15 Best CRMs for Small Businesses in 2023 [+ Why You Need One]

Curt del Principe

Published:

You’re not an enterprise. And an enterprise CRM isn’t the best CRM for a small business. You don’t need to waste money on enterprise add-ons you’ll never touch, or waste time learning enterprise features you’ll never use.

Small business owner using CRM software

But if a 29% boost in sales sounds good to you, then you do need a CRM. So we’ve assembled a comparison of the 15 best CRMs that are made for SMBs. We’ve also plugged them into a handy table, so you can consider the features that are important to your business.

Learn more about why HubSpot's CRM platform has all the tools you need to grow  better.

Afterward, we’ll answer common questions, like ‘Why does a small business need a CRM?’ or ‘How do I choose a CRM for small businesses?’ Let’s jump in…

1. HubSpot CRM

Best CRM for small business - HubSpot CRM Get the Free CRM

HubSpot’s CRM is lightweight and easy to use but has tools for all your teams. Your sales reps will love the lead scoring and sales prospecting features. Your marketers get email automation and real-time website activity tracking. And your service teams will flip for the help desk features, live chat, and shared universal inbox that simplifies their work lives. And that’s just a small sample of the features.

But best of all, the HubSpot CRM is 100% free. Forever. No time limits, unlimited users, and up to 1 Million contacts. And when you grow, HubSpot can grow with you, by choosing from 3 tiers of premium plans starting at only $45 per month.

  • G2 Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $45/mo for 2 users)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 1,000,000 contacts and unlimited users

2. Monday sales CRM

Best CRM for small business - Monday Sales CRMImage Source

Monday.com is best known for its project management software, so you may not have heard about this sales CRM. But if you’re a fan of Monday’s kanban-style PM tools, you’ll also like its editable pipeline tracking.

From contact management to sales forecasting to custom dashboards, Monday knows about organizing data and activities. This makes it a solid choice for small businesses that may also be in the market for task management tools.

  • G2 Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $10 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 1,000 contacts and 2 users.

3. Pipedrive

Best CRM for small business  - Pipedrive CRMImage Source

Pipedrive is a simple and straightforward CRM with a clean user interface. Customers note that it’s easy to set up and easy to use.

Pipedrive advertises itself as being a CRM “designed by salespeople, for salespeople.” This means the tools focus mostly on managing your leads through the sales pipeline, though it does offer email marketing tools, as well. Pipedrive also boasts over 300 integrations, including HubSpot.

  • G2 Rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $14.90 per user per month
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Starter plan begins at 3,000 active contacts

4. Bigin by Zoho CRM

Best CRM for small business - Bigin by Zoho CRMImage Source

If you’re just starting your CRM research you might be confused why Zoho offers two CRMs. While the Zoho CRM offers a more robust suite of tools, they created Bigin to focus specifically on the features that small businesses would use most.

If you’re looking for a streamlined way to start tracking contacts and managing your deals, Bigin is a solid first choice. But if you’re ready for advanced features– like sales forecasting, lead scoring, and workflow management– then you might consider Zoho instead.

  • G2 Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $7 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 15 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 500 contacts and 1 user

5. Capsule CRM

Best CRM for small business - Capsule CRM

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Capsule comes with a variety of customization options to help suit individual companies’ specific needs and challenges. These features include custom fields, tags, and branding options.

One of Capsule’s biggest perks is its accessibility. It has a simple, straightforward interface and easily integrates with third-party applications, including G Suite and MailChimp.

  • G2 Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $18 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 250 contacts and 2 users.

6. BenchmarkONE (HatchBuck)

Best CRM for small business - Benchmarkone CRM

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BenchmarkONE (formerly known as HatchBuck) is a simple, pipeline CRM that combines email marketing, and sales and marketing automation tools.

Companies in almost any vertical can benefit from BenchmarkONE, but they advertise as specializing in agencies and small business owners.

  • G2 Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $29 per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 250 contacts and 500 emails but unlimited users.

7. EngageBay

Best CRM for small business - Engagebay CRMImage Source

EngageBay is an affordable, all-in-one CRM for small businesses and startups. The multi-step automation workflow feature lets you build both simple and complex workflows with ease. You can also launch multichannel marketing campaigns across email, social media, SMS, web, and mobile push notifications.

EngageBay’s biggest perk lies in its affordability. The platform offers a collection of advanced features for under $100 per month.

  • G2 Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $11.99 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: None
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 500 contacts and 15 users.

8. Agile CRM

Best CRM for small business - Agile CRM

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Agile CRM features a simple, streamlined drag-and-drop project management tool. Its interface makes managing tasks and passing information between your support, sales, and marketing departments straightforward and seamless. It also has features like lead scoring and segmentation tools.

Agile generally suits SMBs better than enterprises, and its pricing structure reflects that. Its free plan is a great choice for smaller businesses and startups that may lack the resources to pay for premium plans elsewhere.

  • G2 Rating: 4.0 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $8.99 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: None
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 50,000 contacts and 10 users.

9. Accelo

Best CRM for small business - Accelo CRM

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Accelo’s CRM features tools for lead scoring, drafting quotes and proposals, segmentation, and task management. It also has an impressive range of integrations with other leading platforms, including Salesforce, Jira, Quickbooks, and HubSpot.

Accelo focuses on the professional service sector. The platform is tailored for smaller businesses that employ professionals like architects, accountants, engineers, and designers.

  • G2 Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $24 per product per user per month
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Minimum of 5 users

10. GreenRope

Best CRM for small business - GreenRope CRM

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GreenRope is a CRM that strives for simplicity. The platform includes features like territory management, segmentation, and lead scoring. It also has a straightforward interface that doesn’t require much setup or training.

GreenRope has a wide variety of pricing plans to suit an equally wide variety of business sizes. The platform is slightly pricier than most, so it may not be best for very small businesses or startups.

  • G2 Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $99 per month for 500 contacts
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Starter plan begins at 500 contacts per month and unlimited users

11. WORK[etc]

Best CRM for small business - WORK[etc] CRM

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WORK[etc] is a cloud-computing CRM that emphasizes collaboration. The platform consolidates virtually every aspect of a business’s operations and enables easy communication between different departments.

The CRM works for smaller businesses across virtually every industry — from digital advertising firms to real estate agencies. The pricing is a bit more expensive than similar CRMs, but it’s worth exploring for small companies looking to streamline all aspects of their businesses.

  • G2 Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $78 per month for 2 users
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Starter plan begins at 2,000 contacts per month and 2 users

12. VTiger

Best CRM for small business - VTiger CRM

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VTiger is an affordable CRM with particularly strong sales and marketing automation tools for its relatively low price. The platform also offers solid project and inventory management infrastructure and boasts a total of over 300,000 customers worldwide. The platform has a robust suite of features across marketing, sales, and service. VTiger is a great option for small businesses running on a tight budget.

  • G2 Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Price: Free (Premium plans start at $30 per user per month)
  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Free Trial: 15 days
  • Plan Limits: Free plan starts at 3,000 contacts and 10 users.

13. Keap

Best CRM for small business - Keap CRM

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Keap provides the resources to help you organize information about leads, clients, and business communication. Its email and sales automation features speed up day-to-day processes.

Keap has invoice and payment integrations that allow you to accept credit cards, send invoices, and track outstanding payments. That’s where the platform really stands out. It’s an ideal CRM for small businesses that conduct online transactions on a consistent basis.

  • G2 Rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $129 per month for 2 users
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 14 days
  • Plan Limits: Starter plan starts at 1,500 contacts and 2 users

14. Glue Up

Best CRM for small business - Glue Up CRM

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Glue Up is a cloud-based, all-in-one event management software and CRM. You can choose from event, membership, community, webinar, or training-focused software.

With Glue Up's CRM, you can keep your contacts organized, automate sales workflows for your events, manage all of your audiences and business opportunities, keep data and information secure, and gain insight into engagement across activities.

  • G2 Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $125 per month for 2 users
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: No
  • Plan Limits: Unadvertised

15. Nextiva CRM

Best CRM for small business - Nextiva CRM

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Nextiva is a cloud-based VoIP service that includes a CRM. It consolidates company communications into a single platform — this allows sales, marketing, and support teams to stay on the same page.

Nextiva’s biggest draw may be how well it handles multi-channel customer communication. If your business is looking for both VoIP and a CRM that can offer a solid communication infrastructure for sales and customer support reps, you should explore Nextiva as a potential option.

  • G2 Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Price: Plans start at $23.95 per user per month for 1-4 users (Per user cost decreases with more users)
  • Free Plan: No
  • Free Trial: 7 days
  • Plan Limits: Starter plan includes up to 4 users

Compare CRM Features

CRM G2 Rating Free Plan? Starter Plan Monthly Price Plan Limits Free Trial?
HubSpot CRM 4.4 Yes $45 for 2 users Free plan:
  • 1 Million contacts
  • Unlimited users
14 days
Monday Sales CRM 4.6 Yes $10 per user

Free plan:

  • 1,000 contacts
  • 2 users
14 days
Pipedrive 4.2 No $14.90 per user

Starter plan:

  • 3,000 active contacts
14 days
Bigin by Zoho CRM 4.6 Yes $7 per user

Free plan:

  • 500 contacts
  • 1 user
15 days
Capsule CRM 4.3 Yes $18 per user

Free plan:

  • 250 contacts
  • 2 users
30 days
BenchmarkONE (HatchBuck) 4.5 Yes $29 per month

Free plan:

  • 250 contacts
  • 500 emails
  • Unlimited users
14 days
EngageBay 4.6 Yes $11.99 per user

Free plan:

  • 500 contacts
  • 15 users
None
Agile CRM 4.0 Yes $8.99 per user

Free plan:

  • 50,000 contacts
  • 10 users
None
Accelo 4.4 No $24 per user
  • Minimum of 5 users
  • (Contact limit not advertised)
14 days
GreenRope 4.4 No $99 per month

Starter plan:

  • 500 contacts
  • Unlimited users
14 days
WORK[etc] 4.6 No $78 for 2 users

Starter plan:

  • 2,000 contacts
  • 2 users
14 days
VTiger 4.3 Yes $30 per user

Free plan:

  • 3,000 contacts
  • 10 users
15 days
Keap 4.2 No $129 for 2 users

Starter plan:

  • 1,500 contacts
  • 2 users
14 days
Glue Up 4.5 No $125 for 2 users
  • Unadvertised
None
Nextiva 4.4 No $23.95 per user (for 1-4 users)

Starter plan:

  • Up to 4 users
  • (Contact limits not advertised)
7 days

 

Why does a small business need a CRM?

A small business needs a CRM for the same reasons a giant corp does: to organize your data, boost your sales efficiency, and align your sales, marketing, and service teams. Your SMB may not have the same sales volume as an enterprise company, but a CRM will help you scale up no matter your size.

Some of the benefits that a CRM brings include:

  • Eliminating busywork by automating data collection and storage.
  • Aligning sales and marketing teams by making customer data easily accessible.
  • Enabling data-driven sales and marketing decisions through reporting and analytics.
  • Organizing contact history, so your reps don’t have to dig, and your customers don’t have to repeat themselves.

Maybe you’re finding that you’ve outgrown tracking customers in a spreadsheet. Maybe your sales team is drowning in manual data entry. Maybe good leads aren’t getting contacted. If these challenges sound familiar, then it’s time to consider a CRM.

How to choose a CRM for a small business

Before you compare your options for a CRM, you’ll want to take some time to consider these questions:

  • Who will be using your CRM?
    If your executive team never touches your CRM, then don’t worry about features for executives. Choose a CRM that focuses on the needs of those who actually use it.
  • How many people will be using your CRM?
    Free CRMs may only allow a limited number of users, and paid tools often charge by the “seat.”
  • What tools are you already using?
    A good CRM should integrate with common office software, so you don’t have to give up what’s already working.
  • How easy is the CRM to use?
    When it comes to being user-friendly, not all CRMs are the same. Is your office tech-savvy enough to tackle advanced software, or do you need something more lightweight?
  • How much automation do you need?
    Many modern CRMs include AI tools that allow your smaller team to accomplish more than they can on their own. Examples of AI in a CRM include sales forecasting, customer service chatbots, or SEO suggestions for marketing.
  • What’s your budget for a CRM?
    There are many affordable or even free CRM options, but you may one day outgrow them. When that happens you’ll have to decide if the paid version fits your budget. Changing CRMs can be a bit of a pain, so it’s a good idea to find one that suits you now and in the future.

CRM of the Crop

Take some time to consider which features are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves. Then use a comparison chart to narrow down your CRM options according to what matters to you.

Once you’ve chosen your top few, make use of the free trials or free plans to test drive a CRM in real life.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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