Without the right customer relationship management (CRM) tools to help manage your sales, scaling your business will be impossible.
With leads falling through the cracks, overworked employees, and dissatisfied clients, you could lose a ton of money.
I’m AJ—here to help. I’ve spent the last decade scaling my business (making many mistakes along my climb).
After a successful multiple seven-figure exit, I’ve set my sights on helping entrepreneurs achieve the same financial freedom (without the same pitfalls).
That’s why I’ve put two fantastic sales CRMs head-to-head to see which is best for small businesses.
Both platforms offer a ton of utility to help grow your SMB—though the winner may surprise you!
How Did We Evaluate Close CRM and Pipedrive?
My team and I tested both CRM platforms thoroughly (over six months).
Here’s what we looked at:
- Pricing & Free Version
- Top Features
- Customer Service
- Ease of Use
- Best Mobile App
- Knowledge and Learning Center
- Which One We Think is Best for Small Businesses
How We Objectively Test Each Platform:
AJ's got a knack for kick-starting businesses, putting them on autopilot, and setting them up for acquisition. Over the past decade, he's been right in the thick of things with hundreds of small businesses, helping them with just about everything under the business sun. If you need advice on software suites and choices? AJ's your guy.
We roll up our sleeves and dive into the top CRM features we think are pretty crucial for small businesses. Stuff like reports and analytics, options to customize your pipelines, and the ability to link up with other apps and services. We know what makes small businesses tick, so we know what features they need to get the job done.
Money matters, folks! When it comes to picking a CRM system, price is usually the deal-breaker. We give a big thumbs up if a provider charges $30 or less per user each month for their starter plan. Extra brownie points for throwing in a freebie plan or trial, options to scale up or down as needed, and the freedom to pay monthly or yearly. We're looking for flexability for small businesses.
We all know support is mega important when you're choosing a CRM platform. This is especially true for those smaller businesses or sales teams who can't afford to have tech wizards on their payroll. We put our detective hats on to see if these companies offer round-the-clock support, and we looked at the different ways you can get help. We're talking live chat (like, real-time convo), email tickets, a good old-fashioned phone call, and self-service tools (for the DIY-ers out there).
When you're in the business of picking a CRM, integrations are like the secret sauce that takes your burger from 'meh' to 'mind-blowing'. Imagine, all your favorite apps and tools, working together in perfect harmony, making your workflow smoother than a fresh tub of Nutella. When we review a CRM, we look at the integrations most SMB owners are looking for.
When you're reviewing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, it's essential to pay close attention to its ease of use. After all, a CRM is as beneficial as its usability. A simple, intuitive interface saves you and your team a great deal of time and headache. When we're reviewing each CRM, this is a crucial aspect that we look for.
The importance of Mobile CRM cannot be overstated in today's digital age. It's essential for fostering strong customer relationships and managing business activities. Mobile access to CRM makes it possible for sales teams to update and access customer information in real time, improving efficiency and ensuring up-to-date data. Mobile CRM can have a massive impact on SMBs, so thoroughly testing it is essential for each one of our reviews.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM Comparison Chart
Here’s a quick look at our Close/Pipedrive matchup.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM: Pricing
Pricing is a crucial factor to consider when choosing your CRM.
Let’s see how much Pipedrive and Close CRM cost overall.
Pipedrive offers a free plan in addition to three paid plans:
- Essential: $21.90/Month
- Advanced: $37.90/Month
- Professional: $59.90/Month
- Power: $74.90/Month
- Enterprise: $119.00/Month
Check out our complete Pipedrive pricing guide.
Close CRM Pricing
Close CRM provides three pricing plans.
They are the following:
- Startup – $59/Month
- Professional – $329/Month
- Enterprise – $749/Month
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive Pricing Winner: Pipedrive
AJ’s Take: Pipedrive wins by a mile regarding pricing. Close CRM is just too expensive with its advanced plans to hold a candle to Pipedrive.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive: Top Features
Both Close CRM and Pipedrive offer a wide range of features to help small businesses manage their sales process.
Let’s take a closer look at what each platform has to offer.
Pipedrive Top Features
Let’s take a look at some of Pipedrive’s top features.
If you want to close deals faster while you scale your sales process, look no further than Pipedrive.
Pipedrive offers some of the best pipeline management in the game for several reasons.
Here are a few:
- It’s incredibly easy to use
- You can switch views with just a click
- Each deal card offers a ton of info at a glance
- You can create custom fields and pipelines with ease
My team and I tested this feature (over six months) by adding in some of our affiliate marketing deals at Small Business Bonfire.
Here’s how it looked each time we added a new deal to Pipedrive.
Within each deal card, we were able to view (and edit) the following info:
- Associated contact
- Pipeline & stage
- Contact info
- Expected close date
This comprehensive view of our deals never felt overwhelming during our testing (which was impressive).
Pipedrive provided a fantastic pipeline dashboard (shown below) where we could drag and drop deals to the appropriate stages (in seconds).
Plus, we could switch our view at the drop of a hat, giving us a bird’s eye view of our sales pipeline at all times.
The bottom line: Pipedrive knocks it out of the park regarding pipeline management. If you want to empower your sales team and close more deals, try Pipedrive.
As your business grows, so does your workload.
Managing all your projects and keeping your team on the same page can be a nightmare (if you don’t have the right tools for the job).
That’s where Pipedrive comes in, with fantastic tools to help you manage your projects (available for an extra $8/month).
With Pipedrive’s project management tools, you can accomplish the following:
- Set deadlines & assign tasks
- Create milestones and checklists
- View progress on all your projects with a single glance
- Keep all project-related communication in one centralized place
- See how each project impacts your sales pipeline (and make adjustments accordingly)
Here’s a sneak peek at a project we created (during our six-month testing period).
Each project card held a ton of data and allowed us an overview of each project with just one click.
We also loved the ability to create project templates, saving a ton of time and effort when setting up similar projects.
Here’s how the project template creation looked (to give you a better idea).
The breakdown: For a robust sales CRM, Pipedrive sure packs a punch when it comes to project management.
It’s one of our favorite Pipedrive add-ons because it’s affordable, user-friendly, and gets the job done.
Another standout feature of Pipedrive is its workflow automation.
This functionality can take your sales team’s productivity and efficiency to the next level.
Here are a few things you can take advantage of:
- Team notifications: With instant notifications, you can always keep your team in the loop. This feature comes in handy when important workflow changes or urgent tasks need immediate attention.
- Custom workflows: With Pipedrive, you can customize your workflows to perfectly align with your unique sales process. This means you can tailor the system to suit your needs (making your sales cycle more efficient and effective).
- Automated progress bars: With Pipedrive, you get these cool visual progress bars that update automatically as you move through different workflow stages. It’s great for tracking and visualizing your progress in real time.
During our six-month testing period, we put these features through their paces.
We set up automated workflows, assigned tasks, and tracked progress (using the automated progress bars).
The team notifications informed us about task updates and changes, while the custom workflows allowed us to tailor the process to our specific requirements.
The nitty gritty: Pipedrive’s workflow automation is a game-changer for scaling SMBs.
It enables a seamless, efficient sales process, cutting down manual tasks and allowing your team to focus on what really matters: closing deals.
If you’re serious about growing your business, you’ll need to be able to create and execute successful marketing campaigns (with high-volume outreach).
With Pipedrive, you get access to integrated email marketing tools (starting at an extra $16/month).
Here’s what we loved about this feature:
- Gorgeous, beginner-friendly templates
- Intuitive drag-and-drop email editor
- Automatic scheduling & sending
- Detailed analytics and reporting
We put these features to the test by creating an email campaign for our newsletter rollout.
We selected from one of Pipedrive’s fantastic email templates (pictured below).
Then, we were taken to the email editor, where we could add the following elements:
- Custom code
- Social links
Here’s how it looked from our perspective.
Once we customized each email in our campaign, we could set up a schedule for when we wanted them sent out.
Afterward, we could track our campaign’s success with detailed analytics and reporting (which came in handy to fine-tune future campaigns).
The final verdict: With Pipedrive’s integrated email marketing tools, you can create beautiful campaigns that drive results (without ever leaving the CRM platform).
Although there’s an additional price tag attached to this feature, we think it’s worth every single penny.
Managing customer data effectively is crucial for a successful sales operation.
To put Pipedrive through its paces (over six months), we added some of our B2B affiliate marketing contacts.
Adding new contacts was a breeze— we simply navigated to the ‘contacts’ section and hit the ‘add new contact’ button.
Here’s how a new contact card looked (for some context).
We were able to view the following on each contact card:
- Contact info
- Marketing status
While there wasn’t much information for each card, it’s worth pointing out that we could create custom fields (to fully tailor each card to our needs).
From there, we could easily manage all our contacts on our dashboard (which offers fantastic search and filter capabilities).
The need to know: If you need a simple yet effective way to manage contacts, my money is on Pipedrive.
Managing your day-to-day activities as your business grows can be a juggling act.
If you don’t have a system in place to keep track of your tasks, things can easily slip through the cracks.
That’s where Pipedrive’s activity tracking comes in.
With Pipedrive’s Activity Tracker, you can:
- View all your scheduled tasks at a glance
- Track activities across all open deals
- See which tasks are overdue or need immediate attention
- Set reminders and follow-up actions for important tasks
To test this feature, we scheduled various tasks and appointments (with reminders) to see how Pipedrive would perform.
We were pleasantly surprised by how user-friendly and intuitive it was.
For example, here’s an activity we created for a negotiation meeting with an affiliate marketing client.
Within each activity card, we could easily edit the following:
- Date & time
- Associated guests & contacts
- Associated users
We also liked how we could easily see our calendar view on the right side of each card, making sure we never double-booked our activities.
The nuts and bolts: If you’re struggling to keep track of a growing list of tasks, Pipedrive can help.
It’s got all the tools you need to stay on top of your daily activities like a boss.
Pipedrive offers some of the best lead management in the biz with its LeadBooster add-on (for an extra $39/month).
When you upgrade to LeadBooster, you instantly unlock the following:
- Prospecting: LeadBooster offers powerful lead prospecting that combs through websites and social media networks to find and capture potential leads.
- Chatbots: The chatbot feature allows you to immediately engage with your website visitors, answering their questions and gathering their contact information.
- Web Forms: Create customizable web forms that collect lead information directly into Pipedrive.
- Live Chat: With LeadBooster’s live chat, you can connect with potential leads right away, converting them into customers on the spot.
The results are in: After using LeadBooster to manage and convert our leads, we saw a significant increase in potential deals and sales.
The features are easy to use and integrate seamlessly with Pipedrive’s CRM platform.
It’s a must-have for any business looking to grow their customer base.
Close CRM Top Features
Let’s look at a few of our favorite features from Close CRM.
Managing your leads can be tricky without the right tools.
If leads fall through the cracks, it can mean missed opportunities for your business.
That’s where Close CRM’s lead management system comes in.
With Close, you can easily:
- Capture leads from multiple channels (email, phone, web forms, chat)
- View all lead activity in one place
- Assign leads to specific team members
- Set reminders and tasks for follow-up actions
We put Close’s lead management system to the test by importing some of our affiliate marketing leads.
We were particularly impressed by the vast array of options for importing leads, including (but not limited to):
- HubSpot CRM
- Google Sheets
- Copper CRM
This means that moving from a previous CRM is a hassle-free process (with essentially no opportunity cost).
Close CRM also makes adding leads manually a breeze.
Here’s how it looked from our perspective.
Within each new lead card, we could easily add and edit the following:
- Lead status
- Confidence level
- Associated contact
- Assigned user
- Custom fields
Once we had some new leads in place, here’s how it looked.
With Close CRM, we could easily track and manage all our leads in one place, making it a breeze to stay on top of potential deals.
The bottom line: If you need a way to take charge of your lead management and ensure no opportunities are missed, Close CRM is a great choice.
Syncing all of your data with your CRM is crucial for staying organized and on top of your tasks.
Close CRM makes it easy to do just that with the ability to sync your email account and calendar to the software.
With Close’s email integration, you can:
- Sync all emails (as well as attachments) automatically
- Add contacts and leads directly from your inbox
- View all email activity within the lead or contact
- Connect with clients directly from your CRM
We got started testing this feature (over six months) by syncing our Gmail account (shown below).
Once we were synced, we could send out emails left and right (directly from Close CRM).
We also loved the calendar sync feature, which allowed us to easily schedule and manage our meetings and tasks (without switching between platforms).
The breakdown: Close CRM’s email and calendar sync make it a top choice for businesses looking to streamline communication and stay organized.
Close CRM really shines when it comes to pipeline management.
It’s incredibly easy to use, comprehensive, and packed with utility, making a huge difference for sales teams aiming to close more deals.
Let’s look at some standout features:
- Ease of use: Close CRM’s interface is super user-friendly, so even those new to CRM software can quickly understand and use it. We absolutely loved the intuitive drag-and-drop feature, which allowed us to move deals around in a snap.
- Comprehensive features: Close CRM covers all aspects of the deal process with its comprehensive pipeline management. Say goodbye to using multiple tools and focus on what really matters—sales.
- High utility: Close CRM offers a high degree of utility, catering to the unique needs of every sales team. Whether it’s tracking, managing, or analyzing your sales pipeline, Close CRM has got you covered.
- Deal card customization: You can customize each deal card to your heart’s content. We particularly appreciated the option to specify whether the deal value was annual, monthly, or a flat rate. It helped us categorize and manage our deals more effectively.
Here’s a look at our sales pipeline with some of our affiliate marketing deals put in.
With Close CRM, we could easily navigate and manage our sales pipeline, resulting in increased efficiency and more deals closed. Talk about a win-win!
Our final thoughts: Take your deal management up a notch with Close CRM’s powerful and user-friendly pipeline management system.
Close CRM’s multichannel support is fantastic for scaling businesses.
It gives you a unified inbox to see and manage all your conversations in one place.
No more jumping between apps or platforms.
Everything you need is neatly organized in one central spot (making your communication smooth and efficient).
Here are the channels that Close CRM supports:
- Email: Close CRM integrates seamlessly with your email, allowing you to send, receive, and manage your email communications directly within the CRM. This means you can keep track of all email interactions with your leads and customers without ever leaving the platform.
- Phone: Close CRM has a built-in calling feature, making it massively convenient to place and receive calls directly in the CRM. You can dial out with a single click, automatically log your calls, and even record calls for future reference. Plus, Close CRM offers free coaching for this feature with the Enterprise plan.
- SMS: Text messaging is a powerful communication tool in today’s fast-paced business world. Close CRM’s multichannel support includes SMS integration, making it super easy to send and receive text messages directly from the CRM. You can now engage your customers in real time, anytime, and anywhere.
By bringing all these channels into one unified inbox, Close CRM makes it incredibly easy to stay on top of customer interactions, regardless of how or where they occur.
This is a definite win for businesses looking to optimize their communication and improve customer relationship management.
One of the standout features of Close CRM is its robust sales automation capabilities
These tools are designed to save you time and increase efficiency, allowing you to focus more on your sales efforts and less on administrative tasks.
We tested Close CRM’s automation capabilities by creating an automated follow-up email sequence.
Here are the steps we followed:
- Clicked “create new sequence”
- Clicked “create template”
- Set our communication schedule
- Add each step in the sequence
- Hit save
Here’s a quick look midway through our sequence creation process (to give you a better idea).
The process took about 5 minutes and saved us hours manually following up with each client.
We were also able to create the following types of automation using Close CRM:
- Notifying an assigned owner when a deal is moved to a new stage
- Automatically logging calls and emails
- Sending out email blasts to specific groups of leads or contacts
- Assigning tasks to specific team members based on certain triggers or actions
Our takeaway: Automation can be the key your business needs to take your sales efforts to the next level.
Close CRM’s automation and productivity tools make it easy for businesses of any size to implement effective processes and improve their overall productivity.
In today’s competitive market, making data-driven decisions is vital to the success of any business.
Close CRM understands this need, offering a robust analytics and reporting platform that enables organizations to track key metrics, analyze trends, and ultimately make informed decisions.
Close CRM’s custom reports bring many significant benefits to the table:
- User-friendly interface: Despite its robust capabilities, Close CRM’s reporting platform is easy to use. The intuitive design lets you generate, view, and interpret reports without the need for advanced technical skills.
- Automated reporting: Close CRM can automate your report generation, saving you time and ensuring you have the latest data at your fingertips when needed.
- Collaboration: You can easily share reports with your team, promoting transparency and fostering a data-driven culture within your organization.
- Data export: Close CRM allows you to export your data and utilize additional tools or platforms for further analysis if required.
Here’s a quick look at a report we created (in seconds) for our sales funnel.
We loved how customizable it was, as well as the real-time insights that helped us make data-driven decisions to improve our sales process.
Our final thoughts: Close CRM’s analytics and reporting platform is a valuable asset for businesses looking to gain deeper insights into their sales performance and make strategic decisions based on facts rather than guesses.
Plus, with its user-friendly interface and automation capabilities, generating and utilizing reports is a breeze!
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM Features Winner: Tie
AJ’s Take: Both platforms offer many powerful features that are extremely easy to use. This round is a clear tie in my book!
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM: Customer Service
Customer service can make or break any CRM software.
So, let’s see how Pipedrive and Close CRM stack up in terms of the following:
- Availability & responsive support
- Knowledge base
Pipedrive Customer Service
Pipedrive offers some stellar customer service across the board.
Let’s look at the following metrics:
- Availability & responsive support: Pipedrive offers live chat, email, and phone support. The longest we had to wait for a reply was about 5 minutes (which was awesome).
- Knowledge base: Pipedrive offers a great knowledge base with helpful articles, tutorial videos, and webinars.
- Training: Pipedrive offers a range of training through Pipedrive Academy. The courses are well-structured and easy to follow, making it an excellent resource for users of all skill levels.
Close CRM Customer Service
Close CRM offers some good (but not great) customer service.
Let’s break it down:
- Availability & responsive support: Close CRM offers email support. We had to wait about 8 hours for a response (which wasn’t great).
- Knowledge base: Close CRM provides a knowledge base with plenty of self-service resources, including articles and videos.
- Training: Close CRM offers some decent training options, but nothing as impressive as Pipedrive.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive Customer Service Winner: Pipedrive
AJ’s Take: Pipedrive dominates this round with 24/7, always-available customer service that goes above and beyond.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive: Integrations
A great CRM offers seamless integration with other tools and software to help streamline your processes.
So, let’s see how Pipedrive and Close CRM compare regarding integrations.
Pipedrive provides a marketplace with tons of native integrations.
Some that stood out include the following:
Pipedrive also offers a great integration with Zapier for thousands of additional third-party integrations.
Chances are, if you need an integration, Pipedrive has it.
Close CRM Integrations
Close CRM offers some great native integrations to take advantage of.
Some of our favorites include:
Close CRM’s Zapier pairing also offers many third-party apps to integrate with your CRM software.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM Integrations Winner: Tie
AJ’s Take: This was a close one, but ultimately, both platforms came out on even footing with fantastic integrations.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM: Ease of Use
Ease of use is crucial when it comes to CRM software. After all, what’s the point of having a ton of great features if you can’t figure out how to use them?
So, let’s see how Pipedrive and Close CRM measure up in terms of ease of use.
Pipedrive Ease of Use
Pipedrive boasts a user-friendly interface with simple navigation and a clean design.
Some of our favorite features include:
- Easy drag-and-drop customization
- Intuitive reporting and analytics
- Helpful templates for beginners
- Simple contact management
Pipedrive is incredibly user-friendly, with many resources to help beginners learn the ropes quickly.
Close CRM Ease of Use
Close CRM’s interface is well-designed and easy to navigate.
Highlights of the CRM software include:
- Drag-and-drop customization
- Automated tasks and workflows
- User-friendly reporting and analytics
Close CRM is very easy to use, but its lack of responsive support makes it a bit more challenging for beginners to get the hang of it.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive Ease of Use Winner: Pipedrive
AJ’s Take: This round was incredibly close, but we have to give it to Pipedrive for its wealth of resources and easy-to-use interface.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive: Best Mobile App
In today’s digital landscape, a great CRM must also have an excellent mobile app.
So, let’s see how Pipedrive and Close CRM stack up regarding their mobile offerings.
Pipedrive Mobile App
Pipedrive’s mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Here are some features that stood out to us:
- Sales activity tracking
- Real-time notifications
- Call and email tracking
- Great graphical interface
- Easy contact management
Pipedrive’s mobile app is pretty comprehensive, with most of the features available on the desktop version. It’s essentially like having a full CRM in your pocket at all times.
Our only complaint is that the pipeline management isn’t quite as comprehensive as the desktop version.
Close CRM Mobile App
Close offers a new mobile app for iOS with a clean and user-friendly interface.
The app provides the ability to do the following on the go:
- Manage leads and contacts
- Manage pipelines
- Access all your communications in one place
- Track daily tasks
Close CRM’s mobile app is great for sales teams who are constantly on the move and need to stay organized and connected with their leads.
Our only issue with the app is that it’s not available on Android devices.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM Mobile App Winner: Pipedrive
AJ’s Take: Both platforms offer fantastic mobile apps, but Pipedrive takes this round because it’s available on iOS and Android.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM: Knowledge Center
A knowledge center is an essential resource for users to find answers to their questions and troubleshoot any issues they may have.
So, let’s compare Pipedrive and Close CRM’s knowledge centers.
Pipedrive Knowledge Center
Pipedrive has got you covered with a comprehensive knowledge center packed with helpful articles, tutorial videos, webinars, and a ton of other tools to get new users started.
Pipedrive is well-organized, and it’s easy to search through the articles with just a few clicks.
Close CRM Knowledge Center
Close CRM provides a well-stocked knowledge center with plenty of resources, including articles, videos, and webinars.
The knowledge center is straightforward to navigate, making it easy for users to find what they need quickly.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive Knowledge Center Winner: Tie
AJ’s Take: Both platforms offer an extensive knowledge center with helpful resources, resulting in a stalemate for this round.
Close CRM Vs. Pipedrive: Limitations
Every CRM has a few downsides, so let’s lay them on the table (and see if there are any dealbreakers).
Pipedrive is pretty close to perfect (but it’s not quite there).
Here are a few notable limitations:
- No free plan: This can be a barrier to entry for startups and SMBs on a shoestring budget.
- Limited customer journey view: Pipedrive does a lot of things right, but its overall view of the customer journey could use some improvement.
Close CRM Limitations
Close CRM has a few drawbacks.
They are the following:
- No free plan: Just like Pipedrive, Close CRM does not offer a free plan, which can be a major downside to smaller businesses.
- Pricing plans are pretty expensive: Let’s face it—Close CRM is expensive. The most expensive plan costs $749/month, which could easily be a dealbreaker for many companies.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM Limitations Winner: Pipedrive
AJ’s Take: Despite its flaws, Pipedrive sweeps this round. Considering both platforms offer similar features, it’s tough to justify Close CRM’s price tag.
Pipedrive Vs. Close CRM: Which is Best for Small Businesses?
Pipedrive comes out on top here!
It’s affordable, powerful, and incredibly intuitive—what’s not to love?
However, Close CRM is a fantastic alternative if you’re looking for an extremely robust platform (with a bigger budget).
Both platforms offer free trials to test their advanced features (before you commit with your wallet), so check them out today!