35 Best CRMs for Small Business and Startups Hero Image

Before we get into this massive guide to choosing the best CRM for small business (and startups), I want to be ultra clear with you… first and foremost, you may not actually need a CRM today.

Weird way to start an article about the best CRMs for small business and startups, right?

Well, bear with me and I’ll start by dispelling a common myth…

Does every small business need a CRM?

No. But, the right answer for you depends on a lot of different variables.

If you run a relatively young small business, or you just launched a brand new startup, then you’re likely consumed with executing mission critical tasks like trying to get enough investor capital to keep the lights on, or bringing in your first paying customer (as your one-person sales team) to prove the business has a viable future.

In the very early days, you also won’t have so much customer and prospect data that you feel like you’re drowning just trying to hold your sales process together with a series of Excel spreadsheets and email tracking tools.

If this sounds like where you’re at right now, then a CRM is probably not for you… today.

Instead, you should employ only free tools. I’m talking Spreadsheet status. Like this one.

Free Download: My CRM Spreadsheet Template

Best CRMs for Small Business (CRM Spreadsheet Template) by Ryan Robinson at ryrob

To help you get started (if you’re at square one with your sales process today), I’m giving away the actual free CRM spreadsheet template I used when I was just getting my own freelance business off the ground, before I switched over to using Close.io as my CRM of choice today.

It’s pre-loaded with all of the essential form fields and dropdown menus you should be concerned with—from tracking your lead status, to making sure you’re talking to decision-makers, evaluating the deal size, keeping a pulse on how warm your lead is—I’ve got it all covered.

Free Download: My CRM Spreadsheet Template

Download Now

It’s smart to first focus on growing your revenue and landing some early adopters by using a combination of free software tools—like a simple yet powerful combination of GmailGoogle Sheets and the (free) LinkedIn Sales Navigator Extension for Chrome that feeds you valuable data points about your leads within Gmail.

Before you make a financial investment in any CRM, which will eventually become an extremely useful, valuable, and often vital tool for your business, take an honest look at your revenue and current position as a company first.

When you are ready to take on a CRM...

If you’ve got your first loyal customers, you’re starting to grow and trying to keep pace with all the (exciting) changes happening around you, then this is the perfect time to invest some of that capital back into your company by choosing the best CRM for small business.

At this point you need a CRM, and badly. A CRM can be a massive boon to your company, freeing up so much time to focus on capturing (and converting) new leads.

Time is the most valuable resource you have at this stage, so almost any investment that will save you time is likely to pay massive dividends back to your bottom line—especially one like a CRM that's designed to help grow your revenue.

In this breakdown of the best CRMs for small business and startups, I went to a lot of effort to highlight several different types of CRMs focused on various aspects. We cover CRMs that are a good fit for startups, small businesses, and even specifically for freelancers.

And within those categories, some are more focused on generating sales, others for managing contacts or sending bulk email, and yet others still for tracking and reporting your team's performance. It’s really up to you and what your company needs!

As a final thought... remember that you get what you pay for.

Look critically at the needs of your business, and what you can reasonably gain by saving time on customer management. When you see the pricier CRM options, it's because their offerings are often much more robust and will provide you with more value—but remember, a CRM is only truly valuable if you use it.

Determine the features that are most important to you, your sales process and business goals before pulling the trigger on which CRM is best for your needs.

Finally, without further delay... here are my picks for the best small business CRMs on the market in 2018.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.

Quick note: I created this hyperlinked menu below, so that you can quickly click on any of the CRMs we're talking about today, and immediately jump down to the section of this guide that goes into more detail about each one. That being said, I recommend taking this list one-by-by-one starting with Close.io right below this menu.

35 Best CRMs for Small Business (and Startups) in 2018

1. Close.io

2. Insightly

3. Pipedrive

4. Agile

5. Base

6. Copper

7. Freshsales

8. Gleanview

9. Close.io (Again 👏)

10. Streak

11. Nutshell

12. Podio

13. Salesforce IQ

14. HubSpot

15. SugarCRM

16. Teamgate

17. Infusionsoft

18. Zaius

19. OnePage

20. ActiveCampaign

21. Batchbook

22. Onsite CRM

23. Capsule

24. Solve360

25. Maximizer

26. Bpm’online CRM

27. SuiteCRM

28. Close.io (Ok, Last Time I promise 💪)

29. Monday.com

30. Zoho

31. Less Annoying CRM

32. Bitrix24

33. Accelo

34. PipelineDeals

35. Nimble

36. Contactually


Up first, here are the best CRMs for small business.

Kicking off this list, my personal top choice is a CRM that I've used for years—and have a ton of experience with.

1. Close.io.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups Close-io

First up is Close.io. This is my #1 pick as the best CRM for small businesses, because of their intense focus on cutting down time spent on activities that don't move you toward actually closing more deals—plus they're actually the only CRM on the market that comes with built-in calling, making it a steal if calling is part of your sales process.

Close.io is really geared toward reducing mundane tasks like data entry and contact field updating, so you can maximize the time you spend contacting, developing, and closing leads. What takes 8 clicks to do in a bulkier CRM like Salesforce, takes just 2 in Close.io. And for small businesses that are focused on what's most important (closing more sales), the time you'll save in the long run with a CRM that isn't bloated with occasionally used features, translates into real dollars.

For both small businesses and startups, this intense focus on driving more revenue, is the most vital part of growing your business today. And when you’re busting your ass trying to keep your highest priority leads on track, and spending time managing at least some of the deals yourself, Close.io will seriously be a lifesaver.

What I like most about Close.io, is their extremely easy-to-use Email Sequences feature set, that allows me to send an automated series of (customized) drip sales emails to new client leads that come in either automatically from my blog, or from manual list imports after something like attending a trade show or presenting on a big webinar.

Best CRM Small Business Closeio Email Sequences

Everything is designed to help you get more replies, book more meetings, schedule more demos and close more deals, resulting in a refreshing CRM that truly cuts out all the BS.

If you’re a small business with a growing but loyal customer base, proven results, and a sales team with between 3 to 20 reps, consider leveling up with Close.io to see how much more you can accomplish with a CRM that eliminates distraction and focuses your company on sales productivity first.

Free Trial: 14 days (no credit card required)

Pricing: Basic ($65/user/month) | Professional ($110/user/month) | Business ($165/user/month)

2. Insightly.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups Insightly 1

You know those people that are so obsessive about iPhones that they look down on anyone who dares use another type of phone? If you’re even half that passionate about Google, Insightly is a great choice for you when it comes to the best CRMs for small businesses. It integrates with every app that Google offers (and many other apps you probably use), and is perfect for integrating contacts from various social media accounts with your existing contact profiles.

In addition to that, Insightly is also a full-fledged CRM for small business. They focus on three major areas that make it a solid choice for small business owners:

  • Accelerate sales
  • Build relationships
  • Deliver projects

They offer great categorization and filtering of your data, and super customizable reporting, allowing you to get a one-of-a-kind snapshot of where your small business is at today, based on exactly what you should care most about. For a small to medium-sized team, the price point and utility is really worth giving it a shot.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Plus ($29/user/month) | Professional ($49/user/month) | Enterprise ($99/user/month)

3. Pipedrive.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups pipedrive

Pipedrive makes the cut as one of the best CRMs for small business because it's (similar to Close.io) all about focusing in on getting more sales and actively managing your deal pipeline. They pride themselves on being simple, yet powerful—opting for efficient over flashy features. It’s easy to set up (visual) sales process helps to predict any issues before they occur, which is a dream come true for any sales manager.

For small businesses, you can get ahead of the game when you’re trying to grow quickly by implementing a powerful tracking and tool and streamlined process from the get-go. It’s super affordable, and also a great choice for integrating with other tools if you need a little more functionality.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Silver ($12.50/user/month) | Gold ($24.20/user/month) | Platinum ($62.50/user/month)

4. Agile.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups agilecrm

Unlike our previous contenders in the race to be the best CRM for small business, Agile makes the cut because it touts itself as an “all-in-one” solution for small businesses. And unlike your all-in-one shampoo-conditioner-body-wash-lotion-dish-soap-detergent, Agile actually works pretty well across multiple different business areas.

Agile has three main areas of focus:

  • Sales enablement
  • Marketing automation
  • Customer service

There are basically two ways a CRM can work—by offering a lot of services you can use through their platform, or offering a few core services themselves and integrating really well with the other tools and services you already use. Agile is one of the best CRMs for small business because it does a decent job of being your your go-to business management software, the closest thing to a one-stop shop you'll find. By far their biggest strength is reporting, where you can get a thorough and comprehensive look at anything you want, grouping statistics by deals, calls, activities, and growth.

Free Trial: Unlimited basic for 10 users

Pricing: Starter ($8.99/user/month) | Regular ($29.99/user/month) | Enterprise ($47.99/user/month)

5. Base.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups base crm

Base makes our list of the best CRMs for small business because it's super data-focused in it's approach to helping you increase your sales. Their platform is designed to do everything from diagnosing leads that may need your urgent attention, to providing insights into what can be improved about your sales process, and giving you all of the different data inputs you could possibly need to start ramping up your revenue.

When you’re constantly head down working in your small business, it can be difficult to pull back out and visualize the massive list of things you need to accomplish in order to actually take your company to the next level.

Their intuitive and automatic pipeline view is a great way to visualize all of your important sales metrics in one spot. And another really cool feature they offer, is a step-by-step walkthrough during the free trial, so you don’t have to tinker around with everything yourself in order to get up and running (unless that’s your thing 😉).

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: Starter ($45/user/month) | Professional ($95/user/month) | Enterprise ($145/user/month)

6. Copper.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups Copper

Formerly known as ProsperWorks, Copper makes our list of the best CRMs for small business because it does a fantastic job at integrating with everything Google in a super intuitive way. It’s basically as simple to use as Gmail is, making it a major quick win as a CRM in your sales process if you've never used one before.

Copper's most-touted feature set, is that it's integrated directly into your existing G Suite (Gmail and Google Apps), so you can keep using everything as you normally would, but now with a lot of added features like task automation, reporting, deal tracking, and forecasting.

While it leaves you wanting more compared to many of our other more fully-featured picks here for the best CRMs for small business, Copper's saving grace is that you can also link it up to other programs you already use through a series of Zapier integrations. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a quick short jump into using a CRM above and beyond just your Excel sheet and existing Gmail account, then this is a great way to get started.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Basic ($19/user/month) | Professional ($49/user/month) | Business ($119/user/month)

7. Freshsales.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups Freshsales CRM

Got leads? Freshsales has ways to manage your leads, from ranking them by importance to assigning them to your salespeople to scheduling followups. It makes it easy to track all your leads from the moment they appear to the moment you successfully close the deal.

Some key reasons why Freshsales made our list of the best CRMs for small business: Email scheduling takes the cake. Want to plan when your contact will get an email? Just schedule it, and get a notification when it gets sent out. Tired of copy and pasting? Create some email templates specific to you. Finally, use the collaborative notes feature so everyone on your team can see any specific details when they check in on a particular contact—helping you unlock more time for other important tasks in your business (like driving traffic to your website).

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: Blossom ($12/user/month) | Garden ($25/user/month) | Estate ($49/user/month) | Forest ($79/user/month)

8. GleanView

Best CRM for Small Business Startups gleanview

GleanView hits our list of the best CRMs for small business because they offer much more than just a CRM—it's a software stack that spans across sales, marketing, prospecting, and web analytics, which all work in tandem together, or they can be used separately on an as-needed basis.

Their marketing piece automates your emails, while the prospecting component helps you find new leads, and their sales outreach tools assist with lead management. With their sales pro feature, you can manage your leads and clients from beginning to end, while their WebID functionality converts your website viewers to buyers.

Free Trial: Request by phone

Pricing: Because each component can be sold separately or as a bundle, pricing varies greatly. Check out their website for more details.


For our next section, we'll still be talking about the best CRMs for small business, but with the slight tweak that many of these next CRM options will also be perfect for running a lean sales operation at a high-growth startup.

Enter... the best CRMs for startups 🚀

9. Close.io.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups close2

Hm, this looks a little familiar, right? Well, the reason I love Close.io as one of the best CRMs for small business and startups, is because it's so effective at keeping a close eye on how everyone on your sales team is performing with your key accounts.

It’s effective reporting and intuitive design are perfect for both small businesses and startups in the middle of being concerned with scaling up, and it’s a great investment when the money is coming in and your (valuable) time needs to be spent contacting leads—not doing data entry.

Particularly if your startup is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company, you have to try out Close.io. Their founders went through the famed Y-Combinator startup accelerator program while launching the CRM, so they keep a very close pulse on the startup world.

Plus, all of their reporting features are particularly well-suited to SaaS organizations. From tracking the number of calls made (from their built-in dialer) to managing the opportunities your team creates, and being able to filter by sales rep will become increasingly important as your sales team grows. It’s a great fit for a variety of startups and small businesses, so I highly recommend giving them a try.

Free Trial: 14 days (no credit card required)

Pricing: Basic ($65/user/month) | Professional ($110/user/month) | Business ($165/user/month)

10. Streak.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups streak

Are we sensing a trend yet? Another pick on our list of the best CRMs that lives inside your Gmail!

Here's why... in my experience, so many brand new businesses start out using the G Suite for managing email, documents, communications and more—which is an excellent and practical choice. Naturally though, when they need to scale up by adding a CRM to their sales process, transferring everything over can be pretty painful if you're not properly geared up. Adding a CRM into your Gmail is pretty pain-free, which is why I love that functionality.

When you add Streak to your team’s existing Gmail accounts, it’ll help them stay organized, manage their email communications with prospects, get a more clear (visual) pipeline view for where your leads are within the sales process, and communicate more effectively as a whole. Streak is diverse in functionality too—it can help track sales, support, hiring, client projects, and much more.

Free Trial: 14 days for professional (personal plan is free)

Pricing: Personal (free) | Professional ($49/user/month) | Enterprise ($99/user/month)

11. Nutshell.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups nutshell

Small outbound sales team will love how easy this CRM is to use. In a nutshell (sorry), this was created specifically with sales teams in mind, so that instead of feeling forced to use this new product just because management says so, your reps will actually love how much it helps streamline and track their progress—which is why it lands on our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups.

Features your sales team will greatly appreciate include easy to set and track appointments, setting quick follow ups, and reporting results. It’s also extremely customizable, and easy to add-on features as you progress from beginner to more advanced.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Starter ($19/user/month) | Pro ($35/user/month) | Pro Plus ($69/user/month)

12. Podio.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups podio

Track, track, track. That’s Podio’s strength, and they really fulfill that promise to the max. They allow you to track literally any project (including your sales funnel) from beginning to end, while capturing ideas, milestones, statuses, time spent, expenses, and pretty much anything else you can think of—if you've got the chops to properly implement it. While a tad overwhelming to those without a technical mind, Podio makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because of it's incredible amount of diverse functionality.

If you need highly customizable tracking software to stay up-to-date on how your business is doing, Podio is definitely worth a test run. It will help keep your team on track and on the same page, which will lead to faster closes and happier clients.

Free Trial: N/A. Free for up to five employees

Pricing: Five Users (free) | Basic ($9/user/month) | Plus ($14/user/month) | Premium ($24/user/month)

13. Salesforce IQ.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups salesforce

If you’ve had even a passing thought about getting a CRM in place for your business, that evaluation process has probably included Salesforce at some point. It’s basically the OG of CRMS (I hear they’re adopting that tagline shortly), and they service tons of small businesses and startups all over the world—making them a must-include on any list of the best CRMs for small business and startups. But... it can also feel pretty overwhelming.

Salesforce IQ offers two different basic plans to start out, specialized to what exactly your business does.

  • Sales Cloud for sales-focused businesses
  • Service Cloud for more service-focused businesses

Their starting price is actually pretty reasonable, which is why they can be a great choice for a small business that has experience with CRMs in the past. The biggest downside is that your expenses can add up pretty quickly if you need anything more than their super basic monthly plan for a 5-person team, which sits currently at $25/user/month. The next pricing tier is $75/user/month, so while it’s definitely worth evaluating Salesforce as an option for your potential best CRM, be sure to carefully crunch the numbers and keep an eye on the return on your investment that you’re getting.

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: Up to 5 Users ($25/user/month) | For 5+ Users ($75/user/month)

14. HubSpot.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups hubspot

This CRM can be a great choice for small businesses that don't need all the frills, but could really use some basic assistance with systematizing the data entry side of your business. HubSpot centralizes your contact list, automatically logs interactions, and scrapes data from the internet to populate information about your prospects.

For a contact-focused company that doesn’t have a huge need for a complex CRM with more hands-on capabilities, HubSpot is ideal—landing it here on our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups.

Also, if you want to try out a really simple version to see if it’s a good fit, it’s completely free. If you want to eventually upgrade and unlock additional features (careful, it can quickly get pretty costly), they have it partitioned by marketing, sales, and service—but charge a flat fee per month, instead of per user, so it doesn’t add up quite as quickly as with other CRMs.

Free Trial: N/A. Try their standard free plan to see if you like it

Pricing: Varies based on which additional features you want to use. Ranges from $50 to $800+ per month.

15. SugarCRM.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups sugarcrm

SugarCRM makes our roundup of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it touts its ability to help you hyper-personalize your interactions with every customer, with the aim of helping you to increase loyalty and quality of service. Its reporting features are extremely in-depth and customizable, and they offer tons of sales tools to choose from.

In all, if lead tracking is your thing and you’re looking to really get great, personal interactions with your clients, this is a great one to check out. It’s also open-source, and updates are released frequently, with a super-responsive customer service team.

Free Trial: 7 days

Pricing: Professional ($40/user/month) | Enterprise ($65/user/month) | Ultimate ($150/user/month)

16. Teamgate.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups teamgate

Teamgate is on this list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it achieves a great balance of being simple, easy to use, integrating well with other software, and also offering nice features within the CRM, like being able to make calls without going to an entirely other application—a brand new feature of theirs.

This is another “without the frills” styled CRM, for managers and sales practitioners that want a simple way to track and manage their entire sales process, but don’t really care if Tuesday at 8:13am is the best time to call leads with names that end in an "A."

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Starter ($9/user/month) | Professional ($22/user/month) | Enterprise ($65/user/month)

17. Infusionsoft.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups infusionsoft

This CRM lands squarely on the sales and marketing side of things, helping you give your clients personalized experiences which can translate into more closed deals. Sounds nice, right? Infusionsoft makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because of it includes a few functions most CRMs don't... invoicing, eCommerce, and project management capabilities, making it quite unique in this space.

One of the things they focus on is segmentation, which is crucial for a growing any small business. What makes your customers similar or different? What message will hit home for one segment and put off another? Figuring this out and leveraging it makes all the difference, and Infusionsoft is designed to help you uncover (and track) those key insights.

Free trial: 14 days

Pricing: Let's just say it's complicated. Pricing goes up based on your number of contacts, and whether you want to add eCommerce and sales pipeline functionality. Prices range from $99/month to well over $497+ per month, but can dip down if they’re running a sale (and yes, you should negotiate on your price if you choose to try Infusionsoft).

18. Zaius.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups zaius crm

While not a name brand you'd have seen on billboards in San Francisco, Zaius makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it brings together marketing, analytics, and relationship management into one single hub. Forget sending out an email when someone abandons items in their cart—try sending an email to customers who've viewed your products in the last week, haven’t received your new campaign email, and have bought from your brand in the last two months. Now that’s customization.

They provide different ways to view your business, from single customer to real time to multi-channel marketing. They’re a great choice for coordinating multiple campaigns, scheduling emails and messages, and developing great relationships with your clients.

Free Trial: Contact to request a demo and free trial

Pricing: Contact for pricing details. It appears that pricing varies depending on total number of monthly website visits and email volume. Anticipate costs anywhere between $20/user/mo to $100+ per user per month.

19. OnePage.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups onepagecrm

If checking items off your list gives you butterflies in in your stomach, then prepare yourself for a lot of butterflies with OnePage. This tool makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it's big concept is taking all of the complex information you input (into a CRM) and turning it into a simple to-do list for you.

How awesome is that? No overly complex features. It’s easy to use, easy to manage leads, and easy to increase sales.

Free Trial: 21 days

Pricing: Easy to understand pricing, just $12/user/month

20. ActiveCampaign.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups active campaign crm

ActiveCampaign makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups again because it's focus is on both marketing and sales—more specifically, helping you use automated processes to streamline your communications with an eye on connecting with your customers. They also harness the power of segmenting your customers, using behavioral data about your customers to help you send out the right messages.

Bonus: ActiveCampaign also integrates with just about any other popular online business tool you probably already have in place.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Based on the number of contacts you have. Up to 1,000 contacts: Lite ($17/user/month) | Plus ($49/user/month) | Professional ($129/user/month) | Enterprise ($229/user/month)

21. Batchbook.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups batchbook

Batchbook hits our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it aims to deliver a small-business feel (i.e. intuitive and very easy to use), with big-business results. They’re highly focused on helping you turn an anonymous contact list of leads into a personal list of relationships that'll hopefully grow into a long list of loyal customers one day.

With this CRM, you can also automate your busy work, track conversations with your clients, and set goals for yourself and your team. As a small business, you should still strive to hit that personal note with all of your customers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t delegate out some of the busy work to the right tools and teammates.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Essential ($19.95/user/month) | Advanced ($39.95/user/month)

22. Onsite CRM.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups onsitecrm

Onsite CRM is all about illuminating your sales process, giving you useful analytics and super intelligent communications tools to help speed up sales cycles and keep a closer pulse on how your leads are reacting to your communications.

They make the cut for our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because they also have tracking and reporting features that help you to increase your sales team’s effectiveness (by doubling down on what's working and getting insights into where other deals tend to fall off within your sales process). Onsite likes to be on the cutting edge of sales technology, and their support team will help you use their tools in the best possible ways.

Free Trial: N/A. Must contact them to schedule a demo.

Pricing: Contact them for a demo and pricing information.

23. Capsule.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups capsule

Capsule makes my list of the best CRMs for small business and startups specifically because of how simple it is, and that it easily integrates with all of the tools most small businesses already use (like Gmail, Google Docs and such), and it helps you keep your sales pipeline extremely organized. From managing contacts to sending emails and tracking sales, Capsule streamlines your sales process into one efficient and useful pipeline that you can use to get ahead of the competition.

Also, when Capsule says they'll manage all of your contacts, they mean it. Beyond just keeping tracking of conversations with your customers, this CRM stores and manage your leads, vendors, and anyone else that has a hand in making your business run smoothly—adding to it's uniqueness as one of the best CRMs for small business.

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: Free for up to 2 users | Professional ($18/user/month)

24. Solve360.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups solve360 crm

As Solve360 claims on their website, their goal is to help you manage “pretty much anything” when it comes to keeping your business (and sales process) on track—and it does pretty damn well at that, making it a shoe-in on our list of the best CRMs for small business and startups.

You can use Solve360 on-the-go with their mobile app, to manage and organize client activity, leads, keep tabs on existing projects, jobs, and everything else that matters to your business. The built-in utility and customizability is a big part of why Solve360 made it on our list, because it can be used by just about any type of business.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Plans start at $25/user/month, but you must start a free trial to see all plan options.

25. Maximizer.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups maximizer

Maximizer makes our list of the best CRMs for small business because it's another “all-in-one” tool suite that maximizes (sorry) the features and value you get within just product—in terms of the cross-business impact it can have on various processes. It's particularly effective if you're a financial advisor, a niche they cater some features specifically towards.

What I like about Maximizer is that it helps you organize your contacts, manage all of your communications, automate key components of your sales process that consume the most time, see how all of your working deals are moving down the pipeline, manage your campaigns, automate reporting and so much more (as if that didn’t sound like enough). Multi-purpose CRMs like this can be super valuable for small businesses, as it's sometimes easier to have all of your mission critical tools located in just one single destination online.

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: On-Premise CRM Hosted Locally ($40/user/month) | CRM Live Hosted in Their Cloud ($60/user/month) | CRM for Financial Advisors ($65/user/month)

26. Bpm’online CRM.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups bpmonline

While hardly the smoothest product name, the Bpm’online CRM earns its place on this list of the best CRMs for small business and startups because it's designed for rapidly growing small businesses that have outgrown the free (and simple) tools they originally kickstarted the company with.

Their sales tools are an excellent choice for a small business that's got a proven model and sales process, so that  they're now focused 100% on building a large customer base and hunting down more qualified leads. Bpm’online sales offers complete control over the customer journey, including lead management, opportunity management, invoices, forecasting, project management, and a whole lot more.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Team ($25/user/month) | Commerce ($30/user/month) | Enterprise ($50/user/month)

27. SuiteCRM.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups suitecrm

SuiteCRM makes the cut as one of the best CRMs for small business because it can be used in either a product-focused business or service-focused company... and believe it or not, it's totally free as it's part of an open source project (in fact, it's the world's most popular open source CRM with 4 Million+ users). In SuiteCRM, it's easy to take notes, track cases (or leads), schedule tasks for yourself or your team to complete, and organize all your contact information on prospects in one central location. Plus, everything's easily managed from mobile devices and tablets.

The only downside to SuiteCRM, is that since it's open source, you'll need someone with a bit of technical expertise to set it up, customize it for your own unique business purposes, and continue managing it as your needs grow and evolve over time. They have a team there to help you, but if you have a confident developer on your team, it'll help you out a lot.

Pricing: Free Forever!


Now, it's time to talk about the best CRMs for small business that also apply more specifically to helping freelancers (like me) to manage a high volume of sales conversations & client projects.

Let's dive into my picks for CRMs freelancers can't ignore...

28. Close.io.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups close3

Again? I know, I know... this is starting to sound like a broken record.

But I can’t help how I feel, and Close.io really is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to being the best CRM for small business, startups and freelancers—largely because of it's intense focus on empowering sales reps, founders or freelancers to cut through all the time-wasting activities, to just sell, sell, sell.

After thoroughly reviewing all of the CRMs that made the cut for this compilation, Close.io ticks off all the boxes, and is worth evaluating in their 14-day free trial, regardless of the stage your small business or freelance agency is in today.

Free Trial: 14 days (no credit card required)

Pricing: Basic ($65/user/month) | Professional ($110/user/month) | Business ($165/user/month)

29. Monday.com.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups monday

While this CRM actually has it's roots in being a project management tool, it can be used quite well as a way to manage your sales pipeline, landing it here on our picks for the best CRM for small business and freelancers. Monday.com bills itself as a visual-first tool, cutting down on complexity and ramping up on usability. They offer great features to manage your sales pipeline, track potential leads and clients, and see your entire sales process visually, all while being super intuitive to use.

Their pricing setup increases not only as you get more features, but also as you add more people to your team. However, for freelancers, if it’s just you or a small group of people using the CRM, your pricing stays very reasonable.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing (for 5 Users): Basic ($25/user/month) | Standard ($39/user/month) | Pro ($59/user/month) | Enterprise ($118/user/month)

30. Zoho.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups zoho

Zoho makes the cut for our list of the best CRMs for small business and freelancers because it strikes a great balance between providing features within the software, and also highlighting great options for integrations with other tools you're probably already using (plus, Zoho comes with a conversational AI that answers just about any question you  throw at it).

This CRM has a very wide range of email marketing tools too, so if you’re a freelancer reaching out primarily by email to a high volume of prospective clients, this could be a great choice—and of course, it features that great Google G Suite integration I love so much in a CRM.

Free Trial: 15 days

Pricing: Standard ($12/user/month) | Professional ($20/user/month) | Enterprise ($35/user/month) | Ultimate ($100/user/month)

31. Less Annoying CRM.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups lessannoying

They really killed it with the name, right? Less Annoying makes our list of the best CRMs for small business and  freelancers because of just how straightforward, simple, and easy to use the product is—which is everything you'd expect from a CRM that claims to be less annoying.

It’s a particularly good choice as a CRM for freelancers, because it's so simple in that you can strip everything else away to focus on just managing leads and watching your sales pipeline, with efficient (but very basic) reporting. At the risk of getting a little annoying by now, I'll leave it at that. Check it out for yourself.

Free Trial: 30 days

Pricing: Only one option... did you expect anything less? ($10/user/month)

32. Bitrix24.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups bitrix24

Bitrix24 makes my list of the best CRMs for small business and freelancers because of how well-suited this tool is for the remote working lifestyle, making it particularly suitable for freelancers. Within Bitrix24, you can send quotes and invoices directly through their platform, which is a huge chunk of the average freelancer's workday.

Their platform also offers an incredible amount of features in their free version (for up to 12 users), which is pretty unusual for a CRM. Once using Bitrix24, you can chat with other teammates, manage your leads, create schedules, and track the progress of each deal in your pipeline. They even offer quite a bit of customization for free.

Free Trial: Their Freelance-Specific Plan is Forever Free!

Pricing: Plus ($39/user/month) | Standard ($99/user/month) | Professional ($199/user/month)

33. Accelo.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups accelo crm

Accelo is all about streamlining your client communication, with a big focus on “the R in CRM,” as they say—making it a solid choice here amongst the best CRMs for small business and freelancers. Accelo helps you with cultivating relationships so that you can convert them into closed sales, as well as tracking projects and providing excellent service to your clients for long after the deal is closed.

The focus on managing individual relationships is why I shortlisted this CRM for freelancers in particular, because often nurturing your relationships and managing your network is what will make or break the acquisition of new clients in the long run.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Plus ($34/user/month) | Premium ($69/user/month)

34. PipelineDeals.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups pipelinedeals

PipelineDeals is what you get when a salesperson goes out and designs a CRM for salespeople, landing is squarely here on our list of the best CRMs for small business and freelancers. This CRM helps you develop your sales process and look for optimizations for helping your business scale far beyond where you're at today.

We included it for freelancers because it has a great intuitive design, similar to stuff you probably already use, like Excel spreadsheets. It also has great customization capabilities. It’s worth the click!

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Start ($25/user/month) | Develop ($33/user/month) | Grow ($49/user/month)

35. Nimble.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups nimble

For Nimble, simplicity is key—which is why I chose to include it as one of the best CRMs for small business and freelancers. They’re all about the customer data, intelligently gathering it in one place and making it highly useful and valuable for users.

Beyond just the data you input or import yourself, Nimble also goes out to source as much additional customer data as possible, from around the Internet—including scanning social media profiles and viewing websites, making it ideal for freelancers with an active social presence.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Contact ($9/user/month) | Small Business ($19/user/month)

36. Contactually.

Best CRM for Small Business Startups contactually

Those with relationship-heavy business needs should definitely evaluate Contactually as a strong option for being your best CRM for small business and freelancers. With the tool's recent shift over to focusing even more on real estate professionals (a very similar style of business to freelancing), they help you manage the personal connections you need to make—and keep it easy to track those relationships.

Within Contactually, you can organize and prioritize your contacts based on how important they're deemed in the short-term. They even help you decide the best time (and how) to follow up with your leads.

Free Trial: 14 days

Pricing: Professional ($59/user/month) | Accelerator ($99/user/month) | Concierge ($399/user/month)


There we have it!

All of my picks in the running for being the best CRM for small business.

And while I'm clearly a little biased based on my own experiences, this breakdown of every strong CRM option out there on the market today, should guide you toward making the best possible decision for where your business is at right now.

Like I said at the top of this post, you should only invest in a CRM once you're ready.

So, if it's too much of a stretch to employ a paid CRM tool for your business today, I'd highly recommend picking up my free CRM spreadsheet template that'll help you stay organized and on top of managing your leads... allowing you to focus on closing more deals, so that you can afford a more professional CRM soon.

Free Download: My CRM Spreadsheet Template

Best CRMs for Small Business (CRM Spreadsheet Template) by Ryan Robinson at ryrob

My template is pre-loaded with all of the essential form fields and dropdown menus you should be concerned with—from tracking your lead status, to making sure you're talking to decision-makers, evaluating the deal size, keeping a pulse on how warm your lead is—we've got it all covered.

Free Download: My CRM Spreadsheet Template

Download Now

What'd I miss?

Are there any great tools I missed that should be included in this list of the best CRMs for small business, startups and freelancers?

If so, share with me in the comments below!

And for those of you who are active on Pinterest, I'd love a share of this image below 😊

35 Best CRMs for Small Business and Startups to Grow Your Sales Pinterest


Ryan Robinson

Writer, side project aficionado, and part-time entrepreneur. Join me here, on lechenie-diabeta-6.ru to learn how to start a blog and build a profitable side business. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.

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