PeopleGoal

Blog·HR Management

April 29, 2021

Top 10 CRM Software Comparison: A 2021 perspective

Through the use of CRM software, users can establish a far better-informed sales process. Here are PeopleGoal's top 10 CRM solutions as of 2021.

What is CRM Software?

CRM software, or Customer Relationship Management software, is a system that will allow businesses to track and organize customer data. Through collating live records of all interactions between a company, its leads, and its customers, historical and current, CRM software has become the focal point for many sales teams.

With the assistance of a CRM system, the sales process will become far better informed and efficient. Maintaining a consistent flow of data entry and real-time updates for customer information, sales reps are able to make much-improved decisions in terms of their customer interactions.

Whether using the CRM software to coordinate email marketing, customer support or any other aspects of the sales cycle - through the use of a CRM system, users can establish a far better-informed sales process. The ability to track and measure the customer journey will contribute to much better customer relationships and interactions.

The History of CRM

Whilst smaller companies may be able to cope without running an extremely professional CRM system, the larger an organization becomes the more it will benefit from using a dedicated customer relationship management software. Regardless of size, every organization that makes use of a CRM software will be able to ensure a more reliable and effective maintenance of their customer data.

Standardizing and automating the sales pipeline will facilitate the improvement of the customer journey and enable sales reps to contribute to more engaging and creative tasks. Taking away these menial roles and responsibilities will allow sales teams to engage in work that will further the company's growth, such as looking at bigger picture activities.

Why do you need CRM Software?

Fundamentally, a CRM system is an extremely efficient and reliable means to collect customer information and present real-time prompts to initiate each stage of the sales cycle.

The ability to establish marketing automation with a CRM solution will contribute to more positive customer journeys, resultantly leading to more sales conversions. With real-time tracking of every lead in the sales funnel, a CRM system can detect trends in customer interactions that can be attributed to more wins and losses. Investing in such a tool and a consistent approach to data entry will significantly improve the sales process for any team.

CRM software is a powerful tool. With real-time customer information, each and every sales team can learn and develop their approach, therefore establishing a more profitable approach to converting leads.

Moreover, these tools monitor existing customer journeys and can assist in maintaining better customer relationships. After all, once a lead is converted - an organization must be able to sustain positive customer interactions in order to ensure that they remain onboard. Managing employee retention will become significantly easier and successful with a CRM system.

The Benefits of CRM Software

Before making a decision about which CRM solution you would like to use, it is important to determine what exactly you require from this tool. Capterra has put together an insightful article that can help you to establish just what exactly you are looking for from a CRM system.

Having confirmed what your requirements are, we invite you to browse through our list of the Top 10 CRM Systems currently available.

Top 10 CRM Systems/ Software

We have not presented this list in any particular order, these are simply the top 10 CRM solutions that PeopleGoal recommends:

1. Pipedrive

Pipedrive logo Pipedrive CRM presents a solution for typically smaller businesses. This CRM system contains a range of advanced functions and accessible reporting. With an emphasis on an intuitive interface and its deal-driven workflow, the user experience of Pipedrive is very straightforward and accessible. Taking the responsibility off of sales teams to coordinate customer interactions, this CRM software caters to any organization that is looking to expand its reach.

Pipedrive's Top Features:

  • Sales Pipeline
  • Leads Inbox
  • Live Chatbot
  • Web Forms
  • Smart Contact Data
  • Contact Management
  • Activity Calendar
  • Smart Docs
  • AI-powered Sales Assistant
  • Open API and Integrations

Pipedrive ensures me the ability to understand the customer market to offer products and services through social media platforms, popular recognition websites, and high-interest places.

2. Zoho CRM

Zoho crm logo Arguably one of the bigger players in the CRM marketplace, with over 150,000 businesses using the software. Zoho CRM provides solutions for small to midsize business and with so many features, it regularly fulfils all of their needs. This playful CRM solution presents an inviting user experience with real-time notifications and the gamification of the sales process. Minimal data entry and a powerful AI assistant will streamline the sales cycle for your organization. Through Zoho CRM, sales teams will also have access to email marketing automation - further advancing the reach and productivity of your sales reps.

Zoho CRM Best Features:

  • Sales Force Automation
  • Journey Orchestration
  • Omnichannel communications
  • Advanced Data Analytics
  • Performance Management
  • Predictive AI Sales Assistant
  • Customization
  • Marketing Automation
  • Several Dedicated Integrations

Zoho is a mini powerhouse with so many tools, features to offer at a very basic cost per user basis. The tool is also quite mature and constantly evolving with customers needs.

3. Freshworks CRM

freshworks crm logo Focused on maximizing the productivity of your sales team, Freshworks CRM offers a range of super accessible communication tools that will enhance the customer journey. With a very simple interface, the user experience is really neat. The leads and contact management features are especially powerful with the customer data being lifted from their websites and recent social media posts to inform your sales team of the potential value of the lead. There is a notable lack of lead generation features in comparison to other CRM systems, however, Freshworks CRM does offer significant benefits to improving any inbound sales process.

Freshworks Key Features:

  • Contact Management
  • Deal Management
  • Chat Campaigns
  • Email Campaigns
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Customer Journeys
  • Sales and Marketing Analytics Report
  • AI Sales Assistant
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • 21-day Free Trial

The whole Freshworks platform is well integrated so I have good context about the prospect/customer when I'm on their page and want to access their conversations with me and my company.

4. Salesforce CRM

salesforce logo A frontrunner in the world of CRM software, Salesforce CRM is a heavily decorated solution - historically recognized by CRM Magazine and other watchlists as a top-rated CRM system. The justification for all of this praise given is seen with the wide-ranging abilities of the tools it offers. Salesforce CRM is most suited to large businesses that require a greater range of features. With solutions ranging from marketing to customer support, Salesforce CRM empowers stronger customer interactions through real-time tracking of customer data. In terms of an all-around package that caters to all aspects of customer relationship management software, the user experience of Salesforce CRM makes this incredibly straightforward for sales reps.

Salesforce's Stand-out Features:

  • Leads and Contact Mangement
  • Sales Opportunity Management
  • Marketing Interaction Studio
  • Distributed Order Management
  • Powerful AI Assistant
  • Sector-specific Applications and Services
  • Powerful Data Analytics and Dashboard
  • Various Integrations
  • Learning Management
  • Salesforce Mobile App

Besides being used as a normal CRM by my company, we also used it to keep track of solutions providing to some customers, and I believe this is one of Salesforce's biggest strengths: how it can have multiple uses, and how it can be a powerful and diverse tool.

5. ActiveCampaign

activecampaign logo ActiveCampaign has developed an impressive customer experience automation platform that has the power to enable companies to significantly engage with their customers. Prioritizing excellent customer experience, the delivery of this CRM software is focused on simplifying the complexity of managing customer relationships. The customer journey is automatically personalized for each customer interaction using real-time customer data. As a result, ActiveCampaign provides an equally enjoyable user experience for sales teams. This CRM system is designed to save time and effort in the sales process that will encourage stronger and more genuine customer relationships.

ActiveCampaign's Key Features:

  • Marketing Automation
  • CRM & Sales Automation
  • Omnichannel Marketing
  • Automatic Notifications for Leads
  • Lead Behavior informs Actions
  • Social Media Tools
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Lead Scoring
  • Automated Workflows
  • 850+ Integrations

I love the automation functionality and the flexibility it offers. It allows me to automate many areas of my business so that I'm free to do what's important in my business.

6. HubSpot CRM

hubspot logo HubSpot CRM is an exciting and innovative software designed with small businesses in mind. This CRM solution is available for free, however, as with most things its best aspects become available with a premium paid model. Purposed for scalability, HubSpot CRM is equipped with lead generation tools, web forms, live chatbots and advertising tools that will allow for smooth ongoing customer interactions whilst the company grows. The user experience is boosted with real-time customer data tracking that will facilitate sales reps at the various stages of the sales process. Moreover, due to HubSpot's significant position in the business market, this CRM solution presents great opportunities to access the many other apps and solutions that their team has curated.

HubSpot's Leading Features

  • Sales Engagement Workspace
  • Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) Functionality
  • Email Integration Features
  • Document Sharing
  • Meeting Scheduling
  • Live Chat
  • Prospect Tracking
  • Pipeline Management
  • Repoting Dashboard

I like that I can manage my tasks and see daily how many follow-ups (calls. texts, emails, meetings) that I have done. It is also easy to communicate with your team through Hubspot by tagging them.

7. Zendesk Sell

zendesk sell logo As its name suggests, Zendesk Sell sets out to give your sales team ease of mind whilst handling the sales process. Keeping to a simple-to-use design, this CRM solution presents an accessible user experience in which the employee concentrates on selling, whilst the software collects and analyzes the data. The simplicity of this CRM system means that it does not have the same capabilities as other heavily loaded tools such as Salesforce, however, it is an effective tool that will enhance productivity and sales pipeline output. The option to expand this CRM system into a service platform is also attractive. Additionally, Zendesk Sell users can easily install multiple integrations onto their accounts, further simplifying the user experience.

Zendesk Sell's Main Features:

  • Sales Email Intelligence
  • Sales Prospecting
  • Activity Reporting
  • Call Scripts
  • Call Analytics
  • Wide Range of Integrations
  • Drag-and-Drop Dashboards
  • Mobile App
  • Simplistic and Intuitive UI

The CRM tool is very easy to use and does not need much in the way of tutorials. However there is great support through tutorials and online chat & email.

8. Pipeliner CRM

pipeliner crm logo Driven by their mission to positively influence the mindset of sales reps, Pipeliner CRM has set out to provide a CRM solution that encourages engaging customer interactions with a sales-friendly user interface. The sales workflows put a strong emphasis on visually inviting CRM software. Pipeliner CRM possesses an impressive collection of features that can be adapted to every unique approach to the sales process - from auditing tools to web clipper tools. Furthermore, this CRM system also offers its own AI Sales Assistant. This captivating interface will drive better customer journeys whilst also improving the user experience.

Pipeliner's Finest Features:

  • Automatizer
  • Buying Center
  • Dynamic Targetting
  • Email Integration
  • Template Designer
  • Social Selling
  • Guided Selling
  • Mobile CRM
  • Sales Velocity
  • Organization Chart
  • Open API and App Integrations

With no programming skills we can easy create our own entry-masks and database with very quick and comfortable summary functions. Its fully Office-integrated and we like the scalable purchase-possibilities.

9. Less Annoying CRM

less annoying crm logo Positioned towards the more affordable end of the CRM software marketplace, Less Annoying CRM still packs a punch in terms of its ability to track and measure customer interactions. Small businesses and startups should look to this option as a viable CRM solution with a welcoming user experience and effective real-time sales process tracker. If it wasn't for a lack of features compared to the bigger players such as Salesforce and Zoho CRM, this CRM system provides a powerful service that is perfect for growing sales teams and organizations. Potential customers can even get access to a 30-day free trial if they are tempted to try it out.

Less Annoying's Significant Features:

  • Contact Management
  • Calendar and Tasks
  • Collaborative Projects
  • Leads and Pipelines
  • Mobile Access
  • Powerful Customization
  • Daily Agenda Emails
  • Free Phone and Email Support
  • API and Integration Options

We started using Less Annoying CRM many years ago when we were looking for an affordable 'less fussy' CRM to help with managing our small business contacts. We did not need all of the bells and whistles charged by the much bigger companies, that we would have paid for but not used. This company did exactly that, at a very affordable price.

10. Monday.com

monday.com logo Whilst Monday.com is first and foremost a performance and task management software, it also delves into the realm of CRM solutions. Combining these different aspects of work is a neat idea and fundamentally, the sales process can be easily incorporated into the task management of any sales team. User experience is very important for the team at Monday.com and this is reflected in the color schemes used to portray the real-time tracking of customer data and customer interactions. A nifty drag-and-drop tool makes the arrangement of leads effortless. Moreover, the ease-of-use continues over into the data reporting and app integrations available through the CRM software.

Monday.com's Top Features:

  • Flexible Drag-and-Drop Interface
  • Custom Automations
  • 360° Lead Tracking
  • Industry-Specific Templates
  • Vibrant Data Visualizations
  • Centralized Customer Data
  • Mobile App
  • Various Integrations

There are a couple of things that I love about monday.com. The first is that I can automate tasks to be more comfortable when doing other activities. The second is that I can organize my projects in an easy and orderly way.


Whichever CRM software you decide to go ahead with, just be sure to choose a solution that is aligned with your specific business processes. From the size of your organization, the importance of affordability and any other unique features - be sure to take some time to determine exactly what your team needs from a CRM solution.

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