As your IT business grows, you’ll start seeing more customers walk through your door and have more relationships to keep track of! Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps business owners organize and report on customer data. Here’s our complete reference guide for the best CRMs to help you decide which is best for your IT firm or consultancy.
CRMs help you understand and track clients' work history and strengthen your relationship with them. CRMs also provide sales reporting tools to create a more accurate sales funnel. Each CRM has a purpose, meaning each will suit businesses of different industries in various ways.
Here, we review the top CRMs used by IT firms & consultants. Review the pros and cons of each, and pick the one that best meets your needs.
The Hubspot CRM is a free software that helps you manage leads and sales goals. They offer unlimited data storage and up to 1 million contacts for free. The Pipeline Management tool makes it easy to track sales progress and avoid missing deals. Hubspot also offers useful features like email templates to engage leads.
Strong inbound marketing system to qualify leads
Integration with Gmail and Outlook
Features are specific to sales and marketing teams and may not be for you if you’re not sending out deals and contracts weekly
Alignment of marketing and sales to organize leads into different pipelines
Some limitations with 3rd party marketing tools integration
Who is it best for? Hubspot CRM is best for small businesses that need help managing leads at an affordable price. If your team sends contracts and sales deals on a weekly basis, this tool would be a great resource.
Hubspot CRM customer review:
“The connection to our email made it really easy to record all incoming and outgoing messages. It was good to have that history on all of our records. Templates and reports were helpful also. Modern design/interface.”
- Krista R.
The Salesforce CRM is a simple yet powerful software. Mainly used to manage sales activity, Salesforce can also help boost productivity and improve customer retention. This tool lets you personalize your CRM by choosing which modules and tracking systems you want to show up in your dashboard.
Lead scoring to help acquire more more quality leads and shorten the conversion timeline
Comes with G Suite free for 12 months
Limited features in the less expensive monthly plans
Some say the interface is complex for smaller businesses and sales teams
Who is it best for? Large companies and enterprises with active sales teams could benefit from Salesforce CRM. It’s not as useful for small business.
Pricing: Salesforce offers a free 30-day trial. They have monthly plans ranging from $25 per month for up to five users, up to $300 per month for unlimited usage and support.
Salesforce customer review:
“Sortability of information and tracking mechanisms to make sure you are current on client contact has been helpful. Others can see what the latest conversations and contact entailed.”
- LeAnne F.
The Cloze CRM is a mobile app that allows you to view all your contact and interactions in one space. This includes phone call history, social media updates, emails, text messages, and more. Many state Cloze is great at scoring potential leads based on the amount of conversation and follow up you have with the person.
Integration of many popular applications you’d use on your phone like Notes and Calendar appointments
Helps to manage relationships and conversation history
Generates lead scores
To get the more advanced features, you must pay for the upgraded accounts.
Some reviews have reported the app was difficult to navigate at first.
Who is it best for? Cloze is best for business owners and other entrepreneurs who are always out on the go. The mobile app allows you to manage client relationships and your schedule all on your cell phone.
Pricing: Cloze offers a 14-day free trial. There is an option for a free account, which has fewer features than the paid version. Plans are around $13/ month (billed annually) with premium features. You can pay more to add multiple users to an account.
Cloze customer review:
“The Keep-In-Touch [improved] my ability to customize my personal follow-up process preferences. Because Cloze is able to access all my email accounts (I use a number of client's email accounts) as well as my social media connections and Voice over IP phones (Verizon & Ring Central) I know the system is grading the relationships properly.”
- Michael S.
Zoho CRM helps attract new customers and manage existing relationships. With unlimited data storage and up to 50,000 contacts free, Zoho is a useful solution to manage leads, contacts, and your sales pipeline. This CRM and its AI “Zia” can help you bring in leads and automate the workflow of progressing those leads to conversions more easily.
Integration with software like MailChimp, QuickBooks, CloudWork, Google Apps, ConstantContact, and more
Customizable end-to-end lead and contact management with full control of features
Opportunity Tracking software helps you re-engage with cold leads based on their history and status in the sales cycle
Some users have reported bugs in the app, meaning it could use improvements in usability
Reports of slow customer service response time
Who is it best for? Zoho CRM can benefit both small and large enterprises that have an active sales team.
Pricing: Zoho offers a free 14-day trial. After that, plans range from $15 per user per month to $100 per user per month. The larger plans grant access to more advanced features.
Zoho CRM customer review:
“Zoho crm giving you the best features that will surely help you towards your business success. You can manage leads, create templates, create workflows, and the filter option is one of the best feature.you can customise Zoho crm as per your needs. You can also integrate cloud calling feature. Zoho social also the best one that I am also using. It has a lot of features and all of them are very useful and worth the money.”
- Priya G.
ActiveCampaign is a CRM built mainly to help with marketing automation. It also organizes your customer data in one place and create reports. Features like the integrated form builder are great at tracking your sales goals and managing client relationships with a more personalized approach. These features can help you create various emails with their email marketing automation tools.
You can create personalized email messaging based on client history
Integration with other marketing and ecommerce software like WooCommerce, Unbounce, Shopify, and more
Data dashboard to track sales progress and client history in one place
Users report the software could improve its notifications function
Reported slow server with more contacts added
Who is it best for? Companies with active sales teams or marketing departments. Small businesses can benefit from ActiveCampaign; they even have a discount for non-profits!
Pricing: Their plans start at $17/month for up to three users. Plans go up to $229/ month (billed annually) for advanced features like a custom Mailserver Domain, Dedicated Account Rep, In-depth Onboarding, and Free Design Services.
ActiveCampaign customer review:
“This is a quick and very easy work flow tool that has made our email campaigns much easier to quickly generate and get live. but not only that the tracking has done wonders for us.”
- Anthony R.
The Insightly CRM is a great tool to manage sales goals, but also to manage relationships surrounding your business—including your suppliers, staff, referral partners, affiliates, and more. The tool allows you to view a contact’s communications history, events, assigned tasks, and social profiles. Users are allowed up to 200 GB free, as well as up to 2,500 contacts.
Standard dashboard to review customer data and review the progress of sales goals
Integration with Google apps, as well as access to a mobile app
Workflow automation to manage tasks and progress of a sales funnel
Can be complicated for small businesses
Reporting can be limited, depending on your needs
Who is it best for? Insightly is a great tool for many industries, like IT, construction, manufacturing, and other agencies. It’s useful for managing contacts, so any business juggling various relationships can use this tool.
Pricing: Plans range from $29 per month to $99 per month, with the higher tier gaining unlimited records and more advanced features like workflow automation.
Insightly customer review:
“I thought this contact management software was very easy to use. I learned to use it as part of my job training and was thankful that it didn't take me long to figure out. I liked it so much, I set up a separate account to manage my own contacts. Loved that a basic account without special features is 100 percent free.”
- Victoria D.
Capsule CRM helps you manage and categorize your contacts—but not just customers. You can track previous vendors, media, your team members, and more. With a dashboard that maps your client communication history (when and how you communicated last), you can build stronger client relationships and manage sales more efficiently. Teams can access their clients all in one place, with added notes, emails, and tasks related to contacts.
Client history mapping that shows your last interaction with a contact
Ability to import contacts from Outlook, Gmail, vCard, and a CSV file
Integration with other marketing software like MailChimp
Some users reported issues with accessing their dashboard on mobile
Certain advanced features are only available in the paid version
Limited features and automation for larger, more active sales teams
Who is it best for? This CRM is another great option for managing contacts. Small businesses and those with many vendor relationships, like IT firms and consultancies, can benefit from this tool.
Pricing: Capsule’s free account allows for up to two users and 10 MB of storage. The professional plan is $12 per user per month with more advanced features and integrations.
Capsule customer review:
“Very basic CRM tool. Get for lead management . The free version is great for organizing my contacts and opportunities.”
- Elle R.
Pipedrive is a sales CRM and pipeline management system that gives you unlimited contacts and up to 2 GB storage per user. You’ll get an overview of your sales history, as well as the status of any current leads to help you decide what your next action will be. Pipedrive can automatically track emails, calls, and your progress to closing a sale.
Dashboard that gives you an overview of all the things your CRM is monitoring
Easy desktop setup, as well as mobile apps on iPhone and Android
Notifications to help track sales, with suggestions for which deals and contacts to act on depending on their progress in the sales funnel
Limited features for more affordable plan
Works best for flat sales structures, as opposed to tracking progress for individual salespeople
Who is it best for? Pipedrive is great for small and medium sales teams that send out deals and proposals on a weekly basis.
Pricing: Pipedrive offers a free trial. Their three plans range from $12 per user per month up to $62 per user per month. Their larger plans have access to advanced features like a sales inbox and multiple dashboards.
Pipedrive customer review:
“Easy to use. Love the Pipeline Report views. Easy to customize reporting fields. Mobile app is very useful. Would like to see Sales Forecast in mobile app.”
- Keith K.
Deltek for Professional Services is a CRM built for consulting firms. This resource help you manage the process of onboarding a client, and throughout the lifecycle of their relationship with your company. Deltek also helps you manage your resources and tasks, qualify and engage leads, manage client relationships, and track and review financial data. The tool allows you to see in real-time your business’s profitability and other key metrics to measure business success.
Strong security to safely share data with employees and partners
Tools to help automate and streamline your main worflows
Integration with GovWin IQ
Some functionality issues were reported for the earlier version of the software
Doesn’t allow for much customization for dashboard modules you get to view
Who is it best for? Deltek for Professional Services is best for IT consulting firms and other businesses offering professional services.
Pricing: Monthly plans start at $30 per user per month for standard features. There is also a plan for $46 per user per month which includes full accounting services.
Deltek customer review:
“The sheer amount of customization of this program is amazing - my firm can track tons of information and cross-reference it in multiple ways to keep all of our ducks in a row and coordinate our efforts.”
- Ed A.
NetSuite is a cloud-based CRM that provides you with a real-time view of your clients and interactions. This tool covers the relationship timeline from generating a lead to engaging a repeat customer. NetSuite includes tools for sales automation, marketing automation, customer service management, and vendor or partner relationship management. It also helps keep track of quotes and proposals that have been sent out to clients.
Improves productivity by giving you a 360-degree view of your leads and customers
Increases sales by assisting in lead generation, qualification, and progression through the sales funnel
Tools to integrate accounting applications to easily manage finances
Outdated user interface could become difficult and could use an update
Limited options for third-party integration
Plans can be costly for small businesses
Who is it best for? This CRM is great for consulting firms and other service-based businesses. Tools like warehouse and shipping application integration make it also great for eCommerce businesses, or for service businesses that also supply products, like IT firms providing hardware as well as software.
Pricing: Information about monthly plans was not available on the NetSuite site, but some resellers are offering plans starting at $999 per month.
NetSuite customer review:
“NetSuite CRM provides organized and customizable dashboards for each client, or for the prospective client, that giving a high-level view of the health of the association. We use NetSuite mainly for managing and reporting on leads, prospects, and customers through the lifecycle.”
- Russell W.
You already have a lot on your plate. Once you select your CRM, contact the team here at Smith.ai and we can guide you through integrating your CRM with our virtual receptionist service. After handling a call from a lead or client, we can add new records to your CRM, complete intake forms you've created in your CRM, and more. We're available Monday through Friday 5am – 6pm PT at (650) 727-6484, or you can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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