10 Best CRM Applications for Businesses and Startups

A CRM application cycle

For running a successful business, you need different types of software applications. And, one of the them is customer relationship management (CRM) system which is more or less the heart of the business management system. A typical CRM software tightly integrates sales, service, finance, and marketing modules giving both the workforce as well as the customers an interface to inseminate, consume, and analyze the required business data or information. I've shortlisted some of the best and most popular CRM applications available for businesses of varying sizes. Let's take a quick look!

A CRM application cycle

Some businesses prefer to use an in-house closed-source CRM application for various reasons. But, each and every application listed below is secure with tons of customization options for every business.

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If you're using a legacy CRM application, this is the right time to switch to a modern solution giving a boost to your business through better and seamless operations. You won't regret this upgrade for sure.

1. Salesforce

Salesforce CRM dashboard

Salesforce is one of the best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications ideal for medium to large businesses. It's a cloud-based application and is packed with features required to run a successful business. Following are some of its unique features and advantages:


  • Cloud-based therefore can be accessed from anywhere
  • Tightly integrated modules
  • Focused on maximum automation
  • Real-time data availability
  • Solid 3rd-party app integration
  • Big cost savings in the long run


  • The onboarding process can be overwhelming for some users

For small businesses just starting out they have an essentials plan which is not only affordable but also has all the power to manage your sales in an easy way. They even have a free trial period.

2. HubSpot CRM

Hubspot CRM

Another worthy competitor on this list is HubSpot CRM which offers both a free version as well as a premium version. I tried the free version and the first thing that impressed me was the interface. Let's take a quick look at the amazing features and functionalities, this CRM has on offer.


  • Real-time sales tracking
  • Hardened security of your data
  • Seamless migration from an existing solution
  • Easy onboarding process
  • Thousands of apps integration


  • Slightly expensive for small businesses

It's an old player in the market and that's why the CRM is stable and mature with all the bells and whistles required for a business process. Do try its free version to get a feel of it.

3. Pipedrive

Pipedrive CRM

Pipedrive CRM is aimed at the sales workforce and is ideal for all business sizes. It's an all-in-one solution to power your entire sales process. Full customization of your sales process is possible to match your exact needs. The following features of this CRM are worth noting.


  • Complete sales funnel automation
  • Seamless integration with external apps
  • Powerful analytics and reporting
  • Free trial available
  • Affordable plans


  • None

Its knowledge base has one of the best collections of help docs and videos making the onboarding process—a breeze. An API suite is also available to integrate it deeply into your legacy system.

4. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is an extremely popular option with a large user base. It's not just the CRM, but they offer a wide array of services for businesses, startups, and freelancers. It's fully customizable making the transition from your existing solution—a cakewalk. Following are some of its features.


  • Full automation capability for all business processes
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Great UX and UI experience
  • Rock solid data security
  • Extremely affordable plans


  • The entry-level plan lacks many advanced features

Apart from regular help docs and video tutorials, they also conduct webinars to help customers get the most out of their time and effort. Its AI-powered sales assistant is excellent. Do once give it a try.

5. Freshsales

Freshsales CRM

Another popular CRM is Freshsales you must consider before taking a final decision. It is a unified CRM with tight integration of sales, marketing, and customer support modules. It gives you a free 21-day trial period to thoroughly check its functions and features. Some of the key functionalities are listed below.


  • Highly-customizable sales funnel
  • AI-powered analytics and reporting
  • Granular access controls with top-notch security
  • Works in offline mode too
  • Connect easily with external apps


  • Slightly on the expensive side

If you are short on time and do not want to invest 2-3 weeks in the trial period, a demo request can be raised to quickly get a feel of the entire CRM. It is available in over 10+ languages to choose from.

6. Insightly

Insightly CRM

Insightly is a full-fledged CRM application integrating multiple modules into one to give you a complete business management solution. It can be used for multiple industry domains through limitless customization possibilities. Here are the key features you must know before moving ahead.


  • Build a custom sales pipeline with ease
  • Efficient lead tracking
  • Task automation to save time and money
  • Advanced rules, filters, and permissions
  • Work from any device


  • None

It has a robust REST API to easily pull your business data into your custom software application. You can also try it for free to test all of its features. It's definitely one of the best options on this list.

7. Agile CRM

Agile CRM

Agile CRM is a simple yet powerful solution to run your business. It's a cloud-based software capable of working flawlessly on both desktop and mobile devices. There are no hidden contracts and the pricing is very competitive. Following are some of its pros and cons you may like to ponder upon.


  • Custom control flow (UI/UX) design tool
  • Excellent interface with user-friendly prompts
  • Best customer support module
  • Custom app builder for developers
  • A generous free-forever plan


  • Third-party app integration is limited

Like other professional solutions, this one too has an extensive help doc collection to help you get started in the least possible time. It's best suited for small to medium businesses. Go ahead and give it a try.

8. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a premium CRM solution for large businesses that want top-notch software infrastructure to seamlessly run their business processes. The advantage of using this CRM is that you can easily integrate it with other Microsoft services. The following features make it worth considering.


  • Built for medium to large businesses
  • Full-fledged CRM
  • Fully customizable
  • Excellent customer support
  • Strong Microsoft infrastructure


  • None

While transitioning to this CRM, initially, you may feel the experience—is a bit overwhelming. Gradually, everything eases down. If budget is not a constraint, go for it without giving it a second thought.

9. Copper CRM

Copper CRM

Copper CRM is yet another popular option on this list. With a large user base and positive ratings, it's definitely a reliable and trustworthy CRM option to manage your business. I liked its email and marketing tools which are quite powerful and effective. Here are its pros and cons.


  • Tight integration with Google Workspace
  • Easy onboarding and transitioning process
  • Custom workflow automation
  • Tons of help resources (docs and tutorials)
  • Easy 3rd-party apps integration


  • None

Through its Chrome extension, you can easily use it directly within your Gmail account. A REST API is also available in case you want to use it programmatically across your existing solutions. Try it once!

10. SugarCRM


With SugarCRM, you get all the power of sales, marketing, and customer service systems integrated smartly to grow your business by leaps and bounds. Though it is last on this list, it is in no way less than the others in terms of features. The following features make it a worthy competitor.


  • Highly customizable as per your needs
  • On-premises CRM deployment available
  • Excellent clutter-free interface
  • AI-powered workflow automation
  • Affordable plans for everyone


  • Email campaign management is a bit cumbersome

It has one of the best reporting tools which provides you with actionable insights to not only get more leads but also helps you get more out of your existing customer base. Use its free trial to get a taste of it.