Software Reviews

The Best Small Business CRM Software for 2023

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for managing interactions with prospects and customers. For small businesses, finding an affordable CRM that fits your needs can position your company for growth and success. With so many options on the market, selecting the right platform may feel overwhelming. Luckily, the top CRM tools for small businesses balance robust features with ease of use and flexibility.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when researching CRMs for small business. We’ll also review the top software picks for customer management in 2023.

Why Small Businesses Need CRM Software

Reaching new customers and expanding your client base is critical for small business growth. However, managing prospect outreach and retaining those valuable customers takes strategy and tools. This is where an effective customer relationship management system comes in handy.

A CRM centralizes all prospect and customer interactions to provide organization and analytics. Key features small businesses gain from CRM software include:

Contact Management: Organize prospect/client contact details and communications history from emails to meeting notes.

Lead/Opportunity Tracking: Track prospect engagement from first contact through sale closure.

Workflow Automation: Set up triggers and tasks to advance deals through your sales funnel.

Email Integration: Sync email conversations into each contact record.

Reporting & Analytics: Gain insights to measure sales processes and guide business decisions.

Without a CRM, small business owners risk losing track of leads and struggling to gain visibility into what marketing and sales strategies work best. The right software drives repeat business and referrals by enhancing how you engage prospects and customers.

Top Factors to Consider in a Small Business CRM

Not all CRM platforms serve small company needs. When evaluating your options, focus on these key factors:

User-Friendly Interface

Complex platforms with steep learning curves waste precious time. Prioritize an intuitive interface and simple workflow automation for your sales process. If reps struggle with software adoption, it defeats the purpose.


As your prospect pipeline and customer base grow, your CRM should seamlessly expand capabilities. Scalable systems allow you to start small then add features and users. Cloud-based platforms offer the most flexibility to scale up.

Mobility & Accessibility

In today’s digital landscape, mobility matters. Your team needs to access critical customer data and connect while on the go. Leading options have well-designed mobile apps to complement browser access.


Cost will be a prime consideration. As a budget-conscious small business, you want robust capabilities without the enterprise price tag. Most CRM vendors charge monthly per user fees along with setup costs. Run the numbers to find the best value aligned with your features wish list.

Integrations & Customization

No two small businesses have the exact same processes or software needs. With open API andabundant integrations, your CRM can sync relevant platforms to become a sales and marketing command center. Customization takes this a step further for specialized tracking.

Privacy & Security

Safeguarding client data is non-negotiable. Be sure your CRM platform implements robust security protocols for access control, encryption, availability guarantees, and compliance standards. Don’t risk vulnerabilities that jeopardize sensitive information.

The Top 8 CRM Systems for Small Business in 2023

With an overview of key selection criteria under your belt, which CRMs rise to the top? Based on affordability, feature set, flexibility, and ease of use, these options provide immense value for growing small businesses:

1. Zoho CRM
2. HubSpot CRM
3. Freshworks CRM
4. Insightly
5. Keap
6. vtiger CRM
7. Capsule CRM

Next, let’s explore this list of recommended platforms in more detail on what distinguishes them and ideal user base.

1 Zoho CRM

Bespoke customization and end-to-end sales and marketing automation earn Zoho CRM high marks, especially from IT consultant firms and agencies. Both the free and paid plans outperform competitors for features versus price.

With a centralized database and multi-channel campaign options, Zoho CRM removes chaos from prospect management. Lead scoring, sales signal tracking, advanced reporting, and AI-powered capabilities justify the investment for serious small businesses. While not as intuitive as some systems, Zoho offers thorough onboarding.

Best For: Small businesses seeking high-level customization for sales workflows. The platform shines for professional services, agencies, and tech consultancies managing multifaceted client relationships.

2 HubSpot CRM

Ease of use for non-technical users lands HubSpot on our list. The forever-free CRM plan provides ample capabilities for early-stage companies focused on lead organization. Seamless integration with the broader HubSpot marketing and sales software suite adds value as your needs evolve.

Flexible workflow automation, email tracking, meeting scheduling, file sharing, and deal management provide robust features—no coding required. The CRM platform connects the dots across your sales pipeline with minimal effort. Its intuitive experience means your team can start strong from day one.

Best For: Small business owners desiring straightforward sales pipeline visibility in an easy-to-use system. The sales hub works well for ecommerce businesses, marketing agencies, customer service teams, and companies with straight-forward sales cycles.

3 Freshworks CRM

Formerly known as Freshsales, Freshworks CRM combines 21st century automation and AI with a user-friendly platform managing contacts and deals. Generous free plans cater to early-stage startups with basic workflow and reporting needs.

The system shines with multi-channel lead management encompassing forms, phone calls, email, social media messaging, and chatbots in a single dashboard. Integration with G-Suite and Outlook improves productivity for sales teams on the go. Freshworks strikes the right balance blending an intuitive interface with automation and insights.

Best For: Smaller service-based businesses that engage clients across numerous channels from websites to social media to phone calls. The unified platform enhances visibility.

4 Insightly

Insightly takes small business CRM beyond storing contacts and activities to building relationships over time. Managers gain visibility into team member interactions through features like auto follow-up reminders to close deals faster.

Flexible customization allows Insightly to model your sales workflow without restrictive limitations. The interface works equally well on desktop and mobile. While scaling capabilities may fall short of rapidly expanding enterprises, the CRM targets customer needs for small to mid-sized organizations.

Best For: Small companies in growth mode desiring sales automation. The tool works well for marketing agencies, professional services firms, contractors, and real estate professionals.

5 Keap

Formerly Infusionsoft, Keap pioneered growth automation with an integrated CRM bundled into a broader sales and marketing platform. Streamlined customer experiences result from leveraging automation for pertinent tasks that scale.

The CRM and smart client management components allow personalized, automated lead nurturing and customer lifecycle engagement. SLAs, reminders, notifications, and custom follow-ups keep the sales process moving efficiently. Keap also provides built-in ecommerce capabilities to turn prospects into happy repeat customers.

Best For: Lean small businesses committed to enhancing customer experiences through automation. The platform performs well across ecommerce, agencies, consultancies, and service contractors invested in streamlining repetitive tasks.

6 vtiger CRM

With a tagline reading “CRM that grows with you”, vtiger delivers flexibility catering to early-stage entrepreneurs yet still meeting larger enterprise needs down the road. The open-source framework allows modifying capabilities to fit unique requirements now and as processes mature.

vtiger shines by marrying project management, email marketing, inventory management, and service ticketing into a cohesive sales and customer retention platform. Pixel-perfect customizable screens and numerous integrations improve adoption across teams with differing preferences. Affordable lifetime pricing reflects incredible value.

Best For: Diverse small businesses preferring open-source capabilities to hone systems around changing needs, especially project-based services, IT firms, and marketing agencies as recurring needs evolve.

7 Capsule CRM

Minimal interface. Maximum productivity. That characterizes Capsule CRM. This straightforward platform accelerates lead and deal management without overcomplicating easy sales tasks. The ability to quickly add timeline-based tasks and notifications keeps customer interactions on track.

While Capsule lacks advanced customization and cutting-edge features, its simple operation suits fast-moving small businesses that value no frills efficiency. Tight integration with Gmail and Outlook Calendar saves reps time. Reasonable pricing plans make the CRM easily accessible for early-stage startups.

Best For: Smaller sales teams who want the core essentials of managing active leads and accounts without advanced automation or customization. The easy-adopt solution works for real estate brokers, financial advisors, and support/service teams with straightforward workflows.

Simplify Your Business Growth Trajectory with CRM

An efficient customer relationship management solution allows small business owners to scale without dropping the ball on leads and prospects. Centralizing interactions in an automated CRM platform leads to repeat sales and expanded rosters of delighted clients.

While numerous software options cater to organizations of all sizes and specialties, the outlined solutions deliver tremendous bang for buck. Beyond core contact and pipeline management, these featured small business CRM platforms provide workflow enhancements, easily configurable features, mobility, and task automation.

The right software also sparks insights to revisit ineffective approaches hindering deals. By tracking where prospects fall out of queues and evaluating rep performance, you gain data-driven direction on improving processes between first contact and signed contract. Those optimizations ultimately drive revenue vital for small business viability and prosperity.

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