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Best CRM solutions for 2018

We reviewed top-rated providers to find the best five CRM systems for UK businesses


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an invaluable tool for modern businesses.

The right CRM solution will help your business grow by providing insight into sales, productivity, and customer engagement. The wrong one can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of data and dashboards.

There are a wealth of companies offering CRM software to UK businesses. But when they all promise the same benefits, how do you choose between them?

To help you answer this question we reviewed the top-rated CRM providers on the market. We scored them on features, user experience, customer service and unique benefits. And to determine what size business they're best for we dug into reviews and client testimonies.

Read on for in-depth reviews of the five that came out on top. Or if you're already sold on the benefits of a CRM for your growing business, click here to compare quotes from Expert Market approved suppliers.


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Best CRM providers UK
It's crucial to pick the CRM system that matches the unique needs of your growing business

Top CRM providers

Our research pointed us in the direction of these top CRM providers paving the way for UK businesses. The top CRM suppliers here include Salesforce, Zoho, Copper, Maximizer, and Sage.

The best CRM systems for UK businesses:


CRM provider
Rating
Best for
Key advantages
Prices from
Salesforce CRM
Medium-large sized businesses
  • First-rate customer support
  • Deep-dive reporting and analytics
  • Cloud-based CRM
£20/per user/per month
Zoho CRM
Small-medium sized businesses
  • Free for up to 3 users
  • Excellent contact management
  • Low base rate prices
£10/per user/per month
Copper CRMSmall-medium sized businesses
  • Seamless G Suite integration
  • Drag-and drop, customisable pipelines
  • Flexible pricing plans
£15/per user/per month
Maximizer CRM
Small businesses
  • Comprehensive integration with third-party apps
  • Easy to set up
  • Simple, all-in-one price plan
£35/per user/per month
Sage CRM
Small-medium sized businesses
  • Easy to customise
  • Seamless integration with other sage products
  • Simple, all-in-one price plan
£30/per user/per month

Top 5 UK CRM systems: Reviews and prices

Below are our reviews of the top five CRM providers for UK businesses. All ratings are based on customer reviews, as well as our own experience of the software. Prices are accurate as of April 2018.

1. Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the most widely used CRM systems in the world, offering bespoke platforms for industries spanning sales, marketing and customer services. Cloud-based and easy to use, you can login from anywhere, accessing the data whenever you choose. It’s quick to setup and existing data can be imported from Gmail, Outlook or Excel files.

Supplier Rating: Salesforce review >
Features
Ease of use
Help & support
Overall
Reviewed by Expert Market

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Pros:

  • Powerful and feature rich
  • Free trial
  • Fully customisable

X Cons:

  • The huge scale of the platform can prove overwhelming for some small businesses

Salesforce allows you to simultaneously manage marketing campaigns, sales and workflow. Whether you want to obtain quotes, carry out forecasting, share files or create customised reports, this easy-to-use platform can be tailored to suit your specific needs.

Prices vary depending on the number of users and the features you require. But with over 30 different product suites, Salesforce has something to suit businesses of all sizes.

The sheer number of tailored platforms offered makes Salesforce one of the most versatile CRM providers out there. And this, coupled with the quality and high volume of customer reviews, sees them crowned “Best CRM Provider” in our list.

Salesforce is best for: learning materials, data management, reporting and analytics, customer support automation and sales force automation.

Salesforce pricing

SuitePopular featuresCost
Sales CloudSalesforce's most popular CRM product. Sales automation with data capture, lead management and workflow automation.From £20-£240/per user/per month
Service CloudBuild strong and lasting customer relationships.From £20-£240/per user/per month
Marketing CloudEngage and retain customers across email, web and social media.Contact supplier
QuipImprove your team’s productivity with a centralised information management hub.From £8-£20/per user/per month
Einstein AnalyticsUser data to gain better business insights. Improve productivity and profit.From £60/per user/per month
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Zoho CRM

With over 50,000 customers, Zoho is right up there with Salesforce as one of the most popular web-based CRM solutions on the market — and a particular favourite of small and medium-sized businesses the world over. Renowned for its ease-of-use and feature-rich platforms, Zoho offers a no-fuss, out-of-the box CRM solution to support sales, marketing and customer service processes.

Supplier Rating: Zoho review >
Features
Ease of use
Help & support
Overall
Reviewed by Expert Market

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Pros:

  • Free edition
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to set-up

X Cons:

  • No free trial of paid plans
  • Limited test environments
  • Limited third-party app integration

Zoho CRM includes a host of industry-specific tools for everything from web optimisation to project management and customer service. Simply put, Zoho’s intuitive software can be tailored to your specific needs with minimum effort.

Key features include:

  • Robust email marketing tools
  • Real-time sales forecasting
  • Automated lead management
  • Deep-dive reporting tools
  • Integration with Google apps — Outlook, Quickbooks etc.

Zoho’s “Classic” customer support package — free with all their paid packages — provides access to a technical support team 24 hours a day, five days a week. For an additional 20% of the license fee, you can choose to upgrade to “Premium Support”.

The added benefits of Premium Support are:

  • 24/7 support
  • Dedicated customer relationship manager
  • Setup support
  • 1-to-1 sessions

Zoho is best for: Easy setup, small and medium-sized businesses, access to customer support.

Zoho CRM pricing

Edition
Key features
Cost
FreeEverything you need to kick-start your small business — for up to three users.Nothing!
Standard
  • Sales forecasting
  • Charts and KPIs
  • Webforms
£14/user/month
Professional
  • Email integration
  • Social CRM
  • Google AdWords integration
£24/user/month
Enterprise
  • AI conversational support
  • Multi-user portals
  • Anomaly detectors
£36/month/user
Ultimate
  • Free Premium support
  • Enhanced storage
  • Email sentiment
£85/user/annually
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Copper CRM

With over 12,000 clients including Peugeot and Google, Copper CRM is empowering some of the world’s most innovative companies. It’s designed specifically for Google and looks (and feels) just like the G Suite, which makes it simple to get the hang of. And by working closely with Google apps like Chrome and Calendar, Copper CRM lets you manage leads from your Gmail account. So you won’t miss a chance to rediscover a lead or close that big deal.

Supplier Rating:
Features
Ease of use
Help & support
Overall
Reviewed by Expert Market

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Pros:

  • 14 day free trial
  • Drag-and drop, customisable pipelines
  • Integration with thousands of tools

X Cons:

  • Phone support only available with premium package
  • Minimum spend required for some features
  • Basic plan lacks data storage space

Like most providers, Copper charges per user/per month, allowing you to scale your system inline with the growth of your business. It offers three pricing tiers and the option to pay per month, or save 29% by paying annually.

Copper is also available on a fourteen day free trial. And during this time you’ll get the Business package, giving you access to all the best features.

Copper CRM is best for: Google and email integration, automation, pricing flexibility, small to medium-sized businesses.

Copper CRM pricing

TierPopular FeaturesCost*
Basic
  • G Suite integration
  • 3 email templates
  • Mobile apps
  • Sales forecasting
  • 2GB storage space
£19/per user/per month (£15/month annual billing)
Professional
  • Everything in Basic package +
  • Mailchimp integration
  • 200GB storage space
  • Task automation
£54/per user/per month (£38/month annual billing)
Business
  • Everything in Professional package +
  • Phone support
  • 500GB storage space
  • Unlimited email templates
  • Unlimited bulk email sends
  • Lead and activity insights
£93/per user/per month (annual billing)

*Prices are converted from advertised rates in USD - conversion rate accurate as of 12/11/2018

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Maximizer

Maximizer CRM logo

Founded in 1987, Maximizer is a pioneering developer of CRM software. The company specialises in providing CRM solutions to small to medium sized businesses, promising a “competitive advantage” to its users. Maximizer's, cloud-based software is price competitive, and boasts a sophisticated central lead management solution complete with full tracking capabilities as standard.

Supplier Rating: Maximizer CRM review >
Features
Ease of use
Help & support
Overall
Reviewed by Expert Market

Request CRM quotes

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Excellent for email marketing
  • Designed for small businesses

X Cons:

  • No free trial
  • Poor social media integration
  • Limited third-party app integration

Customer reviews for Maximizer show it’s incredibly simple to use — it actually outscores Salesforce in this area, which is no mean feat!. This makes Maximizer an excellent choice for businesses with no prior experience of CRM systems.

After all, the less time spent training and learning how to navigate a new piece of software, the more time spent managing client relationships and optimising sales efforts.

Maximizer is best for: optimising sales processes, contact management, integration with Microsoft.

Maximizer CRM pricing

Edition
Key features
Cost
Maximizer CRM
An all-in-one CRM solution, including sales, marketing and customer service modules.
Starts from
£35 per user/per month
Financial Advisors
Everything in the Maximizer CRM bundle plus additional features specific to financial management.
£40
per user/per month
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Sage

Sage logo

Sage has been around since 1981, which makes them one of the most established CRM providers in the world. They’re trusted by over 12,000 organisations, with big name clients including Parcelforce and Avis.

Supplier Rating: Sage CRM review >
Features
Ease of use
Help & support
Overall
Reviewed by Expert Market

Request CRM quotes

Pros:

  • Simple, all-inclusive price plan
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable

X Cons:

  • Below average customer support
  • No free trial
  • Poor social platforms integration

Sage offers a single, all-inclusive price plan charged at £30 per user per month, with a range of industry specific modules available.

Basic features of these modules include:

  • Calendar management
  • Management of sales opportunities
  • Account management
  • Customer service support
  • Marketing analysis and management

A full breakdown of their most popular packages can be seen in the table below.

If you are looking for simple and cost effective contact management software, Sage is one of the best CRM solutions about.

Sage is best for: support, user friendliness, customisation, visual data reports.

Sage CRM pricing

Edition
Key features
Cost
Sage Sales
View data from across your business. Manage leads seamlessly and ensure top performers are handling best opportunities.
£30 per user/per month
Sage Marketing
MailChimp integration: use dozens of templates to email customers, or create your own. Easily track performance and create actionable reports.
£30 per user/per month
Sage Services
Comprehensive analytics and reporting on call volume, case resolution times, follow-up statistics and more. Improve workflow and better manage customer service cases.
£30 per user/per month
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Best CRM solutions
The best CRM system for your business isn't necessarily the cheapest, make sure you choose a solution that fully satisfies your business needs

5 questions to ask your CRM provider

Once you have a better idea about what you are looking for in a CRM system, the next step is to contact suppliers to get quotes. Or to save time, simply fill out the form at the top of the page and we'll contact multiple suppliers to find you the best prices.

But before you do, read through top five ‘must-ask’ questions to ensure you’re choosing the best CRM system for your business.

1. Will your software help me to meet my objectives?

You need to ensure that any software you install will help you achieve your business objectives. If you’re looking to reward customer loyalty, you need software that can provide you with the tools and data to do this — it’s no use investing in bespoke marketing CRM software and expecting to see improvements in customer service too.

So it’s important to enter into negotiations with a clear idea of what you want for your business.

Learn more about how CRM can benefit your business: What CRM can help your business to achieve

2. Does it integrate with other software?

A major selling point of a number of CRM solutions is that they can be easily integrated with other business programmes such as Microsoft Office, Outlook and Gmail.

This helps to improve efficiency by streamlining business operations. The less time you spend migrating data to your CRM from existing platforms the better!

3. Where can I access the software?

In a world where cloud-computing is now the norm, access to your CRM software from a fixed location simply isn’t practical for many businesses — especially those with multiple offices.

Check with providers to make sure their platform can be accessed on mobile phones and tablets, or via a cloud-based systems. Modern businesses require a modern CRM solution, and you should expect nothing less.

4. What costs are involved?

CRM software is billed either annually or on a monthly basis. If you can afford to, it often proves cost effective to pay a year’s subscription upfront as this will give you access to the best rates.

Some suppliers will introduce a price increase after you’ve been with them for a year — and by this point you often have too much invested to easily change platform. So to avoid soaring costs, be sure to ask providers about how their pricing might change before signing a contract.

Most importantly, think carefully about your budget and stick to it. There are plenty of CRM solutions on offer, so don’t be tempted to go with the first provider you come across. By spending a little time searching around you’ll be able to find a platform that fulfills your business requirements and falls within the right price range.

Read more: CRM software costs explained

5. What customer service and aftercare do you offer?

Some CRM providers do little more than grant you a software license and leave you to get on with it. Which is fine if you have an in-house team of developers, but this simply isn’t the case for most businesses.

Integrating CRM services with your businesses is a big enough task as it is, without worrying about installation and troubleshooting. Save time — and your sanity — by choosing a provider that offers full customer support.


Next steps:

How to get the best deal on a CRM system for your business

With so many CRM solutions to choose from, sourcing quotes can be a tiresome and time consuming process. But we’re here to help.

Simply click the button below and fill out our short webform to receive same-day quotes from up to four leading CRM suppliers. It doesn’t cost you a penny, and the whole process takes less than a minute.

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