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Small business CRMs – the best free and paid-for tools

As one of the world’s biggest software markets, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) technology has transformed the way that businesses communicate with their customers.

Utilized by an estimated 91% of businesses (with 10+ employees), CRM systems allow companies to combine a number of key functions including, sales, marketing and customer service. This in turn helps to improve efficiencies, customer retention and business growth.

The impact that this technology can have on businesses of all sizes makes it a vital piece of technology to implement. However, affordability of CRMs will play a huge role in the decision-making process for small businesses in particular. Despite this, there are plenty of options out there that will provide a cost-effective yet highly functional solution to your CRM requirements.

To help make this decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top free and paid-for CRMs on the market currently:

Our Top Pick – FREE CRMs


The perfect solution for start-up businesses looking for a highly cost-effective CRM; HubSpot offers an entirely free plan which gives you vast lead nurturing capabilities, so that your sales and marketing efforts can be organized and actioned effectively.

HubSpot will particularly suit the requirements of small businesses with no prior experience of using a CRM, as it is easy to use and comes with a huge library of resources to support you.



Boasting over 45 million users, Zoho provides a comprehensive range of integrations with its own and third-party applications. This allows small businesses to completely customize the system to meet their specific requirements.

Its easy-to-use functionality, not to mention the support of the platform’s very own AI-powered assistant, means that even the least technically-minded among us will be able to navigate Zoho.

Sales Force

Arguably one of the most well-known CRM systems on our list, Salesforce also offers businesses some really impressive capabilities. Often misconstrued as a CRM for larger businesses, in reality Salesforce offers solutions for companies of all sizes, including a dedicated small business package.

Salesforce can be up and running in just a few minutes. As with the majority of CRMs on our list, its cloud-based technology means that it will easily scale up or down in line with your business needs.

The CRMs we have discussed are just a small selection of a much wider variety of systems open to small businesses, all of which will provide a cost-effective (or free) solution to effectively managing your sales pipeline and customer relationships.

Which CRM software do you use? What has worked well for your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter, get in touch with us today.

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