When it comes to sales leads, having an organized system to deal with them can be the difference between closing a deal—or losing it.

But being organized often means using new tools and technologies. Even those of us who are reluctant to have an overflowing tech stack know that the sheer mass of data handled by businesses today is dizzying. But we also need a system to attract, nurture and close prospects (hint: an old paper Rolodex just won’t cut it anymore.)

Luckily, there is a way for businesses to centralize, utilize, and capitalize on data, instead of drowning in it. And that’s where using a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play.

Research has found that 74% of companies who use a CRM system can improve their access to customer data, and over 60% have a better relationship and lead management processes. Data = Dollar, after all.

Source: Software Advice

But what CRM is the best choice for your business? Each CRM on the market is unique and has its own suite of features and automations. Not to mention, their price.

There are a ton of great options to choose from now, and we’ll break some of these down and see what makes them stand out and what kind of business they work best for.

We’ll be looking at 9 of the Best CRMs of 2019 along with three bonus CRM Apps that are upcoming & are noteworthy. Let’s dive in and find out which CRM is the best fit for your business.

Best and Evergreen CRM Apps for your Business

1. Salesforce

First up, we have the industry leader, Salesforce.

What makes Salesforce unique?

While CRM software can take up to a year to become fully operational and useful to your business, Salesforce is fast — you’re looking at months or weeks rather than up to a year. That’s a significant saving on time there.

Known innovators, Salesforce is at the frontline of the SaaS industry. (With over 100,000 companies using it, it must be doing something right.) But perhaps the unique aspect of Salesforce’s CRM is its Trailblazer Community.

Thousands (and thousands) of Salesforce customers frequent the community to share tips, tricks and answer each other’s questions. No other CRM on the market offers this kind of community vide, and Salesforce’s own customer service team regularly monitors the community to stay involved with their users.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Any enterprise that’s looking for a full suite CRM that’s future proof with a lot of customizations and numerous integration options available.

How it all works?

Salesforce works to make the circulation of information among your business quick and easy. No more manual data entry. Phew.

Monitor your progress, set targets, and increase your accuracy with sales forecasting, collaboration, and contact management. (Salesforce claims that it can increase your revenue by a whopping 30%.)

Automation Features

Salesforce’s Process Builder lets you automate a whole range of tasks across the sales process — email alerts, task assignment, as well as approval requests for travel and expense reports, etc. Go on, save yourself some time.

Integrations

Salesforce is by itself a powerful CRM but you can empower it even more with Salesforce Integrations by Automate.io. Sales and Marketing Teams can automate their manual import/export and enhance their Salesforce platform. You can push new Facebook leads, automatically create contacts in Salesforce from form submissions and much more.

Sync leads to your database, collaborate better with your team and make sure you’re notified about new deals.

Not just that, if you’re an eCommerce business, you can easily connect your eCommerce platform and payment apps to Salesforce.

Pricing: Salesforce Sales Essential package starts at $25 per user/month for up to five users

2. Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)

What makes Keap unique?

Put in simple terms, Keap is one of the best CRMs on the market for e-commerce and marketing.

Unfortunately what also makes it unique is that you can’t sign up to it on their website. But a good old fashioned phone call later, and you can sign up for a platform that will effectively handle your entire e-commerce workflow. Worth getting a top-up then.

Below is how the main dashboard will look like when you log into your Keap account:

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

E-commerce merchants/businesses with 25 people or less looking to nurture their customers in a better way.

How it all works?

Keap is all about keeping your marketing processes running smoothly. As well as managing your contacts and customer database in one handy place, you can use it to create web forms, keep track of ROIs, launch sales campaigns and then even manage the shopping carts, coupon codes, product pages, etc. that go along with it.

With a range of customizable templates to work from and built-in lead scoring, so you know what’s working and where Keap helps you manage your campaigns with ease.

Automation Features

Keap’s campaign builder is designed to automatically assign tasks, as well as tagging and following up on new leads, according to actions or timescales that you choose.

Customers automatically get a personalized email when they pay, which saves you time and lets them know what to expect next. This level of personalization also helps nurture your customers into return customers, which is excellent for your company’s bottom line.

Integrations

Connect Infusionsoft to Marketing, Payments & Form Apps. Sync, Collaborate and be your Productive self with these Infusionsoft Integrations:

Pricing: Starts at $23/month for 1 user

3. HubSpot CRM

Next up is HubSpot CRM – one of the few CRM apps that have completely free plans available.

What makes HubSpot CRM unique?

HubSpot CRM allows you to add an impressive 1,000,000 contacts, can be accessed by an unlimited number of users and has a fantastic range of services. Not bad.

Plus, HubSpot’s CRM gives businesses a one-stop-shop for their marketing needs. Because it offers a full marketing suite, HubSpot users don’t have to switch between platforms to pump out marketing material. Instead, they can use the CRM as a base for all their marketing across their website and social media channels.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Small businesses looking to get started with a functional CRM and who may want to use the marketing features sooner or later. Also, it’s a good option for those who are conscious of price.

How it all works?

HubSpot CRM’s dashboard is clean and simple and lets you see exactly what you’re working with. Sort your deals, appointments, and contacts with custom filters so you can see your leads the way you want.

You can sync up HubSpot CRM with Gmail or Outlook and keep all of your correspondences in one place — no more crossed wires.

You can also make calls from within the CRM. Email. Facebook them. Do what you want. The CRM will log it all the data for you and keep it together for when you need to refer back to it.

There’s also one universal inbox so that sales, marketing, and customer service teams can access and interact with all conversations — now that is handy. Combine that with free tools for live chat and bots, HubSpot CRM is your go-to for a free but effective CRM.

Automation Features

As well as automatically tracking and grouping customer interactions into one convenient place, HubSpot CRM will also send personalized emails to clients according to a schedule you set. It’ll even fill in your contact records with valuable info from their pretty vast database of businesses. And all for free.

Integrations

Wish to get notified on every new deal? Never miss the chance to celebrate new deals. Popular HubSpot CRM Integrations:

Pricing: The core functions of HubSpot CRM is free for everyone to use.

4. Zoho CRM

What makes Zoho CRM unique?

Zoho CRM is just one part of Zoho’s full suite of office software. If a company is looking for a CRM that also links to marketing, invoicing, and even Human Resource solutions, Zoho is a great choice.

Its full suite of tools can be used to run entire businesses, not just sections of it.

Not to mention, Zoho is smart – and so is its intuitive SalesSignals feature.

Have you ever wondered how your leads are engaging with your site? Are they responding to your email marketing campaigns? Or are they even opening your emails?

With Zoho’s SalesSignals, you can keep on top of everything your lead is doing. If a lead interacts with an email or a social media channel, your sales reps will be sent a notification in real-time so they can respond right away. It’s an easy way for sales reps to qualify a lead and track whether or not they’re sales-ready through buying signals!

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Teams looking for a full suite of business apps like CRM, Marketing, Service and Support. Also, forward-thinking enterprise teams who are willing to introduce new technologies such as AI into their salesroom. Small teams can also use Zoho, but they may not find the AI as useful as enterprise companies.

How it all works?

Firstly, we can’t go past Zoho’s own AI conversational assistant: Zia.

This level of artificial intelligence sets it apart, and if your business is up for it, this could speed up your sales cycle as it gets to know your processes and needs more and more.

Studying your sales history and offering pretty much-unmatched predictions on trends, anomalies, and the potential success of deals, Zia is the crystal ball missing from your office desk. She’ll analyze the trends your sales processes follow and offer suggestions to improve the workflow and predict irregularities. She’s a pretty handy assistant to have around.

Zoho is also integrated with Google Ads, meaning you can keep track of how much you’re spending, where — and most importantly, whether it’s working or not. Generate new leads by capturing every website visitor and run your campaigns from entirely within Zoho.

Automation Features

Routine tasks can be automated with Zoho, leads can be assigned according to whichever way you choose, and a combined Macro lets you send an email, update required fields and schedule follow-up tasks all in one.

Integrations

Keep your Zoho CRM in sync with other marketing, sales, eCommerce and form builder apps. Automate.io lets you connect Zoho CRM to 100+ apps.

Pricing: The standard plan starts at $15 per user/month

5. Pipedrive

What makes Pipedrive unique?

Pipedrive has just introduced Leadbooster.

Leadbooster is a lead generation tool with, if we may say so, a rather cute, customizable chatbot. Add this to your website with built-in questions of your choice to, as you may have guessed…

… boost your leads.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Smaller sales teams who manage intricate or lengthy sales processes.

How it all works?

Pipedrive is a very visual CRM that allows you to monitor your pipeline with ease and customize it according to your business’s needs. See which clients were contacted, which proposals have been approved, get reminders of what needs to be done next.

The CRM also offers email templates and tools to speed up the marketing process. You can call clients directly with Pipedrive and Gold, and Platinum users can send emails to up to 100 users at a time.

Automation Features

Pipedrive’s Workflow Automation completes those everyday, repetitive admin jobs for you. Automatically send personalized emails to new deals and assign follow-up tasks to team members at the pre-programmed stages of the pipeline.

Integrations

Put your Marketing and Sales on autopilot with these Pipedrive Integrations. Say goodbye to manual import/export of contacts.

Pricing: Starts at $12.50 per user/month

6. Freshsales

What makes Freshsales unique?

Freshsales is all about the quality of your leads.

It will track the engagement of whatever leads you’re working with and intuitively group and assign them accordingly. That way, you can channel your team’s energy where it’s most needed. Combine this with a super easy-to-use and well-designed interface, and you’ve got one very user-friendly, sales-boosting CRM.

Oh, and Freshsales also integrates with their Helpdesk (Freshdesk), so customer service teams can provide effortless customer support in a quicker time frame.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

For sure Freshales is the best option for users of other Freshwork products like Freshdesk, FreshMarketer, Freshchat, etc. This app is typical of packages aimed at small to midsize businesses (SMBs).

How it all works?

So, once your lead becomes a contact, Freshsales will automatically fill in any publicly available info from the web into a special account record. Very handy.

On top of this Freshsales will help you track your emails and events, customize your sales campaigns, produce trendline reports, provide a visual sales pipeline and pretty much everything short of making you your mid-morning coffee.

Automation Features

Make your workflow processes quick and efficient by automating specific key actions — sending out a notification, changing the status of a deal — using simple trigger-based rules you define. Once the trigger is detected, the action happens. Your job is done.

Integrations

Freshsales integrates easily with their other suite of apps like Freshdesk, Freshchat, Freshconnect, and Freshcaller. Other app integrations include Segment, Xero, QuickBooks Online and you can also sync your calendar with their Google Calendar integration.

Pricing: Blossom package starts at $12 per user/month

7. Insightly

What makes Insightly unique?

Insightly isn’t just for digital contacts. It works well with teams that are out in the trenches selling.

It creates a map of contacts so that your business can understand the informal networks and structure of an organization or group of clients. Plus, you can scan business cards straight into it and save yourself the time of manually entering all those fields.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Sales and marketing teams who need a solution for their inside and outside sales reps.

How it all works?

When it comes to leads, Insightly tracks the most relevant info from a whole host of sources and then automatically sends leads to the right person in your team. You can also create and send emails with templates, monitor their delivery, and even see when they’ve been opened. That way, it’s easier to track when a warm lead is turning into a hot lead, and keep nurturing them.

Automation Features

Like other CRMs, Insightly will send email alerts, update records, and automatically assign tasks when leads are won. It also integrates with SAP and Oracle (among others) to make your life easier.

Integrations

Automate.io lets you connect Insightly to 100+ other apps from E-Commerce, Marketing & Sales categories. Store your leads, plan your work and collaborate easily with your team with these Insightly Integrations:

Pricing: Starts at $29 per user/month on their Plus plan

8. Capsule CRM

What makes Capsule CRM unique?

Capsule CRM is an excellent option for businesses that need highly customizable and flexible contact storage.

If you need to be able to pull up your contacts in various contexts, you can categorize them with multiple keyword tags. Then with data tags, you can add information to a tag — like customer numbers and associates. Add any social media profiles you want too, and your team will have a wealth of data to draw upon.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Small businesses that are growing and need a CRM that can be customized to their unique business needs. It’s also perfect for teams looking for a simple CRM to get started with.

How it all works?

Capsule offers the traditional storage you would expect for emails, documents, and files in an incredibly easy-to-use format. Add tasks that need to be done for each contact and share them with colleagues, so everyone’s up to speed.

You can also add your own custom ‘activity types’ to each lead — easily track where your leads are with actions tailored to your sales process.

Automation Features

When it comes to automation, Capsule has the standard task generation features for your team to keep your pipeline in order. Still, it’s not the CRM for you if you were hoping to send bulk emails or automate your marketing with instant responses.

Integrations

Integrate Capsule CRM with your Marketing, E-Commerce, Payments, and Form Builder Apps. Automate your contact sync, email triggers and more:

Pricing: Freemium plan available for up to 2 users, then $15 a month on the Professional plan.

9. LionDesk

Now we have LionDesk: the ultimate text machine.

What makes LionDesk unique?

Using the CRM, teams can send out individual or bulk texts for various campaigns with just a click. Or, tailor your texts to your audience by programming specific messages or videos to be sent out to leads depending on where you found them. So a lead acquired through a Facebook ad can be sent a different text than a lead who entered your sales funnel on your website, and by segmenting these leads, your marketing will also become more targeted.

LionDesk also lets you record and send videos directly from the platform which makes for a smooth, seamless messaging process.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

LionDesk is explicitly built for teams in the Real Estate industry. It’s a robust real estate CRM that’s perfect for keeping in touch with your leads, without becoming overwhelming agents (which is an all too common trait in the industry.)

How it all works?

LionDesk gives you a phone number, which you encourage leads to text you on for more info about a particular listing.

Then, when a client responds with a text, LionDesk automatically replies with the relevant info, as well as saving the contact number to your database. You get to monitor customer engagement with your ads, you’re building up your phone numbers, but clients have the option of texting instead of calling.

LionDesk also offers basic transaction management features — not the whole accounting hog, but enough to track deals, save documents and keep everyone on the same page.

Automation Features

LionDesk’s ‘Blended Campaign’ approach automatically prompts you to send out messages to your clients in various forms at different times.

The idea is that you tailor your medium and message to the moment for a more significant impact — you might want to have set times for emails, texts, or videos. You might want to have set channels for set clients. However you decide to play it, LionDesk will help you optimize your outreach.

Integrations

Best LionDesk CRM Integrations that you should give it a try:

Pricing: Starts at $25/month/user

Noteworthy CRMs in 2019

1. Copper

What makes Copper unique?

A firm favorite with Google, Copper, really hits the G-suite spot.

Fully integrated with all of your go-to G-suite programs, and with a user interface that mirrors Google’s, Copper makes for a smooth and consistent experience across inbox and browser. Easy.

Copper is incredibly user-friendly, but for those who want it, they offer an onboarding package to help you get the most out of it — larger clients will even have their manager. Where a simple email inquiry will do, you’ll be guaranteed a response within 24 hours.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

SMBs, creatives, agencies, and consultants looking to organize their leads and sales processes without a learning curve.

How it all works?

Copper is great for tracking growth. It records sales and revenue per person — tracking missed opportunities too — so you can spot trends and see exactly where you’re winning and losing those leads. The CRM creates a leaderboard, providing you with a quick overview of the company’s performance as a whole, as well as its members.

In other words, Copper will show you who’s coming in gold, silver, and bronze in your sales team. This means you can set personalized targets for each sales rep to keep everyone selling at their best.

Automation Features

Set up reminders and customized triggers with Copper, and you won’t let any potential clients slip through your fingers.

Copper will help you manage your leads by setting up reminders to chase up any inactive contacts and to complete any follow-up actions needed. It’ll also automatically assign onboarding tasks when leads become customers so you can relax knowing that new clients are being looked after every step of the way.

Oh, and Copper will automatically fill in your lead list with any information it finds online (from social media accounts, for example) to help you identify the most promising leads.

Integrations

Copper integrates with your favorite apps like Slack, DocuSign, Zendesk, HubSpot, Quickbooks, etc. to automate tasks and get done more.

Pricing: Basic package starts at $19 per user/month

2. Nimble

What makes Nimble unique?

Nimble is the CRM version of that friend we all have who can track anyone down on social media before you can say “tweet”.

You can hover over a potential client or company name in your inbox, Facebook, or even just some Google search results. Then, Nimble’s ‘Smart Contacts’ app will work its magic and gather as much social information the web will provide. It’ll then automatically integrate these findings into your database to give you the most accurate picture of your contacts. How easy is that?

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

SMBs! Nimble been named the market-leading small business CRM by G2 crowd for six years running. It’s also perfect for companies who use social media to drive sales and nurture their relationships.

How it all works?

Nimble also happens to be the CRM version of that friend who knows exactly what’s-happening-who’s-doing-what-where-and-when (it’s probably the same friend, let’s be honest).

Open Nimble and its ‘Today’ dashboard will show you all the most important and relevant info for the day ahead. This could be upcoming engagements, events, as well as opportunities worth looking into based on its automatic social media scouring. You can also plug in your keywords of choice in ‘settings’, and Nimble will suggest contacts you might want to touch base with that day.

Automation Features

Nimble is integrated with ActiveDEMAND. This allows the marketing and sales departments to team up and easily create customized drip campaigns for your business from a single platform.

The bottom line? As a compelling lead scoring software, ActiveDEMAND makes sure you’re focusing on the leads that matter, saving you time and streamlining your sales process.

Integrations

Popular Nimble Integrations are Mailchimp, Dropbox, ActiveCampaign, Wufoo.

Pricing: Starts at $19 per user/month

3. Streak

What makes Streak unique?

Named as Google’s 2018 Technology Partner of the Year, it’s safe to say that it’s worth checking out Streak.

Like Copper, Streak is fully integrated with all of the Google suite, so it’s ready to link up with and boost the tools you’re already using. (We’re talking: Gmail, Sheets, Chat, Drive, Forms; as well as Facebook, Mailchimp, Trello, and Slack.)

Just open your Gmail on your desktop or mobile, and it’ll be there, gathering everything you need in one place.

Who is this CRM best suitable for?

Because it is limited to Gmail, Streak is ideal for freelance and small business. However, larger organizations that rely on Google’s email client will find the plugin useful. Streak is used by top tech companies like Uber, Weebly, Twitter, and Yelp.

How it all works?

Although it’s not technically a CRM, Streak is a CRM plugin that focuses on your Gmail Inbox.

Streak will become your go-to way of tagging emails as well as grouping them in stages across a pipeline, so you know exactly where you are with your leads — just by checking your email.

With Streak, you can automatically share this info — emails, notes, and call logs with your team for maximum ease of productivity.

Integrations

Streak has native integrations with Gsuite Apps, Mailchimp, Slack, Trello and more. It also has an open API to go ahead and connect your Streak with any app of your choice.

Pricing: Freemium plan for individuals. The professional plan starts at $49 per user/month.

Final Thoughts

So, we’ve looked at some tried and tested performers as well as some up-and-coming new players. And there are a lot of great CRM options out there for businesses.

But remember, it’s crucial to pick a CRM that’s going to work well with your business — and not investing in one because of its bells and whistles. If you’re in the e-commerce space, you now have the luxury of picking a CRM that’s built just for e-commerce businesses. On the flip side, if you’re a freelancer who wants a CRM to integrate with your inbox, you can have that, too.

Whatever your business needs are, there’ll be a CRM that will help you boost your sales, improve your contact management, and help you make the most of the data you already have. If you want to offer better customer service and win more deals — get a CRM!

Author

Kimberlee Meier is a content writer who works with B2B/SaaS companies to fuel their growth. Her workshop is located at Kimberleemeier.com.

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