Common CRM Problems and Solutions 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 1 October 2020

We break down seven of the top issues businesses face when implementing, securing, and utilising CRM – and what your business can do to solve them


Since you’re here, we’ll assume you’re already fairly well acquainted with the benefits a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can offer your business – that is, the problems it solves.

But what about those it creates?

Like us humans, no CRM system is perfect. And, before you reach the golden lands of souped-up sales, juiced-up marketing campaigns, and faster customer service that CRM offers, chances are you’ll encounter a few potholes along the way.

But don’t go hitting the panic button just yet – these common CRM problems can all be solved, and your business’ system (and approach to customer relationships) will be all the stronger for it.

So what are these common CRM problems we speak of, you ask?

We’ve broken down seven of the problems most frequently cited by business owners as being the major early pitfalls of CRM software – and how you can tackle them. Whether you’re still thinking about a CRM system or have installed one recently, this guide will help you sidestep the most common issues.

Let’s explore.


#1: Under-utilisation of the system

So you’ve installed your CRM, and your staff are using it… but are you getting the most out of your software’s features and capabilities? 

Problem

There’s a good chance you’re not. Statistics tell us that almost half (43%) of CRM users take advantage of less than half of the features their software has to offer. But why?

Is it laziness? A lack of employee engagement, or resistance to using the system?

In some cases, yes – but for many teams under-utilising their CRM systems, it’s simply a lack of awareness of what the software can do

CRM is often mistakenly used interchangeably with CMS (contact management software), or seen as just a database for storing customer records. While CRM does do this, it’s really so much more.

The power of CRM lies in how it allows you to manipulate key data – identifying trends, analysing buyer habits, and generating accurate sales forecasts. CRM isn’t just a place to store information, but an intelligent set of tools to empower smarter, savvier sales, marketing, and customer service CRM efforts.

Chances are, your team just aren’t aware of all that yet.

Solution

Thankfully, there are a couple of ways around this one.

The most obvious is to explore the full functionality of what your CRM software can do. You can do this by getting in touch with your CRM supplier’s support team via phone or live chat.

You can also tap into your CRM provider’s online knowledge base for tutorials, videos, and articles to get you started. Many CRM suppliers also have platforms for dedicated customer communities: where you can ask questions, participate in threads, and learn more about the nuances and intricacies of your CRM software.

It’s then up to you to relay these benefits to your team – though if that’s too much, you can always arrange a live demo with your CRM supplier, who’ll do it for you.

Of course, it may be the case that you don’t need all the features offered by the CRM. This is important to understand, as you may be able to downgrade to a more modest plan that’s better-suited to your current needs – and save some cash in the process.

Jump to #5: the system is too expensive


#2: Security issues

So your CRM system has a lot of features – way more, in fact, than you first suspected. But how secure is it?

Problem

This common CRM problem can be expressed in a single question…

“How do I keep my data safe?”

The answer? Well, that depends…

Solution

How you keep a handle on your CRM system’s cyber security will depend on the mode of deployment you’ve selected: on-premise or cloud-based.

On-premise software is deployed on servers physically located at your business’ premises. Cloud-based software’s servers are managed and operated by the company you choose to provide your CRM system.

If you’ve selected an on-premise solution, you’ll have more control over your system’s security, data, user rights, and setup. As such, you’ll need to take a more hands-on approach to securing your servers. This includes:

  • Installing firewalls and antivirus technology
  • Ensuring physical access to your servers is limited and controlled
  • Regulating employee behaviour in and around the location of your servers
  • Securing your local internet connection with strong passwords
  • Regularly updating your operating system

If you’ve selected a cloud-based system, your chosen CRM supplier should relieve you of most of the duties of CRM cybersecurity. 

We should note – because cloud-based CRM is operated over the internet, many business owners worry that it’s not as safe. But don’t fret – cloud-based systems these days are as secure (if not more so!) than their on-premise counterparts.


#3: Choosing the wrong software

It may seem an obvious error, but this common CRM problem is a particularly insidious one. Because by the time you realise the software you’ve deployed is the wrong one, the damage may already have been done…

Problem

So, you’ve picked the wrong system. Why fret? It happens. 

Whether it’s getting sucked in by the siren song of a good deal, or caving to high-pressure sales tactics, many business owners end up saddled with a CRM that’s simply not right for them.

As for the system, there are many reasons a particular CRM might not gel with your business or industry. Maybe you’ve picked software that specialises in marketing automation (such as HubSpot), when actually your priority is selling – and what you really need is something like Salesforce or Maximizer

You might even be going down a blind alley with CRM, when what you really need is project management software, such as monday.com.

Perhaps you’ve selected a plan with too many (or too few) features. It could even be that the system’s interface just doesn’t resonate with you – it may be hard to use, or unpleasant to look at.

So what can you do about it?

Solution

Well, you’ve started by exploring our CRM content… so you’re already on the right track. But why not go one step further, and compare quotes with us?

It’s free, takes about 30 seconds, and is undeniably the quickest, most hassle-free route to your dream CRM system. Here’s how it works.

Simply provide us with some details about your current CRM setup. Do you currently use a CRM or a CMS? Which features are you most interested in? How many users will the system need to support?

Once that’s done, we’ll match you up with one or more CRM suppliers. Not just any suppliers, though – exclusively ones that will be a good fit for the specific needs of your business. They’ll then get in touch with you directly to explain more, and provide quotes tailored to your requirements. Problem solved!


4: Out-of-date information

People change, and so does their data. So how do you ensure that your business is always working with the freshest, most accurate information?

Problem

CRM does a lot. Capturing leads via your websites and social media channels, feeding these to your sales team, and managing all that customer data from a central location? Yep, it’s a lot.

Naturally, though, CRM doesn’t do everything. And, if you’re expecting it to update your client information for you, you can think again.

It’s a common CRM problem. After a while, CRM systems get bogged down with outdated client data. Old phone numbers, switched companies, new job titles –  things are constantly changing, and you need to keep up.

Here’s how.

Solution

First of all, give your CRM database a spring clean. Remove contacts whose emails are bouncing, or have been consistently unresponsive to your calls. Get rid of (or re-engage!) any unclosed leads or prospects overstaying their welcome in the system.

You should also think about deleting any email templates you no longer use, along with any old reports. This will serve the dual purpose of refreshing your CRM system, while freeing up storage space – though if the latter’s an issue, you can always purchase more.

You can also ensure your customer data is accurate by re-engaging lapsed customers with fresh deals and discounts. Run an email marketing campaign that offers benefits in exchange for a customer’s details. Your CRM database will rejuvenate before your very eyes!


#5: The system is too expensive

CRM breaking the bank? Let’s take a look at how you can trim costs…

Problem

CRM software is profitable. So profitable, the stats suggest, that it can increase revenue by over 40% per sales representative.

That said, there are many reasons why you’re not seeing the ROI you expected from your CRM just yet. Implementation issues, privacy hurdles, poor staff engagement with the system… any or all of these common CRM problems may make you feel like you’re not getting enough for your money.

Here’s what to do if your CRM is proving too expensive right now.

Solution

Simple… downgrade!

CRM is almost always priced in tiers. A basic version will be cheap, while a more feature-rich version (which you’ve probably ended up with) requires considerably more investment. So, by downgrading, you can free up cash flow.

That said, you don’t have to sacrifice features to save money. CRM is priced per user, per month – so you can cut down on costs by reducing the amount of your staff who have access to the system.

And if times are hard and neither of the above options are feasible, you can lump for a free plan. Free CRM software is severely limited, and we tend not to recommend it for ambitious businesses. But it might be just what you need to take a breather, recalibrate your CRM strategy, and save some money to boot.

For more information, head to our page on CRM software costs, updated for 2020.


#6: Privacy and ethical issues in CRM

According to the statistics, 74% of CRM users believe that the software has enhanced their access to customer data. But at what cost?

Problem

G, D, P, R. By themselves, four harmless letters. But when combined, they stand for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – game-changing legislation introduced only a couple of years ago.

The GDPR ushered in a strict set of rules about how businesses are allowed to collect, manage, and utilise customer data. Since collecting, managing, and utilising customer data is sort of a CRM system’s raison d’etre, you can start to see the kind of roadblocks this legislation throws up for your team.

But it’s not just about striving to stay compliant (and avoid the hefty fines for those who get it wrong). There are obviously some distinct ethical issues floating around the storage and usage of customer data, and you owe it to your customers to protect their privacy.

So how do you juggle compliance and customer care, while striking a balance between profit and principle?

Solution

Ask The Experts
Question symbol

How do you navigate the privacy and ethical issues in CRM?

Rob Binns

To find out, we got in touch with Alex MacLachlan, CRM Marketing Manager at a prominent London-based lead generation outfit.

Alex, how would you describe the privacy and ethical issues involved with CRM? Are there any?

“The main CRM privacy issue is that people give you their personally identifiable information, and you are then responsible for its security and, for a lack of a better word, its “use”.

“As someone with access to effectively every piece of customer data we have, I need to be really careful with how I analyse it and how I can share it (note – I generally can’t).

“I think even in a world without GDPR, I would always make sure that these customers have consented to what we are sending them. One, because otherwise they are going to get upset and complain, as you are effectively breaking their trust. Two, if I was in their shoes (being signed up to so many emails as I often am), would I deem this as acceptable?

“This speaks more about ethics than privacy. People have trusted you with their personal data, and it’s your responsibility as a CRM/data controller to only send them what they have permitted you to – anything outside of that and, in my view, it’s unethical.”

What tips do you have for small email marketing teams, to ensure they remain GDPR-compliant?

Here are my top three tips.

1. Make sure everything is logged 

“Consent statements, opt-in/out messages, and other data processes all need to be logged – ideally on a monthly basis. You need to be able to state where you’ve got the customer data from, what they’ve consented to (and when), and what you’ve been sending them.”

2. Limit the number of controllers

“The more people you have that are able to change opt-in/out statements, consent pathways, and data fields, the more potential mistakes there are to be made – and the harder they are to trace. If you keep a tight list of who can change things and stay on top of your CRM system’s user permissions, you’ll stay on the right side of the legislation.”

3. Remember that GDPR doesn’t just apply to marketing

“Make sure your processes for all other aspects of your business are GDPR compliant. A big one is hiring; how do you share CVs? Where do you dispose of them once the candidate has been interviewed? You can very easily land on the wrong side of GDPR with this sort of thing.”


#7: Low employee engagement

Who is Fred, and how you can bring him into the 21st century?

Problem

No matter how hard you try to implement a new way of doing things, there’ll always be resistance. 

Think of Fred, that grumpy, belligerent salesman who was chewing the fat by the water cooler when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. This relic is set in his ways, opposed to change – both technological and social – and has no interest in any of this ‘new-fangled’ CRM software you’ve put in front of him.

Fred is of course an archetype, but there are plenty like him – employees who, for whatever reason, refuse to engage with new ways of doing things

Data tells us that six in ten salespeople are unwilling to change the processes that work for them, and – according to Tech.co – more than one in five businesses cite ‘embracing technology’ as the biggest challenge facing their company.

So how do you get your employees using your CRM, and engaging with the myriad features and possibilities it offers?

Solution

Well, you do it by showing them just how powerful your CRM system can be.

After all, CRM shouldn’t be seen as something to be forced upon your salespeople. It makes their jobs easier! 

Likewise, the carrot almost always works better than the stick. Offer juicy incentives for your top earners, while rewarding the most creative marketing campaigns.

Once the Freds in your office catch on to how much time and effort a CRM can save them – and that it’s a shortcut to that bonus you’ve offered – they won’t be complaining.


Next steps

You’re pretty well-equipped. Not only do you know what CRM does – and how it can benefit your business – but you have a comprehensive understanding of the pitfalls involved with implementation and uptake, too.

Armed with knowledge of these early CRM perils (and their solutions, of course) you’re in a position to seize control of your business’ destiny; forging more meaningful, enduring relationships with your customers.

If you already have a CRM, that is. 

For those among you yet to find the right CRM supplier, don’t fret – we can help. You have a couple of options here:

  1. To do more research, head on over to our page on the best CRM systems for small businesses. We’ve researched, rated, and ranked eight leading suppliers to make things simple for you.
  2. Compare quotes right here, right now. Hit one of the buttons below to get started with our quick questionnaire. When you’re done, we’ll match you with hand picked CRM suppliers, who’ll be in touch with tailored quotes.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Compare Quotes from Leading CRM Software Providers and Save
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1. Does your practice already use CRM software? YES NO
Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Best CRM Systems for Law Firms in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 27 August 2020

Revolutionise your firm with a better way of managing your cases, staff, and client relationships. Contrast suppliers, crunch prices, and compare quotes from top law firm CRM providers with us


SalesforceOsprey ApproachActionstepClioLegallyCRM
 ProWide range of third-party app integrationsVery user-friendlyFlexible, affordable pricing plans24/5 customer supportIdeal for single practice and solo firms
X ConTough to get to grips withExpensiveNot easy to customiseUser experience can be clunkyNo phone-based customer support
Best forAnalytics and reportingData securityWorkflow automationPractice area versatilityShoestring budgets
Price (per user, per month)From £20From £120From £39From £49From £30

No matter what kind of law you practice, people will always be at the heart of what you do. Whether it’s keeping your staff on the same page, winning new clients, or maintaining those important business connections, it’s your relationships that determine your success.

But with so many leads, clients, and cases to keep track of, staying on top of things – and staying compliant – can be a real headache. That’s where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system comes in.

CRM software provides your law firm with a central hub for all your crucial contact and client data. No big ring binders, no spreadsheets – just slick, straightforward software that streamlines your workflow. Sound good? We agree.

That’s why we're taking a look at the best CRM systems for law firms in the UK. Jump to a supplier in the table above, or skip straight to our law firm CRM system FAQs. Alternatively, take 30 seconds to provide us with your firm's specific CRM requirements, via our free quote-finding questionnaire. We'll then match you with leading CRM software suppliers, who'll be in touch with you directly to provide tailored quotes.


Best CRM systems for law firms

How does Salesforce acquit itself as a top CRM provider? Can Actionstep do your firm justice? Is Clio all it’s cracked up to be?

We reviewed the big CRM names in the legal industry, putting each supplier's software on trial. Our top five picks for UK law firms are Salesforce, Osprey Approach, Actionstep, and Clio – but we’ll let you be the judge!

Top five CRM systems for UK law firms:


Salesforce

Best for analytics and reporting

Salesforce comes with some serious pedigree. As the world’s number one CRM, it boosts the business of over 150,000 companies around the world. Its cloud-based software lets your team collaborate on cases and projects – you’ll know exactly who’s dealing with who, and what progress has been made so far. As well as letting you run your firm from your smartphone, Salesforce also offers the most advanced business analytics on the market. It lets you drill down into how people find your services, how they tick, and – crucially – how to turn them into clients.

Overall Rating :

Read more: Top Analytical CRM Software for UK Businesses in 2020

Salesforce pricing

Salesforce EssentialsLightning ProfessionalLightning EnterpriseLightning Unlimited
Sales Cloud£20 per user, per month£60 per user, per month£120 per user, per month£240 per user, 

per month

Service Cloud£20 per user, per month£60 per user, per month£120 per user, per month£240 per user, per month
Sales and Service CloudNot available£80 per user, per month£140 per user, per month£260 per user, per month

With additional rates for its various marketing modules and feature-enhancing add-ons, Salesforce's pricing is too complex to unpack here. Plus, we do that much better in our dedicated Salesforce review – updated for 2020 – where we explore the CRM behemoth's latest rates, features, packages, and user-submitted opinions.

And, for more information about how much you can expect to pay for your CRM system in general, we have you covered. Head on over to our CRM software costs article for everything you need to know.

Pros:

  • Basic package offers excellent value for money
  • Enormous range of integrations with the software and applications your firm uses every day
  • Coaching and goal-setting features help drive increased performance from your legal team

X Cons:

  • Salesforce's more advanced features can be difficult to get the hang of

Osprey Approach

Best for data security and GDPR compliance

Osprey Approach is high-flying legal software that’s tailor-made for the industry. And you don’t just get CRM – there are several more feathers to the cap of this smart solution. Besides CRM, Osprey Approach also offers practice and case management functions, budget planning, and simple email integration. Better still, it boasts some of the highest levels of data security out there. That means your contact data is safe, and fretting about your GDPR obligations becomes a thing of the past.

Overall Rating :

Osprey Approach pricing

Osprey Approach offers three pricing plans. All include:

  • Case and practice management features
  • Integrated legal accounting
  • Workflow automation
  • Document and form production with inclusive precedents
  • Time recording and reporting capabilities
  • Tools for sales teams, as well as email marketing functionality
ProfessionalEnterpriseQuantum
From £120 per user, per monthFrom £140 per user, per monthFrom £180 per user, per month

However, Osprey Approach's cheapest plan, ‘Professional' – though it still clocks in at a hefty £120 per user, per month – is only offered as an app for desktop only, compatible solely with Windows. To use the legal CRM software on mobile apps for iOS and Android, you'll need to be on the ‘Enterprise' plan, or above.

Upgrading to Osprey Approach's ‘Quantum' plan adds a host of impressive features, including voice-activated case management, and AI support. Your firm will also benefit from ‘Approach2Quote' – an AI-powered chatbot that allows you to provide conveyancing quotes directly through your website.

Pros:

  • Extremely user-friendly
  • The team is highly responsive on social media sites such as Twitter
  • Offers a range of bespoke packages to fit the unique needs of your law firm

X Cons:

  • One of the more expensive legal CRM systems out there
  • Can be slow to load and prone to freezes

Actionstep

Best for workflow automation

Built solely for the legal industry, Actionstep offers a complete, cloud-based practice management system. Its intelligent workflow technology breaks your workload down into decision trees and manageable, bite-sized chunks. That keeps you from getting bogged down in the repetitive admin stuff, while freeing you up to get stuck into cases – and to grow your firm! Actionstep's CRM for law firms also offers an easy-to-use ‘Client Portal’ - a secure space where you can chat with your clients, and collaborate on documents in real time.

Overall Rating :

Actionstep pricing

ExpressPractice ProEnterprise
Paid annually£39 per user, per month£69 per user, per monthOn enquiry
Paid monthly£49 per user, per month£79 per user, per monthOn enquiry

Of Actionstep's three pricing tiers, ‘Express' is only for single practice and solo firms. If you've outgrown the small business CRM stage, though, we recommend plumping for ‘Practice Pro'. At a reasonable £69 per user, per month, it's ideal for boutique and multi-practice firms looking to scale. The plan provides everything you get with Actionstep's basic plan, plus:

  • A client portal
  • Customisable workflows
  • Consolidated billing
  • External data reporting
  • Advanced calendar synchronisation

An extra £10 per user, per month buys you Actionstep's ‘Enterprise' plan – ideal for multi-divisional firms. For the additional outlay, you'll score multi-currency, integrated general ledger accounting, plus banking, financial reporting, dashboards, and access to an online knowledge base.

Pros:

  • Fantastic customer support
  • Presents case notes in a digestible ‘newsfeed’ style
  • Pricing plans offer flexibility, as well as value

X Cons:

  • Can be difficult to set up and customise to your liking

You're just over halfway through our list of the top CRM software for law firms… time to start comparing quotes?

Simply hit one of the buttons below to start our quick questionnaire. It takes just 30 seconds to do, and by telling us more about your firm's specific requirements, we can help ensure that you receive the best, most personalised rates on legal CRM software.

Compare Quotes from Leading Legal CRM Software Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Does your firm already use CRM software? YES NO

Clio

Best for lawyers across all practice areas

Already trusted by thousands of law firms worldwide, Clio (which acquired prominent law firm CRM provider Lexicata in 2018, and subsequently rebranded it) is a scalable CRM that’s designed to grow with your practice. Through its colourful, intuitive interface, you’ll get all the insights you need to drive more value for you and your clients – no matter which area of law you ply your trade in.

Overall Rating :

With a CRM service catering to practice areas from criminal law and conveyancing to immigration and intellectual property, you can be confident that the team behind Clio understands the unique pressures and pain points of your practice.

Clio pricing

Atypically for CRM software, Clio comes at a single per user, per month cost, rather than offering several ascending pricing plans. Clio will cost you £49 per user, per month (or £56 per user, per month if you select monthly, rather than annual, billing).

And you get plenty of features for your money, too, including:

  • Matter management
  • Online payments and billing
  • Xero, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Office 365 integration
  • Unlimited data storage
  • Legal calendaring

Pros:

  • Integrates seamlessly with G Suite, Outlook, Mailchimp and more
  • Highly-rated customer support
  • Tailor-made for law firms

X Cons:

  • Online reviews suggest that elements of the user experience (UX) could be improved

LegallyCRM

Best for firms on a shoestring budget

Riffing off the title of the 2001 megahit film Legally Blonde, LegallyCRM likely won’t provide as many laughs (or cringes) as the Reese Witherspoon vehicle. But what the up-and-coming Polish-based CRM provider will offer is affordable, no-frills CRM that – as the name suggests – is tailored solely to the requirements of the legal industry.

Overall Rating :

We'll admit – feature-wise, it's much more basic than the other CRM systems for law firms on this list. However, LegallyCRM negates this with generous data storage limits (you'll get a whopping 50GB with its most basic plan), as well as zero limits on the amount of users you can have accessing the system – a rarity when it comes to CRM.

LegallyCRM pricing

When it comes to pricing, only the very smallest of firms should think about opting for ‘LegallyBasic' –as the name implies, it'll be too simplistic for the needs of most lawyers.

That said, most small law firms should be well served by LegallyCRM's mid-range plan, LegallyMLM (£49 per month), which includes invoicing and billing, as well as specific modules for solicitors, consultants, and agents.

LegallyBasicLegallyMLMLegallyMLM and Marketing
$39 (£30) per month$65 (£49) per month$116 (£88) per month

Pros:

  • Sports a colourful interface reminiscent of monday.com's project management software
  • Easy to use

X Cons:

  • Marketing modules are only available with LegallyCRM's most expensive plan (£88 per month)
  • Customer support isn't UK-based (or phone-based)
  • Not as proven or as established in the CRM space as its competitors
Want to learn more about how monday.com can help you boss your workload, and take your projects to new heights? Try it free for 14 days.

Next steps

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a partner, an associate, or a paralegal – CRM software will improve the speed and efficiency of your work.

It’ll bring your remote teams closer together, and promote better, more open communication with your clients. And, by automating and simplifying key processes, it’ll free you up for what you’d rather be doing (which, presumably, is winning cases).

So let us help you find the best CRM solution for your law firm. Simply provide us with some details about your firm's requirements via our free quote-finding form. We’ll ask a couple of basic questions about the size of your team and practice, and match you with CRM suppliers that fit your needs. They'll then be in touch with you over the phone to offer their legal CRM expertise, and provide tailored quotes.


FAQs

What are the benefits of CRM for my law firm?

Prepare for those big meetings

CRM provides intelligent contact management, pulling records of all your client interactions into one place. Whether you last spoke on the phone, in a meeting, or via social media, it’s all there. Tap into your conversation history with ease, and never enter that meeting without everything you need to know (quite literally!) at your fingertips.

Prioritise client interactions

When you’ve got so much on your plate on a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to let big portions of your to-do list fall by the wayside.

A CRM system provides automatic reminders to help keep you on track – and lets you sort tasks by their immediate priority. This helps your customer service team handle issues with pace and professionalism, and ensures that you get more of the important stuff done, today.

Work from anywhere

Most CRM systems for law firms are cloud-based. That means that you – or anyone else in your team – can access the software from anywhere with an internet connection. You can log in and start work with ease, from your smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch. This makes CRM software a great way to improve your team’s collaboration, while working from a beach in Mexico!*

*Or your home office.

Read more: The Best Cloud-Based CRM Software in 2020

Build better marketing campaigns

CRM systems enable you to craft good-looking, engaging emails. Using a CRM database, you can construct targeted bulk email marketing campaigns to get more out of your audience. With the right approach, you can re-engage those lapsed clients, bring in a whole new generation of business, and boost your bottom line to boot.

Read more: The Best Marketing CRM Software in 2020

Is there free CRM software for law firms?

Free CRM software is available. Freshworks CRM, Zoho, Insightly, and Bitrix24 all offer CRM pricing plans, completely gratis. However, there is a catch – that these plans come largely stripped of their best features.

Plus, you’ll almost always have to pay for any CRM system that comes as an industry-specific solution. And it makes sense, too – time has gone into creating an intelligent product that's designed to understand your business’ needs. Companies aren’t going to be giving it away!

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Best Cloud-Based CRM for Small Business

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 14 July 2020

Find out what cloud-based CRM is, and how it can help you manage your team, tasks, and communication from wherever you are in the world


Since you’re here, you’re probably pretty familiar with what a CRM (customer relationship management) system is – not to mention all the benefits it can bring to your business.

How about the term ‘cloud-based’, though? This term doesn’t have anything to do with the weather. But, when it comes to traversing time zones and facilitating smoother, speedier collaboration across remote teams and locations, cloud-based CRM certainly offers a ray of sunshine – particularly amid the stormy skies of COVID-19.

So what is cloud-based CRM, exactly, and what are its key advantages? Is it right for you, or would your business be better served by an on-premise solution?

We’ll look at all this, as well as reviewing and ranking our top three cloud-based CRM providers for small businesses. You can skip to the list here, or – if you’re short on time – cut straight to the chase and start comparing cloud-based CRM providers.

Simply provide us with a few details about your current setup and requirements, and you’ll hear from leading CRM suppliers, who'll be in touch with tailored quotes. Our quote-finding form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and is free for UK-based businesses.


What is cloud-based CRM?

Low (if any) up-front costs, then a monthly fee

Nothing to download or install

Industry-leading security assurances

Ideal for small businesses!

When CRM software is cloud-based, it means that your business’ information is hosted in the cloud – that is, on the servers of the company providing the CRM.

Essentially, it means that you’ll access the CRM through the internet, rather than from a system installed on a set of computers at your office. Rather than hosting all of your data (contact details, quotes, emails, interactions, and more) in-house – on servers owned, operated, and maintained by your business – you’ll essentially outsource this, letting the CRM provider do the grunt work for you.

Cloud-based is just one of three options when it comes to deploying your CRM system. There’s also on-premise (which we discuss below), as well as a hybrid system, which combines the best of both worlds… but at a hefty price.

As far as CRM for small businesses goes, we’ll always recommend cloud-based deployment. Here’s why.


The best cloud-based CRM for small business

Now you’ve decided that cloud-based CRM is the best avenue for your business, it’s time to pick the right provider. And, because you’re busy running that business, we’ve made it simple to make the right choice. 

We looked at a range of key suppliers in the CRM space; rating, reviewing, and ranking them based on several factors crucial to small businesses. These include task tracking and scheduling, workflow management, a group calendar, and effective external communication features – essentially, anything that can improve the efficiency and ease with which your team collaborates.

Here are the top cloud-based CRM providers, according to our data:

Salesforce

Like its logo, Salesforce is fully cloud-based. It also just happens to be CRM's biggest name, with almost one-fifth of the market share, and a slick app that makes remote work a breeze. Businesses with more demanding reporting requirements should plump for Salesforce's add-on analytical module, Einstein Analytics – as far as CRM systems go, it doesn't get any better.

HubSpot

Excellent email marketing capabilities and an impressive free plan elevate HubSpot's completely cloud-based CRM software above most of the competition.

Zendesk

Zendesk makes up for its lack of an offering for marketing teams with dynamic, cloud-based CRM software designed to help sales and customer service teams smash their targets.

Freshworks CRM

Synergising a stylish, refreshing interface with strong customer support, Freshworks CRM's entirely cloud-based CRM solution also manages to deliver that quality small businesses crave so dearly – affordability! Learn more about how much you can save with one of Freshworks CRM's plans with our complete guide to CRM software costs, updated for 2020.

Dynamics 365

At the other end of the pricing scale sits Microsoft's own foray into the overcrowded (over-clouded?) cloud-based CRM space. For the extra outlay, Dynamics 365 offers granular insights into your business' key sales and service metrics – and its product for marketing teams is simply phenomenal.

SugarCRM

With no arbitary usage limits on contacts or users, and a completely bespoke approach to catering to your business, SugarCRM is cloud-based software at its most tailored.

Zoho

For highly affordable, clean-looking cloud-based CRM that your Grandma could use, make Zoho your top pick. It won't help you stun stakeholders or boardrooms with in-depth analysis or mind-blowing reports, but it has a free version (or a free 15-day trial, if that suits you better) – and small businesses could easily do a lot worse.

monday.com

Tiptoeing the line between a more basic project management tool and an advanced, fully-fledged CRM, monday.com's cloud-based solution will, nevertheless, get the job done. With a unique, colour-coded layout that’s easy to manipulate and filter (not to mention interpret!), it's a pleasure to use, too.

Insightly

Like monday.com, Insightly's cloud-based CRM software prioritises style over substance, with an engaging set of dashboards that brings your data to life. Yet, predictably, Insightly's vibrant interface comes at the expense of the more developed, well-rounded set of features you see with the likes of Salesforce and HubSpot.

Maximizer

Maximizer offers both on-premise and cloud-based CRM variants, as well as an even more flexible hybrid solution. Though its interface is a little dated (and the user experience could certainly use a scrub up), Maximizer still sports strong sales forecasting and deal management features to give your sales team a boost.

Sage

With a suite of business services ranging from accounting software to accepting payments online, Sage's cloud-based CRM software is an equally accomplished entry into the arena. Sage is perfectly capable (if a little clunky) CRM software, though it suffers from a marked lack of transparency when it comes to its pricing plans. On-premise deployment is also available.

Copper

The only CRM software made for Google (and highly recommended by them), Copper integrates natively with Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Chrome, and everything else with a big, multi-coloured ‘G' on its branding.

webCRM

With a clean, stripped-back interface, intuitive mobile app, and high levels of usability, Danish cloud-based CRM software company webCRM serves up a satisfying blend of hygge and productivity.

Nimble

Offering seamless integration with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 (remember that one?) Nimble's versatility makes up for the somewhat cumbersome nature of its central dashboard.

Pipedrive

Powered by the extreme simplicity and visual splendour of a colourful, drag-and-drop pipeline builder, Pipedrive is more than just cloud-based CRM. It's silky, satisfying software that'll help you close deals, turn your site's users into leads, and handle service issues with speed and savviness… and it's downright fun to use, too!

Really Simple Systems

What's in a name? With Really Simple Systems… well, everything. Its cloud-based CRM software is easy to get to grips with, easy to get the most out of, and offers a passable free version, too – though we wouldn't recommend it to anyone other than very small businesses.

Sendinblue

With a free version and a range of affordable pricing plans, Sendinblue is your marketing team's ticket to quicker, more effective, and more well-optimised campaigns. Its highly user-friendly (and cloud-based!) interface will have you not only crafting beautiful, persuasive marketing communications, but A/B testing, customising, and targeting like a pro, too.

Apptivo

Another startlingly good entry into the cloud-based CRM canon, Apptivo is also notable for being extremely affordable. You can get your hands on it for just $8 (£6) per user, per month. And, unlike many of its competitors, Apptivo's basic plan doesn't skimp on the necessary functionality – you'll get 1,000 mass email sends per user, per month, generous data storage limits, and 2,000 API (Application Programming Interface) calls, too. Customer support is included.

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What are the advantages of cloud-based CRM?

It’s simple.

Unlike with on-premise systems, cloud-based software does away with laborious implementation processes. There’s no elaborate software to download or install, and you won’t have to actually host your business’ data on physical servers at your office.

That means no faffing around with routers, cables, storage devices… you get the picture. Plus, the lack of actual equipment you’ll have to store on your premises frees up physical space, allowing you to expand your team… and maybe finally get that coffee machine the sales team have been pining for.

With cloud-based CRM, you just open up your browser, log in, and start working.

It’s collaborative.

That leads us to the next of cloud-based CRM’s key strengths – how seamlessly it facilitates team collaboration across multiple locations and time zones. 

Cloud-based software updates in real-time. If you close a deal at 10am, your boss knows about it by 10:01. Plus, because you can save records of conversations (whether they took place via email, telephone, or social media) directly within the CRM, it’s easy to know who’s dealing with specific clients and requests, and avoid your sales and customer service agents treading on each other’s toes. 

What cloud-based CRM also serves to do is remove the issues that ‘data siloing’ can have on your team’s effectiveness. There’s no information locked away in desk drawers or archaic email threads, and no important contact details buried in old, forgotten stacks of notebooks.

Nope – just everything in a single, centralised location, accessible in a click.

It’s mobile.

Why wait until you get into the office to check on the status of your latest big deal, or survey the health of your pipeline?

Cloud-based CRM is fully mobile. Most providers offer an app, which allows you to view and update information within the CRM in real-time. Again, there’s nothing to download or install, and no expensive or clunky tech to lug around.

It’s not ideal for your work-life balance, sure… but productivity-wise, it’s a dream!

It’s secure.

Ask any business owner why they’re yet to make the jump to the cloud, and they’ll most likely cite data security as the reason. After all, unlike with an on-premise solution, your data isn’t stored on servers located at your own place of business – rather, it’s hosted by your chosen cloud-based CRM provider.

So is there veracity to the claim that cloud-based systems aren’t safe?

In truth, there’s not. Considering how much it actually costs to ensure an on-premise system is secure – a price tag that’s probably beyond the budgets of most small businesses – it’s actually safer to go with a cloud-based service. Why?

Well, CRM providers utilise the finest in data encryption, ensuring that your business’ details are immune from cyber attacks. Cloud-based CRM companies also boast automatic data recovery features, as well as two-factor authentication – helping you stay safe, while remaining completely GDPR-compliant.

It’s affordable.

Cloud-based CRM all but eliminates the costs associated with implementation, installation, data migration, and maintenance. When you choose a cloud-based system, you also won’t pay any significant upfront CRM software costs – rather, you’ll pay only a monthly licence fee to use the service. 

What this licence fee actually comes to will depend on several things – the features you require, the number of users that’ll need access to the software, and, of course, which cloud-based CRM software provider you choose for your business.

And as you already know, picking the right cloud-based CRM provider is easier said than done. So, to get an idea of how much a cloud-based CRM solution that’s tailored to your team will cost, let us help.

Simply tell us your requirements – that is, the amount of people that’ll require access to the system, and the specific features (if any) you’ll need. We’ll then work to match you with leading cloud-based CRM providers, who’ll be in touch with quotes tailored to your company. The form itself takes around 30 seconds to fill in, and it’s free for UK-based businesses.


What is on-premise CRM?

Large initial outlay, then few ongoing costs

Customisable… very customisable

Offers more operational control and visibility, with less reliance on the internet

Ideal for larger businesses

On-premise CRM (also known as ‘self-hosted CRM’) is the main alternative to cloud-based varieties. It’s a form of software deployment that means that, rather than being stored ‘in the cloud’, your company’s data is stored on your own servers.

Our research indicates that the best on-premise CRM software comes from SugarCRM, Maximizer, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Salesforce.

To compare these systems, and explore the more advanced features that they have to offer businesses, head over to our guide to the best analytical CRM software for UK businesses.

What are the advantages of on-premise CRM?

It’s cheaper in the long run.

On-premise systems are usually charged from the get go, in the form of a lump sum. There are other ongoing costs, sure – you’ll still have to pay somebody to maintain the system, and fix any glitches or bugs that might develop over time – but that initial outlay is the most significant.

On-premise systems also aren’t great for cash flow – for most small businesses, it’s more convenient to pay a monthly fee, rather than fork out thousands of pounds in the first instance. As a general rule, however, on-premise systems will usually work out cheaper than their cloud-based counterparts over time.

It’s customisable.

Unlike cloud-based CRM, on-premise versions typically come with source code access. This means that – providing you have the team or the tech know-how to pull it off – you can customise an on-premise CRM to your heart’s content.

It offers more visibility and control

Sure, on-premise systems aren’t necessarily more secure when it comes to data, and setup is a more time-consuming process than with a cloud-based system. 

This notwithstanding, an on-premise option still offers greater visibility and control over the entire implementation process. From security and setup to data and user rights, you’ll enjoy greater ownership over how your CRM looks, as well as how and where it can be used – allowing you to stay compliant with the laws and regulations of different countries.

It’s less reliant on the internet.

While cloud-based CRM software derives much of its flexibility from the internet, the downside is that it’s reliant on it. If your internet goes kaput, you can be confident that your cloud-based CRM is going down with it.

On-premise systems, however, are more robust to fluctuations in your connectivity, leaving you less at the mercy of your internet service provider.

Cloud-based vs on-premise CRM: Which one's right for you?
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Next steps

Cloud-based CRM is an essential tool for managing and engaging your client base, and nurturing those all-important customer relationships. And what’s more, 87% of businesses (and counting!) now use a cloud-based CRM solution. That’s… a lot. 

Can you afford to be part of the 13% getting left behind?

If the answer is no, let us give you a hand. Take a minute to provide us with some details about your team’s requirements. It’s free for UK-based businesses, and when you’re all done, we’ll match you with the cloud-based CRM providers best-poised to help you scale. They'll then be in touch with tailored, no-obligation quotes.


How we analyse and rate CRM software providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems over a total of 40+ hours. This included five separate varieties of CRM software, as well as more than 61 specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.

Ratings

  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only?), to provide a weighted score for each CRM supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the cost of CRM ownership over 12 months – based on the average buyer – as well as factors such as free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on five specific features per type of CRM. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each CRM provider, broken down by the industry it best serves.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each CRM supplier, in real time.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Best CRM for Customer Service in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 10 July 2020

We’ve researched, ranked, and rated the six best customer service CRM software solutions for UK businesses. Find yours today, and compare tailored quotes from suppliers


Salesforce logo whiteZendesk logo whiteFreshworks logo whiteHubSpot logo white newZoho logo whiteDynamics 365 logo white
Customer service CRM supplierSalesforceZendeskFreshdeskHubSpotZohoDynamics 365
Starting price*£20£5£11£33.60£10£39
Highest price*£240£149£75£990£40£75
Issue management capabilities£
Customer interaction trackingX
Customer loyalty tracking£XXX
Customer history
Compare customer service CRM quotes

* Per user, per month


We’ve all been there. Stuck on hold, getting bounced from one customer service agent to another, trying to resolve an issue. When you finally do get to speak to a real person, they’re clueless to your situation, and you have to explain everything again.

It’s bad customer service, and you don’t want it happening at your business.

Enter customer service CRM (customer relationship management) software. With it, you’ll turn your agents into lean, mean service machines. No more spreadsheets, no more notebooks, and no more data silos – just a system that unifies communication across your email, social media, and phone channels, and helps you prioritise, organise, and handle customer service issues with aplomb.

But which CRM is the right fit for your business? We’ve researched, rated, and ranked six leading customer service CRM providers in the UK to answer that very question for you. With a team of independent researchers, we assessed each CRM provider across four key metrics, as well as four features crucial to the smooth running of your service team. Which supplier came out on top?

Let’s find out.


Best customer service CRM for UK businesses

According to our research, the best CRM for customer service teams is Salesforce Service Cloud. Comprising the rest of the top six is Zendesk Support, Freshworks CRM’s Freshdesk, HubSpot Service Hub, Zoho, and Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.

The best customer service CRM software comes from:

  1. Salesforce Service Cloud
  2. Zendesk Support
  3. Freshdesk
  4. HubSpot Service Hub
  5. Zoho
  6. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

But before you dive into our research and rankings of the best CRM software for UK customer service teams, why not compare CRM software quotes with us? Simply provide us with a few details about your business, and you’ll receive quotes tailored to the size and unique needs of your customer service team, for free.


1. Salesforce Service Cloud

As our top CRM pick for customer service, Salesforce (somewhat predictably) cleans up across the board for customer approval ratings, features, and help and support. And, while it scores slightly lower on price – its expensive premium plans see to that – its basic plan should still be accessible for most small businesses.

As well as topping our list of the best sales CRM software, Salesforce also bosses our rankings for customer service CRM. Built on the pioneering Salesforce Customer Success Platform, Service Cloud is an industry-leading customer engagement tool for businesses of all sizes. From streamlining key processes to creating automated workflows, Salesforce Service Cloud frees your team up to do what they do best – provide world-beating customer service.

Starting price£20 per user, per month
Highest price£240 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone (24/7), email, knowledge centre
Data storage limitN/A
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?30-day free trial

Salesforce Service Cloud for customer service: feature analysis

We investigated whether each supplier offers the five following features that are important for customer service CRMs, and how well it can do them.

Issue management capabilities? Salesforce boasts strong case and issue management functionalities across all plans. 

Upgrading to Salesforce’s more expensive tiers (i.e. Enterprise or Unlimited) provides advanced issue management functionality, including case re-routing and case milestone tracking. All plans enable quick, seamless communication between your customer service agents.

Customer interaction tracking? Yes.

Customer loyalty tracking? Yes.

Customer history? Yes. Salesforce Service Cloud’s ‘Field Tracking History’ capability allows you to track any field changes to accounts, cases, and service contracts over the last 18 months. This ensures that you keep your finger on the pulse regarding any changes in your customers’ situations or details, and can react accordingly.

To find out more about what these features do – and how they can benefit your business – jump to our section titled ‘How CRM can improve customer service‘ below.

We rated all six customer service CRM providers on their ability to deliver the four features above. For more information about what these features are – and why they're so essential to the smooth running of your customer service team – head to our section ‘How can CRM improve customer service‘ below.

Pros:

  • 24/7 phone-based support available
  • Case re-routing and case milestone tracking included as standard
  • No data storage or contact limits

X Cons:

  • Can be complicated to set up and use, and onboarding support is recommended

Curious to find out more about how Salesforce can elevate your business to new heights? Read our Salesforce CRM review now.


2. Zendesk Support

A classy customer service CRM tailored to the needs of small teams, Zendesk Support soars in the metrics of both help and support and price, and boasts a strong weighted customer approval score of 85%.

With seamless social media and channel integration, a slick ticket prioritisation tool, and a multilingual interface that allows agents to work in their own language, Zendesk Support is a top pick for customer service teams. It’s great value, too, with packages starting from a mere £5 per user, per month, and plenty of data storage thrown in.

Starting price£5 per user, per month
Highest price£149 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit30MB to 200MB per agent (data), 500MB to 10GB per agent (files); dependent on plan
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?Free 30-day trial

Zendesk Support for customer service: feature analysis

Issue management capabilities? Included as part of Zendesk’s ticketing system.

Customer interaction tracking? Yes, across all plans.

Customer loyalty tracking? Yes – Zendesk allows you to generate NPS surveys to gauge customer engagement with and loyalty to your brand.

Customer history? Yes.

Pros:

  • Offers over 500 integrations via Zendesk Marketplace
  • ‘Guided mode’ feature lines up tickets for your staff to work through, helping prevent task ‘cherry-picking’

X Cons:

  • As with most customer service CRM software, you’ll have to shell out more for the premium features

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk (from Freshworks CRM) is our joint-top customer service CRM pick for price, but its limited features prevent it from reaching the heady heights of our list’s summit. Freshdesk still boasts a strong customer approval score, though, and its help and support is among the best we found.

Though Freshdesk doesn’t boast as many features as Salesforce, it’s much more accessible in terms of pricing (which starts at £11 per user, per month). It’s also one of the most fun customer service CRM systems to use. You can create tickets in a flash, easily prioritise conversations by urgency or date, and organise support requests by the channel they came in from. It’s no wonder its customers love it so much!

Starting price£11 per user, per month (when billed annually – expect to pay 30 to 40% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)
Highest price£75 per user, per month (when billed annually – expect to pay 30 to 40% more on a monthly plan)
Customer supportLive chat (24/5), phone (24/5), email, knowledge centre
Data storage limitN/A
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?Free version and 21-day free trial available

Freshdesk for customer service: feature analysis

Issue management capabilities? Freshdesk enables excellent issue management across all plans. Key highlights include its priority setting feature, split ticket functionality, and (for those on the Garden plan up) the ability to create customised satisfaction surveys to monitor progress against your customer service goals.

We particularly love ‘Freddy', Freshdesk's AI-powered solution to managing customer success, and ideal for tackling your ever-growing list of repetitive, mundane tasks. The productivity-boosting bot comes with Freshdesk's ‘Forest' plan (£75 per user, per month), which provides 3,000 ‘Freddy sessions'.

Each session equals one use of the bot (one email send, or 24 hours of chat replies). When you max out, an extra 1,000 sessions will cost you $100 (£77). Not to be confused with ‘Freddo', of the delicious, chocolatey variety – but just as good at keeping people happy!

Customer interaction tracking? Yes, across all plans – even its free one!

Customer loyalty tracking? Freshdesk’s Garden plan and above enable you to integrate your CRM with Survey Monkey – letting you capture overall customer loyalty and track NPS scores.

Customer history? Yes.

Pros:

  • Sports an excellent free plan, with features spread out across all pricing tiers
  • Solid customer support, with round-the-clock service included as standard

X Cons:

  • You’ll pay up to 40% more to be billed monthly
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4. HubSpot Service Hub

Though HubSpot excels in its CRM offerings for sales and marketing teams, its customer service-focussed software doesn’t quite hit those same lofty heights. Hamstrung by a more limited range of features and a hefty price tag, HubSpot’s Service Hub is redeemed by wonderful help and support, and superlative customer approval ratings.

Many customer service CRM providers do automation well, but HubSpot Service Cloud takes it to a new level entirely. Its conversational bots do the talking for you, while a live chat feature enables you to work out issues in real-time, via your website. What’s more, HubSpot’s a pleasure to use – its stripped-back, modern look and feel makes it easy to get to grips with, and there’s phone-based support if you get stuck.

Starting price£33.60 (when billed annually – expect to pay around 25% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)

Are you a startup? You might be eligible for 90% off, with HubSpot’s ‘HubSpot for Startups’ program.

Highest price£990 (10 user minimum)
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limitN/A
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?Free version

HubSpot Service Hub for customer service: feature analysis

Issue management capabilities? Yes – these are included as part of HubSpot’s ticketing system. With this feature, you can record, organise, and track all of your customers' issues from a single dashboard, which is accessible to your entire team via the cloud.

Customer interaction tracking? No.

Customer loyalty tracking? No, but Service Hub’s Professional and Enterprise plans allow you to run NPS surveys to calculate overall customer loyalty.

Customer history? Yes.

What do we mean by ‘the cloud'? Head to our guide to the best cloud-based CRM for small businesses to find out.

Pros:

  • Offers intelligent in-built reporting tools for measuring performance
  • Laudable customer support

X Cons:

  • Expensive upper pricing tier
  • No customer loyalty or interaction tracking
Did You Know?

HubSpot also ranks highly on our list of the best CRM systems for small businesses. Why not take a look?


5. Zoho

A poor customer score, so-so features, and help and support ratings that lie at the wrong end of the spectrum are offset by Zoho’s biggest selling point – it’s really, really cheap!

As with its products for sales and marketing teams, Zoho’s customer service CRM lacks the same depth of features as the Salesforces and HubSpots of this world. However, Zoho makes up for its shortcomings with a low starting price of just £10 per user, per month, an intuitive interface, and a generous free version. Sure, you won’t get much in the way of customer service analytics here – but for all the basic stuff, Zoho should suffice.

Starting price£10 per user, per month (free version available)
Highest price£40 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage5,000 records (10MB) to 5,000,000 records (10GB)
Contact limitDepends on the type of correspondence
Free trial?Free version available

Zoho for customer service: feature analysis

Issue management capabilities? Yes. Zoho even allows you to create solutions whereby the system tracks issues automatically, and uses the customer’s initial query to populate the relevant fields when replying.

Customer interaction tracking? Yes.

Customer loyalty tracking? No.

Customer history? Yes.

Pros:

  • Boasts an interface that’s as easy to use as it is on the wallet
  • Purchasing an annual subscription gets you a 20% discount

X Cons:

  • No customer loyalty tracking
  • Too simplistic for the customer service demands of larger teams

6. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

Bringing up the rear is Microsoft’s own answer to the CRM needs of customer service teams. Though much more affordable than its solutions for sales and marketing, this saving is reflected in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service’s scaled back list of features, and indifferent help and support.

Normally renowned for its big data, analytics-focussed approach to CRM, Dynamics 365’s offering for customer service teams is surprisingly light on features. There’s no loyalty tracking capability, while the interface – tough to use and void of visual flair – ails from an ironic lack of dynamism. Still, it’s cheap. And, if you’re a Microsoft lover looking for a way into a system that’s normally beyond the budgets of most businesses, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service might just be the software for you.

Starting price$50 (£39) per user, per month
Highest price$95 (£75) per user, per month
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limitN/A
Contact limit100,000 cases per month
Free trial?Free trial available

Dynamics 365 for customer service: feature analysis

Issue management capabilities? Yes, and all basic case management features are included. Among our favourites are case re-routing, and the ability to convert service issues into knowledge articles.

Customer interaction tracking? Yes.

Customer loyalty tracking? No. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service currently offers no way of keeping tabs of individual loyalty to your brand. 

Customer history? Yes.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based, but with on-premise options available
  • Reasonable pricing range

X Cons:

  • No live chat support
  • No customer loyalty tracking capability

How can CRM improve customer service?

In addition to the basics (customer support, price, contact limit, and whether there’s a free trial), the best customer service CRM providers below are ranked by their ability to perform the following four crucial functions:

Handily, these functions also serve as an excellent example of how CRM can improve your business’ customer service. Let’s take a look.

Issue management capabilities

When customer service issues arise – and no business is perfect, so rest assured they will – you’ve got to respond with speed and professionalism.

And, with customer service CRM, you can. CRM software allows you to create ‘tickets’, with which you can record, organise, and track any issues that have been reported to your team. Using a simple drag-and-drop queue, you can keep tabs on the status of each issue, and easily spot links between different cases.

You can also prioritise issues, and assign team members to specific ones – thus increasing the accountability of your team, and ensuring that cases are resolved with greater efficiency.

Customer interaction tracking

As with CRM for sales and marketing – where tracking customer interactions helps you sell to them – CRM for customer service allows you to monitor how and where your client base is interacting with your brand.

Is that through social media? Do your customers prefer to get in touch via email, or would they rather pick up the phone and give you a call? Tracking your customers’ interactions with your brand helps you understand their preferences, and empowers you to tailor how you deliver your service going forward.

Customer loyalty tracking

Acquiring new customers is all well and good… but the real business is in retaining them.

It’s cheaper, for one. Plus, statistics show that your probability of converting an existing customer is around 60% to 70% – with new customers, that figure is as low as 5%.

Given this, engendering customer loyalty to your brand and services becomes even more crucial – as does being able to accurately track it.

CRM allows you to gain invaluable insights into your business, courtesy of your customers themselves. From directly within the CRM, you can reach out to your client base with surveys and feedback requests, allowing you to better understand your business’ NPS (Net Promoter Score), and how it’s impacting on your bottom line.

Customer history

A key benefit of customer service CRM is being able to build up a rich, detailed history of each interaction you have with your customers. 

Having a comprehensive record of what conversations you’ve had – and whether they took place via phone, email, or social media – allows you to better understand the customer, and where they are in their journey with your business.

Plus, when your team grows beyond a certain size, having a customer history database isn’t just a plus – it’s a necessity. When one service agent picks up the phone, it won’t always be the same one that the caller dealt with last time – so it’s important that they have all the info they need to handle the new enquiry, right at their fingertips.


Next steps

Though we’ve ranked these six customer service CRM suppliers based on their features, help and support, customer approval ratings, and price, there’s still more research to do to find the right system for you. 

And ultimately, the system you choose will be defined by the unique requirements and restrictions of your own business.

Bargain hunter? Go for Zendesk Support, or – at a stretch – Zoho.

Hung up on the aesthetics? HubSpot Service Hub is your best bet, while Freshdesk also provides a high level of usability with fewer costs.

Dynamics 365 is for the hardcore Microsoft fans only, while Salesforce Service Cloud, as our top pick, is recommended for all.

Remember, which customer service CRM is best for you always comes down to the bespoke needs of your team. And that, in turn, is why we always take your needs into account when you use our free quote-finding service.

Simply tell us what CRM features you want, how many people it’s for, and what (if any) contact management software you’re already using. We’ll do the rest, and you’ll be contacted with tailored quotes from leading CRM software suppliers. It’s that easy!


How we analyse and rate CRM software providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems over a total of 40+ hours. This included five separate varieties of CRM software, as well as more than 61 specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.

Ratings

  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only?), to provide a weighted score for each CRM supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the cost of CRM ownership over 12 months – based on the average buyer – as well as factors such as free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on five specific features per type of CRM. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each CRM provider, broken down by the industry it best serves.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each CRM supplier, in real time.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

7 Best CRM Software for Marketing in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 8 July 2020

We’ve researched, ranked, and rated the seven best marketing CRM systems for UK businesses. Find yours today, and compare tailored quotes from suppliers


HubSpot logo white newSalesforce logo whiteFreshworks logo whiteDynamics 365 logo whiteZoho logo whiteSugarCRM logo whitemonday.com logo white
Marketing CRM supplierHubSpotSalesforceFreshworks CRMDynamics 365ZohoSugar Marketmonday.com
Monthly pricing from£33.60£320£15£1,192£10£1,000£35
Contact limit1,000 to 10,000None1,000 to 25,00010,000?**10,000N/A
Daily email send limit?*5,0005,00010x your contact quota250 to 1,000?*?*
Web forms
Campaign designX
Batch email marketing£
Email tracking£X
Customer targetingX
Compare marketing CRM quotes
* Determined by email service provider.

**Dependent on correspondence type.

= The product supports this feature

£ = The product can support this feature, though an additional integration with a third-party service may be required

X = The product does not support this feature


Marketing has never been particularly easy. Even the idea of it is almost crazy – sending unsolicited messages to people you don’t know, enticing them not only to open your email, but to read it, click it, and (hopefully!) end up making a purchase.

Nope, marketing has never been easy at all. Unless, that is, you’re using the right CRM software.

Good marketing CRM software enables you to target customers with campaigns tailored to their tastes and habits. You can create forms to capture leads on your website, and turn browsers into sales-ready leads. Better still, you'll be able craft sequences of stunning emails, and send them in bulk to a custom audience – then monitor their performance to optimise future campaigns.

So, which marketing CRM is right for your business? Let’s find out.


Best marketing CRM for UK businesses

According to our research, the best CRM for marketing teams is HubSpot Marketing Hub. Making up the rest of the top seven are Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Zoho, SugarCRM’s Sugar Market, and monday.com.

The best marketing CRM software comes from:

  1. HubSpot Marketing Hub
  2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  3. Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud
  4. Dynamics 365 Marketing
  5. Zoho
  6. Sugar Market
  7. monday.com

How did we decide, exactly? Jump to our methodology to find out.

Before you lose yourself in our research into the best marketing CRM providers in the UK, why not compare CRM software quotes with us? Simply provide us with a few details about your business, and you’ll receive quotes tailored to the size and unique needs of your marketing team. It takes 30 seconds, and it’s free.

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

With full marks for features and a superlative 93% customer approval rating, HubSpot is our top CRM pick for marketing teams. Also registering strong help and support scores, HubSpot is only let down by its price point, which reaches a hefty maximum of £2,624.

When it comes to engineering effective marketing, HubSpot can’t be topped. Its impressive free version allows you to connect the CRM system to your Facebook Ads account, and engage with your open, click, and bounce metrics. Upgrading can be expensive, sure – but it’ll also unlock HubSpot’s powerful marketing automation tools, and let you drill down into the sources of traffic to your website.

Check out HubSpot's Pricing
Starting price£33.60 per month for up to 1,000 contacts (when billed annually. Expect to pay around 25% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)
Highest price£2,624 per month for up to 10,000 contacts
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit1,000 to 10,000
Free trial?Free version

HubSpot Marketing Hub for marketing teams: feature analysis

We investigated whether each supplier offers the five following features that are important for marketing CRMs, and how well it can do them.

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes, on HubSpot’s Pro plan and above.

Batch email marketing? Yes, although the number of emails you’re permitted to send per day will be determined by the email server you’re using. Handily, HubSpot alerts you when you’re near your daily limit, allowing you to reschedule any overspill to a day when there’s less on.

Email tracking? This feature is available across all of HubSpot Marketing Hub’s plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

To find out more about what these features do – and how they can benefit your business – jump to our section titled ‘How we rated the best marketing CRM software‘ below.

Pros:

  • Offers an intuitive, aesthetically-pleasing interface
  • Integrated analytics let you measure the ROI of your content campaigns

X Cons:

  • As the features add up, so too do the costs… quickly!

2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Though registering strong ratings across the board for features, customer approval, and help and support, Salesforce suffers from a complicated, expensive pricing structure that may exclude marketing teams with more modest budgets.

We always recommend Salesforce. With its industry-leading set of AI-powered analytics, and a huge range of cross-channel marketing integrations, it’s… hard not to! Of course, all that functionality doesn’t come cheap. Salesforce is one of the most expensive products around, and its CRM for email marketing doesn’t exactly buck the trend. This one’s for more established marketing teams, only.

Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price*£320 per month for email, mobile, and web

£1,000 per month for B2B marketing

Highest price£3,200 per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone (24/7), email, knowledge centre
Contact limitTechnically none, though this is governed by total storage capacity (10,000 contact maximum recommended)
Free trial?None

*Let’s talk pricing. There are many elements that make up the special case that is Salesforce’s marketing product. Each module is priced individually, so the total cost could, theoretically, be any combination of prices.

Basically, Salesforce is a system offering huge scope for your marketing team… but at an equally hefty price!

Salesforce Marketing Cloud for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes – all of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s plans include a drag-and-drop email builder for marketing campaigns.

Batch email marketing? Yes, however, Salesforce limits you to 5,000 email sends per day, per account. It doesn’t exclude duplicate email addresses, either – so you’ll need to make sure your mailing lists are ‘clean’ before launching your next campaign, in order to avoid wasted sends.

Email tracking? You can activate tracking for emails across all of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Unlimited contact storage
  • Along with HubSpot, it’s the most feature-rich marketing CRM on the market

X Cons:

  • 24/7 phone support is only available with the more expensive plans
Did You Know?

On top of being our runner-up for marketing teams, Salesforce beat out the seven other software providers we researched to be crowned our top CRM system for small businesses.


3. Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud

Starting at an accessible £39 per month, Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud (formerly Freshmarketer) also boasts some of the finest help and support of all the marketing CRM systems we looked at. It sports the third-highest customer approval scores, too, though its more modest array of features prevents it from an assault on the top two.

Spearheaded by a wonderful UI (user interface) and 24/5 phone support, Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud is a top pick for growing marketing teams. It also sits firmly on the affordable end of the shelf – particularly when compared to Salesforce. However, be warned – Freshworks CRM's free plan drastically caps key features, and we recommend upgrading to get the most out of its tidy automation and acquisition tools.

Starting price£15 per month for the Growth plan (free version available)
Highest price£79 for the Enterprise plan
Customer supportLive chat (24/5), phone (24/5), email, knowledge centre
Contact limit500 contacts per plan
Free trial?Free version and free 21-day trial available

Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? A basic email builder is available with Freshworks CRM’s free version, though this grows to a more sophisticated drag-and-drop composer when you upgrade to the paid packages.

Batch email marketing? Yes. Though Gmail and Outlook cap your daily send totals at 300 emails, Freshworks CRM uses its own servers to deliver batches beyond those limits. How much you’re entitled to depends on the plan you select.

Email tracking? Available across all Freshworks CRM's plans, but you’ll need Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud – Freshworks CRM's tailored module for sales teams – to benefit.

If you know you'll be requiring both sales and marketing features, though, you can opt for Freshworks CRM's ‘Customer-for-Life Cloud‘. It combines the best of Freshworks CRM's sales and marketing automation features with chat and telephony, combining everything your business needs into a single, convenient, and affordable package.

Try Freshworks CRM's Customer-for-Life Cloud today – it's free for 21 days

Customer targeting? Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud offers this functionality, though the level of granularity with which you can target specific customers depends on how much you’re willing to spend.

Basic lists and segments are available with the Growth plan, allowing you to organise your audience based on email activity, contact fields, lists, and journeys.

The more pricey Pro plan, however, allows for more complex targeting. This feature leverages behavioural analysis, enabling you to target customers based on their movement throughout your site, such as cart abandonment.

Pros:

  • The free plan includes 500 contacts and some conversion optimisation features
  • A dedicated account manager is only available with the most expensive plan

X Cons:

  • Expect to pay between 30% and 40% more if you choose monthly billing
Compare marketing CRM software suppliers, for free Request quotes now

4. Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Dynamics 365 registers middle-of-the-road scores across all of our metrics – so it’s fitting that it’s also smack bang in the centre of this list. Solid scores for features and help and support are matched by a good customer approval rating, though its fixed £1,192 price will be a bridge too far for many marketing departments.

Though it offers some of the finest analytical CRM tools on the market, Dynamics 365 isn’t for everyone. Its hefty price point notwithstanding, this marketing CRM’s interface simply doesn’t match the vibrancy of HubSpot’s, or the effectiveness of Salesforce’s. Large marketing teams that are looking to gain an edge over competitors will still find plenty to love here, but smaller businesses are better off looking elsewhere.

Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price$1,500 (£1,192) per month for up to 10,000 contacts*
Highest priceFixed price ($1,500 (£1,192) per month) for the system, though extra lots of 5,000 contacts cost $250 (£199) each
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit10,000 contacts, with additional bundles of 5,000 available to buy
Free trial?Yes

* Reduced to $750 (£596) if you already use another Microsoft Dynamics product, and have a minimum of 10 users

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes – Dynamics 365 for Marketing also syncs with LinkedIn lead gen forms, allowing you to pull contact data straight into your CRM database, and easily measure the effectiveness of your LinkedIn campaigns.

Campaign design? Yes. Dynamics 365 enables you to build emails, campaigns, and landing pages with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder. 

Batch email marketing? Yes. Your email send limits are set monthly, and are capped at ten times your quota of marketing contacts (or 1,000 sends per month, if you’re on a trial).

Email tracking? Yes, Dynamics 365’s ‘Insights’ feature provides a detailed breakdown of your customers’ interactions with your emails, such as open rates and clicks.

Customer targeting? Yes, although you’re capped at 5,000 contacts per marketing segment.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based, but also available as an on-premise solution
  • The fixed price for the system offers simplicity...

X Cons:

  • ...though it’s still one of the most expensive CRM systems money can buy!

Cloud-based vs on-premise… what's the difference? Check out our guide to the best cloud-based CRM for small UK businesses to find out.


5. Zoho

It’s a familiar story for Zoho. Though it boasts an excellent rating for price (starting from just £10 per user, per month, it’s the cheapest on our list) Zoho’s features are a tad more simplistic than most of the other CRM systems here. That said, it’s easy to set up, and is still one of the most user-friendly pieces of software we’ve come across.

Known for its price, simplicity, and user-friendliness, Zoho’s CRM software isn’t so well known for its advanced features. It's also a bit of a kick in the teeth having to shell out for a separate product (Zoho Campaigns) to be able to better plan your next marketing drive. That said, you can’t look past a stunning £10 per user, per month price point – and for micro-sized marketing teams, Zoho certainly has plenty to offer.

Starting price£10 per user, per month (free version available)
Highest price£40 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limitDepends on the type of correspondence
Free trial?Free version available

Zoho for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes; the higher the pricing tier, the more forms you can create.

Campaign design? Available on all of Zoho’s paid plans. In addition to this, Zoho has a separate campaign builder product (Zoho Campaigns). Pricing for this starts from as low as £5 (for 250 credits, on a pay-per-email basis), or is available on a yearly subscription for £43.20.

Batch email marketing? Available with all paid plans. Your daily send limit will depend on the plan you’ve selected:

  • Standard: 250 sends per day
  • Professional: 500 per day
  • Enterprise: 1,000 per day

Zoho’s Enterprise and Unlimited editions also enable you to set up auto-replies to your batch emails.

Email tracking? Yes, on all plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Permits a relatively low number of daily email sends
  • Simple to get to grips with

X Cons:

  • Contact limits aren’t specified
  • Not as scalable as HubSpot or Freshworks CRM

6. Sugar Market

Sugar Market offers a wealth of features, including analytics and marketing automation functionality that ranks among the industry’s best. It’d almost certainly be higher up our list, if not for an indifferent customer approval rating, lacklustre customer support, and opaque pricing.

Sugar Market (SugarCRM’s marketing module, previously known as Salesfusion) caters to the more complex marketing requirements of larger businesses. Unlike many other CRM providers, Sugar Market offers just one pricing plan – meaning it’s not as suitable for those starting small and looking to scale. Its pricing isn’t transparent, though, and there’s no option to try the system for free, either. However, those who are prepared to take the plunge will receive a generous contact limit, and a wealth of enterprise-grade marketing features.

Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price£1,000 per month
Highest priceOn request
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit10,000
Free trial?No  – offers a demo instead

Sugar Market for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes.

Batch email marketing? Email sends are supported, though your daily send limits will be determined by your email server.

Email tracking? Yes, using a separate email tracker module, which works like a plugin.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Visualises your marketing data in stunning, easily-exportable graphs and reports
  • Integrates with a wide range of third-party applications

X Cons:

  • No live chat support available
  • Email tracking can be complicated to set up

7. monday.com

Though suffering from a dearth of features, average customer approval ratings, and less-than-stellar help and support, monday.com is the joint-most affordable (with Zoho) system we have come across. As a gateway to the bigger, more powerful marketing CRM providers, monday.com is a great entry point into the productivity software space.

Walking a line between CRM and project management software, monday.com doesn’t sport the same bells and whistles as the likes of HubSpot and Salesforce. Yet, importantly, it’s affordable – and if you’re looking for a tool to drive productivity while benefiting from basic email marketing functionality, monday.com might just be worth a go.

Start your free trial today
Starting price£35 per month for up to five users
Highest price£69 per month for up to five users
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?14-day free trial

monday.com for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? No – monday.com offers campaign tracking only.

Batch email marketing? monday.com integrates with email platforms such as Gmail and Outlook to enable batch email sends. However, it doesn’t offer this feature in-house. Any batch send limits will thus be determined by the email service provider you choose to integrate the CRM with.

Email tracking? No.

Customer targeting? No.

Pros:

  • Integrates with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Copper
  • Inexpensive

X Cons:

  • Falls short as a comprehensive marketing CRM tool
  • No email tracking or customer targeting
  • No live chat support
Compare marketing CRM software suppliers, for free Request quotes now

How we rated the best marketing CRM providers

To rate each CRM supplier on its effectiveness for marketing teams specifically, we extended our explorations to include five key features that a good marketing CRM system has got to do well. This included honing in on functions for marketing teams only – we've looked at CRM for sales teams, and the best customer service CRM in separate pages.

So, in addition to the basics (customer support, price, contact limit, and whether there’s a free trial), each marketing CRM software below is ranked per its ability to perform each of the following crucial functions:

  • Web forms
  • Campaign design
  • Batch email marketing
  • Email tracking
  • Customer targeting

Web forms

You can have the best-looking website in the world – but if it’s not turning your site’s visitors into potential customers, it’s not reaching its full potential. 

That’s where web forms come in. With the right marketing CRM software, you can create and embed a lead capture form into your website. By collecting the name, number, and other demographic details from your website’s users – and sending them straight to your CRM – web forms empower you to turn your website’s traffic into potential deals

Campaign design

Whether you’re designing a one-off email to capitalise on Black Friday or a drip campaign to build your brand, it’s crucial that your marketing looks good.

With a marketing CRM tool, you can build emails that echo your business’ values, with powerful CTAs and an engaging design. And it’s easy – most marketing CRM software runs on simple drag-and-drop functionality

You don’t need an eye for design, either – most CRM software for email marketing provides a range of highly customisable email templates to get you started.

Batch email marketing

CRM software is all about optimising your marketing team’s processes – reaching more customers in less time, with the most effective messages.

And batch email marketing is a good example of this at its finest – after designing your emails, you can send them en masse, to a specific list of prospective customers. 

Email tracking

Of course, it’s not just about sending emails out into the ether and forgetting about them. To grow your business, you need to know how effective your email marketing campaigns have been; that is, how many people are opening, reading, and clicking your emails. 

There’s a few ways in which you can do this, but using marketing CRM software is by far the most straightforward.

Plus, when you use a CRM system to track your sent emails, you can monitor exactly which parts of your messages are getting the most engagement from recipients. Which CTAs (calls to action) are most enticing? Which images scream “CLICK ME!”? Which subject lines do your customers struggle to resist?

Customer targeting

At its most basic level, marketing CRM software acts as a contact database.

As well as providing a safe place for your customers’ names, occupations, and contact details, a CRM system can store a whole range of important client info – which you can use to create smarter, more tailored marketing campaigns, and produce more effective results.

With the right marketing CRM, you can target customers by:

  • Their buying preferences, including previous orders and total spend
  • The nature of their previous visits to your website, or interaction with your brand
  • Demographic information, such as age and gender

Lapsed customers? Re-engage them with a deal or a discount that’s too good to turn down. New customers? Let them know you care, by personalising an email with their name in the subject line. Marketing a product for women only? Filter out the men in your email list to ensure you’re not wasting precious email sends on the wrong audience.


Next steps

Which marketing CRM software provider is best for your business? Let’s recap. 

Small teams are well-catered to by low-cost options such as Zoho, Freshworks CRM Marketing Cloud, and monday.com.

Sugar Market, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Dynamics 365 for Marketing are all designed for medium-sized to large enterprises that have more complex marketing requirements.

And of course, there’s HubSpot Marketing Hub, which we recommend for everyone.

As we said at the beginning, marketing isn’t easy – and neither is picking the right marketing CRM supplier. You have to balance the level of features your team requires, while keeping within the constraints of your budget, and ensuring you’ll get the top-class help and support you deserve.

Basically, you’ll need to compare quotes from multiple CRM providers to get the best deal. And, thanks to our free quote-finding service, this part is easy.

Simply provide us with some details about your business, answering three straightforward questions about your team, requirements, and the type of marketing CRM software you’re looking to implement. 

You’ll then be contacted directly with tailored quotes from several of the industry’s leading marketing CRM providers, providing you with all the info you need to compare and contrast suppliers, at your fingertips.

It takes less than a minute, and is free for UK-based businesses.


How we analyse and rate CRM software providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems over a total of 40+ hours. This included five separate varieties of CRM software, as well as more than 61 specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.

Ratings

  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only?), to provide a weighted score for each CRM supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the cost of CRM ownership over 12 months – based on the average buyer – as well as factors such as free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on five specific features per type of CRM. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each CRM provider, broken down by the industry it best serves.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each CRM supplier, in real time.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Best CRM for Sales Teams in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 7 July 2020

We’ve researched, ranked, and rated the six best sales CRM software for UK businesses. Find yours today, and compare tailored quotes from suppliers


Click the logos to navigate to a
sales CRM supplier
Salesforce vectorHubSpot logo whiteZendesk Sell vectorMicrosoft Dynamics 365 vectorFreshworks CRM mini logo whiteZoho vector
Pricing from*£20£33.60£19£52£25£10
Past sales
Sales forecasting
Quote proposal management££
Lead scoringX
Payment management£££££

Compare sales CRM quotes

*Per user, per month.


What would your business look like if sales increased 29%? What position would you be in if sales productivity went up by a whole third, and the accuracy of your sales forecasting improved by a huge 42%?

Better yet, what if this was all possible from a single platform – one accessible by all of your sales reps in real-time? A platform that offers a live, 360-degree view of deals, prospects, and your pipeline, in just a few clicks?

If this sounds interesting, it’s time to consider what a CRM (customer relationship management) system can do for your sales team. To help you pick the right sales CRM for your business, we’ve researched, ranked, and rated the big providers.

Read on to find out which one is right for your sales team.


Best sales CRM for UK teams

According to our research, the best CRM for sales reps and teams is Salesforce Sales Cloud. HubSpot Sales Hub is a close second, while Zendesk Sell, Dynamics 365 for Sales, Freshworks CRM, and Zoho complete our top six. 

The best CRM software for sales teams comes from:

  1. Salesforce Sales Cloud
  2. HubSpot Sales Hub
  3. Zendesk Sell
  4. Dynamics 365 for Sales Teams
  5. Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud
  6. Zoho

How did we decide? Jump to our methodology to find out

With that clear, it’s time to check out the providers. Scroll on for our reviews and ratings, or – if you’re short on time – start comparing quotes from leading providers now.

Simply provide us with some details about your requirements – including how many users the software will be for, which features you need it to perform, and what (if any) contact management software you’re already using – and we’ll do the rest. 

You’ll then receive tailored quotes from leading sales CRM providers, all for free. 

Job done!


1. Salesforce Sales Cloud

Salesforce is our top CRM pick for sales teams. In our rankings, it gets top marks for features, while its help and support is also superb. If our ratings expose any of this sales CRM’s weaknesses, it’s the price – because, though Salesforce starts cheap, adding the functionality your sales team needs can quickly become an expensive endeavour.

With a huge market share of over 18%, Salesforce isn’t just our top CRM provider for sales teams – it’s the world’s. Upgrading to Salesforce’s premium plans offers more customisability, and adds 24/7 customer support. You’ll also have to upgrade for forecasting and proposal management functionality, as well as Salesforce’s AI-powered lead scoring and analytics.

Compare Sales CRM Quotes
Starting price£20 per user, per month (10 user limit)
Highest price£240 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone (24/7), email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit10GB + 2GB per licence of files, 10GB + 20MB per licence of data
Free trial?Three months (for Salesforce Essentials), 30 days (all other plans)

Salesforce Sales Cloud for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes. Salesforce’s historical trend reporting is a niche feature – and is a little complex to set up – but it’s there.

Sales forecasting? Yes, but only on Salesforce’s Professional plan and above.

Quote proposal management? Yes, but only on Salesforce’s Professional plan and above.

Lead scoring? Yes, but only on Salesforce’s Professional plan and above.

Payment management? Yes, but you’ll need to pay extra for Salesforce’s CPQ (configure, price, quote) tool (£60 per month, billed annually), and acquire Salesforce Billing for full payment functionality. Rates for this aren’t advertised… but it looks expensive.

We rated all six sales CRM providers on their ability to deliver the four features above. For more information about what these features are – and why they're so essential to the smooth running of your sales team – head to our section ‘How we rated the best CRM for sales teams' below.

Pros:

  • An effective app makes it easy for reps out in the field to access and update information on the go

X Cons:

  • Tough to justify the basic plan – you’ll need to upgrade to get your hands on the worthwhile features

Want to know more? Read our Salesforce review, updated for the 2020s.


2. HubSpot Sales Hub

With top marks for customer approval and excellent help and support, HubSpot comes in at a close second. Though it’s somewhat let down by its price point (and, to an extent, its features), HubSpot’s Sales Hub remains a superlative pick for sales teams.

Starting at £33.60 per user, per month, HubSpot isn’t the cheapest sales CRM out there – but it does offer plenty of bang for your buck. With a firm focus on helping small sales teams scale, Sales Hub has a slick, user-friendly database, and a free version that blows most of the competition out of the water.

Check out HubSpot's Pricing
Starting price£33.60 per user, per month (when billed annually. Expect to pay around 25% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)
Highest price£990 per user, per month (10 user minimum)

Are you a startup? You might be eligible for 90% off, with HubSpot’s ‘HubSpot for Startups’ program

Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit1,000 documents
Free trial?Free version available

HubSpot Sales Hub for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes.

Sales forecasting? Also yes – HubSpot’s simple reporting tool provides forecasts based on the number of deals in the pipeline, and your sales reps' assumed probability of closing them.

Quote proposal management? Yes, but only on HubSpot’s Professional plan and above.

Lead scoring? Only HubSpot’s marketing hub allows this – it’s not included as part of the Sales Hub.

Payment management? Not included as standard. However, payment management can be achieved through integrating HubSpot Sales Hub with third-party invoicing and accounting software, such as QuickBooks.

Pros:

  • Email templates and automated sends help you reach more prospects
  • Workflows automate each stage of the sales cycle

X Cons:

  • Lead scoring is missing
  • Key features are excluded from HubSpot’s cheaper plans

HubSpot’s free version also appears in our list of the best free CRM software for UK businesses.


3. Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell excels in two key areas: customer support and price point. Its customer scores are also the third highest of all the CRM software we looked at, though its comparatively fewer features for sales teams stop it from launching a serious challenge to Salesforce and HubSpot for the top spots.

At £19 per user, per month, Zendesk Sell sits at the budget-friendly end of the scale. However, you’ll really need to upgrade to one of its more advanced plans to benefit. Its Professional plan unlocks sales forecasting (and the ability to easily estimate deal value and percentage of win likelihood), while the Enterprise plan nets you lead scoring and past sales features.

Compare Sales CRM Quotes
Starting price£19 per user, per month
Highest price£199 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit2GB to 25GB per user (dependent on plan selected)
Free trial?Free 30-day trial

Zendesk Sell for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes, and upgrading to Zendesk Sell’s Enterprise or Elite plan also gets you the ability to export historical data.

Sales forecasting? Yes, though on the Professional, Enterprise, and Elite plans only.

Quote proposal management? No, though integration with a third-party app such as Quote Roller should fix this.

Lead scoring? Yes, but on the Enterprise and Elite plans only.

Payment management? Not included, though you can integrate Zendesk Sell with an app such as ChargeDesk for free.

Pros:

  • Upgrading to a better plan unlocks premium account management
  • Money-back guarantee

X Cons:

  • 24/7 live chat and phone-based support restricted to Elite and Enterprise packages only
Did You Know?

Zendesk takes bronze on our ultimate guide to the best CRM systems for small businesses. Want to find out why?


4. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

Dynamics 365 scores highly for features, and its help and support is among the finest out there. Paradoxically, though, its customer approval ratings are at the lower end of the scale – perhaps because of Dynamics 365’s eye-wateringly expensive prices.

Dynamics 365 – Microsoft’s high-profile entry into the CRM space – utilises artificial intelligence to help supplement your sales data, and make more effective business decisions. Using historical figures, Dynamics 365 provides accurate forecasting, allowing you to plot your pipeline and prioritise your leads with greater precision.

Compare Sales CRM Quotes
Starting price$65 (£52) per user, per month
Highest price£199 (£159) per user, per month (10 user minimum)
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit32GB, though up to 4TB extra can be purchased
Free trial?Free trial available

Dynamics 365 Sales for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes.

Sales forecasting? Yes, with Dynamics 365’s Enterprise plan and above.

Quote proposal management? Yes.

Lead scoring? Yes.

Payment management? Yes, across all plans.

Pros:

  • Cloud and on-premise deployment available
  • Generous data storage limits

X Cons:

  • No money-back guarantee
  • One of the more expensive sales CRM systems on the market

5. Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud

Rounding out the top five is Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud. Though its scores for features and customer approval are at the lower end of the spectrum, it sits with Zoho as a top value pick. Add in impressive help and support rankings, and Freshworks CRM is a safe selection for sales teams.

The only supplier to offer 24-hour support with its cheapest plan, Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud provides a completely free version, plus three different tiers of pricing. That means it’s able to cater to sales teams of various sizes, while also making sure you’re not paying for any features you don’t require yet. Freshworks CRM also boasts native integrations with Mailchimp, Xero, Google Calendar, and Freshdesk to slot comfortably into your business’ current setup.

Starting price£25 per user, per month (when billed annually. Expect to pay 30 to 40% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)
Highest price£79 per user, per month (10 user minimum)
Customer supportLive chat (24/5), phone (24/5), email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit1GB to 100GB per user (dependent on plan selected)
Free trial?Free version and 21-day free trial available

Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes.

Sales forecasting? Yes, with Freshworks CRM’s Enterprise plan (£79 per user, per month) and above.

Quote proposal management? No – you’ll require a third-party integration to make this happen.

Lead scoring? Yes – and it’s actually one of Freshworks CRM’s best features!

Payment management? No, although Freshworks CRM has a native integration with QuickBooks.

Pros:

  • Role-based access makes it easy to control who’s using what
  • Allows you to capture leads from webforms automatically

X Cons:

  • Expect a serious cost hike if you want to pay month-on-month
  • The process of converting a lead to a deal or opportunity leaves a lot to be desired

6. Zoho

Zoho is one of the cheapest sales CRM systems we researched. Though it ranks well for value, it’s let down by the lowest customer approval score, underwhelming customer support, and a lack of serious analytics functionality.

Zoho doesn’t boast the same depth and range of features as Salesforce or Dynamics, but it’s user-friendly – and, at just £10 per user, per month, it’s a steal, too. Better still, its sales forecasting and lead scoring features are available across all plans – meaning you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Starting price£10 per user, per month (free version available)
Highest price£40 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Data storage limit20MB to 10GB per user (dependent on plan selected)
Free trial?Free version available

Zoho for sales teams: feature analysis

Past sales? Yes.

Sales forecasting? Yes, across all paid plans.

Quote proposal management? Available on Zoho’s Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate plans.

Lead scoring? Yes, across all paid plans.

Payment management? Yes, though you’ll need an additional product integration known as ‘Zoho Subscriptions’. This helps you bill customers on a one-time or recurring basis, although it comes at an extra cost of up to £150, depending on the size of your business.

Pros:

  • Cheaper plans are generous in terms of features
  • Purchasing an annual subscription gets you a 20% discount

X Cons:

  • Low customer approval ratings suggest Zoho is a little too simplistic for many sales teams
Did You Know?

Like Sugar Serve and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Zoho can be deployed as either an on-premise or cloud-based solution. To learn more about what this means – and which solution is right for your business – head to our article on the best cloud-based CRM for small businesses, where all will be revealed!


How we rated the best CRM for sales teams

To rate each CRM supplier on their effectiveness for sales teams specifically, we expanded our focus beyond the basics (customer support, price, contact limit, and whether there’s a free trial) to five key functions that a good sales CRM system has got to do well.

Each sales CRM system below is thus ranked per its ability to perform each of the following crucial functions for sales reps:

Past sales

In order to prepare for the future – and plan your sales strategy accordingly – you have to learn from the past. That means being able to view historical sales data (and segment it by region, rep, and client), and then export it into reports for clearer viewing and comparison.

Sales forecasting

Just as you need to know what the weather forecast is in order to organise a successful trip to the beach, so will you require an accurate estimate of your future sales to run your business effectively.

Sales forecasting does just this, providing insight into how you should manage your resources, cash flow, workforce, and growth. Taking into account a combination of your business’ historical data, wider economic trends, and your competitors’ situations, effective forecasting is vital to sales success.

Quote proposal management

Sales isn’t all high-flying deals and Wolf of Wall Street-esque banter. A lot of it is admin – preparing quotes, formatting documents, and ensuring sales orders are correct and in pristine condition. 

Quote proposal management is a feature offered by many CRM systems as standard, though sometimes it will require an additional fee or integration. With it, you can propose and send quotes to clients using existing info within the CRM software’s database – thus freeing up your sales team to focus on what matters.

Lead scoring

CRM software sporting this feature allows you to prioritise incoming leads based on how much they’re worth to your business. Lead scoring helps you understand which leads are sales-ready, and which require further nurturing – ensuring that you move on the right opportunities, at just the right time.

Payment management

Like quote proposals, payment management is an inevitable part of the job – but it’s also a productivity black hole, swallowing up your sales reps’ time with invoices and transaction details. 

The best sales CRM software offers payment management tools either as standard, or as a third-party integration – and it's a game changer for sales teams.


Next steps

So, how do you choose the right CRM supplier for your sales team? There are several important factors to think about.

Firstly, the features. Does the software offer lead scoring and sales forecasting? How about the tools required to send quotes and coordinate payments?

Secondly, the price point. If you’d prefer to stick to the cheaper plans, that’s fine – just make sure they still offer the deal and lead management features you’ll need. 

Thirdly, the customer angle. Is the support up to scratch? Will you benefit from round-the-clock assistance, or is that only for the big spenders? What do your prospective CRM system provider’s existing customers have to say about it?

You’ll also need to know what services a CRM offers beyond sales. Here, we’ve just discussed CRM for sales teams, but – if you’re making decisions for other areas of your business, too – you’ll also want to check out our separate guides: CRM for customer service teams, and CRM for marketing.

Those are a lot of variables, and they don’t make choosing the right CRM any easier. So let us help.

Just take 30 seconds, and via this quote-finding form, enter some details about your business. You’ll then be contacted with quotes from leading sales CRM providers, who’ll be more than happy to discuss your CRM requirements in greater detail. Oh, and it’s free for UK-based businesses.


How we analyse and rate CRM software providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems over a total of 40+ hours. This included five separate varieties of CRM software, as well as more than 61 specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.

Ratings

  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only?), to provide a weighted score for each CRM supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the cost of CRM ownership over 12 months – based on the average buyer – as well as factors such as free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on five specific features per type of CRM. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each CRM provider, broken down by the industry it best serves.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each CRM supplier, in real time.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

How Much Does Ecommerce Fulfilment Cost?

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 1 July 2020

We break down each cost of the entire outsourced order fulfilment process, and help you choose the right provider for your business


Receiving costs come in at around 10p per item


 Storage fees range from 5p for a small letter to £10.88 per pallet/cubic metre, per month


 Picking and packing fees start at £1.50 per order, but can reach £4.20 for packages with up to 10 items inside


 Huboo is the cheapest ecommerce fulfilment provider. Learn more


Want to begin outsourcing your ecommerce business’ order fulfilment, but struggling to get your head around the costs? We don't blame you.

Order fulfilment costs vary wildly across different third-party logistics (3PL) suppliers (many of whom aren’t transparent about their prices), and the guessing game doesn’t stop there.

What you’ll pay also depends, among other things, on:

  • How many orders you’re shipping
  • The number of items in each one
  • The physical size of your inventory
  • The packaging demands of your products
  • Where you’re shipping to

It all begs the question… how much does ecommerce fulfilment really cost?

Let’s find out.


Order fulfilment services pricing UK

We’ve broken down the range of factors that influence ecommerce fulfilment pricing in the UK. Read on for the costs of outsourcing each step of the fulfilment process – from setting up your account, all the way to shipping and returns. 

But before you start, bear in mind these are necessarily ballpark estimates of the costs of order fulfilment. To get a more specific idea of exactly what your business can expect to pay, we recommend taking advantage of our free quote-finding tool.

Simply provide us with a few details about your ecommerce business’ requirements (such as how many parcels you’re currently delivering, and via which channels), and we’ll connect you with leading 3PL suppliers in the UK. They’ll be in touch with quotes tailored to your fulfilment needs, completely free of charge.

What’s 3PL?

A 3PL (third-party logistics) provider is a company that provides supply chain solutions. These companies handle your order fulfilment responsibilities for you, allowing you to outsource your ecommerce business’ packaging and postage needs, and free up your time and storage space.

Setup fees

While it’s not a blanket rule, many 3PL providers will charge a setup fee when you begin working together. This cost ranges from anywhere between £100 to more than £800.

What you’ll pay depends on the complexity of your current setup, including your website, shopping cart, and the size of your business and order volume.

Negotiate this one down, if you can.

Receiving fees

Whether they’re coming from a supplier or directly from you, when you first ship your products to your 3PL provider’s warehouse (a fulfilment centre, in industry terms), there’s a fair bit of admin involved for the latter. Fulfilment centre staff have to receive the goods, relabel them according to their own system, and potentially repackage them to fit your own requirements, too. 

It’s a lot of work… and you can be sure these ‘receiving’ fees are getting passed on to you.

Receiving costs are priced either by the shipment (in which you’re looking at a figure of around £200 per load), or by the unit (a fee of around 5 to 10p per item).

We should note here that, rather than charge individual costs for receiving, picking, and courier costs, some providers roll it all up into a single fee. Huboo does this, with all-inclusive rates available from 92p per small letter.

Compare quotes from Huboo and other fulfilment providers Start now

Storage fees

Storage fees are the bread and butter of order fulfilment costs, and pretty much every 3PL you’ll come across charges them. Essentially, storage fees are what you’ll pay to house your inventory in a third-party fulfilment centre (warehouse). 

What’s less certain, though, is exactly how each 3PL supplier charges for the space your stock takes up. Many fulfilment providers charge by the pallet (one cubic metre of space), including:

  • Core Fulfilment: £10.88 per pallet, per month
  • Minatus: from £2.24 per cubic metre, per week

Charged per cubic metre or pallet, you should budget between £10 and £14 per month in storage. Bear in mind, this price may increase with the more unique products (SKUs, or stock keeping units) that you add to your inventory.

Large wooden storage boxes within a fulfilment centre

Other 3PL providers argue that charging per pallet isn’t fair – that your ecommerce business should pay only for the actual space your products take up. myWarehouse, for instance, calculates the exact dimensions of your products to help you cut out spend on ‘dead space’ (though, funnily enough, myWarehouse doesn’t tell you exactly what those storage rates are!).

Other fulfilment suppliers charge for storage on a per item basis, such as:

  • Huboo: 5p for a small letter to £1 for a medium-sized parcel (per month)
  • Amazon FBA: from 39p for clothing, shoes, and bags to 91p for ‘all other categories’ items (per daily average volume in cubic feet, per month)

Some 3PL providers charge by individual ‘bin’. This is ideal for small items, and, due to the ease with which they can be picked, helps keep storage costs down. In this scenario, you can expect to pay between £1 and £3 per each bin, per month.

Did You Know?

Amazon FBA hikes its storage fees in the colder months. An oversized package that would cost 45p (per daily average volume in cubic feet, per month) in March would cost you 63p in November! Scandalous.

Read more: What are the Best Alternatives to Amazon FBA in the UK?

Picking and packing fees

When someone orders from you online, fulfilment centre staff swing into action. Your product is selected from your inventory (picked) and then boxed up for shipping (packed). Unsurprisingly, all this incurs a fee.

Picking and packing fees typically depend on how many orders you fulfil a month, and the average number of items per order. 

With Core Fulfilment, for instance, you’ll pay as little as £1.50 per order in picking and packing fees (if you have one item per order, and a monthly volume of 10,000 packages) or as much as £4.20 (if you have ten items per order, and ship 250 items per month).

myWarehouse charges a flat £2.61 picking and packing fee for orders with one item, with each additional item costing 42p. Huboo’s packing fees begin at 30p for a large letter, and go up to £2.95 for an extra large parcel

Amazon FBA’s picking and packing rates (lumped together as ‘fulfilment fees’) depend on your item’s sale value, size, and weight. Costs start at £1.35 for items of small envelope size that weigh up to 80g, and go up to £2.17 for a large envelope. Parcels start from £2.15, and reach £5.52 for items that weigh over 10kg.

Fulfilment centre employee taping small cardboard boxes shut

Shipping fees

It’s tough to estimate the costs of shipping, as they depend on so many variables – not only the fees of the carrier itself, but on the size, weight, and nature of the products you’re transporting.

However, we should note that – even when you outsource your order fulfilment – you still have the option to use your own shipping carrier. Though this route offers more transparency and control, 3PL providers typically can offer the cheapest, quickest shipping – Amazon FBA being the most notable example.

The bottom line? Get to grips with where the cheapest, simplest shipping lies, before you sign a deal.

Kitting and return fees

If your product requires some kind of assembly or special attention before it’s shipped, chances are you’ll have to pay ‘kitting’ fees. These are usually based on an hourly rate of between £40 and £60, and will vary depending on the size and time demands of the job.

Likewise, return fees reflect the cost of the labour involved with handling any returns. This includes receiving your returned stock, assessing the damage (if any), and (if possible) getting it ready for resale.

Account management fees

These costs vary drastically between providers (in terms of what they include, and how much they are), but some form of account management fees is inevitable.

Typically, these costs include dedicated customer support, and integration with your website and shopping cart. As most 3PL providers’ operations are built around a live, cloud-based platform, you’ll also need to pay a monthly subscription fee to licence the software.

All up, you can expect to pay between £60 and £240 per month for order fulfilment account management fees.

Exit fees

Certain 3PL providers will charge a fee when you conclude your time with them, or slap you with a bill for early termination. 

That’s why it’s crucial to read and negotiate any contract for order fulfilment services with care – and why it’s so important to pick the right provider.


Fulfilment services pricing table

That’s a lot of fulfilment services costs to get your head around. Let’s recap.

Type of costPrice range
Setup£100 to £800 (one-off)
Receiving£200 per shipment, or 5 to 10p per item
Storage£10 to £14 per cubic metre, per month
Picking and packing£1.50 to £5 per item
ShippingDependent on your products and carrier
Kitting and return£40 to £60 per hour
Account management£60 to £240 per month

As we mentioned earlier, these figures should be treated purely as estimates. You almost certainly won’t pay all of these fulfilment costs – many 3PL providers may not charge setup fees, or will waive the fixed fees associated with account management. Plus, plenty of 3PL suppliers offer other ways to save, by not imposing minimum order requirements or roping you into long contracts.

On top of this, many 3PL companies will lump many of these fees together under one umbrella. You might find everything, from receiving to return, simply referred to as ‘fulfilment fees’, or pay a simple monthly subscription fee for the whole hog.

That is, of course, if you choose the right provider…


Choosing the right order fulfilment supplier

Huboo logoWhile this page isn’t about comparing order fulfilment suppliers (we do that in much greater detail in this guide for small businesses), we can recommend to you the cheapest 3PL provider we’ve found. It’s Huboo.

Unlike many other fulfilment providers, Huboo offers rates that combine receiving, picking, packing, and shipping costs, for ultimate simplicity. There’s plenty of flexibility, too – you’ll have the option to choose between 24-hour and 48-hour delivery, and benefit from subscription rates starting from £10 per month.

Add this to Huboo’s offer of two months’ worth of free storage when you sign up, and there are few better deals out there.

Compare fulfilment quotes and save
Six questions, 30 seconds...
Do you already outsource your ecommerce fulfilment responsibilities? YES NO

Next steps

Now that you have a better idea of how much it costs to outsource your ecommerce fulfilment, it’s time to start comparing quotes from providers. How?

Well, simply provide us with a few details about your business’ requirements. We’ll ask:

  • How long you’ve been trading for
  • How you currently deliver your products
  • Where you sell your products
  • How many items you deliver daily

We’ll also need your postcode, so we can put you in touch with the top 3PL providers servicing your area. They’ll then be in contact with you directly, to offer no-obligation quotes tailored to your business’ situation. It takes around 30 seconds to fill in your requirements, and is completely free for UK businesses.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Dash Cam Prices 2020: A Guide for UK Businesses

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 29 June 2020

How much does a dash cam cost? Compare quotes with us, and get the best deal for your business’ fleet


Basic, off-the-shelf dash cams start from £14.99

Mid-range systems typically cost between £100 and £300

Advanced dash cams can cost £400 or more, but add vehicle tracking, safety features, and live insights into the bargain

High spec dash cams incur a software licence fee, commonly in the range of £20 per month

Dash cam in use on a rainy day

How much does a dash cam cost?

Dash cam prices depend on several factors.

Camera type and direction

Firstly, dash cam prices depend on the type of device you're interested in. 

By this, we mean the direction your dash cam will face. Variants include:

  • Front-facing
  • Dual-facing
  • Rear-facing
  • Interior

Pricing up at anywhere between £15 and £100, front-facing dash cams are the cheapest option you can buy… albeit the most narrow in terms of scope and coverage.

Dual-facing dash cams (£150 to £400+) provide insight into both your vehicle’s cabin and the road ahead, but are more expensive. Likewise, rear-facing dash cams (and the interior-facing ones truckers use to prevent cargo theft) don’t come cheap – although you can save by purchasing multiple cameras in a bundle.

Features required

Secondly, how much you’ll pay depends on the features you’ll require – that is, exactly how much you want your dash cam to do.

The cheapest dash cams simply record the road, without many additional frills. An SD card (almost always not included) allows you to download footage onto your computer after a journey is complete, and view it there.
Garmin dash cam with GPS functionality

Pay a little extra, though (£100+ per camera), and you’ll benefit from dash cams with GPS capability (enabling basic fleet tracking, pictured), as well as parking mode (which captures footage even when your vehicle is stationary). These mid-range options come at a highly reasonable price point, and tend to punch above their weight for features, too.

At the priciest end of the scale (£300+, with additional monthly costs) are the most advanced systems. These include dash cams from Verizon Connect and Samsara, and are what’s known as ‘integrated’ solutions. Essentially, this means that they work in tandem with a software platform to provide real-time updates and insights into your fleet.

Data transmission: Active or passive?

This leads us to the third factor that will influence the price of your dash cam – whether it’s active or passive

Passive dash cams rely on an SD card, which you’ll have to remove to pull data, and re-insert into the camera to begin recording again. 

Cheap to buy… inconvenient to use.

Active systems, however, transmit live data back to base via wifi, allowing you to keep track of jobs as they unfold. Put simply, they’re the best dash cams money can buy – though, for obvious reasons, they’re not the most affordable options around.

For an integrated solution, you can expect to pay a monthly fee for the dash cams, plus an ongoing cost to lease the software that powers them. The exact cost here will depend on the size of your fleet and the features you’ll need, though we estimate it to be in the region of £20 per month.

Businesses vs consumers: a question of scalability

This leads us to the third factor that will influence the price of your dash cam – whether it’s active or passive

For individuals, a cheap, off-the-shelf dash cam works just fine. Businesses, though, should consider at least a mid-range (if not a fully integrated) solution as standard – particularly if there’s scalability on the brain.

If this sounds like you, why not start comparing dash cam prices with us? 

For just 30 seconds of your time (and a few details about your business, such as fleet size, vehicle type, and legal status), we’ll put you in touch with leading dash cam suppliers. You’ll then receive quotes tailored to your business’ specific requirements – it’s as simple as that!


Dash cam prices: Basic (£15 to £100)

If you’re looking for a dash cam for personal use, or for a very small fleet (one or two vehicles, max!), then a basic dash cam will fit the bill.

That said, as a rule, we don’t recommend basic dash cams for businesses. They’re limited; not only in terms of features (as you’ll see below, most aren’t even GPS-equipped), but in their storage and recording capacities, too. Basic systems are also passive, meaning you won’t be able to start scrutinising footage until the vehicle is back at base.
RAC 100 dash cam

For a basic dash cam, you’ll pay as little as £14.99 (for the RAC100, pictured), and as much as around £100. Above this, and you’re looking at more of a mid-range dash cam solution (which we do recommend for businesses). 

You can browse basic dash cam prices in the table below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentKitvision ObserverToguard CE50Kenwood DRV430Halfords HDC400
Dash cam

Kitvision Observer

Toguard CE50

Kenwood DRV-430

Halfords HDC400

Price

£49.99

£59.99

£80

£99

TypeFront-facingFront-facingFront-facingFront-facing
Resolution720p2160p1080p1440p
Field of visionN/A170 degrees128 degrees180 degrees

Features

GPS tracking?XX
Parking mode?
Display screen?X
Want a dash cam that packs a bit more of a punch? Get free quotes

Dash cam prices: Mid-range (£100 to £300)

Looking onwards and upwards (in terms of both price and functionality), we have the mid-range dash cams. 

Mid-range dash cams start from as little as £100 per camera. As well as offering dual-facing cameras, these dash cams have GPS, are wireless, and offer plenty of features, such as audio capture, G-force recording protection, and a still photo function.

Mid-range dash cams are well-suited to businesses with fleets of up to five vehicles, or for vans and larger rigs. If this sounds like you, browse our top mid-range dash cam prices below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentNextbase 522GWVantrue N2 ProRexing V3Garmin Tandem
Dash camNextbase 522GWVantrue N2 ProRexing V3Garmin Tandem
Price£149£159.99£199.99£299.99
TypeFront-facingDual-facingDual-facingDual-facing
Resolution1440p1080p1080p1440p
Field of vision140 degrees310 degrees170 degrees360 degrees
Looking for a dash cam that's more than the middle of the road? Get free quotes

Dash cam prices: Advanced (£300+)

At the business end of the pricing scale sit the most advanced dash cams. Though you can expect to pay at least £300 per camera for these high spec beauties, you shouldn’t let the price put you off.

Because many of these integrated dash cam solutions come as part of a package with fleet management software (which you’ll pay monthly for), there’s less initial outlay than with a mid-range solution. This can actually make them more affordable, and help free up cash flow in the short-term.

Feature-wise, these dash cams are best in class. Verizon Connect Integrated Video, for instance, detects events such as harsh braking and aggressive cornering, and classifies them based on how severe they are. Samsara’s dash cam – equipped with a built-in speaker – even provides voice-based coaching, which alerts the driver when drowsiness or distractions set in and can help prevent accidents.

Could your business benefit from an integrated system? Find the advanced dash cam for you in the table below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentVerizon Connect Integrated VideoSamsara Dual-Facing CM22Blackvue DR900S
Dash camVerizon Connect Integrated VideoSamsara CM32Nextbase 380GWXBlackvue DR900S
PriceFrom £20 per month (software), plus £20 per camera, per monthOn request£399 per camera£399 per camera
TypeFront-facingDual-facingDual-facingDual-facing
Resolution720p1080p (front-facing), 720p (driver-facing)1080p1080p
Field of vision150 degrees121 degrees (front-facing), 177 degrees (driver-facing)140 degrees162 degrees

Has the stunning CM32 caught your eye? Head to our Samsara review to find out more about its innovative vehicle tracking solution. Alternatively, hit the button below to tell us more about your specific requirements, and let us match you with an integrated dash cam provider near you.

Does your business already have an integrated dash cam solution? YES NO

Dash cam installation cost

Like the cameras themselves, dash cam installation costs will vary by provider and model. 

Actually, many basic to mid-range varieties of dash cams allow for self-installation, at no cost to you. However, hiring an expert has its benefits – they’ll do a professional job, for one (and tuck those cables neatly away where you can’t see them), and cut out the hassle of interpreting confusing online instructions.

And, at around £30, outsourcing your dash cam installation is plenty affordable. Better still, some providers (such as Verizon Connect) will even send a technician out to do it for you, for free.


Next steps

So, you’ve learnt what distinguishes an advanced dash cam from a mid-range one, and why (despite the price!) a basic dash cam is best avoided. Hopefully, you’ll also have a good idea of what you can get for your money, and which suppliers can match your fleet’s growth goals.

In other words, you’re ready to start comparing suppliers in more detail. Our guide to the best dash cams for businesses provides a good place to begin, or – if you’re a little short on time – there’s a more direct route.

Simply furnish us with some details about your business’ requirements, and you’ll receive calls from top dash cam suppliers. They’ll table quotes tailored to your business, and discuss the option of a free trial to get you started. Our form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and is free for UK-based businesses.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

The Best Dash Cams for Truckers and HGVs

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 26 June 2020

Whether your trucks are on the open road or parked, dash cams offer serious security and cost-saving benefits. But which one is right for your fleet?


truck driving down a motorway

It’s been a long night on the road. Lulled by the dulcet tones of late-night radio and tired from hours of traversing the motorways, your driver yawns. And, as they manoeuvre your truck around a wide, easy bend, their concentration starts to slip…

So many accidents that occur in the trucking industry are avoidable. 

What if, for instance, you had a system that automatically notifies your driver when distracted or drowsy behaviour occurs? If you could see exactly what they see out on the road, and get live insights into speed, braking, and acceleration?

Well, you can. With the right truck dash cam solution – a simple recording device placed on your vehicles’ windscreens – you’ll have the makings of a smarter, more efficient fleet of trucks. And, should an incident take place, you’ll be in a much better place to settle any insurance claim, and clear your driver of blame.

Which truck dash cam is right for your business, though? Let’s find out.


The best dash cams for truckers and HGVs

According to our research, the best dash cams for UK truckers and HGVs are Verizon Connect Integrated Video, Vantrue N2 Pro, Anker Roav S1, Samsara C25-I, and Viofo A129.

The best dash cams for truckers and HGVS:

  1. Verizon Connect Integrated Video
  2. Vantrue N2 Pro
  3. Anker Roav S1
  4. Samsara C25-I
  5. Viofo A129

How did we choose?

We’ve selected the following five truck dash cams based on how well-suited they are to truckers; that is, to long journeys, and to recording at night. We’ve also taken into account price point, ease of installation, and usability (of both the hardware, and the software or application you’ll use to monitor and review footage).

For more information about what makes a truck dash cam great, skip to our section below on what to look for in a dash cam for your HGV fleet.


Verizon Connect Integrated Video

Best dash cams for trucks, full stop

We’ve written at length about Verizon Connect integrated Video. It was one of our best dash cams for businesses, and for vans, too  – and even has its own dedicated review. Why? Because Verizon Connect’s dash cams are, quite simply, the best…

...and the features that make it so essential for vans, cars, and fleets of all sizes also make Verizon Connect’s integrated solution ideal for trucks. The camera’s design is built for the toughest surroundings, and well-equipped for recording at night. Powered by Verizon Connect Reveal, its intelligent, cloud-based software platform for managers, these dash cams offer updates in close to real-time. You’ll get a notification when harsh braking, poor cornering, or speeding occurs, too – allowing you to provide more tailored training to drivers, and help reduce the risk of accidents.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: Verizon Connect’s dash cam solution is bespoke. How much you pay will depend on how many HGVs you have in your fleet, and on the features you need. 

While we believe that you should budget around £20 per vehicle, per month for Verizon Connect Reveal, and another £20 per camera, per month for the dash cams themselves, the easiest way to know what you’ll actually be charged is by comparing quotes with us.

Simply provide us with a few more details about the dash cam solution you’re looking for. That includes fleet size, your company’s legal status, and your postcode. With this, we’ll pair you with leading truck dash cam suppliers (including Verizon Connect), who’ll provide offers tailored to your fleet’s requirements.

Pros:

  • Machine learning classifies road incidents by severity and type
  • GDPR-compliant
  • Clips stored for 90 days
  • 150-degree field of vision means you’ll see exactly what the driver does

X Cons:

  • Has a lower video resolution than some other truck dash cams
  • Its dash cam isn’t a standalone product – you’ll need its software package first

For more information about Verizon Connect Reveal, the fleet management software that works with its dash cams, read our review.


Vantrue N2 Pro

Best dual-facing dash cam for truckers

With a double lens that captures the scenes both ahead of and behind the wheel, the Vantrue provides truck fleet managers with an impressive 310 degrees of visibility. But that’s not all…

Equipped with infrared night vision technology, the N2 Pro is ideal for long journeys out on the open road. Plus, its smart parking mode means your trucks don’t have to be in motion to be protected – the camera begins filming at the first hint of movement, even when your vehicle is stationary. The N2 Pro also does the basics well – it’s GPS and G-sensor-equipped, and you’re covered by an 18-month warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee to boot.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £159.99 per unit.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide field of vision
  • Built-in microphone provides crystal-clear audio quality
  • Good value for money

X Cons:

  • Lacks in-depth analytical functions
  • Mobile app leaves plenty to be desired
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Anker Roav S1

Best low-cost dash cam for truckers

Known for its range of affordable speakers, chargers, and mobile phone accessories for consumers, this Chinese company is attempting to drop anchor in the lucrative seas of the business space. Does its dash cam succeed for trucks?

Yes, it does – for bargain hunters, at least. Because, at just £109.99 per unit (with a 32GB micro SD card included), it’s the best dash cam for truckers we found that won’t hit you hard in the wallet. Refreshingly, the low price point doesn’t mean that too much functionality is sacrificed, either – Anker’s Roav S1 sports both G-sensors and night vision, and shoots the street in full, crisp 1080p HD. Sure, you won’t get the bells and whistles of Samsara and Verizon’s integrated software. But Anker’s app still does more than you’d expect – you can manage and replay videos, track your truck’s route, and even share footage on social media.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £109.99 per unit.

Pros:

  • 12-month warranty
  • Reliable customer service
  • Cheap as chips!

X Cons:

  • Despite the social media gimmick, it’s still one of the more basic dash cams out there

Samsara CM25-I

Best truck dash cam for cargo security

It’s thought that businesses lose around £69 million per year to truck cargo theft in the UK. With that in mind, the Samsara CM25-I – an interior dash cam that helps truckers and managers keep a closer eye on their freight – is a shrewd investment…

Serial innovator Samsara helps lead the world in fleet management software – and its anti-theft interior dash cam for truckers doesn’t disappoint. Infrared LED and flawless night vision spearhead this savvy piece of kit, which is GPS-enabled and internet ready. You can also rest easy knowing that the camera offers on-demand video retrieval for up to 60 hours of driving time, streamed straight to your phone or computer. Plus, its mere presence in your cab (it looks like a CCTV camera you’d see in a shop anywhere) adds an extra level of deterrence to would-be cargo thieves.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: The CM25-I truck dash cam itself costs $249 (£199), while an annual licence fee will set you back $180 (£144).

However, to get the best idea of how much you’re likely to pay for a truck dash cam solution from leading suppliers, we recommend taking advantage of our free quote-finding service.

Simply tell us more about your truck fleet’s requirements, and we’ll put leading truck dash cam providers in touch with you. They’ll take into account your needs and specific requirements, and save you time with a quotes package tailored to your business. 

It takes just 30 seconds, and is free for UK-based fleets.

Pros:

  • HD video and built-in audio and speakers
  • Offers insights powered by the best in AI and machine learning
  • The Samsara app is as smooth and silky as it gets

X Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side
Did You Know?

Dash cams can be (and regularly are) used as evidence in court cases. In 2019, This is Money reported that dash cam footage uploaded online resulted in 1,223 prosecutions in the UK… in just a single year!


Viofo A129

Best truck dash cam for simplicity

Also the Greek for “I live”, Viofo’s series of slick, simple dash cams offer plenty in the way of vitality. And, if you’re happy to forgo features for user-friendliness, the A129 can have big benefits for your truck fleet…

It’s easy to install, for one. The A129 simply sticks onto your windscreen, while its quick release mount makes it easy to take down, too. Its app (though a little basic and bug-prone) is straightforward, and utilising its GPS and wifi-powered tracking abilities is easy enough. You can also expect dual-facing cameras (recording in 1080p HD), a 2-inch LCD display for clarity, and a ‘buffered’ parking mode all included as standard. You’ll have to pay for some extra features (such as a Bluetooth emergency remote), but the low cost of the device itself makes the additions a worthwhile expense.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £154.95 per unit.

Pros:

  • Sports a wide, 140-degree field of vision
  • An optional circular polarising lens reduces glare and improves image quality

X Cons:

  • The design is a little clunky and old-fashioned

What to look for in a truck dash cam

Earlier, we mentioned that our best dash cams for truckers have to meet certain criteria to get the nod. Flimsy, cheap knock-offs are immediately out, as are dash cams without the sufficient battery life (or recording capacity) to support long-haul journeys. 

But there are a few more, quite crucial, elements shared by all good truck dash cams. And, whether you choose your cameras from this list, through comparing quotes with our free service, or by going your own way entirely, you should at least make sure your dash cam has the following:

Night vision

A truck dash cam doesn’t need the latest infrared technology (Verizon Connect’s solution, for instance, relies on a combination of the truck’s headlights and other ‘ambient’ light in the environment), but it sure helps. 

And, on those long, late nights lugging loads across the country, a truck dash cam with good night vision is essential.

Recording and storage capabilities

When it comes to recording and storing your truck dash cam footage, you have a couple of options. 

One is selecting a camera that writes the video into an SD card inserted into the device. At the end of your journey, you simply take this SD card and upload it to your computer to view the footage.

The second option (supported by providers such as Samsara and Verizon Connect with aplomb) involves the live upload of said footage to a cloud-based platform. You’ll have the ability to view and download segments of video as the journey is still taking place, and receive unique insights into driver performance.

All the dash cams for truckers we’ve featured here are supported by an app (albeit to varying degrees of success). The extent of the reporting you’ll get via that software, though, is directly tied to how much you’re willing to spend.

Image resolution

There’s no point in having a dash cam at all unless it picks up the finer details. Yet, unbelievably, there are truck dash cams on the market with resolutions too low to pick up licence plates, or other particulars that could be key to a court victory.

Look for a truck dash cam with a screen resolution of at least 720p. 1080p is optimal, and will get the best results.

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Next steps

We’ve traversed the long roads together. We’ve put up with Heart FM’s relentless repetition of the latest ‘hits’, drank dubious-tasting petrol station coffee, and sung along to guilty pleasures.

Oh, and we’ve explored the five best dash cams for UK truckers. So which one is going to get your fleet moving?

Could it be the Anker Roav S1, luring you in with a low price point? Perhaps it’s the Viofo A129 for simple installation, or Vantrue’s 100% customer satisfaction guarantee?

We suspect, though, that it’s Verizon Connect Integrated Video and Samsara’s CM-25-I that have got your pulse racing (or maybe that’s just the coffee from earlier). And why not? Providing superlative insights into your fleet, and with scalable software to fuel your truck fleet’s growth, their products are the best that money can buy. 

To begin comparing truck dash cams for your business, try our free quote comparison tool. We’ll ask a few quick questions about your fleet, and you’ll hear directly from excellent dash cam suppliers, who’ll provide bespoke pricing packages that fit your requirements to the letter. It takes 30 seconds, and is free forever.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

The Best Dash Cams for Vans in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 22 June 2020

Which dash cam should you choose for your fleet of vans? Finding out has never been easier…


Van driving down a motorway

It was the 80s. Mullets were in, moustaches were mandatory, and Duran Duran were churning out hit after hit. Oh, and the only van dash cams around were big, clunky things found exclusively in police vehicles. 

Fast forward three decades or so, and it’s a different story. From taxis to couriers, van fleet managers everywhere are catching on to the safety, cost, efficiency and insurance benefits dash cams bring to the table. And, with the better decision making and greater fleet visibility you’ll enjoy, the question soon becomes not one of whether you should buy a dash cam… but which one is best for your business.

So read on as we break down our five favourite van dash cams, which are sure to add power and perspective to your operation. And if you’re short on time, you can begin comparing leading suppliers by providing us with some information about your fleet. Our form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and you’ll receive dash cam quotes tailored to your specific requirements.


What are the best dash cams for vans?

Focussing on a blend of price point, usability, and (of course) pure, unadulterated functionality, we compared the best van dash cams for UK fleets. But which one came out on top?

According to our research, the best dash cam for vans is the Samsara CM32 dual-facing camera. Making up the rest of our list is Verizon Connect Integrated Video, the MIO MiVue A30, the Nextbase 522GW, and Blackvue’s DR900S-2CH.

Click to navigate to a supplier, read our review, compare pricing, and view each provider’s key pros and cons.

The best dash cams for vans:

  1. Samsara CM32: Best van dash cam for safety
  2. Verizon Connect: Best for an integrated software solution
  3. MIO MiVue A30: Best dash cam for rear of van
  4. Nextbase 522GW: Best for smart features
  5. Blackvue DR900S-2CH: Best front and rear dash cam for vans

Samsara CM32 (dual-facing)

Best van dash cam for safety

Just as two pairs of eyes are better than one, Samsara’s dual-facing dash cams make prioritising safety a breeze. One camera captures the road ahead, while the other tells you exactly what’s going on inside your van. Drowsy or distracted driving? Texting at the wheel? Samsara picks it up and feeds it all back to you – in real time. It lets the driver at fault know, too, via a built-in audio speaker that provides voice-based coaching and immediate, in-cab alerts when unsafe driving occurs.

Overall Rating :

Add all this to Samsara’s slick, cloud-based vehicle tracking and management platform, and the CM32 emerges as our top dash cam pick for vans.

Pricing: The only drawback to the CM32 is that there’s no clear pricing information available. Samsara’s solutions are top of the line, meaning that any costs package will be bespoke, and take into account your van fleet’s size and ambitions.

Read more: How much does a dash cam cost in 2020?

Pros:

  • Simple installation – no hard-wiring involved
  • Provides real-time, immediate access to footage
  • Driver leaderboards improve safety by promoting healthy competition

X Cons:

  • No pricing information available

Verizon Connect Integrated Video

Best van dash cam for an integrated software solution

Pushing Samsara all the way is industry heavyweight Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam solution. And, while it doesn’t offer all the same safety features as the CM32, the AI-driven, cloud-based platform it works with (Verizon Connect Reveal) is more than a match for Samsara’s.

Overall Rating :

Van fleets of all sizes will benefit from a user-friendly interface (accessible anywhere, anytime), and downloadable footage available as quickly as three minutes after an incident occurs. You’ll know who was involved, how fast they were going, and have everything required to settle insurance claims – and exonerate drivers – in a matter of moments.

Our research shows that Verizon Connect's integrated dash cam solution is also well-suited to lorries and HGVs. Head over to our page on the best dash cams for truckers to find out more.

Pricing: Verizon Connect Integrated Video costs around £20 per month, on top of a £20 monthly fee for its fleet management software, Verizon Connect Reveal. However, the exact amount you’ll pay depends on how many vans you operate, and the depth and breadth of features you’re after.

For a deeper dive into what you can expect to pay for your van dash cam solution, why not try our free service? Simply tell us a bit about how many vans you manage, and what industry you’re in. We’ll do the rest, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from leading van dash cam suppliers in the UK.

Pros:

  • Free installation available
  • Its durable cameras are built to withstand harsh environments
  • Its software analyses the severity of road incidents, and classifies them for you

X Cons:

  • You’ll require a Verizon Connect Reveal subscription to get going
  • The ongoing fee required to lease the software won’t appeal to everyone

Want to know more? Read our complete Verizon Connect Integrated Video review.


MIO MiVue A30

Best dash cam for rear of van

Moving away from more advanced van dash cams towards the more budget-friendly end of the scale, we have MIO’s MiVue A30. You’ll be trading down from Verizon Connect and Samsara in terms of features and functionality, but gaining a device that’s as easy to install as it is on your bank account – the dash cam quite literally sticks to your van’s back window, and is available for less than £60. For the ideal blend of crystal clear footage, discreet design, and friendly price point, the MIO MiVue A30 can’t be topped.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £59.98 per unit.

Pros:

  • GPS-equipped
  • Small, unintrusive size
  • Works well even in low-light conditions

X Cons:

  • Won’t provide detailed insights into incidents, or driver behaviour at the time
  • No live updates
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Nextbase 522GW

Best van dash cam for smart features

While Nextbase’s software doesn’t get close to that of Verizon Connect and Samsara, the dash cam itself is inspired. One of the highest spec dash cams for vans that we found, the 522GW sports a 1440p resolution, a touchscreen, and 140 degrees of visibility. It’s equipped with both GPS and Alexa compatibility, too, and works with Android and iOS to store your vans’ footage on the cloud.

Overall Rating :

Add to this the 522GW’s intelligent parking mode (which records any bump and scrape to your vans, even while parked) and emergency mode (which alerts emergency services when a crash occurs), and Nextbase emerges as a solid investment for any growing van fleet.
Nextbase 380GW dash cam
Pricing: £149 per unit.

To see how another of Nextbase’s dash cams (the 380GW, pictured) stacks up against the competition, check out our guide to the best dash cams for businesses.

Pros:

  • Autosyncs footage to your smartphone for convenience
  • Excellent video quality
  • Surprisingly affordable

X Cons:

  • Its video playback software is new, and still working through some bugs

BlackVue DR900S-2CH

Best front and rear dash cam for vans

Heading back to the high-end, high spec dash cams for vans, the BlackVue DR900S-2CH is the last – but most certainly not least – in our list. Rather, with an ultra-wide viewing angle, night vision, and a whole host of security features (including parking mode, loop recording, and file protection) included as standard, BlackVue’s dash cam offers plenty. Pair all that with a cloud platform providing live footage and push notifications – plus an app that enables two-way communication between you and the driver – and your van fleet can enjoy a shortcut to scalability.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £399 per unit.

Pros:

  • GPS and wifi-equipped
  • Simple to install
  • Sturdy, cylindrical shape adds a touch of industrial chic to your van fleet

X Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side

Next steps

So, what’ll it be?

For a cheap, basic dash cam that sticks straight onto your back window, it’s the MIO MiVue A30 all day. 

For a more advanced dash cam for your van, models from BlackVue, NextBase, and Garmin will certainly do the trick. 

For complete fleet visibility, though, and insights driven by the best-in-class, machine learning-driven technology, there are only two options.  That’s why we recommend Verizon Connect and Samsara for fleets of vans looking to expand their operations, and provide more efficient, effective service to boot. 

Could you picture a dash cam fleet powering the engine of your business? Let us help.

Simply provide us with some details about your van fleet’s size, and your business’ legal status and postcode. We’ll use this to pair you only with the van dash cam suppliers that are the best fit for your fleet, and which service your location. They’ll then be in touch with quotes tailored to your requirements. Simple!


FAQs

Does a van dash cam work as a standalone product?

Some do, yep! These tend to be the more basic, off-the-shelf van dash cams, though. More advanced systems, such as Verizon Connect and Samsara, require a subscription to their software platforms. That means their dash cams can only be used in conjunction with, or as a feature of, this central interface.

What other technology do I need for my fleet of vans?

Most van dash cams are built to work with a wide subset of other products and tech, including Amazon Alexa, GPS, and wifi. But for unparalleled synergy – and unrivalled insights – you’ll also require a van fleet management system.

Van tracking allows you to view your vehicles’ locations in real time, while planning and optimising routes for speed and success. 

Read our review of the best van tracking systems for businesses for more info.

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Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.