đź‘ŹHey, Welcome to my evaluation of the best CRM for Small Business Owners

I hope you’re not like me… I mean … I waited until I was almost at the point of no return before exploring CRMs.  

Once I incorporated our CRM in 2016, (I don’t want to sound commercial) it saved my life.

Yep… CRM ( customer relationship management) is everything you’ve heard and more.

“Honestly”, I can remember thinking, “I wish there were a service or somebody that could help me find the best CRM solution.” (Because I was BUSY!)

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know to make an informed decision that will help you boost sales, increase sales productivity, and easily scale your brand.

Here are the 3 best CRM for small business owners based on my personal experience and research.

Let’s explore!

Disclaimer: This article may include affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission if you click on them and purchase. Your support helps us continue providing valuable content.

The 3 Best CRM for Small Business Owners:

Best aLL-iNCLUSIVE cRM

GoHighLevel

GOHIGHLEVEL LOGO
  • Comprehensive CRM
  • EasyWebsite Builder
  • Automate Workflow
  • Unify SSM Conversa.
  • Email Marketing Tool
Best sALES-DRIVE crm

Freshsales

FRESHSALES CRM LOGO
  • Superb Customization
  • Run Customer Data
  • Customers Tracking
  • Improve Engagement
  • Streamline Processes
Best Lead-Gen CRM

Pipedrive

PIPEDRIVE CRM LOGO
  • Visual Sales Display
  • Robust Sale Forecasting
  • Short Sales Cycles Pro
  • Strong Customers Tools
  • Simplified Data Mgmt.

1.   Freshsale CRM Platform for Lead and Sustainability

image of freshsales CRM

Freshsales is known for its lead management and nurturing processes. Small businesses realize that lead generation and customer communications are key to business sustainability.

Without going too in-depth about the benefits of customer retention, let’s say it’s easier to push that pull.

Fortune 500 brands have been using push marketing for years. Before CRMs, it used to cost an arm and a leg to maintain customers.  Even today, mom-and-pop businesses can use CRM software without a king’s ransom:

Freshsales CRM Features Rundown:

  • Superb Customization
  • Manage Customer Data
  • Easily Track Customer Interactions
  • Improve Customer engagement
  • Streamline Business Processes  

2.   GoHighLevel CRM Platform for Agencies & Owners  

gohighlevel CRM banner image

Before diving in, let me be transparent—GoHighLevel is my ‘CRM of choice’. I use, recommend, and promote it as an affiliate (but I was a user first).

 So, where should I start other than to say I LOVE IT? …

Okay, let me get serious.

 Truthfully, if you run a small business of any type, especially a digital agency or marketing company, you will benefit from GoHighLevel CRM software.

It’s an all-in-one marketing automation and sales platform. GoHighLevel offers marketing and sales tools like workflow automation, pipeline management, plus more.

(I’ll delve into more detail in the pros and cons sections).

GoHighLevel is the “jack of all trades”; it’s a simple CRM that performs complex processes. Perfect for agencies and businesses seeking less annoying CRM.

GoHighlevel is a good match to unify your business operations, save time, and increase sales productivity.

GoHighLevel CRM Features Rundown:

  • Comprehensive CRM
  • Email Marketing Tools
  • Landing Page Creation
  • Unified Social Media Hub
  • Easy Workflow Automation Setup

3.      Pipedrive CRM Platform for Sales-Focused Businesses  

pipedrive CRM logo

Pipedrive has a specific type of users, it’s the right CRM software for sales-oriented enterprises. It’s a favorite among businesses heavily reliant on sales processes for its intuitive interface.

Pipedrive CRM Features Rundown:

  • Intuitive Visual Sales Pipeline
  • Robust Sales forecasting
  • Ideal for Short Sales Cycles
  • Strong Customer Communication Tools
  • Simplified Data and Sales Management

Small Business CRM Pros and Cons

Freshsales
Freshsales CRM logo
Freshsales Quick Glance Tips…

Freshsales Pros

Freshsales sets itself apart from most small business CRMs with its proprietary AI-powered engine, Freddy AI, which is the name Freshsales gives to its scoring engine.

Even better, they go further with “Conversation AI” which analyzes sales processes and patterns and makes suggestions.

  • Proprietary AI-powered engine
  • Advanced Scoring System
  • Analyzes a wider range of data points

Freshsales Cons:

As you can see, Freshsales offers more than basic features. It stands tall amongst its competitors in more ways than one. Proprietary products come with a steep price tag.

Like most customer relationship management software, you can expect a learning curve, and there’s no difference, here.

  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Extra Limited Free Version
GoHighLevel
GoHighLevel CRM Image
GoHighLevel Quick Glance Tips…

GoHighLevel Pros

GoHighLevel goes beyond being an all-in-one CRM software platform. They have a unique built-in call tracking feature that analyzes calls to identify valuable customer insights to optimize conversions and sales.

Not only that, but brands can also control their entire marketing and sales process through one comprehensive platform.

  • All-in-one platform
  • Built-in call tracking feature
  • Artificial Intelligence Built-in

GoHighLevel Cons

We all know nothing is perfect, including GoHighLevel. GoHighLevel is known for information overload. They offer so many key features you can get lost in the sauce. They even recommend starting with just one product. (That’s what I did)

  • Medium Learning Curve
  • Information Overload

  

Pipedrive
PIPEDRIVE CRM LOGO
Pipedrive Quick Glance Tips…

  

Pipedrive Pros

While some of us might know that Pipedrive is known for nurturing via email marketing, what you may not know is “why”. Their pipeline integration goes beyond the basics.

They manage to automate their tracking system to disseminate comprehensive data, better-addressing customers’ needs.

  • Easily Visualize Sales Process
  • Superior Contact Management System
  • Improve Sales Forecasting

Pipedrive Quick Glance Cons:

Well, what you heard about Pipedrive is true. They primarily focus on sales. That’s good, but not if they lack basic marketing automation features like in other small business CRM solutions. Also, their free trial is shorter than most, making it hard to test-drive before committing.

  • Limited Marketing Features
  • Short Free Trial
benefit of using automation chart

Deeper Dive: More than Basic CRM Features

1.  Is GoHighLevel worth the cost?

Yes. From personal experience, I recommend GoHighLevel for any brand looking to streamline business operations. With GoHighLevel you can access and manage all your business needs under one CRM system.

A study by G2 found that 23% of HubSpot users found their CRM platform too complicated. Go High Level, only 10% of users found the software too complicated.

After 1 + years of using GoHighLevel. I admit it was overwhelming at first, but it got easier quickly. Plus, they have excellent customer service.

GoHighLevel Key Features

  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Reputation Management
  • Unify Social Media Conversations
  • Built-in Call Tracking

2. What you Get

Starting at just $97/month, GoHighLevel is significantly cheaper than piecing together multiple tools. It’s also user-friendly, even for beginners, with plenty of resources and support to help you get started. They even offer a 14-day Free Trial. 

3.  Deeper Dive into Core Features

  Gohighlevel lets you:

  • Craft stunning websites and landing pages that convert visitors into leads. 
  • Automate repetitive tasks like email sequences and appointment reminders, saving sanity and time.
  •   Manage leads and foster personalized marketing campaigns that attract raving fans.
  •  Track results and optimize your marketing efforts with ease.
  • Encourage, monitor, and easily manage your online reputation.

  • Manage complex B2B sales interactions with ease.
  • Collaborate effectively with your sales team and close more deals.
  • Gain data-driven insights to prioritize your most promising leads.
  • Nurture leads with personalized email campaigns and automated workflows.

4. Price Breakdown

At the outset, GoHighLevel looks expensive, but it’s not. Starting at $97 a month is a good deal, compared to what you receive.  Add up all the subscriptions you pay for now that are included in the starter price…You may find that it’s a real bargain.

  For small business owners and digital agencies, depending on their needs you may need one of the more robust packages, either $297 or $497, however, based on the cost of Salesforce or HubSpot CRM, it’s still a deal.

 5. Best Suited …

GoHighLevel is designed for digital agencies and marketing teams who want to streamline their workflows and manage everything under one roof. It’s ideal for those juggling multiple tools for lead capture, sales funnels, email marketing, and client communication. GoHighLevel empowers agencies to improve efficiency, deliver exceptional client experiences, and ultimately, scale their business to new heights.

  • Lead management focus
  • Customer engagement tools
  • Intuitive design
  • Effective lead nurturing
Note

Starting at just $97/month, GoHighLevel is significantly cheaper than piecing together multiple tools. It’s also user-friendly, even for beginners, with plenty of resources and support to help you get started.

They even offer a 14-day Free Trial. 

 Freshsales: Streamline B2B Sales

1. Is Freshsales worth the cost?

Absolutely! Freshsales is a fantastic fit for B2B businesses looking to optimize their sales process and cultivate leads. It offers a full suite of features under one platform, eliminating the need for juggling multiple tools.

 According to Capterra, 42% of businesses struggle with managing customer data across different platforms. Freshsales eliminates that struggle by unifying everything in one place.

 While it might require a bit of initial setup compared to simpler CRMs, Freshsales quickly becomes intuitive and powerful. Plus, their customer service teams are top-notch.

Freshsales Key Features:

  •  Automated Lead Cultivating: Automate email sequences and personalize communication for higher conversion rates.
  • Lead Scoring: Prioritize leads with the highest potential based on insightful data analysis.
  • Social Media Integration: Streamline communication and outreach efforts for complex B2B sales.
  • Advanced Email Tracking:  Gain valuable insights into customer engagement and optimize email campaigns.

2. What You Get …

Freshsales starts at a budget-friendly price point, making it a great option for small and medium-sized businesses. Plus, they offer a free trial to test-drive the platform before committing.

3.  Deeper Dive into Core Features

Freshsales helps you to:

  • Nurture leads with personalized email campaigns and automated workflows.
  • Gain data-driven insights to prioritize your most promising leads.
  • Collaborate effectively with your sales team and close more deals.
  • Manage complex B2B sales interactions with ease.

Freshsales might initially appear more complex than some basic CRMs, however, its powerful features and user-friendly interface make it a worthwhile investment for B2B businesses looking to simplify their sales process and skyrocket their customer engagement.

4. Price Breakdown

At first glance, Freshsales may seem like an additional expense, but it’s a smart investment, especially for sales-related functions.

Plans start at just $9 a month, making it affordable for businesses of all sizes. However, it’s important to note that these costs primarily cover sales-related activities, such as lead management and customer engagement.

While Freshsales excels in these areas, it’s not an all-inclusive solution for all business functions. For comprehensive business management, consider platforms like Zoho or GoHighLevel, which offer a wider range of features.

But for sales-specific needs, Freshsales is an excellent choice, providing value that outweighs its cost.

5. Best Suited for

Freshsales is tailored for businesses looking for the best CRM software that efficiently manages customer data and engagement. Its intuitive design and robust features, are ideal for sales members across various industries, helping them improve customer experience effectively and convert sales faster.

  • Lead management focus
  • Customer engagement tools
  • Intuitive design
  • Effective lead nurturing

Note

Starting from 0- $59/per month/per user/ add-ons apply, billed annually, Freshsales allows you to take control of your lead management. Tailored for small businesses focused on stellar customer experiences and retention. User-friendly, even for beginners, with resources and support for a quick start. They also offer a 14-day Free Trial. 

Pipedrive: Sales-driven CRM for Small Businesses

1. Is Pipedrive worth the cost?

Yes, for sales-focused businesses, Pipedrive is a game-changer. Its unique visual sales workflow makes it incredibly easy to track the progress of each deal, allowing you to identify bottlenecks and optimize for maximum efficiency.

Think of it like this: Imagine managing your sales workflow as a complex spreadsheet.

Pipedrive transforms it into a clear and intuitive visual representation, similar to moving colorful sticky notes around a whiteboard.

This transparency and clarity empower your sales team to collaborate effectively and close more deals.

2. What You Get:

While Pipedrive doesn’t offer as many marketing automation features as some competitors, its core focus on sales pipeline management makes it ideal for revenue-oriented organizations. Pipedrive integrates seamlessly with various marketing tools, allowing you to streamline your workflow.

Pipedrive Key Features

Visual Sales Pipeline: Track the progress of each deal clearly and easily with a drag-and-drop interface.

Activity Feed: Stay on top of all customer interactions with a centralized location for communication and collaboration.

Advanced Email Integration: Automate repetitive tasks and track email interactions effortlessly.

Sales Automation: Save time and improve efficiency by automating tasks like sending emails and updating leads.

Pipedrive’s pricing is flexible and scales with your business demands, making it a budget-friendly option for growing companies.

3.  Deeper Dive into Core Features

Pipedrive helps you:

  • Visualize your customers’ sales journey for improved deal tracking and forecasting.
  • Collaborate effectively with your sales team and boost overall productivity.
  • Automate repetitive tasks and free up your time to focus on converting leads.
  • Streamline your workflow by integrating Pipedrive with your favorite marketing tools.

Pipedrive might lack some advanced features compared to other CRMs. Its user-friendly interface and clear focus on pipeline management make it a powerful tool for sales-focused small businesses looking to visualize their success and secure agreements.

4. Price Breakdown:

Pipedrive offers plans starting at just $14.90 a month, making it an accessible option for businesses focused on lead generation and nurturing.

However, it’s essential to understand that these costs primarily cater to sales-related functions. Pipedrive excels in streamlining sales and managing leads effectively. Yet, it may not encompass all aspects of business management.

For small businesses that seek a solid CRM solution, platforms like GoHighLevel or HubSpot could be better suited. However, for specific sales-related tasks, Pipedrive offers exceptional value for its price, empowering businesses to boost their sales efficiency and drive growth.

5. Best suited for:

Pipedrive CRM system is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses, particularly those in sales-driven industries like real estate, consulting, and SaaS. Its intuitive interface and customizable features make it ideal for sales teams to streamline their processes efficiently.

  •  Sales-driven industries
  • Small to medium-sized businesses
  • Customizable features
  • Streamline sales systems
Note

Starting from $14.50- $99.00/per month/per user/billed annually, Pipedrive is perfect for revenue-driven businesses. Their primary attention is visual representation. It’s also user-friendly, even for newbies. They offer plenty of resources and support to help you get started. They also offer a 14-day Free Trial. 

KeyTakaways 

Note

Eight years ago, I decided to implement my first CRM software, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

 Like many of you, I was overwhelmed with tasks and struggling to find the time to seek help.

 My second mind was whispering, “You can’t afford to stop to buy more time.” And I’m so grateful I listened.

The benefits that followed that decision were far beyond what I expected. If you’re buried in tasks and feeling like you’re barely keeping your head above water, investing in small business CRM software could be the game-changer you’ve been searching for.

 Integrating a CRM system isn’t just a buzzword or a luxury—it’s a must.

You have to keep up with emerging trends to stay competitive within your industry. Businesses that ignore this risk falling behind their competitors.

The benefits of CRM systems are undeniable: they streamline sales and marketing make incorporating marketing automation a breeze, save time and money, facilitate easy scaling and systematization, and enhance customer relationships, ultimately leading to increased profits.

With statistics showing the significant impact that CRM adoption has on businesses, it’s clear that embracing this technology is essential for survival in a competitive digital marketplace.

Note

Take Action & Get Started with a CRM Today!

 Don’t wait any longer! Implement a CRM to revolutionize your business operations. Explore the options mentioned in this article and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Get ready to Supercharge your journey. Start your free trial today and experience the transformative power of a CRM!

How to Choose the Best CRM for Small Businesses

When selecting the best CRM for your small business, consider the following factors:

1. Business Demands: Start by evaluating your most pressing needs. What mundane or repetitive tasks take up the most time?

2. Ease of Use: Look for CRM software with an intuitive interface and user-friendly features to ensure smooth adoption for you or your team. You can achieve this by researching the product via reading clients’ testimonials and watching YouTube videos.

3. Customization Options: Choose a CRM that allows customization to tailor it to your unique business processes and requirements. Many CRM software providers tout customization, but some may need third-party services, (like Zapier). Be sure to understand the entire picture.

4. Integration Capabilities: Ensure the CRM platform seamlessly integrates with your existing tools and software for a cohesive workflow.

5. Pricing and Scalability: Consider your budget constraints and the scalability of the CRM system to accommodate your business growth. Don’t just consider the cost. TIME is more important than money.

Do you agree? Which can you get more of?

You can always find ways to incorporate your fees into your cost, with the right choice, more efficiency, resources, tools, and potential add-ons to consider.

   Don’t just pick any CRM! Choose the Best CRM Software

Business needs: Identify your primary focus (e.g., sales, marketing, customer service).

Features:  Choose a CRM with features that cater to your specific needs and avoid unnecessary functionalities.

Budget:  Explore various options within your budget range, ensuring cost-effectiveness.

Scalability: Select a CRM that adapts to your future growth without requiring frequent upgrades.

Ease of use:  Prioritize a user-friendly interface to minimize the learning curve and ensure team adoption.         

Conclusion

WOW!

Writing about the 3 Best CRM for small business owners took a minute. I hope we’ve covered enough information in this small business CRM review, for you to make an informed decision.

Let’s take a slight breath with a quick recap of why CRMs are worth their weight in gold.

Of course, you want to make a great decision. But one of my mentors taught me that deciding – even if it’s the wrong decision, “is better than not deciding at all”.

In this case, if you choose the wrong customer relationship management software (CRM), you’ll learn from that. But on the other hand, by not deciding, you learn nothing. (side note)

For busy entrepreneurs, marketing agencies, and freelancers, picking the best CRM software can be a game-changer. CRMs work as a powerful, all-in-one, or specific sales and marketing platform that allows you to manage your entire business from a centralized platform.

Here’s a glimpse into what small business CRMs can do for you:

  • Capture leads using a simple funnel builder.
  • Track your sales procedures with detailed analytics.
  • Automate appointment booking effortlessly.
  • Craft captivating lead follow-up email sequences.
  • Manage marketing campaigns
  • And so much more!

With MILLIONS of businesses already leveraging relationship management tools, it’s clear that they are a force to be reckoned with. Remember, staying ahead of the curve and embracing new trends is crucial to avoiding the pitfall of losing business to competitors.

I’ve seen it happen firsthand, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Explore the options mentioned in this article and choose the one that best suits your needs.

* Share this article with your network! Use the hashtag #CRMsForSuccess to spread the word and join the conversation.

So, ditch the multiple marketing platforms and embrace the streamlined efficiency of The Best CRM for your small business.

Best aLL-iNCLUSIVE cRM

GoHighLevel

GOHIGHLEVEL LOGO
  • Comprehensive CRM
  • EasyWebsite Builder
  • Automate Workflow
  • Unify SSM Conversa.
  • Email Marketing Tool
Best sALES-DRIVE crm

Freshsales

FRESHSALES CRM LOGO
  • Superb Customization
  • Run Customer Data
  • Customers Tracking
  • Improve Engagement
  • Streamline Processes
Best Lead-Gen CRM

Pipedrive

PIPEDRIVE CRM LOGO
  • Visual Sales Display
  • Robust Sale Forecasting
  • Short Sales Cycles Pro
  • Strong Customers Tools
  • Simplified Data Mgmt.
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