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When you work as a consultant, a CRM is one of the most critical tools you can have in your arsenal.
That’s because a CRM (or Client Relationship Management) tool helps you keep track of potential clients, current clients, and former clients. You can record and store all conversations, interactions, purchases, and lots more.
The better you know your clients, the better you will do as a consultant.
After working in this space for many years, I’ve been bombarded with all of the CRM options available for consultants.
So to help you narrow down your CRM options, I’ve compiled a list of the best CRM for consultants along with ratings and more details later in the article:
CRM for Consultants: Ranked
|CRM Software||Rating||Benefits||Pricing||Learn More|
|Simple and user-friendly interface, connects CRM with contracts, invoices, proposals, etc.||Starts at $16/mo||Learn more or Read our Moxie Review|
|100% free CRM. Upgrade for more tools. Robust free option.||Free||Learn more|
|Automate messages and marketing campaigns. Track leads and clients.||Starts at $115/mo||Learn more or Read our Keap Review|
|Endless tools and features. Higher, worthwhile price point.||Starts at $25/mo||Learn more or Read our Monday Review|
|Manage client processes and information. Free invoice generator.||Starts at $59/mo||Learn more or Read our Bloom Review|
|Very simple and easy to use. 100% Free to use.||Free||Learn more|
|Simple yet powerful, great reporting features.||Starts at $25/mo||Learn more|
|Focus on sales pipeline and integrations.||Starts at $12.50/mo||Learn more|
|Automation workflows, lighter on CRM.||Starts at $32/mo||Learn more|
Moxie has really taken the market by storm over the last few years. With Moxie, you not only get a robust CRM tool, but you can also integrate nearly every other part of your consulting business (proposals, invoicing, time-tracking, collaborating and tons more).
At a glance, Moxie helps you see exactly what’s happening with each client—from where they are in your pipeline to deadlines, deliverables, and lots more.
You can try Moxie CRM free for 14 days with no credit card required.
One CRM for consultants that’s been on the market for a long time is Hubspot. The craziest thing about the Hubspot CRM is it’s 100% free.
Yes, actually free. Not “free for a limited time” and not a free trial. Not free with limited capability. It’s totally free.
The catch? They’ll try to sell you on their other products. But that’s ok. You get access to a robust, powerful, incredibly useful CRM at zero cost to your consulting business.
You can try Hubspot CRM for free here.
In your search for the perfect CRM, you might have also come across Keap (formerly InfusionSoft).
Keap lets you collect and organize new leads, automate personalized messages, and send targeted email and text marketing campaigns.
One thing I also really like about Keap is their coaching and support. They really care if you succeed. In fact, they have a “90-day growth guarantee” which essentially says if your sales and revenue don’t go up in less than 90 days, they’ll refund your money.
You can try Keap here for 14 days and put their guarantee to the test.
With a huge suite of tools and features, Monday.com is a robust, modern app consultants can get huge benefit from.
The Monday CRM tool offers tons of customizable features including email sending and tracking (including mass email if that’s your style). It allows you to track client activity and interactions so you neve forget where your client is at in your pipeline or process.
It also helps with sales forecasting, lead capture, and a ton more. It’s a bit on the pricier end, but if you need a really robust tool, it may be the right fit for you.
You can get started with Monday’s CRM for free. Depending on what you need in a CRM, you might be able to use their free product forever.
Another CRM worth considering as you grow your consulting business is Bloom. Bloom’s goal is to get you out of your email inbox and help you manage your client relationships like a professional.
If you use email alone, you might lose contacts, forget about past clients, or miss out on opportunities altogether. But with Bloom’s CRM, you can keep track of each important relationship with the depth and detail you need.
You can use this link to try Bloom for free and save 15% on your first year.
If you’re looking for something extremely simple yet still customizable, consider using Trello for your CRM.
It’s most definitely not as robust as some of the other options I’ve included on this list, but sometimes that’s okay.
If you’re new to being a consultant a simple tool like Trello might do the job. And if you’re more focused on moving clients through your pipeline, then the “Kanban” style format of Trello will be perfect.
It does, however, get a bit more complicated if you want to keep client details forever. It’s just not really built for that. It’s really built for task management and an ever-flowing list of items (such as clients).
Take a look and try Trello (it’s free).
A very simple-yet-powerful CRM option for consultants is Capsule.
I love the simple design behind Capsule, but don’t let the simplicity fool you, Capsule is a robust CRM that can tackle all of your client management needs.
I’m particularly intrigued by the reporting features on Capsule which allow you to see which efforts are having the biggest impact on your business. This allows you to double-down on what’s working and stop wasting time on what’s not.
You can try Capsule free for 14 days.
Another great CRM for consultants that has developed a lot over the years is Pipedrive.
As you can infer from the name, Pipedrive focuses primarily on getting clients into and driven through your sales pipeline.
And while Pipedrive doesn’t have quite as many features as some of the other options on the list, it has tons of integrations with popular tools you use already in your business.
You can try Pipedrive free for 14 days—no credit card required here either.
Another tool that has been an option for consultants for many years now is Dubsado.
Dubsado focuses on automation through your CRM and is really well-known for their workflows.
Essentially, you put repetitive tasks you would normally have to do yourself on autopilot and Dubsado does them for you (send invoices, remind clients to pay, reply to inquiries immediately, etc).
While they have some great features, their CRM features are a bit lighter than others we’ve featured here today.
You can try Dubsado free for an unlimited time—up to 3 clients.
What exactly is the Best CRM for consultants?
So why exactly should you care about finding the right CRM as a consultant?
When you work as a consultant, your entire business relies on your ability to bring new clients into your business.
And while most of us start out using some form of spreadsheet to manage our client lists, as your business matures and you begin to gather more and more client information, you should find a safe, secure, easy-to-navigate place to store that information.
That’s why many consultants use a CRM.
A CRM basically gives you a place where you can store all of your client information including things like:
- Client contact info
- Interaction history with each client
- Sales opportunities and leads
- Client purchase and payment history
- Task and appointment scheduling
- Customer preferences and segmentation
- Notes and comments about customer interactions
- Support and service requests
And there’s lots more you can use it for too.
Why consultants should use a CRM
By using a CRM as a consultant, you give your future self the chance to periodically review the health of your business in regards to your client relationships.
Are you communicating regularly with future, current, and former clients?
Do you know your clients well and remember important details about them?
Are you following up in a timely manner with leads?
These are all the kinds of questions you should ask yourself. And if you’re struggling in any of these areas, a CRM might be a good solution.
What to consider when choosing a CRM
When you’re selecting your ideal CRM as a consultant, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are just some ideas to get you started:
Can this CRM grow with you?
Depending on where you are in your consulting business, it’s worth considering if the CRM you choose will be able to grow with you.
While many CRMs on the list today do offer migration services, it’s still never fun. The ideal would be to choose a CRM and stick with it for at least a few years.
Does this CRM have enough features you need? And not too many you don’t need?
My advice when it comes to picking a CRM? Start simple.
But in starting simple, make sure the CRM does everything you need it to. You’d hate to outgrow the tool in a matter of months. If you’re growing quickly, ask yourself: where will I be 1 year from now. Or 2 years from now? And try to find a tool that can accommodate the inevitable change.
On the other hand, it can be tempting to pick a CRM that has all the “bells and whistles” and every feature you could ever imagine…”just in case” you need it.
But getting a CRM that’s overcomplicated can actually just lead to frustration.
You want something right in the middle.
Will this CRM make your work easier, not more complicated?
This question comes down to a CRM’s usability. Take time to try them out (most of the CRMs on this list have a free trial) and make sure you like the layout, user experience, design, and functionality of the CRM.
If it’s hard to use, hard to look at, or just gives you bad vibes, try something else.
Can you see yourself making more sales with this CRM than without it?
Last, but certainly not least is perhaps the most important question of all:
Will you make more sales with this CRM than without it?
If you’re not sure, maybe it’s not time to go through the work of setting up a CRM yet.
If you’re confident, then the decision is a no-brainer.
The moral of this point, though, is this: don’t sign up for a CRM just because all the other consultants you know are getting CRMs. Get a CRM because you know it will help grow your business.
Choosing the right CRM for you
No matter where you are on your journey as a consultant, there’s going to be a CRM that fits your business. But as a reminder, this isn’t something you want to rush into. Don’t let decision paralysis hold you back, but make sure you do your due diligence before landing on a specific solution. Hopefully my list and advice today have been helpful. Good luck!
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