If your business is sales led, you’ll have realised that turning leads into sales is a little like spinning plates. Between emails, phone calls, social media and in-person meetings, it’s easy to let deals slip through the cracks. CRM software avoids this by keeping all of your leads in one place.
Most CRM software has a basic dashboard showing all of your leads and their progress. Many packages will include built-in calling and keep a record of all contact with a client. If you’re looking for an intensive lead-to-close solution, many of the services on this list have you covered.
In no particular order, here is our list of the top CRM software for small businesses UK entrepreneurs should know about.
Pipedrive is one of the cleanest, simplest CRM solutions out there; its sleek lines and intuitive features help you to stay on track and focus on making sales.
This simplicity does come at a cost: you won’t find project management, invoicing or built-in phones, but many businesses will already have these areas covered elsewhere.
If you’re a Trello user, Pipedrive integrates beautifully: just add it as a power-up on one of your boards and you’re ready to go. In fact, one of Pipedrive’s best qualities is that it’s compatible with a veritable smorgasbord of third-party apps for accounting, productivity, calendar, phone calls, analytics and more.
Pricing starts from £12.50 per user per month for the Silver plan; your first two weeks are free.
Teamgate is the simply smart Sales CRM with the strength to power your success. Armed with a series of intelligent integrated features; such as Mailchimp, Zendesk, Quickbooks, Zapier and a multitude of others, the award-winning Teamgate software provides your sales team with both the simplicity and the strength to organically grow your business.
For three years in a row Teamgate has been recognised internationally and has received a host of awards acknowledging its exceptional customer service and support, its user friendly interface, and has additionally been included among the leaders in the world of Sales CRM software.
Zoho is one of the biggest names in software as a service, and for good reason: the company has roughly 50 separate applications covering everything from recruitment to app design. If you’re looking for a cloud-based solution to multiple parts of your business, Zoho could well be your best option.
Zoho CRM’s features will see you through the whole process from capturing leads to invoicing. Custom web forms, built-in phone lines and integration with social media and email are all accounted for. Business owners looking for in-depth project management, invoicing and HR will find it in Zoho’s extended suite; everything integrates seamlessly, though adding extra software will incur additional monthly fees.
Pricing starts from £10 per user per month, with a 15-day free trial.
Insightly is a serious all-rounder: its functions include workflow automation, email tracking, social media integration, lead tracking and Google Apps integration. Gmail users will particularly appreciate Insightly’s dedicated sidebar, which fits right into your inbox and imports key details from emails with a click.
While Insightly is well-loved – it counts 25,000 companies as customers, including Bloomberg and Bosch – its interface is a little overwhelming compared to its competitors. The dashboard eschews minimalist graphics for pure practicality, with plenty of sub-categories and ways of analysing opportunities. That’s not to say that Insightly is clunky or outdated; just that it’s a steeper learning curve than Pipedrive.
Insightly is free for small businesses with up to two users and a maximum of eight customers; the free features are limited, but still very functional. Paid plans begin at $29 per user per month.
Founded in 1999, Salesforce is one of the OGs of CRM software and touts itself as the world’s number one. As with many CRM services cloud computing is at the heart of Salesforce’s offering, so you’ll always be fully up-to-date.
Salesforce offers two more products that complement Sales Cloud: Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud both do as they say on the tin and help to build an all-round picture of your sales cycle.
Scalability is another strong point: while Salesforce positions itself as a service for small and medium businesses, it counts Coca-Cola, British Airways and Aston Martin among its customers.
Pricing starts from £20 per user per month for the Sales Cloud Essentials package, which caters to up to five users; Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud cost extra.
HubSpot is another suite that tackles marketing, sales and service together, and it scales beautifully from the smallest of businesses to enterprise.
Incredibly, HubSpot CRM is free for unlimited users and holds up to one million contacts and companies. Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and Service Hub are also free for small businesses, albeit with limited features.
HubSpot CRM’s features include conversational bots, email tracking, Facebook and Instagram lead ads and a host of integrations including MailChimp, Eventbrite and Slack.
HubSpot CRM is free; additional services are charged separately.
Apptivo is another CRM solution with a free basic package – if you have three or fewer team members and don’t mind limited features you can get started without paying a penny.
The Apptivo suite is comparable to Zoho and HubSpot in that it has multiple apps that work together to cover different areas of business. In this case, there are solutions for project management, invoicing, customer support, expenses, field service, procurement and email campaigns. The capacity for integration is good if a little limited compared to its competitors; you can connect it to key third-party apps including G Suite, Quickbooks, Slack and Stripe.
Pricing starts from $0 for the Starter plan; paid plans start from $8 per user per month.
Freshworks’ CRM offering, Freshsales, pulls email, phone calls, event tracking and automation into one neat package.
While the majority of the CRM software we’ve discussed in this post lacks built-in phone and email, Freshsales incorporates it as the main feature and also creates profiles for every contact that include recent conversations, open deals and useful information.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive customer engagement suite, Freshworks’ other products include customer support, HR, marketing and chat.
Pricing starts from $12 per user per month for just the CRM suite, with a 30-day free trial.
You’ll likely recognise Zendesk as a customer support solution; its self-service knowledge bases are used by the likes of Evernote, Squarespace and VSCO. What you might not realise is that Zendesk offers a full suite of sales and service software.
Zendesk Sell automates admin and makes it seriously simple to make calls, send emails, schedule meetings and view deals. Smart Lists help you to keep track of the pipeline and identify opportunities that are close to closing or slipping away.
Zendesk strikes a good balance between information and accessibility; your dashboard can be expanded with widgets or simplified back down again.
Pricing starts from $19 per person per month with a 14-day free trial.
As you may have guessed from the name, ActiveCampaign carries its weight in marketing automation, but it also automates CRM and on-site messages for an all round sales package.
Rather than setting up pipelines yourself, you can sit back and let ActiveCampaign convert web forms to leads and set up tasks for you to complete. The system can also be set to automate lower-value leads and flag higher values for staff to manage by hand.
Pricing starts from $9 per month for the Lite package, which includes up to three users.
Nutshell claims to offer the simplest, yet most powerful CRM service on the market. One of its focuses is on collaboration between team members, making it a solid option for slightly bigger sales departments. It also integrates nicely with bigger third-party tools such as G Suite, Office 365, Slack and MailChimp.
Pricing starts from $19 per user per month for a no-frills plan; Nutshell offers a 14-day free trial.
EngageBay is a simple, affordable, integrated, all-in-one marketing, sales and service automation platform with a free CRM software, built to grow small businesses and startups. EngageBay’s email marketing platform helps you grow your business with intelligent, powerful email marketing. The marketing automation suite helps you save time, nurture your audience and automate routine, manual tasks.
With the free CRM and sales automation, you can organise all your email contacts, track deals and the sales pipeline to grow your sales. Further, you can build meaningful customer relationships that stay for life. And finally, with the free live chat and help desk features, provide real time assistance to convert visitors to happy customers. Track, prioritise and solve customer support tickets in minutes. Learn more details, features, and pricing of EngageBay on their official website.
What is CRM Software?
As its name suggests, Customer Relationship Management software (CRM software) is a tool that allows you to organise and better manage the relationship between a business and its customers. Essentially, this kind of software is a way to manage both existing and potential customers. It can be used to analyse the interactions a company has with its customers, and measure relevant data surrounding this.
The main aim of CRM software is to help promote the relationship between a business and its customers, helping with both acquisition and retention, thereby promoting sales.
CRM platforms can connect various different departments in a business, including sales, marketing, customer services and more. By connecting these different departments all onto one platform, CRM software can help to organise plans, actions and notes from all relevant areas of the business, which can better communication, and streamline business operations.
Do I Need CRM Software for My Business?
Businesses can use CRM software to better understand their relationship with customers and how to improve this, resulting in more leads, increased sales, and improved customer retention. As previously mentioned, this software can also improve communication between departments by organising all relevant areas of the business onto one cohesive platform.
This type of software can therefore be an incredibly valuable asset to any business, helping to generate sales and further the success of a company.
As listed above, there are a variety of different CRM software solutions out there, catering to businesses of all shapes and sizes. For example, whilst Apptivo’s free basic package is better for smaller teams (specifically three or less), larger sales departments may be able to get the full benefits from software similar to Nutshell’s.
Is CRM Good for Small Businesses?
CRM software can help to streamline a business’s customer operations. It can help to gain a deeper insight into the interactions customers have with particular services, from which a business can analyse and adjust to enhance this experience, further promoting an increase in sales.
Whilst CRM software can be incredibly beneficial for a business, many small business owners may be hesitant to use it – unfamiliar with the technology, and concerned that it can only be beneficial to larger companies.
However, as previously mentioned, CRM can be useful for businesses of all different shapes and sizes. In fact, learning about your customers and the interactions they have with your business can be incredibly useful for companies that are just starting out, or wanting to scale up, enabling them to better tailor their products and services to the customers’ preferences.
Some CRM software companies have even created their products specifically for smaller companies. For example, EngageBay offers CRM software built specifically to help small businesses and startups grow.
The Benefits of CRM for Small Businesses UK
There are numerous different benefits CRM software can offer small UK businesses, including the following:
Organisation – CRM systems can help to organise customer information, and store this in a safe and secure place. This helps in the streamlining of a small business’s customer operations, which can be useful especially when a business is busy with just starting (or scaling) up.
Improved communication – with CRM software, companies are able to separate their communication with customers from their communication with other components of the business (e.g. suppliers, partners).
Rather than cluttering up email boxes, CRM software can help a business to separate their interaction with customers onto a separate platform, making it easier to sort through and respond to customer queries. This can make a good first impression, which is essential for companies who are just starting out.
Improved marketing – by analysing consumer data, businesses can gain a deeper understanding into their customers wants and needs, and tailor their marketing to offer products and services that accommodate better for these wants and needs. This can help businesses to retain customers, which can help a small business to develop and grow.
How Much Does CRM Software Cost?
Based on our list of the top CRM softwares for small businesses UK, prices can vary from anything between $8 to $29 and over per user per month. However, the price for a CRM software will vary depending on the type you go for.
As explored in our top 10 list, there are a range of different CRM systems offering a variety of different tools. For example, Apptivo’s free basic package offers a range solutions for up to three team members, including:
- Field services
- Project management
This package can be perfect for small businesses consisting of only a few people. However, for larger companies, systems such as Nutshell’s may be more applicable.
Not only can Nutshell’s packages accommodate for more people, it also carries features to alleviate struggles that larger companies face – one of its main focuses being on team member collaboration. Businesses with bigger teams may therefore get the most use out of Nutshell’s software as opposed to Apptivo’s basic package.