Best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps your teams become more productive and profitable. Here are the best CRMs out there.
Best overall
3.5 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
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    Low $10/user/month cost
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    Easy, out-of-the-box setup and use
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Less functionality for large businesses
Best sales tools
4 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Extensive sales automation tools
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Sales Assist AI highlights areas of improvement
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Limited email marketing features for lower-tier plans
Best free plan
3.5 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
$0 Free up to 1,000 users
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    Free basic CRM
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unique features like chatbots and real-time notifications
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Limitations may force you to pay for an upgrade
Best for sales
3.5 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free Sprout startup plan
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    AI-powered lead scoring and assistance
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Lowest-price plan misses out on automations and reports
Best reporting
4 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
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    Highly-detailed reports and dashboards
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    Multiple integrations like G Suite, Zapier, and Office 365
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Additional support features cost extra
Best customizations
4 out of 5 stars
Starting price:
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Extensive features and capabilities
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Scales well with growing and large businesses
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Steep learning curve and confusing product selection

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a must-have for any business, large or small. And as companies around the world shift toward more remote work due to COVID-19, this rings even more true.

A good CRM software not only streamlines tasks, reporting, and information analysis for your employees, it also simplifies and even automates those tasks. These benefits free up more time for your teams to engage with customers one-on-one, brainstorm and launch new campaigns, and sort through real-time information updates to course-correct and plan for the future.

But what makes a good CRM? Take a look at our picks for the top CRM software, plus learn more about how it works and what to look for when buying new CRM software for your company.

Compare more Customer Relationship Management softwares here

Less Annoying CRM: Great for businesses on a budget

3.5 out of 5 stars
Less Annoying CRM
With a handful of customer management and collaboration features at a low price, Less Annoying CRM is an excellent choice for small businesses

Price: Starts at $10/user/month
Free trial: 30-day free trial
Type of CRM: Collaborative
Featured integrations: Mailchimp, Google G Suite, BilLiving, JustCall, LeadsBridge, MyRepChat, CreateForm

  • Low cost
  • Straightforward setup
  • Web-based interface syncs with mobile easily
  • Less functionality for large businesses
  • Fewer integrations than other CRM software

With Less Annoying CRM (also called LACRM), your contact management lives in one place and is easily shareable across multiple teams in your company. The software aims to simplify lead prioritization by allowing users to record notes and attach files, emails, and sales pipeline information.

LACRM also aims to make collaboration less of a headache with in-depth user controls and the ability to add as many users as you want at any time for the same monthly price of $10 per user.

The web-based interface is especially helpful for teams who collaborate on-the-go. It remains fully functional even when accessed on a mobile device, so any sales reps out in the field or marketing managers attending a conference can still check contact details.

Though it comes in at a lower price point and offers several third-party integrations paired with a few in-house integrations, Less Annoying CRM doesn’t quite match the robust features Salesforce offers. Additionally, some users complained that its reports lack certain customization options, so it’s worth testing the reporting function if you give the 30-day trial a go.

Even so, Less Annoying CRM brings multiple features to the table that make it an easy pick for small businesses looking for a way to streamline customer management and company collaboration.

Pipedrive: In-depth sales automation and forecasting

4 out of 5 stars
Pipedrive assists your sales team with deal tracking and automation, freeing them up to tackle new leads and focus on specific customers.

Price: Starts at $12.50/user/month
Free trial: 14-day free trial
Type of CRM: Operational
Featured integrations: Zapier, QuickBooks, JustCall, Leadfeeder, Intercom, Click2Contract,, and Asana

  • Live dashboards include revenue forecasts
  • Unique Sales Assist AI highlights areas of improvement
  • GDPR-compliant plans
  • Limited email marketing functions in basic plan
  • Features for sales teams only

Pipedrive’s operational CRM starts at one of the lower monthly rates available and offers an extensive suite of sales automation tools. Along with the ability to manage leads and deals, track calls and emails, and build contact history, Pipedrive’s four different plans offer additional components that can help your sales team stay ahead of the game.

Every Pipedrive plan includes access to a live dashboard that monitors deal progress, products sold, sales activity, and revenue forecasting. And the Professional plan and up gives your teams access to unlimited live dashboards with customized metrics, plus the ability to measure performance against set goals.

If email is a big part of your sales strategy, you’ll need to sign up for at least the Advanced plan. Unfortunately, the Essential plan is missing some key email features like custom templates and signatures, as well as tracking for email open and click-through rates.

And for companies who build and manage multiple email distribution lists, Pipedrive requires you to sign up for the Professional plan to create distribution lists and send group emails.

Freshsales: Tools for every stage of the customer lifecycle

3.5 out of 5 stars
Already a high-powered CRM on its own, Freshsales integrates with other Freshworks solutions. Combined, Freshsales offers a broad set of tools, including AI.

Price: Starts at $12/user/month (additional free Sprout plan)
Free trial: 21-day
Type of CRM: Multiple
Featured integrations: Freshdesk, Freshchat, Freshcaller, Freshconnect, Twilio, Mailchimp, Segment, Zapier, G Suite, and Magento

  • Integrates with the Freshworks product family
  • AI-powered lead scoring
  • Cheapest plan doesn’t include reports, automations, or user management

Freshsales is the CRM component of the Freshworks product family, which aims to improve customer engagement for companies of all sizes. A quick look at its interface tells you that it’s aimed at improving sales performance with a broad set of operational and analytical CRM tools.

Along with your usual sales pipeline and lead management features, Freshsales offers a few unique tools like the AI-powered ability to score a prospect’s engagement level. Utilizing AI in sales lead management can be a huge shortcut, and automating the analysis of a prospect’s email, website, and in-app actions give your salespeople better insight than ever before.

One potential issue for small businesses is that Freshsales doesn’t include workflow automations or automatic removal of duplicate leads in its Blossom plan. That means some of the manual lifting is still on your employees’ shoulders. And while that may not seem like a huge deal for small companies that are likely managing a smaller set of leads, don’t forget that fewer employees mean there are more hats for everyone to wear—and more tasks to juggle.

Additionally, if you want advanced reporting capabilities that highlight sales activity, conversions, and revenue forecasts (to name a few metrics), you’ll need the Garden plan or better. And upgrading to the Garden plan gives larger teams access to more robust user controls, including the creation of up to 10 teams, territory assignment, and permissions.

Despite a few drawbacks, Freshsales brings additional capabilities other CRMs might be lacking thanks to its integrations with other Freshworks platforms. That includes a Freshcaller integration that lets your sales team engage with prospects and customers right through the Freshsales software.

HubSpot CRM: Comprehensive freemium tools

3.5 out of 5 stars
HubSpot CRM
HubSpot offers a wide variety of analytical, operational, and collaborative tools with its free CRM. And when your company grows, HubSpot’s paid plans can grow with you.

Price: Free
Type of CRM: Multiple
Featured integrations: Zapier, Outlook, Gmail, Mailchimp, WordPress, Slack, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Zoom, and SurveyMonkey

  • Free CRM tools
  • Easily scalable products
  • Some unique features like chatbots and real-time notifications
  • Upgrading to premium products is costly
  • Limitations restrict certain features

HubSpot takes a wholly different approach to CRM software by offering its basic package for free. That’s a huge advantage for small businesses, startups, or small teams that don’t need all the features of Salesforce or don’t have the budget for a costlier CRM.

Of course, the sheer number of potential CRM solutions can make choosing the right Salesforce package feel overwhelming. And once you select a package, setting it up and learning how to navigate the numerous features also requires a steep learning curve.

But it’s this high level of customization that makes Salesforce perfect for growing companies—even ones already at the enterprise level. Its Sales Cloud CRM allows your teams to track sales activity, close deals, and log calls. Its Marketing Cloud CRM enables you to build data-driven advertising campaigns, engage with customers and prospects on social media, and A/B test email campaigns.

And Salesforce isn’t calling it quits on innovation. Its Einstein AI feature comes in multiple add-on formats, such as Einstein Analytics, to allow you further automation, data analysis, and personalization. We also like that Salesforce includes small-yet-thoughtful features like the Color-Blind Palette on Charts option.

With Salesforce, it feels like the sky’s the limit. Of course, that extreme number of features and customization options come at a price—one of the highest prices out there. But if your company and teams are growing quickly, Salesforce is the best CRM for scaling right along with your needs.

Zoho CRM: Extensive analytics for small businesses

4 out of 5 stars
Zoho CRM
Whatever type of data you can think of, Zoho has a report for it. Its comprehensive data analysis features make projections and real-time trend assessment easy.

Price: Starts at $12/user/month (free edition for three users available)
Free trial: 15-day free trial
Type of CRM: Analytical
Featured integrations: Google G Suite, Google Analytics, Zapier, Office 365, SalesIQ, Skyvia

  • Highly detailed reports
  • Multiple integrations
  • Rich data visualization capabilities
  • Certain analytics features and integrations cost more
  • Free basic support, but additional support costs more

If your company is struggling to organize and analyze massive amounts of data about prospects, current customers, and brand perception, then Zoho CRM is likely the solution you need.


With Zoho, you can import, add, and update all of your contacts, and then quickly and easily analyze data on the success of various touchpoints like email campaigns, sales calls, and even social media interactions.

Zoho’s robust reporting abilities let you compare the success of different campaigns, users, teams, or even territories. Similarly, the reports track critical information such as email bounce rates, brand mentions on social media, the average amount of time specific prospects spend on your website, and even how current sales trends compare to your projections.

The only downside is you’ll need to purchase a higher CRM tier to access all of these features, which can boost your monthly price to a maximum of $45 per user per month for the Enterprise tier, or $100 per user per year for the Ultimate tier.

Zoho CRM offers scalability in features for your business as it grows, meaning you won’t need to install and relearn a whole new CRM software if you outgrow your old one.

Salesforce: Complete customization and scalability

4 out of 5 stars
With multiple robust CRM solutions, Salesforce meets any need you might have. And its numerous options and features scale right along with even the fastest-growing small business or enterprise.

Price: Starts at $25/user/month
Free trial: 30-day free trial
Type of CRM: Multiple types
Featured integrations: Microsoft Exchange, Google G Suite, Zapier, Domo, Adobe Analytics, DocuSign, Mailchimp, Zoom, Slack

  • Extensive features and systems
  • Superb scalability
  • Massive library of integrations
  • Confusing product tiers may require sales consultation
  • Steep learning curve

Salesforce is often touted as the CRM to beat, and when you discover how many types of CRM systems it offers, it’s easy to see why. From Analytics Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Marketing Cloud to App Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Small Business Solutions, Salesforce has a product for every business need.

The free version of HubSpot CRM allows you to have unlimited users and up to one million contacts, but there are restrictions. You only get one team, your customizations are limited, and the included analytics may not dig deep enough to inform critical decisions. But as your company scales and your teams grow, you can upgrade to HubSpot’s paid marketing, sales, service, or CMS products, which start at $50 a month.

Despite some limitations, the free tool offers quite a bit of functionality for the cost. Your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will have access to reports and real-time dashboards that highlight detailed information about almost anything from sales activity to how long it takes to close customer tickets.

The free HubSpot CRM includes analytics that cover email open rates, website traffic, and conversions. It also allows sales teams to schedule meetings and develop detailed contact records. We also think the chatbot builder and real-time notifications for prospects are excellent features, especially considering the price.

What is customer relationship management software?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is software that helps you manage your company’s relationships with customers and potential customers. CRM software helps your team do the following:

  1. Gather and organize information about outside contacts
  2. Share the information with others in your company
  3. Use the information to care for your prospects and customers throughout the entire relationship lifecycle


But CRM software isn’t just for your sales team. It’s meant to help your entire company, including marketing, business development, recruiting, and more, manage all external relationships.

You might think your small business doesn’t need to spend the money on CRM software, but consider this: CRM software can log your customers’ contact information and track interactions those customers have with your company. Now that’s something a regular spreadsheet can’t easily do.

CRM software’s ability to streamline your relationship management improves your profitability through better customer communication, segmentation, and retention.

Types of customer relationship management software

There are three main types of CRM software: analytical, collaborative, and operational. And while most CRM software incorporates features of all three types, some focus on a particular set of tools.

Here’s a quick look at what each type of CRM specializes in.

Analytical CRM

An analytical CRM uses data gathering techniques and analysis to identify ways in which your company can anticipate and take care of customer needs.

The data an analytical CRM analyzes usually includes contact information, and customer preferences and characteristics. Through this analysis, your company receives the following benefits:

  1. Targeted marketing campaigns
  2. Effective customer support
  3. Strategic sales initiatives

Analytical CRM software supports these initiatives through data mining, data warehousing, and online analytical processing (OLAP) tools

Data mining

Unearths data patterns so your company can better visualize customer lifecycles.

Data warehousing

Stores all current and past customer data, making it easier for your employees to retrieve and analyze that data.

OLAP tools

Allow your company to analyze data from multiple viewpoints and validate potential strategies for customer interactions.

Collaborative CRM

With collaborative CRM, your sales, marketing, and customer service teams can easily share customer information. This sharing of information helps the teams act in sync with each other when it comes to understanding, anticipating, and responding to your customers’ needs and requests.

To do this, a collaborative CRM uses both interaction and channel management.

  • Interaction management: This process logs every interaction your company has with a customer through any means of communication.
  • Channel management: Once all interactions are recorded, the CRM uses channel management to identify which communication channels the customer prefers.

If cross-department collaboration is a company goal and customer information is securely shared between teams, then collaborative CRM is a great choice.

Operational CRM

If you’re looking for a CRM to help streamline your company’s processes—including lead generation, customer service, and customer retention—an operational CRM is a great place to start.

An operational CRM uses the following tools to help streamline your processes:

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Marketing automation

Speeds up and simplifies marketing strategies like email campaigns, content distribution, and sometimes even analytics.

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Sales automation

Streamlines sales tasks like contacting leads, scheduling meetings and demonstrations, and logging sales.

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Service automation

Allows your customer service team to make one-on-one contact with customers and assign service tickets.

Even if you’re a small business, an operational CRM can provide extraordinary benefits by assisting your employees with otherwise time-consuming tasks. That’s a huge boon, especially if your teams wear many hats and juggle multiple tasks each day.

Large companies also benefit from freeing up employees’ time to give one-on-one, personalized support to your customers.

Recap: What is the best customer relationship management (CRM) software?

HubSpot CRM, Less Annoying CRM, Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Zoho CRM all provide unique CRM toolkits for a variety of business sizes and needs, making them our top choices for the best CRM software.

That said, the most significant consideration when choosing the right CRM software for your company is whether or not your employees will use it, so ensure the CRM you choose comes with the necessary features at a reasonable price.

Less Annoying CRM: Great for businesses on a budget
Starting price: $10/user/mo.
Pro Bullet Low $10/user/month cost
Pro Bullet Easy, out-of-the-box setup and use
Con Bullet Less functionality for large businesses
Pipedrive: In-depth sales automation and forecasting
Starting price: $12.50/user/mo.
Pro Bullet Extensive sales automation tools
Pro Bullet Sales Assist AI highlights areas of improvement
Con Bullet Limited email marketing features for lower-tier plans
Freshsales: Tools for every stage of the customer lifecycle
Starting price: $12.50/user/month
Pro Bullet Revenue forecasting
Pro Bullet Sales Assist highlights where your business can improve
Con Bullet Limited email marketing functions
HubSpot CRM: Comprehensive freemium tools
Starting price: Free up to 1,000 users
Pro Bullet Free basic CRM
Pro Bullet Unique features like chatbots and real-time notifications
Con Bullet Limitations may force you to pay for an upgrade
Zoho CRM: Extensive analytics for SMBs
Starting price: $12/user/mo.
Pro Bullet Highly-detailed reports and dashboards
Pro Bullet Multiple integrations like G Suite, Zapier, and Office 365
Con Bullet Additional support features cost extra
Salesforce: Complete customization and scalability
Starting price: $25/user/mo.
Pro Bullet Extensive features and capabilities
Pro Bullet Scales well with growing and large businesses
Con Bullet Steep learning curve and confusing product selection