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Pick the Best CRM for Small Businesses

A CRM can help your small business grow faster. Figuring out the best CRM for small businesses can be tricky, read on to discover what a CRM can help your business do, which features are most important for each department, and how you can make the most of this fast-growing software.
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How Does a CRM for Small Business Work?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps businesses keep track of interactions with all customers, from their first contact to their latest sale.

Many people think of a CRM as a desktop-bound database for customer contact information, but modern CRMs are capable of much more.

CRMs can now automate emails, schedule meetings, track customer service issues, and keep contact information updated across all your platforms. They prioritize ease of use and workflow automation.

The best CRMs integrate with tools you already use, like Gmail and Slack, helping you automate more processes and increase efficiency. Whether you're running a startup or looking to bring your salespeople into the 21st century, you can use CRMs to improve your workflow.

With You Each Step of the Way

A CRM can help you in each stage of a sales cycle. From gathering information about prospects and tracking the first interactions to qualifying these new leads.

When you’re ready to make your pitch, your CRM can help determine when a lead interacts with you most frequently and on which platform.

You can also customize your approach based on the information you have saved about the leads and check which of your web pages they’ve been interacting with, and what unanswered questions they might have.

Once you close a sale, all the prospecting history is stored in the CRM, helping you streamline follow-up, improve the customer’s service experience, and determine when the customer might be ready to make another purchase.

Everyone Benefits From a CRM

Sales teams benefit from an easy-to-access customer information database containing all the interactions tracked, emails sent, messages read, and analytics on their performance.

However, while sales might be the most enthusiastic about adopting a CRM, other departments benefit from CRM software.

Marketing teams can benefit from a CRM for small businesses, especially when working on a budget. They’ll be able to automate marketing emails and segment lists of potential customers, existing clients, or other filters that benefit your company.

Customer Service teams also benefit from a centralized database showing all customer interactions. They can easily check for historical client issues, whether those issues have been resolved, and how to best support the client going forward.

Small Business CRM Software Does the Work for You

A big reason why CRMs are popular is how much of the data entry and busy work they take care of. The best CRM software automates a lot of the manual upkeep you might be used to doing yourself.

If a customer prefers to connect with you on Facebook, you can quickly achieve that via CRM integrations. You can even set up a chatbot to work in the messenger feature and answer common questions.

You can also track how your outreach performs, from running a/b tests of campaigns to checking your emails' CTR (Click-through rate). The calculations are done for you.

In addition, you can create templates for the emails you frequently send, whether those involve connecting with customers or reaching out to prospects. All these conversations are automatically saved as you go, so you always have a log of each client’s journey.

When you have a website visitor you want to send one of these to, your CRM will use the template and fill in the additional information, like names, contact information, or product descriptions from your database. Ultimately, templates allow you to send customized emails at scale.

Manage your Pipeline features

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How a CRM for Small Businesses Can Help

Most small businesses have limited workforces and resources to invest in software. The best CRM for small businesses understands that and provides multiple marketing and sales tools that help save time and money while improving your customer experience.

CRMs and Marketing

A CRM can help you improve your current marketing automation efforts with features like drag-and-drop email builders, the ability to manage multiple social media accounts with ease, and SEO tools to help you improve your company blog.

You can create different marketing campaigns and schedule them for specific sales funnel dates or steps, automating your emails and scheduling calls in advance.

Keep track of your performance with metrics showing who opens your emails, how long they spend reading them, and how many people click on your CTAs (call-to-actions).

You can also easily manage your campaigns and get your whole team to deliver the same message.

CRMs and Sales

A CRM for small businesses helps with contact management — keep all client information in one central database accessible to everyone. If they contact you on a new phone number, it gets recorded once, and everyone receives the newly updated data.

But it doesn't stop there. From lead generation to invoicing, a CRM can help.

Email and call tracking help you stay up-to-date, contacting leads at the right time. CRMs can also automatically log call recordings, so even businesses that deal primarily with phone calls can benefit from using one.

You also don't have to worry about forgetting to follow up with customers via email anymore. A CRM will automatically schedule reminders for your sales reps. In some cases, the whole email can be automated and customized with information from your CRM.

You can also schedule meetings based on the actions a client takes — after they've looked at your pricing page or set up a call after a set amount of time.

CRMs and Customer Service

Today’s consumers are used to 24/7 service, but small businesses often lack the resources and budget to provide it. With tools like chatbots and live chat, it’s much easier to provide high-quality customer service.

While the automation provided by chatbots helps reduce the workload of your service staff, you can also access your customer’s information from anywhere with a mobile app CRM for small businesses and communicate with them anytime.

Moreover, the ticketing, help desk, and VoIP calling functionalities help prioritize and serve users better. You can also create self-service portals that empower customers to look up answers themselves.

What Features To Look For in a CRM for Small Business

While the main features you need for your CRM software will vary depending on the size and needs of your organization, there are some tools that almost every small business can benefit from.

Whether you need to focus on lead scoring or better serving your customers, a CRM for small businesses should help you close deals. Let’s go over some of the features that make it possible.

Contact Management

While this is one of the more basic features, it can get overlooked or not work well with other software. Having up-to-date client contact information accessible from anywhere is a game-changer.

Choose a CRM that updates information automatically, no matter which third-party integration you’re using, and is capable of tracking changes made across platforms.

Email Marketing and Tracking

64% of small businesses use email to reach their customers. In that sense, having a CRM that lets you create customizable email templates that align with customer data helps you stand out.

The customizable email marketing experience should be even better if your CRM lets you use a drag and drop editor that requires little coding knowledge.

The best CRMs for small businesses also give you access to thorough analytics and a/b testing. That way, you can closely track campaign performance and determine which customers are ready to buy and which campaigns are most effective.

A CRM should also let you see who opens your emails and when and segment your audience to target different lists.


A smart CRM solution should let you update information automatically. 76% of companies reported using automation in 2021, and the growth shows no signs of slowing down.

The best CRM for small businesses lets you schedule emails, phone calls, and more to help you tailor your sales cycle however you like. Whether you prefer to have sales activities scheduled based on actions or times should be up to you.

The more you can automate, the more you can reduce the workload of stressed-out staff and free up time for tasks that still need work.

Social Media Management

According to a study by the SBA (Small Business Association of America), over 77% of small businesses use social media to promote their business. 

There are so many platforms that keeping track of them can get confusing. A CRM system should help you integrate all of these services into one place, making it easier to see which platform your customers use and advertise to them better.


For small businesses, flexibility is vital. After all, you might be working with only a few workers now, but the option to scale as you grow is important. A CRM should be flexible on pricing and features depending on the size of your organization.

You also want your CRM to integrate with the tools your business already loves, whether that's working with your existing email newsletter builder, social media accounts, website builder, or having the option to view external interactions and update other apps within your CRM software.

The tools a CRM provides should allow you to incorporate your branding and customize emails, landing pages, and much more.

It should also be accessible from anywhere. Desktop and mobile options mean you can always access the customer data you need, no matter where your business is operating that day.

Pipeline Management

Visualizing the big picture can be challenging at times, and guiding staff through each step in the sales pipeline can even be a more significant challenge.

Excellent CRMs offer tools like guides, scripts, and branded quotes to help your staff keep prospects moving.

CRMs should also provide you with custom sales reports to help you see how your sales forecast looks, where leads are in the cycle, and how your team performs compared to a previous period.

Customer Support

Small businesses often have limited staff to deal with support. Therefore, the best CRMs for small businesses should offer options like live chat or chatbots to help you work more efficiently.

When your customer service is connected to the rest of your sales process and marketing data, it’s easier for employees to ensure information is accurate and resolve disputes faster.

Help desk and ticketing options reduce the time spent on data entry and connect customers to the right person in order of priority.

Now that you know what features the best CRMs for small businesses offer, it’s important to make the most out of them. Explore the software and all the tools it has to offer. You can also try things out in real-time and get feedback from your employees on their experience.

Track Your Performance

Check conversion rates, sales cycle times, and total sales volume amongst other metrics to see if your software delivers.

You can compare the value you’re getting out of your CRM features to the cost and determine if it’s helping increase total conversions, reduce sales cycle times, or increase repeat customers.

Invest in Proven Technology

Learn to use all the features and add-ons in your CRM platform. Whether it's accessing different automation features or creating more than one type of report, you'll find plenty of features — and some might even surprise you.

HubSpot offers 24/7 customer support and the HubSpot Academy to help you make the most of your new software.

Get Started Today

Start a free HubSpot trial today and access one of the best CRMs for small businesses. HubSpot CRM offers forever-free plans for its Sales, Marketing, and Service Hubs.

As your business grows, you can upgrade to a premium version containing more features. Connect with one of our team members to learn which version is best for your business needs and budget.

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Scale quick, stay lean. Bring your teams together with HubSpot’s CRM.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Customer relationship management software is built to be easy to use for growing businesses.

    HubSpot's CRM is crafted to empower small businesses with tools to tackle all aspects of marketing, sales, customer service, website management, and operations tools. Learn more here.

  • Yes! Running a small business is tough, and business owners should take every step possible to understand how they can run their business and serve their customers. 

    CRM software offers a variety of different tools to store, manage, and track how a business is spending its time and resources. Tools that help automate customer communication are also available to help you grow your business. Get started with HubSpot for free.