Customer Relationship Management is an approach to managing a company’s interactions with its current and potential customers. The goal is to among other things, improve business relationships and the efficiency with which the aforementioned customer interactions are conducted. Various software systems, each with its own unique range of functionality, are used to achieve this. Here I present just five of such systems which I believe local companies (especially the SMEs) should find useful as they continue to embrace technology in their operations.


The name of this company has for long been synonymous with customer relationship management. It is one of the most respected CRM service providers. Its products work well for businesses of all sizes, from the smallest to the biggest corporations. Here I will share just two of their most affordable plans which should be enough for the requirements of most small and medium-sized businesses.


This is their basic CRM plan and it costs $25 (USD) per user per month. When you are on this plan the app has features to help you manage sales and customer support. Since the software is cloud based, users can use it from anywhere and on any device—be it a phone, tablet or personal computer. The app also helps you find leads and makes it easier to perform actions like up-selling or cross-selling to already engaged customers.


At $75 (USD) per user per month, this is the second most expensive plan offered by the company and it comes with a little more functionality than the previous one. Among other things, you are able to forecast sales, create and track quotes and orders and also get real-time insights. The app is also designed to ease collaboration between users. This particular plan is supposed to give you a more complete CRM system experience than the previous one.

Hubspot CRM

No list of CRM software should be complete without this highly rated and yet completely free offering. For no-cost, you get detailed reports on sales activity, productivity and the performance of the members of your customer service or sales staff. You can sign up unlimited users from your company, store unlimited data and up to a million contacts. The app also includes tools that notify salespeople as soon as a prospect opens their email or visit your website—giving you a context for following up on these potential customers.


Besides the usual CRM functionality, this software allows you to conduct presentations, meetings and other virtual events or interactions within it. You can also organize webinars, which you can use to convert attendees to customers or at least leads. There are also excellent Android and iOS versions of the software.

Some of the other convenient features touted by the developers include the ability to dial contacts with a single click (in the app), call reminders and call logging. The system can also notify you when someone visits your website, opens your email or even just mentions your brand on social media. It also has the ability to organise your sales emails, reducing the need to sift through them. For example, emails can be grouped into categories such as open deals, leads, contacts and colleagues.


The cheapest plan for this CRM costs $18 per user per month. Some of the most notable features that come with this particular plan are the ability to score contacts i.e. choosing how you rate them relative to other contacts, and the ability to send bulk emails from within the software.


The real-time notification feature mentioned earlier is only available in this plan which costs $30 per user per month. Here several additional features are added atop those offered in the standard plan. One of the most noteworthy features in this particular plan is the management of inventory like price books, quotes, invoices and purchase orders.


Nimble automatically combines contact information with social media connections, inboxes and calendar appointments all into a single unified relationship. The CRM is designed to work with Office 365 and G Suite in addition to everywhere else you engage customers and prospects. This service costs $25 per user per month.

Less Annoying CRM

This service is built with the small business in mind and simplicity is one of its main selling points (as the name may hint at). It allows you to store everything you need to know about your contacts. As an example, from just a single screen you can see all of the notes, files, tasks, events and pipeline information related to a contact.  Like most of the systems presented here, this one is also web-based hence you can access it from your computer, tablet or smartphone from anywhere. It can also log email conversations. This system costs $10 per user per month.