7 Best Cloud-Based CRM Software in 2023

and how to pick the one that’s best for you

Are you looking for the best cloud-based CRM software platform?

There are 800+ out there today (!), so it can be hard to pick the right one.

That’s why we’ll clearly explain when to go with which cloud CRM. 👈

We’ll also compare the top choices by combining their review scores on several independent platforms. 🥇

Here we go 👇


First, how can you know what the best cloud CRM is for you specifically?

There are a three questions to consider when choosing a great cloud-based CRM:

  1. Does it work for your use case and business?
  2. Does it fit with the rest of your sales toolset?
  3. Is it a good cloud CRM?

To answer question 1, start from your exact use case and your type of business:

To answer question 2, consider whether the CRMs you are looking at are a great fit for your sales toolset. We have dedicated breakdowns for the following:

And finally, for question 3, you can look for CRMs that are well rated by their users across platforms. For this, check out the cloud-based CRMs in this list and their global review ratings.

These global review ratings are obtained by combining three ratings into one:

  • Product rating, from the #1 B2B software review site (G2)
  • Mobile app rating, from the #1 mobile app store (Google Play)
  • Email plugin rating, from the #1 email plugin marketplace (Google Workspace Marketplace)

That way you know you get a cloud-based CRM that performs on all fronts. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


The 7 best cloud-based CRM software ranked

Don’t want to read the whole comparison? 🤓

Here’s a quick overview of how each cloud CRM performs:

  1. Salesflare: 9.7/10 🏆
  2. Salesforce: 8.7/10
  3. HubSpot CRM & Sales Hub: 8.6/10
  4. ActiveCampaign: 8.5/10
  5. Freshworks CRM: 8.3/10
  6. Zoho CRM Plus: 7.7/10
  7. Pipedrive: 6.6/10

Want to dig into the details? Read on! 👇


1. Salesflare [9.7/10] 🏆

visual pipeline in Salesflare's CRM
Manage your leads like a pro through a visual pipeline ✨

If you’re a small or medium-sized B2B business and need a cloud CRM that your team will actually use, Salesflare may be right for you.

Salesflare is a dedicated sales CRM that was built from the ground up to help your sales team build better relationships and sell more, while requiring very little of that dreaded data input.

It’s made to pull all the data together from where it already is (your Office 365 or Google email, calendar, phone, social media, company databases, email signatures, email & web tracking, …) and uses that to help you follow up your leads in a better way.

The flip side is that some companies are not used to sharing this much information within the team, although this has been changing dramatically in recent years, and Salesflare has introduced a new permissions system for companies who want to limit some of that newly created transparency.

Salesflare’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 9.5
  • Ease of Setup: 9.5
  • Meets Requirements: 9.3
  • Quality of Support: 9.7
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 9.9
  • Ease of Admin: 9.5

Salesflare’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 9.6/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 4.8/5 → 9.6/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 5/5 → 10/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 9.7/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $49/user/month (billed annually)
  • $55/user/month (billed monthly)

If you don’t sell B2B (aka to other businesses) and don’t do active sales, one of the below cloud-based CRMs might then be a better fit for you. But, if you do actively sell B2B, give Salesflare a try.

It only takes a few minutes to start a Salesflare trial and follow up your leads in a better way.👈

We guarantee you won’t find any better cloud CRM! 👌

awards for Salesflare's CRM software
Some of the awards Salesflare has received for its ease of use, ease of setup, support, and return on investment.
try Salesflare for free

2. Salesforce [8.7/10]

screenshot of Salesforce's cloud-based CRM software in Lightning layout

Salesforce is the biggest CRM company in the world, controlling about 20% of the market. Its stock ticker is even “CRM” and it was the the pioneer in bringing CRM to the cloud, so we definitely can’t compile a list of cloud CRMs without mentioning it.

While, in the first few years of its existence, Salesforce was focused on small businesses, it has since shifted its focus on enterprises. This also immediately explains why it’s forte is extreme customizability (provided you pay a team of consultants to do that) and why it has positioned itself to be the one cloud software vendor that offers a solution to all your business needs.

Salesforce does still offer a solution to small businesses today, called Salesforce Essentials, a limited version of the full cloud platform. Compared to other CRMs in this list however, it lacks in user friendliness and is not really customized for sales teams.

This frustration with Salesforce is actually one of the reasons why we started building Salesflare, and – perhaps not surprisingly – why many of our customers find Salesflare while looking for a better alternative.

If extreme customizability is however your thing, or you’re working at a corporate, Salesforce might still be the best choice for you. But before signing any contract, read this guide to the small print first.

Salesforce’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 8.1
  • Ease of Setup: 7.5
  • Meets Requirements: 8.8
  • Quality of Support: 8.2
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 8.3
  • Ease of Admin: 8.0

Salesforce’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 8.2/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 4.2/5 → 8.4/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 4.7/5 → 9.4/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 8.7/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $75/user/month (only billed annually)

3. HubSpot CRM & Sales Hub [8.6/10]

screenshot of HubSpot's free cloud CRM

HubSpot is a marketing automation platform turned everything platform. It was founded in 2005 to make marketing automation easier.

Nowadays, HubSpot’s main selling point is offering an all-in-one solution, including marketing, sales, service and operations. If you don’t like using different apps and integrating them (using tools like Zapier and native integrations), then HubSpot might be the cloud CRM you’re looking for.

The flip side of the coin is that HubSpot’s software is extremely expensive. Yes, it’s cloud-based CRM is free, but it’s only comparable to the others in this list if you buy it together with the Sales Hub. And if you want to actually reap the benefits of the all-in-one platform, you need to pay up for the other Hubs too.

On top of that, you’ll find that the different tools in the platform do not compare to their more polished, feature-rich and usually cheaper competitors.

Actually, if you have some ideas of what functionality you need (a CRM, lead forms, landing pages, automated emails or maybe newsletters, …), hit us up on the chat and we’ll help you come up with the perfect sales-marketing stack. I guarantee that it’ll be better and cheaper… and easy to integrate.

HubSpot’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 8.6
  • Ease of Setup: 8.3
  • Meets Requirements: 8.5
  • Quality of Support: 8.5
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 8.7
  • Ease of Admin: 8.6

HubSpot’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 8.5/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 4.6/5 → 9.2/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 4.0/5 → 8.0/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 8.6/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $90/user/month (billed annually – minimum 5 users)
  • $100/user/month (billed monthly – minimum 5 users)

4. ActiveCampaign [8.5/10]

screenshot of ActiveCampaign's cloud CRM module

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing/automation platform, founded in 2003. It now brands itself as a customer experience automation (CXA) platform, to cover its expanding range of functionality.

ActiveCampaign added a cloud-based CRM to its offering in 2014, as a sales focused add-on to the rest of the platform. This integration between email automation and CRM is probably its main forte.

Setting up ActiveCampaign is not a light task and its software may become overwhelming, while the CRM aspect itself on the other hand will not be as feature rich compared to the other cloud CRMs in this list.

When people compare ActiveCampaign to Salesflare, which also offers automated emails and email sequences, our advice is usually simple: if you’re an ecommerce company or B2C company, or you need very complex or very high volume email automation, ActiveCampaign is probably what you’re looking for. If you’re a B2B company with an active sales team and the need to automate more personal emails, then go with Salesflare.

ActiveCampaign’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 8.7
  • Ease of Setup: 8.5
  • Meets Requirements: 9.1
  • Quality of Support: 9.1
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 9.2
  • Ease of Admin: 8.7

ActiveCampaign’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 8.9/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 4.3/5 → 8.6/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 4.0/5 → 8.0/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 8.5/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $149/month (billed annually, with max. 2500 contacts)
  • $187/month (billed monthly, with max. 2500 contacts)

5. Freshworks CRM [8.3/10]

Freshworks contact view in their cloud-based CRM platform formerly called Freshsales

Freshworks CRM is a sales CRM from Freshworks, the company behind / initially called Freshdesk. Freshworks was founded in 2010 to provide a better, cheaper solution for customer service teams.

Freshworks’ main selling point is its feature depth. It has also managed to offer this range of functionality through an easier to use interface than its competitors/predecessors from the same city (Chennai, India), Zoho.

The flip side here is that the software does feel quite bulky and that the functionality feels like its built too fast to be really well thought through. If complex software frustrates you, it probably isn’t for you.

If you’re in for its most basic plan, the price-functionality ratio is comparable to the more normally priced cloud CRMs in this list. The pricing however ramps up very quickly from there as you need more functionality (or more than 1 pipeline, 5 sequences, …).

Salesflare doesn’t often get compared to Freshworks CRM, but when it happens, it’s people weighing getting something that their team will love to use, against something that checks off a few more of the boxes on their specs list.

Freshworks CRM’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 9.1
  • Ease of Setup: 8.9
  • Meets Requirements: 8.9
  • Quality of Support: 9.0
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 9.1
  • Ease of Admin: 9.4

Freshworks CRM’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 9.0/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 3.8/5 → 7.6/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 4.2/5 → 8.4/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 8.3/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $39/user/month (billed annually)
  • $47/user/month (billed monthly)

6. Zoho CRM Plus [7.7/10]

screenshot of leads view in Zoho's cloud CRM (Plus version)

Zoho Corporation is a software development company, founded in 1996 (coincidentally in the same city as Freshworks above), which is behind an extremely wide range of software products.

It launched a cloud-based CRM product in 2005, which has historically been positioning itself as a cheaper alternative to Salesforce. And that’s immediately its biggest strength.

The pinnacle of its offering is Zoho One, which gives you access to 40+ of its “business apps” for $105/user/month (or $45 if you get it for ALL your employees). Talk about cheap!

The flip side is that Zoho’s products don’t feel user friendly. While the engineering team does churn out a lot features for a low price, the user experience is generally lacking.

Still, if you can’t resist a good deal, Zoho has a whole lot to offer you. Or, if you’ve already tried Zoho and didn’t love it, give Salesflare a try.

Zoho CRM’s review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 8.1
  • Ease of Setup: 7.6
  • Meets Requirements: 8.2
  • Quality of Support: 7.4
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 7.9
  • Ease of Admin: 7.8

Zoho CRM’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 7.8/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 4.2/5 → 8.4/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 3.5/5 → 7.0/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 7.7/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $57/user/month (billed annually)
  • $69/user/month (billed monthly)

7. Pipedrive [6.6/10]

Table view on deals in Pipedrive's cloud-based sales CRM

Pipedrive is a dedicated sales CRM. It was founded in 2011 in Estonia as a counterreaction to enterprise CRMs like Salesforce, which are built more for enterprise needs than they are for sales teams.

Pipedrive’s power is its simple and well considered user experience, especially when it comes to its older functionality. It makes data input and keeping track of activities easier, albeit still very manual.

Its main weakness is that it has become a bit stale, with a more limited mobile app, lacking basic automation (e.g. of data input), a wonky email integration, and a set of more recent functionality that is not as thoughtfully built anymore.

At some point in time, we positioned Salesflare as “Pipedrive without the typing” (check this TechCrunch video for instance). We did this because like Salesflare, Pipedrive is built for sales teams, is easy to use, and easy to set up.

The main difference is that, unlike Pipedrive, Salesflare was built from the ground up to automate your team’s data input, which also makes it easy to keep it alive / up to date… so you can reap all the benefits you’d expect to get from a cloud CRM. Because, after all, a CRM is only useful if you keep using it.

Pipedrive’s G2 review scoring:

  • Ease of Use: 8.9
  • Ease of Setup: 8.7
  • Meets Requirements: 8.4
  • Quality of Support: 8.4
  • Ease of Doing Business With: 8.7
  • Ease of Admin: 8.6

Pipedrive’s review ratings:

  • Product (G2): 8.6/10
  • Mobile app (Google Play): 3.3/5 → 6.6/10
  • Email plugin (Google Workspace): 2.3/5 → 4.6/10
  • FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 6.6/10

Price of the Pro plan:

  • $49.90/user/month (billed annually)
  • $59.90/user/month (billed monthly)

That’s all we have for the 7 best cloud CRM software platforms!

Want to dig deeper into the differences? Just ask our team using the chat on salesflare.com. We’re here to help 😄


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Avatar for Jeroen Corthout