CRM software made easy: 5 best CRM for small business

Published on 25/10/2019 by Sonia Navarrete

best crm for small business

Every small business should use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. The reasons are simple: CRM software can help solve many business challenges, and it helps make your company more competitive. 

CRM software does this by gathering the data from all your customer and prospect interactions in one place. This pool of data can then be used to unlock a range of business benefits, including improved customer service, better collaboration, reduced costs and enhanced productivity. 

The use of CRM software by small businesses therefore seems something of a ‘no brainer’. That’s why it’s a surprise to see that only 31% of SMEs in the UK actually have a CRM system in place. These SMEs are at a significant competitive disadvantage. If your business is amongst this number, you should act now.  

But how can you know which software is best for your business? With so many options on the market it can be difficult to sort the best from the rest. That’s why we’ve done the task for you. These are the best CRM  for small business in Capterra’s directory chosen by:

  • Rated 4+ stars by users on Capterra.co.uk
  • High search volume in the UK

Mailchimp

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer service: 4.2/5

Pricing: From £8.00/month 

Free trial: Yes

Mailchimp

Mailchimp offers users a suite of tools including email marketing, marketing automation integration, customer segmentation and social media integration. Aside from the free version, which provides basic features, Mailchimp comes in three price plans: Essentials (£8.00/month), which includes more features for regular mail senders; Standard (£12.00/month), which offers better insights for businesses that want to grow their customer base and; Premium (£240/month), which comes with advanced features. 

Reviewers praise Mailchimp for being one of the easiest-to-use email marketing services on the market. In addition, users like the simple user interface and find Mailchimp’s support and chat functions valuable. However, some users complained about the price, which they say shoots up quickly as they make more demands on the software. 

Our take: Mailchimp is a great entry-level CRM system for any business starting out – particularly those looking for email marketing and customer survey tools.

Salesforce 

Rating: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 3.9/5

Customer service: 4.1/5

Pricing: From £20/user/month 

Free trial: Yes

salesforce

Salesforce’s CRM package for small businesses is called Essentials and comes in at £20 per user, per month. This edition includes account, contact lead and opportunity management as well as email integration (Gmail or Outlook) and the Salesforce mobile app. However it excludes features such as lead registration and rules-based scoring and collaborative forecasting, which businesses can access for £60 per user, per month on the Professional package. 

Going by reviewers’ comments, while Salesforce may be slightly more difficult to learn than other CRM software, it’s worth the effort. Some users report double-digit growth in customer prospecting and retention as a result of using Salesforce, while others praise its ability to automate tasks. However, some users noted a lack of customer support and initial orientation around the software.

Our take: Salesforce is perfect for companies that need to go that extra mile, or which have complex customer and prospect interactions. 

Zoho CRM

Rating: 4.2/5

Ease of use: 4/5

Customer service: 4/5

Pricing: From £10/user/month 

Free trial: Yes

zoho crm

Zoho CRM provides a wide range of features, including document storage, email marketing, internal chat integration, lead scoring, segmentation and marketing automation. A basic free edition of the software is available, along with three options better suited to businesses: Standard (£10 per user, per month), Professional (£16 per user per month) and Enterprise (£30 per user, per month). The latter package is best suited to businesses with highly advanced customer needs. It includes features such as Conversational AI, visual CRM tools and Business Analytics tools. 

For most users, Zoho CRM provides all the features and functionality they need from a CRM software. However, some users reported that the User Interface was often too slow and that the design and look could be improved.

Our take: Zoho CRM will meet the needs of most small businesses that are looking to standardise their customer operations and digitalise their commercial operations.  

HubSpot CRM

Rating: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer service: 4.5/5

Pricing: From £42/month

Free trial: Yes

hubspot

HubSpot CRM also provides a free package to small businesses which includes tools such as contact management, contact website activity, forms, email marketing and ad management. Users can buy additional services through three packages: Starter (£42 per month), which includes live chat and conversational bots; Professional (£655 per month), which offers full marketing automation and online content creation tools, and; Enterprise (£2,624 per month) aimed at larger organisations. 

HubSpot CRM users like the automation functions of the software, which saves time on tasks including following up on leads. In addition, other benefits noted by reviewers is the ease with which they can better understand their customers. On the ‘cons’ side, users have reported that customisation can be hard and some complain that email integration isn’t always easy.

Our take: HubSpot CRMis a great option for any business that wants to spend less time logging data and are looking to accelerate their sales pipeline. 

Dynamics 

Rating: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 4/5

Customer service: 4.1/5

Pricing: Upon request

Free trial: Yes

microsoft dynamics

Part of Microsoft’s suite of business management applications, Dynamics 365, Dynamics CRM provides businesses with sales, marketing, customer service and operations tools. This cloud-based software brings together Microsoft’s previous CRM and ERP functions. Broken down into granular applications, businesses can pick and choose the applications they need for their CRM efforts, with an additional price for each module.

Users seem to appreciate the modular approach, and like having all their business apps available on one platform. Most importantly, other benefits noted by reviewers include the level of customisation and integration with third-party applications. However, some thought the software could be slow, and reported difficulties in accessing it over the Edge browser.  

Our take:  Dynamics is well suited to companies that value an integrated stack of business management solutions and are looking to automate a wide range of business functions. 
If you want to learn more about the range of CRM options available in the UK, visit our full directory on Capterra.co.uk