Software Reviews

11 Best CRM Software of 2020 (Compared and Reviewed)


As competition for leads and sales gets more intense, sales team and business owners need a better way to track customers through every stage of the buyer journey. This is where CRM software comes into play.

CRM software aims to nurture these customer relationships across various channels and cater to their needs, ensuring an excellent experience for the customers, and ultimately guide them down the sales funnel.

Customer relationship management software (CRM) helps in managing and improving company interaction with existing or prospective customers for customer retention, new customer generation, and increased revenue.

If you don't use a CRM platform, then it's time to think about getting one.

What Is The Best CRM Software?

There are numerous CRM platforms in the market, which makes it challenging to get the right one for your business.

After using a ton of different CRMS across numerous tech companies, I've narrowed it down to the 11 best CRM software to try this year.

1. Salesforce.

Salesforce is one of the most famous names on this list and has more than a million users worldwide. It is a cloud-based CRM software that caters to all the branches of a business, including sales, service, marketing, analytics, and more.

Key Features:

  • Opportunity Management - You can close more deals by identifying the perfect opportunities with the 'opportunity management' module
  • Contact Management - With this module, you can track parameters like customer history, communications, and social media mentions
  • Sales Performance Management - Set sales goals and update targets for the best sales performance
  • Visual Workflow - Using this, you can drag, drop, share, and track files and updates.
  • First Feed Feature - Allows you to see what you want to see first (based on your settings)

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support available via phone, email, and tickets
  • High-level automation and personalization (provide great social experience)
  • 30-day free trial period
  • Cloud-hosted (faster and inexpensive)
  • Compatible with Linux, Windows, Mac, Android
  • Open API (therefore highly customizable)
  • Offer enterprise territory management, a sales CRM, and management of social networks
  • Multi-language and multi-currency customer support
  • Wide range of email templates to choose from
  • In-built Einstein Lead Scoring
  • Lead management with sales force automation and business intelligence
  • Compatible with all devices, including mobile phones
  • Provides partner communities
  • In-built process builder and lead generation tools
  • A large number of third-party integrations (LeadExec, Ambassador, Zuora, Zendesk, among others)
  • Mass emailing option to help you save time and efforts

Cons:

  • Can't be used by companies who want on-premise deployment
  • Live chat support isn't available

Pricing Plans:

Salesforce offers a variety of products; therefore, the prices may vary. However, the subscription plans start at $25 per user per month, and the most expensive plan costs $1250 per user per month (both billed annually). You can also get in touch with them for a customized plan.

2. Freshsales.

Freshsales is an AI-based CRM for lead scoring, email activity, email capture, and so forth. One of its most prominent features is that it provides a 360-degree view of your business.

Key Features:

  • Lead Management - Provides solutions to convert prospective leads into customers
  • Deal Management - Gives you a thorough picture of where the deal is placed in the sales funnel. Also helps you manage and organize every step in the funnel and maximize your chances of conversion
  • Tracking and Lead Scoring - With in-built AI-feature, you can rank and score leads, and identify the ones most likely to make a purchase
  • Auto Lead Assignment - The CRM allows handpicked leads to select salespeople automatically
  • Smartforms (web-to-lead) - When a person fills up the web-form on your website, they automatically become a lead and are added to your database

Pros:

  • Provides high-level automation and intelligent workflows
  • Extensive range of integrations, including MailChimp, Zapier, Calendar, Piesync, Segment, and more
  • RESTful APIs to help you read, modify, add, and delete data from help-desk
  • Behavior-based lead segmentation
  • Advanced lead scoring based on characteristics and behavior
  • Sends out personalized welcome and voicemail messages
  • GDPR-compliant
  • 21-day free trial period
  • Excellent customer support via phone and email
  • Known as one of the best mobile CRMs with a mobile app
  • Event tracking (tracks previous communication to plan the future approach)
  • Highly flexible

Cons:

  • Can be challenging to use for a beginner
  • Doesn't include landing page builders
  • Doesn't have features like proposal templates
  • Customer support is 24/5 (no support on weekends)

Pricing Plans:

Freshsales offers four plans, starting from $12 up to $79 per user per month (when billed annually).

3. Zoho CRM.

With Zoho, you can get a 360-degree view of your business, track essential sales and marketing opportunities, and increase conversion rates. With more than 150,000 customers globally, Zoho CRM is one of the most popular tools on this list.

Key Features:

  • Advanced CRM Analytics - Integrates your data and derive actionable insights
  • AI-Powered Sales Assistant - Zoho helps sales teams and representatives make decisions based on customer profile and detect anomalies
  • Performance Management - With features like gamification, reporting, sales forecasting, and territory management, you can make the best out of your small business spendings
  • Sales Enablement - Helps you generate price quotes and access sales scripts
  • Process management - Enables the team to chart out every step of the sales process with 'sales builder' and 'processing rules'

Pros:

  • Omnichannel customer support via phone, live chat, email, and social media
  • Provides high-level automation
  • Highly customizable
  • No additional surprise costs
  • More than 100 third party integrations, including LinkedIn, Zapier, Google, Outlook, and more
  • Highly scalable
  • 15-day free trial period
  • Offers a mobile version (for paid plans)
  • Ensures data security, integrity, and regulatory compliance
  • Multi-language offered
  • Has a free plan for up to 3 users
  • Provides holistic calendar management
  • Offers data import/export
  • Predictive sales feature to help with data enrichment, email sentiment analysis, and more

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to handle for a beginner
  • Doesn't provide polling service
  • No 'import' option from emails or web browser during registration

Pricing Plans:

All the three paid plans, the 'Standard,"Professional,' and 'Enterprise' cost $12, $20 and $35 per user per month (billed annually). Zoho CRM also offers a freemium plan for up to 3 users.

4. Nimble.

The Nimble is an excellent, albeit simple CRM software tool, that works within the G-Suite inbox or Office 365. It allows you to update contacts, access company & contact insights easily, and manage deals from within your workflow, among other impressive features.

Key Features:

  • Relationship Management - helps you automatically combine and collate social media connections, communications, inboxes, and calendar appointments
  • Live Profiles - actionable, accessible contact records to quickly locate contact information and interaction history
  • Segmentation - helps you stay organized by segmenting your contacts into lists to take various actions
  • Reminder feature - never miss out on an opportunity with pre-scheduled reminder features
  • Pipeline management - always stay on top of every stage of the sales funnel by the visual representation of pipelines

Pros:

  • Sends out group emails to help you engage your audience at a large scale
  • Email tracking to engage customers/leads more effectively
  • Extensive range of third-party integrations, such as Gmail, Outlook, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and more
  • Offers a redesigned smart contacts app (enhanced widget to support, calendars, tasks, deals, and more)
  • Highly scalable and customizable
  • 14-day free trial
  • Prospector tool allows you to visit a website and get professional details about people who aren't listed on the website
  • Has a 'group message' feature
  • Extensive task management to create and assign tasks to different team members
  • Compatible with mobile phones
  • Ensures data security, integrity, and GDPR compliance

Cons:

  • Only a single plan is available
  • Doesn't one with the auto-responder feature
  • Doesn't have a free plan
  • Many integrations need a 'sync' tool to function properly

Pricing Plans:

There is only one plan available. The price is $25 per month (billed monthly) and $19 per month (billed annually).

5. NetHunt CRM.

NetHunt CRM works collaboratively with your Google account and all other applications. It brings to you all the familiarity of the G-suite, along with all the CRM functionalities.

Key Features:

  • Customer Relationship Management - Takes care of managing and following up on leads, taking care of existing customers, create records, and answers queries
  • Pipeline Management - Picks the right deals and activities to select and follow-up on a daily or weekly basis and see how close you are to closing a deal
  • Sales Cycle Management - Go after leads more effectively, find out the status of the sales cycle and optimize efforts
  • Leads Tracking - Ensure timely follow-up and status of leads so that you can track and address them effectively
  • Sales Tracking - Helps you track sales across multiple channels, monitor the KPIs of the sales team, and capture information about leads and customers

Pros:

  • Fully integrated with Gmail
  • 14-day free trial period
  • Filter, sort, and save data the way you need
  • Highly customizable and scalable
  • Sends out personalized, bulk emails
  • Capture prospective leads in one click
  • User-friendly, intuitive interface
  • Extensively integrated with third-party applications (LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Twitter, Facebook, and more)
  • Cloud-hosted (inexpensive and easy setup)
  • Multi-language platform
  • Email, phone, and live chat customer support available
  • Compatible with mobile devices
  • Data import and export is effortless

Cons:

  • Isn't compatible with Linux
  • Ticket customer support not available
  • On-premise deployment isn't available
  • No free plan available

Pricing Plans:

NetHunt CRM offers three plans, called the 'Professional,"Professional Plus,' and 'Enterprise.' The prices start from $24 per month and go up to $48 per month.

6. Nutshell CRM.

Nutshell CRM is a comprehensive, cloud-based software aimed at solving a multitude of business process problems. It's a holistic tool capable of handling all facets of a business CRM and perfect for keeping detailed records. It uses an Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.

Key Features:

  • Contact Management - Manage, import, and export all your contacts to get started immediately (automatic contact sync, centralized database, business card scanner, intelligent search function)
  • Reporting & Performance Tracking - Instantly view your sales performance by drilling down by product, representative, lead source, and more (sales report, forecast report, loss report, activity report, funnel report, dashboards)
  • Sales Automation - Automate most processes with powerful tools for maximum efficiency
  • Extensive Integrations - Nullifies the need for an IT department by offering various third-party integrations like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Intercom, Outlook, Slack, and more

Pros:

  • Send bulk emails
  • Compatible with mobile devices
  • Easy data import & export
  • Provides a highly collaborative environment
  • Highly scalable and customizable
  • Cloud-hosted (inexpensive and easy to deploy)
  • Extensive customer support via phone, email, live support, and tickets
  • 14-day free trial
  • Comprehensive pipeline management (drag-and-drop board view, list view, chart view)
  • Ensures data security, data integrity and regulatory compliance (GDPR compliant)
  • Provides continuous backups by taking snapshots twice-daily, weekly, and monthly
  • Payment card industry (PCI) compliant to protect billing information

Cons:

  • Doesn't support multiple languages (only English)
  • Doesn't offer on-premise deployment
  • Pricing plans do not include any freemium plan

Pricing Plans:

Nutshell CRM provides two plans.

The first one is the 'Starter' plan $19 per user per month, and then you have the 'Pro' plan for $19 per user per month (billed annually).

7. Insightly.

Insightly is a modern CRM platform that can help you grow your business faster by building lasting relationships with customers.

Key Features:

  • Lead Routing - Tracks the most relevant lead information including a rich activity timeline of marketing campaign source, email, phone calls, meetings
  • Relationship Management - Enables you to build strong relationships with existing customers and get new customers on board
  • Extensive Third-Party Integrations - Integrated with a wide range of applications like Gmail, Mailchimp, Dropbox, Outlook, and more
  • Pipeline Management - Allows you to monitor the performance of the sales team, track sales pitch, and identify where it is precisely in the sales funnel

Pros:

  • Compatible with mobile devices, both Android and iOS
  • Provides visual dashboards for display and tracking important metrics
  • Ensures data integrity (military-grade AES-256 encryption) and regulatory compliance (GDPR-compliant)
  • Highly flexible calendaring and events
  • Highly scalable and customizable
  • Offers features to ensure efficient filtering and tagging possible
  • In-built automated email reminders and tracking
  • 14-day free trial
  • One of the most affordable software solutions
  • Customer support available via phone, tickets, and email
  • In-built tutorials for hands-on experience working with the software
  • Get real-time macro/micro view of your business
  • User-friendly and intuitive

Cons:

  • Doesn't have live chat support and on-premise deployment
  • Supports only one language (English)

Pricing Plans:

The prices start from $29 and go up to $99 per user per month (billed annually). Insightly also offers a free plan for up to 2 users.

8. Engagebay.

Engagebay is a cloud-hosted CRM that integrates all business processes and functions like sales, marketing, and finances on to a single platform. On top of that, the software primarily focuses on automation for maximum efficiency.

Key Features:

  • Email Marketing - Offers a great module, laced with features like A/B testing, auto-responders, CAN-SPAM compliance, dynamic content, event-triggered emails, and more
  • Lead Generation - Efficient lead generation with features like contact import and export, lead capture, database integration, nurturing, scoring, segmentation, and more
  • Marketing Automation - Offers customizable CTAs, drip campaigns, sales intelligence, website visitor tracking, and so forth
  • Social Media Marketing - You can perform analytics, contact management, automated publishing, content management, and multi-account management

Pros:

  • Offers a great free plan
  • Extensive third-party app integrations, such as Zapier, Xero, and more
  • Highly customizable and scalable
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Comprehensive customer support via phone, live chats, email, tickets
  • Offers free trial period for paid plans
  • One of the most affordable plans in the market (entirely cloud-based)
  • Ensures data security, integrity and regulatory compliance (GDPR-compliant)
  • Real-time, consolidated customer information for all (including previous interactions and purchases)
  • Variety of forms and pop-ups for visitor engagement and lead generation

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer on-premise deployment
  • Supports only English

Pricing Plans:

It has four broad segments:

  • All-in-one
  • Marketing
  • CRM & sales bay
  • Service Bay

The CRM & sales bay segment has four plans (one free and three paid).

The paid plans start from $7.79 and range up to $29.99 per user per month, based on features (when paid bi-annually). You can also pay annually or monthly.

9. PipelineDeals.

PipelineDeals is an intuitive, cloud-hosted, all-in-one CRM software that is ideal for small and medium businesses. It has excellent features with a focus on sales and employee empowerment.

Key Features:

  • Sales Pipeline Management - Allows you to visualize, optimize, and understand your sales pipeline for maximum efficiency
  • Lead Management - Identify, track, follow up, and nudge the leads that are most likely to be converted (into sales) along the sales funnel
  • Contact Management - Helps you build new relationships with prospective leads and follow up on existing customers
  • Sales Team Management - Sets meaningful objectives and establish team activity tracking. Moreover, it helps you eliminate redundancies, delays, and confusion by organizing team knowledge and providing a framework for collaboration

Pros:

  • 14-day free trial period
  • Unlimited deals, stages, companies, and contacts
  • Unlimited file storage
  • Easy import/export data (Excel or other CRM)
  • Since it is cloud-hosted, it's inexpensive and easy to set up
  • High customizability and scalability
  • Compatible with mobiles (Android and iOS)
  • In-built email acceleration, which helps you track open-rate, click-through rates, and downloads
  • Enables you to develop dashboards for real-time visualization
  • Extensive third-party integrations (Mailchimp, Outlook, Excel, Zapier, and more)
  • In-built foreign currency tracking (any market or local currency)
  • Comprehensive data analytics and campaign management for actionable insights
  • Extensive customer support via email, phone, live support, and tickets

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a freemium plan
  • You don't get an on-premise deployment
  • No multi-language support (only English)

Pricing Plan:

The paid plans start from $25 and range up to $49 per month.

10. Agile CRM.

Agile CRM is an all-in-one CRM with a focus on automation of your marketing and sales while pooling them on to one platform. It is a cloud-based SaaS service that is also one of the most affordable software around.

Key Features:

  • Contact Management - Efficient single page management of contacts can help you close more deals
  • Project Management - Effective management of all projects on the same platform with features like drag-and-drop task lists and more
  • Appointment Scheduling - You can share your calendar online & automate scheduling, invites, and follow-ups
  • Email Marketing - Create and send professional emails, newsletters, personalize them, and track & analyze results

Pros:

  • It offers a free plan for up to 10 users
  • Cloud-based (inexpensive and easy to set up)
  • Offers multi-chat windows, easy data entry, and workflow automation
  • Extensive customer support via phone, email, live chats, and tickets
  • Comprehensive email tracking to help you gain essential insights into your email marketing campaign
  • In-built auto-responders
  • Extensive third-party integrations with social, billing, email, and customer support apps
  • The “telephony” feature lets you enjoy one-click calling, call scripts, and voicemail automation
  • Offers mobile marketing to send out personalized SMS and use mobile messaging in campaigns
  • Helps you create dynamic landing pages to attract and engage potential leads
  • Offers excellent exit intent pop-ups (convert abandoning visitors using them)
  • Highly scalable, customizable, and user-friendly

Cons:

  • Doesn't provide on-premise deployment
  • Supports only English
  • 24/5 customer support (not 24/7)

Pricing Plans:

Agile CRM is a free plan with limited features. There are three paid plans starting from $8.99 and ranging up to $47.99 per user per month.

11. Adsoup.

Adsoup is a multi-platform CRM software with a focus on streamlining communications between your business and clients. It is most suitable for sales and can be very useful for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Key Features:

  • Real-time Messaging - Mobile compatibility ensures that you can always serve your customers even from remote locations by using a web browser
  • Sales Tracking - Know the exact status of a prospective lead and its position in the sales funnel
  • Revenue Monitoring - Study and keep track of the channels generating the maximum revenue for increased focus
  • Single-platform communications - Allows sales representatives to keep track of all prospective leads across multiple windows and not miss out

Pros:

  • Has a great free plan
  • Paid subscriptions have 7-day free trial
  • High level of automation (collect Facebook lead generation, messaging ad responses and email leads into a pipeline)
  • Provides shared IMAP email and Google Dialogflow bot (paid plans)
  • Compatible with mobile devices
  • Perform simultaneous chats
  • Contains canned responses feature (added efficiency)
  • Real-time value tracking and revenue reports
  • Cloud-hosted (inexpensive and easy setup)
  • Customer support via live chat
  • Offers a single dashboard to unify multiple channels
  • Involves document storage and easy platform switch
  • Offers drag-and-drop deal management
  • Extensive third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Doesn't have email/phone customer support
  • Supports only English (no multi-language capacity)
  • You have to pay an additional amount for extra add-ons

Pricing Plans:

For one, Adsoup offers an effective free plan. The paid subscriptions start from $19 and go up to $56 per user per month (billed monthly). The annual payment involves a discount.

Some tools not yet listed include SugarCRM, HubSpot CRM, Pipedrive, Netsuite, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

What is CRM Software?

CRM software perfectly performs customer relationship management for a company. It helps companies access, organize, inspect, and make sense of the abundant customer data they have to make the most out of it.

CRM collates information from various channels like social media, email campaigns, live chats, telephones, personal interaction, feedback forms, and more. It further uses data analytics to analyze the customer's buying history, patterns, and focus areas. The aim is to enhance the customer experience and customer satisfaction now and in the future.

CRM has been around for a long time (earlier in paper form), but the benefits of CRM systems became apparent after widespread digitalization.

CRM systems link various departments of business, including sales, marketing, HR, customer service, and finance. Furthermore, it is readily accessible by any employee in real-time, which empowers and allows them to serve their customers right away and in a better way.

All in all, CRM solutions have managed to connect the departments and increase inter-dependency while getting rid of the incumbent silos.

What Are the Benefits of CRM Software?

Here are some of the demonstrated benefits of using CRM software:

1. Improved Client Relationships and Customer Interactions.

CRM software allows you to streamline customer information and can help you generate insights, allowing you to serve your clients better.

2. You Can Cross-Sell And Up-Sell.

Armed with knowledge about customer choice and preferences, you can easily suggest the purchase of complementary products. On top of that, you can recommend other value-added versions of the product(s) that are pricier than the one your customer has bought.

3. Improves Collaboration.

Breaking away from silos, every member of the organization can access the same data in real-time, which can lead to enhanced collaboration between team members, as well as between the different sales and marketing teams involved.

4. Enhanced Efficiency.

Since you are privy to information like customer preference, choice, and purchase history, the client doesn't need to spend time explaining their requirements. You can capitalize on your knowledge, satisfy the customer, and enhance work efficiency.

5. Save Costs In The Long Run.

Setting up a CRM software can be costly, but it is a one-time cost. On the other hand, enhanced operational efficiency and collaboration leads to increased productivity, which lowers in the long run.

6. Increases Employee Involvement.

Employees feel empowered when they can access data, and it results in employees taking more ownership in the day to day work. Thus, CRM solutions naturally increase employee involvement.

How Do You Use CRM Software?

It is easy to start using CRM software, especially when you think about the benefits associated with it. For best results, you need to use it across all levels of your organization.

Here are some steps on how to use a CRM:

1. Add Sales Representatives.

Before you add anyone else, make sure you get your salespeople on board since they're most vital for your CRM tool.

Your sales team will ultimately rake in the revenue, and CRM is crucial for them to get more sales for the business. That's why you also need to ensure that they find it easy to use.

2. Segment Your Audience.

Every business is different, and there are different ways a company can segment their sales funnel. The most commonly used method is by dividing your potential customers into various stages like 'lead,"opportunity,' and 'customer,' which represents them from a company standpoint.

3. Import Contact List.

While many small businesses use different CRM systems for various uses, it's a good practice to use a single one. However, whether or not you're using a single CRM, you've got to import your data like the contact list, past deals, and other customer information. Almost all of the CRM systems tools allow CSV file uploads.

4. Third-Party Integrations.

The whole point of a CRM is to focus on the customer details and data through as many channels as possible. Therefore, you need a CRM software that provides abundant third-party integrations. Some of the essential integrations that you should be looking at are Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others.

5. Create a Dashboard.

CRM systems have the power to simplify things for you by creating a dashboard. A dashboard lets you take control of everything you need to do by displaying it on the screen.

It's basically a visual, central control panel where you have access to all the functions of your business, and control anything you want at any time.

Here's an infographic that depicts what a typical CRM systems dashboard looks like:

You can see and monitor project updates, task completions, statistics, visualizations, charts, and much more.

6. Create Reports.

The sales team makes money for the company. That's why you should provide them with as much information as possible, which will ease their job of selling the right value to the right customers.

Hence, it's a good practice to create reports at regular intervals, like weekly, quarterly, or monthly, and send them to the sales reps.

These reports help the sales reps to:

  • Evaluate their performance
  • Evaluate the performance of the team
  • Keep track of the targets they have achieved and the goals they're yet to achieve
  • Keep track of the comparative performance between colleagues (for bonus and incentive considerations)

The sales reps can then modify their performance accordingly.

Executive Summary.

There are a lot of CRM tools in the market, and all of them have their own strengths and benefits.

For instance, Zoho makes customer relationship management easy and fun, while Insightly helps you focus on the project management side of things. On the other hand, Freshsales is renowned for its user-friendliness, and Nutshell is - in a nutshell, great for your sales team.

However, you know your business better than anyone, and it's for you to decide what it needs. Look at the value you're getting at a definite price point, and the outcome you're looking at.

Look at things like cloud vs. on-premise deployment, features and functionality, third-party integrations, ease-of-use, pricing plans, and more. Study all the facets before choosing the perfect CRM software for your business.

Which CRM software are you planning to use for your business? Comment below!

Further Reading on site: Check out my other reviews of the marketing automation platforms and project management software to use this year.

And if you're an enterprise business, read my reviews of the best ERP software or the best ecommerce platforms to run your online business.