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The 11 best CRMs for small business in 2024

By Miguel Rebelo · February 26, 2024
Hero image with the logos of the best CRMs for small business

As a small business, you're no longer in the early days of figuring out how things work. You have a good client base, your metrics are solid, and now you're looking to scale. To do that, you need CRM software that's not too basic but not too expensive, a blend of useful features and competitive pricing. Efficiency is the name of the game.

I know you didn't start a business to shop around for the perfect apps to help you grow. I'm taking some of the load off: I rounded up over 140 apps on the market, filtered out the expensive or clunky ones, and tested the worthy possibilities to find the best CRM software for small businesses.

The 11 best CRMs you'll read about below will help you ramp up your sales, streamline your processes, and keep an eye on the results. Let's make "closed won" the expression you'll hear most this year.

Looking for a free CRM to start your business? If you're not quite ready to pay for your CRM, you still have options. Check out the best free CRM software, where you'll find plenty of picks to help you close your first clients.

The best small business CRM software

  • Vtiger for an all-in-one solution

  • Flowlu for an affordable all-in-one solution

  • Zoho CRM for scaling your business

  • HubSpot for building a content-rich business website

  • Capsule for managing projects

  • Freshsales for a simple CRM for small business

  • folk for simple, ultra-personalized emails

  • Kommo for multi-channel sales

  • Salesmate for phone and SMS outreach

  • NetHunt for managing your Gmail inbox

  • Zapier for building your own automation-first CRM

What makes the best CRM for small business?

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.

A CRM is one of the core sales apps in your tech stack. It contains all the data about leads and deals you're building for them, complete with a timeline of past and planned interactions. It helps you be productive by letting you know what to do next and coordinating your sales team. And since all your data is centered here, you can take a look at reports to find opportunities to improve.

But what's important in client relationship management software for small business, in particular? You don't want a tool that's too basic, too focused on the CRM side of things—something that will limit you later on, forcing a switch. At the same time, the subscription price needs to fit your budget as you grow, starting at a fair enough point on the lowest plan, and keeping a reasonable scale for the advanced features that you get on the higher plans. Lastly, you need a tool that gives you visibility and control over your business processes, so your team can get the insights they need.

With that in mind, here's what I looked for as I was testing the best customer relationship management software for small business:

  • User experience. I looked for small business CRM systems that you can set up quickly, that offer easy ways to access help content when you need it, and that are simple to use every day.

  • Sales features. As the center of your customer data and sales productivity, your CRM will help you keep track of contacts and activity, and see how your deals are moving forward with a visual sales pipeline.

  • Reporting and analytics. How do you improve if you can't measure how you're doing? Any good CRM system for small business will provide a set of reports to help you do just that.

  • Integrations. A CRM that plays nice with your other apps is key. More integrations means more functionality you can access from your dashboard, more data moving back and forth seamlessly, and more opportunities for automation.

  • Value for money. I was looking at the price you'll pay now—and as you grow. The maximum price on the lowest paid plan is $40 per user per month. I also excluded apps with a sharp price increase toward the upper tiers.

If any of my picks don't fit these constraints neatly, I mention it in my review to give you a heads-up. In some cases, the unique approaches were compelling enough to include, even if it was missing one or two typical features.

Out of the 140 CRM apps I researched, I tested the 28 best fits. After signing up for each, I added my contacts, created deals, and moved them along the pipeline, logging fictional phone calls and emails as I went. Then, I headed over to the reports section to see what insights were collected. Finally, I tested the unique features of each app to see if they were useful or just nice to put on the marketing page. 

One final note: all prices below refer to monthly subscriptions, where available. There are discounts for annual billing, so refer to the pricing page of each app to get the full cost breakdown.

Integrating your CRM with other apps helps you get the most out of your investment. Learn how to get started with CRM integration and ways to add automation to help your team be even more productive in your system.

The best CRMs for small businesses at a glance

Best for

Standout feature



An all-in-one solution

Highly customizable modules

From $12/user/month


An affordable all-in-one solution

Invoicing and finance features

Free plan available; from $4.87/user/month

Zoho CRM

Scaling your business

Powerful AI and wide range of features

From $20/user/month


Building a content-rich business website

Content marketing workflows

Free plan available; from $30/user/month


Managing projects

High visibility over tasks

From $21/user/month


A simple CRM

Part of a broader Freshworks suite

From $18/user/month


Simple, ultra-personalized emails

Contact enrichment feature

From $24/user/month


Multi-channel sales

Supports multiple configurable pipelines

From $15/user/month


Phone and SMS outreach

Customizable screen layouts

From $29/user/month


Managing your Gmail inbox

Supports chatting on multiple channels

From $30/user/month


Building your own CRM

Automation-first mindset

Free plan available; from $19.99/month

Best all-in-one CRM software for small businesses

Vtiger (Web, iOS, Android)

Vtiger, our pick for the best all-in-one CRM software for small businesses

Vtiger pros:

  • Each module is highly customizable

  • Two-tier pricing based on user access needs

Vtiger cons:

  • Learning curve is a bit steep

Vtiger takes the crown as the best all-in-one CRM software for small businesses. It'll keep all your contacts and deals organized, bringing inventory, marketing, help desk, project management, and documents into the mix.

You'd think the user interface would be a mess trying to cram all this in. But Vtiger keeps everything clean: there's a screen for every major feature set, with simple navigation at the top. If you need to switch screens—say, you're looking at your inventory and want to get back to your sales pipeline—click the hamburger icon on the top-left. That will open a big menu, letting you jump straight to where you want to be.

Another risk with all-in-ones is having some features that are great and others that are just ok. Vtiger impresses on this front—here are some examples:

  • Adding a new contact brings up a short form, so you can get it done quickly between calls or emails. Later, you can open up the main contact page, where you can add all the relevant info when you have time.

  • The sales screen has a visual pipeline to help you keep track of your deals. Clicking on a deal lets you see the next task, along with all the detailed information about the data connected to it.

  • The help desk screen keeps track of open cases submitted by your customers, a live chat tab, and the possibility of building your own FAQ section to help your support team.

  • The email marketing screen lets you build campaigns and autoresponders. You can create and save your templates with dynamic fields to personalize each message with the recipient's data.

  • The projects page lets you organize your projects, queue tasks inside, and assign them to anyone. It has its own activity feed where you can send messages or post updates. You can attach and link everything here to make this your single source of truth.

  • As for inventory, you can keep track of products and services, invoices and purchase orders, and even manage product-related taxes.

The best part? All these modules are connected. Just closed a deal? Click to convert it to a project. Want to add the most common products or services that a contact usually requests? You get the idea. In case there's a critical feature that Vtiger doesn't have, you can connect it to Zapier to cover your use case. Here are some examples of how that works.

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads as leads in Vtiger CRM

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads as leads in Vtiger CRM
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Vtiger CRM logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Vtiger CRM

Create Vtiger CRM leads for new Mailchimp subscribers

Create Vtiger CRM leads for new Mailchimp subscribers
  • Mailchimp logo
  • Vtiger CRM logo
Mailchimp + Vtiger CRM

Vtiger price: One Growth starts at $12/user/month. When you grow, the higher plans offer two pricing tiers based on user privileges. For example, in the One Professional plan, users with access to all modules will pay $30/user/month, while access to a single module costs $20 instead.

Best affordable all-in-one CRM software for small businesses

Flowlu (Web, iOS, Android)

Flowlu, our pick for the best affordable all-in-one CRM software for small businesses

Flowlu pros:

  • Includes invoicing and finance features

  • Good match for teams that work with the Agile framework

Flowlu cons:

  • Limited sales-focused reports

Flowlu brings decent power at a decent price, as long as you have at least eight people working with you. With a sharp user interface and a thorough onboarding task list, you can combine sales with projects, financial features, collaboration, client portals, and knowledge bases. It's an all-in-one CRM leaning toward the project management and business side of things.

When you log in every day, you'll see a feed of recent messages. You can run a quick poll or type in announcements to get everyone on the same page. From there, the menu on the left side can take you anywhere you need, with shortcuts to create new tasks, deals, or contacts without having to click two or three times to get it done.

The contact and sales management features are all here. There's a filterable list view for all activities that you can use to organize your work or see how your team is performing. Another detail I like is how you can set automations for each stage of the sales pipeline: set the rules, and focus on your sales tasks, not on admin.

As an all-in-one, Flowlu focuses on project management, helping you connect projects with the contacts you're building them for, and keeping all the information in one place for easy access (with both waterfall and Agile methodologies available).

Flowlu pricing: There's a free plan available. If you outgrow that, Flowlu's lowest plan (Team) starts at $39 for 8 users, bringing the cost to $4.87/user/month. The price is per fixed number of users, so that may be beneficial depending on your roster. If you ever go over 25 users, you can upgrade to the Enterprise plan ($249/month), unlocking all the features for a fixed price, not a per-user rate like most of the competition.

Looking for another inexpensive all-in-one CRM with a different set of features? EngageBay is another excellent option in terms of affordability, bringing marketing, live chat, and customer service together with the core CRM features.

Best CRM for scaling your small business

Zoho CRM (Web, iOS, Android)

Zoho CRM, our pick for the best CRM for scaling your small business

Zoho CRM pros:

  • Powerful AI (Zia)

  • Wide range of features

Zoho CRM cons:

  • User interface can be too cluttered at times

When choosing software for your company, you don't just consider the short-term. Sure, this app fits my needs now, but what happens when we double or triple our client roster next year? Will it still support me through the increased workload without siphoning away my hard-earned money?

Zoho CRM will definitely support you without holding your wallet hostage. The free plan is good. The lowest plan is fair.  When you move to the pricier tiers, it stays affordable considering the full range of features you'll get: advanced reporting, machine learning, and AI, to mention the notable ones.

The user interface isn't as appealing as some of the competition, but Zoho makes it up to you by offering robust features. In addition to sales, it includes email marketing and a company activity feed to improve communication between teams. There's support for creating self-service portals for your customers, help desk features, and automatic lead scoring too. As you can see, Zoho is close to all-in-one territory too.

If you want to track your projects, you can set up a seamless integration with Zoho Projects, letting you access your tasks from the CRM dashboard once you complete the configuration. And that's just one of the dozens of other Zoho apps that the CRM integrates with—and most of them have either a generous free plan or accessible paid plans. You can upgrade and downgrade as your budget expands or shrinks.

If there's a feature that the Zoho software suite doesn't offer, you can connect Zoho CRM to Zapier, so it plays nice with all your other apps. Learn more about how to automate Zoho CRM, or try one of these pre-made workflows.

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

Create Zoho CRM modules from new WooCommerce orders

Create Zoho CRM modules from new WooCommerce orders
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Zoho CRM logo
WooCommerce + Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM pricing: The lowest plan available, Standard, starts out at $20/user/month for basic features; Professional ($35/user/month) brings more automation and process management; Enterprise ($50/user/month) unlocks more data analytics and ways to customize the interface and functionality; Ultimate ($65/user/month) unchains Zia, Zoho CRM's resident AI model.

Best CRM for building a content-rich business website

HubSpot (Web, iOS, Android)

HubSpot, our pick for the best CRM for building a content-rich business website

HubSpot pros:

  • Advanced features available when you're ready to grow

  • Plenty of help content

HubSpot cons:

  • Complex pricing

HubSpot is a big name in the CRM world. It's an all-in-one with features spanning sales, marketing, customer service, operations, and B2B commerce. But what sets it apart from other options on this list is that you can build your business website and manage your content marketing workflows in the CMS Hub.

The process is simple even if you have zero web design experience, thanks to HubSpot's thorough user onboarding guides. Start by browsing layouts and templates to find the perfect fit. The next step is choosing which pages you want to implement—you'll be able to quickly bring in a Home page as well as About or Pricing pages, among others.

Once you add all the information to your main website pages, you can head over to the blog section. Here, you can start writing content that matches your main keywords, so prospects can find you in online searches. It's a good opportunity to talk in-depth about your business and how you solve your customer's problems, creating a relationship with your audience based on transparency and trust. And if you hate writing first drafts, you can generate one with AI and edit it from there.

That's not the end of AI features in HubSpot: head over to ChatSpot, and access your CRM data from a chat interface. You can ask questions about your deals, quickly add new contacts or tasks, and even ask to generate images. Even though the entry point is outside the main app you're using, these platforms are connected in the backend. And if you want more of these connections to set up automation and data sync, you can integrate HubSpot with Zapier. Learn more about how to automate HubSpot, or get started with one of these templates.

Add new HubSpot contacts to Mailchimp lists

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

Get Slack notifications for new HubSpot form submissions

Get Slack notifications for new HubSpot form submissions
  • HubSpot logo
  • Slack logo
HubSpot + Slack

HubSpot price: Generous free plan available with unlimited contacts. HubSpot has a good entry-level package starting at $30/user/month, offering all the basic features across most of its Hubs—be sure to click the For individuals & small teams tab to see it. The pricing changes whenever you want to unlock more in any Hub. It can get a bit confusing (and pricey) since there are a lot of combinations, so be sure to spend some time studying the pricing page.

Best small business CRM for managing projects

Capsule (Web, iOS, Android)

Capsule, our pick for the best small business CRM for managing projects

Capsule pros:

  • High visibility over every team's tasks

  • User interface is very easy to read and interact with

Capsule cons:

  • Only ticket-based support available

Capsule in a nutshell: a strong CRM combined with a dependable project management app. Like all good productivity apps, it understands that user experience is important. It has an intuitive user interface and a dashboard that keeps the overwhelm under control. This is important because improving productivity is like all-you-can-eat diner discipline: if you overflow your plate with food, you'll either overeat (get burned out) or waste it (leave stuff undone).

The Projects screen has three views: calendar, Kanban, and list. You can add everything you need to do here, assign it to the right people, and include all files needed to execute. Then, hop back to the dashboard and see all your tasks organized there on a list on the right, ready to tackle. To the left of this list, you'll see the latest activity for you and your team—a stream of completed tasks, calls, and deal updates.

After a few weeks of getting things done, you can take a look at the reports to spot any productivity problems. This report comes on top of the general sales pipeline data that's stock to almost every app in this category. Use these to understand which tasks take longer and who's having trouble moving through projects—that person might need help, advice, or an encouraging word.

If there are more apps involved in getting your projects to 100%, you can connect Capsule to Zapier to move all the important data in and out. Here are a few workflows to set up.

Add new WooCommerce orders to Capsule CRM as new contacts

Add new WooCommerce orders to Capsule CRM as new contacts
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Capsule CRM logo
WooCommerce + Capsule CRM

Capsule pricing: The lowest plan, Starter, is $21/user/month, and offers 30,000 contacts and all the core features. The Growth plan is the most competitive at $38/user/month, increasing the contact limit and adding automation, advanced analytics, and user roles. The highest paid plan, Advanced, is $60/user/month, further increasing contact limits and storage, but not unlocking any big features of note within the app (though the ongoing priority support is great in that plan, if you need it). The Enterprise plan doesn't feel as competitive as others on the list, so depending on your size, it may make more sense to stay on the Teams plan before you have to upgrade to an enterprise-grade software suite. If you need email marketing features in Capsule, you can subscribe for the add-on for $11/month (not on a per-user basis).

Best simple CRM for small business

Freshsales (Web, iOS, Android)

Freshsales, our pick for the best simple CRM for small business

Freshsales pros:

  • Part of the Freshworks software suite

  • Robust AI features for lead scoring and predictions

Freshsales cons:

  • Slow from time to time

All apps come with their own look, feel, navigation, and overall logic. Depending on how powerful they are, you may be willing to tolerate the rough bits or the unforgiving learning curves. And then there are apps like Freshsales, which keeps the difficulty level low, but not so low that it strips itself of all of its usefulness.

When you finish the onboarding, you'll be prompted to add your leads, tasks, and appointments right away. Every page has its own What's this page about? link that opens help, in case you need to understand what's happening at every click. Freshsales also explains how you can leverage these features to help your business run smoothly. And hey, if something ends up being too cryptic, you can hop on the phone with the Freshsales team, something that not all other options on this list offer on all plans.

If you're reading this article the old-school way—you know, top-to-bottom without skimming or skipping—you surely remember Zoho CRM's Zia and its AI capabilities. Freshsales offers a similar feature set, here called Freddy, a cute 3D dog that spends its days sniffing around your data: it identifies priority contacts that are more likely to be better fits for your business; it suggests when you should follow up with leads to keep the engagement trend going up; and it can be installed as a chatbot on your website to handle customer support and appointments.

With Freshsales, you'll be able to handle documents, keep track of products, and connect telephone and chat—in addition to everything you'd expect from a CRM. If you want to expand that feature set, Freshworks has more software that expands the features of Freshsales, adding marketing and customer service. And if that's not enough, you can connect Freshsales with Zapier too.

Create leads in Freshsales CRM from Facebook Lead Ads submissions

Create leads in Freshsales CRM from Facebook Lead Ads submissions
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Freshsales Classic logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Freshsales Classic

Add new Freshsales CRM contacts to Google Contacts

Add new Freshsales CRM contacts to Google Contacts
  • Freshsales Classic logo
  • Google Contacts logo
Freshsales Classic + Google Contacts

Freshsales pricing: The Growth plan starts at $18/user/month, offering sales features, telephone, chat, and AI contact scoring, to name the more important ones. After that, the Pro plan moves the price upward to $47/user/month, unlocking time-based workflows, AI deal insights, and next best action. Finally, the top tier (Enterprise) caps at $83/user/month, unlocking all the AI sales forecasting. This is pricier than Zoho CRM's top tier, for example, so if you need AI in your CRM, consider locking some time on your schedule to test both and see which one works better for you.

Another option for pure ease of use is Pipedrive. The user interface is easy to read at a glance, differentiating information effectively, and it includes plenty of easy-to-setup automation and timely notifications to help your sales team succeed.

Best small business CRM for simple, ultra-personalized emails

folk (Web)

folk, our pick for the best small business CRM for simple, ultra-personalized emails

folk pros:

  • Supports multiple pipelines

  • AI available for personalization

folk cons:

  • No mobile apps

Heads up: folk has a different vibe when compared with others on this list. It doesn't do complex sales pipelines or flashy reports with pie charts. It doesn't want you to think about your business relationships as numbers on a dashboard. Instead, it offers a simple way to handle all your contacts and send ultra-personalized emails to your lists at scale, replacing robotic templates with the unmistakable charm of the human voice.

If you use Notion, you'll feel right at home. On the left side, you can click to start a search of your contacts database, see a breakdown of your emails, and access the settings. A little further down, you can see all your contact lists. folk is useful for keeping track of multiple kinds of relationships: you may deal with clients on a classic sales pipeline, but also with investors who have different relationship stages. If you need more ideas, you can explore the template gallery, as there are 50 different templates you can start from.

So what are these ultra-personalized emails? Click on a contact list and, on the top-right, click to compose a new dynamic email. As you write, type a forward slash to add any of the contact's data fields to the body of the email. You can add their name, company, or any other custom text field that you have for your contacts. Once done, you can review your work to make sure that the static parts of the email fit with the dynamic tags, and click to send to the entire list.

But you can't personalize a lot if you don't have data. That's why folk has a contact enrichment feature, automatically filling the gaps in contact information to give you a more complete picture of who you're talking to. It can find companies, job titles, and phone numbers, among other bits of information.

The simplicity, support for multiple relationships, and personalization tools are so robust that they compensate for the lack of advanced analytics and reports. Think of folk as more of a rank-and-file, close-quarters sales tool, not so much a manager-level, boardroom-dweller enterprise software.

folk is hanging out wherever you are: you can take it with you to Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Gmail by installing the Chrome extension. That's a nice collection of integrations to start the party, but if you want to keep it going, you can connect folk to Zapier and bring thousands of other apps in too. Here are some examples.

Add people to folk groups from new Typeform entries

Add people to folk groups from new Typeform entries
  • Typeform logo
  • folk logo
Typeform + folk

Add new Calendly meetings participants to folk

Add new Calendly meetings participants to folk
  • Calendly logo
  • folk logo
Calendly + folk

folk pricing: The Standard plan starts at $24/user/month, offering 100 enrichments and 500 messages per month. The next and highest-paid plan, Premium, is $39/user/month and raises the cap to 500 and 2,000, respectively. This kind of feature set and pricing seems a better fit if you sell high-ticket products or services with a long sales process.

Best small business CRM for multi-channel sales

Kommo (Web, iOS, Android)

Kommo, our pick for the best small business CRM for multi-channel sales

Kommo pros:

  • Supports multiple configurable pipelines

  • AI keyword detection to automate conversations

Kommo cons:

  • Limited task management tools

Instead of sticking to the traditional emails and phone calls, Kommo helps your messages land in multiple platforms, so you can connect with people where they like to be. This includes Meta's big 3—Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp—Viber, Skype, Telegram, WeChat, and Apple Messages. To pad this varied list, you can also send messages via SMS or to Slack channels.

As you connect them, you'll see the conversations line up in the Chats section of the app. You can talk 1-on-1 with any of your leads on this screen. If you want to send a marketing message to a lot of people at the same time, you can use Broadcasts to fire it out and track performance. Your CRM updates with actions and signals as comms come and go, saving you the time of having to retype information as you keep talking.

With so many texts flying around, you have to automate to stay sane. Kommo offers Salesbots, which let you set up automatic replies to new messages, notify a member of the team if a client is left on seen for more than five minutes, or set up actions based on keywords in the message. And these are just a few of the existing templates: you can browse others or create your own.

Most of the feature set is built around multi-channel sales. That's particularly clear in the dashboard, where you'll see stats like median reply times and number of active conversations. For deeper sales reports, head to the Stats tab to find screens that'll show you win-loss analysis and call reports, among other useful insights.

If you love chatting with your leads but not the admin work, you can connect Kommo to Zapier to automate your CRM workflows. Here are some examples to get you started.

Create Kommo leads with contacts for new leads in TikTok Lead Generation

Create Kommo leads with contacts for new leads in TikTok Lead Generation
  • TikTok Lead Generation logo
  • Kommo logo
TikTok Lead Generation + Kommo

Create rows on Google Sheets spreadsheets for new Kommo leads

Create rows on Google Sheets spreadsheets for new Kommo leads
  • Kommo logo
  • Google Sheets logo
Kommo + Google Sheets

Kommo price: Free trial available. Base starts at $15/user/month for unifying all your sales channels (including email) in the platform. Advanced goes for $25/user/month, offering salesbots and automation. The top tier Enterprise plan is $45/user/month, and it unlocks lead scoring and raises the caps on metered features.

Best small business CRM for working with phone and SMS

Salesmate (Web, iOS, Android)

Salesmate, our pick for the best small business CRM for working with phone and SMS

Salesmate pros:

  • AI chatbot assistant included

  • Customizable screen layouts

Salesmate cons:

  • Call costs could be better

Emails are the standard for a lot of CRM communication. But what about the good old phone call? Or that well-timed SMS? Salesmate offers the tools to connect those channels to your CRM, building features around them to make sure you get a lot out of these interactions.

The user interface is appealing, topped off by a great onboarding sequence and useful mini-tutorials on each page. Salesmate explains itself well, so it won't take you a long time before you're on the phone with your next lead. It doesn't completely shun emails; in fact, it rounds them up in a Team Inbox. You can route any emails you get at hello@yourbusiness.com to it and have your team work through them together.

The good stuff starts happening when you connect the phone. You have to fill out a form and submit your company for consideration before unlocking these features (and remember that call rates apply on top of your regular subscription). Once you jump through those hoops, though, you can start sending and receiving SMS messages right on the platform, having them appended to the activity log of each contact. You can also start calls from the dashboard or—I find this really handy—from your sales pipeline's deal cards. And when you get an incoming call, that contact's page opens up on the screen so you can start the conversation without hesitating.

Salesmate also integrates with Zapier to expand its capabilities even further. Here are some examples of how it can work with your other apps.

Create new Salesmate contacts to Google Contacts

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

Create deals in Salesmate using new Gravity Forms submissions

Create deals in Salesmate using new Gravity Forms submissions
  • Gravity Forms logo
  • Salesmate logo
Gravity Forms + Salesmate

Overall, Salesmate is a well-rounded tool, with a dedicated interface to set up marketing automation, another for customer support chats, and a reports section that helps you create as many viewing angles over your data as you need. If you end up consulting a few of these reports many times a day, you can add them to your dashboard.

Salesmate pricing: Basic goes for $29/user/month, already offering built-in calling, texts, and workflow automation. The mid-tier, Pro at $49/user/month unlocks team management features and custom reports. One step further, Boost ($50/user/month) unlocks phone features such as the Power Dialer (automated voice calls) and Voicemail Drop (a kind of reverse voicemail: if your contact doesn't pick up the phone, you can leave one pre-recorded message on their voicemail). And if you want to remove all limitations and get personalized support from Salesmate, hop on the Enterprise plan (pricing on request).

Want to focus more on phone calls? Take a look at Ringy, a CRM that goes even deeper into the phone-calling world, offering local caller IDs dynamically based on the receiver's location, so your leads pick up the phone more often. It also has a fixed price per month, not per user, which could make more sense if your team is growing fast.

Best small business CRM for managing your Gmail inbox

NetHunt (Web, iOS, Android)

NetHunt, our pick for the best CRM for managing your Gmail inbox

NetHunt pros:

  • Connects to LinkedIn

  • Supports chatting on multiple channels such as WhatsApp or Telegram

NetHunt cons:

  • Steep price scaling from plan to plan

What if there was a CRM that you could use while you go about your day in Gmail? You know where this is going: it's NetHunt. And unlike most other CRMs for Gmail, NetHunt has a separate dashboard you can access to make big-picture decisions and fine-tune the controls.

Getting started is easy: sign up with the Gmail account you're working with, and NetHunt instantly sorts itself out. You can then access it when on Gmail (make sure to install the browser extension first), or fire up the web app, which has a similar user interface to Gmail, so you won't be bothered by the seams. The web app lets you check deals, update and create contacts, fire email campaigns to your lists, and create workflows to automate the repetitive stuff.

There are simple reports available for user activity, pipeline, and time in stage. If you want to take a dip in the business intelligence software category, you can feed your data to Looker Studio via the available integration. This will let you build interactive dashboards and reports that update in real-time, helping you keep a finger on the pulse. Or you can connect NetHunt to Zapier and bring thousands of other apps in.

Add new NetHunt CRM comments to Todoist as tasks

Add new NetHunt CRM comments to Todoist as tasks
  • NetHunt CRM logo
  • Todoist logo
NetHunt CRM + Todoist

Create Mailchimp subscribers from new NetHunt CRM records

Create Mailchimp subscribers from new NetHunt CRM records
  • NetHunt CRM logo
  • Mailchimp logo
NetHunt CRM + Mailchimp

NetHunt pricing: NetHunt's pricing was overhauled this year, offering two more pricing tiers, so you can scale without making your wallet miserable. Basic starts at $30/user/month, offering all the basic CRM features in your Gmail account. As you move up the tiers, you unlock integrations with other messaging channels, better reports and automation. The price points are at $42, $60, $84 and $120, all on a per user per month basis.

Looking for a more affordable CRM for Gmail? Streak doesn't pack as many features as NetHunt, but it's easier on the wallet to start with. It has a good free plan, so take it out for a spin if money is an issue. Or, if you're looking for a CRM for Outlook, eWay adds CRM features to Outlook for desktop. It's not very deep, especially in reports or analytics, but if you're looking to keep everything in one Microsoft-focused place, it could serve you very well.

The best tool for building your own CRM


Zapier, our pick for the best way to build your own CRM

Zapier pros:

  • Build a simple solution from scratch

  • Automation-first mindset

Zapier cons:

  • Lacks advanced CRM features

Zapier's product line is growing. Together, you can use Zaps, Interfaces, and Tables to create custom apps to tackle business problems with an automation-first mindset.

With Zapier's Simple CRM template connected to a set of Zapier Tables to hold your data, you can adapt it to match the exact needs of your sales processes. You can create screens to view data, include forms to record deal updates, and add pages to edit contact details as needed.

Then, it's easy to transform your data using step-by-step Zaps. You'll never have to input a single line of code if you don't want to. And, since you can connect to thousands of other business apps, you can choose the perfect tech stack to handle SMS, phone calls, or email marketing. Once they're integrated, you can trigger changes across all your apps from a button inside your Zapier Interfaces CRM.

Inspired? Learn more about Zapier Interfaces, or take a look at some of the actions you can run as you build the perfect CRM for your team. And because you're reading this on the Zapier blog, go try it out for yourself for free to see if you agree with my assessment.

Send emails in Gmail for new form submissions created in Zapier Interfaces

Send emails in Gmail for new form submissions created in Zapier Interfaces
  • Zapier Interfaces logo
  • Gmail logo
Zapier Interfaces + Gmail

Create Slack channel messages from new Zapier Interfaces form submissions

Create Slack channel messages from new Zapier Interfaces form submissions
  • Zapier Interfaces logo
  • Slack logo
Zapier Interfaces + Slack

Create Google Calendar events for new Zapier Tables records

Create Google Calendar events for new Zapier Tables records
  • Zapier Tables logo
  • Google Calendar logo
Zapier Tables + Google Calendar

Create Records in Zapier Tables for New Typeform Entries

Create Records in Zapier Tables for New Typeform Entries
  • Typeform logo
  • Zapier Tables logo
Typeform + Zapier Tables

What is the best CRM software for small business?

You're running a small business today, but that doesn't mean you should settle for inferior software or burn your runway by joining the big players and their expensive enterprise software club. If any of these picks speak to you, they're all free to try, so take your time exploring the best one for you and your team.

Or, if you need something more powerful, you can check out our picks for the best CRMs overall, which brings together the best of the best of the category, including tools you can trust to navigate the business stratosphere. 

Related reading:

  • How to automate your CRM

  • CRM strategy: why you need one and how to set it up

  • 6 tips for successful CRM implementation

Originally published in 2018, this article has had contributions from Jamie Irish and Chris Hawkins. The most recent update was in February 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'