As a small business owner, I’m sure you know how much of a hassle finding the right CRM can be.
There are many options out there, and choosing the wrong one can waste both time and money.
I’m AJ, and I’m here to make things easier. I’ve used tons of CRMs while building my business over the last decade (which I negotiated to a seven-figure exit).
I started Small Business Bonfire (SBB) to share what I’ve learned with entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to make their dreams a reality.
We chose Close CRM for this review because it’s easy to use and great for SMBs looking to scale.
Let’s get into the details!
FYI—we compiled a list of the best CRMs for small businesses for you to check out when you’re done reading.
You Can Trust Small Business Bonfire
Since 2009 Small Business Bonfire has been testing and rating thousands of business software to help you (our small business owners) start & scale your organizations. If you want to know more about how we test, please read this article here.
What is Close CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?
Close is a sales engagement CRM designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) manage customer data, automate sales processes, and simplify team collaboration (even remotely).
It’s an easy-to-use platform that offers a wide range of features, including the following:
- Lead tracking & management
- Google integration (Gmail and Calendar)
- A new IOS mobile app
- Multichannel support
- Sales automation/productivity tools
- Powerful analytics & reporting
It’s great for SMBs that need to amp up their sales efforts in a big way. It’s also a fantastic option for sales teams across the board, as most of its features are based on nurturing leads and closing deals.
Throughout our testing, we were consistently surprised at Close’s ability to take complicated processes and make them easy to use (even for beginners).
It also offers a great onboarding process, allowing teams to easily hit the ground running with Close CRM.
Pros and Cons of the Close CRM
It’s easy to get carried away talking about all of the benefits of Close CRM, but it’s just as important to talk about the downsides. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of Close.
Close CRM Pros
Close CRM Cons
Who is Close CRM Best Suited For?
We’d like to say Close is great for everyone, but in an effort to provide full transparency, we’ll narrow it down a little.
We think close is great for the following types of businesses:
- Small businesses – Close CRM provides great lead management and automation tools to help small businesses scale quickly.
- Midsize businesses – Close is flexible enough to grow with midsize businesses. Plus, having multichannel communication means that leads won’t fall through the cracks as your business grows.
- Small and midsize sales teams – Close is fantastic for sales teams of 100 or fewer that want to scale their efforts in a big way.
Who is Close CRM Not Suited For?
Close has many great features, but it’s not for everyone.
Close is not necessarily the best fit for the following:
- Businesses with outside sales teams – Close may not be the best option if you manage a large outside sales team (where most of your sales interactions are face-to-face).
- Marketing-focused teams – Close CRM lacks advanced marketing features like A/B testing or ad creation/management, so we don’t recommend it to teams mostly focused on marketing.
Close CRM Software Pricing
Close CRM provides three pricing plans.
They are the following:
- Startup – $99/month (3 users)
- Professional – $299/month (3 users)
- Enterprise – $699/month (5 users)
How Does Close CRM Pricing Compare?
So how exactly does Close stack up against the competition in terms of pricing?
Well, let’s look at another CRM platform that we love—Pipedrive.
Pipedrive starts off very cheap at $14.90/month (per user) for the Essential plan. However, the Essential plan doesn’t include many features offered in Close CRM’s basic plan (Startup), so we’ll move to Pipedrive’s Advanced plan for a more fair comparison.
Pipedrive charges $27.90/month (per user) for their Advanced plan. Compared to Close CRM’s Startup plan at $99/month (for three users), that seems like a steal, right?
Well, let’s break it down. $99/month for three users ends up costing $33/month (per user). Pipedrive’s Advanced plan, for three users, would cost roughly $83.70/month.
When you add in the fact that Pipedrive charges extra for things like the LeadBooster add-on ($32.50/month), Close CRM suddenly seems pretty affordable in comparison.
Now, let’s compare enterprise-level pricing with one of our favorites in the CRM game—HubSpot.
HubSpot CRM costs $5,000/month for ten users with their Enterprise CRM Suite plan, which is pretty expensive (in our opinion). That comes out to about $500/user.
Let’s compare that with Close CRM’s Enterprise plan, which costs $699/month for five users (with additional users for $139/month). Close CRM comes out on top every time for small to midsize teams compared to HubSpot.
Our takeaway from this comparison is that while Close CRM might seem expensive at first glance, they are more affordable in most cases.
Close CRM Pricing Tips
Close CRM Core Features
Close has some amazing lead tracking tools that let you easily track leads, assign tasks, set follow-up reminders, and more!
We especially liked the impressive amount of options that Close CRM offered to import leads from.
Some of these include the following:
- Google Sheets
- HubSpot CRM
- Copper CRM
Essentially, Close CRM makes it easy to switch over from virtually any CRM you were using before.
We found it helpful to have the ability to manage our pipeline from one central place with Close CRM.
Adding leads manually was also a very easy process. We were able to easily accomplish the following:
- Set the status of our affiliate deal
- Select a close date
- Assign a contact/user
- Add notes
- Create a renewal date for the contract
Here's what our view looked like once we had imported some affiliate marketing deals into the platform.
Another aspect of Close CRM's lead management was how simple it was to customize our lead dashboard.
With just a few clicks, we were able to add some of the following fields with ease:
- Opportunity value
- Next task & task date
- Last time contacted
Being able to fully customize how you view your leads with ease is a game-changer for sales managers that want to empower their teams for success.
Syncing both our email and calendar was seamless throughout our three months of testing with Close.
It allowed us to stay on top of emails, tasks, and calendar events without missing a beat.
We were able to integrate our Gmail and Google Calendar with just a few clicks by connecting our Small Business Bonfire Google account to Close CRM.
The platform automatically converted our contacts to leads and synced up our calendar events, which we thought was great.
If you're a Google user like we are at SBB, Close CRM makes it incredibly easy to get everything set up automatically.
This allows you to focus on things that matter, like customer relationship management and closing deals.
Close has some great features for calling and SMS that we're sure your sales team will appreciate.
Your entire team can easily make phone calls and send text messages from within the platform, all in real time.
Plus, you can track all of your communications in one spot, so nothing falls through the cracks!
The first step to getting your calling & SMS set up is downloading the native app (shown below).
We downloaded the app for Windows. Once we signed in, we were pleasantly surprised that the Close app had the same layout as the site.
We were able to add a personal phone number by selecting from the following categories:
- New number
- External number
- Porting and BYOC
We got started by creating a new number with Close CRM. Once we got our number, we were able to easily make calls and send texts to all of our clients with just a click.
It's worth noting that the CRM software charges $1.15/month for a custom number. However, that's a small price to pay to easily streamline your entire sales process.
We think this feature makes Close great for remote sales teams that need to stay connected without being in the same room.
In terms of sales automation, Close CRM does a great job of providing sales reps with the tools they need to close more deals.
One way that Close accomplishes this is with its "sequences" sales tool.
Close provides the ability to create sequences of the following:
- Assign user
For example, let's say you want to be able to create a sequence for your prospects that includes sending a follow-up email after they've attended a webinar.
Close CRM allows you to do this with just a few steps:
- Click "create new sequence"
- Select a template or create your own
- Set your communication schedule
- Add steps
- Save your sequence
Close does a fantastic job of taking a complicated process like sequence automation and making it beginner-friendly.
For the purposes of our testing, we set up an email sequence designed to send follow-up emails to all of our affiliate marketing clients. Here's the follow-up template we came up with (within less than 5 minutes).
From there, we were able to easily and automatically follow up with all of our clients without a second thought.
Being able to automate the sales process in this way frees up your teams to focus on what matters—tracking leads and closing deals.
At SBB, we think that reporting and analytics capabilities are a must for any modern CRM.
Close impressed us with the amount of useful data it provided us, making it easy to track our sales progress from our affiliate marketing efforts.
We were able to gain valuable insights into what's working (and what's not).
You can easily view reports of the following data:
- Activity overview
- Activity comparison
- Opportunity funnels
- Status changes
- Email sent
We especially liked the sales funnel view (shown below).
This feature allows sales managers to get a bird's eye view of the entire sales workflow process across the board.
Overall, our takeaway from Close CRM's reporting capabilities is that the platform offers valuable insights without being overly complicated.
Close CRM offers multichannel support in the form of an all-in-one inbox.
With this feature, we were able to view the following in one place:
For SMBs and sales teams, this provides a highly efficient and streamlined way to manage customer interactions.
Users no longer have to juggle multiple platforms, wasting valuable time and energy switching between systems.
With Close CRM's multichannel support, everything is integrated into one place, making it easy to stay on top of customer communications and manage your team's activities.
Plus, with everything in one place, users can gain a more holistic view of their customer relationships, allowing them to better understand their needs and preferences.
All in all, Close CRM's multichannel support is crucial for any business looking to improve its customer engagement strategy and drive sales growth.
One of the standout features of Close CRM that we absolutely loved was its pipeline management feature (found under the Opportunities tab).
At Small Business Bonfire, we put it to the test with our team, and we were blown away by how intuitive and easy it was to use.
As we've touched on, we typically deal with affiliate and PPC partnerships, so that's what we put into our pipeline.
Here's what ours looked like during our testing process.
The pipeline view gave us a comprehensive overview of their deals and where each one was in the sales process.
We could easily drag and drop deals between stages, update deal values, and add notes to keep everyone in the loop.
The best part was that the pipeline view was fully customizable, allowing us to create stages that fit our sales process perfectly.
One aspect of Close's pipeline customization that stood out to us was being able to sort deals by the following metrics:
- Untouched leads
- Leads to call
- Leads never emailed
- Email opened this week
- No contact > 30 days
- Opportunity follow up
This feature is a game-changer for sales teams, sales managers, and sales reps alike, providing invaluable insight into the sales pipeline and boosting productivity.
Close CRM's pipeline management feature is a must-have for any SMB looking to streamline their sales process and close more deals.
One of the features that we absolutely loved during our Close CRM review was the new mobile app for IOS.
This app is great for SMBs that are constantly on the go and need to stay connected to their customer data. In today's digital landscape, we can confidently say that includes just about everyone.
The app is extremely user-friendly and offers a variety of useful features, including the ability to do the following:
- Access and update leads
- View and edit pipelines
- View multichannel communication inbox
The app's design is sleek and modern, making it a pleasure to use. But don't just take our word for it. Check out our "leads dashboard" view from mobile.
What are the Limitations of Close CRM?
Close CRM is a great tool for SMBs, but it does have some limitations.
For example, Close CRM lacks some advanced marketing features, such as the following:
- A/B testing
- Landing page creation
- Ad management
If your business is mostly focused on expanding your marketing efforts, we recommend checking out some other options.
Another limitation we found was that there is no live chat or chatbot automation within the platform. This kind of automation can really help take customer support to the next level, freeing up your sales reps to focus on finding more leads and closing more deals.
Close CRM also does not have a free plan, giving it a bit of a barrier to entry for startups looking to utilize free tools while they figure out their business needs.
Close CRM Integrations
When it comes to integrations, Close CRM offers a wide range of options to suit the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.
At Small Business Bonfire, we primarily rely on Slack for our internal communications, and Close integrates seamlessly with the popular messaging app.
During our testing, we were able to track and manage our sales pipeline right from our Slack channels, which allowed us to stay on top of things without having to switch between multiple platforms.
Close also offers integrations with a variety of other apps, which are grouped into several categories, including:
- Analysis & reporting
- Goal & commission tracking
- Organizational tools
- Data & backup
Here’s an example of some of the many apps that Close CRM offers.
Whether you need to automate your email outreach, track your team’s performance metrics, or set up automated backups for your data, Close has you covered with its extensive list of integrations.
How to Get Started with Close CRM
We got started with Close CRM by navigating to the homepage (pictured below)
We were immediately greeted with a 14-day free trial to try the platform out without having to spend a dime.
We signed up for the trial by inputting our name and email. Here’s how the first part of the onboarding process looked to give you a better idea.
From there, we connected our Small Business Bonfire Google account with just a few clicks. We did this to test every aspect of the software.
After syncing our Google account, we put in the following information:
- Phone number
- Company name
- Role in the company
- Number of salespeople
- Location of our leads
From there, Close scanned our synced inbox to find leads to help us get started. We selected the leads that we wanted to convert to Close, and we were off and running.
Close did all the work for us, transferring our data to its sleek interface.
Overall, onboarding with Close CRM was fantastic. 10/10—would recommend it to a friend.
Is Close CRM Easy to Use?
Close CRM is in a league of its own when it comes to usability. The cloud-based platform is incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate, even for SMBs or sales teams with limited tech proficiency.
The automation workflows are easy to set up, which helps to streamline the sales process, while the dashboard provides real-time insight into the performance of your sales funnel.
The icing on the cake is the exceptional onboarding process offered to new users, meaning that even rookies can hit the ground running with very little training.
We put Close CRM to the test for three months, and we were thrilled to find that we didn’t experience any issues during that time.
It’s safe to say that Close CRM is an ideal solution for busy SMBs who don’t want to spend time and resources figuring out the technical complexities of a CRM.
Close CRM Customer Service Review
Close CRM’s customer service is top-notch when it comes to assisting customers with their queries.
We reached out to test their responsiveness by asking about Slack integration. It took about 8 hours for them to respond.
However, we were pleasantly surprised by their helpful knowledge base for self-service, which contained the answer we were looking for. The knowledge base was well-organized, easy to navigate, and provided comprehensive information on several topics.
We were impressed with the depth and breadth of their support resources and appreciated how easy it was to find the information we needed.
Also, when we did hear back, the representatives were courteous and went above and beyond to assist us with any additional questions we had.
Overall, Close CRM’s customer service is efficient, timely, and effective in addressing customer queries and concerns.
Close CRM Alternative Comparison
Close CRM is a great platform for SMBs, but it’s not the only option out there. Here are some Close alternatives that we love.
Is Close CRM Worth it for Small Business Owners?
Close is an excellent choice for SMBs that are looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful CRM system to help scale sales efforts across the board.
The platform is both intuitive and feature-rich, boasting tons of integrations to help business owners build a cohesive tech stack.
Don’t just take our word for it. Try out any of their plans with a 14-day free trial today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Close CRM
Close CRM is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Specifically, the office is located in the chic SoMa (South of Market) district.
Apart from its San Francisco office, Close CRM also has a presence in London, England. The company was founded in 2013 by Steli Efti and Nick Persico and has since grown into a popular CRM solution provider.
Let me tell you there are plenty of reasons why businesses love using Close CRM.
First and foremost, Close CRM is incredibly user-friendly. With its simple interface and intuitive design, even those who are new to CRM software will be able to navigate the platform with ease.
This means you’ll spend less time training your team and more time focusing on growing your business.
Another major benefit of Close CRM is its powerful automation features.
By automating your sales process, you’ll be able to streamline your workflow and save yourself time and hassle.
Close CRM can automate task reminders, follow-ups, and even email outreach, making it simpler than ever to keep your sales pipeline flowing.
Close CRM also offers robust analytics and reporting capabilities. By tracking your sales data, you’ll be able to make informed business decisions and identify areas where you can improve. This kind of insight can be invalu
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an absolute must for any company looking to stay ahead of the competition. It provides the tools and resources necessary to improve customer experience, increase customer loyalty, and grow your business.
In today’s market, customers demand personalized attention and expect nothing less than exceptional service. That’s where CRM comes in.
Implementing a CRM system allows you to have a 360-degree view of your customers, enabling you to tailor your interactions with them.
It lets you track customer interactions, anticipate their needs, and offer targeted recommendations and incentives.
Moreover, CRM helps you streamline your business operations by automating processes and reducing the manual workload. You can easily manage leads, track sales, and analyze data. This not only saves time and money but also improves the accuracy and efficiency of your operations.
Close IO is a powerful CRM tool that has now been rebranded as Close.
As we mentioned in our article, Close is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to help streamline their sales processes and improve customer engagement. But what exactly is Close used for?
At its core, Close is a sales automation platform that allows users to manage their leads, track their deals, and communicate with customers and prospects more efficiently.
If you’re wondering who the number one CRM provider is, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
While Salesforce is often considered the industry leader, the reality is that the CRM market is incredibly diverse, with a wide range of players offering solutions for businesses of all sizes.
That being said, Salesforce does have a strong reputation in the industry for its robust functionality, comprehensive feature set, and easy integration with other software tools.
The company has been around since the early days of cloud computing, and its CRM platform has evolved over the years to become one of the most powerful tools on the market.
However, other CRM providers have also emerged as strong contenders in recent years, such as HubSpot, Zoho, and Pipedrive. Each of these providers offers unique features and functionalities designed to meet the needs of SMBs in particular.
Ultimately, the best CRM provider for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget. Take the time to research different options, compare features and pricing, and read reviews from other SMBs to make the best decision for your growing business.