6 Best Affordable CRM Software Solutions Abe Dearmer Oct 19, 2022 ∙ 21 min read CRM When successfully managing customer relationships, it takes more than stacks of post-it notes, emails, and that little black book you swore you set down over there. To effectively manage and nurture customer relationships in 2022 and beyond, you need customer relationship management, or CRM, software. We understand that you’ve got a budget to work with and expenses piling up. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of small businesses best and most affordable CRM software. Keep reading to learn more about affordable CRM software, why it’s important, and how you can find the software that meets your needs today. Table of Contents What Is CRM Software? What Are the Benefits of CRM Software? Why Is CRM Critical for Telemarketing in Small Businesses? How Much Should a CRM Service Cost? What Is the Easiest CRM for Small Businesses? What Are the Disadvantages of CRM? Affordable CRM Software Options for Small Business FiveCRM HubSpot Less Annoying CRM Piperdrive CRM Insightly CRM Nimble CRM Final Thoughts What Is CRM Software? CRM software is specifically designed to help businesses of all sizes offer their customers a unique and seamless customer experience while also nurturing their relationships by painting a full picture of all customer interactions, sales, and collaboration between teams. What Are the Benefits of CRM Software? There are a number of benefits of CRM software, including: Access a Centralized Database Across Your Company CRM software gives your entire organization a centralized spot to keep a record of information on all prospective customers — no more lost phone numbers, duplicate emails, or losing out on sales for lack of attention. CRM software saves you from wasting time digging through records and tracking down contacts to get the information you need about your prospects. Instead, simply log into your CRM, search for who you’re looking for, and follow up and close the deal. CRM software also lets you manage all communication and interactions with your prospective customers, enabling you to keep track of every step of the buyer journey, including every phone call, email, direct message, and any other type of interaction. Automated Data Entry When you count on CRM software, you can say goodbye to time wasted logging emails, meeting notes, and other interactions. Instead, the software will automatically collect and aggregate this information within the system. The level of data that CRM software can automatically collect — including social media interactions, customer reviews, website visits, etc. — will give you new insights into your customer behavior by providing you with analytics and reporting capabilities to help you understand the data. The deep data insights that CRM software can gather include information on: Sales performance. Revenue by territory. Marketing campaign click-through rates. Number of open tickets. A lead or account’s value. Support quality. This data helps you identify any problems and make the appropriate corrections before they have the chance to impact your product or service. In addition to data entry, CRMs allow you to automate mundane tasks so your team can focus on relationship-building and other client-facing tasks. Some of the tasks you can automate with a strong CRM include: Marketing. Sales. Service. Drip email marketing. Lead and customer tracking. Follow-ups. A Cost-Effective Solution There are many options on the market for affordable CRM solutions. Cloud-based platforms have increased competition in the CRM space while driving down costs. The capabilities included with CRMs, like business intelligence (BI), machine learning algorithms, and AI, give these platforms more “bang for the buck.” On-the-Go Accessibility Any business owner today knows that “business hours” are pretty much a thing of the past. Whether you’re working with customers in different time zones, have system outages during overnight hours, or want to get some work done outside of traditional working hours, accessing your CRM system from anywhere is more prevalent than ever. Cloud-based CRM software gives you access from devices on the go — whether it’s your laptop computer at home, a tablet in your living room, or your smartphone at your son’s baseball game. Don’t miss a beat with an on-the-go CRM platform that lets you take calls, respond to inquiries, message prospects and customers to answer questions, and respond to inquiries from anywhere. This kind of contact, sales management, and sales pipeline available in your pocket will set you apart from the competition and allow you to “wow” your customers and prospects with your attentiveness and ability to spring into action at a moment’s notice. Follow-Up Reminders It can be hard to remember to follow up with prospects, given all of the other tasks and duties you’ve got on your plate. CRM software takes care of this, too, by tracking all of your prospect activity, letting you know the best times to follow up with prospects. This helps ensure you are not contacting prospects too often — annoying them — or contacting them too infrequently — leaving them feeling ignored — and will help you contact them at the most opportune times to close the deal. Increased Customer Retention The cost to acquire a new customer can be five times more than the cost of retaining an existing one. So, it goes without saying that it’s much cheaper to keep current customers than find new ones, meaning customer retention is a crucial component of your company’s success. CRM software can help increase customer retention in several ways. This includes its ability to help you keep in touch with your customers and respond to their needs and the data insights it provides that allow you to step in before any issues drive the customer away. CRM software also offers explicit benefits to the customer, such as: They Will Get What they Want A CRM system allows you to target your potential customers with marketing campaigns that contain only relevant information. This means they are not flooded with useless information they don’t care about. Instead, you can use customer data, such as their purchase history, demographics, and previous searches, to give them a tailor-fit campaign that’s much more likely to convert. When you start the customer journey with this kind of personalization, the customers are likelier to give your services a chance and turn into happy, loyal customers. They Will Get the Help They Need Rather than having to keep customer information scattered on Google Docs, Excel spreadsheets, and notepads, CRMs help you gather and unify all customer data in one place, giving everyone in your organization access. This means when a customer needs something, anyone on your team can access it for them, providing them with fast and reliable support. They Will Get Help When They Need It The quickest way to turn a customer or prospect off is to waste their time with long wait times when they’re trying to get in touch with you. In this instant-gratification world, they'll expect an immediate response to sales or marketing questions. That’s something you can’t realistically offer if you only depend on your in-house employees. A CRM can help you automate customer service tasks and respond in real time. It does this by offering chatbots that provide instant answers to common questions and transfer more complicated queries to the right staff member. Other customer service tasks a CRM can automatically facilitate include appointment setting, templates for repeat orders, and online resources such as product guides, white papers, and eBooks that are emailed instantly upon customer request. Why Is CRM Critical for Telemarketing in Small Businesses? Developing deep connections with customers is critical for all small businesses that use telemarketing. When you’re able to provide a tailored and personalized service, you boost the customer experience. The top reasons CRM is so important for telemarketing with small businesses include: Helps you boost profitability by spending less on acquiring new customers. Analytical features enable you to generate information about your customers in real time. This allows you to identify trends and patterns that impact sales while also identifying the customers who are most likely to purchase your products and services so your sales team can focus on these customers to make more sales. Increase your team’s productivity with a central repository for all customer information. This means your sales teams don’t have to spend large amounts of time sifting through different software tools and physical documents to find the information they need for sales calls. Instead, they can access it in one easy-to-find spot through the CRM. Learn more about the importance of CRM for small telemarketing businesses here. How Much Should a CRM Service Cost? CRM software costs vary greatly, with some companies offering their services for free or as low as $12 per month for small businesses. Packages with more features for larger businesses can run between $50 and $150 per user per month, and the most expensive CRM software packages can charge upward of $300 per user per month or more. The cost of CRM depends on your business needs, budget, and size. Since there are so many affordable CRM software options on the market today, you should not feel like you have to break the bank or bust your budget to get access to a powerful customer relationship management tool. What Is the Easiest CRM for Small Businesses? The easiest CRM for small businesses are options like FiveCRM, which give you access to all the features you need, including customizable dashboards, reports, and workflows, automated appointment setting and call-back management, and live support for an affordable and scalable price. The best CRM options for small businesses are ones that offer standard pricing models, so you won’t have to worry about surprise bills and hidden fees. It’s also important to find a scalable option so you can add more functionalities and users as your business grows. This ensures you only pay for the features you need when you need them. What Are the Disadvantages of CRM? There are some potential drawbacks associated with CRM, such as: The Cost One of the biggest challenges business owners face when it comes to CRM implementation is the cost. To ensure you have a full understanding of what you’re paying for, be sure to consider the following: The cost of the software subscription and/or purchase fee. Premium upgrades. Customization. Any required IT resources. Any required hardware or software. Staff training. Staff Can Become Too Reliant on CRM With all of the capabilities and functions of CRM software, it’s no wonder that sometimes staff may become too reliant on the software, entrusting it to handle every aspect of customer relationship management. This can lead to reduced flexibility and attention to customer needs. Staff may also become helpless when customers ask them questions about information that’s not in the system, rendering them unable to answer customer questions. This can cause customers to become frustrated and stop doing business with your company. On the other hand, some staff members may be reluctant to use new software, and you will have to train them. As long as you provide time and space for them to receive ample training on the new software, your employees should quickly realize how helpful CRM is in their day-to-day work. CRM May Not Be Suitable for All Businesses As beneficial as CRM is, it’s important to remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, businesses with highly standardized customer transactions may not benefit from CRM software because CRM works best in fields where personalization is required in customer-facing interactions. That includes multiple touchpoints over time between the customer/prospect and the business. Loss of Records Some CRM applications, like Salesforce, use remote internet connections to save customer records. The problem with that is the company does not have control over the data; if there is a system outage, the company may not be able to retrieve its records, resulting in lost revenue and customer trust. Affordable CRM Software Options for Small Business The top six highest-performing and most affordable CRM software options are: 1. FiveCRM FiveCRM provides completely customizable workspaces to give you total control over how your CRM platform will go to work for your business. FiveCRM is a beloved CRM software in the telemarketing industry, as well as education, insurance, finance, and consultancy. In fact, FiveCRM is the only CRM made specifically for telemarketing. The solution is suitable for 5–200+ seats in a call center environment and can help call centers double their call quotas while allowing agents to develop relationships with prospects during outbound calls. FiveCRM provides users with high-powered customer and business analytics for immediate insights that help power decision-making and workflows. FiveCRM’s flexibility allows you to export unlimited reports that are completely customizable to your specific business needs and outcomes. Manage your leads and fill the sales funnel with FiveCRM’s lead-generation capabilities that allow you to generate and convert higher volume and higher quality leads. The platform’s integrated email marketing software makes it easier than ever to create targeted and tiered email campaigns with real-time insights to enable you to reach the right leads at the right time. Use FiveCRM’s native app builder software to create a completely customizable user experience, including: Custom workflows. Custom data fields. Custom sales processes. Custom sales pipelines. Custom interfaces. Customize all aspects of your user experience to meet your needs entirely when you partner with FiveCRM as your affordable CRM software provider. One Trustpilot reviewer wrote that FiveCRM is the “best CRM for telemarketing,” adding that she has used most of the CRM systems on the market in the past 15 years, and FiveCRM is by far the best. The reviewer appreciates FiveCRM’s customizability and how it provides full visibility and transparency to clients for reporting. Another reviewer wrote, “FiveCRM is a wonderful software that provided us with all the marketing-related solutions and helped us greatly uplift our business. It has helped us in extending our reach to our target market and potential customers.” FiveCRM Key Features Customize dashboards, reports, and workflows across 999 databases. Automated appointment setting and call-back management eliminate rot in your sales pipeline. Enhanced reports provide performance and KPI metrics on the individual, team, and stakeholder levels. Live support via phone and chat. An all-inclusive package gives you access to all of FiveCRM’s features for one upfront price. FiveCRM Pricing FiveCRM offers a standard pricing model that can be billed monthly or annually. The tiers of the pricing model vary based on the number of seats you need. Although the price changes based on how many seats you need, all tiers get access to: CRM software. Telemarketing. Email marketing software. Analytics and reporting. Lead generation. The monthly price for FiveCRM varies from $70 per month for one seat to $13,922 for 300 seats (that’s only $46 per seat per month). 2. HubSpot HubSpot is a well-known CRM software option that offers a wide range of features, including the ability to add unlimited users and store up to one million contacts. HubSpot’s CRM focuses on the sales process, which is evident through its tools to generate leads, close deals, and keep customers coming back for more. One reviewer wrote they really liked HubSpot’s functionality as a CRM for sales-based organizations, noting that although the interface can be a bit daunting for new users, the tutorials provided by HubSpot help with the ease of navigation. When it comes to affordable CRM software, you can’t get more affordable than HubSpot’s free option, which is packed with a wide variety of free features and integrations. HubSpot’s integrations include G Suite and Outlook to provide a seamless experience with the tools your team already uses daily. Some of the key benefits of HubSpot include an effortlessly easy user experience that is powered by drag-and-drop functionality and live chat support that’s available around the clock. Because of HubSpot’s wide range of paid and free features, it’s a great CRM option for businesses of all sizes. Startups and businesses with smaller budgets can access the free features, and companies with bigger budgets can add on the features they need. HubSpot Key Features Data sync. Programmable automation. Data quality automation. SEO recommendations. HubSpot Pricing HubSpot offers a free version, but in order to unlock the key features of CRM, most customers will need to upgrade to a paid subscription. HubSpot offers the following pricing tiers: Starter: $45/month. Professional: $890/month. Enterprise: $3,200/month. 3. Less Annoying CRM Less Annoying CRM provides a simple cloud-based CRM designed specifically for small businesses. The platform lets users store contacts, track leads, and manage tasks in the cloud to create a streamlined process to close more deals. While easy to use, Less Annoying CRM still offers a broad range of customizability. It allows users to keep track of their contacts, outreach history, and sales leads while also providing options to manage events and reminders from one simple application. Less Annoying CRM has fewer features than some of the more expensive platforms, but it still offers core functionalities that businesses need to manage their relationships for an affordable and flat-rate fee. Cloud-based CRM options, such as Less Annoying CRM, provide affordable CRM software for small businesses that’s easy to install, use, and collaborate with and offers great scalability to grow with your company. Cloud-based CRM software also provides fast and reliable access from anywhere. Most online reviewers rave about the simplicity and ease of use of Less Annoying CRM. However, some complained about a lack of complexity needed for specific tasks, like advanced search and filter and more customization. Less Annoying CRM Key Features Integrations with a number of third-party applications to allow users to sync with software they already use. Contact and account management. Customer support portal. Reporting and analytics. Lead management. Less Annoying CRM Pricing Less Annoying CRM offers an extremely straightforward pricing model: $15 per month per user. If you have more than 10 users, you are encouraged to contact the company for custom pricing. 4. Piperdrive CRM Piperdrive is focused on driving the sales process and tracking contacts. This CRM is designed to help move the customer down the sales pipeline and seal the deal. Piperdrive is used by some of the world’s largest corporations, including Amazon, RE/MAX, and Vimeo. Piperdrive makes it easy to pick up and manage leads and contacts while prioritizing key sales activities. It also lets you build multiple sales pipelines with customizable stages for each product or service. The Piperdrive CRM platform enables companies to improve their workflows, increase their productivity, and scale their businesses while having access to tools for communication, insights, and reports, and a number of integrations, including video calls, lead generation, and customer support. Many of Piperdrive’s functionalities are customizable, and users can create their own custom dashboards and pipelines. One reviewer warned prospective customers living in the United States that customer support for U.S. customers can be slow because the team at Piperdrive works European hours. He wrote that his customer service queries took up to 24 hours to resolve. For the most part, other reviewers like the user-friendliness of Piperdrive, particularly for new users, but say some of the more advanced features need to be de-bugged. Piperdrive Key Features Mobile app available for Android and iOS. Sales software to help your business grow. Email marketing software to create and send customizable email campaigns. Lead generation software. Integrations with more than 300 marketplaces and tools, including Google, Slack, Asana, and Xero. Piperdrive Pricing Piperdrive offers four pricing tiers: The Essential Plan: $14.90/user/month when billed annually, $15/user/month when billed monthly. The Advanced Plan: $24.90/user/month when billed annually, $29/user/month when billed monthly. The Professional Plan: $49.90/user/month when billed annually, $59/user/month when billed monthly. The Enterprise Plan: $99/user/month, billed annually. 5. Insightly CRM Insightly CRM is used by more than 350,000 small businesses and freelancers around the globe. This powerful CRM solution is specifically designed for small businesses. It allows users to easily track and access relevant information about prospects, such as their email and phone call history, background, and other important updates. The CRM software takes the complexity out of building strong relationships by helping users map and better understand relationships through a flexible record-linking functionality that links all emails, phone calls, and other records to existing contacts in your database. Insightly’s workflow automation allows companies to automate complex, multi-step processes like email alerts and the creation and updating of records. Insightly offers integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Office 365, Google Drive, and a number of social media accounts. One reviewer wrote they like Insightly because it allows them to save activity sets for recurring tasks, saving them time. They also like how Insightly works as a central repository for customer data that all internal teams can access. The most common complaints from reviewers about Insightly were that you cannot tag or notify someone within a task and that third-party integrations can be lacking. Insightly Key Features Lead management. Email templates. Relationship linking. Task and event syncing. Mobile app functionality for use on the go. Insightly Pricing Insightly offers the following pricing tiers: Plus: $29/user/month. Professional: $49/user/month. Enterprise: $99/user/month. 6. Nimble CRM Nimble’s aim is to help businesses find smart and simple ways to track and nurture their leads and current customers. The so-called “relationship-focused CRM” requires no setup and builds itself for users. Nimble is most suitable for small to mid-sized businesses looking to nurture their relationships across email, social networks, and cloud-based applications; Nimble users have access to more than 90 cloud-based business applications. Nimble CRM’s actionable and accessible contact records enable your team to easily locate all contact information and interaction history for a full view of your customers and leads. You can also stay organized by segmenting your contacts into lists to take actions like sending trackable group emails so you can see the open and click rates to identify follow-up opportunities. Nimble’s activity tracking lets you stay on top of your team’s tasks, events, calls, etc., in a streamlined activity tracking dashboard. One of the CRM software’s more unique features is negative comment management on social media, allowing users to be aware of any negative comments made about their company across social networks, websites, and Google. This enables them to respond quickly and effectively to maintain a good online reputation. One drawback of the CRM platform reported by some users is that it can be a bit complicated to use, especially for users without prior CRM experience or knowledge. Another reviewer wrote he enjoys how Nimble allows him to be more hands-on and highly competitive around sales targets while also keeping him informed of campaign distribution, customer follow-ups, and marketing services. Nimble Key Features Contact management. Deal pipeline management. Call logging. Activity tracking. Integrations with more than 160 apps, including Google, Office 365, Mailchimp, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Calendar integration. Nimble Pricing Nimble offers a straightforward pricing model at $19 per user per month when billed annually and $25 per user per month when billed monthly. Final Thoughts Finding affordable CRM software is a top concern for businesses of all sizes. Managing customer relationships and lead nurturing can be overwhelming and time-consuming without CRM software. There are a lot of CRM software options on the market, so it's crucial to use resources like this guide to find a CRM that works best with your budget, scope of business, and needs. It's important to remember that while some free options may seem like a great deal, the features they offer are limited, and you could end up paying to add on services you need. That's why a top priority for your business should be finding an affordable CRM software option with a suite of services to help you manage and nurture your customer relationships and lead management, like FiveCRM. At FiveCRM, we believe in putting customer convenience first. Speaking with potential and existing clients, we noticed a common pain point — the need to change business processes to conform with their CRM. With FiveCRM, you have complete control over how your CRM platform will work for your business. Schedule a free demo to get started today.