Best CRM Software & Tools for 2022

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.

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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.

Read more: How to Use a CRM for Project Management

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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.

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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

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.

Zendesk Sell

Pros

  • Exporting available in various formats
  • Reliable system performance
  • Simple to set up

Cons

  • Users wish for more customizable reports
  • Limited email marketing functionality

SAP CX

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.

SAP CX

Pros

  • End-to-end sales tracking
  • Progress reporting
  • Smooth integration

Cons

  • 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.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Pros

  • AI capabilities, such as next best actions
  • Valuable reports
  • Easy integration

Cons

  • Needs simpler navigation
  • Users wish for enhancements in workflow management functionality

HubSpot CRM

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.

HubSpot CRM

Pros

  • Email marketing functionality
  • Deal tracking
  • Account and contact management

Cons

  • Occasional slowdowns
  • Users wish for more intuitive UI and navigation

Freshsales

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.

Freshsales

Pros

  • Custom lead generation bots
  • Account and contact management
  • Responsive support

Cons

  • Mobile app needs improvements
  • Users wish for more email marketing templates

Zoho CRM

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.

Zoho CRM

Pros

  • Report exporting to various formats
  • Lead generation and management
  • Account and contact management

Cons

  • Users wish for more third-party integrations
  • Support response needs improvement

Teamwork CRM

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.

Teamwork CRM

Pros

  • Mobile app functionality
  • Task and activity setup
  • Simple user interface

Cons

  • Needs feature scalability
  • Reporting needs enhancements

Insightly

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.

Insightly CRM

Pros

  • Reliable system performance
  • Lead routing to team members
  • Ease of setup and use

Cons

  • Needs more intuitive UI
  • Users wish for faster responses from support

Proton.ai

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.

Proton.ai

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Powerful search
  • Responsive support

Cons

  • Occasional slowdowns
  • Users wish for additional customization, filtering, and sorting

Nimble CRM

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.

Nimble CRM

Pros

  • Social media integrations
  • Account and contact management
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Needs improvements in email templates

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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

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.

Collaborative

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

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.

Read more: How CRM Software Increases Productivity and Profits in Retail Sales

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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

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.