Best CRM for Agencies and 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 lot easier for agency owners and staff.
But with so many tools on the market, how do you know which one is the best CRM for agencies? 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.
How to choose a CRM for your agency
There are a few key factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a CRM for your agency, 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 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.
Related: how to find the best CRM for your business
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Top 5 best CRMs for agencies
At a glance, the best CRMs for agencies based on your needs:
Funnel: Best for solopreneurs
Capsule: Best for small to medium agencies
HubSpot Sales Hub: Best for large agencies
Copper: Best for Google Workspace users
Odoo: Best for agencies on a budget
1) Funnel: 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
customizable form and proposals
This makes it perfect for small businesses that are ready to graduate from spreadsheets and legacy CRM systems.
2) 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:
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!
3) 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:
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.
4) 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.
5) 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
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.
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
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.
Best CRM for agencies FAQ
What is an agency CRM?
Digital agencies need a way to manage all contacts, some of which are leads ready to be turned into paying customers; others might become a paying client later. CRM software allows agencies to manage everything from client notes to deal pipelines.
What is the best CRM for digital marketing agency?
Modern agencies rely on marketing automation, so the chosen CRM tool should have native integrations for tools such as Slack, Gmail, and more. ActiveCampaign is a solid sales CRM for digital marketing agencies looking to automate their processes.
How is a CRM used in digital marketing?
A CRM platform captures and analyzes key information about contacts. For instance, with rules set up, it can score leads based on their engagement. This allows companies to focus their email marketing efforts on highly engaged leads, and educate those that are not ready to purchase yet.
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.