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The best CRM software to manage your leads and customers in 2024

By Miguel Rebelo · April 1, 2024
A hero image with the logos of the best CRM software

Using great software is the first step toward great results. This is true for any app category, and more so for your CRM (customer relationship management) software. As the backbone of your sales, having a robust CRM platform tailored to your processes and clients helps improve results in the long run. But out of so many options out there, which CRM is the best for your business?

I considered a grand total of 128 CRMs, from basic solutions to enterprise-ready suites. The 11 you'll find below can fit any business at any stage, whether you're just starting or growing fast. They offer a wide range of features covering everything the best CRMs should do, adding specialized tools and interfaces to optimize parts of your sales and business processes.

I know it's tough to switch systems or adopt a new one, so I'm hoping this selection can help you zero in on the best CRM without too much work. And when you finally switch, you'll start seeing promising results.

The best CRM software

  • Salesforce Sales Cloud for extensibility

  • HubSpot for versatility

  • Zoho CRM for AI features

  • Pipedrive for ease of use

  • Ontraport for automating online transactions

  • Nimble for prospecting

  • Membrain for designing sales processes

  • Salesmate for customizability

  • Nutshell for managing a sales team

  • Close for inside sales teams

  • NetHunt CRM for Gmail power users

What makes the best CRM platform?

How we evaluate and test apps

Our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. Unless explicitly stated, we spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

Customer relationship management software is simple at heart. It keeps track of contact information, the deals you're building for them, and the relationship activity as you do so. Then, on top of these basic features, each CRM offers different productivity shortcuts to help you and your team. That means telephone integration, email marketing, and customer service, just to name a few from a long list of possibilities. All these tied together with helpful reports and time-saving automation.

What does this mean when talking about the best CRM programs for all businesses? I prioritized apps that offer all the contact, deal, and activity tracking as a baseline. Then, I selected those that have a good implementation of the extra features I mentioned, offering a user experience that supports the processes you already have in place.

This means you won't find niche CRM platforms on this list: the ones that do one thing extremely well but are light in other departments. At the same time, I don't have a cap on subscription price, as more expensive platforms can sometimes give you a much more powerful set of tools—after all, ROI is not about how much you spend; it's about how much you can gain from your initial investment.

With that in mind, here's what I looked for in the best CRM software:

  • Ease of use. These CRM applications make complex operations and tasks easier to manage. Bonus points for thorough onboarding tutorials, multimedia knowledge bases, and fantastic support teams.

  • Contact and sales management. Tracking contacts, activities, and deals in a visual pipeline is a must.

  • Customization. Your CRM adapts to you, not the other way around. The way you do business is unique, so these apps must be flexible enough.

  • Reporting. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. And if you can't manage it, how can you grow? High-quality reports are essential to show you how your decisions impact the results.

  • Automation and integrations. More work doesn't always mean better outcomes, so automating workflows and integrating your CRM with your other apps frees up time to dedicate yourself to critical decisions.

During the three weeks of testing, I selected 30 viable CRMs from the 128-strong list. As I signed up for each, I managed a fictional marketing agency: I added my contacts, scheduled activities, and tested the extra features to understand how they improved the experience. Here are the best CRM platforms based on all that testing and research.

The best CRM software at a glance

Best for

Standout feature


Salesforce Sales Cloud


Wide range of AI features available in its Einstein 1 Platform

From $25/user/month



Intuitive user experience and 2-way data sync with other apps

Free plan available; paid plans from $20/user/month

Zoho CRM

AI features

Resident AI, Zia, for data analysis and predictive insights

Free plan available; paid plans from $20/user/month


Ease of use

Smooth user experience designed by salespeople

From $19.90/user/month; add-ons priced separately


Automating online transactions

Systems for setting up and managing sales assets and sequences

From $29/month for 1 user; additional users at $9/user/month



Browser extensions for lead generation and data enrichment

From $29.90/user/month


Sales management

Territory-based management and intuitive reporting

From $19/user/month for unlimited contacts


Designing sales processes

Detailed tracking of multi-step sales flows and tasks

From $69/user/month



Drag-and-drop interface and customizable modules

From $29/user/month


Faster lead processing

Smart Views for efficient lead management

From $59/user/month

NetHunt CRM

Gmail power users

Seamless integration with Gmail and workflow automation

From $30/user/month

Best CRM for extensibility

Salesforce Sales Cloud (Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of Salesforce Sales Cloud, our pick for the best CRM for extensibility

Salesforce pros:

  • Wide range of AI features available in its Einstein 1 Platform

  • Heavily focused on rounding up customer data for increased clarity

Salesforce cons:

  • It can be hard to migrate out of Salesforce if you ever want to

It's hard to place Salesforce anywhere other than the first spot on this list. After all, it holds 23% of the CRM market. Thousands of companies big and small rely on this software to run all their sales operations. The best part about it is how much you can build upon the base features with add-ons and custom-built extensions. This flexibility is great if you're scaling fast or feel your current software isn't keeping up.

The Starter Suite offers the basic CRM features with useful twists. You can upload your tried-and-tested email templates onto the platform and set up nurture sequences to warm up relationships. When you set up the marketing and customer service features, you can track signals as your leads interact with your pages and sales reps. This is great for segmenting your audience, enabling higher personalization or tailored deal-building.

Salesforce has many enterprise-grade users, so it's natural that their product is built to solve bigger problems. This shows when configuring some settings that can save a lot of time and trouble later, even if you're a smaller business. One example is setting up labels for each data field to guide newer sales reps through their deals. For example, if you have a discounts field, you can add a label saying they can only give up to 20% discounts. Anything higher than that has to be run via management.

Salesforce connects with dozens of apps, and you can expand it with extra features by browsing the AppExchange. Later, when you start growing beyond medium-business territory, there's an entire ecosystem of agencies and developers that will help you tweak your data structure, create more powerful data visualization screens, and improve automation. This is when the platform loses its vanilla flavor to become a hyper-specialized tool for the way you do business.

If you want to get a head start on this, connect Salesforce to Zapier and start customizing and automating right away. Learn more about automating Salesforce, or try one of these pre-built templates.

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads as leads in Salesforce

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads as leads in Salesforce
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Salesforce logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Salesforce

Create Salesforce leads with new Gravity Forms submissions

Create Salesforce leads with new Gravity Forms submissions
  • Gravity Forms logo
  • Salesforce logo
Gravity Forms + Salesforce

If you're small today but are looking at a bright future ahead, don't be scared by the enterprise vibe of Salesforce.

Salesforce price: From $25/user/month

Best CRM for versatility

HubSpot (Web, iOS, Android)

HubSpot, our pick for the best CRM for versatility

HubSpot pros:

  • Intuitive user experience

  • 2-way data sync with other apps available

HubSpot cons:

  • Steep pricing in enterprise-level plans

HubSpot is versatile on two fronts. It has a collection of Hubs spanning sales, marketing, customer support, content management, operations, and commerce. And it also has a mix of pricing plans and bundles to fit every kind of budget—or even no budget at all.

HubSpot has one of the most generous free plans around. Offering unlimited contacts, HubSpot unlocks basic features across all its Hubs. It does impose a lot of ceilings in terms of how much you can use each tool, that's true. But you can go a long way without ever having to pay a dime for the baseline, which is great for scoring quick wins and getting the first few thousands in the bank.

Then, when you're growing, you'll have to brew your favorite hot drink and sit down in front of the pricing page—it's a bit overwhelming. HubSpot offers a range of pre-made bundles based on what you need most. If you prefer to tailor it to your needs, you can upgrade or downgrade any Hub's features, meaning you can combine an Enterprise Sales Hub with a Starter Operations Hub, for example. Be sure to also toggle between the "For businesses & enterprises" and "For individuals & small teams" at the top of the page to see different offers based on your current stage.

The platform itself is a breeze to use and easy to navigate, which is surprising considering the mountain of tools you have at your disposal. You can quickly move from posting to your company blog to tracking support tickets, accessing useful reporting dashboards along the way. Want AI in the mix? There's generative AI on the platform, and ChatSpot is evolving to do anything from data entry to analysis through an easy-to-use chat interface.

With a thorough knowledge base and one of the best educational blogs in the industry, HubSpot hits all the requirements here with flying colors. The cherry on top is its Zapier integration, so you can automate everything and have it run without a fuss. Learn more about Zapier's HubSpot integration, or get started with one of these templates.

Add new HubSpot contacts to Google Ads customer lists

Add new HubSpot contacts to Google Ads customer lists
  • HubSpot logo
  • Google Ads logo
HubSpot + Google Ads

Add new HubSpot contacts to Mailchimp lists

Add new HubSpot contacts to Mailchimp lists
  • HubSpot logo
  • Mailchimp logo
HubSpot + Mailchimp

HubSpot price: Free plan available; paid plans from $20/user/month.

Deciding between Salesforce and HubSpot? Read our showdown: HubSpot vs. Salesforce.

Best CRM for AI features

Zoho CRM (Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of Zoho CRM, our pick for the best CRM for AI features

Zoho CRM pros:

  • All-in-one CRM solution

  • Enterprise-ready

Zoho CRM cons:

  • Could be easier to use

Zoho CRM's resident AI, Zia, is one of the best implementations of AI in the CRM space. It works in the background as well as in a dedicated chat window, a place where you can ask questions about your data to keep your finger on the pulse.

Zia will look through your contacts to clean them, identify the ones more likely to become customers, and detect anomalies in the sales process, flagging unusual drops in closed deals. It suggests new products and services to offer to your customers and predicts how likely they are to do business with you again. It even figures out when your prospects are more likely to pick up the phone, so you can hop on a call at the right time. And if you're overwhelmed, it suggests workflows and macros to make work moving without the pain.

Don't know what to do next? Want to know which channel your leads are coming from? Want a forecast of your pipeline for the next months? Zia can do it all from the chat window, replying with a combination of text and graphs to help you and your team understand what's going on as it does. It's especially useful for large teams, where everyone is pushing the needle forward at the same time.

This wouldn't be very useful if Zoho CRM wasn't a powerful app at its core. The user interface isn't one of the best, but that's compensated by the impressive feature set: apart from sales, it does marketing, help desk, social, and multichannel marketing. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with a range of other Zoho products—a massive software suite with accessible pricing plans—so you can keep expanding it based on your needs.

Zoho CRM also integrates with Zapier, connecting it to thousands of other apps to maximize your team's time. Here are a few ways to automate Zoho CRM, or you can start with one of the templates below.

Create contacts on Zoho CRM from new leads from Facebook Lead Ads

Create contacts on Zoho CRM from new leads from Facebook Lead Ads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Zoho CRM logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Zoho CRM

Add new Unbounce form submissions to Zoho CRM as leads

Add new Unbounce form submissions to Zoho CRM as leads
  • Unbounce logo
  • Zoho CRM logo
Unbounce + Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM price: Free plan available; paid plans from $20/user/month. (Zoho CRM Plus starts at $57/user/month.)

Deciding between Salesforce and Zoho or HubSpot and Zoho? Read our showdowns: Salesforce vs. Zoho CRM and HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM.

Best CRM for ease of use

Pipedrive (Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of Pipedrive, our pick for the best easy-to-use CRM

Pipedrive pros:

  • Easy workflow automation

  • Plenty of educational content

Pipedrive cons:

  • AI features could be more visible

When an app is hard to use, a deadly brain fog settles in and kills your productivity—and your mood. Pipedrive does the opposite: designed by salespeople, it offers a smooth user experience that helps you consistently hit it out of the park.

How does this translate into practice? The main menu on the left has icons that direct you to every part of the app. Some main screens offer a sub-menu with icons and text labels, providing clear direction on where each setting or action button lives. Overall, none of the pages feels cluttered—there's never the "this is too much" feeling.

The sales pipeline is another example of this principle. Each deal card has a dynamic icon that changes based on the deal's status. At a glance, you can tell if it doesn't have activities scheduled or if they're overdue. The colors in the interface pop out with good contrast, helping your brain quickly assess if you should start problem-solving or if everything's flowing.

Easy mode doesn't end with a well-designed interface. Pipedrive adds a range of tweaks to the sales experience. When you hop off a phone call, you get a quick list to help you note the outcome. The call is recorded, added to the contact's page along with your note, and you can move on to the next one with a single click (you can start calls straight from your deal pipeline).

If you're worried you're putting a lot of pressure on a lead, you can take a look at the contact timeline to help space out each touchpoint. And if one of your teammates already added that new contact from the trade show, the app will stop you from adding a duplicate.

Beyond sales, Pipedrive has a range of add-ons when you're ready to expand. These add prospecting, chatbots, website traffic analysis, email marketing, documents, and project management to the mix.

If you're looking for increased automation power, Pipedrive's Zapier integrations let you add new people as email subscribers, add new deals to a spreadsheet, and send emails when new deals are added to a stage, among many other possibilities. Learn more about how to automate Pipedrive, or take a look at these pre-built examples.

Create Pipedrive deals from new Facebook Lead Ads leads

Create Pipedrive deals from new Facebook Lead Ads leads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Pipedrive logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Pipedrive

Add new Unbounce form submissions to Pipedrive as deals

Add new Unbounce form submissions to Pipedrive as deals
  • Unbounce logo
  • Pipedrive logo
Unbounce + Pipedrive

Pipedrive pricing: From $19.90/user/month. Add-ons priced separately.

Looking for a more economical alternative? Freshsales offers a great range of features with comparable support and ease of use, with a set of useful AI features on top. Or, if you're deciding between Pipedrive, Zoho, and HubSpot, check out our showdowns: Pipedrive vs. Zoho and Pipedrive vs. HubSpot.

Best CRM for automating online transactions

Ontraport (Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of Ontraport, our pick for the best CRM for automating online transactions

Ontraport pros:

  • High-quality support team

  • Adapts to multiple use cases and industries

Ontraport cons:

  • Realizing its full potential takes time and experimentation

If you sell online, the path to higher conversion is paved with funnels and automation. Ontraport has a smart way of handling all the assets and pages needed to set up everything you need to slowly build a business that runs on autopilot—or as close as it gets.

Ideally, you want to set up methods to grab new leads from all your channels: traffic from your website, people who hit up your social media profiles, newsletter subscribers, and more. These people need to travel through your content, learning more about the problems you solve and how your products and services are ideally positioned to do that. Depending on what you sell, that could lead to conversions on your payment page straight away or a scheduled call with a prospect who's ready to buy.

Ontraport helps you build the infrastructure for these journeys using Systems. When you click that tab, you'll add all your sales assets and string them together in sequences. There are a number of templates to start with, like recapturing abandoned carts or setting up a lead magnet. And there's an element of modularity here that's super useful: you can add pages with your copy, input fields, and custom rules. As leads get added to your CRM, you can keep track of their progress and contact them at any point during their journey.

Automate to your heart's content, or add personalization by routing a few of these flows to your sales reps. As they exchange emails with prospects, they can easily attach case studies or other files to email threads, great for adding more context about the topics of the conversation.

When compared with others, Ontraport captures more specific data about your leads: it keeps track of campaign engagement history, actions taken, purchases, and memberships, to name a few. These stats are also available from each of your automations, so you can track performance—useful to add or remove steps from your systems as you optimize.

Ontraport integrates with payment and eCommerce platforms natively, and you can get more out of the software with Ontraport's Zapier integrations. Here are some examples to get you started.

Create Ontraport contacts from new invitees in Calendly

Create Ontraport contacts from new invitees in Calendly
  • Calendly logo
  • Ontraport logo
Calendly + Ontraport

Create or update Ontraport contacts from new responses to Facebook Lead Ads

Create or update Ontraport contacts from new responses to Facebook Lead Ads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Ontraport logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Ontraport

Ontraport price: From $29/month for one user. Additional users at $9/user/month.

Best CRM for prospecting

Nimble (Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of Nimble, our pick for the best CRM for customer prospecting

Nimble pros:

  • Plenty of controls for viewing and interacting with data

  • Strong enrichment features

Nimble cons:

  • User interface can be slow from time to time

The internet is a deep, sprawling mine of opportunities. In the quest for gold, having a tool that helps you find your mineral veins easily is the difference between a clunky ancient dwarven epic and a high-tech planet mining operation.

Fantasy aside, Nimble is great for prospecting because its browser extensions help you fill your CRM with new prospects and their data. You can have an entire field day on social media finding new leads and registering the actions you're taking as you go.

Looking at a company page on the web? Open the extension, and get an enriched view, with data such as employee headcount, date founded, and revenue. This can save you searching the web for this data, so you can quickly understand if they're a good target or not. Now that you're not wasting time on bad fits, you can invest in chasing the prospects that are more likely to want to connect with you. All this without having to tab into the Nimble web app interface at any time.

When you finally come back to the app, hit the Contacts tab. All your leads are here. You can filter the list with a range of handy options on the left side—recently added, marked important, or recently contacted, among others—or you can further segment the list to get a more manageable group or assign it to a specialized team.

In addition to the sales pipeline, Nimble offers workflows. This is a way to visualize relationship progress with your contacts, which is useful if you do more than sales. There are templates for fundraising, job applicants, and orders, each with unique fields and stages. You can also create a new one from scratch and funnel your contacts into each of these as needed.

Nimble's Zapier integrations let you automatically turn new email subscribers into Nimble contacts, send new contacts wherever you need them, and anything else you need to do in the apps you use most.

Create Nimble Contacts From Mailchimp Subscribers

Create Nimble Contacts From Mailchimp Subscribers
  • Mailchimp logo
  • Nimble logo
Mailchimp + Nimble

Add new Nimble contacts to Mailchimp

Add new Nimble contacts to Mailchimp
  • Nimble logo
  • Mailchimp logo
Nimble + Mailchimp

Nimble price: From $29.90/user/month

Best CRM for sales management

Nutshell (Web, iOS, Android)

Nutshell CRM, our pick for the best CRM for sales management

Nutshell pros:

  • Unlimited contacts

  • Very intuitive

Nutshell cons:

  • Occasional minor user interface glitches

In larger sales teams, smart management maximizes efficiency. It helps people focus on the tasks they need to do, leverage their specializations, and collaborate with others. Nutshell has three tools that help you achieve this.

The first one is territory-based management. For example, if you want a group to handle every lead within a 25-mile radius of New York, you can set these rules to automatically assign leads. You can go as micro or macro as you need with postal code, state, and country selectors. If your leads usually have similar needs based on location, getting specialized reps or teams to handle them will make it easier to address their needs or objections.

Next, you have a deep report screen with the stock reports in place for main pipeline metrics, as well as reporting by territory, team member, or source. Take a look into the future with forecasts, so you can see how present performance may influence what's in store and direct your team to that vision accordingly. With this information at hand, you can tailor your teams to the objectives you've set.

Lastly, as a manager, you can turn on or off notifications about nearly anything. Choose whether to get them only in the app so they only poke you while you're at your desk, or also via email if you're working in the field. This helps you step in whenever anything important happens, so you can steer a deal, coach a teammate, or weigh in on a decision.

Apart from this, Nutshell has all the features of a top-tier CRM, so it's not a one-trick pony in sales management. It grabs the social media profile links of your contacts. It offers drip email campaigns to naturally raise interest in your products and services. It also can connect to your website to follow your prospects as they browse, so you know how aware they are as they move through your funnels.

Boost your business capabilities with Nutshell's Zapier integrations. You can do things like automatically creating contacts from new Nutshell leads and adding people to Nutshell from new form submissions.

Add Nutshell people from new Gravity Forms submissions

Add Nutshell people from new Gravity Forms submissions
  • Gravity Forms logo
  • Nutshell logo
Gravity Forms + Nutshell

Create new persons in Nutshell for every new invitee created in Calendly

Create new persons in Nutshell for every new invitee created in Calendly
  • Calendly logo
  • Nutshell logo
Calendly + Nutshell

Nutshell price: From $19/user/month for unlimited contacts.

Best CRM for designing sales processes

Membrain (Web, iOS, Android)

Membrain, our pick for the best CRM for designing sales processes

Membrain pros:

  • Complex B2B focus

  • High-quality reports

Membrain cons:

  • Pricey

Winning deals has a lot to do with understanding your prospect's problem and offering the best solution to solve it. The complexity and price of this solution determine how long this takes—you need more content, more touchpoints, more people involved in the process. Membrain helps you track all of this information, making it simple to design and manage a multi-step sales flow.

Here's how it happens: in each deal view, you have a list of tasks grouped by stage. For example, in the discovery stage, you want to hop on a call and understand who the decision-makers are. Later, when presenting a solution, you want to track if the client is looking to invest aggressively to solve this problem or is taking a conservative approach. In the later stages, you'll need to handle objections and reach a verbal agreement before making the sale.

As you and your team move forward, tick these tasks as complete and add the relevant information about each. If you're already completing tasks in a later stage without having completed earlier ones, Membrain flags it with a color label in your pipeline: if you're skipping it, you're operating on assumptions. That's dangerous.

To help build the perfect deal, you can record key insights about it below the task list:

  • The what section gathers the deal's details, such as challenges, competition, and urgency.

  • The who lets you add stakeholders and decision-makers, tracking their sentiment.

  • The why adds extra insights on the customer, why your solution is better now, and top concerns.

This ensures you and your team always have all the context you need to offer tailored solutions to your prospects—this means you can command higher prices, too, so be sure to position yourself as a custom-fit solution.

Membrain goes deep on these features, while having all the other core CRM features in place. I spent my time in the Active Pipeline module, which concentrates all these tools in easy-to-digest screens. There are also modules for prospecting and for optimizing the best accounts already in your system.

And with so much to do, be sure to connect Membrain to Zapier to automate parts of the sales process. Here are some examples to get you started.

Add new won sales projects in Membrain to Google Sheet rows

Add new won sales projects in Membrain to Google Sheet rows
  • Membrain logo
  • Google Sheets logo
Membrain + Google Sheets

Generate prospects in Membrain from new parsed emails

Generate prospects in Membrain from new parsed emails
  • Email Parser by Zapier logo
  • Membrain logo
Email Parser by Zapier + Membrain

Membrain price: From $69/user/month.

Best CRM for customizability

Salesmate (Web, iOS, Android)

Salesmate, our pick for the best CRM for customizability

Salesmate pros:

  • Wide range of features

  • Intuitive user interface

Salesmate cons:

  • Building new modules comes with a learning curve

When you have a unique way of doing sales or if you operate in a niche, your tools have to keep up. Salesmate offers plenty of customization, so you can shape it in the way that's most powerful for you.

Everything on the interface is drag and drop. You can move things around as you wish, putting the important information at the top and the extras out of view. You can save layouts for your deals, contacts, companies, and activities screens, so if something doesn't work out, you can always roll back to the earlier good version.

You can also move things around in the forms you use to add information to your CRM, adding or removing fields as needed. This is possible even on a role basis, so managers can have extra input fields while junior employees handle less, for example.

Deep customization continues through custom modules inside Salesmate, which help you manage other data types beyond contacts or deals. When creating a new module, set the data type and fields you want to keep track of. This lets you manage your projects inside Salesmate, too, since you can add all your project details—name, due date, assignees, and so on—and see them inside the app.

If you've got a tech team in-house, they can grab the API endpoint for this module and build custom integrations with your other apps. If you don't, you can connect Salesmate to Zapier and do it anyway, no tech skills required. Here are some examples.

Create Salesmate contacts from new Facebook Lead Ads leads

Create Salesmate contacts from new Facebook Lead Ads leads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Salesmate logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Salesmate

Create new Salesmate contacts to Google Contacts

Create new Salesmate contacts to Google Contacts
  • Salesmate logo
  • Google Contacts logo
Salesmate + Google Contacts

Salesmate is more like a no-code CRM builder than your traditional fixed sales software. And apart from customizability, it offers telephone, texts, email marketing, live chat for multiple channels, and plenty of workflow automation opportunities for all of these. If tinkering is a synonym for winning at your company, definitely pick up Salesmate.

Salesmate price: From $29/user/month.

Deciding between Pipedrive and Salesmate? Read our showdown: Pipedrive vs. Salesmate.

Best CRM system for faster lead prospecting

Close (Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)

A screenshot of Close, our pick for the best CRM for faster lead prospecting

Close pros:

  • Plenty of native integrations

  • Good range of workflow automation options

Close cons:

  • Reports aren't very customizable

When you're handling dozens or even hundreds of leads, you may lose track of the next best action you should take. Close helps you keep your eye on the ball, so you always know what to do.

When you look to the left side of the main menu, you'll find Smart Views. This divides your leads based on status. It helps you see:

  • Which leads you need to contact

  • Those you haven't called or emailed yet

  • Leads that opened one of your emails

  • Leads with no touchpoints in more than 30 days

  • Follow-up opportunities

Why is this useful? Whenever you come back from lunch break, a meeting, or an in-person event, you can take a look at these lists and quickly see which lead you should contact next. At the same time, if you see a list that's getting too long, you can process the contacts there to keep the relationships active.

Close handles telephone natively through a Twilio partnership, so you get new numbers and manage your billing within the app. You can quickly scale up or down your call center as needed. The Power Dialer helps you ring your prospects automatically at the best possible moments during the day—just be sure to record the greeting message in case someone from your team can't hop on the call; otherwise your lead will just hear the confusing sound of silence.

As you're in each call, you can take notes that'll be automatically connected to the contact's record. Once it wraps up, you'll have a recording attached too. If you have new reps on the team, you can sit in on each call and coach them through talking to their leads, so they get up to speed quickly. And if your target audience doesn't like to pick up the phone, you can use the texting features instead.

Supercharge Close's capabilities with its Zapier integrations. Do things like automatically adding new leads to Close, post Slack messages for new Close leads, or anything else you need to do in the apps you use most. Learn more about how to automate Close, or get started with one of these pre-made templates.

Generate Close leads from new Calendly invitees

Generate Close leads from new Calendly invitees
  • Calendly logo
  • Close logo
Calendly + Close

Get Slack notifications for new Close leads

Get Slack notifications for new Close leads
  • Close logo
  • Slack logo
Close + Slack

Close price: From $59/user/month

Best CRM for Gmail power users

NetHunt CRM (Gmail, Web, iOS, Android)

A screenshot of NetHunt CRM, our pick for the best CRM for Gmail power users

NetHunt CRM pros:

  • Easy integration with Gmail

  • Keeps your CRM data clean with robust validation

NetHunt CRM cons:

  • Takes a little getting used to

You know what Google Workspace is missing? Yes, a CRM. NetHunt CRM fills this gap quite well as it seamlessly integrates with your Gmail inbox while also offering a web app, so you can interact with your data with greater focus.

After you install the extension, the Gmail user interface gets additional elements to accommodate all the new types of data. Your deals, contacts, and companies will be organized in folders, and you'll have a view of your sales tasks. You'll be able to see your sales pipeline as a Kanban board. If you work a lot from your email inbox, having all this information there means less tab-switching and more focus on your process.

To help you keep this focus where it needs to be, you can set up workflows to make changes to your CRM data based on a set of triggers. As emails move in or go out, NetHunt CRM will automatically change the status of your leads based on conditions you've set. And if you need more powerful automations and want your CRM to work with all your other apps, connect NetHunt to Zapier.

Create NetHunt CRM records from new Google Sheets spreadsheet rows

Create NetHunt CRM records from new Google Sheets spreadsheet rows
  • Google Sheets logo
  • NetHunt CRM logo
Google Sheets + NetHunt CRM

Create records in NetHunt CRM for new leads in Facebook Lead Ads

Create records in NetHunt CRM for new leads in Facebook Lead Ads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • NetHunt CRM logo
Facebook Lead Ads + NetHunt CRM

The email inbox is just one of the places you can work with NetHunt. If surfing LinkedIn for leads is the second thing you do the most, you can install NetHunt's separate extension to get insights on the profiles you're looking at. Whenever you find a good potential match, add it to your CRM with a single click. If you have teammates doing this at the same time, you can see if they already added the same lead by looking at the blue icon on the tab.

And, of course, you should have other ways to bring your leads in without having to always search for them. You can build a collection of forms to embed into your website or campaigns, so whenever a new lead fills them out, their information pops up in your system. All you have to do is follow up or start a nurturing sequence.

NetHunt CRM Price: From $30/user/month

Looking for a more affordable alternative? Check out DragApp, another Gmail-focused CRM with robust email marketing and automation features.

Build your CRM with Zapier Interfaces

Do you prefer crafting your own system and expanding it as you need? With Zapier Interfaces, you can start from the CRM template and build an automation-first platform that saves time as you sell. Save your data in Zapier Tables and create as many Zaps as you need to bring your tech stack together in a storm of productivity and wins.

What is the best customer relationship management plaftorm?

This category of apps—CRMs—has the highest number of options out of all other categories I've tested as a writer. I can understand your pain when choosing the perfect one, with such a long, long list of viable options.

I hope this selection helps you narrow down the options and find the best CRM for your needs today—and those you can see peeking at you in the future. All of them offer free trials or have a free plan that'll let you test. If you're still undecided, you can reach out to their sales teams. They'll walk you through the specifics of their app, which can be helpful to find the perfect match.

Related reading:

  • How to automate your CRM

  • The best free CRM software

  • CRM automation to boost your team's productivity

  • The best ERP software

This article was originally published in 2014 by Matthew Guay and has also had contributions from Chris Hawkins. The most recent update was in April 2024.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'