The best CRM software for small companies and start-ups

With both business buyers and consumers expecting such a high level of service these days, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is key for the success of any business, which is why CRM software is now so prevalent.
If you own a small business, then knowing the key features and prices of the best CRM solutions on the market is incredibly useful when making a decision as to which one to choose for your company. Below are four of what we think are the best CRM software packages for small and start-up companies currently on the market.
(Please note, this article is regularly updated to ensure the current prices are listed).

1. Zoho CRM

Zoho provides all the features you’d expect from a good CRM solution, allowing you to manage all your sales, marketing, customer support & service activities from a single solution. Its focus is on automating your processes, allowing your staff to concentrate on closing deals and improving relationships.

Amongst Zoho’s available features:

  • Real time opportunity and sales tracking
  • Sales forecasting
  • Automated workflows
  • Links with Twitter and Facebook profiles


As for pricing, Zoho has 5 pricing plans:

  • Up to 10 users can use it for free, although as you’d expect, the features are more limited.
  • Next is the ‘Standard’ service, which costs $12 per user per month for 100,000 records and includes additional features such as sales forecasting, marketing campaigns and mass email.
  • The ‘Professional’ service – Zoho’s most popular plan – provides a full-featured CRM including unlimited records, inventory management and workflow automation which costs $20 per user per month.
  • ‘Enterprise’ which costs $35 per user per month is suitable for use by multi-level organisations. It includes additional features such as multiple currencies and territory management.
  • Finally, ‘CRM Plus’ is priced from $50 per user per month. Along with all the features of the Enterprise Edition, Zoho CRM Plus also includes email campaigns, customer surveys, social media marketing, project management and advanced reporting.

Zoho also offers a 15-day free trial.
All in all, Zoho is packed with enough features to be a great choice for almost any type of small business.

2. SugarCRM

SugarCRM is an extremely capable solution that’s especially good at helping you to collate key data about your business. It enables you to create detailed customer reports, enabling you to provide a better customer experience and increase conversions.

Amongst SugarCRM’s available features:

  • Contact and activity management
  • Sales automation and forecasting
  • Social network monitoring
  • Automated workflow tools


SugarCRM offers a free trial in addition to 3 paid options:

  • The first is ‘Sugar Professional’, priced at $40 per user per month and comes with a variety of features including 15GB of storage. It has a minimum annual subscription starting at $4,800/year, including 10 user licenses.
  • The second option is ‘Sugar Enterprise’, which costs $65 per user per month and comes with 60GB of storage. With this option, you get access to additional features such as role-based views and 100 concurrent customer self-service portal users. It has a minimum annual subscription starting at $7,800/year, including 10 user licenses.
  • The final option is ‘Sugar Ultimate’ and comes with 250GB of storage as well as 24 hour support and an assigned account manager. This version costs $150 per user per month.

Whilst SugarCRM certainly isn’t the cheapest option available, it has no application or user limits and has enough features to make it a good choice for smaller businesses with 10 or more users.

3. Capsule

Capsule will appeal to many business owners thanks to its simple and easy-to-use interface. It’s not quite as feature-packed as some other CRM software but it provides enough functionality to make it a very valuable resource for smaller businesses. In addition it has very good integration with Google Apps.

Amongst Capsule’s available features:

  • Contact management
  • Bid, deal and opportunity tracking
  • To-do lists and calendars
  • Filtered contact lists


Keeping in line with Capsule’s simple interface is their payment structure, with just two options: Free and Professional.

  • The Free membership gives up to 2 users the ability to create unlimited opportunities and cases although it only comes with a limited amount of storage (10 MB) and is limited to 250 contacts.
  • The Professional service, costing £8 per user per month, comes with 2GB of storage per user, 50,000 contacts, unlimited opportunities and cases, and premium integrations.

Capsule also offers a 30-day free trial.
If you’re looking for something that’s simple, easy-to-use and gets the job done then you can’t go wrong with Capsule.

4. Nimble

Nimble is a CRM solution that puts a particular focus on social networking. It allows users to pull all their contacts across various social media platforms into one place, which makes it particularly useful for businesses that utilise social media heavily. In addition it has very good integration with Google Apps.

Amongst Nimble’s available features:

  • Contact management and insights
  • Social listening
  • Task, event and calendar management
  • Unified inbox (emails and social communications)


Nimble offers a 14-day trial period, after which you can sign up for their Business Plan for $15 per month for each user. Features include unlimited communications history, unlimited number of deals and advanced field customisation.
Whilst the business plan only includes 5GB of space, you can add an additional space at a rate of $25 per account per month in 25GB increments.
By putting the emphasis on an integrated experience, Nimble offers a CRM platform that’s not only rich with features but also incredibly intuitive to use.
You may find our foolproof formula for choosing the best CRM software for your company useful.
NoBlue provides NetSuite CRM which is more suitable for growing companies and larger enterprises. It is worth considering if you are planning growth and want to avoid having to change your solution further down the line.
It is also an ideal solution if you are looking to integrate your other business processes, such as your financials, order management, eCommerce and more into a single database.
If you would like to discuss how customer relationship management could help your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Please leave your comments below and share with your colleagues.


More Information

Stephen Adamson


[email protected]

(+44) 115 758 8888
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