CRM software helps you stay organized, build relationships, and take your business to the next level. With so many CRM options out there, selecting the perfect one for your business can be a daunting task. We’ve captured the five best personal CRM software solutions to help you make the right choice.
Pros and Cons of Using Personal CRM Software
Turning to customer relationship management tools can be a game changer for your business, but these services aren’t without flaws. Let’s examine the pros and cons of using personal CRM software.
There’s simply no better way to log all your contacts and stay connected with people than CRM software. Viewing clients and conversations that started on any number of social networking apps is a huge win, and you can target specific groups for campaigns.
Customers aren’t as loyal as they used to be, fleeing for the best deal rather than sticking with one business. Using personal CRM software keeps you engaged with past and present clients, giving them a reason to come back to your store.
Ease of Use
CRM software tends to be simple to use and can save you a lot of time. Features like drag-and-drop automations or strategic insights at a glance free you up to handle more difficult tasks. When you’re flying solo, every time-saving opportunity helps in a big way.
The best personal CRM software solution should fit a cost-effective mold for your business. Many services offer free tools to get you started out right. As demands arise, you can decide whether or not to pay to increase your current feature set.
CRMs worth their digital weight will track your client conversations and sales data, so you know who to offer promotions to and what they prefer to buy. You can also view sales reports and analytics data straight from the dashboard of your CRM software. This information can tip you off to areas in need of some help.
In the end, all these cool features should bring about higher revenues as you streamline connections and generate targeted email campaigns. Customers tend to float away if you don’t entice them with things they enjoy, and the best personal CRM software keeps all that information right in front of you.
As your business demands more features, the costs of maintaining CRM software can get quite high. Many services split features among sales, service, or marketing tools and ask for money to unlock each one. If not careful, CRM can end up costing you more than it actually helps.
You’re unlikely to find a CRM suite with every feature you’ll ever need, especially as a solo business owner. Be prepared to make do with limited features until you can afford to upgrade your plan. Some higher tiers require purchasing multiple licenses as well.
CRM software doesn’t scale as well as other tools do. There’s often a huge jump between product tiers that small or solo businesses can’t wrap funds around. You may find yourself stuck with a certain feature set for quite some time.
While some CRMs have easy-to-use automations, others require programming knowledge to build them out. If your skills aren’t up to code, you may not be able to make full use of your CRM software.
Best Personal CRM Software
- HubSpot – Best Overall
- Pipedrive – Best for Simplicity
- Zoho CRM – Best Free Service
- Salesforce – Best Cloud-Based Service
- Dex – Best for Contact Importing
When making our picks, we focused foremost on price and lead management capabilities. Beyond that, we looked at automations and interaction tracking tools to get the most out of the software. Finally, we studied analytics and reporting tools for monitoring success.
You can find a more detailed list of our methodologies here.
Analytics and Reporting
$0 to $3,600/month
Customized communications that drive sales
Visual automation builder
System logs interactions to and from clients
Traffic analytics, custom reporting
$14.90 to $99.00/month
Unlimited contact database, custom fields
Email scheduling, streamlined sales process, API access
Track history and communications
Deal and activity reports, capture goals
$0 to $52/month
Engage customers from multiple channels, multiple pipelines
Automate processes with simple drag and drop tools
Monitor within the platform and social media integration
Monitor company health with predefined reports, webform analytics
$25 to $300/month
Complete customer information, social media insights
Automatic approvals, drag and drop simplicity
Can schedule tasks or events, view conversations with each client
Customizable reports and dashboards
Unlimited contacts, custom fields
Log notes, important information about contacts
HubSpot may have high-priced paid plans, but anyone seeking personal CRM software will likely never need to use them. Among its free offerings are an excellent set of marketing, sales, and operations tools full of amazing features.
Right out of the gate, you can add up to one million contacts to your system to stay connected with. There are some limitations on how deep these features go, but a little foresight should get you around them.
Why we chose it: Hubspot’s stacked free plan is the perfect combination of marketing, sales, and management tools to build your client base.
- Full-fledged CRM software
- Excellent free plan
- Add up to 1 million contacts
- Sales and marketing platforms each have unique costs
- Very pricey paid plans
- Some common features unavailable at lower price points
The Hubspot package hands you all its foundational tools at no cost to you, and this price never goes up. If you ever need to increase automated actions or add a user to your setup, the CRM Suite Starter can do that for a flat $30 monthly. Anything more jumps the price point all the way to $1,600 each month for the Professional plan.
Within Hubspot, you can create custom communications to current or potential customers to drive sales. You will have to deal with Hubspot branding, but everything goes out with an SSL certificate to protect you and your clients. From your dashboard, it’s also possible to send and receive simple messages to your Facebook connections.
Automations under the free plan are a little rudimentary, but you are allowed one email automation at a time. This extends to forms, where you can automate responses after submissions come in. Although limited, these automations can still save you a lot of time where you don’t have to send messages yourself.
The system logs all your interactions with clients, allowing you to look back at previous conversations or sales. APIs let you see which customers responded well to a marketing strategy, and Hubspot holds data for up to one million contacts.
Analytics and Reporting
You can create up to three dashboards with HubSpot’s free version and up to ten reports per dashboard. Email health reporting helps you keep track of your sending reputation to see if you’re falling behind. Many more options are available if you decide to jump into a paid tier.
Pipedrive prides itself on being easy to set up and use, something lacking from many of the other CRM software out there. Its dashboards are clear and to the point, helping drive more sales and find actionable insights.
It also integrates well with hundreds of third-party tools to keep all your management under one umbrella. There’s no free plan, but Pipedrive’s quick learning curve more than makes up for it.
Why we chose it: Pipedrive brings an intuitive platform to the table while cutting clutter and bloated features.
- Easy to set up and use
- Intuitive visual dashboards
- Hundreds of integrations
- Essential plan lacks customization
- Several costly add-ons
- No free plan
You’ll need to shell out $14.90 per month to make use of Pipedrive’s essential features, and costs scale from there. The Advanced plan for $24.90 and Professional plan for $49.90 build on already existing features while adding new ones of their own. If you want to go all out, Pipedrive has a $99 per month Enterprise plan unlocking all existing tools.
Alongside an intuitive interface, Pipedrive offers a ton of customization tools to create the dashboard of your dreams. From here, you can use the leads inbox to declutter potential clients. There’s also no limit on the number of pipelines you can have running at one time.
Eliminate busywork in just about every step of your sales process with automation tools. It’s possible to trigger personalized emails, build email templates, and access personalized tips along the way. If you’re savvy enough, there’s an Open API available to go even further.
From an email inbox to in-app chats, you can follow along with client conversations both now and in the future. Pipedrive’s intuitive system will throw out suggestions based on these communications so you don’t miss out on ripe opportunities.
Analytics and Reporting
Sales dashboards and reporting bring your business to life, where you can track results and filter data as you need. The goals section lets you set targets and view how well you stick to them.
Zoho CRM’s free plan stands at the top of the industry, rolling lead management and tracking tools into one package. Each area has an abundance of features you can use to maximize your business potential.
If that wasn’t enough, automations are simple, condition-based prompts that free you up to do what you do best. The free plan falls a bit short on integrations with other software you might use to run an efficient business.
Why we chose it: Zoho has a loaded CRM package for managing your leads and kicking sales up a notch or two.
- Strong free plan
- Tons of features
- Easy to use automations
- Steep learning curve
- Free plan lacks integrations
- Add-ons drive up cost
If you outgrow the free plan, Zoho’s next tier costs just $14 per month and adds in pipelines and insights. At $23/month, the Professional plan incorporates additional automations. Enterprise at $40 monthly and Ultimate for $52 greatly increase Zoho’s feature set when you’re ready for something new.
Zoho connects seamlessly with all your social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. The service integrates with over 800 apps, allowing you to pull in contacts from anywhere and keep them all in one place.
Zoho CRM takes the stress out of mundane, repetitive tasks. Each automation stems from a condition-based prompt you can make through drags and drops. Zia, Zoho’s built-in AI, can offer predictions and make recommendations based on how your numbers are trending.
Follow up with customers via any method, from email to chat and Twitter, all from your Zoho account. Use this information to build tailored connections through personalized communications.
Analytics and Reporting
With a few clicks, you can monitor the performance of each sales activity or marketing event you toss out to customers. Customize these reports to view only what you want to see or take advantage of 40 pre-built reports. It’s easy to convert data into charts so you know exactly where your business stands.
Salesforce is no stranger to CRM, holding a full suite of products for you to build off of. The platform rolls everything up into one package for small businesses looking to make use of every available tool.
A wide range of features at every level scale as your business grows or adds more users. You’ll just need to be careful of additional costs from add-ons and prepare yourself for a learning curve when you start out.
Why we chose it: The entire Salesforce platform is on the cloud, enabling full access from anywhere.
- Fully cloud-based system
- Wide range of features
- Scales well as your business grows
- Steep learning curve
- Limited support on all but the highest tier of service
- Can be expensive
You can get started with Salesforce’s all-in-one plan for small businesses for as low as $25 per month. Building up your sales or service tools increases the price to $75 per month, scaling as high as $1,250. Adding additional tools to your portfolio boosts the price considerably based on what you choose.
Salesforce lets you log complete customer information in its system for targeted marketing campaigns. You can also receive insights from social media about what clients are looking for so you can respond accordingly.
Many of Salesforce’s automation tools come in drag-and-drop format removing tedious code from the equation. You can build rules around your leads to facilitate marketing efforts or generate email templates to avoid repeat work.
Scheduled tasks or events are ideal ways to remain in contact with your leads, and Salesforce tracks responses to each. In fact, the system records all your conversations and thoughts on each client so you don’t have to remember.
Analytics and Reporting
Salesforce comes equipped with customizable reports and dashboards so you can see what you need when you want it. Arrange screens as you see fit to maximize productivity and find areas to improve.
Dex makes short work of your contacts scatted around the corners of the internet, pulling them together into one convenient location. The service lacks automation tools but can remind you when to reach out to a lead so relationships don’t run cold.
Web users will enjoy a free Chrome browser extension usable from any device. Dex may not build out grand marketing campaigns, but it will help you keep your clients first.
Why we chose it: Dex taps into your email, texts, and social media accounts to help build and nurture meaningful relationships.
- Import contacts from multiple locations
- Automated reminders to stay in touch
- Free Chrome browser extension
- Limited use free plan
- No automations for lead management
- Lacks sales features
There’s no fee for starting out with Dex’s basic free plan or to make use of the Chrome browser extension. To activate unlimited contacts, views, and integrations, you’ll need to come up with $12 per month.
With Dex, it’s possible to locate and fold in contacts from all your web accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. The paid plan has room for unlimited contacts, and you can create custom fields to house pertinent information about each person.
There aren’t any automations in Dex for building marketing campaigns or targeting specific clients with ads. The software will monitor your conversations and let you know when too much time has passed since you last connected with someone.
You have plenty of room in Dex to log notes or important information about a contact in question. With this data in one place, you won’t have to remember how your last conversation ended or where that client’s interests lie.
Analytics and Reporting
Dex falls short with analytics and reporting since it doesn’t provide any sales tools to track. It does do a fantastic job of keeping you engaged with customers so people and opportunities don’t fall through the cracks.
Methodology for the Best Personal CRM Software
We spent a lot of time researching each service that ultimately made our best personal CRM software list. After careful consideration, we held the following factors in the highest regard when making our selections:
- Price: Price is an obvious factor when looking at CRM tools. Some services share free plans, whereas others offer low entry points so small businesses like yours don’t drown in charges. As always, determine how much you can afford to spend each month before making any sort of purchase.
- Lead Management: Leads are the lifeblood of your business. It’s imperative to capture current and potential customers in one place to facilitate communication through email, surveys, and forms.
- Automations: Automations remove a lot of the mundane busywork that comes with staying in touch with contacts. From chat reminders to automatic emails, the best personal CRM software can handle repetitive tasks for you. In most cases, platforms use a drag-and-drop approach for building out automations with no coding experience required.
- Interaction Tracking: It’s one thing to have a detailed list of contacts in one place; it’s another entirely to track progress with each lead as you go. Through interaction tracking, CRM software can record conversations, log purchases, and identify what a particular customer likes best. Going one step further, many services share insights or connect leads with targeted emails or promotions.
- Analytics and Reporting: Reports often reveal areas your business is performing well and segments in need of some work. We chose services with flexible reporting tools, enabling you to customize what you see and when you want to see it.
Who Should Use a Personal CRM Software?
Personal CRM software isn’t for every business type, but it does serve a number of organizational models.
Small businesses with just one employee are the obvious target, with many services offering tools for just a single user. Startups with a single point of contact for customer relationship management also benefit here. Finally, entrepreneurs with limited budgets can forego the niceties of expensive plans and start with something much more affordable.
Personal CRM software plans can be free or relatively inexpensive, eliminating barriers to entry altogether. Users just need to prepare themselves for limitations on features and challenges adding in more seats at this level.
Wiggle room for more users doesn’t appear until you buy into paid plans that tend to charge per user. Some platforms require purchasing multiple seats should you want to upgrade. While these higher tiers also introduce more features, the price jumps significantly as well.
Best Personal CRM Software Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Want to learn more about the best personal CRM software on the market? This FAQ may have what you’re looking for.
As a solo business owner, any tool that helps generate sales or saves time is usually well worth the investment. Personal CRM software is a great way to build leads and stay connected with your customers, often taking mundane tasks off your plate so you can focus your attention elsewhere. HubSpot holds the top spot according to our research, but we believe any of the options on this list can serve you well.