Check out our independent editorial review of the best crm software for sales professionals, including use cases for each option.
Operational CRMs are focused on streamlining day-to-day business operations across sales, marketing, and customer service. They do this in a variety of ways, including automation; collaboration; lead nurturing; and general communications with staff, external partners, and customers alike. To help you choose the right one for you, we reviewed a range of CRM options to determine which ones rate the best for total business operations management.
The top eight operational CRM solutions include:
Operational CRM software helps manage daily sales, marketing, service, and back-office activities through automation and operations-specific features. Most operational CRMs are focused on the sales and marketing processes, but some like QuickBooks CRMs even help with invoicing and basic accounting. To see how this CRM type stacks up against the rest, check out our ultimate guide on the four main types of CRMs.
Our evaluation began specifically with operational CRM capabilities, including sales, marketing, and general customer service. Ease of use came next, as it’s important to have software that is easy to navigate. Standard CRM features followed that, as many of these are universal, and expert score, pricing, and customization wrapped up our evaluation.
Note: All per-user prices are based on an annual subscription unless otherwise noted.
Overall, Agile CRM and Zoho CRM comprise the best of our top options. These options provide the perfect blend of standard functionality with features that are specific to operational CRMs. For an even deeper analysis, read our case-by-case evaluations below.
Agile CRM excels at native telephony services, with plenty of additional features available via third-party app integrations.
Price Range: Free to $47.99 per user, per month
Agile CRM is a sales solution that offers all the core features you’d expect, along with marketing and service functionality for end-to-end service. The software takes advantage of next-gen technology to provide you with all of the standard telephony services in a single, easy-to-use hub. Whether you want to make or receive calls, record notes, or send automated messages, Agile CRM is the solution for you.
Zoho CRM is an operational CRM that focuses on social media marketing and integration. It’s not the only option to include social media functionality, but it achieves it better than anyone else. It’s compatible with all of the most popular social media sites and also provides a myriad of options for customer segmentation, lead nurturing, forecast deals, and sales management, making it great for those managing sales and marketing channels on social media.
Pipedrive provides the fundamental framework for an operational CRM with support for hundreds of third-party apps.
Price Range: Free to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
Pipedrive uses a visual, kanban-style pipeline with integrations for 200+ apps. Some of the most popular apps are PandaDoc for document automation and management, LeadFeeder for analytics directly from Google, Kixie for one-click dialing and telephony support, Xero for accounting and invoicing, and more. If you want to fill the gaps in day-to-day automation or you’re launching your business and want everything in one place, Pipedrive is a great fit.
For an open-source approach to day-to-day operations and sales, SuiteCRM is a solution that checks all the boxes.
Price Range: Free to £475 per month (30-day free trial)
Because SuiteCRM is open-source software, anybody is free to edit the internal coding and contribute to future improvements. Not only does this give your developers the opportunity to inject their own features and preferences directly into the software, but it lets them customize these features to meet your specific operational needs. Its primary features revolve around sales automation, customized marketing, activity management, and customer service.
If your business model follows a standard approach, or if you operate in a mainstream market, this CRM is a great fit.
Price Range: $15 per user, per month (30-day free trial)
Less Annoying CRM takes a no-frills approach to small business operations. Their platform cuts out all of the extras — including complicated pricing tiers — in lieu of focusing strictly on data capture and management, analytics, lead nurturing, calendar management, customization, and team collaboration. It’s ideal for those who need to get started as quickly and as easily as possible or those who only want to worry about paying a flat subscription fee.
Salesforce Essentials complements their traditional CRM offerings with advanced features for next-gen operations.
Price Range: $25 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
For some companies, it’s not enough to simply cover the basics. If your day-to-day operations require a more advanced approach, or if you need access to advanced features like comprehensive sales tracking, lead assignment and routing, email templates, social customer service, customer case management, or support for custom apps via their Lightning App Builder, Salesforce Essentials is right for you.
With advanced mobile security and accessibility, Insightly is great for remote workplaces and business operations on the go.
Price Range: Free to $99 per user, per month
With remote work environments growing in popularity, Insightly has positioned itself ahead of the curve with business card scanning, digital note-taking, next-gen mobile security, integrated telephony support, and more. If you’re a frequent visitor of conferences and seminars, or if you always find yourself taking care of business on the go, Insightly is the solution you’re after.
Accelo is a great fit for those wanting to utilize cloud-based sales, marketing, and customer support for business operations.
Price Range: $39 to $79 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
While most CRM solutions do provide some amount of cloud functionality, Accelo lets you accelerate your day-to-day operations by moving your entire business into the cloud. There’s no need to manage multiple apps — which or may not integrate with one another — when you can run your entire business from the cloud via a single app from Accelo. It’s great for those who are already familiar with the cloud and those who are just getting started.
Operational CRMs take it one step further than barebones CRM software by focusing on tasks and activities that drive day-to-day operations. Business processes like sales, marketing, and customer support are all fundamental aspects of operations, but it’s important to find a solution that meets your specific needs. Whether that’s integrating with social media, transitioning your business to the cloud, or anything in between, there’s a package that’s right for you.