Four flexible CRMs for growing companies

Today I’m going to look at the pros and cons of four CRMs that are used by small-but-ambitious businesses.

We’ll take a look at whether they can still work well for when the business starts to grow. It can be time-consuming to migrate data, processes and staff onto a new CRM – many businesses I work with start out on a simple low cost CRM and then feel they need to move to a bigger brand name once they start scaling up their operations.

Here we’ll take a look at four CRMs typically used by the SMB market and whether they are likely to continue being effective as you grow.

 CRM Pros Cons
  • Simple and efficient UX.
  • Easy to use data migration and set up.
  • Tracks sales, project and customer engagement.
  • Useful reporting metrics.
  • Exceptional customer support – you feel like a valued customer.
  • Relatively low price point - $48 per month per seat.


  • The app is a little clunky.
  • Customization in the reporting dashboard is limited.
  • No payments integration.


  • Simple UX.
  • Good customer support and training materials.
  • Good Gmail integration.
  • You can see when contacts open emails
  • The main CRM version is free and this is enough to track actions and users. The paid version is for more sophisticated sales and marketing teams.
  • If your clients have large enterprise  clients their database doesn’t accommodate this well.
  • No mass email functionality.
  • The sales and marketing paid add-on features give extra functionality as you grow.


  • Excellent visual tool for managing a sales pipeline.
  • Useful dashboard for prioritising and managing tasks in your sales pipeline.
  • Uses the Kanban concept of moving things along to different phases as they progress, which they have delivered effectively.
  • Good reporting which is very helpful at driving activity.
  • Very easy to use so very limited adoption curve.
  • Short and crisp tutorials.
  • E-mails need to be assigned manually to deals in basic version.
  • Query function isn’t as extensive as some CRM’s.
  • No desktop app.
  • If you try to use it beyond sales it can be limited, this can mean needing more than one CRM.


  • Very easy to set up and use.
  • Good integrations with other providers.
  • Simple synchronization of contacts from Gmail and LinkedIn.
  • Low cost, the most expensive price per seat is $47.99.
  • Good marketing tools; emails/automations.
  • Wide range of available integrations.
  • Good support and on-boarding team.
  • No integration with e-mails.
  • There is limited customization and reporting.



To compare more CRMs for growing companies, why not check out our free online software comparison tool?


How far can these CRMs scale?

All of these systems have a healthy degree of flexibility built into them, but how far will that take you?

  • PipelineDeals – with the new customer engagement tool there are enough features that it should be considered as your CRM as you scale up.
  • Hubspot – The paid versions will support you as you scale although it can be difficult tracking very large enterprise clients using this CRM.
  • Pipedrive – Exceptional sales tool so as long as this is your primary role for the CRM it can scale with you. If you need it to start delivering management information beyond sales take a closer look to see if it can support you.
  • Agile – A well-built CRM although limited customization at present so if your needs are very specialized take a look to check it can support you.
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Doug Haines

About the author…

Doug Haines has worked on a variety of CRM implementation projects and now writes on a wide range of topics. He is a regular contributor to Discover CRM

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Doug Haines

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