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5 of the Best CRM Software Tools for Businesses in 2020

Running a successful business requires you to keep track of a huge range of tasks, including customer relationship management. If you’re looking for the best way to handle this aspect of your brand, there are many different software options that can help. This is where the best CRM software comes into play.

CRM software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some platforms focus more on helping you nurture leads, while others are all about sales or managing products. With so much variety, you’re likely to find an option that’s perfectly suited to your business’ needs.

In this article, I’ll give you a primer on the best CRM software for businesses in 2020. We’ll focus on five of the most popular options and help you narrow down your choice. Let’s get to it!

Five of the best CRM software options for businesses in 2020

There are far more than five options when it comes to CRM software. However, those listed below are some of the best options for a broad range of businesses.

For each, we’ll start by breaking down the features for their starter plans and then talk about what sets each of them apart.

(In no particular order)

1. Bitrix24

Best CRM software: bitrix24
  • Free plan: (unlimited users, basic CRM features)
  • Priced from: $19 per month for two users
  • Team members: unlimited
  • Number of leads and contacts: unlimited
  • Number of client profiles: unlimited
  • Analytics and reports: paid plans only
  • Project management features: Kanban boards, Gantt charts, time tracking, and workload planning
 

Right off the bat, Bitrix24 wows you with a massive list of features. Combine that with a generous free plan and you can understand why this platform is regularly listed among some of the best CRM software.

Unfortunately, getting started with Bitrix24 could be easier. There are so many features here that the learning curve is on the challenging side, even for simple workflows. However, this platform shines when it comes to generating leads, assigning tasks, and sharing information within your team.

As far as team collaboration goes, Bitrix24 is one of the most interesting CRMs I’ve seen. It provides a wealth of communication and project management features so you can view shared calendars, delegate tasks, and more.

Most of the best CRM software offers very limited starting tiers. That’s not the case with Bitrix24. It provides almost all its customer relations, project management, and communications features as part of its free plan. With that in mind, it may be the ideal solution for you if you have a tight budget.

2. Salesforce

Best CRM software: salesforce
  • Free plan:
  • Priced from: $25 per user per month (for Salesforce Essentials)
  • Team members: unlimited
  • Number of leads and contacts: unlimited
  • Number of client profiles: unlimited
  • Analytics and reports: available as add-ons or with more advanced plans
  • Project management features: available as extras or with more advanced plans
 

When people think about CRMs, Salesforce is often the first platform that comes to mind. However, getting started with this software can be a major challenge, even for small businesses.

Right off the bat, merely navigating Salesforce’s features can take an entire day. It offers dedicated tools for customer service, sales, marketing, eCommerce, engagement, analytics, productivity, and more. While its range is a plus, it may be difficult to find what you need.

That said, if you’re looking for one platform that can handle anything you throw at it, Salesforce is an obvious choice! It’s a highly modular service that lets you pick and choose the tools you want for your business, so it scores top marks when it comes to customization.

Salesforce is also a prime option when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer service. It integrates with so many other platforms, it’s hard to keep track of them. Plus, it offers simple drag-and-drop functionality for client management and the most in-depth analytics of any CRM I’ve tested.

Overall, if you’re looking for a complete CRM package and you have a decent budget, Salesforce is a tough option to beat.

3. Freshsales

Best CRM software: freshsales
  • Free plan: (unlimited users, contacts, support)
  • Priced from: $12 per user per month (billed yearly)
  • Team members: unlimited
  • Number of leads and contacts: unlimited
  • Number of client profiles: unlimited
  • Analytics and reports: available with more advanced plans
  • Project management features: use tables to keep track of individual deals
 

So far, the CRM software tools we’ve talked about are all-in-one solutions. Freshsales is a much more focused option, with an emphasis on sales.

Freshsales integrates with your business to help you identify and score leads according to their behavior. You can quickly build profiles for potential customers and keep track of where they are within your sales funnel.

The service also includes built-in phone and SMS functionality, so you have options beyond email to stay in touch with customers. Finally, it enables you to track the progress for individual deals using cards you can move between tables, which should be a fairly easy system for any team to get the hang of.

If you’re looking for a solution that’s both easy to use and focused on sales, this is one to check out. There is a free tier available for Freshsales, but it’s so very limited that I can’t recommend it except for trial purposes.

4. Insightly

insightly
  • Free plan: (for two users)
  • Priced from: $29 per user per month (billed annually)
  • Team members: unlimited
  • Number of leads and contacts: unlimited
  • Number of client profiles: unlimited
  • Analytics and reports: configurable reports on an automated schedule
  • Project management features: milestones, calendar synchronization, and custom processes
 

Insightly focuses on helping you identify and route leads to the optimal salespeople. Once it directs those customers, you can track their progress through your sales funnel, as well as all the contacts between them and your team.

You can access all that data through a user-friendly interface that’s highly customizable. Insightly enables you to set up new dashboards with the specific metrics you want to have on hand. It also produces quality analytics reports with permissions and visibility settings you can configure for your team’s needs.

Beyond that, the basic Insightly plan offers built-in email marketing functionality. The platform enables you to design campaigns and use them to keep in touch with customers.

Insightly offers a free plan with support for up to two people. However, it’s also highly limited when it comes to functionality. If your business relies on email marketing and you want a high degree of customizability, Insightly’s Plus plan is the way to go.

5. Zoho CRM

zoho
  • Free plan: (for three users, basic features)
  • Priced from: $12 per user per month (billed annually)
  • Team members: unlimited
  • Number of leads and contacts: unlimited
  • Number of client profiles: up to 10,000
  • Analytics and reports: pre-built report templates and custom options
  • Project management features: custom sales tasks
 

Zoho includes a whole suite of products under its banner. Its CRM software brings several of them together, including surveys, forms, and marketing campaign functionality. Despite all those ‘extras’, it still manages to offer a user interface that’s easy to pick up (although it looks a bit dated).

One of the main advantages of Zoho CRM is its flexible pricing. As you know by now, most other similar tools start at much higher price points. With the Standard plan, you gain access to lead scoring, email analytics, custom workflows, contact groups, forms, and custom reports and dashboards. Some of the more advanced plans also offer gamification options for teams that are surprisingly fun to use (although perhaps not worth paying extra for).

There’s also a free option that supports up to ten users. With this plan, you can use Zoho to log sales tasks, events, call logs, and notes. Plus, it can also help you manage your social media accounts. Although it doesn’t provide many advanced features, it still supports relatively large teams and is a solid choice.

What to look for when choosing best CRM software

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to CRM software functionality. That’s only logical, considering no two businesses are exactly the same and you might have different priorities than other owners.

With that in mind, here are the features that best CRM software tools cannot lack:

Ease of adoption
Many companies depend heavily on CRMs for day-to-day operations. That requires transitioning your team to a new platform, getting through the learning curve, and arriving at a point where you experience increased productivity. That process should be as short as possible, so you want a platform that’s easy to pick up.
Integrations with third-party services
Modern businesses often rely on multiple online platforms. For example, you might use one tool for email, another for internal communications, and a different one for sales. The best CRMs provide as many integration options as possible so you can pull data from every channel.
In-depth reports
With CRM software, you should be able to generate and access reports that provide an overview of your business’ performance. This information is key to improving processes so you can acquire and convert more leads.
Project management
Considering all the functionality modern CRMs pack, it’s only logical that they also help you monitor and organize various tasks. Some services enable you to track time, assign projects to specific team members, assess performance, and more.
Customization
Above all, a CRM should be customizable and adapt to as many types of businesses as possible. That’s a tall order, but the software options below certainly deliver in this respect.

On top of all that, there’s also the matter of cost. Ideally, you want your CRM software to grow with your business. That means starting price points shouldn’t be exorbitant, so even new brands can jump in with both feet.

Choosing the best CRM software for your businesses in 2020

Navigating the world of CRM software is tricky. Most of these platforms throw so many features at you, it can be hard to narrow down your choice. Here are the platforms I recommend, based on what your business’ priority is:

  • #best-overall For a CRM that offers an all-in-one solution for almost every type of business, you can’t go wrong with Salesforce.
  • 💸 #free-pick If you want access to as many features as possible for free, Bitrix24 should be your go-to option.
  • 🧐 #alternatives If you have alternative goals, you can test out: Freshsales for sales integration, Insightly for their best email marketing functionality and highly customizable reports, Zoho CRM for their low-cost offering with a focus on social media customer management.

Here’s another side-by-side look at each CRM software we covered:

Best CRM software
Bitrix24 Salesforce Freshsales Insightly Zoho CRM
Free plan
Starting price $19 / two users / month $25 / user / month $12 / user / month $29 / user / month $12 / user / month
# of team members Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
# of leads/contacts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Client profiles Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Up to 10,000
Analytics and reports Unlimited Available as add-ons or with advanced plans Available with more advanced plans Configurable reports on an automated schedule Pre-built report templates and custom options
Project management Kanban, Gantt charts, time tracking, and workload planning Available as add-ons or with advanced plans Tables and drag-and-drop deal cards Milestones, calendar sync, and custom processes Custom sales tasks

Do you have any questions about CRM software? Ask away in the comments section below!

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