The Best CRM Software of 2019

Scott HirschByScott Hirsch
Oct 06, 2019

You could boost your company's profits by almost 100% by retaining just 5% more of your customers. That’s where CRM software comes into play. CRMs are a critical way for small businesses to build and improve relationships with their customers. 

CRMs are geared toward improving the success of small businesses, but they can act as a central nervous system for your company as a whole, keeping customer information, calendars, task assignments, and more into a central location. From sales tracking and calendar management tools to lead capturing, funneling, sales insights, and forecasting, these tools offer small businesses both macro and micro views of their tasks and needs. 

The question isn’t whether your small business needs CRM, but rather, which CRM is best for your small business. Here’s a look at our top 10 CRM software picks and a guide to help you decide which is best for you.

Visual thinkers
First-time CRM users
Independent businesses
Service-based businesses
Those on a budget
Improving productivity
New businesses
$25per month
$12.50per month
Free
$19per month
$12per month
$25per month
$500per month
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
14 days
14 days
N/A
14 days
15 days
14 days
30 days

The Top 10 CRM Software - In-Depth Reviews

  • 1

    Monday

    Visual-based small business solution
    Monday
    • Best forVisual thinkers
    • Price$25per month
    • Free trial14 days

    Celebrated for its ease-of-use, as well as its capabilities, Monday’s CRM is a favorite among midsized businesses and budding start-ups. 

    For one thing, it boasts one of the most approachable pipelines in the industry. The view is deceptively simple, with plenty of space for lead details, customer info, and tasks all organized into a clean interface. Monday lets you capture and prioritize leads, set tasks and deadlines down to the minute, and track sales progress reports. Another strength is its capacity for collaboration; easy-to-view timelines with a Kanban view allow everybody to stay apace of tasks and share information in one central location, which might explain why it’s the favored CRM software for industry-leading companies like Wix.com and Philips. 

    Monday easily integrates with Google Drive, Slack, Trello, and Dropbox, and offers dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android. Customer support is well represented with webinars, tutorials, and several avenues for contact.

    Pros
    • Simple customization
    • Free trial
    • Timelines with Kanban view
    Cons
    • Falls short on marketing tools
    • Too expensive for some midsize businesses
    Read Monday Full Review
  • 2

    Pipedrive

    Accessible solutions for small businesses
    Pipedrive
    • Best forFirst-time CRM users
    • Price$12.50per month
    • Free trial14 days

    Pipedrive’s visual-driven CRM pipeline makes managing sales leads a breeze. Designed primarily for small to midsize businesses, it offers a touch of everything that could benefit a small business—workflow automation, statistics tools, and customizable lead stages—all smartly packaged in software that opts for accessibility over complexity.   

    The compelling feature is the pipeline itself, which allows sales teams to collect, track, prioritize, and optimize sales leads. Customer data can be easily stored in the pipeline, which can be tweaked as leads advance or fall behind. Lead-booster, Pipeline’s lead generation tool, uses a Chatbox to automatically route hot leads to sales reps, and can sync up with the calendar to schedule appointments. The software also features sales reporting and forecasting tools as well as email integration. 

    Part of Pipedrive’s charm is its usability; even those new to CRM can pick it up in a short amount of time, and scale their use as they assign and track leads. The software connects with hundreds of apps and has 2-way sync with Google apps and Drive. Pipedrive comes in 3 plans with progressively more advanced features, though users can take advantage of the free 14-day trial to play around and see it it’s right for them.

    Pros
    • Seamless pipeline view
    • 2-way sync with Google apps
    • 14-day free trial
    Cons
    • Not ideal for larger businesses
    • No VoIP system
    Read Pipedrive Full Review
  • 3

    Hubspot

    Free software with plenty to brag about
    Hubspot
    • Best forIndependent businesses
    • PriceFree
    • Free trialN/A

    Hubspot’s CRM software is free and therefore best suited to small businesses only in need of the core essentials. That said, it’s earned high reviews and offers a solid line-up of tools that make it worth considering for SMBs looking to increase sales.

    Hubspot CRM has a clean dashboard that lets you sort deals and track all pertinent information which can be sorted by lead status, name, amount, or by custom filters, all so you can view your sales funnel in real-time. The software syncs up with Gmail and Outlook and includes tons of free communications tools such as live chat, cross-team emails, and a central inbox for sales, marketing, and customer service teams to manage conversations.  

    Most notably, Hubspot allows an unlimited amount of users and storage that can reach up to a million contacts. While limited for clients with advanced needs, Hubspot exceeds what you’d expect for free software and is a capable solution for small businesses looking to improve organization and productivity.

    Pros
    • Free software
    • Up to 1 million contacts
    • Unlimited users
    Cons
    • Basic software
    • No statistics or forecasting tools
    Read Hubspot Full Review
  • 4

    vCita

    Suite of tools for service-based businesses
    vCita
    • Best forService-based businesses
    • Price$19per month
    • Free trial14 days

    Designed explicitly for small, service-based businesses, vCita has drawn more than 100,000 professionals to its specialized CRM software, and for good reason. 

    vCita is one of the rare products that’s tailored to small businesses that operate on appointments. Professionals such as accountants, therapists, medical professionals, and consultants will most benefit from the calendar management feature that allows them to book appointments and manage their schedule. The software also offers billing and invoicing services, another big plus for independent professionals. On the user side, meanwhile, a client portal allows clients to book appointments and make payments online. vCita also offers marketing campaigns and lead capturing to help professionals grow their business while managing their existing clients. 

     vCita offers a free 14-day trial, as well as 3 packages, starting with an essentials pack and topping out at the platinum package that includes customized marketing campaigns sent out to a maximum of 10,000 recipients.

    Pros
    • Designed for appointment-based professions
    • Client-facing payment and scheduling portal
    • 14-day free trial
    Cons
    • Not ideal for non-service companies
    • Largest package only supports 20 team members
    Read vCita Full Review
  • 5

    Zoho

    Budget-friendly sales and marketing solutions
    Zoho
    • Best forThose on a budget
    • Price$12per month
    • Free trial15 days

    Zoho has plenty to offer small to midsize businesses on a budget. It’s reasonably priced but thoroughly equipped with lead generation tools, social media marketing capabilities, and reporting and forecasting features. Though Zoho is focused primarily on sales processes, it offers a solid retinue of tools for customer service and marketing teams, including live chat customer support, website visitor tracking, and auto responding. 

    Clients who already use Zoho’s other software are at an advantage, though its CRM software is approachable by anybody, and it does integrate with apps such as Shopify, MailChimp, and Office360. It comes as a free version which has limited capabilities, as well as tiered plans with increased user capacity and advanced features that accommodate businesses at whatever level they’re at.

    Pros
    • Free version available
    • Social media capabilities
    • Good for sales, CS, and marketing teams
    Cons
    • Works best with Zoho business software
    • Dashboards can be overwhelming
    Read Zoho Full Review
  • 6

    PipelineDeals

    Reliable small-business companion
    PipelineDeals
    • Best forImproving productivity
    • Price$25per month
    • Free trial14 days

    PipelineDeals makes a solid argument for being among the best CRMs for small businesses. Starting with daily reports and moving onto features such as individual deal update pages, real-time status updates, and dense analytics, it offers a full-spectrum solution for small businesses with practical tools for increasing productivity and success. 

    The Pipeline homepage offers a crystal clear overview of your activities that lets you keep tabs on high-profile and at-risk deals. Clients can view performance metrics and create customized comparison charts in order to assess quality deals and team performance. Real-time notifications on the top right of the page allow users to zero in on urgent tasks while maintaining a bird’s-eye view of their pipeline, furthered by automated task assignment, lead updating, and even “Next Step” suggestions that are all designed to maximize productivity.   

    Pipeline’s pricing is competitive and flexible—you can choose from 3 packages that seem wisely tiered based on your business’ growth. The Start package features plenty of essentials and is more than adequate for a small business, while the Develop and Grow packages include more automation and targetization that seem a natural fit with growing business needs.

    Pros
    • Practical and intuitive
    • Reliable performance metrics
    • Productivity auto-suggestion tips
    Cons
    • Limited integrations
    • Basic plan is limited
    Read PipelineDeals Full Review
  • 7

    Quickbase

    DIY approach to custom business apps
    Quickbase
    • Best forNew businesses
    • Price$500per month
    • Free trial30 days

    QuickBase’s cloud-based CRM lets you build business apps and customize your own experience. No coding knowledge is needed; you can choose from a number of templates, upload your own sheets, and create workflows with an easy point-and-click process. Other features include full API integration, role-specific dashboards, and ready-made apps for custom reports. In spite of—or more likely because of—QuickBase’s DIY capabilities, there’s an active online community where users trade tips and creative solutions.

    Pros
    • Build your own business apps
    • No coding needed
    • Lively community discussion boards
    Cons
    • No service automation
    • More suited to autonomous users
    Read Quickbase Full Review

Why Your Business Needs a CRM

Increasing Sales

  • Streamlined client contact boosts sales.

  • Collaborative tools helps salespeople close the deal.

Improving Customer Retention

  • Effective feedback logging keeps customers around longer.

  • Integrated “360 degree” views of customer data help you serve them more effectively.

Streamlining Your Sales Funnel

  • A CRM makes it easy to visualize your funnel.

  • Granular reporting helps identify pipeline weak points.

Easy Online Marketing Tools

  • CRMs help marketers plan and track email campaigns.

  • Easily integrate sales and marketing data for better results and a higher conversion rate.

How to Choose the Right CRM Software for Your Business

Setup time

Cloud-hosted solutions can be deployed faster than on-premises ones. 

Look for a CRM with good support and a large user community to easily resolve setup difficulties.

Ease of Use

Many CRMs put a strong emphasis on ease of use. 

Find a tool with good data visualization and that provides streamlined apps to help your salespeople enter and access data on the go.

Price 

Most CRMs offer a free trial, to help your team evaluate the tool at no cost. CRMs range in price from “free” to “high-ticket enterprise sales”; find one that works within your budget.

Add-ons

What does the CRM offer besides lead capture and outreach? Consider looking for a tool with a rich integration library to take advantage of connections with other services you may use.

Customer Service

What hours is the support team available? Look for a support team accessible in your time zone and which provides more than simple ticket support.

Interface

Is the CRM you’re considering visually pleasing? Opt for a tool that makes it easy for your salespeople to visualize their diary and priority appointments.

Scott HirschByScott HirschOct. 17, 2019
Scott is a content writer who has worked as a special education teacher, lifestyle writer, and researcher. He enjoys literature and travel and believes that a sense of wonder and curiosity is the key to living a fulfilled life.