We asked our digital marketing experts at The Search Agency what their top picks are for the best CRM software. For anyone new to the marketing world, “CRM” stands for “customer relationship management,” and the software is used for managing companies’ relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.
When you hear someone talk about a CRM, they’re most likely referring to a type of system or software used for contact management, sales management, productivity and a whole lot more. If you’re in the market for a CRM system, below are some of TSA’s favorites.
Perhaps the best of the free CRM systems out there, Apptivo is highly customizable and integrates with some other great programs like OneDrive and RingCentral. While its starter plan might be free, we recommend their premium plan, which comes in at a very attractive $8 USD (if billed annually). Other than OneDrive and RingCentral, it doesn’t offer much more third-party integration like our other two picks, but we feel this is a great solution for any budget-conscious company looking for their first CRM software.
2. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM offers many of the same features as big-name CRMs like Salesforce, both essential and advanced, at only a fraction of the cost. Its reporting capabilities are not as in-depth as Salesforce’s, but its ability to integrate with programs like Google G Suite is what makes it a home run for us. Zoho also provides a wide array of over 30 other business solutions, ranging from project management to point-of-sale (POS). One con for Zoho is that its more advanced features that would come standard with Salesforce are only available on the pricier “Professional” plan. However, we believe the “Standard” plan — starting at only $12/month — is a great option for businesses looking for a starter CRM.
Last, but certainly not least, is Salesforce — one of the first CRMs on the market and now perhaps the most recognizable. It’s remained one of the top CRM systems for over a decade by consistently adding new and advanced features, remaining highly customizable and by having a giant library of third-party apps and add-ons. Packages through Salesforce also include features like email marketing, campaign management, customer self-service, business intelligence and analytics. Salesforce also comes with its own social network: Chatter.
Of all the CRM systems, Salesforce is the priciest with an essential package starting at $25 USD a month and an unlimited package running as high as $300 USD a month. We personally recommend their “Lightning Professional” package, which runs at $75 USD a month. If you have a small fear of commitment, Salesforce does offer a free, 30-day-trial of any of their packages.
Do you have any favorite CRM systems that didn’t make it into our top picks? Let us know in the comments. We love testing out new systems and learning more about what’s out there!