Your 2023 Guide to Finding the Best CRM for Small Business Owners

9 min read

How many sales have you thought you won, only to have them slip away?

 

Depending on the size your business, even a number as low as 10 could be costly, never mind hundreds or thousands.

 

One solution that can help you track your potential and existing customers better is a customer relationship management software (CRM).

 

In this guide, we discuss some of the best small business CRMs and explain their significance for your small business growth. We will also cover the key benefits they offer, essential features to consider, and our list of the best CRM for small business.

 

But first up...

 

What is a small business CRM platform?

A small business CRM software is an online solution that helps you simply customer interactions, sales processes, and data organization. It acts as a centralized hub for businesses to track leads, nurture customer relationships, and automate sales tasks.

 

With a small business CRM platform, business owners and executives can manage customer data to gain valuable insights into preferences and behaviors. 

 

This allows for personalized engagement and tailored communications. Automation features enhance customer experience and streamline manual tasks, saving time and reducing errors. 

 

In short, a CRM for small business will empower you to boost productivity and build stronger connections with your leads and customers.

 

 

Why do growing businesses need to use a CRM platform?

The key to building strong relationships with customers is being top of their minds always.

 

If you run a lawn mowing business, you should be the first person on their mind as soon as they realize they need to mow their lawn.

 

Regardless of if your service is the best, if the customer doesn’t remember you, they will find another company to mow their lawn.

 

If you want to avoid this from happening, you’ve got to get a CRM software.

With growth comes an influx of customers and their accompanying data and interactions. This makes it challenging to manage and maintain personalized relationships. 

 

A CRM system centralizes all customer information, allowing you to track your last interaction with a customer. 

 

Growing businesses need an efficient CRM system because it leads to: 

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction by enabling businesses to understand and meet customer needs.

  • Empowers sales teams by providing them with comprehensive insights into each customer. This enables them to tailor their approach and close deals better.

  • Improved productivity is another advantage, as the CRM platform automates tasks, eliminates duplicate efforts, and provides a structured framework for managing leads, contacts, and deals.

  • Valuable data insights that support better decision-making. Businesses can identify opportunities for growth by analyzing customer interactions. This helps optimize marketing strategies and resources optimally.

The most important benefits of small business CRM software

A group of people looking at different aspects of customer data and performance in the best CRM for small business owners.

Harnessing the potential of CRM system features can be a game changer for small businesses striving to stay competitive. Let's explore the various benefits that this specialized software offers to streamline operations and elevate customer relationships.

  • Streamlined customer management: A CRM system provides a centralized database where small businesses can store and access customer information. It stores communication history, purchase records, and other relevant data.

  • Improved sales performance: CRM software enables businesses to track leads, manage the sales funnel, and automate sales processes. This results in improved sales performance, increased conversion rates, and enhanced revenue generation.

  • Enhanced customer engagement: By leveraging a CRM system, small businesses can deliver personalized experiences, timely follow-ups, and targeted marketing campaigns to foster stronger customer relationships and loyalty.

  • Efficient task automation: CRM systems automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, appointment scheduling, and email notifications. This frees up valuable time for small business owners and sales teams to focus on core activities.

  • Data-driven decision making: CRM software provides valuable insights through data analytics and reporting. This helps enable businesses to make informed decisions, identify trends, and optimize their strategies for growth.

5 Key features you should look for in small business CRMs

Infographic showing the features you should look for when choosing the best CRM for small business owners.

When choosing CRM solutions for your small business, it's vital to consider features and capabilities that align with your specific needs and goals. Let’s explore the CRM features that you should focus on for your small business.

  1. Contact and lead management: Your chosen software should allow you to organize and track your customer contacts, potential leads, and interactions. Be mindful that some CRM software allow a limited number of contacts. So if you run a business with many customers, you might need to consider that.

  2. Sales and opportunity management: If you plan to use your CRM software for sales as well, you need to consider whether it has in-built sales functionalities. For example, some CRM might have it only at the most premium plan (cost a lot!) or might not have it at all.

  3. Email and communication integration: While this might be taken for granted, it’s worth checking if your CRM has an extension that integrates with your email sending provider. It might also be interesting to check if your CRM can integrate with your calling tool.

  4. Reporting and analytics: If you plan to use your CRM to gauge what kind of tactics are bringing customers in, you need to ensure it has a good reporting functionality.

  5. Integration and customization: Choosing a small business CRM is a big deal. It’s where you run a large part of your business from. Also it’s difficult to change once you integrate it across your company. 

So before getting started, you should check whether your potential small business CRM allows you to easily integrate it with other tools. As your business grows, this will be helpful!

 

Explore the NiceJob App Marketplace today!

See the best CRM software for small business owners that we integrate with — from home services to legal practices and wellness to retail.

Check it out
A preview of the integrations in the NiceJob app marketplace including QuickBooks, Jobber, Zapier, Zendesk, FieldPulse, Intercom, and more.

 

The 6 best small business CRM software solutions

Let's now explore some of the best CRM software for small businesses. Each of these platforms offers unique features and benefits that make them stand out in the market.

 

1. HubSpot

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business HubSpot homepage.

HubSpot is a reputed CRM provider that offers an all in one solution designed to empower small businesses. It does that by combining contact management, sales workflow automation, marketing automation, and customer service tools.

 

What sets HubSpot apart is its suite of comprehensive and scalable CRM tools that make it an ideal choice for small businesses seeking to streamline their operations.

 

Small business owners can leverage HubSpot CRM software for free, with paid plans available for those requiring advanced CRM features and scalability.

 

The HubSpot Professional plan starts at $1,600 per month and includes comprehensive marketing, sales, customer service, CMS, and operations software.

 

The Enterprise plan starts at $5,000 per month and offers the most powerful marketing, sales, customer service, CMS, and operations software.

 

HubSpot provides flexibility but is pricier compared to many of the other CRM software available today.

 

Learn more about the NiceJob HubSpot integration.

 

2. Zendesk

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business Zendesk homepage.

Zendesk is a comprehensive CRM solution for ticketing, messaging, help center, voice support, and AI-enabled services.

 

It stands out as a unique and powerful solution for small business owners due to its user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and scalability.

 

Zendesk’s intuitive design and easy-to-navigate features simplify customer support management, streamline communication channels, and enhance efficiency.

 

Zendesk’s plans provide a range of options for businesses, starting with a free plan.

 

Suite Team starts at $19/month, offering a ticketing system, email, chat, voice, social messaging, help center, standard bots, and more.

 

Suite Growth, priced at $79/agent/month, has added features like multiple ticket forms, light agents, SLAs, CSAT, and multilingual support.

 

Suite Professional, at $99/agent/month, includes custom analytics, side conversations, skills-based routing, and more.

 

You’ll need to contact the Zendesk sales team for pricing on the Suite Enterprise plan, which offers tailored solutions.

 

Zendesk provides a free plan for all users, plus a free plan demo for first-time users to get acquainted with its key features and functionalities.

 

Learn more about the NiceJob HubSpot integration.

 

3. Zoho CRM

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business Zoho homepage.

Zoho CRM is a software solution offered at a good price point, which makes it an attractive choice for small businesses.

 

The platform boasts a minimal learning curve. This lets you quickly hit the ground running.

 

Zoho CRM stands out as an excellent option for small business owners due to its comprehensive functionalities and value for money.

 

It helps improve customer acquisition and accelerate growth by offering professional-grade tools and features.

 

The intuitive user experience of Zoho CRM ensures better adoption rates, enabling businesses to streamline their customer relationship management processes.

 

Zoho CRM pricing offers multiple plans to cater to different business needs.

 

The Standard plan starts at $10 per user per month (billed annually) and provides a suite of basic features for sales automation.

 

The Professional plan, priced at $17.5 per user per month, enhances customer acquisition and growth with advanced functionalities.

 

The Enterprise plan, the most popular choice, is available at $30 per user per month. It offers a complete CRM solution to manage global customer experience operations.

 

Finally, the Ultimate plan, priced at $32.5 per user per month, provides dedicated business intelligence capabilities to support exponential scaling.

 

Zoho offers a 14-day free plan for each price point. 

 

4. Freshsales

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business Freshsales homepage.

Freshsales is a simple CRM solution that simplifies the sales process, making it a breeze for small businesses.

 

With this comprehensive platform, sales and marketing teams no longer have to juggle multiple tools to manage various aspects of the sales cycle. From discovering the best leads and driving deals to closure and nurturing existing customers, Freshsales CRM empowers sales reps to excel in their performance.

 

By centralizing essential sales functions in one tool, Freshsales CRM eliminates the need for multiple applications. It enables small businesses to engage leads across different communication channels, such as phone calls, email, and SMS.

 

With features like a visual sales pipeline, automated workflows, and contextual engagement capabilities, Freshsales enables small businesses to streamline their sales processes and focus on building strong customer relationships.

 

Freshsales CRM offers different pricing plans to cater to diverse business needs.

 

The Free CRM plan enables 3 users to access feature-packed tools like visual sales pipelines, automated workflows, and chat, email, and phone support.

 

The Growth plan, priced at $12.49 per user per month (billed annually), offers powerful CRM automation. 

The Pro plan, at $34.99 per user per month (billed annually), provides additional features such as multiple sales pipelines, AI insights, and sales teams and territory management.

 

The Enterprise plan, priced at $62.49 per user per month (billed annually), offers advanced customization, AI forecasting, and audit logs.

 

5. Monday

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business Monday homepage.

Monday is a great CRM solution designed to streamline and simplify your sales process. Its user-friendly interface, robust features, and third party integrations allow businesses to efficiently manage leads, contacts, and deals.

 

Monday also offers flexible pricing plans that cater to the specific needs of businesses, whether they are small startups or established enterprises.

 

Monday is an ideal solution for small businesses seeking to streamline their sales processes. Its affordable pricing plans provide essential CRM functionalities at a reasonable cost.

 

The Basic CRM plan starts at $10 per seat per month and offers unlimited customizable pipelines, templates, and mobile apps. As businesses grow, they can upgrade to the Standard or Pro plans to gain advanced features such as email integration, sales analytics, and extensive automation capabilities.

 

The Standard CRM plan is priced at $14 per seat per month. It includes advanced account and contact management, email integration, quotes and invoices, and custom CRM automation.

 

At $24 per seat per month, the Pro CRM plan provides comprehensive insights, including sales forecasting, email tracking, advanced analytics, and extensive automation and integration capabilities.

 

For enterprise-level needs, the Enterprise CRM plan offers lead scoring, advanced analytics, enterprise-scale automation, third party integrations, and enhanced security features.

 

6. Capsule

Screenshot of the best CRM for small business Capsule homepage.

Capsule is a powerful solution designed to help boost sales and become more organized. It's user-friendly interface and robust feature make it stand out as an excellent CRM choice for businesses keen to scale and expand.

 

Capsule CRM offers flexible pricing plans to cater to different business needs.

 

The Professional plan, priced at $18 per user per month, includes 50,000 contacts, sales pipeline management, project management, email sending, and third party integrations with popular platforms.

 

The Teams plan, priced at $36 per user per month, expands on the Professional plan by offering additional features such as multiple sales pipelines, workflow automation, advanced reporting, and user roles and restrictions.

 

For businesses in need of premium onboarding and dedicated support, the Enterprise plan, available at $54 per user per month, provides added benefits like increased contact capacity, custom training, and a dedicated customer success manager.

 

All plans offer a 14-day free CRM software trial.

 

Picking the best CRM software for your small business 

It's important to consider your unique needs and priorities when it comes to choosing the best CRM software for your small business.

 

We recommend taking advantage of demos and free trials offered by different providers before making a final choice. This will allow you to explore the features and functionalities of each CRM software and determine how well they align with your business requirements.

 

Consider factors like ease of use, customization options, integration capabilities with other business tools, and scalability for future growth. Pay special attention to each product’s pricing plans to get the best value for your money.

 

Finally, a CRM tool is a means to a greater end. Managing customer relationships is about engaging more effectively with them and growing your business in the process.

 

It’s also about improving your online reputation

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FAQs about the best CRM for small business

 

How do CRMs handle customer data?

CRM systems handle customer data by securely storing and organizing it within a centralized database. They employ robust security measures and adhere to CRM data protection regulations to ensure the privacy and integrity of customer information.

 

What's the best free CRM for small businesses?

Several CRM options offer free plans tailored for small businesses, including HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, and Capsule CRM. Each of these platforms provides valuable features that can be utilized without incurring additional costs. You’ll need to make a choice based on your specific needs and business goals.

 

Is CRM suitable for small businesses?

Yes, CRM is highly beneficial for small businesses. It helps optimize customer interactions, streamline sales and business processes, and improve overall efficiency. Small businesses can incorporate CRM solutions to enhance customer satisfaction and improve sales with data-driven decisions.

 

What is the most commonly used CRM?

There are several widely used CRM systems in the market, including Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. The choice of the most commonly used CRM may vary depending on the industry and business size.

 

How much does CRM cost for small businesses?

CRM costs for small businesses vary depending on the platform, features, and scalability requirements. Some CRM solutions offer free plans or affordable pricing tiers, while others have more comprehensive and customizable options with higher price points. Make sure to assess your business needs and budget to make the right selection.