In today’s competitive business landscape, customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. However, with the multitude of options available, finding the right CRM system that is both effective and easy to use can be overwhelming. To simplify the selection process, this article will highlight the five simplest CRM systems that are expected to be the best options for 2023. These CRMs have been ranked based on their user-friendly interfaces, intuitive features, and overall ease of implementation. Whether you are a small business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, these top-rated easy CRMs are designed to streamline your customer management processes and enhance your business growth.
Let’s cut to the chase: the best simple CRM is Freshsales Suite. That’s because it offers a fast setup process and an intuitive interface. More than just that, it still offers robust functionality, allowing users to utilize sales and marketing features in the same platform.
However, it’s not the only easy CRM system out there — Zoho CRM also scored very highly for usability, and it was considered the best CRM for small businesses in our research.
Based on first-hand testing, here are five super easy CRMs to use and what you really need to know about. Read on as we review them in detail below, or you can also check out our CRM comparison page to learn more about your options.
Simple CRM Providers Compared
Below is a quick rundown of the best simple CRM systems’ key features and pricing, and under the table, you’ll find more in-depth reviews for each provider.
What Is a Simple and Easy CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a business tool designed to organize and automate a wide range of operations and processes, making life easier for employees and managers alike. However, if a CRM is hard to use, the likelihood of your team actually using it is pretty low.
A simple and easy CRM is one that offers an intuitive interface that doesn’t take hours to figure out. You’ll be able to easily navigate features and empower your team to utilize the robust functionality throughout the platform without a lot of onboarding.
Top 5 Simple CRM Systems
A simple CRM system may seem basic, but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. These tools can supercharge your productivity, analytical power and connectivity for boosted sales, marketing and customer service. Ultimately, an easy CRM system could transform your business’s growth.
Guidelisters has independently researched and tested all the market-leading CRM software so you can trust that these really are the simplest CRM systems to use. Don’t believe us? You can always start with a free trial to see for yourself, risk-free. Below are the best simple CRM systems for easy set up and ongoing use from day one.
The best simple CRM Systems are:
Pricing From: $15 per user, per month
Freshsales Suite was built to be a CRM for small businesses, and it’s got our top spot for a number of reasons. In fact, our researchers awarded Freshsales a score of 4.7/5 for usability and a score of 4.7/5 overall on our last round of testing, the highest across our research, making it a decidedly easy CRM to use.
Freshsales Suite overview
Freshales Suite will guide you through the entire setup process including importing data, email connections, and adding users. Freshsales’s clear signposting means the process is incredibly easy.
There are also a number of time-saving aspects to Freshsales’ offering, including a vast library of ready-made dashboards that you can use if you don’t want to build your own. Integrating with email apps like Gmail during the setup process is also straightforward.
The ease of use does come with some limitations, though. Our research found that some specific functionality for particular businesses, like gyms, is a bit restricted. But overall, ease of use is more than worth it if you can’t customize a lot, particularly when there are options like monday.com that are bit more catered to flexibilty.
When to use Freshsales Suite
Many CRMs provide either sales, marketing, or customer service functionality, with it costing extra to branch out to more than one at a time. Freshsales Suite, on the other hand, is a dedicated sales and marketing platform, so you can utilize both without it costing too much.
Subsequently, Freshsales Suite is ideal for businesses that need both sales and marketing features all rolled into one. You get marketing tools like landing pages, visual email builders, and conversion rate optimization help, as well as sales features like contact lifecycle status, automated sales notifications, and automatically assigned leads. In fact, it’s one of the best sales management software options, according to our research.
Beyond that, Freshsales Suite was the easiest CRM to use in our research, so the best time to use it is when you’re a newbie to CRM software that still needs sales and marketing tools to help your business.
Freshsales Contacts Dashboard
Freshsales has an AI feature called “Freddy AI,” which will crawl your contact list and provide you with useful insights, as well as automated lead scores (as shown above). This is quite a unique feature and certainly sets Freshsales apart from some of the other providers featured in this article.
Freshsales Suite pricing
Freshsales has three pricing plans. All of the plans’ user limits are based on the number of licenses you obtain, but there’s no limit on the number of contacts you can have in your database. Freshsales will, however, limit the number of marketing actions you can perform every month. Here’s how every Freshsales Suite pricing plan looks compared to each other:
Pricing From: $14 per user, per month
Zoho CRM manages to offer plans at cheaper price points than its closest competitors, while at the same time providing a more user-friendly and feature-rich experience. Plus, it’ll integrate with Zoho’s suite of other useful business products, which is great news if you already use them.
Zoho CRM overview
Zoho CRM only netted a usability score of 4.5/5 which is why it landed behind Freshsales Suite on the list of easy CRM providers. It’s worth noting, though, that Zoho CRM also has an overall score of 4.7/5 thanks to its notably larger feature catalog.
Zoho CRM provides an onboarding tour, which gives you a great indication of where you currently are in the process. However, it isn’t as detailed or extensive as Freshsales Suite, and it took slightly longer to upload data (although it was much quicker than providers like HubSpot). There are some other nice touches too, such as social media workflows, within which you can automatically add a lead to a database based on their interaction with your social media account.
When to use Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM was pretty close to taking the top spot for the easiest CRM to use, and our research actually found that it’s the best option for small businesses, given its low price and large feature catalog. Plus, it has a great free plan, which is always a boon for any small business on a budget.
As for when to use it, it’s important to know that Zoho CRM is exclusively focused on sales, so if you’re a small business that’s trying to sell and nothing else, Zoho CRM is a no-brainer.
However, Zoho CRM doesn’t offer customer service or marketing features. For those, you’ll have to sign up for either Zoho Desk, Zoho Campaigns, or Zoho Social, depending on your particular needs.
Zoho CRM Social Tabs
Zoho CRM is great for customer service-focused CRM teams too, with a simple, intuitive way of filtering cases, and you can quite easily split up and distinguish between complicated and easier cases. In fact, there’s quite a wide degree of customization across Zoho’s whole CRM offering – there’s a lot of different data this program can hold.
Zoho CRM pricing
Zoho’s plans are some of the most reasonably priced in the game, especially when compared to enterprise providers such as Salesforce.
However, the provider offers generally less storage, limits the size of your database, and onboarding assistance comes at an additional cost. That being said, it’s still a fantastic option for businesses on a budget. Here’s a breakdown of each pricing plan:
Pricing From: $14.90 per user, per month
Pipedrive is certainly the ‘Premium’ offering on this list, providing a primarily sales-focused CRM that teams can use to hunt down and close leads with ease. And with a usability score of 4.4/5 and an overall score of 4.6/5, you could do a lot worse, even for the high cost. It might be a bit pricier than some other providers, but it definitely has the functionality to back up the cost, including top-notch security.
On the whole, Pipedrive offers the functionality you’ll need to do this successfully, and aside from Freshsales and Zoho CRM, was the provider we found the easiest to use. The setup, in particular, was incredibly easy, providing a simple form-based process that took care of all the nitty gritty details for you.
Pipedrive excels when it comes to security features – it had the best range of options to secure the data you keep inside the system out of the providers we tested. This makes Pipedrive a serious option for anyone who puts data security at the top of their priorities – and with data breaches now so common, why wouldn’t you?
Pipedrive plans are, admittedly, a lot more expensive on the whole than Zoho CRM and Freshsales, and you’ll need to pay for some additional features, such as the lead-booster add-on ($32.50 per month on top of your Pipedrive subscription).
That being said, being both easy to use and highly functional is not a given by any means in this space — and Pipedrive can do both. You can always take a look at some Pipedrive CRM alternatives, though, if it doesn’t seem like the right fit for your business.
When to use Pipedrive
As another sales-exclusive CRM, Pipedrive is best if you only need sales functionality for your CRM. More specifically, though, Pipedrive should be viewed as a premium option for your business, costing a bit extra compared to other options.
Yes, the starting price is comparable at only $14.90 per user, per month, but with add-ons costing more and the most expensive plan costing $99 per user, per month with a minimum of 10 users, you’ll need to be sure your financials are prepared for this kind of investment.
On top of that, Pipedrive offers the best security features we researched, offering a full-on security center to manage all aspects of your business’ privacy concerns. This means that if you’re dealing with sensitive information, this CRM might be your best option.
The Pipedrive marketplace
Pipedrive puts no limit on the size of your contact base and offers 24/7 live support and live chat on all of its pricing plans, which makes it a great option for businesses with ever-expanding sales operations.
You can integrate with Shopify, Quickbooks, and Xero on every Pipedrive package, and take advantage of 41 communications integrations too.
Unlike Zoho CRM and Freshsales, Pipedrive has no file storage on any of its plans, however, so you’ll have to find another platform or app to do this on if you’re going to be sharing data and information in file form.
All of Pipedrive’s available marketing tools cost an extra monthly fee too, including a website visitor tracker and a Lead-booster. Here’s how each plan breaks down:
Pricing From: $10 per user, per month
Once just a productivity app, now a full-fledged sales CRM, monday.com still provides an easy-to-use experience will offer more functionality across the board. It may not have all the bells and whistles associated with some other CRM products like Freshsales, but it has its advantages over them too, including the low price.
In general, monday.com does fair in our research, with a usability score of 3.9/5 and an overall score of 4.6/5 thanks to robust customization potential. That customizability bleeds into the analytics as well, allowing you to create different dashboards for different metrics, so it’s easy to see exactly what you want and when.
monday.com CRM overview
Although monday.com is perhaps better known for its incredibly popular project management software solution, but the CRM offering from the company is impressive too.
The company has capitalized on the fact its system can be set up to work exactly like a CRM platform by creating CRM templates for businesses to use (pictured below). It provides a decent level of functionality for small businesses, although the downside to it not being a built-from-the-ground-up CRM platform is that bigger companies may find other providers have more dedicated features.
When to use monday.com
If you’re a business with unique needs that might not fit in the average CRM, monday.com is likely your best bet. Thanks to its robust customization functionality, you can tailor the platform to your particular needs.
In fact, monday.com is easily the most customizable option in our research, checking off every single box across all plans, from custom dashboard and custom objects to custom sales pipelines and custom task types.
On top of that, monday.com is quite affordable, with not only a free forever plan but also one of the most affordable starter plans on this list at only $10 per user, per month. So, if you need customizability and affordability, monday.com has what you need.
Making a chart with monday.com
Image: Guidelisters testing
However, where monday.com does excel is customization. Editing things with monday.com is a lot more intuitive than it is with most CRM programs, and you’ll find it easier to tailor the platform to what your business and staff need than you would do elsewhere.
monday.com CRM pricing
Three pricing plans are provided by monday.com, Like Pipedrive, monday.com allows you to operate with a contact database of any size, create custom fields for data, create web forms and customize your sales pipeline.
There are email insight tools available on all monday.com’s plans so you can make the most out of your messages, however much you’re playing.
However, monday.com doesn’t really have any marketing or lead generation features — there’s no capacity for social media lead gen or integration, no website visitor tracking capabilities nor a marketing email design editor (although Pipedrive doesn’t have one of these either).
It’s also worth remembering with monday.com pricing plans that every option requires a minimum of three users, which means you will have to pay at least three times the amount shown. Still, with the per user pricing being that low, finding two other users is more than worth it.
Pricing From: Free
HubSpot is a free CRM program that still functions as an all-in-one product, and our research showed it can keep pace with competitors that charge for their services. Even better, the platform is very easy to navigate, clearly marking how to get in and out of menus and processes.
All that to say, for an offering that doesn’t cost you anything, it’s quite impressive, with an overall score of 4.4/5 and a usability score of 3.9/5 in our research. This will make it relatively easy for beginners, although there are obviously better options above.
With a contact limit of one million, HubSpot is suitable for businesses running larger customer service operations. Users are limited to uploading just five documents each, so your staff will likely need another place to store additional information you may need for your CRM operation.
HubSpot’s only downsides are probably customization – there just aren’t a lot of options available on this front – and customer support. There are fewer ways to get help with HubSpot than the other providers on the list, and it came in last place for help & support out of the CRM providers we tested.
When to use HubSpot
HubSpot is an excellent choice for small businesses, thanks to its surprisingly robust free plan. In fact, when it comes to marketing, we believe HubSpot to be your best option, given your ability to reach new customers at no cost to your business.
However, if you plan to scale your business in the long run, HubSpot can get very expensive. In fact, it’s Enterprise level plan will run you $120 per user, per month with a minimum of 10 users, so that price tag is going to be pretty big if you end up needing those features.
So, if you’re a small business with big plans to scale, HubSpot is going to be a good fit in the long run, but make sure you can handle those additional charges down the line.
HubSpot contact database
HubSpot Free functions as a starting tier for all of HubSpot’s CRM offerings. You can then build on top of this with HubSpot’s customer service, sales, and marketing offerings, depending on what kind of CRM software you need.
HubSpot’s Free plan does come with features that relate to all three areas, however. There are some marketing tools and features, including web forms, chatbots, and social media integration, and there’s a wide range of reporting functions to choose from.
You’ll have case management features and support tickets on the Free plan too, as well as the ability to glean insights from emails and send auto-responses straight from the CRM.
HubSpot does offer paid plans, but the software is so robust, we wouldn’t recommend going beyond the free plan if you’re looking for an easy CRM platform. Still, here’s a look at how they compare to each other, just in case:
Learn more about HubSpot’s pricing plans.
Best Free and Simple CRM Software
Every single CRM on this list (except Pipedrive) offers a free forever plan that will allow you to enjoy basic features at no cost. However, these plans are often quite limited and can’t handle the load of your average business. Still, if you’re a small business that wants to get the ball rolling without worrying about your budget, there are lots of options to choose from.
According to our research, HubSpot offers the best free and simple CRM thanks to a surprisingly impressive feature list that beats out a lot of paid plans from the likes of Pipedrive and monday.com. Admittedly, customization and help and support take a hit, but our research found that HubSpot’s free plan is likely your best bet.
The only problem is that HubSpot can get pretty expensive, so if you’re looking to scale with the platform, you might want to explore other options. Zoho CRM is the best CRM for small businesses, according to our research, because it offers a free plan as well as a range of low-cost pricing plans that provide lots of functionality.
About Our Research
Here at Guidelisters, if we’re writing about a product, service, or software program, it means we’ve performed extensive testing on it — and that’s a guarantee. We have a team of full-time employees who dedicate their time to doing just that, for absolutely everything we cover.
There are loads of websites out there that claim they’ve used the products they’re reviewing — as well as providers claiming their software or service is the best. We try to cut through that noise with our research, providing accurate test results based on real experiences with the software and services in question.
Deciding what project CRM software your business needs can be a disorientating and daunting process — especially if you have to convince your team that it’ll be beneficial for your business. Our insights team works closely with our writers to try and save you time and ensure you’re making the right decision, the first time around.
Choosing a Simple CRM Software
When choosing a simple CRM software, ease of use isn’t the only factor you’re probably going to need to consider. There are plenty of other aspects of this kind of software that need to be compared and contrasted prior to purchase — and here are a few key ones to consider.
Before you do that though, work out if you need a top CRM for sales, marketing or customer service — not all providers are going to excel in all three areas.
With so many businesses still feeling the squeeze from the economic turbulence of the last few years, pricing will naturally make its way to the forefront of many companies’ decision-making processes. Importantly, it’s all about whether you’re getting bang for your buck — especially when it comes to contact database sizes, which vary widely from plan to plan but also from provider to provider.
Pipedrive, for instance, has an unlimited contact limit on all of its plans, as does monday.com. Freshales, on the other hand, limits how many contacts can be involved in marketing actions per month but puts no limit on the number that can be included in your database.
If your business is rapidly expanding and you need a CRM system to keep up with your levels of growth, investing in a plan with a contact database limit you’re quickly going to outgrow will cost you more in the long run than investing in a slightly pricier plan now that has no cap.
Customer support can make or break a provider — especially if usability is important to you. The last thing you want is to be waiting around for technical support — especially if, when you request it, it’s not very good.
There’s a surprising gulf between providers in terms of what customer support options they offer. Some providers do not offer onboarding assistance on all their plans, whilst others only on enterprise packages, and providers like Zoho only offer it if an additional fee is paid.
Customizability is an incredibly important factor for some companies searching for the ideal CRM software, simply because a system that can adapt to your preferences is going to be eminently more useful than one you have to shoehorn yourself into. The reason monday.com is such a highly rated CRM software is the level of customization it provides – you can make endless changes to templates and custom fields until it fits like a glove.
The manner of the customization is important too — again, another reason monday.com excels. It’s really, really easy to sculpt the software to do what you want to do without delving into the system settings or getting lost in menus.
Last but not least, naturally, choosing the right CRM software for your business will include assessing and comparing the features on offer. Some CRM software plans have better marketing features, whilst others focus on sales.
Take HubSpot for example — the company offers a free CRM that functions as a starting tier, and then offers specialized paid products (Sales Hub, Service Hub, and Marketing Hub) — all with different features. There are plenty more aspects to consider though, including integrations, security features, lead team management tools, reports, and much more.
That’s a wrap on “ 5 Simplest CRM Systems: Best Easy CRMs Ranked for 2023 ” We hope you’ve found a trove of useful insights and fresh perspectives. Your opinions and ideas matter to us—join the conversation below and share your take! Hungry for more tech insights? Dive into our diverse collection of articles where innovation meets practicality. Discover More CRM Softwares.
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