CRM for agencies

How To Choose the Right CRM for Your Agency (Plus Our Top 5 Picks)

Ask any agency owner, and they’ll tell you that building and maintaining strong client relationships is essential to the success of their business. After all, without happy clients, there would be no agency to speak of!

That’s where a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes in. A CRM system helps you keep track of your clients, manage data, and automate tasks like follow-ups and appointment scheduling. In short, it makes life a whole lot easier for agency owners and staff.

But with so many CRMs on the market, how do you know which one is right for your agency? In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to choose a CRM for your agency, as well as five recommendations to get you started.

Let’s dive in!

What is a CRM?

A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a software system that helps agencies manage their customer relationships by consolidating a wide range of data, including:

  • contact information

  • sales information (e.g., purchase history)

  • customer service information (e.g., support tickets)

  • communications (e.g., emails)

  • notes (e.g., meeting minutes)

  • documents (e.g., invoices)

  • scheduling and tasks (e.g., follow-ups)

CRMs are designed to give you a 360-degree view of your customers, so you can manage every interaction and touchpoint from a single platform.

Connect Service Provider Pro with Capsule CRM via Zapier

CRMs can’t do everything, though. That’s why businesses typically connect their CRM with other software, like email marketing tools, project management tools, accounting software, and client portals like SPP via Zapier.

How to choose a CRM for your agency

Now that you know what a CRM is and does, it’s time to learn how to choose the right CRM for your agency. There are a few key factors you’ll want to consider, including:

  • Ease of use: CRMs are designed to make life easier for the agencies that adopt them by replacing a convoluted mess of spreadsheets, databases, and sticky notes. That said, some CRMs are more user-friendly than others. When evaluating a CRM, you’ll want to make sure that it’s intuitive and easy for you and your team to use on a daily basis.

  • Features: Pretty much all CRMs offer the basic features I listed above, but some offer additional features that can be helpful for various agencies, like project management tools, time tracking, automated workflows, and reporting. When evaluating a CRM, take a close look at the features it offers and whether they align with your needs.

  • Scalability: As your agency grows, so too will the number of clients and team members you work with. That’s why scalability is important to consider when choosing a CRM. You’ll want to make sure that the CRM you choose can support your future growth, so you don’t have to switch systems down the line.

  • Pricing: CRMs typically charge a monthly subscription fee, but the prices can vary depending on the features and number of users. When evaluating a CRM, make sure to compare pricing plans and choose the one that’s most affordable for your business.

Grow your industry knowledge

Join thousands of agency owners and get our best agency growth content in your inbox, one email per month 👇️

Our top 5 CRMs for agencies (plus a bonus option)

At a glance, the best CRMs for agencies based on your needs:

  1. Funnel: Best for solopreneurs.

  2. Capsule: Best for small to medium agencies.

  3. HubSpot Sales Hub: Best for large agencies.

  4. Copper: Best for Google Workspace users.

  5. Odoo: Best for agencies on a budget.

Now, here’s the full rundown!

1) Funnel – best for solopreneurs

Funnel CRM – best for solopreneurs

Funnel is a no-nonsense CRM that is perfect for solopreneurs who outsource the majority of agency work, but manage back-end agency management on their own. 

Funnel brands itself as an uncomplicated CRM designed for anyone who gets work inquiries through their website—something that will apply to almost all agencies. It prides itself on limiting its CRM feature set to only the ones that its users actually need, including:

  • unlimited managed contacts

  • automatic tasks and reminders

  • email integration

  • customizable form and proposals

This makes it perfect for small businesses that are ready to graduate from spreadsheets and legacy CRM systems.

Pricing:

  • Standard: $10/month

  • Pro: $49/month

2) Capsule CRM – best for small to medium agencies

Capsule CRM – best for small to medium agencies

Capsule is perfect for small to medium agencies. It offers all the features you need in order to manage client relationships, including:

  • contact management

  • email templates

  • sales pipeline

  • sales analytics

Capsule doesn’t offer the automated features you’ll find with other CRMs on this list. That said, its simplicity (and the affordability that comes along with it) is a big part of why so many small to medium business owners love it.

Capsule also integrates with many popular business tools, like Google Apps, Xero, Mailchimp, and SPP via Zapier. So, if you’re looking for a simple CRM that pairs well with your SPP client portal, Capsule may be the one for you!

Pricing:

  • Professional: $18/user/month

  • Teams: $36/user/month

  • Enterprise: $54/user/month

3) HubSpot Sales Hub – best for large agencies

HubSpot Sales Hub – best for large agencies

HubSpot is one of the biggest names in the CRM game—and for good reason! HubSpot’s Sales Hub is one of the most feature rich, customizable, and user-friendly CRMs on the market. It’s perfect for large agencies with complex sales processes.

Some of the features that make HubSpot Sales Hub stand out include:

  • automated workflows

  • sales intelligence

  • email tracking

  • reporting and analytics

HubSpot Sales Hub is also fully integrated with HubSpot’s other software products, such as Marketing Hub and Service Hub. So if you’re already using HubSpot for marketing or customer service, you’ll be able to get even more out of Sales Hub.

Pricing:

  • Free: $0/month

  • Starter: $45/month

  • Professional: $450/month

  • Enterprise: $1,200/month

4) Copper – best for Google Workspace users

Copper – best for Google Workspace users

Copper is a lightweight CRM that sits right on top of popular Google Workspace apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Tasks. So if you and your team are already using Google Workspace, Copper will be a breeze to set up and use.

Some of the features that make Copper stand out include:

  • contact and lead management

  • automated email templates

  • sales pipeline and forecasting

Copper also integrates with a ton of popular business tools, like Zapier, Xero, and QuickBooks. So if you’re looking for a CRM that integrates well with Google Workspace and other business tools, Copper is a great option.

Pricing:

  • Basic: $25/user/month

  • Professional: $59/user/month

  • Business: $119user/month

5) Odoo – best for agencies on a budget

Odoo – best for agencies on a budget

Odoo is worth considering if you’re looking for free, open-source business tools. The company has launched over three-dozen so far—one of which is a CRM.

Odoo’s CRM performs all the basic tasks you would expect from a CRM:

  • tracking sales pipelines

  • organizing customer information

  • generating reports

  • messaging clients

  • and more

There are definitely limitations, though. For example, the Odoo CRM does not include an invoicing feature. If you find yourself missing features, you’ll need additional Odoo apps like Odoo Invoice or Odoo Accounting.

Pricing:

  • Odoo CRM is totally free! But if you want to use more than one Odoo app (e.g., CRM + Invoice) you’ll be charged a combined rate for both.

Pair up your CRM with client portal for agencies

You’ve read our top five recommendations for the best CRM for marketing agencies, but you may be wondering where SPP fits into the equation.

Let’s examine three use cases to explore the benefits of SPP as a client portal for agencies:

Manage everything under one roof

Content marketing agency Guest Hook had been using several SaaS tools before turning to SPP for an all-in-one solution. Owner Conrad O’Connell highlights the ease of integrating SPP order forms into his website—along with built-in upsells—as integral to the company’s success.

Automate your sales funnel

Garret Smith at GMB Gorilla credits much of his business’s success to SPP’s automated sales process. By keeping manual labor, sales calls, and proposals out of the picture, Garret is able to keep his prices affordable in a highly competitive industry.

Build a custom platform

Chatty Crew custom page inside chatty.so

Kieran Tie at Chatty used SPP to build a marketplace that connects qualified editors with clients who need their services. Kieran chose SPP because, as a budding company with limited resources, developing his own platform from scratch was out of the question. SPP offered just the right amount of customization for him to reimagine the client portal into exactly what Chatty needed to succeed.

Choose the right CRM for your agency’s needs

There are many CRMs out there, but not all of them will work for your agency business. Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down the field and find the best CRM for agencies that will help you close more deals, better serve your clients, and grow your business.

Whether you are a lone operator on a shoestring budget or a massive agency that spares no expense, there is something on this list for you. Browse our picks, give your favorites a try, and then choose the CRM that meets your agency’s needs.

Ready to give it a try?

You're in good company. SPP is helping agencies like yours sell millions of dollars in services every month.