Top Six CRM Systems for Small Businesses

What makes a good CRM system? What features should you be looking for? A lot depends upon what your business needs. How many employees do you have? How many customers do you have? What area do you want your CRM system to focus on?

As buyers continue to show a preference towards a more personalised and supported experience, those businesses who are incapable of keeping up with their customer’s needs risk falling behind the competition.

However, with the implementation of a CRM system, organising and accessing customer information, as well as applying it to sales situations, becomes a far easier task.

A good CRM system should function as the centre of any sales team, customer support team, marketing team etc… It should serve as a point of call for staff members to quickly and easily find customer information, and provide various tools to help improve worker efficiency, productivity and sales.

To help you decide, here are six recommended CRM systems; each designed to provide a different service to different businesses.

CRM systems


Insightly is a CRM system designed to work for small scale businesses. Its clean and simple interface is perfect for employees who want to dive in and get started.

What Insightly lacks in customisation options, it makes up for with a more direct and easier-to-grasp interface. This means that employees spend less time learning to use the system, and more time actually using it, which is why it’s so suited to smaller organisations.

What also makes Insightly good for small businesses is its affordability; the CRM’s free plan is robust enough for most small companies. But for any business looking to support more employees, its paid model is definitely one of the more affordable out there.


Salesforce is a CRM system built to help businesses generate leads and manage their sales. As a sales focused CRM, Salesforce provides the tools necessary to make a company become a faster moving and more competitive business.

Unlike Insightly, Salesforce comes with a wealth of customisation options, so employees are able to design their CRM dashboards around whatever they need to access first. This set-up means that Salesforce can suit even the busiest lead generator or business executive, as it can be tailored to their specifics.

Salesforce’s customisation options also include easy integration with third party apps, which makes it a CRM that doesn’t disrupt businesses’ set-ups and allows employees to work with the software they like.

Not only can it help with current sales, but it also has features designed to forecast and predict future sales as well.

However, this does not come cheap; Salesforce is a premier CRM service that comes with a premier price tag.


Zoho is a quick and easy service designed to give businesses a taste of what a CRM System could do for them. As with Insightly, Zoho has a well-developed free version designed to work with small businesses with small budgets. Its simple and easy-to-use interface makes it perfect for companies just starting out.

One of Zoho’s other greatest strengths is its automated features. Despite most CRM systems being capable of automating certain tasks, Zoho has a greater emphasis upon making employee’s lives easier. These automated tasks extend to filling in logbooks and third-party integrated apps, which helps save employees time that might have otherwise been spent doing repetitive tasks.

However, Zoho isn’t recommended for businesses looking to dramatically expand, as it’s a service that doesn’t scale as well as other CRM systems


Apptivo is a CRM System specializing in providing an in-depth customisation experience. Where Apptivo really shines over other CRMs, is how personalised employees can make its dashboard. As an all-round CRM system, Apptivo works well for businesses who want their software to support every one of their departments, not just their customer service and sales teams. As Apptivo allows employees to download and attach various different apps to their dashboard.

Apptivo also works well as an employee planner, as its dashboard features several organisational tools designed to encourage productivity. An employee’s calendar and schedule is placed front and centre on the CRM dashboard, and it works in tandem with email and task organisers like Microsoft Outlook.


Just like Salesforce, PipeDrive is a CRM system designed to help improve and support sales teams. Its interface is built to provide an accurate visual picture of the various deals being handled by a company’s sales department. As an employee enters in a new deal, the CRM tracks its progress as it gathers information from emails, phone calls and meetings. This provides employees with a visible pipeline of their deals, right from their beginning to the closing contract. As things move forward, employees will receive notifications for each deal; reminding them to send emails or schedule phone calls.

PipeDrive offers its users a comprehensive support system for making, monitoring and closing sales. Any company looking to dramatically improve their sales departments, could well afford to install PipeDrive.

Microsoft Dynamics

For any business looking to effectively boost work productivity, Microsoft Dynamics’ CRM would be a perfect fit. This CRM system is built to allow employees to harness familiar software, and apply it to automatically collected data. If staff are comfortable with using other Microsoft software: such as Office 365 or Outlook, then Dynamics is a great choice. Not only because Dynamics’ interface will be familiar to them, but also because it integrates easily with Microsoft’s other programs.

Businesses will also benefit from the available Dynamics apps on iOS, Android and Windows’ app stores, as it’ll allow their employees to access the CRM system from multiple devices. This means that barriers that might have previously prevented staff from working; such as extreme weather or damaged offices, can be overcome, as well as allowing employees to work on the go.

There are a ton of other CRM Systems that may suit your business model more, but any of these five examples could be a fine choice for your company. For more advice and information on how to better run your business, have a look at some of our other blogs.

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