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Keith Bruch | Winnipeg, MB

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If you don’t have a solid CRM implemented for your sales team, you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your client base and run your sales team effectively. Chad Banman, Sandler Training Edmonton, says: “Make sure you are leveraging the technology available to you to connect with new customers. You need a good CRM that helps your sales team use their time more effectively so that they can convert opportunities at a higher rate than your competitors.”

Let’s look at the pros and cons of some of the best CRMs for sales teams in 2021:

1. HubSpot:

Hubspot CRM Logo

HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies to attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. It does this by bringing together a variety of functionalities and allowing marketing and sales departments to manage all their activities in one place.


  • HubSpot is great for tracking not only your sales pipeline but also keeps all of your marketing and customer service data. Having it all in one place is incredibly valuable.
  • It includes an extensive App Marketplace to connect your other tools
  • HubSpot Academy walks you through all the aspects of the platform and educates you on how to use it effectively.


  • It’s an investment. You’re paying for a robust system and it’s not the cheapest option.
  • The CRM is not as “configurable” as other solutions, although they do have Enterprise Solutions. ​​You won’t be able to have a developer custom-build widgets into your portal.


2. Salesforce

Salesforce CRM Logo

Salesforce is an online solution for customer relationship management or CRM. It gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a shared view of your customers with one integrated CRM platform.


  • The reporting capabilities of Salesforce are particularly robust. They allow you to see how accounts have developed over time, how salespeople are performing, and if the team is on track to achieve its goals.
  • There are a variety of analytical tools that Managers and C-Level Executives can use to keep tabs on sales reps and the overall performance of the sales organization.
  • Salesforce is highly customizable and users can create custom fields specific to their industry and internal operations.


  • The platform is not very intuitive and there is a lack of guidance and hints within the application.
  • There are often error messages that pop up without any information on how to fix the problem or even identify it without contacting Salesforce staff, which becomes frustrating.
  • When exiting an opportunity there are numerous fields and locations that are required to fill out, and the sheer amount means that some are easy to miss along the way.


3. Nutshell:

Nutshell CRM Logo

Nutshell is a sales-focused CRM with features that will make the lives of sales managers and their reps easier and more productive. These features include highly specific customizations to match how and who you sell to and reporting options to measure any data point.


  • Creating territories for your team lets you assign and organize leads based on the geography assigned to your reps and can be created by area code, city, state, and postal code.
  • When you add a contact, it will find the appropriate LinkedIn profile and link to it and other social accounts.
  • Very reasonably priced and affordable.
  • Easy to learn and use.


  • The tagging system is not intuitive and the data import/export process is overly complicated.
  • The interface can be difficult to use and the search function is not very effective - it lacks the ability to sort or filter.
  • Customers have reported several glitches and bugs in the app and desktop version leading to wasted time and frustration.


4. Pipedrive

Pipedrive CRM Logo

Pipedrive is a deal-driven CRM solution that also works as an account-management tool with the ability to assist with marketing and the entire sales process. Pipedrive's proactive nature automatically tracks and organizes calls and emails and synchronizes schedules across devices.


  • Interface and user experience is intuitive and user-friendly, workflow is “deal-driven.”
  • Excellent functionality of the mobile app and includes call and email synchronization.
  • Ability to visualize the sales process from start to finish to improve efficiency.


  • Limited functionality for the price.
  • No separation between lists of new leads and contacts.
  • Leads and contacts are not separated in the database.

Whatever Customer Relationship Management tool you choose, ensure you have a systematic and centralized software to track your customer's journey across sales, marketing, and customer service - for their benefit and yours. 


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