One of the hardest parts of freelancing is staying organized.
Freelancers and small businesses need to manage projects and clients while keeping track of all their data and documents at the same time.
This can be a daunting task so CRM solutions are becoming more and more popular among savvy freelancers as they can take the hassle out of task management, invoicing, email marketing, and scheduling.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a business platform that helps freelancers and businesses manage communication with their clients and prospects. A CRM system holds data on all your clients including emails, payments, calls, and sales, and keeps it all in one place. The biggest benefits of using a CRM tool are that it enhances contact management, improves customer satisfaction, and automates your sales process.
In the article below, I've evaluated the 7 best CRM tools to help you organize your business effectively and grow.
🌟 My top pick: Pipedrive
Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM solution that enables freelancers and business owners to plan their sales process and monitor deals. This is a stunning visual CRM tool that displays the progress stages for each project and tracks the pending activities in each pipeline.
This CRM solution eases the process of email marketing as it allows users to choose ready-made email templates, create custom email templates, and merge fields to autofill information. It integrates seamlessly with Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. Pipedrive keeps a visual history of every call, email, and activity made with every client, so freelancers can check the last conversations they had with their clients before following up with the communications.
Pipedrive allows users to directly contact clients by using the click-to-call feature. Freelancers that have many projects on their plate will manage their time more easily as this CRM solution will send them reminders, follow-up alerts, and notifications via email. Additionally, Pipedrive has an easy-to-use and highly customizable interface that comes with built-in features like sales forecasting, sales reporting, and pipeline management.
- Visual sales pipelines
- Unlimited custom fields
- Customizable product catalog
- Sales, activity, and product reports
- Revenue forecast
- Calendar view and activity management
- Customizable email templates
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Two-factor authentication
- API access
- Team reports and goals
- Customizable dashboards
- Data import & export
- Workflow automation
- 24/7 customer support (chat & email)
Pipedrive’s essential plan starts at $12 a month per user. The plan includes all Pipedrive core features, sales, activity reports, and 1 live dashboard. Users also get contact and deal management.
This plan starts at $29 a month per user. This features robust email marketing features like customizable email templates, email tracking, and email syncing. Users also get LinkedIn integration.
Pipedrive’s professional plan starts at $59 a month per user. This plan features advanced client management features like one-click calls, call recording, and group emailing.
This plan starts at $99 a month per user. This plan includes all the features from the Professional plan plus enhanced security, extra customization, unlimited dashboards, and user permissions.
Insightly is an amazing CRM with project management and marketing tools. The platform has automation for lead and opportunity management where users get an easy-to-use lead profile layout. Users get to see their activity history with the lead including exchanged files, events, email correspondence, related tasks, and notes.
This platform allows you to keep track of everything and keep in contact with all your customers and clients. The app features built-in email templates and customizable reports. Insightly works with Google Calendar and Contacts and every user can also sync their email accounts from Gmail and Outlook. Insights integrate with all popular applications including Google Apps & Gmail, Evernotes, MailChimp, Office, and Outlook.
- Lead management
- Mass emailing
- Email templates
- Automatic social profile enrichment
- Task and event management
- Contact and organization management
- Opportunity management
- Calendar synchronization
- Milestones and associated task tracking
- Integration with Google G-Suite Login, Calendar, and Docs
- Integration with Microsoft Office 365 Login, Calendar, and OneDrive
- Built-in business intelligence dashboards
- Customizable real-time insight cards
- Customized report scheduling and emailing
Over 250 integrations to business apps
The Insightly Plus plan costs $29 a month. It includes lead and sales management and accounting integrations.
Insightly Professional costs $49 a month. This plan includes priority email support and allows users to send up to 5000 emails per day.
Insightly Enterprise costs $99 a month. It includes over 250 integrations to business apps, 200 custom fields per record type, and priority support.
Close is a CRM platform that makes lead management an easy task by using a handy dashboard. The platform features built-in calling, SMS, and email which puts your communication with all of your prospects and clients in one place.
This platform is most suitable for small and midsize businesses that need a CRM solution that has email marketing features. All users need to do is define their copy and the Close will automatically generate an entire email marketing campaign. Users get advanced email tracking and can set up multiple email accounts.
Close can also help business owners measure the individual performance of members of their team. The platform can track performance and rank performances across the team based on sales activity, emails sent, the number of calls made and time spent talking to prospects.
- Bulk email sending
- Power dialer
- Advanced email tracking
- 2-way email sync
- Email open & response tracking
- HTML customization
- Custom fields
- Activity, task & pipeline management
- Zapier integration
- Two-factor authentication
- Global calling
- Calendar sync
- Real-time sales activity reporting
- Sales comparison reporting
- Email customer support
The Starter plan starts at $29.75 a month per user. This plan is limited to 4 custom fields, 2500 leads, and 4000 contacts.
This plan costs $55.25 a month per user. The plan includes an unlimited number of leads, contacts, and custom fields.
The Professional plan costs $80.75 a month per user. It includes built-in email sequences, bulk email sending, and power dialer.
Close’s Business plan costs $123.25 a month per user. The business plan features call recording, call transferring, and a dedicated account manager.
Bonsai is an all-in-one tool that will help freelancers easily deal with client management, accounting, and project management. Freelancers that feel overwhelmed by paperwork can find Bonsai very helpful as this CRM software automatically generates and fills your documents for every new project. Bonsai also generates templated contracts and legally binding e-signature. This will ease your paperwork process and save you a lot of time.
What’s more, Bonsai creates and customizes invoices from any proposal, contract, or timesheet automatically. This CRM will also track your payments and inform you about your client’s interactions with the invoice and when they are planning to pay. This also eases the whole payment process for your clients as they get to sign their contracts and pay their invoices quickly and easily.
Bonsai also allows freelancers to manage their projects with ease as all the information regarding the projects is located in one central location - the Bonsai dashboard. Users get to start new projects and add information about project details, social media, and contact information. Bonsai can assign projects to current clients and lists all ongoing projects in a client panel.
- Simplified client onboarding process
- Client management
- Client contracts and invoice system
- Auto reminders/weekly reminders
- Complete contract templates
- Project management tools
- Time tracking
- Chat support
- Global payments, 180 currencies
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automating invoicing
- Read-receipt notifications
- Payment schedule
- Storage of legally binding contracts online
- Secure messaging
- Data import & export
Bonsai starts at $16 a month. The plan includes all Bonsai core features including client management and project management.
Capsule is a simple CRM that enables freelancers and small businesses to keep track of their new clients and follow interactions and opportunities in the sales pipeline. Capsule allows clients to categorize data using tags, custom fields, and branding options.
What particularly distinguishes Capsule CRM from competitors is that it provides a visual overview of your sales pipeline. Freelancing can get easier if you can track your sales as they progress through the sales process. By using Capsule you’ll be able to define the sales process by using milestones for each stage of the pipeline. It also generates revenue forecasts to give you a clearer image of how your business is going.
The platform supports integrations for email marketing, document management, customer support, and accounting. By using this CRM software your project management can get much easier as the platform generates to-do-lists and calendars.
Capsule CRM is an excellent CRM solution for business owners that have a small team as users get to create tasks, share them with co-workers, and follow the progress.
- Customer relationship management
- Project management
- Contact management
- Custom fields
- Calendar & task management
- Customizable sales milestones & Sales pipeline dashboard
- Customized filtered lists
- Advanced sales reporting
- Custom Reports Via Google Data Studio
- Gmail Add-on
- Google Suite Single Sign-on
- Two-factor authentication
- Add-ons & integrations
- Mobile app (for iOS & Android)
- Zapier integrations & automation
- A 30-day free trial is available for all plans
Users get 10MB storage and can manage up to 250 contacts.
The professional plan costs £12 per user per month. Clients get 10GB storage per user and can manage up to 50,000 contacts. This plan also includes sales reporting and premium integrations for G Suite, Xero, MailChimp, and Wufoo.
The team plan costs £24 per user per month. Users get all core features from the Professional plan, 20GB storage per user, and get to manage up to 100,00 contacts. The plan also includes advanced sales reporting and custom google data studio reports.
HoneyBook is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) that allows creative business owners and freelancers to handle payments, manage projects, and book clients. Honeybook can ease the whole business process and save multiple hours a day to a small business as it generates professional contracts and keeps invoices and important documents in one place.
The platform helps you to set-up a to-do list for every new project and create alerts by sending you task reminders. Users also get to send automated appointment requests and communicate with clients by using personalized templates. HoneyBook also eases the payment experience for clients as it features an auto-pay option. It tracks payment and accepts payment through credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers.
This CRM solution offers a mobile app for iOS and Android users. Honeybook integrates with Gmail, Google Calendar, QuickBooks, Calendly, and Zapier.
- Client management & contact management
- Automatic payment reminders
- Payment tracking
- Time tracking
- Credit, Debit, and ACH/bank transfer
- Mobile invoicing
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Customizable templates & collaboration tools
- Sales pipeline management
- Electronic signature
- Payment processing services integration
- Employee, group, and appointment scheduling
- Customer support
- Fraud protection
- Integration with Google Calendar, Gmail, Zapier, QuickBooks, and Calendly
- A 7-day free trial is available
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- HoneyBook’s only plan costs $40 a month. If you pay in advance for an annual plan you’ll pay $34 a month. The plan includes all HoneyBook features, free account setup, and training.
Dubsado is a simple CRM solution that takes the hassle out of task management, email marketing, invoicing, and scheduling. This CRM tool can help freelancers stay up-to-date with their finances as it displays a complete history of their transactions and financial reports. What’s more, the platform lets you view profit breakdown through charts and graphs.
Dubsado helps small businesses keep all clients and contacts in one place, track their projects, automate workflows, and schedule appointments. It eases onboarding new clients as users get to create new projects, track upcoming tasks, and get deadline alerts. Each project has a tag that helps users find their way around the interface and get quick access.
Dubsado automatically sends invoices, forms, and invoices. Users can also activate the automatic response feature which sends a personal email to clients the moment they are trying to reach you. Dubsado is a great all-in-one tool for small businesses.
- Automated responses
- Form reminders & to-do reminders
- Time tracking
- Project timelines
- Email, forms, and invoice automation
- Payment reminders
- Appointment scheduling
- Integration with PayPal, Stripe, and Square
- Custom branding
- Custom CSS styling
- Client portals
- Project tags
- Calendar integration with Google, iCloud, Outlook, and Office 365
- Add-ons for brands & users
- A free trial is available (no time limit)
Dubsado’s free plan has no time limit. It gives users access to a plethora of tools and allows them to manage up to 3 clients.
- Monthly plan
The monthly plan costs $35 a month. This plan supports an unlimited number of clients and projects. However, if users want to add more than 4 accounts they will need to buy some of the add-on pricing packages that start at $25 a month.
- Yearly plan
Dubsado’s yearly plan costs $350. The plan includes all of Dubsado’s core features and supports an unlimited number of clients and projects. Users that run multiple businesses can add additional brands by buying the add-on pricing package that starts at $10 per month.