5 CRM Examples Most Suited for Small Businesses

In today’s competitive business landscape, small businesses need effective customer relationship management (CRM) strategies to stay ahead. CRM software helps businesses streamline their sales, marketing, and customer service processes, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased revenue. However, with a plethora of CRM options available, it can be overwhelming for small businesses to choose the right one. To help navigate through the choices, this article will highlight five CRM examples that are most suited for small businesses. Whether you are a startup or an established small business, these CRM solutions offer the necessary features and affordability to help you manage and grow your customer relationships effectively.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a business tool used to organize and automate data in a handy all-in-one hub for your team to use. That’s right, you can ditch the file cabinets and paper customer profiles in favor of a modernized system to keep track of everything from leads and campaigns to customers and tickets.

So what’s an example of CRM software? As with many business tools, there’s a wide range of CRM providers — like Zoho CRM, Freshsales Suite, and Zendesk — that are designed for different industries, like sales, marketing, and customer service. Now, you just have to find one that fits your particular business needs.

In this article, we’ll cover CRM examples from those industries and more, while explaining how much they cost and what they can do. If you’re interested in this software, you can always check out our CRM comparison guide for more information.

Sales CRM Examples

One of the most common uses of CRM software is by the sales industry, as keeping track of customer profiles, leads, and other important data can be vital when it comes to converting. Here are our top three picks of CRM examples for sales.

  1. Zoho CRM – Best for small businesses
  2. Freshsales – Best for beginners
  3. HubSpot – Best for growing businesses

Zoho CRM – Best for small businesses

There’s no other way to put it; Zoho CRM is the best example of CRM software for sales that can do it all. This popular choice — and our top CRM for sales — offers a wide range of flexible, low-cost pricing plans combined with an excellent selection of sales features. In fact, in our research, it netted the highest score of any provider for lead capture functionality, which means you’ll be attracting potential sales in no time.

Additionally, Zoho CRM offers a top tier contact database system, which can help you track and manage your potential customers in an effective way. With social listening features for Twitter, Zoho CRM sets itself apart from HubSpot and Freshsales, which doesn’t have any social listening features at all. Simply put, if you need a CRM example for sales, Zoho CRM is it.

Zoho UI

Zoho CRM pricing

Zoho CRM is special in that it offers a lot of pricing plans. You can choose from five different pricing plans, as well as a free plan that can get you started without any cost to your business. Take a look at how the pricing plans match up against each other below:

Freshsales – Best for beginners

If you’re new to business software like CRM, you might be a bit intimidated by all these providers. Fortunately, Freshsales is an easy-to-use sales platform designed to get you started quickly. Our research found it to be the fastest setup process and most intuitive interface, allowing even beginners to utilize the entirety of its functionality without too much of a hassle. Because of that, it was also our top choice as a CRM for startups.

Like Zoho CRM and HubSpot, Freshsales offers a free plan, but it’s definitely the most basic of the three, offering the most basic lead capture and lead communication features, and no lead conversion features at all. Still, it’s better than a limited time free trial, as you can test it out indefinitely without a cost to your business.

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Freshsales Profile

Freshsales pricing

Freshsales offers three different pricing plans, as well as the basic free forever plan that can get you started. The pricing is very similar to Zoho CRM, in fact, with nearly identical starter and enterprise-level plans. Here’s how the three Freshsales plans match up against each other:

HubSpot – Best for growing businesses

While Zoho CRM and Freshales are clearly designed for small businesses, HubSpot is a CRM powerhouse that is prepped and ready to handle your large business needs. While it offers the best free plan on the list and plenty of low-cost options to get you started as a small business, it offers the best scalability across our research thanks to the expansive feature catalog.

It is worth noting, however, that those advanced features come at a price. HubSpot has some excellent lead conversion features, like lead scoring and the ability to add products to deals, but you’ll have to pay for the Professional plan, which is nearly double the cost of Freshsales’ and Zoho CRM’s most expensive plans. Suffice to say, HubSpot is best for companies that plan to have deep pockets and grow to match them.

CRM-HubSpot Reporting-Functionality-Image

HubSpot pricing

Like Freshsales, HubSpot offers three different pricing plans, as well as the impressive free forever plan that can honestly act as a fully functional CRM for smaller businesses. Luckily, the more expensive plans can handle it when you start to grow. Here are how the HubSpot pricing plans matchup:

Marketing CRM Examples

When it comes to attracting and retaining customers, a good CRM example can really help you improve your numbers. Here are our top picks for examples of CRM for marketing:

  1. Freshsales Suite (Growth) – Best for ease of use
  2. HubSpot (Free) – Best free CRM example
  3. Keap (Pro) – Best for email marketing

Freshsales Suite – Best for ease of use

That’s right, in addition to being one of the best CRM examples of sales software, Freshsales has another platform called Freshsales Suite that operates as a sales and marketing combo. This affordable, easy to use option offers tools like email marketing templates, web forms, and website visitor tracking across all paid plans, and more advanced features like drip campaigns and social media integration if you’re willing to pay a bit more.

Like Freshsales, Freshsales Suite offers a free plan, but again it’s pretty weak, particularly compared to HubSpot. You’ll get no chatbots or social media integration and your contact management functionality is extremely limited. Still, if you need a sales and marketing combination that can handle your data without too much know-how, Freshsales Suite is undeniably the go-to solution.

Freshsales Suite contacts

Freshsales Suite pricing

Freshsales Suite is priced exactly like Freshsales, offering three different pricing plans as well as the free forever plan. The actual prices are even the same, keeping Freshsales Suite on the more affordable side of the spectrum, particularly compared to HubSpot. Here’s how Freshsales Suite’s pricing plans matchup:

HubSpot (Free) – Best free CRM example

In addition to being an excellent solution for growing businesses, HubSpot also offers one of the best free CRM examples available on the market today, particularly when it comes to marketing. At no cost, you’ll get web forms, chatbots, social media integration, marketing email design editors, and website visitor tracking, a lineup of features that many paid plans don’t even offer.

There are downsides in other categories with a HubSpot free plan, though. You won’t get a lot of help and support options, as free users only get access to the knowledge base and community forum for solving problems. Additionally, the data and analytic tools are pretty bare bones, with no customizability to speak of. Still, you could do a lot worse than HubSpot, particularly at no cost to your business. In fact, we found that this plan from HubSpot is the best CRM for marketing.

HubSpot Free Contacts

HubSpot pricing

If you do decide to branch out from the HubSpot free plan and want to try your hand at a paid plan, HubSpot offers plenty of options that can suit your needs. The HubSpot Marketing Hub is likely what you’re looking for if you need marketing functionality, so here’s how those HubSpot pricing plans match up against each other:

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Keap – Best for email marketing

Many examples of CRM software can help you manage your entire marketing campaign. Still, if you’re taking a more stripped-down approach and just need email marketing functionality, Keap could be your best bet. For one, it offers unlimited drip campaigns, which HubSpot doesn’t offer at all, and Freshsales Suite only offers with strict limitations.

However, if you need anything more than email marketing, Keap won’t be your best option, as it offers no social media integration. Additionally, security is a bit lax, offering no multi-factor authentication or security emails, so you’ll want to be sure you’ve invested in cybersecurity elsewhere.

Keap Dashboard

Keap pricing

Keap keeps it simple with only two pricing plans and no free forever plan to speak of, so you’ll have to pay to get access. Additionally, prices are a bit high, so you better be sure that you only need email marketing before busting out the checkbook for this one. Here’s how the two Keap pricing plans match up against each other:

Customer Service CRM Examples

There’s no better way to keep your customers than by keeping track of their information and interactions to better solve their problems, which is where CRM examples for customer service can really come in handy. Here are our top picks:

  1. Zendesk – Best for help and support options
  2. Freshdesk – Best for scalability
  3. Zoho Desk – Best value CRM example

Zendesk – Best for help and support options

The best CRM example for customer service — also known as helpdesk software — is Zendesk, thanks to its large catalog of features and its robust customizability across the platform. Through the Suite packages, you’ll be able to create tickets for customers via email, social media, texting, chatbot, and web form, making it the most complete options on this list.

Additionally, what really sets Zendesk apart is that it offers its own help and support options that are above and beyond other solutions. Every single plan, even the low-cost Support option, offers phone, chat, email, knowledge base, and community forum support, and you can even pay a bit extra to get 24/7 coverage. All in all, Zendesk is your best bet for customer service CRM software.

Zendesk Aircall integration

Zendesk pricing

Like Freshdesk, Zendesk offers two different types of pricing plan options: Support and Suite. The Suite plans are more expensive but offer more functionality across different channels of communication. We’ve collected all three Support plans and all five Suite plans, so you can see how they match up against each other on the basics:

Freshdesk – Best for scalability

If you’re thinking about getting fresh with customer service, you’ve come to the right place. Freshdesk is the customer service platform from Freshworks, the umbrella under which Freshsales and Freshsales Suite operate. This particular iteration is quite impressive, offering a lot of functionality for a low price. In fact, the cheap pricing plans make Freshdesk an extremely scalable platform, so it can grow with you.

Like Zoho Desk, Freshdesk offers a free forever plan, but it’s quite limited, although it allows you to ticket from email, social media, and web forms. It’s worth noting that all paid plans can do this as well, and there’s no way to pay extra for SMS or chatbot ticketing. Still, if you can do without those, this easy-to-use platform might be the way to go for your business.

Freshdesk pricing

Like Zendesk, Freshdesk offers two different types of plans, the Support and Omnichannel options. You’ll find four Support plans and three Omnichannel plans, which give you access to built-in VoIP and website live chat for communicating with customers. Here’s how these plans match up against each other:

Zoho Desk – Best value CRM example

Zoho Desk is the helpdesk software from Zoho, the company behind Zoho CRM, so you know you’re getting a solid platform. In this instance, Zoho Desk performed admirably in our research, netting a particularly high score for pricing, as it offers a lot of features at a surprisingly low price point, which is why we believe it to be the best option when it comes to value.

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For one, the maximum price is only $40 per user, per month, compared to $215 per user, per month for Zendesk and $99 per user, per month for Freshdesk. Obviously, you don’t get as much functionality, but you still get email, chatbot, and web form ticketing across all plans, even the free one. You also get robust customer data base features and data analytics across all paid plans, which again are decidedly affordable.

Zoho CRM: helpdesk on autopilot

Zoho Desk pricing

Zoho Desk offers only three pricing plans, far less than the other two CRM examples for customer service, as well as a free forever plan that is pretty limited. Take a look at how these pricing plans match up against each other to understand why Zoho Desk was our top pick for value:

Industry-specific CRM Examples

In addition to the options on this list that are for general use, CRM software is available that is specific to a particular industry, like healthcare, real estate and non-profit organizations. So, the real question is, should you opt for an industry-specific CRM software provider or will the general use options handle what you need?

In earnest, general use platforms like Zoho CRM, Zendesk, and Freshsales Suite are very well-equipped to handle the majority of industry-specific needs. Still, you’ll want to make sure the provider you opt for has the features you need before you buy.

Healthcare companies, for example, will want to ensure that the CRM they choose is HIPAA compliant to protect patient data. Real estate companies, on the other hand, will want to make sure that the CRM can integrate with popular real estate sites like Zillow. Basically, do your due diligence when it comes to checking out the features available for a CRM example, so you don’t end up spending money on a platform that doesn’t have what you need.

How Did We Find the Best CRM Examples?

If a website is just throwing CRM examples on a list, you can’t be sure you’re getting the best information to make your decision. Fortunately, Hiddenshard isn’t any other website, as all our business software rankings are backed up by hours of in-depth research that puts every provider through the ringer.

For CRM examples, we’ve dug as deep as possible to learn everything about the 12 software providers we researched to help you out, measuring metrics like features, pricing, customizability, ease of use, and help and support options. Through these categories, we were able to come up with suggestions on this list.

If you want to learn more about our process of rating and ranking business software, make sure to head on over to our Hiddenshard research guide to see how the guides are made.

Frequently Asked Questions

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is defined as a software that can organize data and automate business functions, so your team can work more efficiently.

CRM software can help your business to save time and money on basic tasks, improve productivity with modernized systems, and generally make life easier for you and your team.

Examples of CRM systems include Zoho CRM, HubSpot, Zendesk, Freshsales, and many others. These providers offer cloud-based CRM software that can help you manage your sales, marketing, or customer service business.

There are three different types of CRM software: operational, analytical, and collaborative. Operational is used to perform basic business tasks, analytics is used to gain insightful data, and collaborative is used to connect with your team across a single hub.

That’s a wrap on “ 5 CRM Examples Most Suited for Small Businesses ” We hope you’ve found a trove of useful insights and fresh perspectives. Your opinions and ideas matter to us—join the conversation below and share your take! Hungry for more tech insights? Dive into our diverse collection of articles where innovation meets practicality. Discover More CRM Softwares.

Stay in the loop with the latest in AI and tech – your journey into the digital future continues at hiddenshard.com.
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