MarketingFive top CRM systems for your small business

Five top CRM systems for your small business

Keeping your customers engaged with your marketing activities is key to business growth. Every business has a lot of competitors so keeping in touch with your customers, communicating with potential customers and tracking prospects is incredibly important. Small business owners can use the power of a CRM system to help manage customers and grow your share of the market.

CRM Software is short for Customer Relationship Management Software and includes tools and systems that business owners use to track and manage communications and relationships with their customers. These tools also help small business owners get more foothold on the market by boosting the efficiency of their business operations.

This article shows you what to look for when selecting the best CRM software for your small business – even if you have a tight budget.

Top five CRM systems for small businesses

CRM software/systems help with customer data, contact management, marketing automation, sales process, and more.

Here are the top five CRM systems:

  1. Hubspot CRM Software – Top-Rated CRM Software
  2. Zoho CRM Software – Best for Sales Process
  3. Freshworks CRM Software – Best for Small Businesses
  4. Salesforce CRM Software – Best for Sales Pipeline
  5. Zendesk CRM Software – Best for Customer Relationships

1.  HubSpot CRM – Top-rated CRM software

Find out more about Hubspot

The free HubSpot CRM is one of the best for your small business. This CRM solution helps you manage contacts and business relations from an easy-to-use dashboard. Moreover, you can monitor and analyse your sales processes in real-time.

Sadly, HubSpot is one CRM provider that does not offer a free trial. Instead, the free plan gives you access to some features.

The workflow automation feature ensures that you can focus on more pressing demands like personnel management while the system handles some parts of your marketing campaigns.

One great thing about using this CRM platform is that it offers advanced details like competitor insights, deal management, and email tracking. These features undoubtedly make HubSpot one of the best CRM for small businesses.


  • Free plan available
  • Has additional features like sales forecasting
  • Simplified, easy-to-use CRM process
  • Supports sales analytics
  • Dedicated customer service teams
  • Allows third-party integration
  • Offers premium and enterprise support


Extensive email automation available on paid versions

No A/B split testing on the free plan

Find out more about Hubspot

2.  Zoho CRM – Best CRM software for sales process

Find out more about Zoho

A seasoned software provider developed Zoho CRM software after seeing how workflow automation helped small businesses grow rapidly.

This business software has a free trial where you test all the features and decide if it has what you need. Moreover, signing up for it doesn’t require a credit card. However, you’ll have to subscribe upon expiration, as there is no free plan.

In addition, Zoho CRM enables third-party integrations. So you can connect to other business software you’re using, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Trello, and Slack.

One special feature of this CRM tool is workflow automation that caters to many business needs. You can set automatic reply emails for actions like when your customer makes a purchase. In addition, Zoho CRM software enables you to set sales targets and monitor the performance of your sales teams.

Zoho has a sales pipeline-centric solution called Bigin, developed especially for small businesses.

Lastly, the annual pricing for Zoho’s standard package starts at £12 per user per month, which is cheaper than other CRM providers.


  • Enables extensive marketing automation
  • Ideal for small businesses
  • Predictive intelligence enhances sales forecasting
  • Integrated phone call feature improves contact management
  • Very-friendly free trial option
  • Most affordable CRM system
  • Great for lead management


No free plan available

Advanced features not available on cheaper plans

Find out more about Zoho

3.  Freshworks CRM – Best CRM for small businesses

Find out more about Freshworks

Since you’re most likely just starting out, your small business needs a cheap solution that offers the most necessary CRM capabilities. Freshworks is an affordable CRM system that gives you most of the basic CRM functionality. It helps you track customer information and offers concise lead management.

In addition, this CRM solution employs its unique AI, Freddy, to analyse customer data and build stronger customer relationships.

You don’t need credit cards for the free trial which has all the essential features you need. At the end of the 21-day free trial period, you can choose either the free plan or the £15 per month annual plan per user.

Finally, Freshworks CRM solutions have a simple interface which makes set-up super simple. Also, their sales reps are available if you need directions or have any questions. All these features make it one of the best CRM for startups.


  • Effective for managing your sales team
  • Free trial and free plan available
  • Trusted CRM vendor
  • Offer advanced pipeline management features
  • Simplifies deal management
  • Helps in monitoring the sales process


Customer support is not available on weekends

Free plan does not have Freddy AI support

Find out more about Freshworks

4.  Salesforce CRM – Best CRM software providers for sales pipeline

Find out more about Salesforce

Another great CRM system for small businesses in the UK is Salesforce. This CRM software helps business owners with contact management. It also helps sales teams communicate effectively.

Also, you can manage your customer data, set advanced automations, and monitor emails for your small business. In addition, you also have round-the-clock access to detailed sales analysis and dedicated customer support.

You can also customise your sales pipeline to suit your small business model. Moreover, you can get more advanced CRM capabilities depending on your selected subscription plan.

In conclusion, there is a free trial you can try but no free version. Moreover, you have to pay £20 for the Essential Plan.


  • Secured CRM platform
  • Effective small business CRM
  • Simplifies customer relationship management
  • Helps coordination of separate sales teams
  • Message personalisation for better customer communications
  • Supports automation and third-party integrations
  • Enables multiple sales pipelines


Navigating the website is not so easy

Multiple product lines can be confusing

No free version available

Find out more about Salesforce

5.  Zendesk CRM – Best CRM software for customer relationships

Find out more about Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the CRM services that have uplifted a lot of small businesses using technology and proven marketing analytics. This popular CRM for small businesses, Zendesk Sell, focuses on boosting customer productivity through clearly defined sales goals.

With this CRM platform, you can track your sales pipeline effectively and respond to customers quickly. As a result, small businesses use Zendesk to create uniformity in their sales teams’ efforts.

Zendesk’s customer support team is always available. In addition, they are knowledgeable and very helpful. You can also get more help from the website.

This CRM costs £15 per user per month for the lowest plan. Like most other CRM tools, a free trial is available to try the features and select the one best for you.

Find out more about Zendesk

Factors to Consider When Choosing a CRM System


Every small business has its needs and goals. These driving forces determine how much investment you can make.

As a result, your primary guiding factor should be which CRM features your small business needs: email management, automation, in-built telephone, and sales pipeline management.

Third-Party Integrations

One of the most important CRM features a small business needs for comprehensive pipeline management is third-party support for other apps you use.

Many CRM platforms allow you to connect other apps used in the daily running of your business. So, ensure your preferred CRM supports apps like Trello, Instagram, Messenger, and Slack.


Many CRM platforms have similar prices for the lowest plans. However, the features for each subscription option is what sets them apart.

As a result, ensure you get the best deal for basic features like pipeline management and email automation.

Customer Support

The small business CRM you choose should have a dedicated and active customer support team. Getting help as soon as you need it can mean a lot of sales for your business.

For example, when your pipeline management system has an issue, the customer reps should help you get it fixed in no time.


The reviews could be a tie-breaker if you can’t choose between one CRM and some other CRM software. So, take your time and go through most of them. Also, discover what small businesses like yours liked about each one and see if that’s what you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is marketing automation a basic CRM functionality?

Yes. Automation helps every small business carry out multiple tasks, even in busy periods. As a result, when choosing a small business CRM, ensure they enable this feature for the less expensive subscription plans.

What is the best CRM for small business UK?

All the CRM systems we’ve listed qualify for the top position; HubSpot, Zoho, Freshworks, Salesforce, and Zendesk. However, check out their features and offers and find what will benefit your small business most.

Do small businesses need free CRM software to track customer data?

Yes. Small business owners often have a smaller budget than more prominent companies. As a result, free plans help them access basic CRM features like data tracking and analysis while expanding their customer base.


Using a small business CRM helps you connect more intimately with your customers and build long-lasting relationships. You can easily respond to customer emails and take phone calls from one dashboard. In addition, you can also add automation which helps you multitask and do many things at once. This article shows everything you should know before selecting a CRM for the small business you want. We hope you will explore how these solutions can improve your sales and revenue.

Written by

Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson is one of our expert writers. Mark is our lead researcher and editor who writes our main guides and expert topic coverage. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with practical advice delivered clearly. Mark’s worked for a number of business magazines and titles and has started two small businesses himself, so has first-hand experience in setting up, managing and growing a small business and shares his expertise with our readers.

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