Spread the love

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is essentially a database that tracks and stores information. The more complex the CRM, the more it can do with that information, from sending automated messages to making sales forecasts.

True customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you understand your customers and engage with them throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

This is accomplished by collecting and analyzing lots of data. From prospecting to marketing to customer service, gathering and analyzing customer data can uncover problem areas and reveal hidden opportunities.

The CRM industry has always been seen as a growing market. Yet, because of the profitable results that businesses have seen, it’s actually become the biggest software market in the world. CRM sales are expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.2% by the time 2027 rolls around.

That’s why we are considering WordPress CRM. We want to see the best WordPress CRM and how you can choose the best.

  • What is a CRM?
  • How Does a CRM Work?
  • What Are The 3 Types of CRM Platforms?
  • Why is CRM so Important?
  • Why Should You Build Your Own Custom CRM?
  • Top 13 Best CRMs For Your WordPress in 2021

What is a CRM?

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a piece of software companies use to manage interactions with customers, store information about them, and automate a number of processes connected with a customer’s journey through the marketing and sales funnels.

Read Also: New 30 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install in 2021

A CRM system is an incredibly important tool for every company, helping to foster customer loyalty and forge it into healthy revenue.

How Does a CRM Work?

CRM software allows marketers and salespeople to manage and analyze relationships with the company’s actual and potential customers. It enables tracking every interaction with the company and collects information about the customer.

This way, when speaking to a customer, the marketer always knows who they are and sees their history with the company. This makes the interaction more personalized, increases the chances of conversion, and encourages customer trust and loyalty.

CRMs include functionalities which allow you to track customer/company interactions through various available touchpoints, including those from:

  • Contact forms
  • Search engines
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Social media

The software takes care of certain processes—it can offer automation of marketers’ repetitive tasks, sets reminders for important events, and displays alerts if things really need attention. Some CRMs also offer analytics capabilities, allowing you to track the efficiency of various marketing efforts to generate leads and conversions.

CRM software, in combination with marketing automation, provides sales and marketing teams with a set of tools to manage the entire sales and marketing funnels, from lead qualification to opportunity management, forecasting, and deal closure.

End-to-end management of the sales funnel involves a combination of marketing automation and CRM functionalities systems. We are witnessing the trend that many popular CRM platforms either acquire or develop their own marketing-automation systems to offer the functionality. HubSpot, for example, offers both, while other CRMs enable easy integration with other marketing automation systems.

Here’s a list of functionalities typically offered by a CRM platform:

  • Lead management: A CRM tracks the company’s leads, allowing marketing teams to enter new leads into the system (automatically or manually) and to track and analyze data about them.
  • Marketing automation: Some CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce offer marketing-automation functionalities to automate certain tedious tasks in the funnel. For example, the system can automatically send customers marketing emails at times set by the marketer, or publish social media posts according to a schedule. The goal of marketing automation is to keep sales leads engaged and to help turn them into paying customers.
  • Sales automation: CRMs can track customer interactions and automate selected business functions of the sales cycle that are necessary to follow leads and attract and obtain new customers.
  • Workflow automation: CRM systems help businesses optimize processes by streamlining mundane workloads, which enables employees to focus on creative and more high-level tasks.
  • Analytics: CRM solutions can offer built-in analytics tools that offer insights and help boost customer satisfaction rates. A marketer can analyze the data and create targeted campaigns accordingly. CRM analytics help to track attribution and provide insights into the quality of the customer experience.
  • Artificial intelligence: CRM solutions like Salesforce offer AI capabilities built into their systems to help automatically recognize patterns leading to successful sales, which can help you build more accurate strategies for future marketing efforts.
  • Individualized customer experiences: You can also use a CRM to create personalized and consistent experiences for your potential customers across various marketing channels, which may help increase conversions and boost brand awareness.

What Are The 3 Types of CRM Platforms?

There are three main types of CRM platforms:

  • Operational
  • Analytical
  • Collaborative

Operational CRMs are intended to streamline your day-to-day tasks; for example, by automating data entry. You’re most likely to benefit from an operational CRM if you’re interested in marketing automation, sales automation, or service automation.

What does that entail? First, your CRM can automatically create customer profiles and support tickets, no matter how a prospective customer reaches out to you. Whether a customer prefers phone, email, or social media, your CRM can keep track of their interactions with you and send out follow-ups by their preferred channel.

Next, your CRM can help your sales team close more deals by using automated lead scoring and lead rotation. Everyone on your sales team can view a customer’s profile, reducing the guesswork that goes into making a sales call.

Some CRMs even have built-in sales dialers, so you can call customers and schedule meetings without toggling between your phone, email, and calendar.

Finally, you can use your CRM to maintain an ongoing relationship with your customers through service automation. From AI chatbots who can route customer complaints, to a follow-up survey and interactive knowledge base, CRMs make it easy to stay on top of your customer’s issues and upsell or cross-sell additional products to them.

The other two types of CRM are analytical and collaborative CRMs. They offer some of the same features as operational CRMs, but with a different focus.

Analytical CRMs are best for companies with large amounts of data. Analytical CRMs use data mining and even AI tools to process demographic and sales data.

For example, an analytical CRM can make sales forecasts based on customer data and help you decide which products to launch next to stay ahead of your competitors.

Collaborative CRMs are designed for companies in which multiple departments — or even other businesses — need access to the same data.

You can share customer profiles between your sales and support teams, to make sure that everyone’s on the same page about recurring support issues. Or, you can share limited information with external partners and vendors, sharing only the data you need in order to facilitate a deal.

As you can see, there are a lot of options, and most out-of-the-box CRMs will contain some elements of each type, such as automated data entry and reporting.

But when it comes to more specific tools, such as an in-app dialer or AI chatbots, you may need to purchase further integrations in order to round out your toolkit.

Why is CRM so Important?


CRM helps businesses learn about their customers, including who they are and why they purchase your products, as well as trends in customers’ purchasing histories. This allows businesses to better anticipate their customers’ needs and, as a result, fulfill them.

Effectively using customer relationship management can also provide a strategic advantage. Well organized customer data helps companies select the correct recipients for promotions and new products.


CRM allows businesses to become more efficient by organizing and automating certain aspects of the business. From sales processes to marketing campaigns and business analytics as well as customer data, CRM automates and streamlines these processes for businesses. This allows the businesses to organize these processes into simpler, easier to understand data.


Finally, CRM software allows businesses to optimize their customer interactions. By simplifying and streamlining many of the more complex customer interaction processes, CRM increases customer satisfaction.

Why Should You Build Your Own Custom CRM?

If your business has specific needs, or would benefit from a combination of all of the above, then you may be in the market for a custom CRM.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons to consider building your CRM from scratch.

1. Tailor it to your business

The most important reason to build your own CRM is that it’s designed just for you. One of the challenges with implementing a new CRM is getting your team to adopt it.

Many companies buy an out-of-the-box CRM, thinking it will solve all of their problems, only to find that their team is reluctant to use it.

Not only do they have to learn a new system, but they have to navigate workflows that aren’t designed for them, and work around tools that they don’t really need.

Instead of trying to teach your team how to use a bloated CRM with tools that you “might need someday,” you can build a custom CRM to your specifications. Design it to align with the workflows that you already use, rather than replace them.

In many businesses, complexity isn’t necessarily better. A custom CRM will have fewer extraneous features to distract your team from doing what they do best.

2. Keep up with growth

Second, a custom CRM allows you to scale your company and keep up with growth. An out-of-the-box CRM may meet your needs at first, but it won’t grow along with you.

Many CRMs are designed for businesses of a particular size, and cost more when you add more users and features. Other CRMs are too big to begin with, and aren’t really suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.

With a custom CRM, you aren’t limited to the size and shape of your business today. As you add new departments and employees, you can scale your CRM along with you.

Add on more functionality as time goes by, without having to switch to an entirely new system, or teach your team an encyclopedia of advanced features all at once.

3. Integrate it with other tools

Next, you can integrate your CRM with tools that you’re already using for an even more streamlined workflow. Most CRMs have basic integrations, such as email and calendar, but others may not be available with an out-of-the-box CRM, or may cost more.

Whether you depend on social media for inbound marketing, or you want to keep using familiar apps like Dropbox and Slack, a custom CRM plays well with other tools.

You’ll get the benefits of a central data repository and user profiles, while still getting to use specialized tools for specific jobs.

CRMs typically offer three types of integrations: native, 3rd party, and custom. Native integrations come standard, and include common tools like Gmail and Mailchimp.

Third-party integrations are provided by companies like Zapier, and can be used to build automated workflows on external platforms, from YouTube to Quickbooks.

Custom integrations are built on top of your platform’s API, and are where you can really let your imagination run wild.

4. Build-department specific apps

One of the most important reasons to use a custom CRM is to create specialized apps for individual teams or departments. Out-of-the-box CRMs may not have a public API that you can build off of, limiting your ability to design customized tools.

With a custom CRM, you can build multiple tools using the same API, ensuring that all of your departments link back to the central hub for consistent, real-time data access.

Build a survey app for your marketing team, a geolocation app for your field sales team, an employee tracking app for your HR team, and more. Each of these apps will be able to access customer profiles from your CRM and update customer records as needed.

This is especially useful for companies with remote employees or with teams in multiple locations, enabling your teams to stay synchronized even while on the go.

5. Pay only for what you need

Finally, you’ll often get better pricing when you purchase a custom CRM. This might sound counter-intuitive, because custom CRMs have a steeper up-front cost. But you’ll save money over the long-term by avoiding recurring subscription fees and add-ons that can balloon your expenses as your company grows.

For example, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 CRM costs $95 per month per user, plus $20 per month per user for additional licences to use other apps.

While that cost may sound reasonable when your company is small, it can quickly feel excessive, especially if some of your employees use your CRM more than others.

After all, everyone needs access to the CRM, but why should you have to pay the same fee regardless of how much or how little each user interacts with the product? As your company grows, you may be trapped into a pricing plan that surpasses what you would have spent to develop a custom CRM of your own.

With a custom CRM, you’ll never have to worry about changing subscription plans, or being locked out of tools you need because they cost too much to access.

The five-year cost for maintaining a CRM subscription with 25 users can easily reach close to $200,000. You can develop a custom CRM for far less.

Top 13 Best CRMs For Your WordPress in 2021

In this article, we have seen some reasons why you might need to build a custom CRM for your business. However, if you consider a CRM plugin for WordPress a better fit for your business, we will now look at the best CRM you can get for your WordPress.

1. WordPress ERP

Created specifically for WordPress businesses and websites, WordPress Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) offers a powerful CRM plugin for tracking leads and managing customers.

With this tool, you can keep tabs on your site visitors, subscribers and customers all in the same place. Tag customer profiles based on urgency and importance to make sure you’re taking advantage of the best sales opportunities.

Add comments to customer profiles to keep everyone on your team in the loop. And set reminders to minimize the likelihood that customers will be lost in the shuffle. These functionalities are available to B2B companies too, as WordPress ERP allows you to save and modify company profiles like you would individual customer profiles.

WordPress ERP is also a great tool for communicating with customers, as it allows you to message them directly from their profiles. This eliminates the need to toggle back and forth between pages and minimizes the risk of email threads or messages being misplaced.

Best yet, WordPress ERP is compatible with a bunch of different extensions, making it easy to integrate it into your existing website.

2. HubSpot

HubSpot’s WordPress plugin allows you to connect your WordPress website to the free HubSpot CRM so you can organize, track, and nurture your leads and customers. This plugin is far more than a CRM, with a full suite of features for making forms, running live chats on your website, and providing analytics. There’s even an email marketing tool for sending out automated emails and newsletters.

It all comes together in a nice package to engage visitors and build a beautiful customer management platform. HubSpot is known for its powerful marketing tools, so this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of some of the most advanced customer relationship tools on the market.

The CRM is completely free and it has a WordPress plugin to integrate with your current site. It only takes a few moments to configure your CRM online. Then, an interactive demo walks you through the beautiful dashboard with graphs and reports.

The CRM plugin comes with a free form builder that will capture your visitors’ submissions and automatically sync them with the CRM. And even if you’re using a different form tool like Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms, those leads will automatically be added to your contact list.

The form builder is nice for creating popups, banners, and embedded forms. Along with that valuable CRM, you get live chat and chatbots to connect with your prospects and personalize your conversations at scale. All chats are automatically logged in the CRM.

We also enjoy the built-in analytics with enriched data. The plugin automatically enriches a contact’s profile with public information from across the web, like with job titles and social profiles.

3. Bitrix24 CRM

The free Bitrix24 CRM tool can also be another good WordPress CRM solution. This isn’t technically a plugin but rather an integration that’s been designed specifically for WordPress.

It stores contacts in your WordPress user database and you have the ability to add contacts manually or capture them automatically through a lead generation form on your website. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of your prospects and customers being designated as users, you may rest a little easier knowing you can specify the default role that’s assigned to them.

Advanced options also let you designate which fields are required. With Bitrix24 CRM, you can conveniently edit forms and manage contacts from within your WordPress admin.

Each contact record can be categorized by contact type and has a correspondence thread, so you can keep track of every interaction. A big advantage of this tool is the support options. The developers have a robust support area on their website as well as a blog.

We suggest that you test out Bitrix24 CRM to see if it does the trick for your organization. Based on the online reviews, some users love it, while other people prefer other options. The main benefits include the fact that it’s entirely free and all of the tools are consolidated into the WordPress dashboard. Therefore, you don’t have to move to another platform to manage your customers.

Quite a few apps are also available for you to use with Bitrix24 CRM. Some are free, while others require payment. A few of the apps we took notice of include the Events Calendar, ClickSend SMS, and CallingBot24 apps.

Many of the apps seem to tie right into client management, where they’re designed to either help a salesperson become more productive or for analyzing data about your customers.

4. Capsule CRM

Capsule prides itself on being a simple, yet powerful CRM. And from contact management to reporting, Capsule’s WordPress plugin offers just that.

Capsule is not unlike other plugins, in terms of collecting customer data from your website. However, Capsule goes beyond the basics of this functionality, by synching customer profiles with their social media alter egos. This feature is great for sales and marketing teams, as it gives you a complete 360 view of your customers.

Once leads have been added to the dashboard, you can also populate their profiles with information, manually. Quickly add notes and other documents to keep everything together, add tags for faster searching, and divide your customers into groups for easier viewing.

Capsule is also designed to help teams work better together. You can tap into this functionality by color-coding tasks in Capsule’s calendar and assigning customers to specific teams and employees.

You can also use its Kanban style board to organize leads in your pipeline and assign tasks to specific team members. You can even track your teams’ overall progress in a specialized dashboard to see what’s working and what isn’t.

5. Zero BS CRM

With this one, the name says it all. Built specifically to support entrepreneurs, this CRM plugin is all about making convoluted processes and complex software as simple as possible. In fact, Zero BS actually lets you pick and choose the features you want, so you don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed by anything you don’t need.

You see this functionality right out of the gate too, as this plugin can be installed and set up in just a few minutes. And once it’s up and running, Zero BS helps you get up to speed quickly, by moving all of your site visitors, customers and contacts to your CRM, where you can view them in a minimalist dashboard.

However, your CRM doesn’t just store, organize and track your customers. It also allows you to interact with them via a branded customer portal where you can upload quotes, send invoices, schedule appointments, and log transactions. And all of this functionality is available on mobile, which means you can continue to manage and communicate with your customers while traveling.

Zero BS also prides itself on its dedication to regularly updating the plugin, which means you don’t have to worry about it being incompatible with future WordPress versions.

6. UpiCRM

UpiCRM is a completely free WordPress CRM and lead management solution. This is a fairly new plugin, but it’s already turning out to be very popular, with respectable ratings and a few thousand installations.

It’s also useful because if you do eventually decide to upgrade to a premium CRM, the UpiCRM WordPress plugin provides a bulk export feature for transferring out all of your contacts into another system.

The primary functionality involves creating contact forms and collecting leads to go into your database. One of the reasons we really enjoy this plugin is because it automatically links to several websites for aggregating the data collection from multiple sources.

You’ll also notice that the integration options are superior to the competition, with connections to other CRMs, WordPress plugins, and Google Drive.

7. Less Annoying CRM

Less Annoying CRM is another tool that’s built on simplicity and minimalism. In fact, the entire point of their platform is to make CRM software accessible and editable by the average person. And you can see how that’s the case, just by looking at their dashboard. Everything from customer profiles to team calendars and reports is easy to understand and modify.

Using this tool, you can do standard customer relationship management work like importing leads and assigning them to specific team members. But Less Annoying CRM also offers some unique features like email reminders for teams and pipeline reports to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.

The dashboard even includes tasks lists and appointment times, so you don’t accidentally miss opportunities to nurture leads.

Less Annoying is so dedicated to the idea of making their software usable and well…less annoying, that they even offer free phone and email support to help you figure out the platform or troubleshoot problems.

8. WP smart CRM & Invoices FREE

With a name that gets right to the point, the WP smart CRM & Invoices FREE WordPress plugin is a less popular, yet respectable, option when it comes to running a CRM in your WordPress dashboard.

The plugin covers more than your standard CRM, with an impressive collection of office and business management tools. Some of these include the customer archive grid, a notification system, and a beautiful module for organizing your contacts for future messaging.

The plugin also serves as a to-do list and invoicing system, allowing companies to complete multiple tasks from the same dashboard and not spend a dime doing it.

Yes, the core WP smart CRM & Invoices plugin is free, but there’s also a Pro Version that sells for a little over $100 per year. The payment covers premium customer support, multipage invoices, file uploads, a full-page layout, and much more for your CRM and invoicing needs.

9. Insightly

Insightly knows that the best way to drive sales is to build relationships with customers—and they built a CRM tool to help businesses do just that. With this plugin, you can not only collect and organize customer data, but you can also route entire customer profiles to people in your organization.

This includes everything from general customer information to detailed reports on interactions like phone calls, meetings, and email threads.

This plugin also includes the option to create, manage and automate marketing campaigns that are tailored to the needs of your customers. It then tracks the success of each campaign in an analytics dashboard. This helps you make sure your campaigns are working, and if not, enables you to use data to modify it in the future.

Beyond that, Insightly integrates nicely with loads of different apps, so you can keep the rest of your business processes connected without much hassle.

10. WP Fusion

WP Fusion is a premium WordPress plugin that connects what happens on your website to your CRM. You can use WP Fusion to build a membership site, keep your customers’ information in sync, capture new leads, record e-commerce transactions.

There’s a Lite version to download for free. This version syncs your contacts and user management items between your WordPress site and the third-party CRM of your choice.

Therefore, it’s not exactly a full CRM system, but rather a link to your WordPress site and the CRM you want to go with. However, the plugin does have a handful of basic CRM features included, such as automatic contact creation and access restriction for your site and database.

11. Drip

Drip is another great plugin option for modern eCommerce businesses. With a clean interface, it provides business owners with the data needed to make strategic design, inventory and marketing choices. It does this by gathering data from visitors on your site—like names and currencies—and organizing it neatly into customer profiles.

Drip doesn’t just gather data on customers based on live chat conversations and form submissions, though. With this plugin, you can actually see what your customers are viewing, clicking on and buying. This gives you a leg up on the competition, by helping you know exactly what your site visitors want, so you can build marketing strategies around it.

Using its drag-and-drop dashboard, you can also create marketing and sales workflows to guide leads through an ideal customer experience. You can then design beautiful social media and email campaigns on the platform, to match the style of your brand and the interests of your customers.

And here’s the best news: Drip integrates seamlessly with all types of WordPress eCommerce stores, including WooCommerce and Shopify.

12. Groundhogg — Marketing Automation & CRM for WordPress

Groundhogg is a self-hosted CRM and Marketing Automation plugin designed to simplify, consolidate, and automate sales and marketing for businesses that use WordPress. Thanks to this CRM, you can guide your customers through the sales pipeline automatically with funnels, email marketing, CRM, and more.

The free version of Groundhogg allows you to build forms, write personalized emails, build timed drip funnels, segment your contacts, and use the fully functional CRM to help you keep track of your customers.

It’s a freemium business model, meaning you can get started for free and upgrade to a paid plan when you want more features. You can download some of their 40+ extensions which will allow you to integrate with the most popular WordPress plugins and services as well as add additional features like collecting payments and conditional funnel logic.

13. vCita CRM

The vCita CRM boasts a heavy-duty feature list and it works for just about any website platform you want. It also provides a WordPress integration, making it particularly exciting for those currently working with WordPress sites.

Read Also: How to Effectively Make Money With Your Website

Keep in mind, that vCita CRM only sells as a premium solution. Yes, you receive a 14-day free trial, but after that, the pricing starts at $19 per month. The $45 per month plan actually includes the best CRM features.

The CRM gives you the tools to store all contacts in one place, with an in-depth view of each customer to understand what they want and how they shop. The vCita CRM also provides a mobile interface for running your business on-the-go and checking in when customers need your help.

It’s accurate to say that the vCita CRM is a complete powerhouse. It has the tools you need to boost your team’s productivity, but it also remains modern and intuitive for quickly adding notes to profiles and modifying customer modules.

You’ll even receive a client portal so that all of your customers can go on your website to make changes to their profiles, send in payments to your company, and share documents if needed.

The customer follow-ups are extremely useful for some businesses, especially if you’re running a sales team or if you book appointments. For instance, a doctor’s office could potentially use the vCita CRM for running their calendar for appointments. The same can be said for if you need a schedule for running software demos or something similar.


Once you start building a customer base with your site, it’s critical to have a WordPress CRM solution in place that can help you build future business. The more you know about your customers, the better positioned you are to provide the products, services, and the customer support they need.

CRM solutions can also be invaluable for highlighting under-performing customer segments and growth opportunities. We’ve only covered a handful of options above.

There are others on the market, with additional solutions being developed every day.

About Author


MegaIncomeStream is a global resource for Business Owners, Marketers, Bloggers, Investors, Personal Finance Experts, Entrepreneurs, Financial and Tax Pundits, available online. egaIncomeStream has attracted millions of visits since 2012 when it started publishing its resources online through their seasoned editorial team. The Megaincomestream is arguably a potential Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, videos, features, and information, as well as a highly engaged global community for updates and niche conversation. The platform has diverse visitors, ranging from, bloggers, webmasters, students and internet marketers to web designers, entrepreneur and search engine experts.