.ai is AI-powered sales management software ideal for the wholesale distribution industry. Although not labeled as a traditional CRM platform, it provides sales reps and customer support teams the goals and benefits of using a CRM solution. It collects sales, customer, and product data into a centralized cloud database, analyze the data, and provide insights to distributors in actionable ways.
Proton.ai provides every sales team an AI-generated, prioritized call schedule so users know who to call and what to sell. Users get guidance in how to use strategic, insight-driven conversations. Other features include automated pitch capture, follow-up reminders, mobile app, semantic search tools, custom sales opportunity management, cross-channel visibility, and task management.
- Ease of use
- Powerful search
- Responsive support
- Occasional slowdowns
- Users wish for additional customization, filtering, and sorting
Nimble CRM is a CRM solution that works across applications and platforms so users can engage customers and prospects wherever they work. It has mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow users to access their contacts, prepare for meetings, and make follow-ups more efficiently using portable devices.
Nimble CRM works on major web browsers and has browser extensions that can display contact and company details while users work in their email inbox or social sites. Aside from contact management, it also has templated group emails, email tracking, pipeline management, daily dashboard, activity tracking, and calendar view. Users can access all these features while working on Google Workspace or Office 365.
- Social media integrations
- Account and contact management
- Easy-to-use interface
- Limited customization
- Needs improvements in email templates
Types of CRM Software
The three main types of CRM software are broken down according to the primary functionality they can provide to a business. However, the best CRM tools today offer a combination of flexibility and customization.
Operational CRMs are focused on business management and process efficiency. The main features provide users several marketing and sales automation tools to help streamline CRM processes. This type of CRM software offloads some of the administrative and repetitive tasks that employees would regularly do. The CRM tool also provides users better visibility over the whole customer journey, from first interaction to ongoing customer behavior.
A collaborative CRM solution focuses on streamlining the flow of information between teams to provide delightful customer experience and get high satisfaction rates that results in loyal customers. It has features that allow seamless information sharing across marketing, sales, and customer support in real time, sometimes extending to external partners and stakeholders.
Every user has up-to-date information of customers, sometimes including a shared inbox. Customers won’t have to give the same information to every new contact because users can easily pull up all past interactions and relevant details within the app.
Analytical CRM systems focus on features that collect and analyze customer data to provide useful information. This type of CRM tracks a wide range of data such as rates, frequency of interactions, timelines, and other metrics.
The CRM tool typically uses AI and machine learning to create trends and forecasts through dashboards, reports, and other visualizations. AI-powered tools allow users to gain different perspectives from customer behavior and help them create plans, products, and options with a more informed strategy.
CRM Software Features
Companies use customer relationship management software to empower their teams and increase efficiency. A CRM system helps users organize, centralize, automate, and collaborate effectively. Here are some essential features to look for:
- Contact management allows users to securely store customer information in a highly accessible and centralized database. Moreover, users can flexibly group, segment, categorize, and search content for custom reporting.
- Interaction management enables tracking of all customer interactions and communications — including emails, calls, messages, and social comments — for a comprehensive view of the customer.
- Lead management helps identify, score, and track leads in a visual pipeline.
- Workflow automation for repetitive tasks, such as data entry, prospecting, lead generation, and chatbot messaging.
- Reports and analytics provide users insightful and timely information for both customer interactions and team performance. Typically, this is delivered through interactive dashboards and on-demand reporting.
- Mobile access allows users secure access to CRM data and features from multiple devices and while on the go.
- Customization and integration enables users to seamlessly connect the CRM system to other data sources and productivity apps, as well as customizing the tools and interface to match specific business needs.
Read next: CRM Strategy & Uses for Small Business