5 Best CRMs for Customer Success Teams

5 Best CRMs for Customer Success Teams

You are tasked with finding a CRM for your company’s customer success team.

It's simple, really—there are many, many CRM solutions on the market to choose from.

However, the sheer number of alternatives can make it difficult to select the best option for your situation. So, how do you really know which CRM is best for your team? Which features will provide the most value and benefit—in the ultimate pursuit of increasing customer lifetime value?

Here, we'll share five of the best CRM software products for customer success teams, along with their key features, pricing, and benefits.

But before we get into that, let's take a quick look at the differences between customer success tools and CRMs.

Customer Success Tools vs. Customer Relationship Management Tools: What’s the Difference?

There are four major differences between customer success tools and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Relationship Management vs. Customer Success

CRM tools focus on helping you manage relationships with your customers, while customer success tools help you ensure that your customers achieve their desired results with your product/service.

The CRM allows you to keep track of key customer data, like order history, contact information, and billing information. This data is important for managing customer relationships as it helps to create personalized experiences and keep both old and new customers engaged.

For example, you could use a CRM like Close to send personalized email campaigns to customers who fit specific criteria, informing them about relevant updates. The criteria could be anything from customers who recently complained about something, to customers who have not made a recent purchase, or any other valuable differentiator.

On the other hand, customer success tools focus more on supporting customers as they pursue their desired outcome from using your product. These tools help you to measure customer outcomes and track progress toward their goals, while providing insights into what is working well…and what isn't.

Customer success tools like Pendo, Gainsight, or ChurnZero let you measure user engagement and track feature adoption. Now you can understand how customers are using your product, and what features or areas of the product might need adjustment or enhancement to help customers get more value and reach specific goals.

Data Storage vs. Insights

CRMs are primarily used to store customer data and make it actionable, while customer success tools provide insights into customer behavior, needs, and wants (though certain CRMs can support this, too).

For instance, a SaaS company like Dropbox could use CRM software to store important customer data like purchase dates, payment information, customer lifecycle data, and contact details.

Meanwhile, a customer success platform would typically provide actionable insights into customer retention rates, churn rates, product usage patterns, net promoter scores (NPS), and customer satisfaction metrics. You can then use this kind of data to identify trends and prioritize customer issues.

Sales-Focused vs. Support-Focused

CRMs are focused more on sales and the sales process, while customer success systems focus more on customer service and support.

This doesn't mean customer success tools can't support your sales team with their selling efforts, or that CRMs can't be used for customer service and support. But the primary purpose of each tool type differentiates them.

The primary purpose of a CRM tool is to provide a solution for:

On the other hand, customer success tools primarily help:

  • Track customer health scores
  • Improve feature and product adoption
  • Reduce churn and improve retention rates
  • Measure customer experience and satisfaction
  • Identify areas of improvement to optimize accordingly

Historical Data vs. Real-Time Data

CRMs tend to focus on historical data. Customer success tools offer real-time data.

While CRM tools give you access to data about past customer interactions and activities, such as when a customer purchased something, how much they spent, or what their contact information is, customer success tools provide current data about customers in real time.

The right customer success software gives you data about customer engagement, feature usage, and user satisfaction levels. These data points allow you to take relevant actions quickly and resolve issues before they escalate.

Overall, CRM and customer success tools are both customer-centric solutions that help you manage and improve customer relationships. But, they each have their primary purposes and use cases. Depending on your needs and goals, you can choose either one…or both.

The important thing is to understand the differences between the two, and how each one can help you better serve your customers.

5 Best CRMs for Customer Success Teams

As mentioned earlier, CRM tools help to store customer data—and can also support customer success efforts. Here are a few of the best-available CRMs for customer success teams (CS teams), along with their key features, benefits, and pricing information.

1. Close

Best CRMs for Customer Success Teams

If you're looking for an all-in-one CRM solution that will help you grow sales and enhance customer success, then Close is a top choice.

Close has sales automation capabilities and advanced analytical insights into customer behavior. It offers a centralized contact database, so that you can keep track of your customers' interactions with your team over time—and create data-driven outreach strategies.

This CRM helps customer success teams skillfully manage customer support tickets, track account health, and generate reports quickly and easily. The platform also integrates with your favorite tech stack tools, keeping your process streamlined and efficient.

One major advantage with Close is its ability to trigger automated customer outreach campaigns. This feature allows you to proactively reach out to customers based on selection criteria, and ensure they receive the support they need.

Pros:

  • All-in-one CRM for sales and customer success teams
  • Offers a mobile app for on the go calls and contact management
  • Automated customer outreach, plus premade SMS and email templates
  • Easy customer onboarding for large teams
  • Attentive customer support (often within minutes)
  • 4.6/5 average user rating on G2

Cons:

  • Sequencing capabilities might be basic
  • Can require a slight learning curve

Close Pricing:

  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Monthly plan: $29 to $149/mo per user
  • Annual plan: $25 to $129/mo per user

2. HubSpot

Best CRMs for Customer Success Teams

HubSpot is a robust CRM platform that offers a range of sales and customer service solutions.

From contact management to automated workflow, email sequences, ticketing, and predictive lead scoring, HubSpot offers all the CRM features you need for successful customer success management.

One important feature with HubSpot is its step-by-step customer touchpoint history. This provides a comprehensive overview of a customer's interaction with your brand, from website visits and customer service tickets, to sales calls. Now, you can easily keep track of the customer’s interaction history with your team and quickly address any issues.

Pros:

  • Wide range of CRM features for sales and customer service
  • Highly customizable platform
  • Live chat widget for customer success teams
  • Powerful filtering and tagging capabilities
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface

Cons:

HubSpot Pricing:

  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Monthly plan: $50 for four users to $1,781/mo for 10 users
  • Annual plan: $30 for four users to $1,600/mo for 10 users
  • Enterprise plan: $5,000 per month for 20 users

3. Salesforce

Salesforce for customer success

If your customer success team is looking for an enterprise-grade CRM, then Salesforce might be for you.

Salesforce provides powerful features for contact management, lead and sales management, analytics, and customer segmentation. It also offers an app marketplace called AppExchange, which you can use to integrate additional customer success tools, like customer feedback or survey tools. This makes it a solid addition to many existing tech stacks.

You also get a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to access customer data from anywhere.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive customer data management
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Advanced analytics tools
  • Robust mobile app for iOS and Android devices
  • Integrates with a wide range of third-party solutions

Cons:

  • Can run slowly when used for large data jobs
  • Complicated user interface (common complaint among users)

Salesforce Pricing:

  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Monthly plan: Not available
  • Annual plan: $25 to $300/mo per user

4. Freshworks CRM

CRMs for Customer Success Teams

Freshworks CRM is another great option for customer success teams that are looking for an all-in-one solution.

This software packs powerful features like customer health scoring and support ticket management.

It also has a cloud telephony feature that lets you make and receive calls right on the platform. You can purchase virtual numbers in 90+ countries, and establish local customer support systems in nearly any market.

Pros:

  • Robust contact management
  • Customer health scoring
  • Cloud telephony feature
  • Customer success playbook templates
  • Easy search for customer data

Cons:

  • Bugs, especially with heavy-duty work
  • Tech support can be sub-par

Freshworks CRM Pricing:

  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Monthly plan: Not available
  • Annual plan: $25 to $300/mo per user

5. Pipedrive

CRMs for Customer Success Teams

Pipedrive is an intuitive CRM platform that focuses on the customer's journey through the sales pipeline.

It provides support to help you convert leads into customers, as well as manage customer relationships over time. For customer success teams, it offers features like customer segmentation, industry-agnostic CRM features, and integration with feedback survey tools to make your work (and life) easier.

And, it has a mobile app that lets you access customer data quickly and easily—you don't have to be in front of your computer to take action.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Mobile CRM app for on-the-go access
  • Automatic activity reminder emails
  • Advanced analytics and reporting tools
  • Seamlessly integrates with a variety of third-party solutions

Cons:

  • Not ideal for teams with large customer databases
  • Limited customization

Pipedrive CRM Pricing:

  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Monthly plan: $11.90 to $74.90/mo per user
  • Annual plan: $9.90 to $59.90/mo per user

Choosing the Best CRM for Your Situation

There is no one-size-fits-all with CRMs. The best solution for you depends on the size of your team, your customer base, unique needs, and budget concerns.

So, do your research—and if possible, test out multiple solutions before settling on the software that suits you best. A little trial-and-error is a better option than throwing a bunch of money at something that is ultimately a poor fit for your team.

That’s one of the reasons we’d like to point you toward Close.

Sure, we’re biased because it’s our software, but we also understand its value. Our robust features and amazing support will help you take your customer success efforts to the next level.

Plus, we offer a 14-day free trial, no credit card necessary. Give it a try and see for yourself—we might just be a great match.

WATCH OUR ON-DEMAND DEMO →