When it comes to a CRM, every agency has its own unique needs. Whether you’re shopping for a new software solution or getting set up for the first time, the purchase of a CRM is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here are a few questions to answer before you start test-driving different CRMs:

    • What’s the most important functionality you need? For example, are you looking for something to help you streamline your sales process, or a tool to help organize your multichannel marketing campaigns?
    • Are you looking for a CRM for your own agency, to use on behalf of your clients, or both? The more users involved in your CRM, the more expensive (generally) it’ll be.
    • Which processes would, if automated, save you the most time and money? Different CRMs have different options for automation — for example, triggered email drips or automatic lead scoring. Which do you need, and which can you live without?
    • What kind of user interface (UI) do you prefer? Not all UIs are created equal. Some use spreadsheet-style interfaces with unique “views” that help you sort and filter records. Others mirror social media networks, with centralized newsfeeds or dashboards that all users see when logging in.
    • Do you really need something new? If you’re using an Excel spreadsheet to track client relationships, the answer is probably “yes.” But if your current CRM is missing a couple of features you wish you had, consider if you really need them. No CRM is perfect, and switching to a new solution is time-consuming.

Get input from your colleagues and other stakeholders. Ask your sales and marketing team what’s most important to them in a CRM. And once you have your list of “must-haves” and your budget in mind, it’s time to demo the best CRM software for agencies on the market.

We’re here to help – here’s a roundup of the 9 best CRM solutions for agencies in 2018.

Insightly

Image courtesy of Insightly

Insightly features exactly the level of functionality a small business or mid-sized agency would need. It has built-in project management tools, an excellent user interface (UI), integration capabilities with third-party apps like MailChimp, and many customization opportunities. Users like Insightly because of all of the functionality offered in the free plan. 

Pricing: Free plan, Plus ($29/month), Professional ($49/month), and Enterprise ($99/month)

Podio

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Image courtesy of GetApp

Podio is a CRM that also provides project management, workflow management, social intranet, and product planning tools. With all of its added benefits, Podio is a great solution for agencies that want to manage both creative projects and sales activities in one place.

Pricing: Free plan, Basic ($9/month), Plus ($14), Premium ($24)

Nimble

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Image courtesy of Nimble

Nimble focuses on each customer’s individuality, pulling insights from social media and other channels to give you the most accurate, updated profile information. With several email marketing tools built-in, this CRM is especially useful for firms that provide email marketing (or rely on it for their own marketing strategies).

Pricing: Nimble Contact ($9/month), Nimble Business ($19/month)

Hatchbuck

Hatchbuck is a CRM and marketing automation platform built specifically for the needs of SMBs and agencies. With customizable lead scoring capabilities and a suite of email marketing automation and tracking tools, Hatchbuck makes it simple to manage opportunities and grow sales. Customers choose Hatchbuck because of the ease of setup (Ranked #1 by G2 Crowd), intuitiveness and live-dedicated customer support.

Pricing: Small biz ($99/month), Team ($199/month), Professional ($299/month), Enterprise ($399/month)

Pipedrive

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Image courtesy of Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales CRM that’s focused on prompting salespeople to take action with leads and customers. It integrates with several third-party email providers and other tools, like Outlook, Gmail, Google Maps, Trello, and Zapier. It’s ideal for agencies with long or complex sales cycles, as it’s primarily a pre-sale tool.

Pricing: Free trial, then Silver ($12.50/month), Gold ($24.20/month), and Platinum ($49.17/month) Plans.

Salesforce

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Image courtesy of Salesforce

If you need a CRM with all of the bells and whistles, the industry-leading Salesforce CRM may be the one for you. Though some users find the UI and the numerous capabilities overwhelming, Salesforce is a powerful tool once you’ve taken the time to learn how to use it.

Pricing: Essentials ($25/month), Professional ($75/month), Enterprise ($150/month), Unlimited ($300/month)

Sage

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Image courtesy of Software Advice

Sage CRM is a multipurpose solution that connects your sales and marketing activities to other departments, like accounting, service delivery, and customer service. With lead scoring, email marketing, and territory management capabilities, it’s a great solution for bigger agencies with complex or dispersed sales teams.

Pricing: Starts at $45/month/user.

Apptivo

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Image courtesy of GetApp

Apptivo CRM is known for its “do it all” functionality – from lead and opportunity management to document storage and email marketing. Manage your customer relationships from pre-sale to sale and beyond.

Pricing: Free starter account, then Premium ($8/month), Ultimate ($20/month), and Enterprise (Custom)

HubSpot CRM

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Image courtesy of HubSpot

HubSpot’s CRM is free, which might appeal to you if you’re a boutique agency or testing the waters of a CRM for the first time. It’s easy to use, and while it doesn’t have as many advanced features (like a mobile app or proposal tools), it’s a great solution for keeping your customer information organized.

Pricing: Free