Best CRM Software

Best in class CRM

Chapter 01: Introduction

As a small business owner, it’s important to get the most out of every precious minute and dollar you spend. We understand that time is money and you need to effectively manage both in order to run a successful business. Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is a great way to streamline your marketing efforts – saving you time as well as increasing your revenue.

A well-oiled CRM is the cornerstone of your business. It’s important to choose the right CRM for your business needs. We at Keap have done some research and – since our goal is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners like you succeed – we’re opening our doors to share our findings with you.

What we’ve found is that businesses can be classified into four sizes, based on revenue and number of employees*:

  • Startup: 1-2 employees; <$100,00 in revenue
  • Small Business: 2-25 employees; $100,000-$3 million in revenue
  • Medium Business: 25-500 employees; $3-60 million in revenue
  • Large Business: 500+ employees; $60+ million in revenue

Our research shows that businesses of similar size tend to share common ground in their CRM software needs. We’ve made some recommendations for the best CRM software based on the size of your business.

*Business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.

Chapter 02: Best CRM Software for a Startup – Zoho

Trial period: 15 days

Cost: pricing starts around $15/mo. per user

With 1-2 employees and less than $100,000 in revenue, Zoho would be the most beneficial CRM for your startup. Zoho features the ability to prioritize your sales activities, automate your sales force, track sales and engage with your customers via various channels. You can also customize a variety of your Zoho apps as well as access your account via Zoho’s mobile app.

Prioritize Sales Activities

Zoho gives you the ability to prioritize your prospects and view their recent activity in an easy-to-read chart. Zoho’s customer tracking gives you a comprehensive view of your customers’ online activities, allowing you to segment and organize communications before speaking with them.

Sales Force Automation

Zoho’s automation capabilities allow you to automate your sales and marketing workflow, as well as manage leads, contacts, accounts and sales collateral. You can also create web forms to capture leads.

Sales Tracking

With Zoho’s sales tracking features, you can manage your prospect opportunities as well as give ranked permissions to delegate which of your employees can access what is in your Zoho account. Zoho provides sales reports and dashboards to give a comprehensive view of your account activity.


Zoho allows you to communicate with your customers via email, social media, phone and online chat – all from your CRM account. You’ll receive notifications when a customer contacts you on any channel and be able to respond from directly within your Zoho account.

Zoho CRM for Mobile

With Zoho CRM for Mobile, you can access and manage your Zoho account from your smartphone. Zoho’s Leads app allows you to create a contact by taking a picture of their badge or business card.

Customer Reviews of Zoho

Pros* Affordable pricing* Reporting capabilities* Inventory management features* Customization capabilities* Great customer support

Pains* Basic templates* No automation on basic versions* Integration with other Zoho apps* Limited marketplace apps

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Chapter 03: Best CRM Software for a Small Business – Keap

Cost: pricing starts at $99/mo

You’ll resonate with the needs of a small business if you have 2-25 employees and make between $100,000 and $3 million in revenue. As your business grows, so do its CRM needs. Software pricing alone is evidence that the transition from startup to small business is a significant one.

Now that you’ve grown past the startup stage and are running a small business, you will require a more holistic CRM to manage your customers – Keap would be that CRM. Small businesses excel with Keap because the software is so robust. It combines marketing automation software and a CRM into one system. You’re able to have virtually everything you need to capture, manage and follow-up with customers on a single platform.

Keap’s CRM element allows you to manage, organize and segment customer data, score leads, manage tasks and integrate Keap with your email account.

Data Management

With Keap, you can import your current contact data into your Keap app, which will clean up your list as well as combine duplicate contacts. You can then organize your contacts with detailed records that include contact information, order and account balance, lead score, task and appointment history and website activity history.

You can segment your contacts into lists based on demographics, lead score and behaviors such email opens, orders and payment history. This allows you to send personalized communications based on contact segmentation.

Lead Scoring

Keap’s lead scoring element ranks leads based on interactions and engagement with your communications. This allows you to focus on and follow up with hot leads that are ready to become customers.

Task Management

A calendar and other task management tools allow you to manage appointments, set reminders for tasks and create to-do lists. All tasks and appointments for the day are streamlined in a comprehensive dashboard.

Email Integration

You can sync your Gmail or Outlook account with your Keap app. A Keap sidebar will appear on your email account, which will give you access to contact information, tags and appointment history. You can even add notes and trigger follow-up actions.


With Keap Mobile, you can access and manage your CRM to edit contact information, add tags, trigger automated follow-up, activate campaigns and communicate with your customers – all from your smartphone.

Customer Reviews of Keap


  • Limitless campaign creation options
  • Great automation capabilities
  • Integrates multiple programs
  • Excellent customer management tools
  • Helpful customer support


  • Steep learning curve
  • Email customization capabilities
  • High startup fee
  • Web form customization capabilities

Chapter 04: Best CRM Software for a Medium Business – Salesforce

Trial period: 30 days

Cost: pricing starts around $25/mo

If your business has 25-500 employees and makes $3-60 million in revenue, Salesforce would be the best CRM for you. With Salesforce, you can manage contacts and leads, automate business processes and view sales forecasts and reports.

Contact ManagementSalesforce gives you a comprehensive view of your customer base, including contact details and engagement and communication history. You can manage your sales deals as well as create custom quotes for your customers.

With the Sales Cloud Engage, you can communicate with your customers via personalized communications. Email campaign tracking and real-time alerts let you know when to reach out to your prospects.

Lead ManagementWith Salesforce, you can track your leads’ engagement with your campaigns across a variety of channels. You can also create opt-in forms and custom landing pages to increase lead capture. Pardot Marketing Automation allows you to map and send personalized email campaigns, which you can track and use that data to pursue interested prospects.

Automate ProcessesSalesforce Workflow allows you to create workflows that automate the processes of your business, such as guiding sales reps through a conversation or triggering email alerts for deals over a particular size. The Inside Sales Console gives your sales teams a comprehensive view of contact engagement and a lead queue to help them pursue qualified leads.

Sales ForecastingSalesforce allows you to track a sales rep’s quota and acquisitions for a certain time period. The forecast screen displays this information alongside forecasts to give you insight as to where you or your sales reps need to focus. You can also manage sales territories and get real-time reports and dashboards.

MobileSalesforce Mobile allows you to access and manage CRM data, complete sales tasks, view dashboards and search for what you need from your smartphone. You can also access files to share with your sales team and customers.

Customer Reviews


  • Easy to use
  • Customization capabilities
  • Data dashboard customization
  • Real-time reporting capabilities


  • Expensive pricing
  • High learning curve
  • Overwhelming

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Chapter 05: ​Best CRM Software for a Large Business – Microsoft Dynamics

Trial period: 30 days Cost: pricing starts at $65

Businesses with more than 500 employees that generate over $60 million in revenue would benefit most from Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft Dynamics features tools designed specifically for sales, marketing, service and social media.


The Microsoft Dynamics dashboard gives you a holistic overview of your sales pipeline and progress your team has made on company goals. You’re able to connect with customers via Skype and archive conversations for future reference. Team members are automatically alerted if progress has been made on a prospect.

Familiar systems like Excel and OneNote are embedded within Microsoft Dynamics, giving you the ability to easily update contact information and share notes with your team. You’re also able to access your information via mobile or tablet and can even alter information offline, making it easier for you to work on the go.


Microsoft Dynamics lets you access all of your marketing activities in one place. Your campaign analytics are displayed on your dashboard in easy-to-read performance charts, giving you insight as to where you need to focus your efforts.

You can enforce consistent brand positioning and ensure your campaigns are effectively implemented by keeping track of requests for updated marketing assets. You’re also able to create workflows, allowing you to automate tasks and create consistency in your business processes.


With the Microsoft Dynamics service focus, you’re able to personalize your dashboard to give you the most important updates and keep high priority deals visible. You receive real-time notifications when events happen, such as when deals are closed or when a project is approaching a deadline.

You’re able to track company and team performance of predicted service-level agreements (SLAs) versus actual SLAs. You can even share dashboards with your team to show overall performance.

Social Intelligence

Microsoft Social Engagement allows you to communicate with people on social media directly within Microsoft Dynamics. You’re able to set permissions for who can manage and engage with social media interactions. You can also create CRM records from social posts to avoid losing contact with a customer.

Your dashboard displays current trends as well as visual analyses of social media engagement with your brand, including sentiments, where in the world discussions are happening, comparisons of channel engagements and volume changes in posts.

Customer Reviews


  • User friendly
  • Extensive reporting capabilities
  • Customization capabilities
  • Provides service level agreement
  • Helpful customer support


  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited mobile app capabilities
  • Expensive pricing
  • Limited marketplace apps

More on Microsoft Dynamics

Chapter 06: Final Thoughts

When implementing a CRM, it’s important to consider the nuances of how you plan to manage your customer base. The basic software might be just fine for your particular business. Or you might need to upgrade to the enhanced versions to manage your customers most effectively.

It’s no secret that customers are the lifeblood of a business – a successful company prevails in acquiring new customers and in keeping current customers happy.

An effective CRM can help you do both.

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Why the name change?

Our new product, Keap, is pioneering smart client management, just as Infusionsoft did for sales and marketing automation 18 years ago.

We believe there’s a better way to manage sales for service businesses both big and small. And that’s Keap—one company with two products to serve all small businesses.

Smart client management software that helps turn incoming leads into satisfied clients.

The #1 all-in-one CRM and advanced marketing automation platform, as rated by G2 Crowd.

Keep going. Keep serving. Keep growing.

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