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The 3 Best CRM Apps for Small Business


The secret to any successful small business is utilizing resources in the smartest way possible. For many business owners, the common practice when they’re starting out is to go with the flow and figure things out as they go. Not only is this an extremely stressful process, but it is also a sure way to end up wasting resources on unnecessary and ineffective strategies

Having a well-defined plan, especially one where you can automate certain crucial processes can help you stay on top of things. This is where CRM (customer relationship management) applications come in handy.

A good customer relationship management software will help you observe your customers from all possible angles. This helps you identify which aspects of your marketing and customer retention efforts aren’t being maximized. Today’s post will walk you through the different CRM tools that come highly recommended by successful digital marketers and entrepreneurs.

Table of Contents:

  • Why do small businesses need CRM software?
  • The main benefits of using a CRM app for small businesses
  • Tips for selecting the right CRM for your business
  • Our top 3 recommended CRM applications for small businesses in 2021

Why do small businesses need CRM tools?

Basically, a good CRM platform will help you manage every aspect of your customer journey. This will not only minimize the amount of stress you need to undergo to ensure your business runs as smoothly as possible, but it also eliminates the possibility of losing revenue where it should be deemed unnecessary.

Furthermore, it could also help you automate your customer retention efforts, essentially freeing up your time so you can spend it on other areas of your business that require more attention like daily content posting, or engaging with your viewers.

The main benefits of using a CRM app for small businesses

Ask any digital marketer and they’ll tell you that a CRM tool’s main job is to improve customer satisfaction. But other than that, there are several other factors that make it beneficial for your business:

It helps you scale your business — CRM solutions are designed to automate your entire sales and customer retention process so you’re able to handle a larger volume than you would on your own.

Optimize marketing efforts — CRM tools can help you spread out your resources where they’re most effective thanks to analytics information.

Boost sales and nurture leads — CRM apps can streamline your sales process and boost revenues. By nurturing leads until they become paying and loyal customers, small businesses can ensure that they have a full sales pipeline year-round.

It helps you better understand your customers — CRMs essentially capture every stage of the customer journey. This provides you with valuable insight into their purchasing behaviours, which you can then use to further grow your small business.

Tips for selecting the right CRM for your business

Keep in mind that what your business needs may not necessarily work for others. But here are a few features that you should keep in mind when looking for a CRM platform for your small business. Just make sure that you’re keeping your needs ahead of the suggestions you read elsewhere.

  • Analytics tools
  • Mobile viewing
  • Sales forecasts
  • Customer mailing integration
  • Sales data
  • Two-way file syncing and sharing

Our top 3 recommended CRM applications for small businesses in 2021

There are many CRM platforms in the market, which is mainly why it can be a bit difficult to find the right one for your small business. Despite the competition, there are three big names that are hard to miss. The reason why? Because they’re effective, reasonably-priced, and proven by many before you. Take a look at our top picks below:



 ActiveCampaign screenshot image


ActiveCampaign pricing starts from $15 a month which is a great starting point for small businesses especially if you don’t have a large budget. It’s one of the most powerful automation tools in the industry. Despite its advanced features, it’s surprisingly easy to use. It also gives highly detailed analytics reports on all areas of your site including sales. Furthermore, their mailing feature shows very promising deliverability rates.



 BenchmarkONE Screenshot image


BenchmarkONE comes with a free plan. However, that’s reserved mostly for a single user. If you don’t have a team that needs access to your CRM tool, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, it can get expensive if you need to give collaborators access. Its plans start at $70 each month billed bi-annually.

The good thing about this option is that it’s very comprehensive. The UI is beginner-friendly and the platform itself is quite easy to navigate. You’ll enjoy the integrated email marketing automation feature which is known for its high marks in lead collection as well that directly interacts with the sales automation to maximize conversions.

Salesmate screnshot image

Best reserved for those who choose to spend their time wisely and don’t want to sit idly while trying to learn how to use an application, further simplifies CRM tools for the novice business owner. Don’t confuse its user-friendly interface for an ineffective application because it’s one of the most powerful—yet affordable, in the market.

Starting at $12 a month, this tool welcomes other niches such as real estate and construction businesses. It comes with a live chat and DocuSign feature and is further improving its mobile application experience with consistent upgrades.


Although often overlooked and deemed as an unnecessary expense for most startups, CRM tools actually give you more than what you pay for especially when you use them correctly.

As far as platforms go, our best recommendation is ActiveCampaign, especially if you’re looking for a powerful all-in-one tool that’s easy to use, affordable, and ideal for anyone who isn’t so technology savvy. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve and you should be able to get the hang of it within minutes.

On the other hand, you could also take a look at its competitors like BenchmarkONE if you want access to a free plan, or want to share the tool with your team if you don’t mind paying a premium price. is also a good choice if you want something more convenient for on-the-go access.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your execution. These are just tools, after all, and for them to be effective, you need the right professional behind them. HC Funnels can help you set up the right CRM app for your small business. We are marketing automation leaders with a proven record of success across multiple industries.

Get in touch with us today to get started with a FREE strategic consultation. Let us work with you to take your business to new heights.